Weddings

At the end of August, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in Elane Photography v. Willock that a Christian wedding photographer violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA) when it refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony. (New Mexico does not currently permit same-sex marriage, though all the parties and the court frequently refer to the ceremony as a wedding.) This week, one of the parties in a similar controversy in Oregon, Sweet Cakes Bakery, announced that it would be closing shop, citing its opposition to baking wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

Elane Photography argued that it did not violate the NMHRA but, if it did, this application of the law violated the photography business’s Free Speech and Free Exercise rights under the First Amendment. The court disagreed, writing that “when Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the NMHRA in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races.”

Personally, I’d vote for same-sex marriage if I lived in a state considering such laws. Polygamy too, for that matter. If you are listening for a full-throated defense of traditional, heterosexual marriage to the exclusion of state recognition of any other arrangement, you won’t hear it here. I’m inclined to support religious understandings of traditional marriage, but I’m libertarian enough to let everyone — straight, gay, or otherwise — suffer through the headaches of having the government divide your assets when you get divorced.

Still, using anti-discrimination laws to mandate that all businesses operating as public accommodations provide services to same-sex couples’ weddings sounds like an unnecessary imposition on the sincere religious beliefs of others — and a great way to end up with lousy wedding photos….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Why Using Anti-Discrimination Laws Against Wedding Photographers Doesn’t Work”

* A comprehensive analysis of the New York Times wedding announcements over the years. As the research team frames the question, “What do the world’s most self-important people think is important?” Unsurprisingly, the answer is “where they went to law school.” [News Genius / Rap Genius]

* The National Jurist would like to deceive convince the potential law school class of 2017 that there will be tons of jobs for them. Apparently the legions of unemployed lawyers now will just disappear in some sort of legal industry Carousel. [National Jurist]

* Elizabeth Wurtzel’s mom loves Al Jazeera because she hates pundits and talking heads. Like, for instance, Elizabeth Wurtzel. [The Daily Beast]

* Walter Olson of Overlawyered is going on the road. There are a lot of stops; check if he’s coming to a town near you. You could totally tag one of these venues in a big slip-and-fall case. [Overlawyered]

* The million-dollar-law-degree guys mount another defense. [Am Law Daily via Law School Tuition Bubble]

* In the midst of a slew of law deans stepping down, Dean Patricia Salkin thinks this is the perfect time to become a law dean. Elie already put his hat in the ring for every available position via Facebook. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Military personnel are guaranteed benefits for same-sex partners. Including personnel in state national guard units. But Texas has decided to deny those benefits. Yeehaw! In all seriousness, this is why all those liberals rooting for state marijuana ballot measures against the feds needed a little more foresight. [Dallas Voice]

* An interview with Helen Wan, the author of The Partner Track: A Novel (affiliate link). Keep on the lookout for David’s coming interview with Helen. [CNN]

* We bet you never thought you’d be spending Labor Day weekend debating with your relatives the legality of a U.S. military strike on Syria and the intricacies of international law. Gee, thanks President Obama. [CNN]

* Over the long holiday weekend, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg served as officiant at the gay wedding of John Roberts. No, not that John Roberts, but what an incredibly apropos coincidence that was. [Washington Post]

* Speaking of same-sex marriage, even though “[n]o one told [him] it was an easy job when [he] signed on,” Justice Anthony Kennedy revealed himself to be an ally of the gay rights movement. [New York Times]

* Two days after filing an appeal with the Third Circuit, the parents of a deceased Cozen O’Connor partner have ended their battle to deny their daughter’s profit-sharing benefits to her wife. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

* Twitter’s general counsel deactivated his account position with the social media giant, and looks forward to “goofing off.” Congrats to Vijaya Gadde, who will head up the company’s IPO. [Bits / New York Times]

* Biglaw’s latest scapegoat for the culling of the associate herd is the decline of Chapter 11 filings, otherwise known by industry insiders as the “bankruptcy recession.” [New York Law Journal (sub. req.)]

* Without any rabbits left to pull out of hats, it’s been predicted that by 2018, the Magic Circle will be no more. This is one disappearing act lawyers obsessed with prestige hope will never happen. [The Lawyer]

* If you want to learn more about fashion law, check out this interview with Barbara Kolsun, a woman who literally wrote the book on it (affiliate link) while serving as general counsel at Stuart Weitzman. [Corporate Counsel]

* So what has Kenneth Randall been up to since he left the deanship at Alabama School of Law? He’s working to “train law students for jobs that don’t require a bar license” over at InfiLaw. Awesome. [Tuscaloosa News]

* Legal commentators like Elie and Lat would be ecstatic if law school were two years long, but because so many others have a “vested interest in the status quo,” change will come at approximately half past never. [CNBC]

* Ronald H. Coase, influential legend of law and economics and Nobel prize winner, RIP. [Chicago Law]


Have you ever wondered how nerdy libertarian types get married? (No? Just us?) Depending on your jurisprudential leanings, you’ll be either moved, amused, or emotionally scarred by this wedding ceremony, which took place on the roof of the Cato Institute earlier this summer. Here’s the video. It gets a little weird when the groom whips out his pocket Constitution — he calls it “my Bible” — and vows to “faithfully execute the office of your husband.” (But keep watching for the bride’s vows, which are sweet and heartfelt.)

Another fun (non-lawyer) wedding write-up is this one, featuring the great-granddaughter of Maria and Captain Georg von Trapp, of The Sound of Music fame.

And now for our latest legal-eagle newlywed contestants:

Emily Chapuis and Amanda Shanor

Misty Wright and Robert Yoskowitz

Alicia Beyer and David Zeman

Read on for an in-depth examination of these fabulous couples.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: A More Perfect Union”

This is a historic moment that will resonate in many people’s lives. I am proud that we have made it happen, and I look forward to the first same sex wedding by next summer.

– British Minister on Culture, Women, and Equalities Maria Miller, issuing a statement on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The bill was formalized as soon as Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent to it.

* If you thought Stephen Kaplitt’s epic cease-and-desist response was awesome, then you’ll love this work of parody in response to the response, courtesy of New York Law School. [Legal As She Is Spoke]

* Eric Holder comes clean on his involvement with the James Rosen search warrant, and to the chagrin of many, he isn’t plotting the death of journalism. That, or he’s a big liar. You pick. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* George Zimmerman is going to be staring down an all-female jury for the next few weeks in his murder trial. And let me tell you, that’s going to be so much fun when everyone’s cycles start to sync up. [CNN]

* It’s amazing that the Framers’ intentions can be applied to true love. Best wishes to Ilya Shapiro on his new marriage. Professor Josh Blackman is one hell of a wedding speaker. [CATO @ Liberty]

* Is there an appropriate way to deal with cosmetic surgery — like a breast enlargement, breast reduction, or a nose job — in the office? Just be ready for people to talk about you. [Corporette]

* Former Above the Law columnist Jay Shepherd offers up the secret to lawyer happiness in just six minutes, while taking shots at the world’s largest law firm and the world’s shortest movie star. [jayshep]

We love baby name trends almost as much as we love weddings, so we’re always interested to watch different names wax and wane among our brides and grooms. Remember back when everybody’s baby sister was named Caitlin? Now those little Caitlins are getting married in droves. Jordan was another popular name for boys and girls (there’s a Jordan among our contestants today).

It makes us feel a bit old to watch the last decade’s parade of Ashleys and Jennifers in their strapless dresses give way to the Caitlins and Jordans in their lace-backed gowns. When the little Olivias and Aidens start tying the knot, we’ll know we’ve got one foot in the grave.

Here’s our latest group of newlywed contestants:

Emily Kuo and Michael Chu

Alice Beauheim and Andrew Borene

Jordan Fasbender and Christos Papapetrou

More on these couples, their résumés, and their registries — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Cuts Like a Knife”

Helping a bride make her wedding is about the best ‘Mitzvah’ a person can do.

Benjamin Brafman, the prominent criminal defense attorney (for stars like Michael Jackson, Sean Combs, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn), describing his decision to pen a $5,000 check to help a couple fighting to get their deposit back after booking a South Street Seaport venue damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Brafman wrote the check to the couple he’d never met after reading about them in the New York Post, proving it’s not always bad news to find your name in the Post.

You knew this was going to happen eventually.

Sarah Jones — perhaps better known as the modern day Mary Kay Letourneau, but sexier — is now engaged to the student with whom she once had an illicit, illegal relationship, while he was still under the age of consent.

In case you you’ve forgotten about her, Sarah Jones once inspired many a wet dream during her time as high school teacher who moonlighted as a cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals. Her world came crashing down when TheDirty.com, a gossip site, alleged that she’d slept with all the players on the Bengals and had STDs. Shortly thereafter, she was indicted for sleeping with a student. Jones sued TheDirty.com for defamation, and months after she copped a plea on sexual misconduct charges in her criminal case, the civil case ended in a mistrial.

With all of those loose ends kind of sort of tied up, Jones’s tiger cub apparently decided it was a perfect time to pounce and put a ring on it…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ex-Bengals Cheerleader Convicted of Sexual Misconduct Charges to Marry Student Who Brought Her Infamy”

Tim Tebow is one of the most polarizing figures in America. And for good reason. While a good deal of America finds him to be a media-created proselytizer with the foot speed of a backup Tight End and the arm strength of a backup Tight End, the rest of America is stupid. And this is coming from someone who sported quite the Tebowner when the Broncos embarked on their unbelievable run with Tebow at the helm two years ago. It was magical. It was exhilarating. It was a tremendous run of defensive football.

There are always athletes that explain something about our culture. Our divided self is on full display every time Floyd Mayweather fights. It was on display when OJ Simpson literally got away with murder. Bird and Magic did something similar, if on a lesser scale, in the 80’s. The common thread, in case it isn’t already obvious, is that our polarizing sports figures have largely explained a black-and-white America. Our problems with race, that old American bugaboo, have often found their expression in sports. And for good reason as most men in this country pay more attention to sports than they do politics or entertainment or law or any other bullshit thing that isn’t debated on ESPN’s First Take. If men have a problem in this country, that problem will find its way into our sports.

But what of Tebow? Why do we debate him? Why do we care about a bad quarterback? Why do you care?

Why does a Jacksonville attorney care?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Florida Lawyer Loves Tebow”

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