Media and Journalism

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the four moderates on the court, dissented from Justice Scalia’s broader analysis and sought a much narrower holding.

– the New York Times editorial board, in an editorial about Wal-Mart v. Dukes entitled Wal-Mart Wins, Workers Lose.

This is the worst piece of whoring journalism I have read in a long time. How long are you going to suck [U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara]’s teat? All to hurt a decent, honest witness, [whom assistant U.S. attorney Reed] Brodsky could not lay a glove on. It did not work. The jury was not impressed by the worst cross examination ever delivered. So in the style of Preet, try to smear him by working the sycophants in the back of the Courtroom. He learned from Schumer in the Senate… Preet is scared sh[**]less he is going to lose this case so he feeds his whores at the WSJ. What a disgrace for an otherwise great paper.

John Dowd, partner at Akin Gump and defense lawyer to Raj Rajaratnam, in an irate email to Wall Street Journal reporter Chad Bray.

My name is Staci Zaretsky, but most of you have known me as Morning Dockette for the better part (or worst part, depending on your opinion) of a year now. You must be wondering why I’m finally putting aside my absurd pseudonym and writing this post under my real name. Well, thanks to the powers that be at Above the Law, I will be joining the editorial staff as a full-time writer.

I’ll give you all a moment to groan and/or squeal and then soil yourselves with disgust and/or pleasure. Super! Now that we’ve gotten over that hurdle, let me assure you that you don’t have to worry, because my fabulous friend Juggalo Law will continue to write for ATL.

Since I started writing for ATL, I have learned a lot about the legal community that frequents the site. I’ve learned that some people just can’t take a joke. That’s pretty unfortunate, but most law types are lacking in the personality department, so it’s understandable. I’ve learned that our commentariat can determine what people look like, just from their style of writing. Apparently, I’m a hot Asian girl. Who knew?

The most important thing I’ve learned from my time here at ATL is that a lot of our readers have graduated from elite educational institutions and then moved on to even greater law firms. I’ve also learned that not everyone who makes the decision to enter the legal field is so lucky – and I’ve learned that from my own personal experiences.

Now, before you get your Google on, and if you really want to see if I’m a hot Asian girl, please read on after the jump…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking Up the ATL Boys’ Club (Nobody Likes a Sausage Fest)”

There’s not much I can add to this Weinergate thing that hasn’t already been covered on these pages and everywhere else. Congressman Anthony Weiner has said that he’s not going to resign over the scandal that he tweeted various body parts to women other than his wife. I believe that he will have to resign, although not because of the tweeting, but because of the lying about it afterward. (Previously, he claimed that his social-media accounts had been hacked. He then admitted that that wasn’t strictly true. Or even a little bit true. He also conceded that the dog had actually not eaten his homework.)

This online imbroglio has made many wonder why he would even consider posting compromising photos and language on Twitter. Or for that matter, why he would even be on Twitter in the first place. Or why anyone would be.

Lawyers in particular often have trouble understanding why they should be on Twitter. Even my esteemed colleague Mark Herrmann has “proved” that Twitter doesn’t work. Well, I’ve got news for people who doubt that they should be tweeting:

Many of them probably shouldn’t be.

In fact, I’ve tried to identify the types of people (in addition to shirtless politicians in various degrees of arousal) who should stay away from Twitter. Here, then, are five people who should never tweet….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Firms, Big Lawyers: Five People Who Should Never Tweet”

On the other side of the pond, the principles of the First Amendment often take second place to the right to privacy. Britain, for example, has a smashing little thing called a “superinjunction,” which citizens can get from a court to keep the media from writing stories about them. They also have regular injunctions, which people — usually rich people, since injunctive relief can be expensive — can get to keep their names out of scandalous scoops. This results in lots of tabloid stories that read like Gawker’s blind items, or simply don’t run at all.

A married soccer player (for Manchester United, in case you care — though you probably don’t) got himself one of the latter, when the Big Brother star/model he was balling told him she was selling her story to the press. Unfortunately for him, a Twitter user crusading against muzzling the press with superinjunctions somehow got his tweepy hands on the information and published the rumor about the player’s adulterous scoring, along with a bunch of other supposedly superinjuncted gossip.

It caused an uproar in Britain initially, but the fire died down fairly quickly — until the soccer player’s lawyers decided to give it some more fuel….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Ryan Giggs’ Is British for the ‘Streisand Effect’”

There are very few people that change your life. Dick Ebersol changed mine. He brought me to NBC a few weeks after I was cut by the Bengals. He saved me from a life of torts.

Cris Collinsworth — an NFL analyst for NBC, who went to law school in preparation for a post-NFL career — speaking about Dick Ebersol, who recently resigned as chairman of NBC Sports.

Many state and local courts do have cameras in the courtroom (unlike most of their federal counterparts), but other forms of technology are still frequently verboten. Some courts prohibit cellphones, laptops, and, in the traffic court I once attended, reading the newspaper.

Yet slowly, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, some enlightened folks in Massachusetts are introducing a local court to the joys of web cams and unnecessarily detailed twitter posts.

Spurred on by a large grant from the James S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the OpenCourt Project officially began on Monday at the Quincy District Court.

Seriously though, OpenCourt is pretty cool. How does it work?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cameras in the Courtroom: Now With More Internets”

Few folks use proposals for co-authorship to advance their careers. More should.

What am I suggesting?

Come up with a thesis for an article. Call somebody who matters to you, and propose that you write the article together. Write a first draft of the article, send it to your co-author to solicit revisions, and then publish the piece.

For whom might this work? Anyone who’s looking to curry favor.

For business development purposes, an outside lawyer might call a client or potential client and suggest co-authoring a piece in the client’s field of expertise. For career development purposes, a law firm associate might do the same with a partner, or an in-house lawyer might do the same with a business colleague or a supervisor. Few people would be offended to be offered co-authorship credit for an article, and many would be delighted to be given the opportunity and later to take partial credit for a published piece.

Why is this tactic used so rarely?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: Sucking Up by Writing Down”

Finally, those prognosticators with a law degree were more likely to be wrong.

– one of the findings of a research paper, Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air? An Analysis of the Accuracy of Forecasts in the Political Media, analyzing the accuracy of predictions by 26 leading print and television commentators. (The top five most accurate pundits were Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Ed Rendell, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi.)

I hate you, I’m not telling you a thing.

John Dowd, leading criminal defense attorney and Akin Gump partner, responding (or not responding) to reporters’ inquiries about the whereabouts of his client, Raj Rajaratnam. The jury in Rajaratnam’s insider trading trial is still deliberating.

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