Television

Supreme Court Boston Legal Times Tony Mauro David Kelley.jpgCameras in the courtroom at the U.S. Supreme Court? Over Justice Souter’s dead body.

So you’ll have to settle for fictional depictions on television. From a very interesting report by Tony Mauro, for the Legal Times:

Nearly a decade ago, when his show “Ally McBeal” was at its peak, lawyer-turned-Hollywood-producer David E. Kelley was invited to dinner at the home of then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

There, Kelley recalls, he got to chat with four or five justices along with other D.C. luminaries.

But now, Kelley says in an exclusive interview with Legal Times, “I’ve probably disqualified myself” from any justice’s invitation list for a return visit.

That’s because of an April 22 episode of Kelley’s current hit show “Boston Legal,” which included one of the most vociferous popular-culture critiques of the current conservative Supreme Court since John Roberts Jr. became chief justice in 2005.

Yum, dinner at SOC’s house. Did you try the salmon?

The anti-Roberts Court screed, improbably enough, is delivered to the justices to their faces during the episode titled “The Court Supreme.” Co-star James Spader, who plays Boston lawyer Alan Shore, lights into the Court as he argues before look-alike justices on behalf of a Louisiana child rapist facing the death penalty. The episode aired just six days after the real Court heard arguments in Kennedy v. Louisiana, an actual child rape/death penalty case.

A sample of the rhetoric: Shore attacks the “overtly and shamelessly pro-business” Court, and takes a sharp detour from the rape case to slam Justice Antonin Scalia for his seemingly likely support for Exxon Mobil in the case -also argued recently-involving punitive damages awarded after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Don’t try this at home, kids — or in real life. The nine current justices are, for the most part, a good-humored group. But they probably wouldn’t appreciate being called “overtly and shamelessly pro-business” — at least not in open court.

(Save it for the pages of the New York Times. Jeffrey Rosen, holla.)

Discussion continues, below the fold.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘The Court Supreme': Boston Legal Invades One First Street”

Denise Gitsham K&L Gates The Bachelor Above the Law blog.jpgWhen law students are choosing among law firms, they inquire into such predictable things. What’s the firm’s billable hour requirement? How is work distributed? What about pro bono? For lawyers involved in recruiting, it must get boring to have to answer the same questions over and over again.
So law students, next time you interview with a firm, ask about something that really matters: What is the firm’s policy towards associates who want to participate in reality television shows?
Is the firm supportive of such endeavors? Can I take a leave of absence for the show’s filming, and then return in good standing? If so, will my year-end bonus get prorated?
As it turns out, Biglaw shops take different approaches to reality TV. It was rumored that Sidley Austin was none too pleased when associate David Otunga decided to participate in I Love New York 2 (and he is no longer at the firm). As for his performance on the show, the Harvard Law School grad made it to the final three, before losing to “Buddha” and “Tailor Made.”
K&L Gates Kirkpatrick Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgContrast Sidley’s reaction to that of K&L Gates. The firm allowed an associate in its Washington office — the highly attractive Denise Gitsham, 30, a recent Georgetown Law grad and former Bush aide — to take leave to be on “The Bachelor.” Now it welcomes her back with open arms. From an email recently sent around by D.C.-based partner Mark Ruge:

All:

This Monday, at 9:30 p.m. on ABC, is the season premier of the hit television show, The Bachelor. (“The Bachelor” is the nation’s highest-rated reality TV show in the 18-45 female demographic group. It is now entering its 12th season on network television.)

Believe it or not, one of the contestants this season will be our own associate Denise Gitsham, who was away “on location” during much of February. Here is a link to the show’s web site and Denise’s bio:

http://abc.go.com/primetime/bachelor/index?pn=bios#t=bachelorettes&d=85609

Denise’s name, photo, and bio were submitted to the show by her cousin, and Denise was selected to be one of the show’s 25 bachelorettes out of more than 12,000 applicants. She was under extreme confidentiality requirements during her adventure (and still is to some degree). At least now, though, she is free to admit what she was doing during her mysterious leave in February.

Just thought you would like to know…

Mark

K&L Gates lawyers: if you need to send something to Denise via intra-office mail, the delivery should be accompanied by a rose. Thanks.
P.S. We can’t find Denise Gitsham on the firm website (although we did find a “Denise Stiffarm” in Seattle). We’re guessing that Denise has been too busy filming The Bachelor to fill out all that pesky bar admission paperwork.
Update: Denise Gitsham is now on the K&L Gates website.
Denise Gitsham bio [The Bachelor]

Isaac Lidsky Isaac J Lidsky Saved By the Bell Above the Law Blog.jpgTaken as a group, Supreme Court clerks can claim pretty much every honor under the sun. At One First Street, Rhodes and Marshall scholars are commonplace, law review editors-in-chief are a dime a dozen, and law school valedictorians abound.
But how many SCOTUS clerks have their own IMDb entry? Meet Isaac Lidsky (Harvard 2004 / Ambro), an attorney at the Department of Justice (Civil Appellate), who was selected last week by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as her law clerk for October Term 2008. He founded the non-profit Hope for Vision, and his bio there reads:

[Isaac] is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Thomas Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Before law school, Isaac founded Poindexter Systems, a now thriving internet advertising technology company in Manhattan. Isaac has been involved in raising awareness and funding for vision research for many years. He has organized several fundraising events, has appeared in the national media to promote awareness of the cause, has testified about the need for scientific funding before Congressional bodies on numerous occasions, and has served as a mentor to younger individuals afflicted with eye diseases. He has retinitis pigmentosa.

From a tipster:

I wonder if he is the first blind law clerk on the Supreme Court. I also wonder whether he’s the first clerk to have thrown out the first pitch at an MLB game.

[Before law school,] Isaac had a prior life as a child actor. His most notable role, I believe, was as Barton “Weasel” Wyzell (the new Screech) on Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

Awesome. Fay Diplomas and Sears Prizes pale in comparison next to the experience of having acted opposite Dennis Haskins (aka “Mr. Belding”).
Also hired as a Supreme Court clerk, but for October Term 2009: Bessie Dewar (Yale 2006 / W. Fletcher / L. Pollak (E.D. Pa.)). She’s been described to us as “brilliant,” “wonderfully charismatic,” and “one of nicest, most smiling people to grace the halls of the Yale Law School.”
The current tally of OT 2008 and OT 2009 SCOTUS clerks, with Isaac Lidsky and Bessie Dewar added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Saved By the Bell Star To Clerk for Justice O’Connor!
(And another OT 2009 hire, by Justice Breyer)”


Jonny Lee Miller Eli Stone Angelina Jolie Above the Law blog.jpg* A shout-out to the Elect on TV tonight. The lawyer protagonist of the new ABC drama, “Eli Stone” — portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller (pictured), an ex-husband of Angelina Jolie — is supposedly a former law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [New York Times]
* A novel approach to the legal job hunt: build your own website, then advertise it in the ABA Journal. If Loyola 2L doesn’t have a job lined up already — although rumor has it that he does, which may explain his “retirement” from blogging — here’s something for him to consider. [3L for Hire and ABA Journal, via WSJ Law Blog]
* More proof that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is a wannabe Eliot Spitzer. [DealBreaker]
* Lawyerly lairs: Tunisia. [flickr]

Fred Thompson Senator Fred Dalton Thompson Fred T Thompson Above the Law blog.jpgFormer Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) — who has played a lawyer on television, as well as in real life — is dropping out of the presidential race.
Look for an official announcement by the close of business today.
Update: Here is Fred Thompson’s statement on his withdrawal from the 2008 presidential race. Additional thoughts on the Thompson candidacy appear here (Marc Ambinder) and here (Adam Nagourney and Michael Powell).
Thompson Decides To Drop Out [Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic]
Fred Thompson Drops Out of the Presidential Race [New York Times]

Jennifer Blum Jennifer A Blum Jen Blum Jenn Blum lawyer Above the Law blog.jpgIs the complaining about the tough job market for graduates of non-elite law schools overblown? Take, for example, Western New England College School of Law. According to U.S. News, it’s a tier 4 school. But when it comes to career success, its graduates are doing just fine, thank you very much.
Some WNEC alumni make partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. Others attain fortune and fame on television. From TortsProf Blog:

I admit to some hesitation in acknowledging watching American Gladiators, which is not by any rational measure a particularly good show. And yet there it sits on our TiVo, and yet we watch it. Such is the mystery of life, no? But today, I get to tie it in both to my law school and to Torts.

Last night one of the contestants, Jennifer Blum, was identified as a New Jersey lawyer and a professional football player (she plays for the New York Sharks and is an all-time leading receiver). A quick search of our alumni database reveals that she’s a 2002 graduate of Western New England College School of Law! Sources vary; I thought they said on the show that she’s a criminal defense lawyer, but other sites indicate that she’s a civil litigator. Maybe she reads this blog!

Or maybe this one. Hi Jen! If you’d be willing to be interviewed on ATL, please email us.
From her American Gladiators bio:

Jennifer Blum is a women’s football player who grew up sleeping with a football in her bed. When she was 9-years-old, she and her parents sued for her right to be on a boy’s soccer team — an event that was covered in the media nationwide. Always a tom-boy, never afraid to take a hit or hit back, she is ready to jump into the ring with the Gladiators. Blum, a civil litigation lawyer, is 34 years old and currently lives in Franklin Park, New Jersey.

Jennifer Blum Jennifer M Blum Jen Blum Jenn Blum lawyer Above the Law blog.jpgJen Blum sounds tough and tenacious. How did she fare on the show? Find out by reading Professor Bill Childs’s full post (which also includes excerpts from the incredibly long waiver form that contestants must fill out).
Update: A tipster informs us that she used to work for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. See picture at right.
Lawyers Ready? Gladiators Ready? [TortsProf Blog]
Jennifer Blum [American Gladiators]
Lawyer Profile: Jennifer Blum [Martindale-Hubbell]

* Gov. Romney wins Michigan. [CNN]
* Sen. Clinton faces challenge from “uncommitted.” [CNN]
* NV Supreme Court overturns decision allowing Rep. Kucinich to debate. [MSNBC]
* Criminal prosecutions of Blackwater security guards would not be easy. [New York Times]
* Did CIA lawyers and officials implicitly sign off on the destruction of interrogation tapes? [Washington Post]
* Austrian court rules animal rights group can’t have custody of chimp; appeal will be to the European Court of Human Rights. [AP]
* DOJ to investigate Tejada? [New York Times]
* Collected news coverage about yesterday’s Stoneridge decision. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]

The tipster who forwarded this invite to us pretty much said it all: “Weil: Are you joking?”
Weil is currently ranked #9 on the Vault 100. How many spots should they be docked for this?
(In case you’re wondering, yes, we did contact the firm for comment. We did not hear back from them.)
Star Jones Reynolds Above the Law blog.jpgWEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES — INVITATION TO DIVERSITY RECEPTION FEATURING STAR JONES
Please join us at our diversity reception for first year law students next Tuesday, January 22nd! Please also note that the time for the reception has changed to 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
Our guest speaker, Star Jones, will be arriving at 6:00pm to mingle, so plan to be there early! Further details are below.
For those of you who cannot view the JPEG, here are the details for the event:
Location: STK
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Special Guest Speaker: Star Jones of truTV (formerly Court TV)
RSVP by Friday, January 18 to [xxxx] or (212) 833-[xxxx]
[xxxx]
Legal Recruiting Coordinator
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
767 Fifth Avenue
Star Jones Reynolds [Wikipedia]
Star Jones [official website]

George Mitchell former Senator George J Mitchell baseball steroids MLB Above the Law blog.jpg* Bush administration seeks greater power over promotions of military lawyers. [Boston Globe via How Appealing]
* Saudi king pardons rape victim who had been sentenced to 200 lashes (for being alone with a man at the time of the attack). [AP via New York Times]
* Limited effects of recent SCOTUS sentencing decision? [Chicago Tribune]
* CNN’s guide to Mitchell report players. [CNN]
* Law Blog’s guide to Sen. George Mitchell (including a funny story of a minor faux pas). [WSJ Law Blog]
* Poll suggests support for individual rights reading of Second Amendment. [CNN]
* Comcast v. NFL Network dispute produces another lawsuit. [
Sportsline]

* So, it’s gonna be illegal now, which means the CIA can’t do it, right? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* New Jersey gets rid of the death penalty; now if they could just tackle that disgusting odor. [BBC]
* Prosecutors go 0-1-6 in Sears Tower trial. [CNN]
* Hey, look everybody! International law! They’ve got a court with judges and lawyers and stuff, and they even issue rulings! Just like it’s real! That’s cute. ICJ upholds treaty giving islands to Colombia. [Jurist]
* Hollywood writers take this strike thing up a notch. [AP via Reno Gazette-Journal]

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