Videos

There’s just one day left to vote in ATL’s Second Annual Law Revue Video contest. Check out the seven finalists — from Columbia, Northwestern, NYU, SMU, Wash. U., Windsor, and Berkeley — and vote before midnight on Thursday.

Columbia and Northwestern are currently in a fierce competition for the crown. There have been some not-so-funny allegations of rigging the vote, so we’ve asked our friends at Vizu to monitor the poll and flag any suspicious activity. So keep the voting clean, folks.

We’ve already given out dishonorable mentions. There were three other videos that we would like to footnote, which just missed the cut for final contenders.

GWU and University of Chicago-Kent made this list, as did one of the schools among our finalists…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Revue Video Contest: Honorable Mentions
(And a reminder to vote!)

Alex Kozinski David Lat.jpg

Thumbs up to cameras in the courtroom from Judge Alex Kozinski and our own David Lat

The Ninth Circuit sent waves through the legal community earlier this year when Judge Vaughn Walker proposed broadcasting the Prop 8 trial. In January, the Supreme Court swept in and shot down that idea.

We were not pleased with the SCOTUS decision; we said at the time:

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.

We weren’t the only ones miffed. Beyond court-watchers who couldn’t fit in the courtroom, ATL readers disapproved of the decision. More importantly, so did Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.

Kozinski is a fierce advocate of cameras in the courtroom. On Monday, he stopped by Fordham Law School to talk about why courts need to admit cameras (before Congress forces cameras on them). Beyond the public’s “right to know,” he focused on the fact that cameras are impartial observers that are becoming increasingly necessary as the media devolves into a bunch of highly-subjective blogger-types…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A New Argument In Favor of Cameras in the Courtroom: Bloggers Suck”

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…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Revue Video Contest: The Finalists”

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?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “BC Law Prof. Fitzgibbon Speaks via Email; BC Law Students Spoof via YouTube”

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