Pranks

No, this isn’t about a lawsuit arising out of the writing of Animal Farm II: Sharks on Retainer — but who knows, my original thought for a post title might be subject to trademark infringement.

More on that later; for now, let’s turn our attention to this delicious product offered by ThinkGeek (which went on sale April 1, 2010):

As a connoisseur of unicorn delicacies, I was annoyed when the ThinkGeek people exposed this product to the general pubic. We’ve already got the Care Bears on our ass; we certainly don’t need PETA getting wind of this tasty treat.

But who knew that this entirely fictional April Fool’s joke would come to the attention of the National Pork Board and their legal representatives at Faegre & Benson

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Misadventures in Trademark Law: Faegre & Benson Helps Pigs Fight Unicorns”

Flyer via Nuts & Boalts

UC-Berkeley once again topped Michigan in the (leaked so still unofficial) U.S. News law school rankings. Boalt Hall also dominated the Wolverines this month when it comes to secret society activity.

Whereas, members of Michigan’s “Barrister’s Society” threw their dirty laundry o’er the rooftops, resulting in campus-wide derision, recent activities by Berkeley’s “Gun Club” have left their fellow students appropriately mystified and intrigued.

A Boaltie tells us:

Last week, flyers featuring John Yoo’s face, with the phrase “I’m sorry, for everything” were posted around Boalt Hall.

Everyone assumed it was just the usual torture-memo protesters who flock to Berkeley, in the hope that it’s still the Bezerkeley of the 1960s, only to find a bunch of JD and MBA students hurrying by, scowling at their unshowered ways.

On Tuesday morning, the flyer reappeared in the student center, attached to the King of Beers….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “UC-Berkeley’s Gun Club Secret Society Rides Again
John Yoo unimpressed

April 1 is a dangerous date. It’s a day when punking people becomes the national sport.  It’s not just traditional pranksters like College Humor marking the holiday. Law firms and law schools have been getting in on the fun today as well.

Shortly after your ATL editors got back from lunch, we got an alarmed email from a Columbia Law student, upset about Columbia’s plan to block some popular websites starting Monday:

From: Student Senate
Date: Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 14:25
Subject: Selective Website Blocking

Dear Students,

When the Dean’s Advisory Committee addressed the Senate last month, it conveyed the faculty’s concern regarding student inattention and declining participation in class. The consensus among professors is that in-class Internet use is the primary cause.

Yesterday, we were informed that IT will begin blocking access to certain Internet sites inside the Law School’s three main buildings, while classes are meeting. Selective site blocking is scheduled to begin Monday morning. Among the 2-3 dozen sites affected are Facebook, Gmail and Above the Law. Others may be added later.

A full list of these sites is available at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/law/senate/siteblocking.html. We’ll update this page as more information becomes available…

We’re honored to be part of that Holy Trifecta of websites, though Elie was initially quite upset at Columbia — until he visited the linked website and “got Rick-rolled for the first time in years.” Judging from the flood of emails we’ve gotten, he’s far from the only one.

Weil Gotshal and Yale Law School also performed some prestigious pranks. You’d think legal types’ natural cynicism would help protect them today. But you’d be wrong…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Made an April Fool of You Today?”


Akin Gump logo.JPGHave you had the privilege of voluntarily leaving your Biglaw job? I have, and let me tell you, the last day is a special kind of awesome. You kind of walk around, taking a survey of things you no longer have to deal with. Many of your friends and colleagues look at you with envy in their eyes. Friends of mine outside of the law have told me that leaving a job is bittersweet; but most associates who have left Biglaw on their own terms describe the sensation as “delicious.”

Now, when I left, I said all the right things, said goodbye to all the appropriate people, and wrote a standard, passionless departure memo. No gloating from me, I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as I could. But looking back on it, I wish I had done something notable. Nothing outrageous: boiling the managing partner’s pet rabbit sounds appropriate but is ultimately unsatisfying. I just wish I had taken advantage of my last day in some mildly humorous way.

An associate who left Akin Gump last week will have no such longstanding regrets. Here’s the “seeking contacts” email that was sent to the entire firm once the associate had both feet out of the door:

Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 11:59 AM
To: FW ALL
Subject: Seeking contacts

Pardon the interruption. Please respond to sender only if you can recommend a reasonably priced plaintiffs’ attorney in Costa Rica. A friend of the firm has a handful of potential plaintiffs who believe there is a connection between their testicle cancer and a chemical used to make tea bags. They are looking for an attorney in Costa Rica to advise and represent them in this matter.

Thanks,
[Redacted]

You know, the lives of Biglaw attorneys are such that on first blush one might think that this message was intended seriously.

But we spoke with the associate who sent out the message. Thankfully, the message was a product of a last day dare.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Departing with Flair”

This was forwarded to us by a tipster:

Boalt.jpgApril 25, 2007

To: Boalt Community

From: Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.

It has been a week since the distressing events involving a Boalt student’s threat —a hoax — against the community at Hastings College of the Law. I am writing to let you know that all our actions following the incident have been taken with the intention of securing the safety and well-being of our community and that at Hastings, while respecting the procedural rights of the student.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the Law School filed a complaint with the U.C. Berkeley Judicial Affairs Office against the law student who claimed responsibility for posting the threat on a website. We, the administrative leadership of Boalt, believe that the student’s action is clearly in violation of a number of regulations detailed in the Student Code of Conduct. The case will be adjudicated by Judicial Affairs according to campus regulations. Those regulations prohibit us from disclosing the name of the student against whom we are proceeding.

Based on the facts as we understand them today, we have recommended expulsion. This is based not only on the intrinsic wrongfulness of the act itself, but also the disruption, turmoil and emotional toll on the Hastings community and, to a more limited extent, the Boalt community as well. I have received ample evidence of this through a great many emails, some of them painful to read.

This incident has once again confirmed for me the strength and qualities of the Boalt community. Even in this challenging circumstance, you have engaged in thoughtful and productive discussions. We should all take some pride in this, imperfect though we are.

Christopher Edley, Jr.
Professor of Law and Dean

Does the punishment fit the crime here? Judging by some of the comments to this thread, some readers think expulsion would be an overreaction. Pre-Virginia Tech, what kind of behavior would get you expelled from law school?

* If you’re not spreading your music like herpes, then you’re just paying an extra 30 cents for the same product you’ve always been buying; as a side note, doesn’t Damon Alburn look dreamy these days? [New York Times]

* The SEC wants to be more like a friend than a parent, but watch out if you try to sneak out of the house after curfew on a school night. [FT.com via MSN]

* She may fight it until she regains her dignity writes another best seller, but chances are that I’ll get my groove back before she does. [New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer]

* Remember how Andrea from Beverly Hills, 90210 used her grandma’s address, and Vivian Abromowitz lived in the Slums of Beverly Hills to attend the prestigious public high school? Well, this is different. [Los Angeles Times]

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