It doesn't help that Rich Whitney kind of looks like a Rich Whitey.
Sometimes, typos matter — a lot. We’ve seen typos get law firms into all kinds of trouble. And now a typo might ruin the already slim gubernatorial chances of a Green Party candidate.
Running on the Green Party line, Rich Whitney wasn’t likely to become the next Governor of Illinois anyway. But an error at the Chicago Board of Elections will cause Whitney’s name to be misspelled as “Whitey” on some touch screen ballots this November. Of the 23 wards affected by this typo, half of them are in largely African-American districts. And the error cannot not be fixed in time for Election Day.
So yeah, black people in Chicago will be able to vote for “Rich Whitey” this fall.
You remember that scene in Die Hard With a Vengeance where Bruce Willis has to stand in the middle of Harlem while wearing an offensive sandwich board? Things are going to turn out marginally better for Rich Whitney, but clearly Whitney would have been better off changing his last name to “not the whiteman’s bitch.” Or even “Kill Whitey,” as Juggalo Law suggests…
* I’ll bite: I think a tanning tax is racist. It’s textbook disparate impact. African-Americans have been through enough; we shouldn’t be forced to look at pasty-faced white people all winter. [Concurring Opinions]
* DWI fines are so expensive drunk drivers can’t pay them, so a Texas state senator suggests repealing the law. The things that pass for logic down there are amazing. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Arizona Governor Jan Brewer finds a way to blame Mexico for everything. [Color Lines]
* Meanwhile, in Sacramento, the solution to police budget cuts is to make sure it’s easier for people to carry around concealed handguns. D’uh. When they’re not enough cops you absolutely need people walking around armed to the teeth. Don’t you know that safety smells like hot lead and fresh blood? [Volokh Conspiracy]
* Court orders joint custody … of a Lhasa Apso. I have a Lhasa Apso, and I’m pretty sure my wife only puts up with me so she can see the dog. [ABA Journal]
* This is a pretty interesting way of looking at the LeBron coverage. [Breaking Media]
Even in these dark days, as an anxious nation awaits the latest dispatch from the associate salary wars, the wedding machine grinds on. We salute the brave couples who choose to go ahead with their ceremonies in the face of all this uncertainty — after all, how crushing would it be to return from your honeymoon and find your employer on someone’s List of Shame!
Honorable mention this week goes to this couple. (The father of the bride, William Barr, was once Attorney General under George H.W. Bush.) Unfortunately, those two did not make the cut. Here are the lucky lovebirds who did:
A quirky and fun story in the Saturday New York Times (which nobody reads except us) describes the legal crusade of one John Lagana. He’d like to ride his WaveRunner around the shores of East Hampton, but can’t, thanks to the wealthy beach town’s ban on water scooters.
So like any good American, Lagana is taking the matter to court. And he has an interesting historical argument:
The case is now pending in state appellate court, where a panel of judges must decide if an obscure 17th century charter known as the Dongan Patent does indeed protect a man’s right to buzz around the waterways on a machine its signers could hardly have imagined.
When King James II deeded the eastern tip of the South Fork — which now includes East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk — to a group of settlers in 1686, the governor in chief of the province of New York, Thomas Dongan, drew up the patent, granting “freeholders and inhabitants” of the area the right to “enjoy without hindrance” recreational activities like “fishing, hawking, hunting and fowling.”
The legal power of such deeding documents, which exist throughout Long Island and in other early-settled places, has been upheld by courts including the United States Supreme Court.
Lagana buttresses this with constitutional contentions:
Among Mr. Lagana’s arguments is that a passage in the federal Constitution prohibiting the creation of “any law impairing the obligation of contracts,” and a provision in the original New York State Constitution protecting “grants of land made by the authority of the king,” gives Dongan power in perpetuity. “If you’re going to ignore the Dongan Patent, you might as well throw out the Constitution,” he said.
The tony town has several counterarguments. Their main point is that “the patent is too vague and out of date to govern a modern municipality.” But they also have historical contentions of their own:
[Gary] Weintraub, the town’s lawyer, pointed out that if East Hampton were to live by the centuries-old patent, it would have other obligations, including the annual tax to the king of “the Sum of one Lamb Yearly and fourty shillings, curant money.”
Assuming East Hampton was not in arrears at the time of the American Revolution, that would amount to 230 lambs and 9,200 shillings the town owes, payable to Queen Elizabeth.
No, definitely not. Due to their variegated hair and eye color, white people have the best claim to internal diversity in appearance.
But these two white people DO look alike:
As a result, this screw-up — while mortifying and GI-normous — is somewhat understandable:
“We are horribly sorry,” the cop said. The 17-year-old girl who was wrongly locked in jail for seven days might be feeling terribly lucky.
Amanda Sylvester might still be in jail, facing criminal charges that included aiding and abetting a robbery [of a Kwik Stop convenience store], were it not for an anonymous tip to a Crimestopper hotline….
A week later, the Crimestopper tip led to the arrest of Kayce Schildhauer, 19, of North Platte.
Here at Above the Law, we offered up lavishcoverage of the magnificent wedding of Ted Olson and Lady Booth. Given Olson’s status as a giant of the legal profession, a former Solicitor General and leading Supreme Court advocate, this coverage was fitting and proper.
But, alas, it was not complete — and it may have been inaccurate in certain respects, for which we apologize. These omissions and possible errors were brought to our attention by some helpful reader comments.
Here are the items we’d like to address. Please refer back to this post and this post for background, as needed.
1. We assumed that the gentleman who escorted the beautiful Lady Booth down the aisle was her father. It appears we were correct. According to this comment, by Wayne N. Perkey II, “that is our father (Wayne N. Perkey) walking her down the aisle. It was indeed a beautiful wedding, and a good time was had by all.”
2. We said we didn’t know the identity of “the Margaret Thatcher doppelganger in the floral print dress.” We were enlightened by this comment:
Although Mary Ellen Bork would not likely quarrel with an analogy in any aspect to the Iron Lady, the term Margaret Thacher “doppelganger”… is hardly ‘fair’ to the very lovely Mary Ellen, wife of the esteemed Judge — and unintended style-celebrant on these pages.
We thank this commenter for the information, also corroborated by an email we received: “The [woman in the floral print dress] is Mary Ellen Bork. She read two Shakespeare sonnets picked out by Ted and Lady, and then gave a prayer. She’s a former nun.”
(That observation, of course, begs another question: Did Mary Ellen Bork cast off her nun’s habit in order to be with Bob Bork? If so, it’s tremendously romantic. As the Mother Superior said to Maria in “The Sound of Music”: “Follow your heart! Even if that beard is a bit scratchy.”)
3. “Napa Casual.” This has generated controversy more heated than Bush v. Gore, Ted Olson’s most famous case. We originally wrote:
Despite the tremendous collective brainpower of these august guests, we hear that several of them were left scratching their impressive craniums by one wedding detail: the request on the wedding invite for “Napa Casual” attire.
These leading minds of the bench and bar can slice, dice, define and parse the most complex legal terms known to man. But throw two innocent little words at them — “Napa Casual” — and watch them panic.
There’s disagreement among the commenters about this detail (which we received from a source we regard as highly reliable). Some commenters say that the “Napa Casual” request was “a myth.” Others say that yes, there was such a request, but it was made with respect to the rehearsal dinner (not the wedding).
How can we settle this dispute between anonymous commenters? Like good lawyers, we’re going to issue a document request. We’d very much appreciate it if someone would send us a digital photograph or pdf scan of the Olson-Booth wedding invitation and/or the rehearsal dinner invitation. The only way to settle this disagreement is by recourse to ocular proof.
We’re still having email problems, so please contact us at our temporary address: abovethelawtips AT gmail DOT com. Thank you. Earlier: Lady and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Wedding Photos That Rock The Eyes of the Law: Ted Olson’s Star-Studded Nuptials
Now we have an update to our prior coverage, an ATL exclusive: WEDDING PICTURES!!! And they’re not boring, like the ones your college roommate makes you look at every time you visit her house. Did Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attend your college roommate’s wedding?
Check out the pics — there are just a few of them, it won’t take you long — after the jump.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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