Suicide

* The early numbers for the Am Law 100 are in, and it looks like Husch Blackwell’s gross revenue grew by six percent in 2012 after a two-year decline. Hmm… perhaps the firm is saving money by cutting back on its rejection letter proofreaders. [Am Law Daily]

* “If I can’t settle with any of those parties, I will sue them.” Howrey’s trustee, Allan Diamond, plans to sue former partners of the failed firm with a vengeance — and quite “quickly” — if they refuse to cooperate with him. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* Speaking of bankrupt law firms, former Dewey partner Steven Otillar may proceed with his various claims against Citibank over the repayment of his $209K capital contribution loan. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Anyone remember Amy McTeer, the attorney who doubled as an apparent model for “faces of meth”? She resigned from the bar after allegedly helping her boyfriend escape from jail. Classy! [National Law Journal]

* Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney whose name was dragged through the mud after Aaron Swartz’s suicide, claims she intended to recommend only a six-month sentence for the deceased internet hero. [Bloomberg]

Don’t sue her because she’s beautiful: Constance Jablonski (via Getty).

* Not a Victoria’s Secret angel’s fantasy: being sued for $3.3 million. [Fashionista]

* Should a widow be able to extract sperm from the body of her husband, who recently committed suicide, so she can have a child with him? Some thoughts from Professor Glenn Cohen of Harvard Law. [Bill of Health]

* Speaking of suicide, controversy over the prosecution of the late Aaron Swartz rages on. [How Appealing and Instapundit]

* Professor Ann Althouse isn’t a fan of the “if we can save one life” argument for gun control. [Althouse]

* I don’t know anything about football, but even I chuckled at this. [Life in Biglaw]

* ‘Tis the season… for replacing law school deans. Congratulations to Michael Hunter Schwartz, the new dean at Arkansas – Little Rock. [Faculty Lounge]

After the jump, Elie challenges Mike Bloomberg to make him skinny….

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DaNae Couch

* “I’m a New Yorker, and I jaywalk with the best of them.” Don’t be fooled by the rocks job that she’s got — she’s still, she’s still Jenny Sonia from the block. The Supreme Court’s very own wise Latina, author of a new memoir (affiliate link), is proud of her city. [New York Times; 60 Minutes]

* If you’re looking for an M&A adviser, you’d be wise to seek out counsel from Skadden Arps. The firm swept three separate rankings lists based on the total value of its clients’ 2012 M&A transactions. [Am Law Daily]

* Only in the world of legal education could the dean of a law school that isn’t even numerically ranked by U.S. News have the highest salary of all law deans nationwide. (We’ll likely have more on this later.) [Boston Globe]

* Arizona schools will allow 3Ls to take the bar exam, but New York schools may soon do away with 3L year altogether. Of course, the ABA will find a way to muck it up, but still, hooray for progress! [National Law Journal]

* Remember “Made in Jersey,” the show about a stereotypical Jersey girl who made the jump to Biglaw? Yeah, neither does anyone else. Hopefully “Staten Island Law” won’t face the same fate. [New York Daily News]

* “Sexiness is all about being a woman of character.” Our congratulations go out to DaNae Couch, the Texas Tech law student who advanced to the Top 10 of the Miss America competition. You go girl! [Lubbock Online]

* Aaron Swartz — Reddit co-founder, friend of Larry Lessig, felony hacking defendant — RIP. [New York Times]


I was just on HuffPost Live debating gun regulation with Professor Eugene Volokh, among others. It was a good discussion where I argued that guns should be regulated like cars, and Volokh thought it would be a good idea to regulate guns like cars… and then we completely disagreed about what that would mean.

But I wasn’t off the webcam for five minutes when another tragic story about gun violence came across the wire. A man in Alabama shot himself inside an Alabama federal courthouse.

I’m not sure that there’s any regulation, up to and including abolishing the Second Amendment entirely, that would stop these kinds of situations entirely. But I am, again, shocked that courthouse security was such that this guy was able to get a firearm in there in the first place….

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Oh look, somebody executed a prank, the victim of the prank killed herself, and now the world is outraged. Where have I seen this before?

Last week, the world was shocked when nurse Jacintha Saldanha killed herself after being prank called by Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian. Saldanha was not the nurse who dished private details about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy to the duo, she’s just the nurse who put the call through. But since she killed herself, the world needs somebody to blame, and “Mel and MC” are it.

For those playing along at home, I think the world reaction has gone something like this:

  • OMG. Duchess Kate is having a baby! Let’s find out EVERYTHING about this private, beautiful moment.
  • MOAR BABY NEWS!
  • Hahaha, these radio hosts prank called the hospital. What stupid freaking nurses to fall for it.
  • Was it criminal for these idiot nurses to divulge this information? What kind of low rate hospital are they running over there?
  • OMG. The nurse killed herself. DEATH TO THE DJs!

The DJs have been taken off the air, and the radio station is trying to cover its ass. Needless to say, I’m unimpressed by: the outrage, the excitement, the baby, the prank, the royals, the U.K., Australia, and blaming people when others commit suicide.

Let’s focus on that last point. Because trying to find somebody to blame when a person commits suicide has really got to stop. The Terminator may not be able to self-terminate, but us humans are fully capable of self-harm….

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I write about law school debt, often and passionately, because at the end of the day there are real productive people who are getting ruined by taking out more money than they can reasonably pay back. Not all of these people are “deadbeats,” and not all of these people are too stupid to understand a loan agreement. Many of them are people who simply thought that in America education was the path to upward mobility.

But unfortunately, in America today, education is also the path towards financial instability, or even disaster. People who take the shot at bettering themselves through education can easily find themselves with bad jobs and a mountain of debt that will take decades to pay off.

It’s not just happening to kids. The New York Times had a big article yesterday that highlighted all of the parents who have taken loans out for their children’s education and now can’t pay off the loans. And since we’re talking about parents, we’re dealing with people who maybe don’t have decades to get their financial houses back in order.

In one shocking case, a man took his own life; in the suicide note, he said: “I can’t even answer the phone in my own home no more. I can’t live like this no more.”…

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Kristen Saban

* With Eric Holder questioning his job, and Deval Patrick dining at the White House, perhaps we’ll see our second black attorney general. Or not, because one of the Governor’s aides says he’ll continue his reign as a Masshole. [Washington Times; Buzzfeed]

* When it came to sanctions for discovery violations in the Apple v. Samsung case, this judge was all about pinching pennies. Last week, both Quinn Emanuel and MoFo got taken to task over their apparently “sloppy billing practices.” [The Recorder]

* What’s the most inappropriate thing for a federal judge to say to jurors when delivering the news that a defendant of Asian descent killed herself after testifying? “Sayonara.” Ugh. [Careerist via New York Times]

* “Law school is very unforgiving, but classes must go on.” Law schools in the New York metropolitan area are still trying to make sure their students are safe and sound — and studying, of course. [New York Law Journal]

* Another one bites the dust: Team Strauss/Anziska’s lawsuit against John Marshall Law School over its allegedly phony post-graduate employment statistics has been dismissed with prejudice. [Chicago Tribune]

* Are you ready for some litigation? Lawyers for Nick Saban’s daughter are showing the sorority girl who sued her what it’s like to get rolled by the Alabama tide in a flurry of more than 40 subpoenas. [Times Leader]

Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), we’ll be on a reduced publication schedule today. We’ll be back in full force tomorrow.

* Should Biglaw firms bill by the result instead of by the hour? When some of the results-oriented strategies involve reading less and writing faster to improve work efficiency, we’re not sure how well this would work in a law firm setting. [New York Times]

* Roller coaster of employment: after losing 1,400 jobs in August, the legal sector added 1,000 jobs in September. Alas, there are way more than 1,000 new bar admittees gunning for all of those paralegal and secretarial positions. [Am Law Daily]

* “They were throwing furniture at both of us.” Both sides on the Jacoby & Myers non-lawyer firm ownership case took a beating before the Second Circuit during oral arguments, but who won? [New York Law Journal]

* This fall, Floridians will vote on constitutional amendments that deal with abortion and separation of church and state. Meanwhile, half the voters won’t read the entire ballot, so there’s that. [New York Times]

* A love triangle + an Arkansas Wal-Mart = a judicial suspension for Circuit Judge Sam Pope after an all-out brawl with… Bill Murray? Hey, at least this guy’s estranged wife got three punches in. [National Law Journal]

* Tyler Clementi’s family won’t file suit against Rutgers University and Dharun Ravi — instead, they’ll use the publicity from their son Tyler’s suicide for “positive purposes,” like supporting gay and lesbian youths. [CNN]

* “This guy is a bully, and he uses the court system to do it.” Robert V. Ward Jr., former dean of UMass Law, had to deal with Gregory Langadinos, a serial law school litigant, and it wasn’t pretty. [Boston Globe]

There is sad news this weekend from Boston. A law student at Suffolk University Law School apparently committed suicide on Friday.

The student, Willie Carlton Sellers, was pursuing a JD/MBA at Suffolk. He jumped to his death from a university building.

A message from Suffolk University president James McCarthy informed the Suffolk community on Friday night. This is the second apparent suicide this year on Suffolk’s campus….

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A surreal scene took place in an Arizona courtroom yesterday. A defendant was convicted of arson and collapsed with convulsions in the courtroom. Witnesses and investigators say they believe they saw the man poison himself before collapsing.

Add in the facts that this man was a graduate of Yale Law School, a former Wall Street banker, and a local celebrity who once climbed Mount Everest, and you’ve just got a very strange and ultimately tragic story….

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