Violence

I’ve done some fairly unacceptable things whilst blackout drunk. Life is hard, and navigating this world fifteen to twenty Bud Lights in is nigh on impossible. I fell asleep on a train platform a few months ago. For instance. I was awakened by the bleating of the oncoming train’s horn. WAKE UP AND MOVE YOUR FEET FROM MY PATH BEFORE I CHOP THEM OFF, the train said. I moved them. Still have my feet.

This weekend, an assistant district attorney with the Brooklyn D.A.’s office allegedly lost something more important than his feet. His head. He allegedly lost his head, lost his cool, and probably stands to lose a whole lot more in the days to come.

Michael Jaccarino is the ADA’s name, and it took all the restraint the New York Post had not to scream in its headline, “Wacko Jacko On The Attacko.”

Y’see, Micael Jaccarino allegedly attacked a female EMT early Saturday morning…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Hit An EMT? Yeah You Know Me!”

Just try telling him to put out his smokes. Not gonna happen.

* You can take our lives, but you can never take our freedom to slowly take our own lives by smoking cigarettes in public! [U.S. Eighth Circuit / FindLaw]

* Some humorously sketchy legal advice, courtesy of Reddit. [Associate's Mind]

* A Russian in-house attorney got dumped and then allegedly went to work and shot seven people. [ABA Journal]

* L.A. County voted to force porn stars to wear condoms during shoots. In other news, the entire porn industry packed up yesterday and moved to… somewhere outside L.A. County. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Dean Boland, one of Paul Ceglia’s ex-lawyers, just lost an appeal of a $300K judgment after he allegedly manipulated “photos that depicted minors engaged in sex acts.” [WSJ Law Blog]

* Elie says: You’d think that covering up your own extra-marital affairs would be part of the CIA Director entrance exam. [New York Times]

Steven Guynn

Back in March, we wrote about Steven Guynn, who at the time was a corporate partner at King & Spalding. Above the Law readers who work at K&S are happy campers, giving the firm a solid grade of B+ in our Career Center. Alas, the allegations against Guynn would seem to merit an F. As you may recall, Guynn was accused of assaulting his alleged mistress, Jeannette Schaefer.

Today we have some updates about Steve Guynn (all via Teri Buhl). First, Guynn is reportedly getting divorced from his wife, Kristie Guynn. Second, the criminal case against him no longer appears in the online docket for the Connecticut courts (perhaps because it has been moved to a domestic violence docket). Third, he is no longer at King & Spalding.

(We reached out to King & Spalding to confirm Guynn’s departure from the firm. They did not respond to our inquiry, but Guynn’s bio has been pulled from the firm website. Here is a cached version, which shows Guynn’s impressive educational and professional background, including the two other top firms where he was once a partner.)

The allegations against Steven Guynn have never been proven. But here is one thing established beyond a reasonable doubt: his multimillion-dollar mansion is fit for royalty. Shall we take a peek?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: A Castle Fit For A King (& Spalding Partner)”


Go Giants?

Last week, a friend told me he hoped the Giants didn’t win the World Series because of the rioting that would inevitably follow. Now I understand why.

When I left Oakland, I thought I was also leaving behind insanity like this. Apparently not.

Last night, after the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series, San Francisco literally went up in flames. In the Mission — my neighborhood — alone, I saw at least four large fires burning in the middle of major roads. In other parts of the city, cars were set ablaze.

Click through to see pictures and video of the mayhem, and let’s ask ourselves how the law should handle this kind of widespread destruction celebration….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “World Series Winners (Or Their Fans, At Least) Are Above the Law”

Ed. note: Lat here. This post is by lawyer turned novelist Allison Leotta, whom I previously profiled. I recently read Leotta’s newest book, Discretion, which I highly recommend. Not only is it a gripping thriller, but it’s legally realistic too, reflecting Leotta’s experience as a federal prosecutor and her research into the escort business.

As a former sex-crimes prosecutor who just wrote a novel about the escort business, I keep getting the same question from my Biglaw buddies: “I already feel like a high-end prostitute. Shouldn’t I get paid like one?”

It’s an old saw that lawyers are already prostitutes. Face it, we care deeply for our clients because we’re paid to care about them. If we’re good, we start by convincing ourselves that the side of the legal dispute we more or less randomly ended up on happens to be the right side. You think a hooker’s job is that different? Forget it. The infamous D.C. Madam — an inspiration for my latest book, Discretion (affiliate link) — was a woman who dropped out of law school and opened an escort agency.

You’re good-looking, you like people, you know how to bill by the hour — you could totally do this. But is being a high-class escort really a better job than the one you’ve got now? The answer will be familiar to every memo-writing associate: It depends. Before you go trading in those Christian Louboutins for five-inch-stilettos, check out these side-to-side comparisons of the trades….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Associates and Prostitutes: A Comparative Analysis”

It’s rare for a lawyer to face criminal charges (even if you might get a different impression based on the content of our pages). It’s rare for a criminal case to go to trial (as opposed to being resolved through a plea agreement). It’s rare for a defendant to take the witness stand at his own trial. And it’s rare for such a defendant to win an acquittal.

But this is exactly what happened in the case of Bryan Brooks, which we covered last month. Brooks went into the courtroom and emerged victorious, but it was not an easy experience. When you’re the defendant as opposed to defense counsel, your life and liberty are on the line. Higher stakes would be hard to imagine.

I recently sat down with Bryan to hear the story of his harrowing journey through the criminal justice system….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Exonerated: A Lawyer Takes the Stand in His Own Defense — and Prevails”

Left to right: Eric Cuellar, a mysterious third man, and Justin Teixeira.

It seems that our coverage of Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, two law students at Boalt Hall who have been charged with killing an exotic bird at a Las Vegas casino, has ruffled some feathers. Some readers believe that Cuellar and Teixeira been unfairly maligned in these pages.

In our coverage, we have repeatedly stressed that these two law students remain innocent until proven guilty. We have also cited positive comments about them that we’ve received from sources. For example, correspondents have praised Cuellar to us as “an upstanding guy and an excellent leader” and “a really nice guy.” They described the alleged conduct as out of character for Cuellar.

To some readers, however, these comments have not been enough. They’ve written to us with further testimonials in favor of the defendants, to which we now turn….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In Defense of the Alleged Berkeley Bird Murderers”

Left to right: Eric Cuellar, mystery man, and Justin Teixeira.

The story of Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, two law students at Boalt Hall who have been charged with killing an exotic bird at a Las Vegas casino, has taken flight. It has made national and international headlines.

Given the intense public interest, we will continue to cover this flap. Keep reading for Berkeley Law’s reaction to the charges, tidbits about Teixeira and Cuellar from people who know them, and details from the arrest report — including mention of a mysterious third man….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Accused Berkeley Bird Beheaders: The Arrest Report, The Dean’s Reaction, and More”

* Check out the absurd rules governing tonight’s presidential debate. Should make for some awesome boring-as-hell television. And yes, of course the rules document was signed by lawyers. [Gawker]

* Chinese politics is starting to adversely affect American law firms. Next thing you know, attorneys will be hiding out in the woods, drinking deer blood. Oh wait, that kind of already happened. [Asian Lawyer]

* Despite the passage of time, mentioning torture at a Guantanamo hearing is still about as awkward as… some generic Family Guy-style non sequitur. [Thomson Reuters News and Insight]

* This is a newly released video of NYPD kicking the ever-loving sh*t out of a homeless man, who was inexplicably charged with assaulting the officer who, again, beat him up on video. Inside a synagogue. Where the man was sleeping. With permission. Can’t wait to see the lawsuit that comes out of this. [Gothamist]

* SCOTUS has agreed to review the Arizona voter law. Oh goodie. [WSJ Law Blog]

Eric Cuellar (left) and Justin Teixeira (right). Image via Gawker (click to enlarge).

Think of this as like the law school version of The Hangover — except that an animal apparently was harmed in the making of this movie.

Over the weekend, we covered the sad and disturbing story of two Boalt Hall law students who stand accused of killing a helmeted guinea fowl. This allegedly went down in a wildlife habitat at the (unfortunately named) Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.

As we noted in an update, the bird was exotic rather than endangered (well, at least not endangered outside the Flamingo Hotel). But killing such a bird can still be charged as a felony, thanks to a 2011 amendment to Nevada law. And the Berkeley law students in question, Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira, have in fact been charged with felonies — conspiracy and the willful, malicious torture or killing of wildlife.

Let’s take a closer at the two men at the center of this flap. We’ve heard from some Above the Law tipsters who know them….

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