Reema N. Bajaj

Earlier this week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this photo:

Let’s have a look at what our readers were able to come up with, and then vote on the finalists….

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Reema N. Bajaj

Remember Reema Bajaj? Well, how could you forget her? This highly attractive Illinois solo practitioner was hit with prostitution charges back in June — and the legal world hasn’t been the same ever since.

In August, word on the street was that Bajaj and DeKalb County prosecutors were nearing a plea agreement. But it seems that those discussions have broken down like a cheap condom.

Yes, that’s right: Reema Bajaj isn’t going down without $100 a fight….

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Jason Smiekel

Last month, federal law enforcement officials accused an Illinois attorney, Jason W. Smiekel, of trying to put a hit out on a former client — who also happened to be the ex-husband of Smiekel’s fiancée. That’s quite an allegation, isn’t it?

And that’s not the end of the story. Some sources blamed this fiancée — a very beautiful woman, described to us by a tipster as a “hot hot hot blonde” (“HHHB”) — for the downfall of Jason Smiekel, ruining his marriage and taking him from a successful career in law to a life outside it. But others came to her defense, describing HHHB and Smiekel as “very much in love, and good people.”

Alas, if they are in love, their love may have to wait, thanks to the latest bad news for Jason Smiekel….

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Chi-Town Courtship Connection

There are many kinds of journalism: investigative, advocacy, tabloid, service… Okay, there are four kinds of journalism we can currently think of. Above the Law’s Courtship Connection is in the service journalism camp. It’s our attempt to help over-worked, under-socialized, but ultimately lovable legal types, both lawyers and law students, to find romance. Or, failing that, inform them through a candid appraisal of a blind first date how they’re going about it all wrong.

So far, we’ve set up a Big Apple bushel’s worth of legal types in the city that never sleeps, and we’ve brought about quite a few political alliances in the nation’s capital. The third season of this series is debuting in Chicago, per readers’ choice.

If the Windy City has left you cold and lonely, and you’re willing and able to put your love life in ATL’s hands, I’ll do my best to set you up with a fellow legal eagle who doesn’t seem like a completely awful human being. If you’ve read past columns, you should know that I’m setting that bar low for a reason.

The survey, plus advice on how to prepare for a blind first date, after the jump…

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* The hotel maid behind DSK’s extended stay in New York has now sued her alleged attacker. Remember, this is all about the truth. It has nothing to do with money. [CNN]

* Should you be worried about the stock market’s seppuku yesterday? If you like money, then probably. If you like your job as an M&A attorney, then definitely. [The Recorder]

* Illinois is giving sex trafficking victims the chance to vacate their prostitution convictions. Even if Reema Bajaj gets convicted, she still couldn’t use this law to clear her name. [Chicago Sun-Times]

* Therapy dogs aren’t just for law school libraries anymore. Now they’re appearing in courtrooms. But is an adorable dog unfair to defendants? Only if you hate dogs… and justice. [New York Times]

* Frank McCourt is still on deck for his at bat with Bingham McCutchen. The good news is that the Dodgers can keep on sucking in the interim. [Los Angeles Times]

* We’re happy that the Breaking Media dress code doesn’t include “Tube-top Tuesday” and “Wet T-shirt Wednesday.” An employee in Utah claims she isn’t as lucky as us. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Reema Bajaj wins the race to the courthouse.

Today we bring you two tales of Chicago-area lawyers accused of naughtiness. Chicago is a beautiful city in the summer, but some of its attorneys are facing ugly allegations.

Ladies first. What’s going on with Reema Bajaj, the rather attractive Illinois lawyer accused of prostitution? We’ve mentioned Bajaj here and there over the past few weeks, but we haven’t had hard news about her since June. Is her case any closer to resolution?

Apparently so. A plea deal is near, according to the Daily Chronicle, and Bajaj is scheduled back in court on August 31. As you may recall, Reema Bajaj has been charged with two misdemeanors and one felony. If she pleads guilty to just a misdemeanor, can she keep her Illinois law license? Readers, please enlighten us.

Let’s hear more about Reema from one reader who knows her personally — don’t worry, he’s not a customer — and then learn about another twentysomething Chicago lawyer accused of more-serious criminal conduct….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Is Up With Chicago-Area Lawyers? Updates on Reema Bajaj and Jason Smiekel”

Foreign LLM students are often like Rodney Dangerfield: they don’t get no respect. American-born JD candidates make fun of LLMs: their awkwardness, their accents, their ignorance of U.S. customs, and their repeated references to life and law in their home countries (“Back on Mypos, we don’t have contributory negligence….”).

Well, next time you want to make fun of an LLM student, check yourself. That LLM student might be the future president of his country — like Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian president who earned an LLM at Columbia Law School.

Or, better yet, that LLM student might be the most beautiful woman out of 600,000,000. The nation of India has a population of around 1.2 billion — and a former LLM student at NYU Law School was just crowned Miss India, making her that country’s #1 specimen of womanhood. Eat your heart out, Reema Bajaj.

The new Miss India’s name is Vasuki Sunkavalli. Let’s check her out, shall we?

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So far, our Lawyers of the Month have been a motley crew. Dying helps. So does being incredibly stupid.

But this month we have a lawyer who won our Lawyer of the Month competition just for his old-fashioned practice of the law. Yep, in a month where we had naked people and dead people, an actual legal person won the competition….

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Okay, we were really late with the May Lawyer of the Month reader poll. But that was in part because the May candidates were quite dull.

There is nothing dull about the June Lawyer of the Month candidates. I count two candidates who would be runaway winners if they didn’t have to face each other, and two other candidates that would be darkhorse choices to win in any other month.

The scandalous allegations about the June candidates put the sizzle in summer. And no, I don’t know why I wrote that sentence as if I were writing ad copy for Applebee’s…

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Reema Bajaj: pretty and professional.

I have previously expressed my belief in the innocence of Reema N. Bajaj, the 25-year-old lawyer who has been charged with prostitution. This Illinois solo practitioner didn’t strike me as a prostitute — and some who know her personally concur. A classmate of Bajaj from Northern Illinois University College of Law expressed his shock at the charges, and college students whom Bajaj taught described a caring and considerate teacher — an unlikely lawbreaker.

But, in fairness to the prosecution, evidence does exist that could be construed as supporting the charges. And some of this evidence is rather salacious — to wit, photographs of Reema Bajaj’s bajayjay.

If you have delicate sensibilities, please stop reading here. If you have a stomach for somewhat scandalous (but still safe for work) material, however, you may continue….

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