Close of Business News 06/21/10

  • Poker? I Hardly Know Her!

Jeffrey Papola, a Pace University 3L has won a World Series of Poker $5000 buy-in tournament, taking home a purse of just over $260,000.  He adds this to two other big victories, a $33,000 prize last year, and a $64,000 prize the year before.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, this is all in addition to the over $1 million in poker victories he’s racked up just in 2010.  We’re not even done with June.

“I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with [law school]. I have learned a lot of things. But as far as practicing law, I do not see myself being able to do that, because I really do not like the 9 to 5 thing.”

Most lawyers would love the 9 to 5 thing.  Too bad they’re stuck working the 10 to 10 thing. [Poker News Daily via ABA Journal]

  • Just Call Him Joran “Habeas Corpus” van der Sloot (Because it’s an awkwardly long name)

Joran van der Sloot is claiming that his civil rights are being violated in his trial for the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez.  He claims the police told him if he signed paper, which turned out to be a confession, they would allow him to return to the Netherlands.

“In my blind panic I signed everything, but never knew what was written on them.”

Van der Sloot is currently in Peru to avoid entering a high security psychiatric hospital.  But really, who flees to South America expecting to keep their civil rights intact? [CNN]

  • Race Still an Issue, Obama Fails to Ring in New Enlightenment

Turns out that prosecutors are still dinging a lot of African Americans from juries. No surprise really.

“The evidence of racial bias that we focus on is evidence that’s pretty obvious,” said Stevenson. “It tends not to be unintentional. … We’ve had African-American jurors excluded because they’re too old at 43, because they’re too young at 28, while other white jurors much older are being accepted, and other white jurors much younger are being accepted. … We’ve had jurors excluded because they were in an interracial marriage or had a biracial son.

What fails to get mentioned in these stories is what the real motive is.  Are prosecutors hoping that white jurors will be prejudiced against a black defendant, or that they’re afraid black jurors will be prejudiced in favor of a black defendant.  Yeah, that’s right, I said it, black people can be racist too, but Dave Chappelle says it better. [NPR]

  • Mayer Simmons?

Mayer Brown may be on the verge of a merger with Simmons and Simmons.

As exclusively revealed by TheLawyer.com (18 June), Simmons’ management emailed the partnership at the end of last week, confirming that “preliminary discussions” had taken place, having previously refused to discuss the aborted talks with partners. The Mayer Brown talks have also been added to the agenda of a routine partner meeting to be held this Friday (25 June).

TheLawyer.com notes that if the deal goes through, the new firm would have 2400 attorneys.  I predict that number would dwindle, as mergers tend to also mean a lot of positions become redundant.  Expect layoffs to follow. [The Lawyer]

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