Texas

Back in September 2011, we mentioned to our readers via Morning Docket that Ronald Kratz II, a 680-pound man, had allegedly been fired because he was too fat. At that point, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had stepped in to sue on this gentleman’s behalf, because apparently his employer perceived his size as a disability.

Now, almost one year later, we’ve got an update on the status of Kratz’s lawsuit. His settlement check is almost as large as he was at the time he was terminated….

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Whether you like it or not, people are going to go back and forth on grade inflation until the end of time. Some think it’s God’s gift to gunners, and some don’t. But if you’ve decided to embark upon your legal career later in life, it may seem like there’s no way to compete with millennials whose college report cards are so littered with inflated grades that they might as well be printed in glitter and accompanied by gold stars.

And that is exactly what one certified public accountant alleges in a lawsuit that he’s filed himself against Baylor Law School — the same school that accidentally released its incoming students’ GPAs and LSAT scores, as you may recall….

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There are many ways that lawyers can advertise their services to the general public, such as television commercials and print ads in the telephone book. But entertaining lawyer billboards are a favorite of ours; they have generated excellent material for some of Above the Law’s own caption contests.

Apparently they’re also great fodder for marriage proposals, as one Texan proved this past weekend….

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Back in April, we wrote about Mark and Rhonda Lesher, a couple in rural Texas who won a massive defamation verdict against formerly anonymous online commenters. The online comments followed a trial during which they were acquitted of sexual assault. The multimillion dollar verdict appeared to set things right.

But it turns out there is much, much more to their story. Theirs is an unsettling tale of small-town justice, politics, and Mark Lesher, a lawyer-slash-“professional agitator,” who tried to do the right thing in a town that apparently wanted none of it.

Let’s start with news that the defamation verdict was overturned last month, and go backwards from there….

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In recent months, we’ve covered quite a few stories about attorneys from Texas with a certain je ne sais quoi — we’ll call it “flair.” Today, we’ve got some positive news from the Lone Star State, straight out of Texas Tech University School of Law, an institution known for “keepin’ it real.”

Although the school is ranked at No. 101 by U.S. News, just on the cusp of the traditional second and third tier, a tipster notes that “one tiara is better than any tier.” In exciting news, over the weekend, a beautiful rising 3L at Texas Tech Law was crowned as the new Miss Texas 2012.

We know, we know: pics or it didn’t happen.

We aim to please, so of course we’ve got the pictures — yes, the pageant included a swimsuit competition — as well as an interview with this law student turned beauty queen.

Let’s check out the new Miss Texas 2012, shall we?

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Lance Armstrong

Yesterday, we brought you news of a rather lengthy lawsuit that was filed by professional cyclist Lance Armstrong against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The sports agency had accused Armstrong of doping during his time as a record-setting Tour de France champion, despite the fact that the athlete claimed to have been drug tested more than 500 times in his career, never once yielding a positive result.

Alas, it seems that Armstrong’s dreams of vilifying the USADA were quickly crushed, less than seven hours after his suit was filed. As we sarcastically noted in Morning Docket, perhaps we ought to look into judicial doping, because the suit was dismissed with a quickness we’ve never seen before. But in all seriousness, while a land speed record for benchslapping may have been achieved, it can only be attributed to Judge Sam Sparks’s incredibly quick wit and low tolerance for bullsh*t.

Let’s take a look at the Benchslap King’s Order in a case that managed to grab national media attention just as swiftly as Judge Sparks slapped it down….

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Grenade launcher not included.

Law school is freaking expensive. Duh. If you can’t afford the education without loans, some people would vehemently argue that you shouldn’t go at all. But if you’re dead-set on the legal profession and you’re desperate for ways to pay for it, people are coming up with all kinds of creative solutions. Some people fundraise on the internet… and some sell their old assault rifles.

So if any of our readers need a new fully automatic M16 AND feel like helping an aspiring law student reach his dreams, have we got a deal for you….

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* Chief Justice John Roberts might “enjoy that he’s being criticized,” but that’s probably because he’ll get the chance to show his true conservative colors this fall when issues like affirmative action and same-sex marriage are before SCOTUS. [Reuters]

* Dewey know why this failed firm thinks a bankruptcy judge is going to allow it to hand out $700K in “morale” bonuses? You better believe that Judge Martin Glenn is going to tell D&L where it can (indicate). [Bankruptcy Beat / Wall Street Journal]

* It seems like attorneys at Freshfields may actually need to get some sleep, because it was the sole Magic Circle firm to report a decline in in revenue and profitability in its latest financial disclosure statements. [Financial Times (reg. req.)]

* Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. didn’t do George Zimmerman any favors when he set his bond at $1M. Watch how quickly the defense fund Zimmerman concealed from the court disappears as he struggles to post bail. [CNN]

* Whatever it takes (to count you as employed): 76% of law schools report that they’ve now changed their curriculum to include more practical skills courses in light of the dismal job market. [National Law Journal]

* Texas Christian University is expanding its graduate programs, but a law school isn’t necessarily in the works, because TCU is only interested in “programs that promote employability.” Well, sh*t, y’all. [TCU 360]

Earlier this week, we started getting a few tips about an incident down in Texas alleging some pretty interesting police misconduct. In a nutshell, a motorcyclist says he was pulled over for no reason, then ordered by a Dallas Sheriff’s officer to give up his helmet camera as “evidence” for crimes committed by other motorcyclists on the road. When the man refused, the cop allegedly decided to arrest him on false pretenses.

Normally, this kind of thing would quickly devolve into an endless case of he said-she said. The situation here is different because — whoops — the helmet cam recorded the whole exchange.

Keep reading to see the video, as well as coverage of the situation from local Texas news. From where we sit, it doesn’t look too good for the officer….

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Law school deans should bet a dollar on whether or not change the name of a law school makes more people come.

And the band plays on. No matter what happens in the economy. No matter what kind of evidence we get that the market for legal jobs is totally in the tank. No matter what, law schools continue to expand and continue to find new ways to convince more people to spend a lot of money getting an education that might not lead to employment.

Of course, I’m talking about something new and annoying Cooley did, because you basically can’t have a conversation about what is wrong with law schools anymore without referencing some kind of fresh horror enacted by the people who run the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

But this impulse towards MOAR LAW STUDENTS obviously isn’t just a Cooley problem. Even though some schools that are already in the law game have thoughtfully looked at reducing class sizes, there are always going to be schools and universities eager to provide prospective law students with educations they can waste money on.

Time for some stories about law school acquisitions, a plague that has now made it all the way down to Texas

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