* Thou shalt not kidnap your child to keep her from getting married. [CNN]
* This really happened? [CNN]
* Supreme Court takes antitrust case involving investment banks. [New York Times]
* Specter introduces legislation designed to blunt the effects of the Thompson memo. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Same-sex marriage still legal, eh? [Reuters via Yahoo!]
- Arlen Specter, Bad Ideas, Canada, Deaths, Gay Marriage, Kids, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court, Violence, Weddings, White-Collar Crime
* Thou shalt not kidnap your child to keep her from getting married. [CNN]
When they take over Congress next year, expect the Democrats to launch investigations up the wazoo — of big business, the Bush Administration, the Iraq War, and other things they don’t particularly like.
These investigations will be a pain in the hindquarters for Republicans. But they’ll be a boon for Biglaw. From TPMmuckracker.com:
In a recent memo to its clients, the white-shoe law firm of Covington and Burling warned of the increased investigative activity soon to come from the Dem-controlled Hill — and touted its credentials for representing corporations and individuals who may find themselves under scrutiny….
Are you an executive at a telecom involved in the NSA’s wiretapping program? Did your company get a sweet no-bid contract in Iraq? Well, Covington’s soon-to-be booming “congressional investigations practice” boasts such luminaries as Lanny Breuer, who was President Clinton’s Special Counsel during impeachment proceedings, and Robert Kelner, who has represented the RNC in the New Hampshire phone jamming case.
Gentlemen, start your retainers.
Interestingly enough, a number of the top white-collar shops in Washington are left-leaning. In addition to Covington, there’s Williams & Connolly and WilmerHale, both well-stocked with former Clintonistas.
Expect partners at these firms to make generous donations to Democratic candidates in the next few election cycles. They’re getting tired of being the “Administration-in-Exile” — and they have high hopes for 2008.
(On that subject, we’re still interested in getting your views on which leading liberal lawyers would be in the running for top jobs in a Democratic administration. We have our own thoughts on this, but we’d love to hear from you.)
Crusading Dems Mean Big Profits for Corporate Defenders [TPMmuckracker.com]
Memo from Covington Burling on Congressional Investigations [Talking Points Memo Document Collection]
* Woo-hoo!!! Good news for online rumor-mongerers like ourselves. [Volokh Conspiracy; Instapundit]
* And a bit of bad news, too. [Concurring Opinions]
* We weren’t the only ones who had fun at Federalistapalooza. [Southern Appeal]
* “Conservative civil war”: Not just at the Federalist Society. [Andrew Sullivan; Instapundit; Ryan Sager]
* When the subject of gay marriage comes up, social conservatives bring out a parade of horribles — including polygamy. Now Ann Althouse wonders: Is it really so horrible? [Althouse]
* While we’re linking to contrarian thinking, here’s a different take on L’Affaire OJ.: “Rupert Murdoch’s relevant anatomy shrunk to the size of two shriveled peas.” [Crime & Federalism]
* Some food for thought: “If the [anti-burqa] legislation is enacted, a Dutch woman could marry her lesbian partner, spend her life smoking a little hashish now and then — and when the time comes, get a doctor’s assistance in pulling the plug — all well within Dutch law. But she couldn’t ride the subway with a veil over her face. What an odd country.” [PrawfsBlawg]
* Actually, Will, we think this is really cool. Who wants to tour Civil War battlefields when you can visit these instead? [Crescat Sententia]
- Election Law, Feminism, Media and Journalism, Non-Sequiturs, Old People, Politics, Racism, Real Estate, Television, White-Collar Crime
* You KNOW you were thinking of “White Castle” as a substitute building name. [WSJ Law Blog; DealBreaker]
* Lawbeat is a new blog that “watches the journalists who watch the law.” Because, you know, not every legal news outlet can be as scrupulous as ATL. [Lawbeat via How Appealing]
* My “authentic self” is that of a party-whore with a Scarlett Johansson rack. But I am forced to “cover” the girls (figuratively and literally) in the workplace, and last night, Partner X made me stay at work until the wee hours — when he knew my sort should be out gallivanting in the Meatpacking District. Were my civil rights assaulted? [Black Feminism]
* Greatest Donatella Versace impersonator ever, Maya Rudolph, and director Paul Anderson are suing over bedbugs infesting their Soho loft. And who knew that Maya Rudolph’s baby daddy is the dude who once dated Fiona Apple? [Associated Press via NYLawyer.com]
* In preparation for Election Day, HBO just premiered
And aficionados of direct-to-video movies rejoice. UPI reports:
Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes will avoid any time in jail on tax fraud charges as part of a recent settlement with the Internal Revenue Service.
The 44-year-old star of the “Blade” film trilogy had been wanted in connection with his attempt to claim $12 million in tax refunds in 1996 and 1997, but worked out a deal that helped him avoid jail while setting up a payment plan, Daily Variety said.
So if you were hoping to hear about Snipes demonstrating his martial arts abilities on Bernie Ebbers, Jeff Skilling, and Walter Forbes, we’re sorry to disappoint you.
(But Snipes getting off without a prison sentence shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Or at least it doesn’t to Ted Frank, who predicted as much last month.)
Snipes Avoids Jail Time with IRS Settlement [UPI]
Snipes Settles with IRS [Variety]
Snipes Settles Tax Fraud Charges, Will Avoid Jail Time [TaxProf Blog]
Earlier: White Men Can’t Jump — But They Can Nab You for Tax Evasion
- Email Scandals, Enron, Jeffrey Skilling, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Ridiculousness, Sentencing Law, Sex Scandals, White-Collar Crime
Delightful links, hand-picked with loving care by Stella Q, will appear later today. For now, here a few other quick links that caught our eye recently:
* Curious about how many Americans share your full name? Now you can find out. [TaxProf Blog]
* “Zagat’s for prisons.” Good stuff. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Professor Dimino wants to know: What’s the most frivolous lawsuit or argument you’ve encountered? (A regular diet of them is served up over here; but we’re sure that countless examples remain undiscovered.) [PrawfsBlawg]
* “Dukakis would have picked up at least 3 states if it had come out that he’d partied with Playboy bunnies.” [Instapundit]
* Wiccans don’t have standing? Give them some eye of newt and wing of bat, and they’ll conjure some up in a jiffy. [Associated Press via How Appealing]
* Camille Paglia: Love her or loathe her, she’s always interesting and fun to read. Especially when writing about the Mark Foley scandal. [Althouse]
* Fun with Enron emails: “Certainly all of you can stop shredding documents for 5 minutes to respond.” [Enron Explorer via WSJ Law Blog]
* Think Jeff Skilling got too harsh a sentence? You’re not alone. [DealBreaker]
You’re a partner at the Chicago powerhouse law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, which generally ranks as the most profitable non-New York Biglaw firm in the country. But you decide that a six- to seven-figure income isn’t enough for your needs. So you do this:
1. Sell fraudulent certificates of deposit for $1.8 million.
2. Set up a bank account in the name of an LLC in Florida for the money.
3. Hire somebody to use the money to buy cashiers checks.
4. Proceed to blow hundreds of thousands of dollars on a girlfriend, a wedding, a honeymoon, and his Barrington, IL. lifestyle.
5. Leave the money off your tax return.
A Chicago-area attorney was convicted of tax evasion in federal court Wednesday for attempting to hide more than $1 million from the IRS. Robert W. Hallock, 62, a former partner at Kirkland & Ellis, was convicted in a bench trial of earning some $1.8 million in 1997 from the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposit.
Hallock funneled the money through a Florida bank account and used it to buy two cars, a truck and nearly $145,000 in jewelry, said Atlanta-based U.S. Atty. David Nahmais, whose office handled the case. He also gave $150,000 to his girlfriend and her parents, prosecutors charged.
Hallock sounds like a criminal and a moron. But he does get points for cojones and creativity. Here’s what he argued at trial:
[Hallock] argued that since [he] was obligated under the UCC to repay the money, he did not have any income — in his words, “a good faith belief, even if crazy, negates willfulness.”
Leave it to a tax lawyer to come up with an argument like that.
Former Kirkland & Ellis Partner Convicted of Tax Evasion [TaxProf Blog]
Bad Barrington Barrister Busted [Roth & Company, P.C.]
Chicago-Area Attorney Convicted of Tax Evasion [Chicago Tribune]
Really, really long.* To wit, 292 months long. For the mathematically challenged among you, that’s 24 years and four months. Ouch.
But given the size and scope of the Enron fraud, the lengthy sentence may be appropriate (even if it’s higher than many Wall Streeters expected). You can compare Jeffrey Skilling’s sentence to those of other leading white-collar criminals over at the WSJ Law Blog.
* We briefly contemplated a far more crude cinematic allusion, involving this movie, but thought better of it.
Skilling Sentenced to 24 Years in Prison [Associated Press]
Skilling Gets 24 Years [DealBreaker]
Skilling’s Sentence: 24 Years, 4 months [WSJ Law Blog]