Plaintiffs’ lawyers

Stanley M. Chesley

Has the “master of disaster” been mastered by disaster? Has a class-action king been stripped of his crown?

It would seem so. One of the nation’s most famous and successful plaintiffs’ lawyers, Stanley M. Chesley, just got disbarred.

Cue the schadenfreude. We heard about the news from numerous tipsters. “Time to downgrade your Maybach and jet,” gloated one.

What makes it even better, of course, is that Stan Chesley is married to a federal judge, the Honorable Susan J. Dlott (S.D. Ohio). What’s that old saying about Caesar’s wife?

So what got this high-flying class-action lawyer grounded? Hint: it’s all about the benjamins….

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If you’re looking to catch up on your reading of classic novels, I’d recommend Tess of the d’Urbervilles (affiliate link) — or, to use its complete title, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented.” It tells the story of a virtuous but destitute young woman who takes a job working for the wealthy d’Urberville family. While working for them, she receives unwanted advances from a libertine son, who develops an obsession with her. Complications ensue.

I was reminded of Tess of the d’Urbervilles upon reading a complaint that was just filed in federal district court here in New York. The complaint tells the story of a virtuous but debt-saddled young woman who takes a job working for a boutique law firm. While working for them, she receives unwanted advances from a libertine partner, who develops an obsession with her. Complications ensue.

Multiple sources brought the lawsuit to our attention. The complaint is going viral over email — partly because the allegations are shocking (and very sad if true), and partly because they’re being made against a prominent New York lawyer.

Let’s check out the complaint. At 24 pages, it’s much shorter than Tess of the d’Urbervilles….

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I’m not even sure if the ten little Indians song is still kosher, so I’m guessing that jokes about ten big Indians are obviously wrong.

Last night, we told you that the interim dean of Saint Louis University School of Law was stepping down because of “inappropriate comments.”

Dean Tom Q. Keefe admitted to making inappropriate comments. But he didn’t exactly apologize for them. Instead he said: “The problem is I’m just too politically incorrect to be a dean.”

I guess thinking for yourself as a casualty of “political correctness” is one way to avoid actually confronting and dealing with your own inappropriate behavior. But when your law dean allegedly says that he’s “drunker than ten big Indians,” I don’t think the problem is that people are oversensitive….

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Tom Q. Keefe

From the files of “things that are entirely predictable to everybody except for the guy in charge,” Interim Law Dean Tom Q. Keefe has been pushed out at St. Louis University School of Law. Well, “fired” according to some reports.

You mean bringing in a straight-talking law dean who was a personal injury attorney with no ties to the law faculty and was hand picked by the increasingly unpopular university president didn’t work out? SHOCKING! Tell me more….

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In the crazy world of cyberspace, personal injury lawyers are a dime a dozen. By now, we’ve gotten used to their crazy antics and low-budget commercials.

But not all personal injury firms are created equal. For the Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Lewis, and Watson, P.I., “low-budget” is a concept that just doesn’t exist. To the contrary, the firm wants to make it clear just how baller the life of a private injury attorney can be.

Dubbing himself “The Giant Killer,” the firm’s larger-than-life head partner, Willie E. Gary, never misses an opportunity to make his wealth and success known. Touting hundred-million-dollar verdicts and rubbing elbows with celebrities, Gary is on a one-man mission to prove that chasing ambulances is much easier when you’re driving a Bentley….

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I’m not a mathematician, but I am a diligent consumer of news. And based on a casual scan of recent headlines and stories that have dominated multiple news cycles, a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that every child in America is getting, or has gotten, raped. From a Catholic church that has exhausted anyone’s ability to be surprised to a football program arrogant enough to talk of a Grand Experiment, the institutions that have been sullied by serial child rape have also been ones that were previously thought of as bastions of strong moral fiber.

And to this Hall of Shame, we can now add the Boy Scouts of America. This Sunday, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé suggesting the Scouts should Be Prepared to get sued for all they’re worth. It could be a real Jamboree for plaintiffs attorneys.

After the jump, see if I can pull off the ridiculously difficult Pinewood Derby reference.

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SLU Law Dean Tom Keefe. He definitely doesn’t look like a butt boy to me.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve covered Saint Louis University School of Law more than I could have ever possibly imagined.

It all started when their dean, Annette Clark, resigned her deanship (or resigned before she was fired, depending on whom you believe). After issuing a public and scathing farewell letter, Professor Clark fled back to Seattle, where she rejoined the faculty of the Seattle University School of Law.

To fill the void, the president of SLU, Father Lawrence Biondi, appointed outspoken personal injury lawyer Tom Keefe as interim dean of the law school.

If you thought having a personal injury lawyer as dean of a law school would result in fun for readers of Above the Law, you were right. This guy is going to be a riot — before he (almost inevitably) flames out…

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If you use Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the sponsored stories that periodically pop up within the site. These (IMHO annoying) ads are an important part of Facebook’s revenue strategy. But recently, the company got sued over the stories, for allegedly violating the law by publicizing — but not paying — users who “like” certain advertisers, and not providing a way to opt out of the program. A settlement plan was recently announced. But uh oh, the federal judge handling the case rejected the settlement on Friday. Why?

Maybe something to do with the plaintiffs attorneys getting $10 million, the actual plaintiffs getting nothing, and an overall sense that left the judge wondering if the terms were “merely plucked from thin air”….

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So God made Adam and, when Adam didn’t want to sex any of the animals, he made Eve out of a riblet. They eventually got snookered by a snake and evicted from Eden. Yet before Eve and the snake and the eviction, Adam was blessed with the first kind of food labeling ever recorded. There was an oral tradition so, instead of writing his warning down, God simply shouted to Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. There was no mention of monosodium glutamate or high fructose corn syrup. No list of ingredients or percentage of fat. There was a simple admonition not to eat from one specific tree, you dumb sonofabitch.

And so our obsession with food has continued unabated, to the point where we as a culture can be said to be consumed by it as much as we consume it. Yesterday, the New York Times published an article outlining how foodie culture has finally hit the big time: it has become the basis for a series of lawsuits by attorneys who previously made their names in the tobacco litigation that made millionaires of quite a few of them.

As a piece of straight reportage, it qualifies as mildly interesting. As a piece of absurdist comedy, it absolutely shines….

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Yesterday, we broke the news of the dean of St. Louis University School of Law’s abrupt departure, and the accompanying fiery resignation letter she sent to the powers that be at the university. Ex-dean Annette Clark’s missive was more of a bitchslap than anything else, but like Phillip J. Closius before her, she made it absolutely clear that she would rather quit her job than run a law school whose sole function was to serve as the university’s cash cow.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, we’ve found out that Clark’s passionate letter may have been penned in one of those “can’t fire me, I quit” type scenarios. Clark may have purported to be going to the mattresses for her students, and she might have been doing just that. But as we all know, there are two sides to every story….

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