Tom Cruise

‘They showed me the money, Xenu!’

* Judge Richard Leon’s decision in the NSA surveillance case is ripe for review by the D.C. Circuit, and given the court’s new make-up, we could see a very interesting result. Oh, to be an NSA agent listening in on those calls. [National Law Journal]

* With seven business days left until 2014, law firms all around the country are still desperately trying to get paid. Lawyers are working hard for the money — 83.5 cents to the dollar — so you better treat them right. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

* Who you gonna call? Your local bankruptcy attorney. Alston & Bird, currently housed in Heller’s old digs in Silicon Valley, will head to a new office whose former occupants include Dewey, and Howrey, and Brobeck, oh my! [Am Law Daily]

* Four were arrested in the tragic murder of attorney Dustin Friedland, and each is being held on $2 million bond. One of the alleged assailants has a history of putting guns to other people’s heads. [NJ Star-Ledger]

* “I think it would be wise for the NCAA to settle this now.” Thanks to the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, the world of college sports will be forever changed, so all those video games you’ve got are now antiques. [CNBC]

* Tom Cruise settled his defamation lawsuit against a tabloid publisher over claims that he’d abandoned his daughter during the pendency of his divorce proceedings. Xenu is pleased by this announcement. [CNN]

* I’ve never heard of a “copyist.” Apparently it’s what you call people who “steal” intellectual property that isn’t actually protected. I’d care, but I’m too busy trying to figure out how The Onion would write this blurb. [You Thought We Wouldn't Notice]

* And now time for your annoying “why do LAWYERS get money instead of PLAINTIFFS??????” post: The Stop-and-Frisk edition. While I wait for some of you to get off the turnip truck, I’ll note that I don’t begrudge the lawyers who helped bring to light the horrible NYPD tactics one cent. [New York Observer]

* Tom Cruise’s lawyer almost got Tom Cruise’s ass beat down by Mark Wahlberg’s fists. [Gawker]

* IED explodes in a district attorney’s office in Oregon. No one was injured. So jokes about Stanford blowing up Oregon’s BCS title chances remain totally appropriate and cool. [ABA Journal]

* Every year, people ask if the February LSAT is “too late” if you want to start law school the next fall. And every year, I want to say “How in the f*** can you not get your s*** together to take the LSAT earlier, but just have to start attending law school as soon as possible?” [LawSchooli.com]

* Will the Ninth Circuit follow up its oral benchslap with a written one? One professor doubts it. [Volokh Conspiracy]

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of The ATL Interrogatories. This recurring feature will give notable law firm partners an opportunity to share insights and experiences about the legal profession and careers in law, as well as about their firms and themselves.

Larren Nashelsky is the chair of Morrison & Foerster. Prior to becoming chair, Mr. Nashelsky focused his practice on U.S. and international restructurings, including Chapter 11 reorganizations, workouts, restructurings, secured financings and distressed acquisitions and investments. Larren is a graduate of Hofstra University School of Law.

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Left to right: Alex Kozinski and Diarmuid O’Scannlain.

This week is an exciting one for conservative and libertarian legal nerds: the National Lawyers Convention of the Federalist Society starts tomorrow. I’ll be attending and covering the proceedings; if you see me, please say hello. (If you haven’t registered for the conference in advance, you can still register at the door.)

As always, the conference will overflow with legal luminaries. This year, two of the Ninth Circuit’s most notable names — Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain (for whom I clerked) — will be making presentations. Chief Judge Kozinski will debate Professor Hadley Arkes about natural law and constitutional law, while Judge O’Scannlain will moderate a panel about religious liberty.

To whet your appetite, let’s read more about both of these judges and some recent First Amendment fun at the Ninth Circuit….

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* The Obama campaign is going to court to fight for their big ‘O’ trademark. I guess their claim that Romney’s centrist pragmatism was infringing on Obama’s reputation as a practical moderate fell through once Romney started pandering to his base. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Cruise and Holmes have reached a divorce settlement already. I really think they’ve lost that loving feeling. [Ministry of Gossip / Los Angeles Times]

* After a major blackout, you just know lawyers who work for power companies are going to be busy. [Legal Blog Watch]

* British judge tells Arab man “to depart on his flying carpet” to escape paying costs. In other news: even a magic carpet wouldn’t help Brits win their own tennis tournament. [Legal Juice]

* The bad judgment isn’t necessarily that a Brooklyn ADA took these pictures of himself, it’s that he didn’t scrub them from Facebook after he became an ADA. [Gothamist]

* I-bankers suck at managing their own 401Ks. Maybe that’s the corollary to lawyers being bad at representing themselves. [Dealbreaker]

* This is a brilliant look back at everything that happened with the Roberts Affordable Care Act decision, minute-by-minute. [SCOTUSblog]

When you join a cult alternative religion, it’s expected that you’re going to become accustomed to some rather unusual practices. And if that religion happens to be based upon science fiction books, well, you know that you’re going to be exposed to some crazy strange sh*t in all of life’s events. From marriage, to birth (of the silent variety), to divorce, to death, the Church of Scientology offers unique advice for its adherents to follow — advice that encourages Scientologists to abandon the legal system.

All hail the mighty Xenu, dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, who knows well the dangers of ridiculously high-priced legal bills. That’s why he isn’t a fan of modern-day divorce train wrecks. Take the recent filing between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes — not only will that cost a pretty penny to litigate, but it will bring shame upon L. Ron Hubbard’s religious dynasty.

That’s why if you absolutely must split with your spouse, Xenu will forgo the necessary funds for Scientology pamphlets used for recruiting new minions, and hook you up with your own in-house divorce attorney….

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How the hell are we supposed to pick our Comment of the Week when there was a holiday smack dab in the middle of the week? I mean, really, people are still nursing their Fourth of July hangovers, which made this week’s pickings a little slim.

Luckily for us, Katie Holmes fell prey to the Curse of 33, and “blindsighted” “blindsided” Tom Cruise with divorce papers, just in time for his 50th birthday. You’ve got to feel a little bad for the guy — his marriages all die quicker than Goose.

So this week, we picked the winner from the TomKat divorce post. Hold on to your thetans, folks, because we’re about to ride into the danger zone….

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For those of you wondering where I’ve been the past few months, I took some time out to light my house on fire and fake my own death in court. It’s good to be back.

Unless you’ve been living in a volcano for 36 billion years, you’ve heard that Katie Holmes ascended the Bridge to Total Freedom last Friday by “blindsiding” Tom Cruise with divorce papers after five years of sham marriage. Bookies in Vegas no doubt saw this coming, given his marriage record and the fact that everyone claims to know someone who’s worked for him who says he’s totally gay. But unlike the rumors that dogged his last divorce (Nicole was apparently slated to receive a huge chunk of change under her prenup if they made it to ten years, so he divorced her after nine), this time the rumors center around Scientology…

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Andrew Shirvell: Photoshopportunity?

* SCOTUS halted Duane Buck’s execution in Texas last night. How did it take 16 years for this to happen? Slow and steady doesn’t win the race on death row. [CBS News]

* Casey Anthony owes the state of Florida a pretty penny. At this rate, she may as well go to law school, because she’s already $97,626.98 in the hole. [CNN]

* New lawyers in Florida must take civility pledges. If they’re treating each other with such incivility, why haven’t we seen any benchslaps from that state lately? [ABA Journal]

* The U.S. Trustee has thrown a curveball at two Biglaw firms in the Dodgers bankruptcy case. Will Dewey & LeBoeuf and Young Conaway ever get paid? [Bloomberg]

* You’re so vain, you probably think this movie’s about you. Sorry guys, you may be a few good men, but to be Tom Cruise, you have to be good-looking and have a passion for Xenu. [New York Times]

* Andrew Shirvell has to spill the beans on whether Ave Maria had to warn the state bar about his conduct. Apparently the man’s got great gaydar. Wonder why… [Detroit Free Press]