Violence

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Closer Look at the Alleged Berkeley Bird Murderers”

Law students gone wild? What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas when the allegations get this ugly.

A pair of men who appear to be Boalt Hall law students have made national — and even international — news. Keep reading for the disturbing allegations against them….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Students of the Weekend: Alleged Berkeley Bird Beheaders”

It’s time to announce the winner of September’s Lawyer of the Month competition. Our roster of competitors from last month included a variety of allegedly drunk and disorderly-slash-violent attorneys who were accidentally cutting off their own fingers, biting small business owners, and getting tackled by civilians.

The winner of the contest, however, put his body on the line in the name of doing good. We don’t even know this man’s name, but we’re proud to say the winner of our reader poll is the Chicago prosecutor who took a very literal beating in order to help a couple of strangers in need…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “September Lawyer of the Month: Fighting Crime, Literally”

Another (dis)satisfied customer.

* Do we really need another “50 Best Law Schools” ranking list? Debatable. But we know you want to find out if your school made the cut. [Business Insider]

* What’s the hardest part of being a public defender? Is it (a) the low pay, (b) the long hours, or (c) getting punched in the face by an unhappy client? [Huffington Post]

* This lawyer is involved in a mess of defamation accusations because he made the mistake of paying attention to anonymous comments. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Only amateur fibbers simply pretend they have cancer. If you want to be the real deal, you gotta tell all your friends you also don’t have health insurance and get them to raise three grand to pay for your imaginary chemo. [Legal Juice]

* So, I would never fake an injury to get to use a wheelchair, because of the serious karma issues it would probably create in my life (e.g., above blurb). But I will say I went to Disneyland once with a physically disabled friend, and it was freaking amazing. I’ve never waited in so few lines in my life. [Consumerist]

* I think the lesson here is that it’s generally poor parenting to name your child after the sound a bomb makes. [CBS Cleveland via Legal Blog Watch]

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