Occupy Wall Street

I’ve said from the beginning that while the goals of the Occupy Wall Street crowd were not wrong, their tactics have been lacking. The denizens of “Wall Street” (at least not in its geographic form) didn’t cause the collapse of the American economy; they’re just trying to figure out how to profit from it. There’s been an entire legal structure erected to protect the banking industry; wagging your fingers at them isn’t going to do a whole hell of a lot.

And it’s not like “the banks” or whoever can’t fight back. Occupiers might be angry at Wall Street or corporate America or whoever, but it’s “the law” that will be in charge of actually crushing their little movement. The people in Oakland already saw what the police can do. And the police are just the storm troopers of the military-industrial complex. City ordinances, curfews, and unsympathetic judges: these are the people and things that can turn Occupy Wall Street into Alderaan.

But maybe the protesters are starting to understand the true power of the dark side. And maybe they’ll have some new hope if they get some fully trained lawyers on their side (as opposed to non-lawyer volunteers)….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Are Occupiers Finally Learning The Value Of Competent Lawyering?”

That headband looked much better on the Childlike Empress in Neverending Story.

* Next week, people in Mississippi are going to vote on whether a clump of cells is a “person.” Are we really going to put this into the hands of people who can’t even spell the name of their own state? [New York Times]

* If you’re a trial lawyer, even imaginary friends will do. [Underdog]

* Finally, something entertaining and informative from a law professor that doesn’t cost $100,000: a series of rich shorts to give junior associates enough basics to avoid embarrassment when corporate assignments are handed out at the firm. [YouTube]

* I really wish that this comedian would actually sue Kim Kardashian over her sham marriage. Seriously. Next time, try to stay married until I finish watching your two-part wedding special. [VICE]

* Have you guys been wondering about Juggalo Law’s whereabouts? This might explain his absence. [Hit & Run / Reason]

* I am the 1%. And by that, I mean that I’m probably in the 1% of people who do not give one damn about this social movement. [Actually You're the 47%]

It’s been a bad few days for the Church of England. First, it gets slammed for siding with the bankers, rather than the protesters, after its flagship venue, St Paul’s Cathedral, finds itself at the heart of Occupy London. Second, a change to the U.K.’s ancient royal succession laws strikes a blow for its great rival, Rome, as a ban on royal family members who marry Catholics taking the throne is lifted.

Beginning with the Occupy London controversy: the protesters’ original plan was to occupy St Paul’s neighbour, the London Stock Exchange, which nestles alongside the U.K. branch of O’Melveny & Myers on an adjoining square. But they were blocked by the police, forcing them instead to set up camp on the forecourt of the great cathedral (built from the ashes of the Great Fire of London in 1666). At first this seemed like a defeat, as the Church of England played victim, shutting the doors of St Paul’s to visitors for the first time since the Second World War on what it claimed were health and safety grounds.

Here’s what the encampment looked like:

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Letter from London: What Would Jesus Do?”


Whenever I ask law school deans to explain their BS employment statistics, they just shovel more BS my way.

But maybe if students themselves asked where these figures come from, they’d get some straight answers.

One student, at a law school that at this point is undisclosed, asked her dean why the school’s employment statistics were clearly misleading. And it looks like the dean broke things down for her.

She used the information to tell another story of the 99%….

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A wheelchair-bound Oaklander in the tear gas fog. That's hardcore.

It has been a strange couple of days. I woke up on Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. to finish some writing. It was still dark, but I heard several helicopters buzzing near my house. I checked Twitter and discovered several hundred police officers were clearing out the Occupy Oakland tent city a few miles away.

I know Lat has already visited the Occupy Wall Street protests, and Dealbreaker covered a dire drum circle problem in New York as well. So I didn’t worry about it too much.

Well, I wasn’t expecting the morning’s eviction to turn into a national media s**t storm. By Tuesday evening, somewhere around 500 people were marching through downtown Oakland. Police told them to go home, but they didn’t. People started throwing things at police. Police launched tear gas. By the time things wound down at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, police had fired several rounds of tear gas and beanbags at protesters, and there were various semi-confirmed reports of rubber bullets, flash grenades, and even a sound cannon.

Why do you care? Well, it turns out these protesters are not just deadbeats and drug addicts. There were several lawyers in the crowd, too. We spoke with a few of them, starting with Shahid Buttar. He is a Stanford Law School grad and the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. He spent Tuesday afternoon lecturing on privacy in a UC Berkeley journalism class, then spent the night getting tear gassed in downtown Oakland….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Madness and Tear Gas in Oakland; Lawyers Join the Fray”

President Barack Obama really thinks recent graduates are stupid. Seriously, he thinks that graduates out there suffering under crushing debt obligations in an economy where there aren’t enough jobs to go around are so dumb that they don’t even know what they want.

Educational debt has been a big part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Today, President Obama will announce “new” programs to help students in debt. At least, he wants the media to report these programs as “new.” Those who have been paying attention, such as debt-saddled law students, will recognize that there is very little “new” about these programs.

In fact, Obama seems to honestly think that students and recent graduates wouldn’t be so angry if they knew about all the programs already in place.

It’s all a bit patronizing. If the Obama administration had really been paying attention, they’d know that recent graduates want meaningful reform, not the piecemeal incremental efforts that we’ve seen so far….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Obama’s ‘New’ Plans For Student Debt Are Not New In Any Way”

A war hero comes home.

* Lawyers with four to seven years of experience are apparently now in demand. You know why? BECAUSE THEY FIRED ALL OF THEM TWO YEARS AGO! [WSJ Law Blog]

* Occupy Wall Street is now getting free hugs. It’s like, when you register as a liberal, somebody comes in the night and shoves your testicles back up inside you. [Dealbreaker]

* I dream of a day when eyewitness testimony is viewed as unreliable as DNA evidence is now thought to be reliable. [An Associate's Mind]

* If you are a lawyer, it’s really never about you. [What About Clients?]

Morgan Chu

* Even in the extremely unlikely scenario that one of these radical tax plans is adopted, tax lawyers will still find work. Believe it. [Going Concern]

* Morgan Chu, the hotshot Irell & Manella partner accused of sexual harassment, won a motion to compel arbitration of the dispute. [Law360 (subscription)]

* If you took the “over” on the cold day in Hell when BP is allowed to drill in the Gulf again, you’re gonna lose that bet. [New York Times]

* It’s a bit anticlimactic. And we’ve been pulled apart by political divisiveness. But we are just about done with the Iraq War! Yay? Ticker tape in Times Square, or is it going to be all, “Welcome home, while you were away we misplaced all the jobs and money”? [Politico]

When last we talked about the Occupy Wall Street protests, I was busy ripping them a new one. My friends on the left were outraged, while my friends on the right said “I’m not your friend, guy.”

When producers for the Mike Huckabee show on Fox called, I thought they were interested in my thoughts about what the OWS crowd was doing wrong.

But no, they had a real live Tea Party organizer to handle that side of the argument. Instead, the producers wanted me to defend the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

So, like Lat, I had to go down there and check them out. Then, after a delousing, I had to go on television and defend their cause.

Tell me how I did….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Then, I Had To Defend Occupy Wall Street”

When news emerged last week that the Wall Street protests were spreading to London, I dared to dream. Maybe I could inculcate myself among the protesters, I wondered, and persuade their leaders to target a Biglaw firm rather than a bank. Then, I fantasized, having obtained the relevant door-code from one of my disgruntled Biglaw contacts, perhaps I could lead the protesters inside to set up an encampment. At which point, I hallucinated, I’d be able to live-tweet my experiences and, as the only journalist on the scene, become a star.

Disappointingly, it didn’t work out that way. The protesters proved frustratingly unmoved by my suggestions that they target a law firm. Instead, they tried to occupy the square in front of the London Stock Exchange. Prevented from doing so by the police, they ended up milling around the adjoining forecourt of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where their hard-core was diluted by confused tourists. What the New York Times accurately described as “a picnic atmosphere” prevailed, with “people streaming in and out of a nearby Starbucks.”

Even an appearance by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange — who arrived mid-afternoon wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to deliver a sermon on the steps of St. Paul’s — wasn’t enough to kick-start some proper rebellion. Indeed, with his claim that the Occupy Wall Street/London Stock Exchange movement “is not about the destruction of law, but the construction of law,” Assange sounded less like a revolutionary, and more a regulatory expert in the U.K. on a business trip….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Letter from London: Occupy Biglaw”

Would you like some doc review with that?

* How can you pick a side when it comes to fairness and the law? Can you straddle the fence? Don’t ask Justice Alito, because he’s still not really sure what the answers are. [New York Times]

* Paul Ceglia is finding out the hard way that court orders aren’t like annoying Facebook friend requests. You can’t just tell your lawyers to ignore them and hope they’ll go away. [Bloomberg]

* From occupying Wall Street to occupying the courts? 99% lawyers are threatening to clog up the courts if their demands aren’t met. At least they’d have a toilet to do it in. [New York Daily News]

* “If your choice is between going to Liberty Law or working a deep-fat fryer, you might as well go to Liberty, right?” Lat, I think we really need to have a chat. [Commercial Appeal]

* If I had a dollar for every dude who had an Asian adventure involving a Thai ladyboy, I’d be rich, but it doesn’t mean that The Hangover II was based on their exploits. [Hollywood Reporter]

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