WikiLeaks

Although I’m no longer an editor here at Above the Law (*tear*), you know my byline occasionally still pops up to bring you news of lonely lawyers and goings-on in the world of privacy. This week, I asked Elie and Lat if they were interested in a lawsuit against a computer rental store accused of spying on its customers via webcam. (Most shocking aspect to me: People actually rent laptops?) Or the recent reminder from the Seventh Circuit that looking at porn at work — even if just for 67 seconds — can get you fired (at least he got the job done quickly).

Instead, Elie saw that I’d recently written about WikiLeaks founder (and dancer extraordinaire) Julian Assange — who’s still kicking it in England — calling Facebook “the most appalling spying machine ever invented.” Elie asked, how is that guy not in a jail in Sweden by now? And why have no major banks bitten the WikiLeaks bullet since we last heard from the white-haired wonder?

An update on the Julian Assange – WikiLeaks saga, after the jump…

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* The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a lawsuit asking courts to force major companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sotomayor spent the entire oral argument asking attorneys how she could fit more Miami Sound Machine on her Zune. [New York Times]

* Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who can be seen every Thursday night on 30 Rock playing Kenneth the Page, shares none of Jan Brewer’s qualms about a “birther bill.” [Politico]

* The Ecuadorean Slapfight (also the name of my ska band in high school) between Patton Boggs, Gibson Dunn, and Chevron was squashed by a judge yesterday. [Reuters]

* Baker Hostetler is balling out of control on L’Affaire Madoff. [WSJ Law Blog]

Judge Vaughn Walker

* Tiger Blogger Vivia Chen wants white guys to be hunted like animals. [The Careerist]

* A copyright troll has found a way to exact a toll without actually owning any copyrights. No word yet on whether anyone has gained entrance into the boy’s hole. [Wired via ABA Journal]

* Alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning is being transferred to another prison. Julian Assange celebrated the news by going dancing. [Fox News]

* Sponsors of Proposition 8 are mad that retired judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over Prop 8′s defeat in court, is giving lectures around the country that feature a three-minute clip of the trial. They say the video should remain in the closet. Or a desk drawer of some sort. [Los Angeles Times]

The cutting-edge information and security practice of Hunton & Williams is getting the firm lots of media attention these days — but not of the positive variety. The firm’s lawyers are getting coverage due to their information becoming insecure after a hacktivist group leaked emails they exchanged with security firm HBGary.

Last night, the firm’s logo was flashed several times on the Colbert Report, as Stephen Colbert named the firm as the link between the DOJ, HBGary, and Bank of America, in coming up with questionable tactics for undermining liberal activists. (See our prior post, Hunton & Williams Gets WikiLeaked.)

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, who we know isn’t a fan of the firm, was a guest on last night’s show, telling Colbert:

What is most significant here is that you have these plans that are clearly crossing a legal line, with very serious players involved. Law firms like Hunton & Williams are the most powerful in D.C. And no one at any point said, “Maybe this goes a little too far, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.” So willing to cavalierly to put a plan like this that clearly proposes illegal steps down on paper. It clearly shows that this sort of stuff in this world of corporate and government consortium of power is pretty normal, is par for the course.

Moral of the show: BigLaw + BigGov = Evil. Check out Colbert’s telling of the “techno thriller” tale (after the jump). Think Star Wars, with Bank of America as Darth Vader, HBGary and Hunton & Williams as commanders of the Imperial Forces, WikiLeaks as Princess Leia, and Anonymous as Han Solo….

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Julian Assange

* A British court ruled that Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden. [Reuters]

* Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions. Men, barbecue, I like you, I like you too dawg, let’s get… civil unioned? [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

* Seems like Betty Boop was passed around like a two-bit whore. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Lindsay! Lindsay Lohan! Who are you wearing? [Entertainment Weekly]

Lindsay Lohan

* More than 100 law professors are lobbying Congress to apply an ethics code to the Supreme Court. In related news, Clarence Thomas continues to troll the f**k out of a bunch of law professors. [ABA Journal]

* Arizona might have a host of new anti-immigration laws. The state hasn’t been this welcoming since The Brothers Brothers were working for their tourism commission. [New York Times]

* “Teachers accused of steamy lesbian romp fire back at city with $2M suit.” [New York Post]

Hunton & Williams is having an uncomfortable week, and will get its very own page in the WikiLeaks saga. Thanks to a feud between hacktivist group Anonymous and a security firm, emails that Hunton lawyers exchanged with that security firm were leaked in a major document dump last week.

Journalist (and lawyer) Glenn Greenwald of Salon is now calling the firm’s lawyers the “central cogs” in a devious plot to take down WikiLeaks and its supporters (he’s especially miffed as he was named in a secret PowerPoint as one of those supporters). The New York Times named Hunton as the intermediary between security firms offering up unseemly sabotage tactics and clients like Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

So how unseemly were these alleged tactics, and which Hunton partners are getting blasted by the press?

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* The anatomy of Courtship Connections. Kash explains why it’s so difficult to set lawyers up with each other. [Forbes]

* Alan Dershowitz and Julian Assange make a love connection. [Politico]

* Does compassion really have any place in the law? [Underdog]

* Many of the lonely among you will be drinking heavily tonight. That’s okay. We’ll deal with your alcoholism once Hallmark leaves you alone. [Lawyerist]

* Let’s hope ABA President-Elect Nominee Laurel Bellows shows law students some love. [ABA Journal]

* No love for social media experts in this week’s Blawg Review. [My Law License via Blawg Review]

* And in case you missed it, the Saturday Night Live cast tips us off on a hot new legal practice area — after the jump….

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* UVA Law grad Corwin Levi used his law school notes as his artistic canvas. I bet he has a really snazzy collar. [Ex-Lawyers Club]

* Not all professors are lazy. Professor Ilya Somin hops on the “make new exam questions” bandwagon. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Professor Stephen Bainbridge has another theory on how “Tiger Mother” Amy Chua got hired by Yale; there’s always more than one way to skin a cat. [Professor Bainbridge]

* FCC approves the merger between Kabletown (sorry, Comcast) and NBC. [Huffington Post]

* Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan — who wants to be a Supreme Court justice, then president — opines on WikiLeaks. [Jezebel]

* What, do you want Apple’s quarterly filings to include reports on Steve Jobs’s colon? [WSJ Law Blog]

* You can’t make a law that favors one religion over another. But, in Alabama at least, it’s perfectly okay for the governor of the state to talk about how everybody should prefer his religion over all others. [Gawker]

* It’d be great if everybody remembered Martin Luther King’s essential message of non-violence. [A Public Defender via Blawg Review]

* Republicans won’t have Michael Steele to kick around anymore. [Huffington Post]

* Akin Gump apologizes for a controversial post on Powerline by partner Paul Mirengoff. [Indianz.com]

* Is WikiLeaks responsible for the Tunisian revolution? [Business Insider]

* Speaking of Tunisia, MLK Day is important and everything — but maybe, just maybe, U.S. officials in Tunisia should GO TO WORK ON MONDAY. Give them a floating holiday or whatever, but given current events, the U.S. Embassy there should probably stay open. [Gawker]

* Meanwhile, Australian lawyers are getting a flood day. [ABA Journal]

* Who exactly would benefit from dropping the LSAT? [Law Librarian Blog]

* Typo Nazis, here’s something for you. How many spaces should you put between a period and the next sentence? [Slate]

* Additional thoughts on Bruce Antkowiak’s recent criticism of the legal academy (previously mentioned here). [What About Clients?]

Julian Assange

* Judy Clarke, counsel to Jared Lee Loughner, is known as the “One-Woman Dream Team.” Here’s to hoping the prosecution doesn’t get played like Frédéric Weis. [USA Today]

* There is a time when the operation of the merger becomes so odious… plaintiff’s attorneys have got to put their bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and they’ve got to make it more expensive. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Toileteers rejoice! U.S. News might start giving numerical rankings to third-tier law schools. [National Law Journal]

* Julian Assange’s lawyer says the government’s Twitter subpoena amounts to harassment. #unfunnylegalblurbs [Bloomberg]

* This Times article explores the seedy underbelly of bail bondsmen. Apparently there’s more to bail bonds than sponsoring ragtag baseball teams full of misfits. [New York Times]

* Badonkadonk, Cute Face, and Wookie Kardashian Odom have been sued over a scuttled prepaid debit card-type thing. [CBS Money Watch]

Lawrence Taylor

* Lawrence Taylor’s lawyers accuse cops of false start in their arrest of Taylor for statutory rape. [New York Daily News]

* Listen, we know Julian Assange did something illegal. We just need to do a helluva lot of research to figure out what it is! And your constant, y’know, questions and stuff aren’t going to help us any. So why don’t you make like Onyx and Bacdafucup?! [New York Times]

* Joe Miller’s like the Energizer Bunny, he keeps sucking and sucking and… [Los Angeles Times]

* Is Allen Stanford too hopped up on goofballs to stand trial? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Cybernews, iNerds! The FDA isn’t allowed to block the import of e-cigarettes! Totally Macintosh! [Reuters]

* Today is the first of many days in which Arizona must put up or ¡CALLATE LA BOCA! in front of The Supremes. [USA Today]

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