Yep, you read that correctly. A vampire high priest, who just so happens to be an inmate serving a life sentence in Texas, has lost a civil rights case on appeal to the Fifth Circuit. Apparently prison officials weren’t allowing him to perform the ritualistic rites involved in the practice of his vampiric religion.
- 9th Circuit, Boutique Law Firms, DLA Piper, Drinking, Gay, Gay Marriage, Kellogg Huber, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs, Prisons
* AOL’s attorneys at DLA Piper sent a nastygram to a Maryland blogger, alleging intellectual property infringement, based on the blog’s aggregation. Because you know, AOL/the Huffington Post has never aggregated anything. [Maryland Juice]
* Speaking of DLA Piper lawyers, just before she was found guilty of public intoxication, partner Laura Flippin was also accused of lying under oath by the judge in the case. In short, things did not go as well they could have. [The Flat Hat]
* Remember the law school martyr Phillip J. Closius? He may no longer be Dean of University of Baltimore Law, but he has not finished his crusade to improve the financial security of students. Keep fightin’ the good fight, Phil. [Baltimore Sun]
* Congratulations to the 15 firms that made the NLJ’s 2012 Appellate Hot List. Most are Biglaw shops, but three elite boutiques made the cut: Bancroft, Horvitz & Levy, and Kellogg Huber. [National Law Journal]
* Ever wondered what life in prison is like? Check out this podcast, in which Jeffrey Deskovic, who served 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit, is interviewed by Professor Zachary Shemtob (disclosure: Shemtob is Lat’s co-author and special friend). [Cruel and Unusual: A Podcast on Punishment]
* There’s a war on prison rape. I’m excited about this. I can’t wait to bang prison rape in the ass. [Simple Justice]
* Meanwhile, there’s more rape probing on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn front from a French prosecutor. [Fox News]
* On the eve of his law school graduation, a student reflects on “the most colossal f*** up of [his] life.” [Shady Nation]
* Jamie Dimon has had better months. [Dealbreaker]
* Defamation by half-truth. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* The California bar results are out. Congratulations to all who passed. [State Bar of California]
Oh, I remember the first time somebody threatened to throw me in jail because I didn’t pay a debt. I was young and stupid, but not ignorant and fearful. I said, “Debtor’s prisons were outlawed!” (I didn’t know that from law school, I knew that from AP History.) The debt collector stammered and said, “Well, we can still get you in trouble.” Since I was already “in trouble” what with $150,000 in principal outstanding, I instructed the collector to contact me via mail and hung up.
Debt collectors are like bullies: punch them in the mouth, and well, they don’t “go away,” but they stop getting all up in your face.
Eventually, a summons came in the mail, and I responded, and yada yada, I’m still not in jail. The key is that “I responded.” I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my debts over the years, but I haven’t made a lot of mistakes with “courts.” See, courts matter. Debt collectors with hard-ons do not.
Keep that in mind as your read this story about a cancer survivor who got thrown in jail after failing to pay a medical debt that she didn’t even actually owe….
The Supreme Court handed down a new ruling today, taking a controversial stance in a (literally) sensitive area. The decision should make would-be criminals across the country wince.
In a split decision (is there any other kind these days?), the justices decided that law enforcement is justified in strip-searching anyone, for any offense, before admitting them to jail.
Understandably, a lot of people are butthurt about the 5–4 ruling…
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Environment / Environmental Law, Hair, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Prisons, Rod Blagojevich, University of Maryland School of Law
* Kodak got the go-ahead for a $950M bankruptcy financing deal. Just think, if you had taken pictures using a film camera instead of a digital one, we probably wouldn’t be telling you about this. [Bloomberg]
* Rod Blagojevich will report to prison for his 14-year sentence on March 15, and he hopes to do so with “dignity” (i.e., no cameras). But you can be damn sure he’ll have his hair did, just in case. [Chicago Tribune]
* To be fair, the University of Maryland School of Law doesn’t really have time to worry about that parking job. The university might have to pay up to $500K in legal fees thanks to a lawsuit filed by the school’s environmental law clinic. [National Law Journal]
* Duncan Law’s got 99 problems, and another lawsuit is one. In addition to the school’s troubles with the ABA, a law student is suing because the school “negligently allowed her to enroll.” [Knoxville News Sentinel]
King & Spalding Lawyer Received Key Email As Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty Against Stephen McDanielBy Elie Mystal
As we mentioned in Morning Docket on Friday, prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty against Stephen McDaniel if he is convicted of the murder of Lauren Giddings, his former neighbor and classmate at Mercer Law School.
The Bibb County District Attorney calls the crime “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved depravity of mind,” which is one standard the prosecution has to meet to seek the death penalty in Georgia.
This should not come as a great shock, since he’s been in jail since July, but Stephen Mark McDaniel has been indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Lauren Giddings. McDaniel and Giddings graduated earlier this year from Mercer Law School, where they were classmates, and they were also neighbors in the Barristers Hall apartment complex in Macon, Georgia.
In addition to being charged with the Giddings murder, McDaniel has been indicted for other creepy crimes….
- Airplanes / Aviation, Food, Football, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Murder, Nauseating Things, Paralegals, Prisons
* The hunt for the remains of Mercer Law grad Lauren Giddings is playing out like an episode of Scooby Doo. Will the gang be able to investigate at Old Man
Jenkins’s Browning’s farm? [Macon Telegraph]
* Leah Ward Sears, who shows up on SCOTUS shortlists, wants to impose a mandatory waiting period… on divorces. It’d be interesting to live in a country where you had to wait for a year to get rid of your spouse, but not to buy a gun. [Slate]
* Speaking of marriage…. Tara Reid was maybe engaged to an accountant? [Going Concern]
* The study doesn’t say that fat people are more likely to miss work; it says that unhealthy people are more likely to miss work. That’s why I discriminate against thin little stress balls that have a conniption every time they see a slice of chocolate cake. [Business Insider]
* Wait, we have a prison rape elimination act? Did we only just now decide that prison rape should be stopped? But it doesn’t apply to everybody in prisons? I’m so confused. [ACLU: Blog of Rights]
* At least Ken Jennings isn’t going to law school. [Ken Jennings]