Weirdness

Judge Susan McDunn

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore famously alluded to “powerful forces and powerful interests” that were out to get ordinary Americans. He received derision from some quarters for his vague invocation of mysterious forces that were conspiring to keep the people down — but maybe he had a point? As Henry Kissinger famously observed, “Even a paranoid has some real enemies.”

This brings us to the first of our two Judges of the Day, both out of the Chicago area. The first claims that she is “being persecuted extensively by many people in many ways.”

Let’s learn about the mysterious forces who are supposedly causing trouble for this jurist. Does she have actual enemies, or is she simply cuckoo in Cook County?

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A 43-year-old trust fund baby?

Talk about #RichPeopleProblems. And #DaddyIssues.

A prominent Manhattan lawyer is suing his own daughter. For libel. Because she allegedly harmed his reputation. By seeking an accounting of her trust fund. Which he set up for her and reportedly administers. Got that?

Yes, Dad v. Daughter. How could something this messed-up not be our Lawsuit of the Day? Especially given the claimed size of the trust fund, stocked with such goodies as Hamptons real estate?

It’s hard to get one’s head around these allegations, but the litigation is for real. Let’s take a look at the competing claims. And how much the trust fund was supposedly worth at one point — we’re talking seven figures here….

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Chief Judge KOZINSKI, disagreeing with everyone….

– The introductory line to Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s recent separate opinion in Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder (9th Cir. Oct. 19, 2012). As noted by the WSJ Law Blog, the other opinions of the highly fragmented en banc court had more traditional designations, like “concurrence” and “dissent.” Howard Bashman was amused.

(Additional news out of the Ninth Circuit, of a serious and sad nature, after the jump.)

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Occasionally, lawyers send us awesome music videos that they have created. Sadly, we get less appetizing ones much more frequently. It turns out being an attorney does not automatically turn you into the Lonely Island.

We’ve got two painfully funny / bad / uncomfortable lawyer-produced clips today. Normally, I wouldn’t seek out clips like this to write about, but both of these were submitted to us by their creators. So, I guess, be careful what you wish for.

After the jump, check out the mid-size California firm that hopes you’ll call them, maybe, and a war crimes lawyer turned comedienne who sings a love song to Mitt Romney — while wearing a bikini, of course…

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Mahbod Moghadam of Rap Genius

F. Scott Fitzgerald once opined that there were “no second acts in American lives.” Similarly, Biz Markie once opined “’cause we all pick our boogers sometime every day.” If you’re already lost, allow me to explain. This is the story of a former Biglaw attorney and his second act. He and his friends started a website devoted to rap lyrics. The website annotates rap lyrics, and it’s this system of annotation that the founders of the website hope will take over the web (including legal research). The website was recently funded by venture capitalists, and the resulting hype has ping-ponged across the web at a pace so rapid that you’d be excused if you made like Steinski and wondered, “What does it all mean?” (affiliate link).

The interviews that have fed the myriad profiles of the site’s founders have been nothing short of entertaining. Just last week, Gawker was prompted to write a guide to the site, rapgenius.com, which managed to sound both condescending and wildly equivocating and which did nothing but illuminate the author’s squeamishness. This promises to not be like that. I don’t know if Rap Genius is going to be Wikipedia or Pets.com.

What I do know is that a Biglaw dropout just ganked $15 million from Marc Andreessen and wants to edge out Westlaw and Lexis (good luck with that).

Keep reading to find out where he went to law school and what firm he worked at. And if you want to see his shirtless YouTube diss track (no homo)….

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You can feel it when the conversation is about to go there. Someone mentions a funny name. Maybe it’s a celebrity name, like Apple or Pilot Inspektor. And before you know it, you’re smack dab in the middle of one person’s tale of his brother or his cousin. Maybe it’s his cousin’s brother who worked in a hospital or who was a school teacher. Well, it’s this distant relative who encountered the Lemonjello. His brother Orangejello was the slow one, this lying jerk will say. And then the table will erupt into uncomfortable digressions on race and naming conventions. People care about baby names. A lot.

And so it is that we’re confronted with news out of Staten Island, where a judge ruled against a pastor’s attempt to change his family’s name.

Straight from the slums of Shaolin, the Wu-tang Clan strikes again. The Rza, the Gza, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah and …

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Drew Peterson

The filing should be stricken. It’s absolute insanity. It’s bizarre beyond belief. It’s so unbelievable, I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless.

– Joel Brodsky, lead attorney for convicted murderer Drew Peterson, responding to attorney John Paul Carroll’s motion for a new trial. Carroll has not been involved in the case thus far, except as a consultant to advise Peterson about his pension rights.

When we posted video of Lil Wayne’s deposition earlier this week, we knew the epically rude (and vaguely threatening) clips would lead to comment gold.

Because nothing leads to jokes and jokes and jokes like one of the most absurd personalities in hip-hop culture thrown into a room with a buttoned-up lawyer.

The post had quite a few quality entries, like DoctorChimRichalds’s suggestion that Weezy should have pleaded “the Fizzifth.” Dr. Richalds was good, but not quite the best this week. What?

But we do have a Comment of the Week winner. Yeaaaaaah! Shall we see who it is? OKAY!

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FOIA requests: how do they work?

As our resident Juggalo columnist mentioned in August, the minions of crazed rednecks who worship at the altar of Violent J and Shaggy2Dope — otherwise known as the Insane Clown Posse — are not at all happy that the FBI has labelled them a gang. To defend their honor, as well as their right to get wasted and throw absurd parties in the middle of nowhere, the Juggalo nation has decided to launch a Faygo attack on the Pentagon sue the FBI.

Looks like these clowns aren’t clowning around….

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When people leave the Chicago office of Sidley Austin, they do it in style. Remember the humorous departure memo of partner David B. Johnson, who left the firm to pursue a career as a novelist? Or the epic farewell message of associate Tyler Coulson, who left to hike across the country with his dog?

(And write a book about the experience, with a great title: By Men or By the Earth: A Corporate Lawyer Walks Out on Law, Love, and Life, and Walks Across America With His Adopted Dog (affiliate link).)

Today we have news of another lawyer leaving the Chicago office of Sidley. But this departure reads more like a mystery novel than a memoir. Let’s find out who’s leaving, even if we don’t yet know why….

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