Something someone tweeted at us

There is something admittedly odd about judges on Twitter. The stereotypical judge is stuffy, technologically challenged, and light on personality. Twitter, in contrast, is informal, tech-driven, and brimming over with quirkiness and individuality.

There are, to be sure, virtues to the traditional vision of the judge (well, maybe not the lack of tech savvy, but the other attributes). Judges who are formal, dry, and tight-lipped off the bench convey a strong sense of objectivity to the public and to the litigants who appear before them. These judges might not have much personality, but presumably they don’t have personal biases that would interfere with the impartial administration of justice. You might not want to have a beer with such judges, but you would want them handling your case.

So judicial tweeting might be unusual. Does that make it problematic? Should we have new judicial ethics rules to rein in judges on social media?

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The Riling family

I cannot believe how, just how generous and nice that was because you don’t see that very much anymore. Most people don’t take the time of day to do very much for anybody else, especially a stranger.

Sunny Riling, a Florida mom whose family recovered their lost camera containing treasured photos — with the help of a Biglaw partner.

(Read on to find out how….)

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As you’ve likely heard, last Friday ATL hosted its inaugural Attorney@Blog conference at the Yale Club in New York. The conference comprised a series of lively, informative, and occasionally profane panel discussions on topics near to our heart: free speech, hate speech, the state of legal journalism, and technical trends. By all accounts, a good time was had by both the panelists and attendees, and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

As befitting a social media-themed conference, the day was heavily tweeted, with our hashtag (#AttyAtBlog) managing to trend for hours. Read on for a round-up of the day’s top tweets.

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Bryan Garner

How old is “bench slap”? Should I put it in Black’s Law Dictionary? How would you define it?

– Legal writing guru Bryan Garner, editor of Black’s Law Dictionary and co-author (with Justice Scalia) of Reading Law (affiliate links), asking on Twitter about a possible addition to Black’s.

(Information about the origins of “benchslap,” after the jump.)

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* For the first time in history, both major party presidential candidates are graduates of Harvard Law School. When reached for comment, Yale Law School said, “President, that’s one of those jobs that you don’t get for life, right?” [Harvard Law Bulletin]

* Please tell me our election technology has at least caught up with 1996 by now. [Election Law Blog]

* Uruguay legalizes abortion — subject to a panel review, a five-day waiting period, and getting the father’s opinion on the matter. Yay? [Salon]

* Twitter censors a user! But it was a Nazi group, so nobody is going to freak out too much. [Slate]

* If this freaking idiot makes it even harder for young, intelligent students to come here on student visas, then his thwarted attack will have caused real damage to American interests. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Abraham Lincoln would have gotten tort reform done. [Futility Closet]

Landing a Summer Public Interest Legal Job: hotsexyskippy@yahoo.com is not an appropriate email address to have on your résumé. LOL.

PSLawNet, offering job search advice over Twitter.

Alex Macgillivray

Bad day for the Internet…. Having been there, I can imagine the dissension @Google to search being warped this way.

– Alexander Macgillivray, general counsel of Twitter, commenting via Twitter about Google’s recent plan to alter search results based on users’ Google+ networks. Macgillivray used to be in-house counsel at Google. Corporate Counsel analyzed his comments yesterday.

We’ve collected a couple of tips on reports of election day problems around the country. And I have to say, so far, so good. It’s nothing like 2008.

Even in New York, things seem calm, despite the fact that the city is rolling out new voting machines which were a total joke during the primaries. They seemed to have worked out the kinks in time for today’s general election. From City Room:

New Yorkers using the new computerized voting system on Tuesday seemed to encounter fewer problems than they did during the September primary, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg complained of “a royal screw-up.”…

Mr. Bloomberg cast his ballot just after 7 a.m. at a school on East 81st Street. “The process, in all fairness,” he said, “was different, smooth,” compared with what happened on primary day.

And things seem to be doing well in Connecticut. Shockingly Vince McMahon decided not to be a jackass. But in Indiana voters will have to make their way past pedestrian pigs to get to the polls…

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We’ve seen lawyers request continuances because of major sporting events before. There was a great continuance motion last year, when the Alabama Crimson Tide played in the BCS Championship game. Obviously, the entire state of Louisiana lost its collective mind during the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Run.

Notice how we’re talking about football? Football is “America’s Passion,” while baseball is “America’s Pastime” — which is a nice way of saying, “Baseball is something cool to have on the television while you take an afternoon nap.” (Full Disclosure: I’m a Mets fan, so baseball has been dead to me for many months.)

But we’re seeing unusual passion from Texas Rangers fans. Maybe it’s because the team had never won a playoff series until this postseason. Maybe it’s because Cliff Lee really is a witch.

Lawyers who are Texas Rangers fans appear to have gone all the way around the bend…

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The Drive-Thru at the Kocian Law Firm

We all knew it would come to this eventually. The legal profession — once reserved for studious minds who diligently ponder the most complex moral, ethical, and legal issues of the day — has been reduced to a collection of short-order cooks, who whip up documents instead of eggs and toast.

Actually, that change probably happened many years ago. Generations ago, even. But there is something visual striking about the new Connecticut offices of the Kocian Law Firm. The firm is operating out of an old Kenny Rogers Roasters building. The Kocian lawyers are keeping the drive-thru window — and they’re using it as an easy and efficient way to exchange documents and quick advice with their clients.

Somewhere, Partner Emeritus is crying…

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