Videos

On Thursday we showed you the dishonorable mentions from our second annual Law Revue contest. Many of you thought that “les dishonorables” were not that bad.

Hopefully, you’ll like the finalists even better.

This year we chose seven finalists from seven different law schools. But there will be no repeat for last year’s champion, UVA Law’s Con Luv. This year, the school didn’t even submit an entry.

Without further ado, we present the seven finalists — along with commentary from your ATL editors. We each ranked the videos, 1 through 7. The entries are listed in order of worst ATL-editor-combined-score to best. Voting closes on Thursday night…

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We launched our second annual Law Revue contest earlier this month. Over 20 law schools entered the competition, including a couple from the Great White North — a special “eh” to our Canuck readers! — with each school submitting up to two videos.

Last night, your ATL editors had a special after-hours viewing. It wasn’t the most entertaining three hours of our lives, but it was funnier than White Chicks, and less painful than a second viewing of Avatar sans 3D glasses.

We watched and rated the videos, separating them into three categories: Good, Borderline, and Crap. We’ll bring you our top seven finalists — the cremé de la cremé — on Monday, when reader voting will begin.

Today, though, we bring you the sour milk entries. There are three entries we placed in the “crap” category that we felt deserved special, dishonorable mention…

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Elie Mystal Fox Business News Above the Law.jpgAlthough our colleague Elie Mystal is on vacation this week, he took some time today to sit down with Fox Business News, where he discussed how some large law firms enjoyed record profits in 2009 — thanks, in part, to record layoffs.

An added bonus: he offered weight loss advice! No donuts involved.

Check out the clip, after the jump.

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(Or: Elie critiques capitalism — on Fox Business News.)

gay marriage skadden.jpgA disclaimer: we’re not sure how we feel about Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal constitutional challenge brought by superlawyers Ted Olson and David Boies to Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. We are somewhat sympathetic to Jonathan Adler’s position: gay marriage makes perfect sense as a policy matter, but the constitutional case is less clear. (We suspect that Elie may be more supportive of the Perry litigation and its ultimate objective; see here.)

We do know, however, how we feel about cameras in the courtroom: we are strongly in favor of them. For more, see our Washington Post piece. The right to an open and public trial is guaranteed by the Constitution, and understanding what’s going on in our courts is a crucial part of democratic self-governance.

The standard for closing a courtroom to the public is very high, and justifiably so. We the People should be allowed to know — and to hear, and to see — what is transpiring within our courts. After all, these are our laws being interpreted, our rights being adjudicated, and our taxpayer dollars at work.

And in this age of videoconferencing, YouTube, blogging, and Twitter, the distinction between physical and virtual attendance of court proceedings is becoming increasingly artificial. If we can read reporter Dan Levine’s real-time tweets about the Prop 8 trial, or if we can read blog posts published during breaks about what just transpired in open court, why shouldn’t we be able to watch the proceedings ourselves, in livestreaming video? Or, if we can’t watch real-time video, why can’t we watch video posted online after the fact?

This is why we are so disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to kill, at least for now, efforts to broadcast the Prop 8 trial. This is why we strongly support the efforts of Chief Judge Vaughn Walker (N.D. Cal.), who is presiding over the trial, and Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Cir.), who is spearheading a Ninth Circuit pilot project providing for cameras in the courtroom, to offer some wider broadcast of the proceedings (whether on YouTube, an official court website, or even just to federal courthouses outside San Francisco).
More discussion, plus a READER POLL, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cameras in the Prop 8 Courtroom: Why Not?”

gay marriage skadden.jpgBecause when you want to argue against average Americans having access to a basic civil right, you want to make sure nobody sees you doing it. From the Associated Press:

The Supreme Court is blocking a broadcast of the trial on California’s same-sex marriage ban, at least for the first few days.
The federal trial is scheduled to begin later Monday in San Francisco. It will consider whether the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban approved by California voters in November 2008 is legal.
The high court on Monday said it will not allow video of the trial to be posted on YouTube.com, even with a delay, until the justices have more time to consider the issue. It said that Monday’s order will be in place at least until Wednesday. Opponents of the broadcast say they fear witness testimony might be affected if cameras are present. Justice Stephen Breyer said he would have allowed cameras while the court considers the matter.

Whatever. I’d be more worked up about this, but I’m still waiting for FIFA to realize that there is a thing called instant replay. Old people, organizations, and institutions tend to react really slowly to obvious technological changes.
UPDATE: After the jump, SCOTUSblog opines on why the Court mandated the delay.

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As some of you know, I like television shows about lawyers. Granted, I liked them a lot better before I knew they were full of crap, but I still like them.
But not like this. This, my friends, is going to suck.

Some complaints after the jump.

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hitler as a 2l berkeley.jpgIn parsing the fate of law school students, there’s no point in talking about the 3Ls. Their chances of success in the job hunt are about as bright as Obama’s prospects of winning the war in Afghanistan. In other words, abandon hope all ye who enter here.
The 1Ls can actually pray the economy will improve. And unlike the poor 3Ls, they knew what they were getting into when they enrolled this fall.
But what about the 2Ls? They have a year and a half more to stay in the law school bunker. Is that long enough for the economy to pick up and for firms to open their wallets doors to draw them close to the Biglaw bosom? Many 2Ls report that their dance cards for the summer are empty.
But there may be hope for current 2Ls without summer suitors, reports Zach Lowe at AmLaw Daily. Some firms are coming back for another round:

[A] small number of those 2Ls stand to benefit from an added mini-round of recruiting, which law school officials and firm recruiters attribute to the cautious stance some firms took the first time around in August and September. The reason, according to about a dozen sources we interviewed: Firms shooting for smaller class sizes limited their offers to the best of the best in the class of 2010. The students in that group found themselves with several offers to choose from, leaving firms short of the already smaller-than-usual targets they’d set. Now those firms are going back to top law schools and asking about candidates who have not yet secured a gig for summer 2010, according to career services deans at law schools, law firm recruiters, and industry groups.

Which firms are still looking? What are they looking for? And, if Adolf Hitler was a 2L, what would he do?
Find out after the jump.

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(And: If Hitler Were a Berkeley 2L)

BC Law logo.JPGIt’s too early to take nominations for this year’s law revue contest. But an early contender will surely be a video we received from students at Boston College Law School. It’s a spoof of BC law professor Scott Fitzgibbon’s anti-gay marriage commercial. Here’s the set-up, from the BC Student Bar Review (that’s a social organization, for 1Ls still wondering what happens outside of the library):

Dear all,
The next bar review will begin at 8pm this Thursday, October 1 at The Kells…. We can hear some of you already: “but guyssssss, The Kells is full of meatheads in Red Sox hats.” Well, we’ve got a news flash for you, Little Lord Fauntleroy: every bar in Boston is full of meatheads in Red Sox hats, and very few of them have dance floors as spirited or drinks as reasonably priced as The Kells. We find it to be a great place to blow off some steam, get weird on the dance floor, and accost your TA from LLRW and force him to do shots of Jameson with you.
However, as Dean Garvey reminded us in his memo, we must be respectful of those who disagree with us, no matter their beliefs. In the spirit of providing equal time, we have included a brief video message from the opposition:

The Kells is the kind of place that makes you want to bathe yourself in lye when you wake up the next morning afternoon. Here’s what the loyal opposition has to say:

After the jump, would the real Professor Fitzgibbon please stand up?

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Legal Rebels ABA Journal.jpgAs previously mentioned in these pages, your above-signed scribe has been named a Legal Rebel — one of “50 leading innovators” in the legal profession, as selected by the ABA Journal.
The profile, written by Rachel Zahorsky, appears here. For more background on the Legal Rebels project, see our prior post, or the Legal Rebels website.
Steve Brill Steven Brill American Lawyer Court TV Journalism Online.jpgThrough the Legal Rebels team, we were given the opportunity to meet and interview a longtime idol of ours: Steven Brill, founder of the American Lawyer and Court TV (and a fellow Yale Law School graduate). Brill’s latest project is Journalism Online, which “is pioneering the effort to make the transition to a paid online model successful for publishers and easy for readers.”
You can check out the video of our interview with Steve Brill here, or read about it at the ABA Journal.
David Lat: Gossip at Law [Legal Rebels / ABA Journal]
David Lat Interviews Steve Brill [Legal Rebels / ABA Journal]
Ever the Tough Editor, Am Law Founder Hits Publication’s Websites [ABA Journal]
P.S. Elsewhere in shameless plugs: if you’re in D.C. and don’t have anything more exciting to do tonight, head over to Georgetown Law for a discussion of new media and the law. The panel will feature yours truly, Tony Mauro from the National Law Journal, and Matt Welch from Reason Magazine. Eileen O’Connor, former reporter and bureau chief at CNN, will moderate.
Earlier: Maverick Law: The ABA Journal’s ‘Legal Rebels’
Mr. Lat Goes to Washington

Mainly we’re posting this because it’s a Friday afternoon and rainy (at least here in New York). We figure you need some entertainment to launch you into the weekend.
But there is a legal angle to this music video. It might have spawned intellectual property litigation, if Disney — and Miley Cyrus — didn’t have such a good sense of humor. Enjoy!
(If you like, feel free to discuss “fair use” issues in the music video context in the comments.)

Disney Allows a Gay Miley Cyrus Knock-Off Video to Flourish Online [Media Decoder / New York Times]
Finally, an Excuse to Post This Video of Fire Island Gays Lip-synching to Miley Cyrus [Daily Intel / New York Magazine]
Fire Island Gays Get the Attention of Miley Cyrus With ‘Party’ Video [Towleroad]

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