New Mexico

A law student sat in a chair, reclined, and fell on her ass.

Now she’s suing the school for her injury.

Read that again; I’m not making it up. Sit, fall, butthurt, sue.

I’m sure anti-tort-reform forces are busy putting together the HBO documentary, “Reclining Dreams: The True Story Of How One Chair SIGNIFICANTLY INCONVENIENCED A Student.” But I can only hope that the litigious law student has the time to sue her school because she hasn’t yet found a real job….

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Stroking the gavel of justice?

Don’t come knocking if the jury room is rockin’.

– An instant message that was allegedly sent by Judge Eugenio Mathis to his wife, a court employee, prior to his resignation from the bench.

(The New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission notes that the good judge allegedly engaged in “communications of a sexual nature” with his wife during court proceedings, “including intimations that he had or would be having sexual relations with her during the workday and/or on court premises.” Mathis continues to deny those claims.)

* DC Comics didn’t take kindly to a garage selling replica Batmobiles without permission. A federal court agreed. But if we outlaw Batmobiles, only outlaws will have Batmobiles! [Comic Book Resources]

* Mistrial in Philadelphia after the witness lost (part of) his head on the witness stand. [Philly.com]

* Taser or Lightsaber? I never thought that would be a serious question. [Legal Juice]

* A quick refresher from that “Law and the Vatican” course you took as a 3L. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A compilation of some bad courtroom (and quasi-courtroom) behavior including our friend from last week, Penelope Soto. [LOL and Smile]

* The Bratz case is so totally over. The result? A whole lot of nothing — much like the Bratz movie. [The Recorder]

* Shorter version of this article: Morpheus explaining, “But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see?…The very minds of the [nice legal academics] we are trying to save. But until we do, these [law professors] are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy.” [Inside the Law School Scam]

* New Mexico is considering a new law against bullying — but does it go too far? Does it? Answer me, you little wuss! [Volokh Conspiracy]

This is the New Mexico State flag. Maybe state legislators should do something with this instead of making things harder for rape victims.

On last week’s episode of “Republicans Say The Darndest Things,” we had a female Republican legislator out west proposing a bill that would criminalize abortions for victims of rape or incest.

But now New Mexico legislator Cathrynn Brown says that it was all a big mistake. She wanted to charge rapists who convince their victims to have abortions with tampering with evidence. Because apparently holding rapists accountable for their rapes isn’t enough?

Brown is an attorney and claims a drafting error caused all this confusion. If you believe her, that’s one hell of a typo that nine other New Mexico Republicans also missed….

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* New Zealand’s Parliament has passed the first stage of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. Lawmakers were apparently inspired by President Obama’s public support of the issue. [Huffington Post]

* The trial of a Florida teen accused of impersonating a physician assistant is underway. Among other things, he allegedly dressed in scrubs, used a stethoscope, and performed CPR on a patient. Apparently, just because you’ve seen it on Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t mean you’re allowed to do it in real life. [ABC News]

* “And to my son, I bequeath my playlist of one-hit wonders and my season pass to Breaking Bad.” Marketwatch tackles the tricky question of who owns your digital music (and e-book) collections after you die. [Marketwatch / WSJ]

* A New Mexico criminal defense attorney, David “Chip” Venie, was charged yesterday with allegedly shooting a man in the leg at his law office. Oh, and Venie’s wife filmed the whole thing on her cell phone, including the unarmed victim holding out his empty hands. [ABA Journal]

* Lawyers for the Amish men and women charged with forcibly cutting the beards and hair of their “perceived enemies” say they were motivated by compassion, not hatred. Sometimes you’ve just got to let someone know her haircut’s not doing her any favors. [NY Times]

* In First Amendment news, the D.C. Circuit court has invalidated an FDA regulation requiring cigarette companies to place warning labels on packages. Is this a victory for free speech, or for big tobacco? [The Atlantic]

If you took a professional responsibility course in law school, or even studied for the MPRE, then you’re familiar with the the main takeaway on legal ethics for attorneys. You know that you have to zealously represent your clients without doing anything illegal. (And if you do decide to take a walk on the wild side, you know that you should try not to get caught.)

It looks like an attorney from New Mexico — one who had already been disbarred for cocaine possession — missed the memo on that one. Apparently his definition of zealous representation includes kicking down doors and burglarizing homes.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, we’ve got it on film….

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Judge Albert 'Pat' Murdoch

Here’s a quick update on the unfortunate tale of Albert “Pat” Murdoch, the New Mexico state court judge who has been accused of raping a prostitute. He will be retiring from the bench, as of Friday, and he has agreed never to seek another judicial office in the state.

(Maybe he should run for elective office? It worked out for Alcee Hastings, who successfully ran for Congress after getting impeached from his federal judgeship.)

Murdoch is retiring pursuant to an agreement with the state Judicial Standards Commission, which had started a disciplinary investigation (which will now conclude). Pat Murdoch will have more time to focus on his defense in the criminal case against him.

On that subject, the contours of his defense are starting to take shape….

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Ex-Judge Thompson: not looking well.

Oh goodness. Today is shaping up to be “Misbehaving Judges Day” here at Above the Law.

One judge, new to these pages, is accused of a serious crime: rape. And supposedly there’s a video of the alleged act.

A second judge (or former judge), who should be familiar to many of you — Donald Thompson, aka the “penis pump” judge — has been hit with fresh criminal charges.

Let’s look at the allegations against the two men….

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Why don't you ask Kay Adams what she thinks about father's rights.

I’m all for father’s rights. I think they should be co-equal with mother’s rights just as soon as the child is born.

Before the child is born? When we’re just talking about cells that are parasitically living off of the mother in an invasive way as they mangle the woman’s organs, while the father says things like “you want ice cream and pickles, jeeze” then I think it’s okay to have the mother’s rights supersede the father’s.

Of course, there are tough cases. When the mother wants to get an abortion while the father wants her to bring the child to term, the situation calls for a reasoned and compassionate solution. As we think through what to do in these situations, we need calm and respectful discourse.

You know, the kind of things that work great on a giant billboard in the center of town…

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Just so you guys know, lawyers don’t represent every client who walks through the door. Really. I know that the public perception of lawyers is that they’ll take just about any client, but it’s not true.

And not just because some cases are “dogs.” Sometimes lawyers turn down clients simply because the law firm morally objects to the cause of action. Of course, it helps if the morally objectionable cause of action happens to double as the insane ravings of a madman.

The New Mexico law firm of Modrall Sperling was evidently asked if it would represent the son of God. But the firm decided not to tempt fate. Apparently, not every firm is hard up to generate business…

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