Television

When portraying lawyers, television tends to stay away from the horrors of Biglaw. The good versus evil of the criminal justice system tends to get more play; there is more inherent drama when freedom is on the line (and who can resist the ubiquitous chung CHUNG). If any other types of lawyers are represented, it skews toward do-gooders making emotional pleas in court as champion of the underdog or smarmy corporate lawyers finding the loopholes for the rich. But the hard-working cogs that actually make the legal industry churn along go unrecognized.

So what happens when a network sitcom tries to take on Biglaw?

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Ed. note: Please welcome Steve Dykstra, our newest columnist, who will be covering the Canadian legal market.

I am a Canadian-trained lawyer and legal recruiter. I recruit throughout North America so I really get to study the legal systems on both sides of the border. I thought it would be fun and interesting to highlight some of the differences between the American and Canadian systems — hence the column’s title, “The View From Up North”.

As this is my first column, I want to provide a bit of an overview. In coming weeks, I’ll focus more narrowly on specific topics.

Sound good?

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Phaedra Parks

Back in 2010, we told our readers about Phaedra Parks, one of the new stars of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. The buzz about Parks was huge, in part due to the fact that she had a successful professional career as an attorney before the show aired. Parks, a “Super Lawyer” in the field of entertainment law, previously described herself as “fabulous, fierce, and beautiful” — but these days, the UGA Law grad may not be feeling so hot.

It seems that her husband, Apollo Nida, is once again in some serious trouble with the law. What happened this time, and how is this going to impact the reality TV show’s upcoming season?

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I get it, Bachelorette fans, you really think that ABC and the other broadcast networks are “free” and that you should be able to watch them without paying for them. You’ve been told, all your life, that they’re on the “public” airwaves, and that means everybody should be able to watch them without paying the cable company its monthly vig. You hate today’s Aereo decision, because once again the most pro-business Supreme Court ever backed “the evil cable companies” over consumers who want to “cut the cord.” Check out Brian Barrett’s excellent piece on how the Court killed technology and freedom itself this morning.

And when you are done crying, please, grow up. You can’t steal television. Aereo was stealing television. Aereo was stealing television and selling it back to you at a cheap price… which is what fences do when they sell you something they’ve stolen….

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* This Biglaw firm is getting into the imaginary money business by bidding on $18M of Bitcoins seized in the Silk Road raid. Maybe they’ll accept this new “currency” as payment. [Am Law Daily]

* Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wants his trial moved to New York or D.C. for an unbiased jury. Moving it to cities where terrorist attacks have occurred is a great idea! [Bloomberg]

* Here’s a perfect headline for a lovely Friday when we imagine people will be able to get in some quality day drinking: “Market Struggles to Absorb Record Law School Class of ’13.” [National Law Journal]

* Part of George Zimmerman’s defamation lawsuit against NBC was dismissed because his attorneys waited too long to ask the network for a retraction. Time to paint a picture about it, Georgie. [Fox News]

* Can you sue the dude who banged your wife for ruining your marriage? It sucks for cuckolded husbands, but you can’t in most states, including West Virginia, where family trees grow in a circle. [WSJ Law Blog]

Ted Olson and David Boies (photo by yours truly)

We do treat [gays] the same. None of them can get married to each other. That’s called equal protection. Are you familiar with that clause?

Stephen Colbert, speaking about same-sex marriage last night while interviewing David Boies and Ted Olson, the lawyers behind the legal challenge to Proposition 8 and the authors of a new book, Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (affiliate link).

(More about Boies and Olson and their book, plus video footage of their Colbert Report appearance, after the jump.)

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* Law school kills brain cells. [TaxProf Blog]

* Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo takes on Justice Scalia’s recent critique of legal education. Oh, it’s on now. [Los Angeles Daily Journal]

* A look inside a mock law school admissions meeting. It’s not a Texas admissions meeting, so you’re still not going to learn the relative merits of a 128 LSAT. [Most Strongly Supported]

* Newsmax has a new cable network and it’s bringing on Professor Alan Dershowitz to offer “practical legal advice to ordinary Americans.” Hopefully he’ll be able to walk us through the legal points of Newsmax’s usual coverage of how the Black Panthers ordered Hillary to let Benghazi happen. [Digital Journal]

* PRIDE cometh before the court. [Likelihood of Confusion]

* A fourth case has been reopened in light of CPI’s expose of judges hearing cases despite financial conflicts. [Center for Public Integrity]

* Lip-sync battle starring 3L Ty Wood and Professors George Bach, Alex Ritchie, and Kevin Tu. Complete with cheesy effects! [UNM School of Law]

* Opening fire because a fast food place screwed up your burger order would be crazy. If they did it a second time? Well… [Lowering the Bar]

* McCutcheon at work in North Carolina. Yay free speech! [Constitutional Accountability Center]

* Texas prosecutor compares NAACP member to white supremacist. Because those are totally the same thing. [Houston Chronicle]

* In case you’ve ever wondered who’d win a fight between DMX and Justice Frankfurter, here’s your answer. [Slate]

* Having more fun with gun nuts. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

* We’ve discussed trial by combat’s past before, but is it still a real thing? Video below, including shout-outs to Professor Adam Winkler. [The Young Turks]

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Kimberly Kisselovich from @Kimberly_Kisse

Move over Andi Dorfman. The Atlanta prosecutor who traded murder trials for handing out roses may appeal to those seeking a lawyerly “girl next door” fix, but if you’re looking for more of a lawyerly “girl on girl action” type, then meet reality TV’s latest legal star, Kimberly Kisselovich.

California native Kisselovich served as Playboy’s “Cyber Girl of the Month” for June 2013, but what readers didn’t know if they weren’t diligently reading the articles is that she was working on her law degree at a top-ranked school at the time.

Which show is she on? I’ll give you a hint, it’s famous for stars parading around in skimpy outfits, getting drunk, and having inappropriate makeout sessions on camera.

Oh, wait, that’s every reality show. Except Wicked Tuna.[1]

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Andi Dorfman

When ABC announced that Andi Dorfman, an assistant district attorney in Atlanta, would star in this season’s The Bachelorette, we all expected the media to force her Wake Forest Law degree down our throats as evidence that she’s smarter than the standard vapid Bachelorette. And in the process we’d hear more about how law is an exciting David E. Kelley-produced reality. To ABC she’s a real-life Ally McBeal. Except Jewish, which actually would better explain McBeal’s bundle of neuroses.

So it was no surprise when ABC treated us to this insultingly stupid interview where they force Dorfman to explain how she’s using “what she learned in law school” to find a fake husband the way other law grads find fake jobs.

How does a law degree help you choose a mate?

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