Whoops

Last year, we covered a mistake made in a death penalty case by the white-shoe firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. It was a noteworthy development because of the rarity of the occurrence — S&C doesn’t often make mistakes, at least not ones as elementary as missing a deadline — and because of the stakes involved.

Well, the stakes are getting higher: S&C is now seeking SC review. The firm wants the Supreme Court to step in and essentially forgive the firm’s error in missing the deadline to file an appeal. Adam Liptak tells the tale, in the New York Times:

Sullivan & Cromwell is a law firm with glittering offices in a dozen cities around the world, and some of its partners charge more than $1,000 an hour. The firm’s paying clients, at least, demand impeccable work.

Cory R. Maples, a death row inmate in Alabama, must have been grateful when lawyers from the firm agreed to represent him without charge. But the assistance he got may turn out to be lethal.

Please note: that last sentence originally appeared in the august pages of the Times. Despite its tabloid tone — we can imagine an announcer for Inside Edition intoning darkly, “the assistance he got may turn out to be lethal” — it did not appear first in Above the Law. [FN1]

So how did S&C put a man’s life in jeopardy? Let’s descend into the mailroom at 125 Broad Street….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sullivan & Cromwell’s Mailroom of Death: A Law Firm’s Error Could Cost a Man His Life”

If you thought this whole Shirley Sherrod thing was just going to blow over, well, you’re not thinking like a lawyer interested in generating fees. Burned by Andrew Breitbart’s editing skills, Sherrod says she intends to sue. The New York Daily News reports:

“I will definitely do it,” Sherrod said at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in San Diego.

Sherrod said Andrew Breitbart knew what he was doing when he posted a doctored video that made it appear she was boasting about mistreating a white farmer.

“I knew it was racism, and no one had to tell me that,” she said. “Right will win the end.”

Oh Jesus Christ, please don’t tell me I’m going to have to defend Andrew Breitbart

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Shirley Sherrod Is Coming After Andrew Breitbart”

Mirrors on the ceiling, The pink champagne on ice
And she said ‘We are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers, They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives, But they just can’t kill the beast

For many takers of the bar exam, the ordeal is over. Yay! Congratulations. It’s time to get your dragon drink on.

But before you put this experience behind you, we wanted to give you one last picture of bar exam trauma. A tipster reports:

I’m taking the CA bar exam at the Ontario location and staying at the adjacent Airport Marriott. I found the following on my pillow last night.

Yeah, the Marriott’s heart was in the right place, but they really need to think more critically about what kind of gifts they leave on the pillows of people taking the bar…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Lasting Impression from the California Bar”


For those of you who are done with the July 2010 bar exam, congratulations! For those of you who still have another day left, our condolences — and good luck.

No administration of the bar is complete without some sort of mishap. The latest tale of woe comes from California. The state that some have called “ungovernable” also seems to have difficulty administering the bar exam.

Find out about goings-on in the Not-So-Golden State, and compare notes on the bar exam experience in different states around the country, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bar Exam Open Thread: So, How Was It — Or How’s It Going?”

It’s nearly August. But at Harvard Law School, administrators are still trying to sort out what happened with Professor Bruce Hay’s spring Evidence course.

Not that grades matter all that much at HLS. The most important part of an HLS student’s transcript is the part at the top that says “Harvard Law School.” Heck, the school recently reformed its grading procedures, making the actual grades even less important.

But appearances must be maintained. It’s important that students feel their “super, gold-star, yay pass” grades are well-earned and fairly distributed.

Apparently students felt that Professor Hay did not adequately communicate how they would be graded. And now the administration has to step in…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Grading Shenanigans at Harvard Law School? Spring Evidence Students Confronted ‘Irregularities’”

Prof. Tribe is almost 70; please don't stick him in elevators for long periods of time.

Last Sunday, the eminent constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Westling, got stuck in an elevator at the Safeway supermarket in Georgetown. (Professor Tribe is currently in D.C. to serve in the administration of his former student from Harvard Law School, Barack Obama.)

Read the (rather humorous) write-up of Tribe’s elevator incident in the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column. According to a Safeway spokesman, the company “is trying to figure out what kind of resolution is appropriate.” Options on the table include “some steaks or a gift card.”

For those of you preparing for the bar exam this week, tackle these study questions….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Potential Lawsuit / Bar Exam Review Question of the Day: Laurence Tribe v. Safeway?”

Going on game shows offers up the possibility of great reward or eternal humiliation in the form of YouTube’s infinite archives. An Oregon lawyer by the name of Paul Galm experienced the latter, when he appeared on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” in 2006. (This is admittedly old, but sometimes we like to exhume Internet classics.)

Galm started off by telling Meredith Viera about how he and his wife — both attorneys — quit their jobs and blew their savings traveling around the world, and how he was appearing on WWTBAM hoping to get his nest egg back. Instead, he epically wound up with egg on his face:

Says the tipster who sent it along: “This guy must have gone to a TTT.”

Well, we did a little research. As it turns out, Paul Galm went to a top ten law school.

Which prestigious institution popped him out, and where is he now?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Embarrassed?”

The Senate confirmation vote on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been pushed back one week, to July 20. This gives the Republicans more time to try and persuade a few Democrats to vote against Lady Kaga.

As they try to win over Democrats, the Senate Republicans have some new fodder: a Kagan-related scandal! A hit-and-run car accident, involving thousands of dollars in damage! To a minivan — owned by the mother of a disabled child!

Alas, the Divine Miss K wasn’t at the wheel. Who was?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Finally, an Elena Kagan Scandal: A Hit-and-Run Car Accident!”

The founders of this Oman-based law firm obviously haven’t seen American Pie:

Law Firm Fail [Fail Blog]

Quinn Emanuel lawyers at summit of Mt. St. Helens on Friday, June 25th

One of the perks of working at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is an annual hiking trip to an exotic location. Quinnies have hiked in Zion National Park, Havasupai, Durango, and Interlaken, Switzerland, among other places. Last month, the firm went on its fifteenth trip, to Mount St. Helens in the Pacific Northwest, and did a day hike to the top of the crater.

Someone nominated the trip for our Best Summer Associate Event of 2010 contest. At right is the nice happy photo of lawyers on the summit (which John Quinn tweeted). Quinn told us:

we had 70 plus lawyers on this hike. all but one summitted. it was beautiful–and a challenge.

It was truly challenging: on the way back down the mountain, a couple of summers lost their way. The rest of the partners, associates and summers returned to their hotel by nightfall, but these two, whom we’ll call Hansel & Gretel, wound up shivering in the woods until 3 a.m. CORRECTION: A tipster tells us: “A group of four partners and associates hiked back up the mountain to look for them. Two of them, including a partner, stayed at the mountain until they were located, and the rest of the people were asked to leave by the sheriff.”

If the summer associate experience really were like an episode of Survivor, these two law students would not make the cut…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quinn Emanuel Babes in the Woods: How Two Summer Associates Got Lost on a Firm Hiking Trip”

Page 13 of 161...910111213141516