* So now the judge accused of watching porn from a courthouse computer admits to watching porn on a courthouse computer. Let me just get this out of the way: if I’ve used your computer, it was probably to watch porn. [Chicago Sun-Times]
* Too soon for Aurora jokes? I think it’s weird that more people believe in waiting periods for zingers than for handguns. [Tax Prof Blog]
* Lance Armstrong’s suit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks. How come the only athlete that seemed to get his day in court was Roger Clemens? [Bloomberg]
* Another kid is packing in his sports dreams to go to law school. Though, in fairness, one of the few things worse than the law graduate economy is probably the NHL economy. [North Dakota Inforum]
* I think Republican political candidates should know by now that they only bands they are allowed to like are country music bands. If they want to like non-country music, they should get the artist’s approval, in writing. Meanwhile, liberals are allowed like all kinds of music, even music performed by people who don’t know what they are talking about. [What About Clients?]
* Attorney and rape victim Shauna Prewitt has some facts about rape that apparently Todd Akin didn’t know. [xoJane]
Bankruptcy, Clerkships, Crime, Drugs, Election 2012, Federal Judges, Guns / Firearms, Job Searches, Law Schools, Layoffs, Money, Morning Docket, Politics, Pro Se Litigants, Romance and Dating, S.D.N.Y., Sam Sparks, State Judges, Student Loans, Texas, Unemployment
* In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Putting politics aside, this is a great pick, if only because Ryan is so handsome. Seriously, he’s a total stud. [Wall Street Journal]
* “How can I be the one guy with a good degree who is going to be chronically unemployed?” Sadly, many lawyers are still looking for jobs after (multiple) layoffs, but thanks to a lack of positions, employment is just “not in the cards” for them. [New York Times]
* Deadliest clerkship? The Washington, D.C. judge who presided over one of the most violent mass shooting cases in the nation’s capital was reportedly held up at gunpoint last week, with her law clerk in tow. [Fox DC]
* Something is rotten in the state of Denmark Texas. Judge Sam Sparks “know[s] the smell of bad fish,” and now wants to know why the USADA waited so long to bring charges against Lance Armstrong. [Bloomberg]
* After reversing a bankruptcy court’s decision that loan repayment would be an “undue hardship” for a law-school debtor, a judge took the time to rip law schools a new one over escalating tuition. [Oregonian]
* Match.com class-action plaintiffs found no love in court after a federal judge ruled that the dating website hadn’t breached its user agreement. Much like their love lives, their claims aren’t getting any action. [Reuters]
* A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client: 23% of all cases filed in the federal court for the S.D.N.Y. are brought by pro-se litigants, and the vast majority of them seem to have lost their minds. [New York Post]
American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Cass Sunstein, Drugs, Fast Food, Gay Marriage, Guns / Firearms, Law Professors, Law Schools, Military / Military Law, Morning Docket, Sam Sparks, Sports, Student Loans, Ted Frank, UVA Law, Violence
* From the White House to the ivory tower: Cass Sunstein is leaving OIRA to return to Harvard Law. Perhaps his thoughts on behavioral economics and public policy will be appreciated in academia. [New York Times]
* It’s too late to apologize this time, Cesar. Greenberg Traurig has been sanctioned in the TD Bank to-do for the firm’s negligent failure to bring forth documents during discovery. [Tampa Bay Business Journal]
* Jared Loughner is reportedly set to plead guilty in the Arizona shooting attack that killed six people, including Judge John Roll, and injured 13, including former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. [Los Angeles Times]
* Lance Armstrong is going for the gold against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, this time with a bid to Judge Sam Sparks for a restraining order blocking the USADA from forcing the cyclist into binding arbitration. [Bloomberg]
* “[T]his is not the time for us to become an international accrediting agency.” The ABA will remain a faulty U.S. accrediting agency, because the Legal Ed Section voted against accrediting foreign law schools. [ABA Journal]
* Apparently Texas Tech Law has more than beauty queens. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has appointed dean emeritus and current law professor Walter Huffman to the new Defense Legal Policy Board. [KCBD 11]
* Remember Joshua Gomes, the UVA Law student who allegedly broke into the school’s registrar office? As it turns out, there’s no more “allegedly” about it. We’ll likely have more on this news later today. [Daily Progress]
* Law school graduates’ tales of woe are still making headlines in newspapers. Please take heed, 0Ls, and remember that you decided to discount this info if you’re told that you “should have known better.” [Oregonian]
* If you want to eat mor chikin but the thought of supporting Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage is giving you indigestion, now you can eat your fill with the assistance of Ted Frank’s chicken offsets. [Huffington Post]
* Following yesterday’s hearing, Kleiner Perkins may be able to get a second bite at the proverbial apple after a judge tentatively denied the firm’s bid to arbitrate Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit. [The Recorder; Bits / New York Times]
* Ogletree Deakins has allegedly got 99 299 problems, and a b*tch ain’t one billing errors are all of ‘em. Arizona’s Maricopa County wants a refund, and it plans to debar the firm from additional work for the next three years. [ABA Journal]
* Not everything’s bigger in Texas: attorneys for Lance Armstrong have refiled a shorter version of his lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after suffering a brutal benchslap at the hands of Judge Sam Sparks. [Los Angeles Times]
* Screw your ban on non-lawyer investors, we’ll expand anyway! Jacoby & Meyers merged with Chicago’s Macey Bankruptcy Law to create a 300-attorney adventure in awful lawyer advertising. [National Law Journal]
* The bell has not yet tolled for Florida lawyer Frank Louderback, who will now be able to attend the 32nd Annual Ernest Hemingway Look-alike Contest thanks to his client’s last minute guilty plea. [Tampa Bay Times]
* “I don’t care what the law says, you’re getting a summons.” Sorry, officer, but you don’t mess with a Brooklyn Law student’s booze, because he’ll challenge New York’s open-container law. [City Room / New York Times]
* Dewey know how many professional firms have been allowed to stay on as advisers for the largest law firm bankruptcy in U.S. history? Six out of nine firms were permitted to continue services, but Proskauer wasn’t one of them. [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* In other defunct firm news, Al Togut will be presenting Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former partners with a proposed settlement on Wednesday. You’ve been warned: prepare yourselves for some Biglaw-style bitching. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* Despite reports of the billable hour going the way of the dodo bird, it looks like they’re here to stay. Right now, corporate law departments are still much more excited about alternative billing arrangements than law firms. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Judge Sam Sparks, the King of Benchslaps, dismissed Lance Armstrong’s lawsuit against the USADA in record time. That ruling came too quickly — guess it’s time to investigate judicial doping. [New York Times]
* Marc Dreier’s son, Spencer Dreier, is representing himself pro se in a defamation suit against his former college roommate. Looks like Daddy couldn’t spring for his kid’s lawyer while he was in the clink. [Bloomberg]
* A California woman claims that the Food and Drug Administration’s methods regarding sperm donations are unconstitutional. Why should she have to go to an intermediary to get sperminated? [Huffington Post]
* Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? It’s not exactly something to be proud of. Actor Dwayne Johnson is listed as a “co-conspirator” in a $1.8M fraud lawsuit that’s been filed by a South Florida family. [NBC Miami]
Can you enforce civility by being… uncivil? That’s the question being raised, over and over again, by federal judges from Texas these days. Check out the latest craziness — an en banc hearing before the Fifth Circuit that generated judicial fireworks, culminating in a judge essentially telling a colleague to STFU or GTFO….
While some of the candidates for August’s Lawyer of the Month were bold in their displays of public idiocy, others were bold in their candid assessments of the legal profession. We thought that legal smarts were taking a substantial lead over legal stupidity. But as it turns out, the margin is much closer than we thought. In this polling cycle, just ten votes separated our Lawyer of the Month from our second-place finisher….
The benchslapper has become the benchslapped. Judge Sam Sparks, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, just got smacked around by a higher authority: Chief Judge Edith Jones, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. What did she have to say to Sparks?
We’ve all heard how dysfunctional entry-level legal recruiting is: Inordinate expense, decisions made on the briefest of subjective impressions with opacity all around, and what do firms reap for all their efforts? Shocking attrition rates among junior associates. It’s time for a conference on what could work better, and this is it.
The month of August brought us a slew of disasters, both natural and otherwise. At the end of the month, we faced off against the Great D.C. Earthquake of 2011. Shortly thereafter, we got slammed by Hurricane Irene. But August wasn’t just about natural disasters — there were plenty of man-made disasters to deal with […]
* Remember the “kindergarten party” that Judge Sam Sparks (W.D. Tex.) was planning to hold? His Honor has canceled the festivities. [WSJ Law Blog] * John Althouse Cohen — yes, son of La Althouse — discusses one way in which Texas might be emulating… Europe? [Jaltcoh] * Professor Paul Campos opens up a can of […]
* Some thoughts from our colleague Matt Levine on the Justice Department’s opposition to the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. [Dealbreaker] * Judge Sam Sparks (W.D. Tex.), king of the benchslap — yes, we already covered his latest handiwork, so no need to email the “kindergarten party” order to us again — has blocked key parts of the […]
You do not want to mess with Judge Sam Sparks, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. We recently wrote about Judge Sparks accusing a lawyer appearing before him of incompetence — in a harshly worded order that pulled no punches. Judge Sparks has been doling out stinging benchslaps for years, and he’s gotten pretty good at it. Last week, Judge Sparks lit more lawyers on fire….
We briefly mentioned a lawsuit over the new ultrasound-before-abortion law in Texas back in June, and now it has turned into a full-blown media circus. The case is being presided over by Judge Sam Sparks of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. And thanks to Judge Sparks, sparks themselves are flying in his courtroom….
What’s up with all these federal judges seeking to leave their life-tenured quarters? We understand that the pay’s not great (which is why we urge them to marry rich). But being an Article III judge is still nice work if you can get it. Despite the power and prestige, two federal judges are moving on […]
Remember Judge Sam Sparks, of the Western District of Texas? He’s a colorful judge with a robust sense of humor, as well as a low tolerance for lawyer shenanigans and quarrels. Back in 2004, Judge Sparks compared bickering lawyers in his court to kindergarteners. His saucy order made the email rounds, first in Texas, then […]