A pair of motions are bouncing around email inboxes this week, thanks to the “foot-tapping lawyer.” (This has nothing to do with Larry Craig, so read on without fear.)
It all started in July, when Florida law firm Rasco Klock sent a paralegal to Wilmington for a deposition. The firm is representing a plaintiff suing an insurance company, but one of their lead attorneys, Juan Carlos Antorcha, had to remain in Miami and conduct the deposition by video, with the paralegal handling the exhibits in person.
During the deposition of a witness for the defense, a strange noise caught the attention of the Perceptive Paralegal. After hearing clicking, he peeked beneath the table and saw a defense attorney’s foot tapping the foot of the deponent. He snapped a photo with his smartphone and sent it to Antorcha, who confronted the defense and halted the deposition. Rasco Klock then filed a very angry motion for sanctions, accusing the defense attorney of coaching the witness through foot tapping.
From the motion:
Before accusing a lawyer of acting in an unethical and unprofessional fashion, a fellow lawyer must think long and hard. Was the breach intentional? What were the circumstances? Was there any sense of contrition? Could the offending lawyer believe that his conduct had been appropriate?
The lawyer accused of foot-tapping is Brown Sims shareholder Kenneth Engerrand. On every single page of the 13-page motion for sanctions against him is the incriminating footsie photo…
But not because they brought a megalomaniacal murderer into the world. We’re not talking about Adolf Hitler, the deceased German dictator, but about Adolf Hitler Campbell, a little boy living in New Jersey.
The idea of some poor kid running around with the name “Adolf Hitler” might be amusing on its own, but the story here is also serious and sad. The AP reports:
A New Jersey couple who gave their children Nazi-inspired names should not regain custody of them, a state appeals court ruled Thursday, citing the parents’ own disabilities and the risk of serious injury to their children.
The state removed Heath and Deborah Campbell’s three small children from their home in January 2009. A month earlier, the family drew attention when a supermarket refused to decorate a birthday cake for their son, Adolf Hitler Campbell.
First they won’t let him have Leningrad; now he can’t get a birthday cake. Poor Adolf Hitler just can’t catch a break.
So what did the New Jersey appellate court decide?
I know, I know — it sounds like the perfect third-year law school course. But I’m not talking about a way for 3Ls to get an easy A; I’m talking about the apparent proliferation of law blogs devoted to mixed martial arts (MMA). Writes Bruce Carton of Legal Blog Watch: “I’m not exactly sure what this development means for the current state of legal blogging, but just know this: There are now two blogs dedicated to mixed martial arts law!”
Carton highlights Mixed Martial Arts Law Blog and Fight Lawyer. There’s something perfectly satisfying about lawyers writing about the laws that pertain to beating the crap out of each other. You could imagine cooks writing about what meal you should have before you knock another cook over the head with a frying pan. It just fits very nicely with the profession.
But aside from lawyers writing about MMA, let’s not forget that we’ve seen a number of attorneys actually practice the fine art of choking another man into submission….
It’s an entry-level luxury vehicle. It’s the sort of car you might see a first-year lawyer driving.
– Jalopnik editor Ray Wert, discussing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Acura TSX. Since Zuckerberg has professed not to believe in privacy and has helped to eradicate it with Facebook, Gawker gave him the paparazzi treatment, and discovered that he (and his car) are not actually very interesting.
Barack Obama's purported birth certificate - click to enlarge.
Orly Taitz and the Birthers aren’t the only people obsessed with Hawaiian birth certificates. A young lawyer by the name of Adam Gustafson — a 2009 graduate of the Yale Law School and former vice president of the Yale Federalist Society, who’s currently clerking in Hawaii for Judge Richard Clifton (9th Cir.) — is making a federal case over them.
And Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway, the district court judge who wound up with the case, is not impressed. She recently dismissed Gustafson’s complaint — in forceful fashion:
This case is an example of why people who overreact to situations are accused of “making a federal case out of nothing.”
Plaintiff Adam Gustafson and his wife… proceed pro se against various state officials. The Gustafsons complain about having been asked to state their race and any Spanish origin on a birth certificate registration form submitted in October 2009 for their Hawaii-born daughter. The Gustafsons articulated to the State their objection to a birth certificate identifying their races.
The court has no quarrel with the Gustafsons’ wish for a birth certificate devoid of such information. What follows, though, shows questionable judgment.
Ouch — quite the benchslap. Gustafson’s boss, Judge Clifton, should keep Gustafson far away from any appeals of decisions by Judge Mollway.
Filing a federal lawsuit in Hawaii, while clerking in Hawaii for a federal judge? It’s gutsy of Gustafson. At least he won’t have to travel far for any appearances.
So what about Gustafson’s case reflects “questionable judgment”?
No, that’s not a typo; we’re not talking about firefighting. We’re talking about fart fighting. From our sister site, the fabulous Fashionista:
There’s no graceful way to introduce this product, so we’ll just cut to the chase: “Subtle Butt” is a disposable patch of fabric with an “activated carbon layer… to which stench adheres and gets neutralized.” Except there’s nothing subtle about farting.
In short, Subtle Butt is a small square of fabric you stick to your underwear just in case you lay a real stinky egg. If it’s loud, you’re on your own. Subtle Butt does nothing to muffle sound. Gross.
This product sounds like a gas — and very useful for lawyers. Imagine you’re in a marathon negotiation session for a billion-dollar merger, or deposing the opposing party’s CEO, and that Mexican food you ordered from Seamless Web has given you flatulence.
Do you really want to waste precious (billable) time by stopping the proceedings and stepping out of the conference room, just to toot your own kazoo? If Subtle Butt has you covered, just let it rip — and cough really loudly or drop binders on the floor, to cover up the noise.
In light of Subtle Butt’s utility for attorneys, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the inventor is a lawyer….
In the aftermath of last week’s “LeBromination,” where we witnessed the Miami Heat become the basketball power equivalent of the SuperFriends, this was the response from a colleague of mine to a related story gaining steam in the media:
“Yeah, and I’m Shaq’s uncle.”
The last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind for Leicester Bryce Stovell. As first reported by TMZ, and followed by a slew of other media outlets (including this video from Headline News), Stovell claims that he is the biological father of basketball star LeBron James. In making his claim, he did what any of us would have done: he sued his son and baby’s mama (Gloria James) for $4 million dollars.
Sounds a bit sketchy, right? After he was named our Lawyer of the Day last Friday, I decided to reach out to Stovell for an interview with Above The Law. It turns out that the former SEC lawyer currently works as a contract attorney here in DC, which means we are practically brothers, in a non-DNA-test sort of way.
Stovell gave me some frank, interesting answers — along with a startling revelation….
There are many, many personal injury firms in the world, and they often have to come up with gimmicks to set themselves apart. Those gimmicks have landed a fair number of them in our Adventures in Lawyer Advertising series.
A tipster recently sent along the website for The Doan Law Firm: The Ultimate Fighting Law Firm. It’s based in Houston and run by a Texas Wesleyan Law ’00 grad, Jimmy Doan.
Why don’t you click here and meet him? Make sure your speakers are on.
Hey, have you read Above the Law for like one single minute in the past month? If so, you probably know that we’re having this big blogger conference on March 14th at the Yale Club. Yeah, the Yale Club. You’ll be able to recognize me: I’ll be the only big… blogger guy surreptitiously holding a can of crimson spray-paint.
Speaking of coming, you should come. We’ve got CLE and all that. Click here to buy tickets to get CLE credit for listening to bloggers scream about stuff on the internet.
To refresh your memory, details on the panel that I’m moderating — almost entirely sober, mind you — follow.
My panel is called Blogs as Agents of Change, and we’re going to talk about whether all of these spilled pixels are actually making a difference. You know my view… just ask Lawrence Mitchell, but here are the panelists:
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
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