Television

Think carefully. Everything after this moment will not only determine your career, but life. You can spend it in a corporate office drafting contracts and hitting on chubby paralegals before finally putting a gun in your mouth, or you can join my firm and become someone you actually like. So decide: do you want the job or not?

– Professor Annalise Keating, played by Viola Davis, after confronting a first-year law student during a scene on How to Get Away with Murder, a new legal thriller that premiered last night on ABC.

(The show, complete with absurd dialogue — like the 1L who brags about his recent summer internship with Chief Justice Roberts — and even more ridiculous plotlines — like the 1Ls who quote case law while deciding where to bury a body — is loosely based on attending Penn Law.)

Can you identify this guy?

* Quiz: Can you match the picture of the plaintiff to the landmark Supreme Court decision? [Slate]

* Ninth Circuit expedites Ed O’Bannon appeal. [USAToday]

* New NBC comedy about a law student who becomes a garbage man. Better job security, I suppose. [The A.V. Club]

* The federal prison population declined by about 4800 inmates, giving the United States… well, still the worst incarceration rate in the world, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. [ABC News]

* The contract attorney who sued Biglaw is living in his car and considering a career in construction. Perhaps it was a Freudian thing. [Law and More]

* Some philosophy professors are concerned about an individual getting very testy with perceived critics. Anyone want to guess the individual? [Professor David Velleman Homepage / NYU]

* In case you missed it, Howard Bashman’s announcement of our new partnership. [How Appealing]

* Middle school convinces special needs girl to allow suspected rapist to take her into a bathroom so the school can “catch him redhanded.” She gets raped. Judge dismisses the lawsuit saying he wouldn’t “second-guess” school officials. [Al.com]

We can help you waste thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to fight for what you sort of believe in.

– “William Hostetler,” the fictional voice of the very real law firm BakerHostetler. BakerHostetler, recently hired by congressional Republicans to spearhead their infamous lawsuit against President Obama, got a send-up on last night’s Tonight Show with a phony ad in the style of every ambulance-chasing firm ever committing to help you, the viewer, work out your frustrations with a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.

(The whole bit is available after the jump….)

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Lawyers and reality television: a match made in heaven? Some might regard Andi Dorfman, the beautiful Atlanta prosecutor turned Bachelorette, as a goddess (and some might disagree).

Talk of paradise brings us to the latest high-profile reality TV offering: Utopia. This “big, bold, and expensive” Fox show debuted last night to ratings described as “not ideal.” The premise of the show: drop 15 people into an isolated five-acre camp in the California wilderness, with no internet, electricity, or plumbing, and watch these “founding fathers and mothers” try to “form a new society and rethink all the fundamental tenets of civilization.”

An Above the Law reader who watched the first episode described Utopia as “a complete train wreck.” But at least it’s a train wreck featuring a lawyer — a rather attractive lawyer, in fact….

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* David Letterman and CBS got smacked with the latest internship class action. To think, poor Paul Shaffer’s been working for free all those years. [Deadline]

* Class action could be on the horizon over high-frequency trading. [Wall Street Journal]

* Frankly, I don’t know what the problem is. [Washington Post]

* You may have been following the story of Justice Ginsburg’s officiating a wedding in New York this weekend. Well, if so, here’s the Times write-up. [New York Times]

* The federal courts are looking at tightening the word limits on appellate briefs. How do you feel about this move? I’m with the author that “The number of cases where attorneys think they need a word extension is greater than the number of cases that actually warrant one.” [New Mexico Appellate Law Blog]

* Scott Brown, formerly of both Massachusetts and the Senate, is threatening to sue Harvard’s Larry Lessig after Lessig labeled the Nixon Peabody “advisor on governmental affairs” a “lobbyist.” Lessig asks if the campaign preferred he write the more technical, “sold his influence to a DC lobbying firm.” Ha. [Time]

* Fordham professor Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute and designer Narciso Rodriguez make the case for strong legal protection for fashion designs. [Room for Debate / New York Times]

* On Friday, Keith Lee wrote about a lawyer who billed a client for sanctions. We’ve written before about lawyers billing for the time spent boning their clients. A law professor who teaches professional responsibility asks: “Is billing for sanctions better or worse than billing for sex. I say sanctions. Can we have a survey on this?” Of course you can. Poll after the jump….

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* Here’s the international sign for “don’t urinate in public.” Glad to know we needed a sign for this. [National Review]

* An illegal hostile work environment is created when coworkers wear confederate flag T-shirts. Because… obviously it is. Professor Volokh thinks this is unconstitutional. Apparently a document drafted by white slaveholders is set up to protect “broadcasting to black people that they should still be enslaved.” Because… obviously it is. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Police accidentally killed a crew member for the TV show “Cops” while foiling a robbery. That’s just shocking… the fact that “Cops” is still on the air. [Associated Press via ABC News]

* Practice pointer: Get in the practice of writing non-clients to tell them that they are not, in fact, your clients. People can be crazy stalkers out there and you need to protect your practice. [What About Clients]

* Scheduling trials is like playing musical chairs. Except no matter when the music stops someone’s probably getting screwed. [Katz Justice]

* It turns out that lawyers have a hard time talking to clients about overdue bills. As a lawyer who has literally had state troopers impound a client’s private jet, I don’t understand this. But here are the results of a comprehensive survey on the subject. [Lexis-Nexis]

* If you’re interested in how the “justice gap” functions overseas, here’s a report from the Legal Services Board in the UK. [Red Brick Solutions]

* A Texas man, David Barajas, was acquitted of shooting and killing a drunk driver who had killed the man’s sons. The defense argued that Barajas didn’t kill the guy and that there was little physical evidence tying Barajas to the killing. Atlanta news (specifically WSB-TV) may not quite understand the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing. Pic after the jump [via Twitter]:

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Somebody is going to need to do a study on the lost productivity caused by the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon. It’s been pretty amazing. Not that I support what’s really going on here: we should be living in frictionless times, but the exclusivity deals like the one FXX has struck with the Simpsons can make it more difficult to access the content you want on the platform where you want it. At this point, we need an app to tell us what app we need to download the shows we want.

I know, I know, my fears are groundless and my complaints moronic. Whatever, I get FXX and I either work from home or in an office where I can watch TV and say things like “I’ll finish this post between the 29th and 32nd minutes of the hour, thanks.”

It occurs to me that if you are at work, like a real work job, you might be missing out and much of this zeitgeist. Come on, just because you are locked in an office and chained to a desk, doesn’t mean you can’t procrastinate with your fellow Americans.

Let us reminisce about the patron saint of lawyers, Lionel Hutz…

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* They’re making The Devil’s Advocate into a TV show. That is all. [io9]

* Lingerie brand is suing its former lawyer for screwing up its patent filing. What a boob. [NY Post]

* Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement to avoid potential embarrassment. Now if only they could reach settlement with the Packers for the same reason. [NBC Sports]

* The world of raising hogs meets the Eighth Circuit. The fifth “H” stands for what the hell? [The Legal Geeks]

* Shares in Taser have gone up 25 percent since Michael Brown’s shooting. Oh, remember Taser? The company that makes a product that stops fleeing suspects without executing them? Looks like the market is expecting a sea change in how police do business. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

* Jesus. A teenager who waited in jail for three years pending trial died in solitary confinement at Rikers Island when his heart exploded. A new lawsuit alleges that the prison just ignored the condition. So much for innocent until proven guilty. [Gawker]

* A new study undermines the myth that the gender imbalance in tenure is not related to productivity. But hey, who cares, tenure is passé according to Laurence Tribe. [Inside Higher Ed h/t TaxLaw Prof]

* When times are tough, lawyers are denying their law degrees in job applications. No matter how hard you pretend, your debt isn’t going away. [Law and More]

* Jury writes judge a note asking for a “big bottle of wine.” It’s gonna be a long night. [Southern District of Florida Blog]

* As it turns out, some Redditors are morons who don’t understand law. Glad we cleared that up. [The Concourse]

* There’s a Kickstarter for an Ally McBeal podcast. If you love talking about unisex bathrooms, here’s a golden opportunity. [Kickstarter]

* Attention law students: there’s a $500 prize in it if you can craft a winning blog post. [The Expert Institute]

* Terrible, terrible advertising. [Copyranter]

* A Simpson Thacher associate is planning to row across the Atlantic to support cancer research. [Remacae]

* These teacher tenure suits are so stupid and completely miss the real reason public schools have trouble. And the lead plaintiff inadvertently confessed just how off the mark he is. [Washington Post]

* AMC released the teaser for Better Call Saul. After the jump… [via Time Magazine]

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Jim Marchese

I don’t fight. I think it’s stupid. I’m trained as an attorney. If I want to hurt you, I’m going to sue you. I’m going to leverage your house. I’m gonna give you three years of hell in a courtroom. I’m going to bleed dry you financially, and I’m going to humiliate you as I depose you for eight hours and make you my bitch.

Jim Marchese, husband to Amber Marchese (one of the newest cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey), explaining why he chose to avoid a fight with Joe Gorga, another Real Housewives husband, on the latest episode.

(Marchese is a graduate of Seton Hall Law and was a whistleblower in the Cell Therapeutics case, which earned him $1.6 million. Marchese recently claimed to be involved in the bankruptcy fraud prosecution of Joe and Teresa Giudice, but a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey said “[n]o one involved with the prosecution has any idea who that man is.”)

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