Mental Health

When I visited New York back in January, I stayed with some friends. When I woke up Saturday morning on the couch, my buddy and his roommate had already taken out their laptops and were typing away. I asked, “What are you guys doing today?” They both responded, “Working.”

I could not believe it. It was a surprisingly warm winter day. And my friends decided to remain cooped up in their literally windowless Manhattan apartment. Why wouldn’t they go outside? Go to park, or a bar for some day drinking.

But that’s America. We are always connected, always on call, and ignoring your BlackBerry for more than 90 minutes may be a fireable offense.

It wasn’t always this way. And there are some heretics among us who make a compelling case for a return to the 40-hour work week. Before you shoot the scruffy Californian, hear me out….

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When I was a kid, I thought only white people had to worry about being thirty-something.

I’m back. I got sick, again, with pretty much the same kind of acute sinus infection as I had the last time. It’s the second time in six months some stupid illness has completely floored me by making it hard to see and think — I definitely need at least one of those faculties to do my job.

Last time, when I got back, I was just happy to be alive and looking for somebody to blame. This time, I’m depressed. It’s probably because I was sitting the doctor’s office, and I was whining and in incredible pain and petulantly demanding answers as to why I’m having all these health problems and the guy says to me: “Well, you are getting old.”

Sigh.

I’m not the only one. And it occurs to me that, once again, I’m in much better shape for this new phase of consequences than I would be if I was still at a Biglaw firm. Because while I need to refine and hone my skills in my mid and late thirties, associates at top law firms need to gun it. They need to take their suddenly aging bodies and turn every morsel of ATP into billable hours if they want to make partner. And they need to do it now….

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Hemy Neuman is standing trial for murder. His defense is unusual.

Right now in Atlanta, a former operations manager at General Electric is standing trial for allegedly murdering the husband of his female coworker and alleged lover.

It’s a twisty tale of romance, deception, and violence, something you might find in an airport bookstore.

The strangest part of what has been dubbed the Dunwoody Day Care Killing, though, is the bizarre defense put forth by accused murderer Hemy Neuman. He says an angel and a demon, in the form of two celebrities, made him shoot his alleged lover’s husband.

Yes, you heard that right.…

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Herman Cain: victim of a high-tech lynching?

* Here is Bess Levin’s take on the Groomzilla lawsuit brought by Todd J. Remis, son of a Goodwin Procter partner. [Dealbreaker]

* What advice would crisis management guru Lanny Davis give to Herman Cain about Cain’s sexual harassment scandal? Here’s an imagined conversation. [The Hill]

* And here is a real conversation — between Herman Cain and Ginni Thomas, also about the sexual harassment allegations. [Daily Caller]

* Current law students, at Brooklyn Law and Cardozo, call upon the ABA to get its act together. [BLS Advocate; Cardozo Jurist]

Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.)

* The legal career of NBA star Ben Wallace is off to a great start. [Yahoo! Sports]

* Antonin Pribetic asks: “Are GCs Shifting The Balance of BigLaw Power?” [The Trial Warrior]

* Congratulations to Judge Paul Oetken on joining the distinguished S.D.N.Y. bench! (I was lucky enough to attend his ceremonial induction last week, which was fabulous.) [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* And congratulations to the Dave Nee Foundation, a non-profit committed to fighting depression and preventing suicide, on its record number of law firm supporters for this year’s masquerade ball (taking place tomorrow night). [Dave Nee Foundation (press release)]

* Arizona has one of the least restrictive laws on involuntary commitment of nutters in the nation. Next time, Arizona. Next time. [Reuters]

* Talk of new gun laws is the perfect time to link to the most criminally underrated movie of all time…UHF. [New York Times]

* Two teen girls in Florida were arrested for creating a fake Facebook profile for another girl and posting fake nudes of her. The detective who cracked the case remarked, “The pictures looked shopped. I could tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.” [Naples News via Gawker]

* A BYU Law grad who lied about his bar membership is charged with being an Indian Taker. [ABA Journal]

* Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty yesterday to having a horrifying life and doing horrifying things that sadly diminish his Hall of Fame Tecmo Bowl career. [ESPN]

* “A naked housecleaner, who advertised services on a gay Website, used fear of police sodomy as a defense against murder charges — and it worked.” [New York Post]

There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned Christmas meltdown — and apparently there was an epic one at San Francisco International Airport on Christmas Eve.

Angela West, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Los Angeles prosecutor, allegedly went to town on a Peet’s Coffee kiosk. With a three-foot metal pole.

Tsk tsk, Ms. West. At HLS you’re expected to smash things with a finely crafted cane or perhaps a tasteful umbrella. A metal pole is unbecoming of your pedigree…

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According to Hildebrandt, lawyers aren’t naturally overly critical, risk-averse people who are emotionally dead inside. It’s stress that makes lawyers behave this way.

Those are the top-line results of a Hildebrandt study. The consulting firm did personality tests on 1,800 lawyers from four large law firms. The surveys tested both partners and associates, in attempt to find the traits of “high performers.”

The results shouldn’t surprise anybody….

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