A blog that labels itself a “legal tabloid” has been soliciting juicy anecdotes about NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg’s on-the-job behavior, but Totenberg says she’s just doing her job.
In a post on Above the Law authored by the blog’s editor in chief, David Lat, one anecdote describes the correspondent entering the Supreme Court’s press section moments before a morning session begins — and asking someone sitting in the front row to surrender the seat.
Totenberg gets her way, it says, “because nobody says no to Nina.”
But not so fast: Totenberg says that since she happens to be the dean of the Supreme Court press corps, she actually has an assigned seat — that nice one, right up front.
Who knew the Supreme Court press gallery was just like a high school cafeteria? On first Mondays we wear pink!
Totenberg’s complete comment, and our reaction, after the jump.
We are still accepting your colorful anecdotes about Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legendary Supreme Court correspondent, and a celebrity within legal and media circles. Past installments appear here and here.
Today we have two more stories to offer, both variations on a theme. Here’s the first:
I really have to mention here a little semi-encounter I had with Totenberg during the day I covered the Scooter Libby trial. When I arrived, I sat down in a random spot — and quickly discovered that Ms. Nina had apparently managed to convince all the journos covering the trial that a certain portion of the court bench was her personal property.
Sadly, the trial did not go on further. I really wanted to sit in her chair!
We’re not surprised. It’s completely consistent with our second story — which you can check out, if you’re interested, after the jump.
Okay, working at the U.S. Department of Justice may not be a party these days. But the recently announced, imminent departure of Assistant Attorney General Rachel L. Brand — her last day at the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy is July 9 — had nothing to do with recent controversies (contrary to some insinuations).
As tout le monde in D.C. legal circles knows, the fabulous Brand — known to some as the Prom Queen — was planning to step down for some time. The reason? She and her husband, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Cohn, are expecting a baby boy next month.
The lede of this Reuters report, while technically accurate, is therefore misleading. Thankfully, the Washington Post was more accurate:
[T]he Justice Department announced that Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general for legal policy, is resigning….
Justice officials said she plans to leave July 9 and stay at home with her first child, due this summer.
Brand, who worked on the renewal of the USA Patriot Act last year and the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices in 2005, is not known to have played a direct role in the U.S. attorneys’ removal.
“[N]ot known to have played a direct role” — maybe because she didn’t? If she had, rest assured that Chuck & Friends would have invited her over to Capitol Hill for a televised chat.
[D]epartment officials have said that Gonzales’s former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, asked her whether she might want to replace a Michigan prosecutor who was forced out. Though interested at first, Brand did not apply for the job.
Yes, Brand shrewdly did not throw her hat into that ring. As we previously noted:
In declining to be considered, Rachel Brand showed the excellent judgment that has taken her so far, so fast. Had Rachel Brand replaced Margaret Chiara, she would have been the victim of a mainstream media pile-on. The New York Times editorial board would have derided her as a Bush Administration political hack with no prosecutorial experience (albeit a hack with impeccable academic credentials, including Harvard Law School and a Supreme Court clerkship with Justice Kennedy).
So what’s next for Rachel Brand (in addition to a bouncing baby boy)? She’s rumored to be meeting with various private law firms — and any of them would be lucky to snag this young legal superstar.
Brand has devoted the past six and a half years of her career to government service. She leaves the Bush Administration even more highly esteemed, on both sides of the aisle, than when she came in. This is no small feat, given the controversies that have shaken the DOJ, as well as the highly partisan atmosphere currently prevailing here in Washington.
We congratulate Rachel Brand on her successful leadership of the Office of Legal Policy, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors — including motherhood!
(Disclosure: We’d mention that we are friendly with Rachel Brand, but we know from past experience that many of you don’t like such disclaimers, which come across as shameless name-dropping. So we won’t.) Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously identified Jonathan Cohn as Deputy Attorney General, rather than Deputy Assistant Attorney General (his correct title). Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand Announces Departure [U.S. Dept. of Justice (press release)] Bush Is Told to Justify Executive Privilege [Washington Post] DOJ Loses Brand [The BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times] Seventh official quits Justice Department [Reuters] Justice Department Official Resigns [Associated Press] Earlier: Rachel Brand: The Prom Queen Stays Out of Trouble
Our emailcorrespondence with the super-hot lawyer turned Playboy model, Oona O’Connell, continues.
A brief question-and-answer session, plus an uncropped version of this Oonalicious photo, after the jump.
[Thumbnail image. Click to enlarge. Photograph courtesy of Oona O'Connell.] There should be a law — against this kind of hotness in a U.S. law school classroom!
As you may recall, lawyer cum Playboy model Oona O’Connell was not pleased by our prior coverage of her. She recently sent us an angry email, taking us to task for publishing malicious gossip.
Our response to Oona O’Connell, followed by her reply, after the jump.
Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer made his ruling after a hearing that followed a tumultuous sequence in which Hilton was brought to court in a sheriff’s patrol car. Earlier, it seemed that she would only attend the hearing via telephone.
“The defendant is remanded to L.A. County jail,” Sauer said after an hourlong hearing. “The order is final and forthwith.”
Wearing a beige zippered sweater, Hilton crumpled into tears.
On the subject of Paris Hilton’s recent release from jail, Entertainment Tonight reports:
L.A. County Sheriff Spokesperson STEVE WHITMORE told reporters that due to “medical issues,” the heiress had been “reassigned” at about 2:00 a.m. Thursday and would finish out her sentence on house arrest….
Sources close to the Hilton family tell ET the medical reason was actually a rash she developed on her body.
Mention of a bodily rash provides support for this ATL reader comment:
My friend’s brother (who works with [Sheriff Lee] Baca’s assistant sheriffs) told me that Paris was released due to a severe, “stress-induced” herpes outbreak. He also said that he heard that the blisters had apparently spread to her anus and had taken on abcess-like features that required more serious medical attention. Thus, after taking into account jail overcrowding, the increasing liability that Paris presents, and Paris’s lesions, all things weighed in favor of her being put on home confinement.
Was a case of anal herpes a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for Paris Hilton?
More discussion, after the jump.
Did the jailhouse toiletries fall short of the Hilton family’s high standards? Probably.
But that’s not why Paris Hilton was just granted early release from jail (as first reported by TMZ.com). Due to medical reasons, Hilton will instead serve 40 days of house arrest. She’s being fitted for Martha Stewart’s favorite accessory: an ankle bracelet.
The tabloids have been having a field day with the “Paris Goes to Jail” story. See, e.g., the New York Post front page at right. But it looks like their fun has been cut short.
A press conference by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is now underway. More details to come. Paris Hilton — Free Woman [TMZ.com] Cops: Paris Under House Arrest [TMZ.com] Paris Bawls in Jail [New York Post]
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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:
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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