Trials

* Defense lawyer: “I think you’ll be returning a verdict of ‘guilty’ on each and every one of these counts. I mean, crap… Scratch that, reverse it.” [NewsNet 5 Ohio]

* It really stinks that Chick-fil-A is a little bit evil, because their food is SO GOOD. [TaxProf Blog]

* Attorneys with more pronounceable names rise more quickly to superior positions in their firms. Apologies to Elie Mystal. [The Atlantic]

* Southwestern Law School 3L freaks out about looming debt, records EP entitled “Financial Aid,” and lands gig at SXSW. I’m actually kind of jealous. [Mike Bauer, Facebook]

* KLM is allowing you to upload your Facebook profile before you pick your seat, so you can hand pick your seatmate. How long before people start trolling with fake Kim Kardashian accounts? [The Not-So Private Parts]

* The job interview shame thread. Lord, this is painful. And hilarious. [Dealbreaker]

Hemy Neuman is standing trial for murder. His defense is unusual.

Right now in Atlanta, a former operations manager at General Electric is standing trial for allegedly murdering the husband of his female coworker and alleged lover.

It’s a twisty tale of romance, deception, and violence, something you might find in an airport bookstore.

The strangest part of what has been dubbed the Dunwoody Day Care Killing, though, is the bizarre defense put forth by accused murderer Hemy Neuman. He says an angel and a demon, in the form of two celebrities, made him shoot his alleged lover’s husband.

Yes, you heard that right.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Introducing the ‘Celebrity Angels and Demons Made Me Do It’ Murder Defense”

Let's hope nobody you make fun of ever decides to kill themselves. Otherwise you might end up like Ravi.

* So, your colleague or family member dies, suddenly, after allegedly being worked into the ground. But it’s my blog post about it that “turned the sad situation into a nightmare”? I think instead of lamenting for a fluff piece in a local paper, the media geniuses at Dinsmore should respond to a legitimate press inquiry. [West Virginia Record]

* The Dharun Ravi trial is under way. I’ll be calling it the Ravi trial, not the Tyler Clementi trial. Because Tyler Clementi is the kid that tragically killed himself, while Dharun Ravi is the very much alive person who has already had his life ruined even thought he didn’t kill anybody. [Metropolis]

* Are law firms finally starting to make money off of their investments in social media? [Legal Blog Watch]

* HoLove is getting a Brazilian. [Legal Week]

* Mmm… Section 230. [Paid Content.org]

* Does pot make you less productive, or does lack of productivity make you smoke pot? Or, man, have you ever thought that, like, maybe the pot was smoking you, or something? [What About Clients?]

* If you go to the second hour of this show, at about the 33-minute mark, you’ll hear me start to absolutely lose my mind over the Supreme Court’s decision to grant cert in Fisher. [WBEZ]


If I were in charge, people would look forward to getting one of these.

For my entire life, Republicans have been telling me government doesn’t work. It’s not true, government works just fine: taxes get collected, snow gets removed, communism gets toppled.

Government works, it’s just extremely inefficient. It’s bureaucratic. It’s unable to effectively deal with exceptions. It wastes time.

The waste of time is an unforgivable sin to most Americans. We believe that time is money. We believe our time is our own. We hate when somebody else wastes our time. When the state does it — at the DMV, or at the post office — we’re likely to blow a gasket.

Watching people’s faces in the jury room is like watching time itself being ripped away from people. And half of the people in here have the Liam Neeson face like they’re about to talk to the time thieves and say: “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

Does jury duty have to be like this?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Elie Draws Jury Duty: Day Two — Why Doesn’t Anything Happen?”

I have successfully avoided jury duty since I moved back to New York in 2003, but this week they finally caught up with me. This week, I’ve had to perform my civic responsibility of sitting in judgment of my peers (like I don’t do that enough already).

Sorry, I had to “be available” to sit in judgement of my peers. Nobody is ever going to pick me for a jury. I blog about law for a living, hold two Harvard degrees, and have a checkered past. I’m not getting impaneled. Instead, I was just looking forward to the rare business day when I didn’t have to invent an opinion or listen to “the internet” pontificate on my weight.

Then the lady who seemed to be in charge of the proceedings told me that I was looking forward to three days of that. I went to protest, but Nurse Ratched told me to sit down and wait for my lobotomy. So i started paying attention to my surroundings — because blogging is how I cope with the slings and arrows of outrageous people asking me to behave like a normal person.

I’ll deal more directly with Nurse Ratched at another time. Today I got an up-close look at the voir dire process in a criminal trial. While I was not picked, I feel like my McMurphy-esque fingerprints will be all over the case.

Let’s take a look inside our clearly broken jury system…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Elie Draws Jury Duty: Day One — Voir Dire”

A game that nobody wants to play.

Even though serving on a jury is considered an important civic duty, people in this country seem to loathe the mere idea of being forced to do it. After all, because of jury duty, people have to miss work — hell, some people even get fired because of it.

And even though jury duty is something that is required by law, instead of just doing it, people would rather make jokes about others being too dumb to get out of it.

One judge in Indiana is well aware of that fact, and he’s on a mission to get people to serve willingly, lest they be forced to face some embarrassing consequences….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Sign That You Should Always Show Up for Jury Duty”

I believe the defendant failed a saving throw against berserker, so when he killed those people he didn't know right from wrong.

* Dressing shrinks as wizards when they testify would be an AWESOME idea. I’m serious. Why can’t we have this? And titles, too. “Your Honor, I call Dr. Freud — Ph.D in weakness management and keeper of the sacred staffs of Ivory guard — to the stand.” [Overlawyered]

* iTextbooks! Could be awesome, could widen the gap between the rich and the iPoor. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Old lawyer accidentally smuggles a gun onto a plane, mainly because security — which noticed said gun — forgot to stop her. TSA doesn’t make us more safe, folks. It just makes us more molested. [Daily Mail]

* Apparently, LLMs go great with Brazilians. The people, not the grooming. Or maybe both — I don’t know, but I was only asked about people. [Live Mint]

* To be clear, putting slavery analogies into our math problems is bad… unless you are a college basketball or football star trying to work out how much you got paid in free tuition for last night’s game, versus how much the university made off of the performance of your team. Then the analogy is “apt.” [CBS Atlanta]

* White people problems, written by a former Cahill Gordon associate who quit to take a job in television. [Funny or Die]

* Additional impressive hires by an elite litigation boutique. How long before MoloLamken ends up on somebody’s hot list? [MoloLamken]

Gerald Ung (left) and Edward DiDonato Jr. (right)

This shouldn’t come as a shock; we predicted it last February, when the criminal case ended in acquittal. But Eddie DiDonato Jr., a former lacrosse star at Villanova and the son of a prominent partner at the Fox Rothschild law firm, has filed a civil lawsuit against Gerald Ung, the Temple Law School student who shot DiDonato in January 2010 in the Old City section of Philadelphia.

Gerald Ung isn’t the only defendant. DiDonato is suing a half dozen other parties, relying on various theories of liability. Let’s think of this as a Torts final exam: Who else might DiDonato be suing besides Ung? What causes of action can you see?

Let’s take a closer look at the lawsuit, filed on behalf of DiDonato by one of Pennsylvania’s leading personal injury lawyers….

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Casey Anthony, the young woman accused — and then acquitted — of killing her daughter, dropped off the radar after her sentencing in early July.

Thanks to Nancy Grace’s efforts, the allegedly murderous hottie soon became the most-hated woman in America. Rumors of attacks on Tot Mom look-alikes ran rampant, a burly African-American male named Casey Anthony had his Facebook wall defaced, and the real Casey Anthony was forced into hiding.

Within the past week, however, a purported video of the alleged child killer appeared on YouTube. Shortly thereafter, NBC News confirmed that the woman featured was, in fact, the real Casey Anthony.

She’s sporting a completely new look that’s reminiscent of a hot librarian. How does it compare to her old look, and what does she have to say for herself?

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Yeah, I’m shameless, but I repeat: Oxford University Press has just published a great new treatise!

I recently popped open a box and held in my hands an advance copy of a new treatise published by Oxford University Press: Drug and Device Product Liability Litigation Strategy (affiliate link), by yours truly and my former partner at Jones Day, David B. Alden.

Popping open that box is the only compensation I’ll ever get for having written that book, because I’m no longer in the private practice of law (so I can no longer use a publication to try to attract clients) and I negotiated an advance payment to my firm (back when I was a partner at Jones Day) that basically guarantees I’ll never get any royalties from this project. That leaves as compensation only the joy of holding the book in my hands for the first time and the satisfaction of knowing that a few people will find the treatise to be worthwhile.

I’ve now held the book in my hands, so that little thrill is behind me. But the treatise is also worthwhile, and I’ll prove it….

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