Trials

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.

It’s been quite a while since we checked in on the ongoing military prosecution of Private Bradley Manning, the United States serviceman accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to Wikileaks.

This week, as the court-martial is still crawling forward, Manning’s attorneys raised the point that it will be pretty hard (read: freaking impossible) to find a military jury that isn’t seriously familiar with his case.

That isn’t totally surprising. When you are the face of the biggest leak of classified information an American history, it’s going to be hard to find “peers” who don’t know who you are or what you’ve allegedly done. So what are you gonna do about it?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Finding an Impartial Jury For Bradley Manning Is Going to Be… Difficult”

Blech.

* A manager at a Long Island-based national women’s organization has been sued by her female coworkers for allegedly being too grabby and being “obsessed with butts.” Not sure what to think about the lawsuit, but you can’t really complain about the photo of the manager motorboating her (also female) friend included with the story. [New York Post]

* The organizers of the London Olympics are concerned about getting hacked. So like any smart business, they employed a legion of hackers (pardon me, “ethical hackers”) to protect their systems. [IT-Lex]

* In other Olympic news, Congress is PO’d that the American Olympic team uniforms were made in China. As Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit points out, though, the real problem is that they are ugly as hell. [Christian Science Monitor via Instapundit]

* George Zimmerman wants another new judge because he claims this one is “prejudiced against him.” Sorry, but judges aren’t like Magic cards, you can’t continue to trade up. [Big Story / Associated Press]

* You gotta fight / for your right / to flip the bird at the 5-0. (That said, assuming you have said right, it doesn’t make it a good idea.) [New York Magazine]

* Are lawyers also doctors? In the words of Dr. Evil, “How ’bout no, Scott.” [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Handbags at dawn: can’t get enough of the Gucci v. Guess case? Take a look at some comprehensive analysis on this fashion law showdown. [Law of Fashion]

* A state judge in Pennsylvania ruled that discovery of private content on Facebook is only “minimally intrusive.” In other words, if you still hadn’t heard, the “private” stuff you put on Facebook is really anything but. [CPR Law Blog]

It’s Friday, and I’m going camping for the weekend. After the jump, check out a video of where I’m going….

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Ed. note: This is the latest column by our newest writer, Anonymous Partner. In case you missed his prior posts, they are collected here.

I want to a be a Biglaw trial lawyer. If you could care less about trial work, but are in Biglaw, feel free to substitute whatever word you want for the word “trial” in the previous sentence — M&A, IPO, appellate, etc.

Why trial work, other than it seems like a good way to put my lack of nervousness when speaking publicly to productive use? Because I have always enjoyed days spent in court, and no matter how much fun it can be to take a contentious deposition or argue a motion, there is simply nothing like the atmosphere, teamwork, and total focus that a trial commands. Toss in the ability to avoid unpleasant obligations by saying “I am prepping for trial,” and the chance for a long vacation afterwards, and you get a great deal Biglaw-wise.

Since Biglaw is not the ideal training ground for trial work, I realize that I need to very flexible and patient if I realistically hope to have a trial practice down the road. In the meantime, I will continue looking for opportunities to work on trials, and I am willing to do some unorthodox things to accelerate my current pace of one trial every five years.

But first, some context….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Buying In: Trying for More Trials”

June wasn’t exactly hot in terms of bonus payouts, but the weather sure heated up quickly. And thanks to the lawyers we’ve singled out for Lawyer of the Month candidacy, June turned into a real scorcher in terms of humorous legal antics and allegations of attorney misconduct.

While some lawyers allegedly participated in scandalous aeronautical activities, others were literally condemned to crappy community service projects. But who will come out on top in our monthly contest?

Take a look at our nominees for June’s Lawyer of the Month and find out….

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We’ve written about appropriate courtroom attire quite frequently in the past few months. By now, you’d think that everyone, including journalists covering the courts, would have a firm grasp of what ought to be worn to show respect for the judicial process. But, as always, someone just had to go and prove us wrong.

Apparently a reporter’s fashion sense (or lack thereof) caused a major kerfuffle this week at the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand. Laura McQuillan, writing for NZ Newswire, was dressed so inappropriately that she was ejected from the courthouse before the proceedings she was observing broke for lunch.

Because nothing says you take your job seriously like dressing like a low-rent disco queen to report on a high-profile murder trial….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Courtroom of Style: Are Glittery Gold Leggings Considered Appropriate Attire for a Murder Trial?”

So, lawyers are people. Despite the importance of work, especially in Biglaw, sometimes personal life probably should take precedence over practicing law. Perhaps a wedding, a funeral, or maybe a particularly important religious holiday should win out.

But what about a defense attorney who wants to suspend a capital murder-for-hire trial to attend a look-alike contest for one of the greatest authors in American history? The short answer is: no dice. The slightly longer answer is a hilarious ruling from a federal judge denying the request….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Farewell to Dismiss: Judge Tolls the Bell on Hemingway Doppelganger”

Jerry Sandusky

Earlier tonight, Jerry Sandusky’s defense attorney, Joe Amendola, said that he would probably “die of a heart attack” if his client were acquitted on all counts. That must feel great to hear that as a client, don’t you think? But perhaps it served as a much needed 1-800-REALITY check.

Sandusky, Penn State’s former assistant football coach, has been charged with 48 counts of sex abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period, and after only two days of deliberations, Jerry Sandusky’s fate has been sealed by a jury of his peers.

What was the jury’s decision?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Verdict Reached in the Jerry Sandusky Case”

Judge Martini could probably use a drink right now.

Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit delivered two stinging benchslaps of Judge William J. Martini (D.N.J.). The benchslaps were delivered in two different cases by two separate three-judge panels, but both opinions vacated rulings by Judge Martini and also directed that the cases be reassigned to new judges on remand.

Ouch. As noted by the Newark Star-Ledger, “[i]t amounted to an extremely rare and harsh rebuke of a well-known federal judge who once served in Congress.” (Before he was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, Bill Martini served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives; he ran for re-election but was defeated.)

What did Judge Martini allegedly do to incur the wrath of the Third Circuit? And what did the opinions have to say about His Honor?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslaps of the Day: A Double Whammy for a District Judge”

A real 'Lewis' Vuitton?

* “At the Supreme Court, those who know, don’t talk. And those who talk, don’t know.” If that’s the case, then there must be a lot of people who “don’t know” — it’s rumored that the Court’s decision on Obamacare will be released today. [CNN]

* Dewey know what kind of news this week’s conference call will bring for the failed firm’s former partners? On Tuesday afternoon, we might get some information on the status of a global partner contribution plan. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Guys in my high school ambassadorial nominations pool used to have extramarital affairs with WSJ reporters all the time, it was no big deal. Obama still supports Brett McGurk, despite his racy emails. [Reuters]

* The $64,000 question in the Jerry Sandusky case: will the allegedly histrionic former football coach take the stand to testify in his own defense? He should, because apparently it’s his “only shot.” [Legal Intelligencer]

* Looks like Facebook decided to initiate the use of a proverbial “dislike” button when the company pointed the finger at NASDAQ in defense against dozens of lawsuits over its incredibly glitchy IPO. [New York Daily News]

* It’s actually possible to have an “offensive personality” as a matter of law: former prosecutor Kenneth “I Am the Prize” Kratz will plead no contest to six ethics violations for his sordid sexting scandal. [Associated Press]

* “Careful … that is a Lewis [sic] Vuitton.” It seems that at least one federal judge in Manhattan holds comedic value to a higher standard than our favorite fashion house’s trademark infringement claims. [Chicago Tribune]

* Loose lips may sometimes sink ships, but not all gossip is bad. After all, without gossip, your ATL editors wouldn’t be able to bring you some of the juiciest stories out there in the legal world. [New York Times]

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