Nude Dancing

Last month, there was some controversy out in California about public nudity. In San Francisco, it’s totally legal to prance around naked all day long, but local nudists were upset when they found out they might soon be forced to put down a towel before sitting buck-ass-naked on public seats.

Now a similar controversy has traveled to New York — not over increased restrictions on nudity, but whether there can be public nudity at all. Holly Van Voast, a 45-year-old activist for the cause, has had her fair share to say about it. And by “say,” I of course mean “show.”

Van Voast has grinned and bared it all — in Times Square, on the Staten Island Ferry, and most recently, in the middle of Grand Central Station. One of these public displays of middle-aged nudity landed her in Midtown Community Court yesterday, where the naked truth was revealed….

WARNING: A photo of a topless Van Voast — tastefully redacted, of course — appears after the jump. If you can’t handle it, or if you’re not in a place where you can view a (tastefully redacted) photo of a topless woman, please stop reading here.

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In need of legal representation.

* People seriously need to stop complaining about alternative careers for attorneys. Having a JD can lead to a fulfilling career outside of the law, assuming you can make partner at Cravath first. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Due to a decline in filing fees on the killing of the American dream, the Florida court system had to take out a $45.6M loan. It’s kind of like they have their own unpayable mortgage now. Gotta love karma. [Miami Herald]

* The ABA Journal really wants to know how hard it is for recent law school graduates to find a job. Maybe if we flood them with responses, the ABA will give a sh*t. Ugh, I’m way too optimistic. [ABA Journal]

* If you’re willing to move to Iowa, here’s a niche practice alert for you: stripper law. Who thought that you could find work in limiting boob exposure? And why would you want to? [Des Moines Register]

* We all know Michael Jackson was bad, but was he bad enough to drink his propofol straight up? Conrad Murray’s defense team may have changed its tune. [CNN]

* Did a judge seriously think he could arraign someone with close ties to the Wu? He’s lucky True Master didn’t let the killa bees out on his ass. [DNAinfo]

If learning to do this was mandatory in 3L year, law schools would be doing you a favor.

The stripper with the heart of gold who shakes what her momma gave her to make it through school would be a Disney movie if it didn’t require so much T&A. We know that “I’m doing it to pay for school” is the go-to line whenever you meet a stripper in a situation where she’s expected to keep her clothes on. Most of the women who claim that they need to strip to pay for school haven’t actually read anything since their last visit to the clinic. But for a fair number of strippers, tuition or debt repayment is a chief motivator.

Most women who go to law school think that their advanced education will buy them out of taking their clothes off for money (unless, you know, it’s partner money). But as a practical reality, stripper skills are very useful. It’s a job that can be done while in school or immediately after that pays a lot of money for relatively brainless work. It’s no more exploitative than working a law firm job. And in this economy, that law firm job is probably only available to the few women who are too ugly to strip or are willing to put out.

Hell, as we’ve previously reported, some strip clubs are even proactively screening for advanced degrees.

For today’s tale of a lawyer cum stripper, we have a young lady who has ended up stripping to pay her bills and law school debts. It’s not a sob story, though; she says that in one sense the job is less hostile than any law office she’s worked in…

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From the Bar to the Pole

And no, we’re not talking about the guy who sits in the front row of Federal Jurisdiction and always has his hand in the air.

We’re speaking more literally — about a man with his hand not up in the air, but down in his pants….

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We think a $5 fee presents no greater burden on nude dancing. . . . The fee is not a tax on unpopular speech but a restriction on combining nude dancing, which unquestionably has secondary effects, with the aggravating influence of alcohol consumption.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, writing for the majority and upholding the state’s “pole tax” in Combs v. Texas Entertainment Association. The ruling overturns a prior decision that found the fee unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds because it singled out protected expression in nude dancing.

Thomas Walkley

Earlier this year, we told you the strange tale of Thomas Walkley. A lawyer in Ohio, Walkley founded and runs Cafe 41:11, a coffeeshop for at-risk youth. Back in January, Walkley was accused of exposing himself to two teenage boys who applied to work at the cafe.

Walkley admitted showing his junk to the teens, but claimed that it was done for educational and mentoring purposes. Guys at my all-boys Catholic high school used to educate and mentor me all the time, it was no big deal.

The authorities didn’t buy Walkley’s argument. They tried to take him to trial.

Now we have some updates on Tom Walkley — plus comments given to Above the Law by a mother whose teenage son worked for Walkley at Cafe 41:11….

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Here’s a cautionary tale for every woman. Never, never, never allow your husband (or anybody else) to take dirty pictures of you. The pictures could wind up on the Internet. You could be publicly humiliated. You could lose your privacy, your dignity and your career….

Lori Douglas’s only crime was to choose an unstable spouse, and have sex with him. If that’s enough to lose your job, then a large proportion of our judiciary should be removed.

Margaret Wente, a columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail, commenting on the controversy over Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge whose nude photos made their way to the internet.

Madam Justice Lori Douglas will be publicly probed.

This week brings good news for law firms in Canada. Apparently they weathered the recession better than their U.S. counterparts.

The news for Canadian judges, or at least one high-profile jurist, is less good. Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas — the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures showing her engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys and administering oral sex — will be subjected to a public inquiry.

Let’s take a look at the nudie pics procedural posture and possible consequences, shall we?

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Paul Bergrin

* New York magazine is on a roll: first the buzz-generating Paper Tigers piece, then the big Anna Nicole Smith story, and now this great profile of Paul Bergrin, “The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey.” [New York Magazine]

* When Elie read Megan McArdle’s response to his debt story, he screamed, “I said I PAID my federal loans!” I told him the screen couldn’t hear him but he kept right on screaming. [The Atlantic]

* A few highlights from the Sarah Palin email dump. [Wonkette]

* A lap dance might get a rise out of a recipient, but it doesn’t rise to the level of art, according to a New York state appellate court. [Albany Times-Union]

* The new home of Paul Clement — Bancroft PLLC, founded by Viet Dinh — has become D.C.’s “it” firm with respect to conservative causes. Where does it get its name? [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]

* Speaking of the former Solicitor General, here’s his substantive defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (via Chris Geidner). Check it out — there’s a link to his brief — and see what you think. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* Speaking of gay marriage, here’s an interesting legal issue, involving foster care and adoption, same-sex couples, and religious freedom. [Peoria Journal Star]

* An update on Aaron Biber, prominent law firm partner turned convicted pedophile. [Minnesota Lawyer]

April’s Lawyer of the Month victor won in a landslide. He’s also the first person to win the contest for his practice of law (as opposed to his death or his desire to quit the practice of law).

Yes, I think I speak for all legal bloggers out there by wishing April’s Lawyer of the Month a warm congratulations…

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