Nauseating Things

I don’t remember the moment I first learned how to wipe my ass without hurting myself. I don’t think I received a special present or accolade for that momentous life event. But perhaps my parents did take notice in this way:

MOM: Our little boy just successfully wiped himself without incident!
DAD: Good. Maybe you were right when you prevented me from taking him out back and shooting him.

The point is that successfully using toilet paper is a basic skill in civilized society. If you have an accident while administering toilet paper to yourself, it’s the kind of thing you really want to keep to yourself.

Unless, of course, you think you can get money out of the mishap. America baby, the only place where hurting yourself while performing basic hygienic practices can lead to a tort payday.

A Michigan woman broke her hand while trying to get toilet paper out of a dispenser in a restaurant bathroom. And now the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that her case can be presented to a jury….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Woman Breaks Hand Trying to Wipe Bum”

From partner to pedophile. From Super Lawyer to Super Creep. It’s time for an update on the story of Aaron Biber, the high-profile Minneapolis lawyer who was going to be the next president of the Minnesota State Bar Association but is now going to be a prison inmate. For a very long time.

Aaron Biber first appeared on our radar screen in December 2009, when we named him a Lawyer of the Day. At the time, Biber — a partner at the prominent Minnesota firm of Gray Plant Mooty, and co-chair of its antitrust practice — was charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy.

The charges were true, and Biber pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct back in July. Last week, Biber was sentenced.

What kind of sentence did he get? And what additional disturbing details have emerged about his heinous crime?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Closing the Loop on Aaron Biber, Prominent Partner Turned Pedophile”

Picture, if you will, my lawyer friend, Caitlin. She’s a mid-level finance associate at one of New York’s biggest lawyer factories. She’s been at the Big Law game long enough to be depressed on the good days and on the hunt for sturdy noose material on the bad days — which is to say most days. But, as luck would have it, after months of furtive interviews, she finally got an offer a couple of weeks ago to go in-house at a media company that most people I know, including me, would kill to work for.

So, when we went out to drinks last week to celebrate, I was expecting her to be ecstatic. I was expecting her to have quit the firm within five minutes of getting the offer. What I wasn’t expecting was three hours of listening to her waver, almost to the point of tears, about whether she should take the job.

I kept pressing her — what was it about this job offer that was making her so torn? The (awesome, non-billable) hours? The (cooler) people? The (less mind-numbing) work? Finally, after four Belvedere-tonics, she leaned across the table and lowered her voice.“It’s just… I’m just afraid…” She darted her eyes around and leaned in closer, lowering her eyes.

“I’m just afraid of what it’ll be like to feel…” she whispered, “…poor.”

The offered salary of the new in-house gig? $120,000 a year.

And now, a couple of weeks later, I’m still not sure what’s more disturbing: the fact that this friend — a worldly, educated, smart, able person — truly thinks that a single lawyer living in New York City on $120,000 could feel “poor” — or that fact that she’s absolutely right….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Poor You! (Literally.)”

Snoopy works from home instead of going to the MetLife Building.

This morning we reported on bedbugs at Winston & Strawn’s New York office. Alas, the problem might be much larger than we initially anticipated.

That’s because Winston & Strawn is located in the iconic MetLife building, at 200 Park Avenue in Manhattan. After this morning’s post went up, a spokesperson from Winston told us that all inquires about the bed bugs were being referred to the building’s landlord, real estate giant Tishman Speyer.

Are bedbugs crawling around the whole MetLife building? We don’t know yet; Tishman Speyer hasn’t returned our phone calls.

But if bed bugs are a threat to all the tenants of the MetLife building, there are three other law firms that could be getting very itchy…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “MetLife Building Under Attack From Bedbugs: Four Law Firms Potentially Affected”

I recently wondered, on Twitter, whether it’s only a matter of time before everyone in Manhattan has bed bugs. Bedbugs are like death and taxes: they will get you eventually, and the only question is when.

For lawyers and staff in the legendary Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the answer may be: soon. An employee in the office informs us that a bedbug-sniffing canine was brought into the 80 Centre Street building this afternoon — and that the dog alerted to the presence of bedbugs in multiple locations. Furthermore, rumor has it that (1) the powers-that-be in the office have known about bedbugs at 80 Centre Street for at least a week, and (2) the main building, at One Hogan Place, has had bedbugs for even longer.

(Right now Robert Morgenthau is probably thinking to himself, “Thank God I left that dump for Wachtell.” Morgenthau’s sucessor as DA, Cyrus Vance Jr., is probably scratching himself.)

“Several offices apparently came back positive for bed bugs,” said our source. “But, bizarrely, they are only going to fumigate those specific offices — not the entire building, like they should.”

Um, why the heck not?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Move Over, Muppets: Bedbugs Take Manhattan (D.A.’s Office)”

A couple of weeks ago, we reported on a bit of a bedbug breakout in the Brooklyn D.A.’s office. We thought it was kind of funny, but people who work in that office are not laughing. Instead, emails have been flying around the office — and one message in particular is both informative and hysterical. It’s just hard to decide if it’s hysterical (haha) or hysterical (dogs and cats living together).

The emails are coming from someone who calls himself or herself “Not Taking Bed Bugs” (“NTBB”). This individual is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. NTBB is trying to incite some collective action from the employees in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office:

Please photograph every bed bug bite you get. Keep records of where in the office you were when you noticed it. Always inform [Lady Scapegoat] via email – exactly how many bites. She needs your help. She needs to know. They need a “paper trail” to document the progress.

Keep your own record of bed bug sighting and always inform [Lady Scapegoat] via email immediately exactly where and when. She needs your help. She needs to know. They need a “paper trail” to document the progress.

IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS FROM BED BUGS, PLEASE CALL IN SICK. ANXIETY IS A DISEASE WITH A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS.

Also a disease: mass hysteria…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bed Bugs v. Brooklyn D.A.’s Office: Round 2″

Joshua Gessler

Today brings bad news for Arnold & Porter — or maybe make that Arnold & Porno. If the allegations are true, the venerable Washington-based law firm has been employing a lawyer who made child pornography, starring a 15-year-old girl.

A 41-year-old associate in the Tysons Corner office of A&P, Joshua Gessler, has been charged with one count of producing child pornography and five counts of possession. The accusations, reported last night by NBC Washington, are on the lurid side.

Gessler connected online with a 15-year-old prostitute back in April, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant, and offered her $200 to meet up — with the condition that she not be “camera shy” (i.e., that she be willing to be photographed).

Josh Gessler allegedly brought some equipment to their get-together. And we’re not talking about a camera and a tripod….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: Arnold & Porter Associate Accused of Kiddie Porn Production”

Over the weekend, we linked to the Gothamist story about the bed bug problem plaguing the Kings County D.A.’s office. The bed bug epidemic is sweeping New York. Yes, California, have your laughs. Just know that in New York we slough off bed begs; in California, the Earth itself will scratch you off into the ocean.

Still, your Manhattan-based Above the Law editorial team is well-protected from the brunt of this plague, as the New York Daily News reports:

Ten percent of respondents in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn reported bedbugs at work, as did 8% of Bronx residents, but just 3% of Manhattanites were afflicted.

And I bet those 3% of Manhattanites are the ones who fall for the occasional “come to my [party / wedding / wake] in Brooklyn, it’s not that far” email. Idiots. If God wanted us to cross rivers and risk the savages of the outer boroughs, he would have provided more helicopter pads.

Oh we kid, Kings County, ’cause living in Brooklyn is like living in Manhattan, only not nearly as cool. And because when the Kings County D.A.’s Office has a bed bug problem, they send out some hilarious emails.

And we’ve gotten our hands on those emails…

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Skadden partner Hilary Foulkes

Longtime Skadden partner Hilary Foulkes, recognized by Chambers and Partners for his expertise in cross-border M&A work, is quite distinctive-looking. And so is his Cape Cod vacation house, in Chatham — which is causing some trouble with the locals.

Hilary and Tina Foulkes — we thought they were lesbians, until we saw his photo — have given their house a very unusual paint job. The Cape Cod Times describes it as containing “[s]hades of neon green, lime green and citrus yellow.”

Village resident Norm Pacun calls the house “hideous” and “not what’s appropriate.” It certainly stands out in a neighborhood of New England white clapboards.

What do you think? Check out a photo and find out why the Foulkeses may have painted the house this way, below the fold….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: A Skadden Partner’s ‘Hideous’ House Causes Cape Cod Controversy”

You’d think those in the law would know by now not to send out embarrassing emails. But a Federalist Society officer at the University of Michigan Law School, whose name we’ve replaced with a pseudonym, seems oblivious. Apparently, Fed Soc served up some E-coli tainted lettuce at a recent lunch:

Subject: [lawopen] Fed Soc Lunch/ e. coli “episode”
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 19:39:35 -0400
To: [Unofficial Law Listserv]

Hi Law Open,

The Federalist Society would like to extend an apology to anyone who had to experience the wrath of uncooked Pancheros over the last few days. I am among the many victims, spending three days in agony in the bathroom…. (TMI?)

Hope you all feel better!

Best,
WOLVERINE WITH DIARRHEA (OF THE MOUTH)
Federalist Society Vice President

“TMI?” Yes. Yes, it is.

Another scatological tale from UT Law, after the jump. Someone truly thinks the place is a third tier “toilet”…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Explosive Federalist Society Lunch at Michigan Law?
And another scatological law school tale at UT.

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