NFL

When I was 9 years old, I had a problem with showers. The problem was that I wasn’t taking them. For whatever reason, it fell to my father to explain the ripeness doctrine to his disgusting and smelly son. I remember the lecture going something like this:

When I was in the Marines, there was one guy who didn’t bathe. After weeks spent humping heavy packs from here to kingdom come, I probably don’t need to tell you how awful a man can get to smelling. We were all 18 and 19 and 20 and not one of us had impeccable hygiene. But the bare minimum we can ask of each other as men, son, is to bathe on a daily basis. What I guess I’m trying to say is that no man is an island. His actions have consequences and this man’s actions led to serious consequences, not the least of which was an odor redolent of hot garbage. Do you understand what I’m saying? Why you need to shower?

“So did that guy ever start showering?”

Sure. But first, we had to throw a blanket over his head and beat the #*$% out of him.

This week, Jonathan Martin attempted to become the heavyweight champion of bullying victims. In the process, macho culture, a sort of blithe racism, violence, workplace norms, and Harvard Law School were put on trial. In Japan, their endomorphs square off in a dohyō. Here, they square off via media leak, tweet, and scores of lawyers.

Let’s talk sports…

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* Fine Print as “Surrealist Masterpiece.” Because sometimes you need legal analysis involving Foucault. [Concurring Opinions]

* Speaking of fine print, the story behind an attack ad in Virginia is all about fine print. Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli is running an attack ad against Terry McAuliffe connecting him to the collapse of Global Crossing. The problem is the former Global Crossing workers in the ad thought they were talking to a documentary film crew about the company, not making an ad attacking McAuliffe. Should have read that waiver form more closely! [Mother Jones]

* JPMorgan Chase is dropping out of the student loan business. Must be getting too difficult to package likely defaults into some kind of billion-dollar derivative these days. [American Banker]

* A New York attorney candidly tells the world that dealing with his kids “is not my problem” because he has a long-suffering wife for that job. See conservatives, gay marriage hasn’t destroyed all the traditional families. [Dealbreaker]

* More analysis on the legality of intervention in Syria under international law. Welcome to the art of writing listicles, Lawfare! [Lawfare]

* A Q&A with Ignatius Grande of Hughes Hubbard & Reed on the importance of Twitter for clients and law firms. Intriguingly, Hughes Hubbard doesn’t have an active Twitter account. What gives? [Commercial Litigation Insider]

* The NFL’s concussion settlement wasn’t just about screwing over the former players, but about the NFL covering up its business practices. But who cares, KICKOFF TONIGHT Y’ALL! [Grantland]

* We’re not saying you should drop out of school, but if you do, try to make it like these people. Video embedded after the jump. [Bloomberg via YouTube]

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She’s basically Boss Tweed in Tuscaloosa.

Ed. note: Above the Law will not be publishing on Monday, September 2, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

* Municipal election fraud is being alleged in Tuscaloosa after a sorority bribed people with free drinks to get a University of Alabama Law grad elected (defeating the incumbent, another lawyer — and wife of a UA Law professor). The big question here is how f**king terrible is voter turnout in Tuscaloosa that a sorority can rig an election? [AL.com]

* A banned food truck launched a First Amendment suit after officials banned the truck for using an ethnic slur in the name. I haven’t seen a food truck shut down like that since “Steak Me Home Tonight.” [WSJ Law Blog]

* The NFL looks to London. Tax laws are one of many obstacles. [Grantland]

* From partner to delivery boy. But hey, definitely go to law school kids! [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

* A thorough look at the legality of the pending Syria strike. Obama administration addresses these grave concerns with the phrase, “Talk to the hand.” [Foreign Affairs]

Bet you can still get through that thing to someone’s brain.

Jefferson, are you injured or are you hurt?–James Caan, The Program

Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.–Joseph Heller

A few years ago, ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown used to do this bit where their assorted chuckleheads would sit around reviewing the biggest hits the NFL’s weekend action had to offer. At the soaring crescendo of each smash, one of the giggling ninnies would shout “You got JACKED UP!!!” And everyone would dissolve into further paroxysms of laughter.

I’m not going to tell you that I knew what was being displayed on the TV was morally reprehensible back then. Quite frankly, I’ve never been on the vanguard of moral consciousness. I was recently shocked to find out that beating your pets is not only frowned upon, but deeply taboo in almost every social circle. This late life come-to-Jesus moment does nothing for Rascal, who’s still smarting over my intemperate outbursts.

The point, if there is one, is that the arc of the moral universe seems to be about as long as my patience with animals. Everyone I know is getting gay married these days, weed is damn near legal, and slobberknocking hits are now, if not wholly condemned, quietly enjoyed in the privacy of one’s home (like samizdat or BBW porn). Strange days, indeed.

Yesterday, the NFL settled a major lawsuit filed against it by former players who claimed the league had failed to protect its players in the face of mounting evidence that concussions were making them permanently stupid or crippled or sad or worse.

Let’s talk which side got JACKED UP.

Let’s talk sports…

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* The NFL has reached a $765 million settlement with the over 4,500 retired concussion victims whose injuries paved the way for the league’s success. [Sports Illustrated]

* Dennis Rodman confidante Kim Jong-un had his ex-girlfriend executed on pornography charges. Kind of puts the whole “revenge porn” thing in perspective. [The Telegraph]

* A lawsuit against Curt Schilling, based on allegations that he deceived the state into giving his company $75 million, will go forward. Like most conservative Republicans, Schilling saw no problem with taking millions in handouts from the government so long as poor people don’t get $4.50 a day for food. [Comcast SportsNet]

* Judge Mark Bennett (N.D. Iowa) ripped the Department of Justice for creating massive drug sentencing disparities because the DOJ went years without a policy for when prosecutors should double the prison time for repeat offenders. In Northern Iowa, that’s a LOT of meth heads in prison. [Des Moines Register]

* Attorneys for the Governor of Pennsylvania equate gay marriage to letting 12-year-olds marry. Just because a demographic calls everything “gay” doesn’t make them gay. [ABA Journal]

* Study shows academics use lots of adjectives and adverbs. This is really a very terrific and awesome study. [TaxProf Blog]

* Polygraphs are inadmissible, but remember invisible jets are A-OK. [Texts from Superheroes]

* REMINDER: OK NYU, Columbia, Fordham, Cardozo, and NYLS students! It’s time to send nominations to us for where you want us to go on the Great Above the Law/Kaplan Bar Review Bar Crawl. Send bar nominations to tips@abovethelaw.com, subject: “Bar Crawl.” See you on September 18th! [Above the Law]

Another week has come and gone. We’re post Independence Day, so strap in for the long grind to Labor Day before you get any rest. If you need a break, I suppose you can take some summers for a 3-hour lunch, assuming anyone still does that.

But the real importance of the week’s end is that it’s time again to compile my look at some notable stories from the week in legal news. Bring on “5 Thing Friday” or “Working for the Weekend” or something like that.

This week, we had Justice Ginsburg’s declaration that she’s not retiring, the Zimmerman trial continued on its tragically absurd course, Vault released its annual law firm rankings, the NFL got burned in court — twice — and Harry Reid figured out that there’s this thing called a filibuster and the Republicans are really good at it…

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Insane legal actions over relatively mild pranks are coming fast and furious these days. We just recently discussed the 17 years old high school girl staring down felony charges over a childish year book prank. There have also been several cases of those that fall victim to pranks turning to intellectual property law as a way to hide their gullibility. There’s something — embarrassment perhaps — that spurs victims into unreasonable legal action once the trap has been sprung.

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* Ashley Pearson is a second-year associate at O’Melveny and has figured out what we already knew: being an associate is the worst thing ever. She’s entered a contest to ditch Biglaw and become a lifestyle photographer in Australia. To help out our colleague, be sure to “like” her FB fan page! [BestJobs Australia]

* Michael Silver thinks Jadeveon Clowney should lawyer up and challenge the NFL in court. If he’s anywhere near as terrifying in the courtroom as he was in the Outback Bowl, the NFL will be screwed. [Yahoo! Sports]

* Paul Caron has a solution to the sequester problem that just might work… [TaxProf Blog]

* Trivia competition: Identify the foreign courthouse. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Deleting social media can result in a spoliation instruction. [IT-Lex]

* Greta Van Susteren has endorsed a new book about jury duty, Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen’s Guide to Constitutional Action (affiliate link). I’m still waiting for her to endorse a tour guide for her favorite country. [GretaWire]

The only good things to ever happen to the city of Cleveland occurred in the movie Major League. From “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn to Willie “Mays” Hayes, the Indians were never such a joy to watch as they were during that fateful summer, when they climbed back into contention against the cretinous Yankees and their slugger Clu Haywood (“Haywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair.”). With a roster that resembled nothing so much as the Island of Misfit Toys, the Indians were an absolute delight to watch.

In real life, Cleveland is an angry, festering boil of despair. The Indians suck, the Cavaliers suck, and the Cuyahoga River catches fire likes it’s made of charcoal briquettes. If there is a God, and he is a vengeful one, that God hates Cleveland. There is no other explanation for the singularly awful string of events that have befallen Cleveland sports during my lifetime. The Drive, the Decision, the Fumble, the Shot. God hasn’t sodomized a town like this since Sodom.

Yesterday, news leaked that the Cleveland Cavaliers were considering rehiring coach Mike Brown. While hilarious, this has nothing to do with the law. Instead, we are here to talk about Jimmy Haslam. Haslam bought the Cleveland Browns just this past October. This week, it was announced that the FBI and the IRS had raided the headquarters of Haslam’s company, Pilot Flying J. Yesterday, the feds announced why they had done this.

Let’s talk misery. Let’s talk despair. Let’s talk Cleveland.

Let’s talk sports…

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Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series from Bruce MacEwen and Janet Stanton of Adam Smith Esq. and JDMatch. “Across the Desk” takes a thoughtful look at recruiting, career paths, professional development, human capital, and related issues. Some of these pieces have previously appeared, in slightly different form, on AdamSmithEsq.com.

I don’t know about you, but I find talent markets fascinating. They have several characteristics that make them quite distinctive from regular old goods and services markets:

  • Talent is extremely heterogeneous; it’s not as if there’s another Honda Accord where that one came from.
  • Talent is what economists call both “excludable” and “rivalrous,” meaning that if I hire you Suzie can’t hire you at the same time. (Knowledge is the classic non-rivalrous and non-excludable good; everyone can know the same thing at the same time without its impairing anyone else’s knowledge of that same thing, and without shutting off anyone else’s access to it.)
  • Talent is notoriously difficult to judge in advance, without actually experiencing it, that is to say, without actually hiring the individual and putting them to work in your organization. Some other markets approach this condition of “ignorance until purchased,” such as attending performing arts events or taking a vacation to a previously unknown locale, but the stakes tend to be much higher for all parties concerned in talent markets.
  • Once talent is hired, it’s stickier than most other purchases. You can walk out of the movie theater or reconfigure your travel plans, but once you hire someone, short of felonious or otherwise appalling behavior, you’re stuck with them for a decent interval.

All this leads to a number of devices and stratagems that attempt to mitigate uncertainty and delay serious resource commitments until some firsthand evaluation can be performed.

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