Washington

Steptoe pwns burger joint.

This afternoon brings some major news for hamburger lovers in the nation’s capital. In the lawsuit brought by Steptoe & Johnson against Rogue States Burgers, in an effort to stop Rogue States’ rogue smells from infiltrating law firm airspace, Big Law has triumped over big beef patties. Judge John M. Mott of D.C. Superior Court just ruled that the burger fumes from Rogue States must be abated immediately.

Judge Mott ordered Rogue States to stop its grilling operations by the end of today. Due to the unavailability of easy solutions to the smell problem — an alternate ventilation plan has been nixed by the building landlord — Judge Mott “effectively issued a death sentence for the Dupont Circle burger joint,” as noted by Tim Carman of the Washington City Paper.

A disconsolate reader emailed this reaction to us: “sad. i am pleading to obama, burger lover president, to intervene.”

(Don’t hold your breath. Despite his willingness to talk to them without preconditions, Obama isn’t known for his love of Rogue States. We’re not talking about Ben’s Chili Bowl.)

It would be easy to snark on a large white-shoe law firm — represented by another large law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop — going to court to beat up on a local burger joint. But Steptoe might be a more sympathetic plaintiff than some might think….

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This week, while taking a break from my favorite pastime — hanging out with strippers and snorting coke with federal judges — I attended the Masters Conference in Washington, DC. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this conference, it has carved out a significant niche for itself in the e-discovery universe. The Masters Conference is a gathering of legal technology thought leaders from all over the world, who come together every year at this time to talk about all things e-discovery. The yearly meeting was the brainchild of entrepreneur extraordinaire Robert Childress, president of Wave Software.

After attending last year’s Masters Conference, I thought I knew what to expect again this year: a small meeting (certainly not on the level of a LegalTech or an ILTA Annual Meeting), with the usual suspects, and similar — if not the same — topics of discussion.

Well, what a difference a year makes! The Masters Conference may only be in its fifth year of existence, but it seems to have just had its coming-out party. I’ll give you my three takeaways, after the jump…

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Earlier this week, I interviewed Darrell Mottley and Laura Possesky, the two candidates for president-elect of the DC Bar. Motley is a shareholder at Banner Witcoff, LTD, and Possesky is a partner at Gura & Possesky, PLLC.

Running for president-elect of the DC Bar means they are running for president as well, because the president-elect automatically ascends to the presidency after a year. This leadership structure is very common in most bar associations, including the ABA.

I thought this would be valuable for ATL, since many attorneys who read this blog are DC-licensed, regardless of whether they reside in the DC area. Many others are eligible to waive into DC, if they are already licensed in another state or jurisdiction. The process is pretty simple. In order to waive into the DC Bar, one has to do the following:

  • Score at least a 133 on the multistate portion of the of the bar exam;
  • Fill out a lengthy bar application, which you can do online;
  • Not kill anyone; and, most importantly,
  • Pay all applicable fees.

By all indications, this race is anything but a knock-down, drag-out fight. Bush v. Gore this is not. However, it’s what they agree on that’s very telling about the direction the DC Bar will go. It seems the Bar is well on its way to embracing the ways of the World Wide Web…

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A few weeks back, a lawyer friend invited us to attend the Air Guitar New York Championships in Brooklyn. It was described to us as “pretty rad.” We declined to attend, but in doing so, missed out on taking part in an activity that seems to be taking the legal community by storm. ESPN recently described competitive air guitar thus:

Writhing and finger-plucking. Wagging tongues and balcony dives. Oh, and male shirtlessness. Lots of male shirtlessness. All of it taking place before hundreds of screaming, chanting spectators… [It] isn’t about music. It’s about world peace (really). And going to Finland (really). And headbands. (So many headbands). Mostly, it’s about rock. Head-banging, face-melting, soul-devouring rock. The mysterious, ineffable feeling therein. What air guitar devotees creatively call … “the airness.”

So which legal eagles have been overcome by this “mysterious, ineffable feeling”? A Georgetown Law student, a University of Colorado Law professor, and New York Times legal correspondent, Adam Liptak.

Liptak has actually been in the judge’s seat for a couple Air Guitar competitions in D.C. How did he gain his expertise in the air guitar? We caught up with him for a brief interview. When it comes to air guitar jurisprudence, Liptak has something in common with Justices Scalia and Thomas…

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And some other legal eagles who air rock

Cate Edwards Georgetown mansion.jpgNo Gropius dorms for her, thank you very much. Harvard Law School student Cate Edwards, oldest daughter of prominent politician John Edwards, just purchased a million-dollar property in Washington’s tony Georgetown neighborhood.

From an item in Washingtonian:

Buyer: Harvard law student Cate Edwards.

Famous dad: Former presidential hopeful John Edwards.

Price: $1.3 million.

Amenities: Two bedrooms, five baths.

An NPR internship with Nina Totenberg doesn’t pay like a summer associate gig. Perhaps Cate was able to draw upon the fortune amassed by her father during his career as a top trial lawyer.

The property has two bedrooms and five bathrooms. A high bathroom-to-bedroom ratio is a token of a luxuriousness. But does Cate really need all those bathrooms? Does Papa Edwards — who might crash occasionally at Cate’s place, having sold his own mansion around the corner in 2006 (for $5.2 million) — really have that much ickiness to wash off?

The children of Senators Ted Kennedy and John Warner also snapped up some swank properties. Read about them over at Washingtonian.

Chips off the Old Blocks [Washingtonian]
No Conflict? NPR’s Nina Totenberg Takes on John Edwards Daughter As Summer Intern [NewsBusters.org]

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