State Judges

Alameda County Judge Paul Seeman

Usually when we talk about judges in the United States, we give them a pass on the old saying, “judge not, lest you be judged,” seeing as judging is kind of their job and whatnot.

Not so much for one local judge in Alameda County, California. This jurist has been arrested for allegedly financially abusing an elderly woman who was his neighbor.

As of last night, our Judge of the Day was languishing in a cell in the district he used to preside over. Where did the veteran jurist, who had long worked in juvenile justice, go wrong?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: The Road to Hell…”

Some people might imagine that attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals stop interacting with the legal system once they leave the courtroom or their law firm offices. At Above the Law, we know better.

Over the last couple of months, we have seen attorneys chase down muggers on foot and open fire on burglars. Today, we hear about a San Francisco judge who become a victim as a result of her in-court kindness.

The Honorable Lillian Sing, our Judge of the Day, didn’t do anything particularly crazy, other than have the misfortune of parking her car in the wrong place at the wrong time, while trying to help the wrong defendant…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

Which firm will be next?

* You know what’s really got to suck hard? Turning down a Supreme Court nomination to be governor, and then losing your gubernatorial re-election bid. Mario Cuomo is the Bad Luck Brian of our time. [New York Daily News]

* And speaking of bad luck, this prominent antitrust lawyer is like the harbinger of Biglaw doom. In the last four years, Marc Schildkraut has bounced from Heller to Howrey to Dewey. Good luck to his new firm, Cooley LLP. [Washingtonian]

* Another judge — this time from the S.D.N.Y. — has found that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Paul Clement, the patron saint of conservative causes, is probably facepalming right now. [Reuters]

* “I don’t know how you all practice law in Texas.” It looks like the judge presiding over the Roger Clemens case hasn’t been keeping up with all of our crazy stories from the Lone Star state. [Wall Street Journal]

* “[T]he epitome of unprofessionalism”: State Attorney Angela Corey couldn’t take the heat from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, so she threatened to sue the school and get him disbarred. [Orlando Sentinel]

* “What did you guys do to deserve me? How did you guys get stuck with this? Ay yi yi.” At least Jerry Sandusky’s got a sense of humor about a potential 500 year sentence. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* The election outlook for birthers may not be so bleak after all. Sure, Orly Taitz lost her bid to be a senator, but Gary Kreep might get to be a judge in San Diego County. We’ll find out later today. [North County Times]

New York City police officers already have quite the reputation for, to put it lightly, a certain level of insensitivity. We have recently covered the unpleasant consequences for well-meaning, educated citizens who try to prevent police brutality in the city.

In stories like the one above, it’s easy to see a possible racial motivation. But apparently some New York police officers are also colorblind in their aggression towards civilians.

Like when a cop allegedly decides to sock it to an elderly white man — who, oh yeah, just happens to be a state judge

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Memo to NYPD: Please Don’t Judo-Chop the Judge”

Last week I wrote a story asking the question, “How important is it for law schools to teach students about electronic discovery?” The post stemmed from a perturbed tipster, who lamented the fact that her alma mater had decided to offer a class exclusively dealing with the subject.

The poll results were interesting. Most of you said the subject is definitely worth learning in school, despite its alleged unsexiness.

Additionally, I received an letter a few days after the story ran, signed by 14 attorneys, including small firm and Biglaw partners, tech company leaders, and one state judge, who wanted to give their collective opinion on the issue.

Technophiles will appreciate the note, although some young lawyers might find it an ominous sign of document review work to come. Let’s take a look at what these decision-making readers had to say…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “E-Discovery in Law School: Yes, You Need to Learn This Stuff”

Seriously?

* The bassist of The Vandals, an 80s punk band famous for songs like “Anarchy Burger (Hold the Government),” is running for judge in southern California. Man, I would love to see his campaign video. [The Atlantic]

* Congratulations to Judge Morgan Brenda Christen, the first Alaskan woman to join the Ninth Circuit. [Courthouse News]

* It’s hard out here for a transfer student. [Inside the Law School Scam]

* Can a judge force you to turn over your Facebook status updates? Inquiring minds want to know when you ate your grilled cheese sandwich, and when you fed your cat. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Do you think the Divorce Hotel takes a AAA discount? Are they available for corporate retreats? Do you need to book a separate bedroom for the kids? [Legal Blog Watch]

* Take note, future political candidates: when the going gets tough, the tough get going change their legal name to a website URL. [Legal Juice]

At the end of last week, I wrote about an interesting campaign video for Jim Foley, an attorney running for a state judge position in Olympia, Washington. At first I wasn’t sure what I thought about it — was it ridiculous, or awesome, or both? But the longer the video’s rap hook stays in my head, the more sure I am of how great it is.

So, imagine our pleasant surprise here at ATL when we got an email over the weekend from Jim Foley himself. He provided a couple of interesting details about his campaign ad: who’s the mysterious rapping woman? Who were the boys sharing his delicious stew? What exactly are the lyrics to the song?

Keep reading to learn all this and more…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Holy Moley, We Heard From Jim Foley (In Case You Forgot, He’s Running For Judge in the City of Oly)”

They don't make these for your mouth.

Somebody skipped his medication. Or at least wants you to believe that he skipped his meds.

A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death had a bit of a nutty in a California courtroom last week. I’m calling it a “nutty” because the man is accused of stabbing his girlfriend 20 times — that’s full “insanity,” which is what the defense lawyers are pleading.

But I’m not sure that the defendant helped his insanity bona fides with his display in court. A profanity-laced nutty does not an insanity defense make….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Rowdy Defendant Curses Judge, Fights Deputies”

When you consider what would make a qualified state judge, what comes to mind? Empathy, lots of in-court experience, evenhandedness, fairness?

Pssh. I think we all really want a judge who bench presses in a tank top with his name on it, builds boats at his house, and knows how to cook a stew. A colorful bowtie and rapping hype-girls are also important, of course.

That’s why Jim Foley, an attorney in Olympia, Washington, has created the wonkiest campaign ad we have seen in a while. Love it or hate it, watch the video and you will be singing, “Holy moley, I hear Jim Foley is running for judge in the city of Oly,” for the rest of the afternoon.

Let’s take a look at the clip….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Is Either the Best or Worst Judicial Campaign Ad Ever”

Justice Gustin Reichbach

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue.

– Justice Gustin Reichbach of the New York Supreme Court, commenting in an op-ed piece on the need for the legalization of medical marijuana in New York. Reichbach has Stage 3 pancreatic cancer and has admitted to smoking marijuana, even though it’s against the law.

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