Television

David Otunga Sidley Austin I Love New York Above the Law blog.jpgLaw firms love free publicity. Especially law firms that have been in the news for having to pay $27.5 million to settle age discrimination claims by former partners.
Or maybe not:

David Otunga, a 2006 graduate of Harvard Law School and former associate at Sidley Austin, appeared in the first episode of I Love New York 2 on VH1 last night.

In case you’re not familiar with the show, here’s a synopsis:

“Tiffany “New York” Pollard is jumping back into the dating pool to find the man of her dreams. A fresh crop of twenty men are brought together to compete for her heart and this time the selection process has a twist….some of the chosen contestants vying for New York’s heart have been hand-picked by online users and some have been chosen by Tiffany’s outspoken mother, Sister Patterson.”

Back to our tipster:

[Otunga] was brought in as one of three or four “Mama’s Boys” (potential suitors selected by New York’s mother) and nicknamed “Punk.” He told New York that he was perfect for her, since he was an HLS grad and a lawyer at “one of the top law firms in the world.”

Unfortunately, that law firm — Sidley Austin — didn’t appreciate his appearance on the show, and the firm recently “suggested” to him that it may be in his best interest to pursue his “acting career” instead of his legal career. He’s no longer on the firm’s webpage.

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sidley Hates on Old People, Reality TV Stars”

Takeover Charlie Savage Boston Globe Above the Law blog.jpg* Humor for tax lawyers. [TaxProf Blog]
* Additional thoughts on the Judge Samuel Kent case, from Ilya Somin. [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Best magistrate judgeship ever? [San Jose Mercury News]
* Charlie Savage, whose book party we recently attended, is on the Colbert Report tonight. [Comedy Central]
* Also on television tonight (opposite the Colbert Report): Jan Crawford Greenburg interviews Justice Clarence Thomas, for Nightline. [ABC News]

Clarence Thomas 2 Justice Clarence Thomas Above the Law blog.jpgEd. notes: First, B. Clerker is unavailable this morning, so we’re doing Morning Docket ourselves. Second, by the time you read this, we’ll be attending this event. But we’ve arranged for previously written posts (like this one) to be published in our absence.
* John Edwards tries to put a noble spin on the financial desperation of his flailing campaign. Stick a fork in him; he’s done. [WP; NYT]
* Jena One released on bail. [AP]
* Fourteen “high-value” terrorism suspects will be allowed to request lawyers. KSM will use his to sue Teleflex. [WP]
* In Pakistan, the Supreme Court gets involved in elections too. From the gallery: “Go, Musharraf, go!” [AP via WP]
* Set your TiVo, judicial groupies: Justice Thomas will be on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Thankfully, his interview — in which he’s rumored to call Anita Hill “a nappy-headed ho” — doesn”t conflict with the season premiere of Desperate Housewives. [WSJ Law Blog]

Bachelor Bachelorettes Above the Law Blog.jpgNo wonder the producers of The Bachelor are so eager to have a lawyer as the Bachelor. With their impressive educational pedigrees and generally high incomes — even non-top-tier law grads earn more than the average American — lawyers are a desirable demographic. And relying upon the contestants to keep lawyers watching might not be a smart idea, since legal eagles keep getting shot down on the show.
From a tipster (a distinguished law professor, which goes to show that even geniuses enjoy trashy TV shows):

[O]n last night’s season premiere of the Bachelor, both of the law students were sent home in the first cut. The Phoenix Suns dancer stayed.

I only caught the beginning, when they were all being introduced, and I noticed the two law students – couldn’t figure out for sure what schools they were at. I’m guessing this show was taped over the summer, so this may have been their substitute for a summer associateship. In hindsight, a bad decision….

I was on the phone the rest of the time, and only learned later that they were both cut. They were decent-looking, though, so I wonder if it was their winning law school personality that made the difference…

We agree. The eliminated contestants — Juli, 24, of Chicago, and Natalie, 25, of Duncanville, TX — are quite comely. We’re guessing they go to non-top-tier law schools, which have hotter students.
We don’t watch The Bachelor; we prefer to spend our trash TV time on Gossip Girl. But if you saw the season premiere, and paid more attention than our tipster, we welcome your thoughts on why the law students got cut.
Update: From another source:

“Not sure what law school Juli attends (I believe it’s Michigan, but I don’t have confirmation on that), but I CAN confirm that she was a summer associate at Katten’s Chicago office. She left partway through the summer to film the show, and she STILL got an offer. True story.”

Hopefully she left Katten early enough to avoid having her ass grabbed.
Season Premiere: Episode Recap [The Bachelor (ABC)]
Earlier: Here’s One Way To Escape from Biglaw

Jeffrey Toobin Colbert Report Jeff Toobin Stephen Colbert Above the Law blog.jpgLast night’s Colbert Report was a bonanza for law nerds. The featured guest was Jeffrey Toobin, who spoke about his new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Toobin and Colbert had a relaxed and easy rapport, and their conversation was highly entertaining — perhaps the best CR appearance since Neal Katyal. You can check out Stephen Colbert’s interview of Jeff Toobin by clicking here.
Before turning to the SCOTUS, they discussed the most recent legal troubles of O.J. Simpson. As you may recall, Toobin was one of the lead correspondents on the original O.J. trial, as well as the author of a bestselling book about it, The Run of His Life. Toobin summarized the defense strategy in the armed robbery case against Simpson as follows: “If it’s his s***, you must acquit.”
But that’s not all! There was a special shout-out to Bingham McCutchen, during the ThreatDown.
More details, plus a video clip, after the jump.

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Bachelor The Bachelor Lawyer Attorney Above the Law Blog.jpgLawyers have a pretty decent track record as reality show contestants. We went to law school with Yul Kwon, winner of Survivor: Cook Islands. So maybe this idea isn’t as dubious as it might seem:

An alert reader sent us along his very own invitation to be on The Bachelor. ‘”Apparently they are randomly spamming New York lawyers,” says our spy, who works at a top-ten firm. Casting directors are looking for someone “who is successful, good-looking, has an out-going personality, is ready to settle down, is around 6 ft tall and, usually, is between 27 to 36 years of age.” Guess you’re shit outta luck, shorties!

“We’ve never had an attorney be ‘The Bachelor’ so we are definitely looking to go that route,” the e-mail admits. The producers seem to know a little bit about the law profession — specifically, that good catches are harder to find than you’d think. So they’re casting their net wide and offering $5,000 reward to anyone who finds an attorney who could make the show.

If you get cast on the show, please mention that you read about it on ATL — we’d be happy to collect the five grand.

But though they know a bit about lawyers, it’s clearly not enough. Here’s the last line of the e-mail: “Please DO NOT forward to the press. We try to make this part of the process as private as possible.” Silly casting agents! Don’t you know that 50 percent of all law firms’ billable hours are spent forwarding private e-mails?

So, so true. Please continue to forward us private emails, early and often.
Update: A reader forwarded us the original email, which appears after the jump.
‘The Bachelor’ Casting for New York Lawyers [New York Magazine]

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Fox 24 twenty-four Jack Bauer Kiefer Sutherland Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re not being sarcastic. This course, to be offered at Georgetown Law in spring 2008, sounds awesome. To the average law student, it’s probably way more interesting than securities regulation (or even ERISA — one of our favorite law school classes). [FN1]
From the GULC course catalog:

The Law of “24″
Professor W. Sharp
LL.M Course 853 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The award winning Fox Television drama series 24 explores America’s fictional response to international terrorism through the eyes of Jack Bauer, a U.S. counter-terrorism agent. Oftentimes without remorse or regard for the law, Agent Bauer is willing to do what has to be done when faced with the threat of kidnappings, assassinations, nuclear detonations, and bioterrorism on U.S. soil – despite traitors in his family, his unit, and the White House; partisan politics; sleeper cells; and hidden agendas.

This course provides a detailed understanding of a very wide-range of U.S. domestic and international legal issues concerning counterterrorism in the context of the utilitarian and sometimes desperate responses to terrorism raised by the plot of 24. Course requirements include active classroom discussion and a paper of approximately 25 pages.

If Jack Goldsmith’s new book is correct, it seems some members of the Bush Administration legal team might benefit from this class.
The instructor, adjunct professor Walter Sharp, sounds pretty badass. He’s a Naval Academy grad who currently serves as Associate Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs at the Defense Department. He previously served as Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pretty cool!
[FN1] We followed, with interest and amusement, this recent spirited commenters’ debate over whether you can get a “real” legal education at Yale. For those of you who care, we offer some thoughts on that subject after the jump.
The Law of “24″ [Georgetown University Law Center]
Faculty bio: Walter Gary Sharp [Georgetown University Law Center]

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* Morgue employee having too much fun costs Hamilton County $8 million. [CNN]
* Nacchio gets appeal bond. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Told ya. [Jurist]
* Parents apparently signed their kids away to a New Mexico entertainment sweatshop. [New York Times]
* It’ll be blowing up our mountains when it comes. [New York Times]

Marian Shelton Bronx Family Court Judge Marian Shelton Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLast week we described the Honorable Marian Shelton, of Bronx Family Court, as “a true judicial diva.” Here’s more about her, from the New York Post:

A Bronx judge had a court clerk’s wife handcuffed and tossed in a cell for contempt – because she whispered “a**hole” after her husband was kept late at work, a state panel has charged.

Family Court Judge Marian Shelton screamed at the woman, “He’ll leave when he’s finished his work, not when you tell him!” before ordering court officers to take her to a holding cell for the weekend….

Pretty awesome. Should we be surprised to learn that Judge Shelton’s wedding was presided over by another colorful and cantankerous New Yorker, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani?
Interesting enough, Judge Shelton is being eyed for elevation — but not to an appellate court. Details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Marian Shelton: A Judge Judy in Waiting?”

Linda Greenhouse 6 New York Times Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTo follow up on our earlier post, here’s an update on L’Affaire Linda, from the Columbia Journalism Review:

Linda Greenhouse has written a letter in response to C-SPAN in which she defends herself against their accusations. In it she claims that the “issue is not one of ‘open media access to public policy discussions,’” as C-SPAN’s Terence Murphy wrote in his letter, but “one of communication and simple courtesy.”

Ignoring the question of whether she received an email warning her that C-SPAN was going to be present, Greenhouse writes, ” I learned about the plan to cover the Supreme Court panel only when I showed up and saw the cameras. Prof. Gajda told me yesterday that she had only learned at 5:00 p.m. the day before that C-Span intended to cover our panel.”

Read the rest — plus a bonus Linda Greenhouse Rap!!! — after the jump.

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