Violence

Paulina Brady bar exam well endowed Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe tipster who sent this to us wrote:

“It’s a bit grim, but since it’s a slow news day, perhaps you can use this story about a man who apparently murdered his wife, after he failed the Texas bar 4 times. As noted in the article, the alleged perpetrator had lobbied the Texas Supreme Court to lift the rule that limited law graduates to five attempts to pass the bar exam.”

You can say whatever you like about her, but Paulina Bandy handled her thirteen bar exam failures in a much more healthy manner.
Man who killed wife failed bar exam four times [Houston Chronicle]
Earlier: The Bar Exam: If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Michael Vick middle finger Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThings aren’t look so hot for football star Michael Vick right now. See here and here.
Despite the incriminating statements of his co-defendants, Vick still hasn’t reached a plea agreement with the government. Rumor has it that there’s a split among Vick’s lawyers about whether to take a plea deal.
After the jump, we post an analysis from a reader suggesting that, under the applicable Sentencing Guidelines (which are of course advisory post-Booker), Vick shouldn’t necessarily serve prison time.
But we suspect that the feds wouldn’t allow Vick to get off without some prison time (at least a year). And if Vick doesn’t plead guilty to the current indictment, they’ll nail him with a superseding indictment that includes RICO charges (which will vastly ramp up his exposure if convicted).
Check out this reader’s analysis, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Michael Vick: His Co-Defendants Are Barking Up A Storm”

Even if you have a possible justification for doing so — ’cause it might be illegal. From the ABA Journal:

Taser lawyers taser client Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgProceedings have been delayed in a California misdemeanor case in which the defense is claiming that police brutalized their client with a stun gun during his arrest at a shopping mall last year.

That’s because the defense team is now being criminally investigated for allegedly violating human experimentation laws by repeatedly using a stun gun on their client themselves during an evidence-gathering effort in a law office.

Additional details here. Our tipster, a criminal defense lawyer, observes:

“I can’t decide which I like better:

(1) imagining those nervous, sweaty-palmed, study-group types from law school, wringing their hands and saying, ‘C’mon, guys, we have to be PREPARED! How are we gonna know what he looked like when he was writhing in agony unless we shock him AGAIN?’ or

(2) the idea of defense lawyers seizing the opportunity to taser a client — which we have ALL dreamed of doing.”

Shocking Case: Legal Team Tasers Client [ABA Journal]

Elizabeth Halverson 3 Judge Elizabeth Halverson Liz Halverson Above the Law blog.jpg
Since the last coverage of her on ATL, the Energizer-bunny-esque Judge Elizabeth Halverson has been ordered on the inactive list by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.
Following an emotional plea by Halverson in a rare television interview, and a similar public plea by two sexy ex-Halverson staffers (a law clerk and a secretary), the hearing transcripts have been released by the Nevada Supreme Court.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal published a story this morning that basically places the final nail in the 425 500 lb jurist’s cavernous coffin career:

District Judge Elizabeth Halverson’s former bailiff testified that she fell asleep daily in court and frequently told him to shoot her husband, according to transcripts of a closed-door hearing that were made public Wednesday.

Yes, you read that right: “frequently told him to shoot her husband.”
(Dozing off on the bench is no big deal. Some highly regarded judges do it all the time.)
The balance of the insanity, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Another Update on the Large (and Decidedly NOT In Charge) Judge Elizabeth Halverson”

Michael Vick middle finger Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgGuess we can’t get no respect from the mainstream media. Not even from Fox News, which carries a story that we brought you last month.
Meanwhile, in other Michael Vick developments, lawyers for the Falcons quarterback are working on getting him a plea deal. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Atlanta lawyer Dan Meachum, a member of Vick’s defense team, declined to comment Tuesday on any possible negotiations.

“I stand by Michael Vick,” Meachum said. “He’s a good kid in a bad situation. I’m a dog owner, a dog lover. I would not be involved in this case if I didn’t believe in him.”

And some of his best friends are black Labradors!
S.C. Inmate Hits Michael Vick With ‘$63 Billion’ Lawsuit [Fox News via Drudge Report]
Vick attorneys negotiating plea [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
(Much) Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: Vick’s A Defendant In A Federal Civil Suit, Too

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe don’t know whether our latest summer associate superhero is also the Clifford Chance Lolita. Whether or not they’re one and the same, it’s still a worthwhile story:
1. Superhero name: Vampire Girl
2. Special power(s): Sucks your blood, eats your heart out.
3. Summered: Clifford Chance, summer 2007.
4. Claim to fame: “At the now infamous Clifford Chance Corporate Reception on July 12, 2007, this summer got drunk and started biting / making out with random people. The next day, she sent out the email pasted below.”

From: [Redacted]
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2007 3:12 PM
To: #NYC: Summers
Subject: apologies

To anyone I bit last night. It was my birthday, I drank far too much, and I tend to be aggressive and bite people. If you were a victim, you can be assured that I am not rabid.

[Redacted]
Summer Associate (not yet admitted to the bar)
Clifford Chance US LLP

Not rabid? Hopefully she’s not going into litigation.
5. What happened to her: Nothing; she has her offer.
The usual rules apply: please do NOT name this former SA, or speculate about her identity, in the comments.
If you have a summer associate story for us, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us. Thanks.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)

Wesley William Wimber pro se Montana Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgGotta love those pro se litigants in Montana — and their dads, too. From the Billings Gazette:

Bond was set at $50,000 Friday for a man accused of attacking three police officers in a county courtroom as his father reportedly egged him on.

The officers were summoned to District Court in downtown Billings on Thursday after Wesley William Wimber shouted profanities at Judge Russell Fagg, court documents said.

In a confrontation that unfolded after a ruling by Fagg, the man allegedly charged one of the officers while his father shouted encouragement from the back of the courtroom, yelling, “Take ‘em, Wes! Take ‘em!”

No, we’re not making this up. The alleged assailant really is named “Wesley William Wimber.” And the presiding judge really is a Fagg.
So what gave rise to this disorder in the court?

Prosecutors said the melee broke out Thursday at the end of a custody matter in Fagg’s courtroom involving Wimber’s daughter. When Fagg ordered that Wimber allow his daughter’s mother visitation with the 4-year-old, Wimber called out, “Bite me, your honor!”

Very nice. If you’re going to tell a judge to “bite you,” be sure to add “Your Honor.” Then it’s all good.
(We’re reminded of McDermott Will & Emery partner William P. Smith, who suggested to a judge that she might be “a few french fries short of a Happy Meal.” The fact that he prefaced the suggestion “with respect,” and addressed the judge as “Your Honor,” didn’t save him from her wrath.)
Man charged in courtroom melee [Billings Gazette]

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAt large law firms around the country, summer associate programs are nearing their end. But we still have a decent supply of summer associate stories. If you can add to our cache, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
This latest SA tale is, like that of Aquagirl or Jonas Blank, something of a classic. As a result, most of you have probably heard it already. But for those of you who haven’t, here it is:
1. Superhero name: The IncrediPaul(Hastings) Hulk
2. Special power: Ability to transform from a mild-mannered South Asian fellow into a raging, belligerent a**hole — with the aid of just a few drinks.
3. Summered: Paul Hastings, Los Angeles, summer 2006.
4. Claim to fame: This narrative is a bit lengthy — but it’s worth it. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “X-Summers: The IncrediPaul Hulk”

Michael Vick dog dogfight Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFrom ESPN.com (gavel bang: commenter):

In another [Michael] Vick-related matter, the quarterback’s camp has begun interviewing candidates to beef up his legal defense team in the event he goes to trial [on federal charges of conspiracy related to an alleged dogfighting venture].

Vick’s longtime personal attorney, Lawrence Woodward, is expected to remain part of the defense team, but advisors have urged that the Falcons star consider adding counsel with experience in the federal courts.

The Vick camp has solicited recommendations and is believed to have interviewed at least one prominent defender from the prestigious Washington, D.C., firm of Wilmer Hale.

And from a second commenter:

WilmerHale for Vick? Wow, doesn’t seem like a dog-fighting defense shop. They do white collar defense, but that’s a different ball game. From their website: “We have defended clients against allegations of insider trading; securities, healthcare, accounting and government contracts fraud; criminal antitrust violations; money laundering; and alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other statutes.”

So, any speculation as to which WilmerHale lawyer is being considered by Team Vick? Or a recommendation of a top “dog-fighting defense shop” for the embattled sports star?
NFL, Falcons could ask Vick to focus energies in court [ESPN.com]

steam pipe explosion New York City NYC Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgA steam pipe exploded on Manhattan’s East Side, right in the middle of evening rush hour. One person is dead and more than twenty are injured. Eyewitnesses describe it as “the scariest thing I’ve seen since 9/11″ — a scene of mass hysteria, with “thousands running fearfully” through city streets.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving a briefing right now. In the real-time coverage of these events on the New York Times’s excellent City Room blog, there’s a shout-out to one of your favorite law firms:

6:55 p.m. | Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, a large law firm with offices at 425 Lexington Avenue, at East 43rd Street, was one of many companies to evacuate their workers.

“It sounded at first like thunder, but it just didn’t end. It was a really loud, deep, sustained explosion,” said Andrew T. Frankel, a partner at the firm, who works on the 23rd floor. “We all looked out the window and saw black smoke just billowing up 43rd Street. It was pretty frightening, more for the unknown than anything. Nobody waited for the evacuation warning. Everybody headed for the stairwell and headed out of the building. People were tense, but calm.”

“We did floor sweeps and there’s nobody left in the building except the emergency response team in the lobby,” said an operator who answered calls to employees at the firm.

Not even WP? You know something is up when a Biglaw shop is deserted by 7 PM. On a Wednesday.
If you witnessed this evening’s events, please share what you saw, in the comments.
Steam Explosion Jolts Midtown; One Person Is Confirmed Dead [City Room / New York Times]
One Dead After East Side Explosion [WNBC.com]

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