Race

Join us at the Yale Club in New York City on March 14 for the inaugural ATL Attorney@Blog conference, a first-of-its-kind convocation of the leading legal bloggers. The conference will feature a series of panel discussions covering an array of issues facing the legal blogging community, including free speech, race and gender, and technology. In addition, the conference will provide space for attendees to network, socialize, and, of course, blog the proceedings. CLE credit available! See here for more details and tickets.

Attorney@Blog Panel Line-Up:

Free Speech Online
Moderator: David Lat
This panel will discuss emerging free speech issues in addition to practical advice on how to avoid violating libel statutes and other related legal pitfalls.

The Trolls: Confronting (or Ignoring) Racism and Sexism
Moderator: Staci Zaretsky
This panel will explore the various strategies and best practices (along with their intellectual underpinnings) available to legal bloggers in managing the dark side of the internet: the “trolls” who engage in offensive and hateful (albeit protected) speech.

Blogs as Agents of Change
Moderator: Elie Mystal
This session will explore the degree to which blogs and bloggers are a by-product or prime mover behind the way in which the profession is being forced to challenge some of its basic assumptions.

Emerging Technical Trends & Best Practices
Moderator: Joe Patrice
This panel will explore the intersection of technology and the law. Topics to include the use of social media for business development as well as practical tips on content strategy, SEO, blogging platforms, and other topics.

This is the latest in a new series of ATL infographics — visual representations of our own proprietary data, relevant third-party data, “anecdata,” or just plain jokes.

Last month, ATL hosted a well-attended event previewing the current Supreme Court Term. Our special guest was preeminent Supreme Court advocate and analyst Tom Goldstein. Our own David Lat conducted a lively interview with Goldstein, covering the major cases on this Term’s docket as well as Goldstein’s insights into Supreme Court advocacy generally. It was an educational evening for all, and, in the words of one attendee, “funny and brilliant is always a fantastic and rare mix in a speaker.”

Today’s infographic distills some of the evening’s observations and insights into a SCOTUS “cheat sheet.” Thanks to AccessData for sponsoring this free event, and look for upcoming events in your area….

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I was a senior in high school when the O.J. Simpson verdict came down. I was in a classroom in Indiana, everybody was watching on television. After the verdict was announced, the first thing I heard was my white teacher saying “bulls**t.” The next thing I heard was a bunch of black people screaming (I went to a pretty diverse high school). Then, basically, all the black people started streaming out of class. Nobody went back to school that day. I found my cousin. We high-fived. At that moment, I really believed that a racist cop had planted blood evidence to frame O.J.

Of course, that’s not what I think happened now. I think O.J. murdered those two people in a jealous rage, got caught and thought about killing himself, didn’t, then hired the best lawyers in the country, and beat the rap.

Still, I’m happy he got off. I know that is a controversial thing to say. It’s not really normal to be “happy” when a guilty person evades justice, unless you’re watching a mob movie. But I think Mark Fuhrman was a racist cop, and I think the O.J. case went a long way towards showing state prosecutors that basing your cases on racist cops is a bad thing. The state knows that putting blatantly racist people on the stand isn’t the best way to get a conviction. I’m willing to suffer the injustice of a guilty man going free to make the larger point that racist cops are not credible witnesses.

And so as I sit here, watching the news and reading Twitter accounts of people who are just “happy” that George Zimmerman was acquitted of any wrongdoing in the death of Trayvon Martin, I’m forced to wonder what “larger point” is being serviced today by the release of a man who shot an unarmed teenager to death?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Will George Zimmerman Join O.J. Simpson In The Hunt For Real Killers?”

George Zimmerman has been found not guilty.

UPDATE (10:16 p.m.): Here are more details and commentary on the Zimmerman trial verdict.

What if this the last ‘reasonable man’ you ever saw?

Like many Americans, I’ve spent the last 24 hours seriously considering the physical and scientific evidence available to support or refute the contentions being made in one of the greatest television events of our time. I’m talking, of course, about Sharknado. Would a tornado carry sharks miles inland, and could those sharks be stopped by a chainsaw-wielding Ian Ziering?

Of course, if they had hired a black actor to kill great white sharks, he’d be on trial for murder now.

Based on our traffic numbers, a lot of you want to talk about the George Zimmerman trial. As closing arguments wrap up today and the case goes to the jury, let’s talk about the legal standards in play. What will the jury actually be trying to decide? We’re talking about the legal standards in Florida, so you know it’s going to be interesting…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Zimmerman Trial: What Legal Ground Are We Standing On?”

The subject of reparations for slavery has spawned lawsuits, critical inquiry, (affiliate link), and threw a wrench in the Bartlet administration’s plans.

So far, the idea has gained little traction, probably because companies like Aetna really like all that compound interest earned on the backs of treating human beings like chattel, thank you very much.

The subject also sets the stage for a new novel in this week’s look at career alternatives for attorneys, from our friends at Bloomberg Law

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Judge Lynn N. Hughes

Being a federal judge is like being a professional boxer: you have to know when it’s time to hang up the robe. (Yes, pare, I’m talking to you, Congressman Pacquiao.)

How does a federal judge know when it’s time to retire (not just senior status, but complete and total retirement)? Well, how about when he starts making bizarre, offensive, and racially charged comments — on the record?

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It’s difficult to put into words just how racially divisive the O.J. Simpson trial was. That’s my first excuse for why this post is so bad. For nearly a year and a half, the entire nation was tuned into the trial. An entire constellation of ridiculous people became our first reality stars: the poodle-haired Marcia Clark, smooth-talkin’ Johnny Cochran, n-bomb aficionado Mark Furman, hirsute little person Lance Ito. Or maybe the stars were DNA evidence and reasonable doubt. Because for a year and change, America was riveted by a criminal trial. By lawyers and evidence and rulings and motions and cross examinations. And while we still occasionally watch trials of the century, we don’t do it with near as much vigor as we did when Orenthal James Simpson was indicted. And we definitely don’t break down along nearly the same rigid racial lines.

To put it into terms that current law school students will understand (an overwhelming majority of whom don’t remember the trial), O.J. Simpson was a lot like Justin Bieber. Like, that polarizing.

Let’s talk sports….

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This little girl seems to be able to count better than some members of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Apparently some judges’ tenures are more equal than others.

An interesting lawsuit was filed last week in Louisiana. The chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court is stepping down, and the judge with the most seniority is supposed to be next in line to hold the post.

Logic suggests that the position should fall to Justice Bernette Johnson, who was elected to the Supreme Court in 1994, and is the longest serving judge on the Court.

But a different judge claims he is the longest serving judge, since he was elected in 1995. The math doesn’t work out, but Justice Jeffrey Victory claims that Johnson’s extra year doesn’t count because Johnson won a special, court-ordered election, and so there.

If it makes no sense to you how one election means less than another election, let me add that Johnson is black and Victory is not. That’s the rug that ties this room together….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Trying To Determine The Most Senior Judge, Even Counting Can Be A Racial Issue”

With the media scrutiny, not charging George Zimmerman would have been the bigger surprise.

The Washington Post is reporting that special prosecutor Angela Corey will hold a press conference this afternoon charging Zimmerman with something arising out of the death of Trayvon Martin.

Just what he’ll be charged with is anyone’s guess, is he getting hit with murder, manslaughter, or the simple “hunting black teens without a license,” which I think is just a misdemeanor in Florida. Check back for updates as we learn more.

Of course, charging the man and finding him are two completely different things…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “George Zimmerman To Be Charged In Connection With The Death Of Trayvon Martin”

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