New York State

Meet the Cavers: the cutest ginger attorney family ever.

In this rough economy, a job offer can be really exciting, even for the most seasoned attorney. A job offer is even more exciting when you find out that your future employer has also decided to make your husband an offer. And last week, that is exactly what happened to a husband-and-wife legal team from Rockford, Illinois.

Eileen and Brendan Caver, both graduates of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, quickly began to pack up to move half-way across the country for their new jobs in New York at the City of Syracuse corporation counsel’s office. With August start dates and two adorable children in tow, the Cavers quit their jobs in Illinois, put their house on the market, and canceled their daycare contract.

So, you’d think that even a city government would realize that offering attorneys jobs 780 miles away from home and then revoking those offers a week and a half later would be life-ruining. But apparently, that’s not how things work in upstate New York….

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Here’s an open thread for discussing the July 2011 bar exam. We hope you attack it with all the gusto of Los Angeles lawyers at a deposition.

If you’ve just finished the bar exam, congratulations. We hope you’re taking a well-deserved vacation, perhaps involving some exotic travel (e.g., the traditional bar trip).

If you’re still in the middle of the big test, good luck. At least you’re done with the MBE, which some believe to be the hardest part of the bar.

Some of you may need all the luck you can get. This morning we told you about bar exam mishaps from this week. Unfortunately, since then we’ve heard about even more bar-related problems.

Let’s hear about the latest difficulties from around the country — and give you a place to talk about the test….

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Well, it’s day three of Albany Law School Watch here at Above the Law. This school is definitely on the outskirts of our usual beat, but the craziness keeps rolling in, so we’re going with it.

If you haven’t been keeping up, it seems that Albany Law decided to replace almost all of its admissions office staff. Shortly after our initial story broke, the administration emailed students to inform them about the resignation of the law school’s assistant dean for admissions.

Our sources questioned whether that resignation was voluntary — and claimed that the admissions office staff members in question were escorted from the building by security, late last week.

It seems that alumni from the law school are upset, and some believe that our decision to run this story was premature because we didn’t have all of the facts. Interestingly enough, we’ve received information that provides another side to the story unfolding at Albany Law.

If you thought there was drama before, read on, because sh*t (on the rug) just got real….

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Yesterday we brought you a story about a law school from upstate New York. The pace is supposed to be a little slower and people’s lives are supposed to be a little less scandalous in that part of the state, at least compared to New York City. But all of that goes out the window when a law school apparently replaces almost all of its (well-respected) admissions staff, at a time when many members of the administration carry the word “interim” in their position titles.

Now some alumni are upset and threatening to withhold funds from the school (like they actually have any funds to withhold). You’re doing it wrong, Albany Law School.

When we reached out to David Singer, Albany Law’s Director of Communications & Marketing, he gave us a quick “no comment,” stating that the situation with the admissions office staff was “a personnel matter.” But our readers certainly weren’t short on comments, and we now believe we know more about what might have happened at the Albany Law School admissions office….

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Folks, it looks like New York State might pass gay marriage legislation.

The New York State Assembly has long since passed legislation authorizing gay marriage. But the hold up has been in the much more conservative New York State Senate. This morning, reports surfaced that gay marriage was just one vote shy in the Senate.

Would you want to be the one vote who told gay New Yorkers that their love was “wrong” and shouldn’t be recognized by the state? I wouldn’t want to be that one vote.

Well, Instinct Magazine is reporting — citing the Twitter feed of the Capital Tonight news program — that gay marriage proponents have the 32nd vote they need to break the 31-31 deadlock in the senate over the issue. In addition, the New York Civil Liberties Union claims, also via Twitter, that pro-marriage forces “have more than enough votes” to carry the measure.

But no vote has been scheduled as of now. If you support gay marriage in New York, now would be a good time to contact your senator.

Gosh, when judges just impose gay marriage upon the citizens, it isn’t nearly this complicated. In any event, gay marriage seems to be on the march in New York.

We’ll keep you posted of any developments.

Breaking: Capital Tonight Reports NY Senate Now Has The Necessary 32 Votes [Instinct]

Although it officially passed away back in March, when its partners voted for dissolution, the law firm of Howrey LLP continues to twitch in its grave — or maybe even step out of its grave and walk around a bit, like a zombie from a horror flick.

Howrey continues to have a presence on Twitter, for example. A D.C.-based reader pointed out to us that the April 2011 issue of Washington Lawyer magazine contained a partnership announcement for the firm, on page 44: “Stephen D. Palley and Andrew R. Sommer have been named partner at Howrey LLP.” (Both landed on their feet: Palley is now a principal at Ober|Kaler, and Sommer is now of counsel at Winston & Strawn.)

And, strangely enough, Howrey is still seeking client engagements….

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‘Tis the season for bar exam results. If you took the bar in February we’re sorry, your score should be on its way.

Several states have announced since our last open thread, which covered Illinois and Kansas. Last week, scores came out for Florida, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Scores have also been out for a while from Missouri and Idaho (where the names of the February bar passers fit on one page).

Congratulations to those who passed; keep your head up if you failed. Please share your stories of triumph or sadness — and mention other states I might have missed — in the comments.

The New York State February bar results are still not in. But do you remember what happened the last time the New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) tried to release the results of the test? The results to last July’s NY Bar Exam were accidentally released online at the exact moment a number of readers happened to be looking for results. BOLE then tried to depublish the results and pretend that the mistake never happened. But they were flummoxed by the “CTRL – Print Screen” skills of myself and others. So the July bar results ended going up live on Above the Law, and NY BOLE eventually had to admit its mistake.

Well, it seems that six months later, NY BOLE is still reluctant to admit that they simply screwed up. Instead they’re trying to act like ninja computer hackers are after their lucky charms or something….

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(And: Is the New York Board of Law Examiners Threatening Me?)

We live in the age of ulcer-inducing, never-ending budget cuts. It’s surprising, though, when the chopping block can help the government achieve some progress, instead of just slicing its legs off.

And what do you know? We happen to have recent news of that sort from the New York Unified Court System.

Last week, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman proposed to cut $100 million from the $2.7 billion 2011-2012 state court budget. But his plan doesn’t just take money away from cute little babies and helpless lawyers. If Lippman gets his way, a big chunk of the cuts will come from implementing mandatory e-filing statewide.

Why didn’t this happen years ago? Way to make lemonade, Judge!

How did this come to pass?

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Once again, fear, overreaction, and the Nanny State have crushed liberty and common sense. Four Loko, a caffeinated, alcoholic beverage, will no longer be distributed in New York State. This follows previous Four Loko bannings in Washington, Michigan, Utah, and Oklahoma.

Good job parents, you’ve succeeded in making a foul tasting alcoholic beverage the most sought after item at college parties. Because telling kids that they can’t have something always works so much better than educating them about proper use and moderation, right? “Just say no to drinking Four Loko!” (Instead, funnel it on an empty stomach if you really want to get wasted.) Oh wait, was that supposed to be a secret? Well you know parents, if your kids don’t learn how to drink from you, I guess they’ll have to learn it from me.

How obvious is it that all of this government attention is helping Four Loko sales? So obvious that the makers of Four Loko agreed to the ban voluntarily. It’s like that scene in Jedi only if Four Loko was the Emperor sitting there saying “Take your Government weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.”

I am taking crazy pills, or is the government playing right into the hands of Four Loko makers?

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Emma Lazarus would be in favor of reciprocity.

If you think about it, rules that prevent lawyers from practicing law in other states are kind of anachronistic anyway. This isn’t 1810. We’ve got planes and trains and automobiles. Clients can have legal issues in many jurisdictions, and it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to require that they use a different lawyer in Oklahoma than they do in Texas.

With that in mind, this suggestion from the New York State Bar Association is a no-brainer. They propose that in-house lawyers shouldn’t have to pass the New York State Bar Exam in order to practice in New York State. Instead, they suggest that out-of-state, in-house attorneys simply pay a registration fee.

Because this is New York — rules bore us, but money talks…

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