State Judges

What Husch Blackwell first-years look like right now.

* The Apple Samsung carnival returns to court today. I can’t wait to see what happens. We will probably have more on this later. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

* After being found guilty of judicial misconduct for misappropriating public funds, Michigan state Judge Sylvia James will be removed from the bench for the remainder of her term. [Detroit Free Press]

* London-based Herbert Smith poached six partners from Chadbourne, including the head of the firm’s litigation group, Thomas Riley, and Gregory Loss, who helmed the products liability group. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* San Bernardino is the newest California city to declare bankruptcy. The city apparently has over $1 billion in debt. I wonder if they had to cut their prosecutors’ salaries also. [Wall Street Journal]

* First-year associates at Husch Blackwell will see a nice salary bump this year. Oh boy! [Blog of the Legal Times]

* President Obama nominated prosecutor Pamela Chen to be a new judge for the Federal District Court in New York. If confirmed, she would become the second female Chinese-American federal judge in U.S. history, and also would be one of the first openly lesbian federal judges. [Metro Weekly]

* Republicans filibustered the Obama administration’s high-priority cybersecurity bill. [New York Times]

The hot topics in jury misconduct these days are mostly about jurors who over-share or over-research cases on the internet or social media. Everyone is legitimately concerned about what jurors find online about the cases they hear. Sometimes big-time attorneys even get lambasted by judges for allowing certain information to be published in the media — even though jurors have already been instructed not to look at at any press.

But that doesn’t mean old-school water-cooler gossip has disappeared from the list of headaches uncooperative jurors can cause. In Florida this week, a high-profile, extraordinarily slow-moving murder case was delayed yet again after the judge dismissed the entire jury selection pool because of excessive pick a little talk a little cheep cheep cheep

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Murder Trial Jury Selection Turns into Gossip Girls; Everyone Loses”

Hey boss, plz stop thnx.

* Global agribusiness group Monsanto Co was awarded $1 billion in a patent infringement case against DuPont for improperly duplicating some kind of crazy seed technology. [New York Times]

* For particularly thick-headed employers who don’t understand it’s a bad idea to ask employees for Facebook passwords, now Illinois will fine them $200 for doing so. [Chicago Tribune]

* A federal judge in Washington sanctioned well-known plaintiff’s attorney Joy Ann Bull for filing grossly inflated fee statements. She was consequently asked to resign her partnership at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd. Welcome to the breadline! [LegalNewsline]

* Should a trial judge who is a Brooklyn Law grad recuse himself from a case against Brooklyn Law filed by Brooklyn Law alumni? Meh… [National Law Journal]

* As Ralph Baxter nears retirement, who will be chosen to lead Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe? [Am Law Daily]

* The Ninth Circuit already issued an injunction against Arizona’s new late-term abortion ban. Like they say, it’s all about shakin’ hands and killing kissin’ babies. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* The psychiatrist James Holmes was seeing at the University of Colorado was so alarmed by his behavior sometime before his alleged shooting spree that she notified the school’s “threat assessment team,” but apparently nothing was done. Looks like someone missed the assessment boat, by like, and ocean or two. [Denver Post]


Only squares arrive to court on time.

Mr. Basner is gaining a reputation in Central Pennsylvania for this kind of behavior.

– Mifflin Court of Common Pleas President Judge Timothy S. Searer, criticizing defense attorney Christopher Basner, who didn’t show up to his client’s aggravated indecent assault trial. Basner blamed his absence on car troubles.

* Bankruptcy blues: “No one is getting a free pass.” Howrey going to start clawing back all of that money from our former partners and their new firms? Dewey even want to get started with this failed firm’s D&L defectors? [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]

* Way to show that you’ve got some Seoul: Ropes & Gray, Sheppard Mullin, and Clifford Chance were the first Biglaw firms to receive approval from the Korean Ministry of Justice to open the first foreign firm offices in South Korea. [Legal Week]

* This is supposed to represent an improvement? Pretty disappointing. The percentage of women holding state court judgeships increased by a whopping 0.7 percent over last year’s numbers. [National Law Journal]

* Throw your birth control pills in the air like confetti, because a judge tossed a lawsuit filed by seven states that tried to block the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory contraception coverage provision. [Lincoln Journal Star]

* “[S]omewhere along the way the guy forgot to tell the seller that he was working with the buyer.” Duane Morris was sued for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty for more than $192M. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Please don’t Google me, bitches. Brandon Hamilton, Louisville Law’s ex-assistant dean for admissions, resigned Monday after overpromising $2.4M in scholarship money to incoming law students. [Courier-Journal]

* A New Hampshire college is offering free tuition to students in their junior year if they combine their senior year with their first year at the Massachusetts School of Law. The catch? Mass Law is unaccredited. [NHPR]

Except when you're at work, duh.

Sometimes work is boring, yes. You do what you gotta do to pass the time. Facebook, Gawker, Above the Law… there are endless amounts of entertainment on the ol’ internet with which one can pass a dull afternoon.

So, with all the PG procrastination tools available online, it should not be that hard to just wait to watch porn until you get home!

Unfortunately, a state judge in Illinois allegedly couldn’t get to the end of the day without some visual inspiration. Now he’s in hot water over accusations that he was looking at hot websites while he was on the job.

Keep reading to learn more about our horn dog Judge of the Day, as well as the names of some of the sites he allegedly visited (don’t lie perverts, you know you’re curious)….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Just Wait to Watch Porn Until You Go Home”

When it comes to celebrities’ run-ins with the law, their every step is scrutinized, and Lindsay Lohan was perhaps one of the most popular criminal defendants in recent times. All of Lohan’s transgressions were especially well-documented by the media, from transforming the courthouse into her own fashion runway to her questionable choices in nail art.

But when it came to allegations of wrongdoing committed by the judges presiding over Lohan’s DUI case, those went virtually ignored by the press — that is, until now. The Los Angeles Times has uncovered summaries of private discipline from the California Commission on Judicial Performance that very closely mirror the activities of two of Lohan’s judges — activities that aren’t very complimentary to the Beverly Hills judiciary….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judges Presiding Over Lindsay Lohan’s DUI Case Get Slapped on the Wrist by California Judicial Oversight Panel”

* Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one Supreme Court justice thinks that things will be back to normal at One First Street come the start of the next term, despite his colleagues’ loose lips. [National Law Journal]

* Hourly billing rates for associate are on the rise nationwide, while partner and counsel billing rates only saw modest bumps. Is Biglaw back in business, or is this just another “retention strategy”? [New York Law Journal]

* This is a really hard to believe newspaper headline: “Law firm recognizes employees have life outside of work.” Carlton Fields, what kind of gypsy voodoo magic spells are you casting? [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

* Another day, another editorial about the “irretrievably broken” state of legal education in our country. But the ABA admins needn’t worry their oblivious little heads, because people will keep applying. [New York Times]

* And in today’s disturbing law school debtor news, Jason Bohn’s charge was upgraded to first-degree murder after a DA announced via indictment that Bohn allegedly intended to torture his victim. [New York Post]

* “Quite frankly, these are the actions of a dirty old man.” You can look, but never lick: it’s not really a good thing when a judge uses a sentence like this to describe an attorney’s alleged client relations skills. [CBS News]

* For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball fraud game. Lenny Dykstra pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud among a potpourri of other felony counts, and he’ll now face up to 20 years in prison. [CNN]

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”

It has been a bad week for those poor naïve souls who imagine judges as wizened, white-haired, grandfatherly figures. At least at the state level, we are learning about judges with tempers more along the lines of grumpy pitbulls than anything else.

This week, we heard about a judge in Washington who has been charged by a state judicial board with violating codes of conduct. The Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct accused Judge John Wulle of failing to “to maintain order and decorum in proceedings” and engaging “in a pattern of discourteous, impatient and undignified behavior.”

So, how exactly did Judge Wulle allegedly misbehave? Let’s take a read, and, even better, we’ve got video….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry”

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