Blind Drunk Justice, Episode 11

Posted in Blind Drunk Justice on November 12th, 2010 by bl1y

You know you want it, you know we got it, so let’s not beat around the bush here:

Blind Drunk Justice, Episode 11

[If it doesn't play, just use the download button. And, if you know of a more reliable WordPress plugin for playing mp3s, leave a comment down below.]

In this episode we discuss kissing baby genitals, the journal of law and justics,the po-po getting their props-props, and quatro crazy.

Next week in honor of the upcoming Black Friday, we will be discussing good (and bad) gifts for attorneys.  If you have suggestions for what to get, or what to not get, e-mail them to blinddrunkjustice@gmail.com.  Don’t post it in the comments, because then we won’t have anything new to discuss, will we?

Also, here’s the story that I ended up cutting because the discussion was kinda lame and the show was running too long anyways.

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Required Reading at HLS

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on September 20th, 2010 by bl1y

As reported on Above the Law today, Harvard has recently undergone a complete overhaul of its grading system.  But, they didn’t tell their students.  No letters, no e-mails, no bulletin board fliers.  Dean Martha Minnow had this to say about allegations of backroom reform:

Students were informed the same way that they were informed about everything.  We’ve concluded that the only way to be sure that we can be clear about what are the governing rules of the school is to say they’re in the Handbook, and you’re responsible for knowing what’s in the Handbook.

You concluded that the only way for students to be informed was to assume they would read the handbook?  Not just once, but read it every year to see if there are any changes from the last time.  Are you kidding me?  Fans of The Paper Chase TV series will recall that even Mr. Hart didn’t read the handbook.

Here’s what I have concluded is another, better option: inform the students of major changes to the handbook.

Capt. Ross: Corporal Barnes, I hold here the Marine Corps Outline for Recruit Training. You’re familiar with this book?
Cpl. Barnes: Yes, sir.
Capt. Ross: You’ve read it?
Cpl. Barnes: Yes, sir.
Capt. Ross: Good. Would you open it up to the chapter that deals with code reds, please?
Cpl. Barnes: Sir?
Capt. Ross: Just flip open to the page of the book that talks about code reds.
Cpl. Barnes: Well, sir code red is a term that we use, I mean, just down at Gitmo, I really don’t think that…
Capt. Ross: Ah, we’re in luck then. Standard Operating Procedures, Rifle Security Company, Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Now I assume we’ll find the term code red and its definition in that book. Am I right?
Cpl. Barnes: No sir.
Capt. Ross: Coporal Barnes, I’m a Marine. Is there no book. No pamphlet or manual, no regulation or set of written orders or instructions that lets me know that, as a Marine, one of my duties is to perform code reds?
Cpl. Barnes: No sir. No book, sir.
Capt. Ross: No further questions.
[as Ross walks back to his table Kaffee takes the book out of his hand]
Kaffee: Corporal would you open this book up to the part that says that where the mess hall is.
Cpl. Barnes: Well, Lt Kaffee, that’s not in the book either, sir.
Kaffee: You mean to say the entire time you’ve been at Gitmo you’ve never had a meal?
Cpl. Barnes: No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.
Kaffee: Well, I don’t understand. How did you know where the mess hall was if it wasn’t in this book?
Cpl. Barnes: I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.
Kaffee: Thanks. No more questions.

Because I’m feeling particularly froggy today, I am going to issue a bounty.  If you are a Harvard law student and write “TL;DR” in large red letters across the cover of your handbook and leave it at the front door of Langdell Hall, I will send you $10 cash money.  (Limit to the first 5 takers, in case this somehow catches on.)

You must take a close up picture of the book (so we can see TL;DR on it), and also take a picture further back so we can see that it’s actually at Langdell Hall.  E-mail pictures to nycbl1y@gmail.com, must be from your Harvard e-mail account, and if your pictures are satisfactory, I will reply and ask for your mailing address to send you your prize.

Also, I encourage all Harvard Law students to respond to any e-mail from the law school administration with a request that all further communication be made through the handbook.

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Noon-Thirty News 08/03/10

Posted in News on August 3rd, 2010 by bl1y

Bike Stealing Burglar Sues Victim

[St. Petersburg Times]

For those of you suffering Bar Exam Withdrawal:

One October day in 2007, a homeless man broke into a car and stole a bike. He didn’t get very far. Within minutes, that man, Michael Dupree, was caught trying to sell the bike down the street.

[...] Anthony McKoy and the other men jumped him, pointed a gun at him, placed a knee painfully on his spine and handcuffed him. Dupree claims in his suit, which he filed without a lawyer, that the take-down “resulted in permanent disabilities and psychological disorders which the Plaintiff continues to suffer.”

Discuss.

100% Offer Rates, 0% Reliable Good News

[Above the Law]

ATL is reporting that 5 big law firms have given 100% offer rates to their summer classes.  Sounds like good news, but I wouldn’t be jumping up and down just yet.

First, the 5 firms represent only a total of 150 offers, with most of them coming from a single firm, Ropes and Gray, which gave 82 offers.  It’s really no surprise that offer rates are so high; law firms scaled back their summer programs in anticipation of not having many spots available.  All this means is that firms believe they have scaled back to the right amount, or possibly less than what they need.

But, the bigger reason to not break out the bubbly just yet is remembering what happened the last time law firms gave out offers in the 90-100% range.  They ended up rescinding offers, deferring incoming associates, and laying people off in their first year.  Law firm managers are not particularly great at predicting economic trends, and there’s little reason to think optimistic law firm hiring will really mean there’s more legal work on the horizon.  Douple dip recession and those 100% offer rates will mean bubkes.

FBI vs. Wikipedia

[New York Times]

The FBI sent a letter to Wikipedia demanding that it take down the image of the FBI logo that appears on the FBI wiki entry.  The FBI cited a law that prohibits the use of the the seal, but Wikipedia contends that the law is aimed only at preventing people from committing fraud or impersonating an FBI officer.  The use of the image on the Wikipedia article is clearly not intended to make it look like the page is endorsed by the FBI or an official FBI website.

The New York times agrees, displaying the image alongside their coverage of the story, and I think they’re right.  If you’re bored, feel free to discuss whether the FBI could bring a copyright infringement suit for use of the official government logo.

You Know When It’s Steal

[St. Louis Today via Dumb as a Blog]

Robbing a fast food restaurant through the drive-thru seems like a pretty decent plan, as far as robberies go.  You’re already in the get away vehicle.

But, calling back to complain about your measly haul ($586) is pretty dumb.  Especially when you call to complain twice.  The article didn’t specify if the man was caught (and no name appears, so he probably wasn’t), but hasn’t this guy ever heard of caller ID?  Even if he used a payphone or other untraceable number, do you really want to make sure the employees know exactly what your voice sounds like?  Take your $586, buy yourself 2930 cripsy chicken nuggets, and call it a day.

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Edit War Makes ATL

Posted in Law Firm Edit War on May 19th, 2010 by bl1y

Thanks to Kash over at Above the Law for picking up the Edit War story.

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Elite Grads More Likely to Get Laid Off?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24th, 2010 by bl1y

A new study tracking trends in lawyer layoffs has found that among junior associates, graduates of top 10 law schools are more likely to be laid off than their lower ranked counterparts at the same firm.  The article from The Blog of Legal Times doesn’t give a good look at the data, and it’s wording isn’t too precise, so it might be that the study didn’t control within firms, or just within big law.  In that case, it makes sense that more top grads are getting laid off, because layoffs happen more at big firms which mostly hire top grads.  But, let’s assume the more interesting story is true, that law firms are choosing to shed the elite grads and hold on to the lower ranked associates.

During a panel moderated by Aric Press, editor in chief of The American Lawyer, Peter Zeughauser (owner of the Zeughauser Group) suggested that top 10 students with their ever so famous “sense of entitlement” might not be putting forth the same level of effort as lower ranked students and are just there to pay off their loans before moving on to their true passion.

They may have no intention of pursuing a Big Law career and aren’t that productive while at the firm, which would make them more likely to be laid off.

But, law school isn’t terribly cheaper at lower ranked institutions, so there’s not really much reason to think that students outside the top 10 don’t have the same incentive to make big bucks and then move on.  Over at AboveTheLaw.com, Elie Mystal presents a more plausible explanation for why a seemingly less qualified associate would keep his job:

If you were the only lawyer hired from [insert lower ranked school of your choice here], there’s a good chance that people at the firm had a strong and positive feeling about your potential. If instead you are one of many junior associates from [insert favorite T-14 diploma mill], then it might be easier for the firm to let you go when they have a few more just like you

Also, if you’re from a lower ranked school, there’s a better chance that you got your position through networking, rather than just on the merits.  A partner who gets you into the firm in the first place is also going to go to bat for you when it’s time to decide who gets cut.  A qualified student from an elite school might be the better employee, but if he doesn’t have anyone in his corner, it’s easier for him to get the axe.

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Record Hits!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10th, 2010 by bl1y

Thanks (again) to Bitter Lawyer and AbovetheLaw for helping to drive traffic here.  Yesterday I recorded a record 6,117 hits.  So, to thank all of my fantastic readers, I’m going to give you a chance to win some of my home made salty snacks.

Actually, I’m just going to remind you of the already running competition.  Got an amusing law school or law firm story?  I want to hear it.  Check out the official contest rules here.

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Edit War: Bingham McCutchen, Fish & Richardson, and Wilmer Hale

Posted in Law Firm Edit War on February 5th, 2010 by bl1y

Today sees three new targets in the Law Firm Wikipedia Edit War, all thanks to what should be an embarrassing article from The Boston Globe.

Bingham McCutchen laid off associates, and then posted not only increased profits per partner (which can happen when you cut expenses), but also increased revenue.  How you cut staff while having an increased workload is beyond me.  Sounds like their clients are getting ripped off.

But, what makes Bingham’s actions particularly bad is that the firm chairman described 2009 as the “best year ever.”  Yeah, unless you were one of the people for whom it was the worst year ever.  Douche.

Fish & Richardson also conducted lay offs while posting an increase in profits.  Their managing partner had a little more tact and described the recession as “a painful year for everyone.”  Of course, it’s not nearly as painful if you’re one of the Fish partners.  They saw a staggering 20% increase to profits per partner.

And last, but certainly not least, Wilmer Hale…oh Wilmer Hale, you sick sons of bitches.  Wilmer Hale only posted a 7% increase in profits per partner, but the reason they’re going up on the ol’ wall of shame is lying to the press about layoffs.  In June 2009, AbovetheLaw.com reported stealth layoffs at Wilmer Hale.  Wilmer Hale denied that any layoffs had taken place, and even said none were planned or expected.  Then in July, just one month later, announced that layoffs had occurred.  And, then again in October.  What the Hale?

List of Wiki Raids:

Bingham McCutchen

Cadwalader

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost

Fish & Richardson

Latham

Morgan Lewis

Nixon Peabody

Paul, Weiss

Pillsbury

Wilmer Hale

Winstead

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14,000 Hits and a Contest!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1st, 2010 by bl1y

Thanks to all my readers for making this first month back blogging so successful.  Over 14,000 mother-freaking hits!  (Due largely to getting a shout out from AboveTheLaw.com.)  I’d also like to give special thanks to the great people at BitterLawyer.com, where I occasionally get the honor of guest blogging.

So, as a special treat, since you’re all such wonderful boys and girls (except that sketchy law firm that posted an ad in the comments), I’m offering you all a contest…with a prize!  I’m looking for some good law school / law firm anecdotes, foibles, grievances, or just embarrassing moments.  Winners will have their story published here and receive a batch of my very special Crim Law Crunchies!  (It’s really just home made Chex mix with a super-secret blend of spices, but I don’t want to call it Chex Mix because I’m not a good enough lawyer to defend a trademark infringement suit, so, lame law school name it is!)

Here’s how it works:

E-mail your story to nycbl1y@gmail.com by 1:00 am Eastern time, March 1st.  You can remain anonymous, make up a name, or use your real name, doesn’t matter.  All real names will be shortened to first name and last initial.

On March 1st, I’ll contact the winners by e-mail to get your address, and pretty soon your story will be posted here and your Chex Mix Crim Law Crunchies will be on their way.  That’s it.  Easy peasy.  And, if all your stories suck, I’ll just make something up and pass it off as a real story.

[Also, before I send anything to you or publish your story on this site, I'll send you a release giving me the right to publish the story here and anywhere else I feel like with whatever changes I want to make.  Basically, I might Peterman your story.]

[Also, more legal nonsense, the Crim Law Crunchies may contain any or all of the following: cheese, butter, fish (don't ask), nuts, peanuts, PEANUTS, SERIOUSLY, IF YOU'RE ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS, THIS WILL KILL YOU!!!!  Basically, only people with hardy genetic material need enter.]

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Reason Not to Go to Law School #21

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on January 23rd, 2010 by bl1y

Your classmates are experts on things they know nothing about.

Last weekend a Temple law student (Gerald Ung) was involved in a late-night, probably-drunken altercation.  The incident ended with the student pulling out a gun, then being rushed and shooting his attacker 5 times as he was tackled.  It’s still unclear how the mess got started and who exactly is at fault, but the story has provided plenty of evidence about how stupid law students are.  Commenters on AbovetheLaw.com have made several suggestions about what the Temple law student should have done rather than shooting:

“If Ung was so scared for his life, why didn’t he or the people he was with call 911 when the confrontation started?”

This person has obviously never had someone pick a fight with them or called the police for anything.  Not only would getting out your cell phone and calling the cops make you less able to defend yourself (kinda hard to fight and dial on your phone), but even if you did call the cops, there’d be plenty of time to whoop your ass before they showed up.  Maybe Ung’s choice of response was wrong, but calling 911 was almost surely not a useful alternative.

“I’d fire a warning shot first. Maybe one in the leg if he keeps coming, and run the hell away.”

If you’ve watched the video of the altercation, by the time Ung knows he’s being rushed there isn’t an opportunity to fire a warning shot.  But, what makes this comment particularly dumb is that your average law student isn’t going to have the marksmanship skills needed to put a bullet into the leg of someone who is running at him.  If you’re shooting in self defense, you aim for torso so you have a decent chance of hitting them.

“He shot the guy SIX times, people. SIX! Where is that ever justified self-defense? Maybe in an alternate universe where people are mastodons.”

If you get shot by a small caliber bullet, you don’t immediately drop to the ground like in a video game.  And, if you’re the one doing the shooting, you don’t have time for a sit-rep before deciding whether to shoot again.  You keep shooting until you know that you are safe.

“They’d rather shoot someone than get their a** kicked. The worst that would’ve happened to that weenie was he would have gotten a black eye.”

And from a different commenter:

“If there’s a choice betwen the two following scenarios:

Person A gets unjustifiably beaten to a pulp by Persons B, C, and D, but suffers no lasting physical damage and maybe just a broken bone or two; or

Same scenario, but Person A has a gun and shoots Persons B,C, and D before they can beat his ass, risking the lives of Persons B, C, and D,

I woudn’t want to be in the same hemisphere as anybody who’d think the latter scenario is preferable to the former scenario.”

Yeah…if you attack me, I’d much rather you get really hurt than me get kinda hurt.  That’s actually pretty reasonable.  If you’re not in the wrong, you shouldn’t have to get hurt to prevent the wrongful party from getting more hurt than the injury you’d be facing.

Also, if you think that getting attacked by a group of guys could at worst result in a black eye, you’re wrong.  The worst result is you get beaten to death.  Just last month a man was punched in the head in Philly and died from the injury.  Law student against the kind of juiced-up meat head who’d be doing chin-ups on the street at 2:00 in the morning?  I think a black eye would be the best case scenario, not the worst.

The people making these dumb comments are most likely law students or lawyers.  You’d think from having studied criminal law and torts (typically required first year courses), they’d have a little more insight into people defending themselves, or at least know that situations like this require a bit more thought to analyze properly.  But no, wimpy little law kids think they’re experts on everything, especially weapons and fighting and being tough.  That wouldn’t be so bad, except that they also like to raise their hand in class and make you listen to their dumb ideas, wasting time and making everyone around them dumber for having heard it.

Also, fun fact, did you know that Temple has a night school law program?  What a fucking joke.

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The Deep End – That’s What She Said

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22nd, 2010 by bl1y

Like many people with even a tangential relationship to the legal industry, I watched the series premier of The Deep End on ABC last night.  And, I have to agree with the unanimously negative reviews from Above the Law, USA Today, The Washington Post and NPR.

No one expects a comedic drama about lawyers to be entirely realistic.  But The Deep End was so far off its namesake that the fantasy elements distracted from…well, I guess there wasn’t much to distract from, but if there was, it would have.

The first thing anyone will notice is that the lawyers are far more attractive than real life attorneys.  But, that’s to be expected on TV.  At least one of the girls was TV ugly (meaning real world cute, or law firm HOT), but the show would have more potential to be interesting if they made her down right plain.

Next, and not many people who haven’t worked in a law firm will have caught this, but there seem to be no midlevel or senior associates at the firm.  It’s just partners and first years.  Perhaps this will be dealt with later, as some firms do experience a lot of defection from associates as they get some experience and find opportunities to jump into finance, but I suspect it’s just an oversight by the writers.

Also, secretaries are generally middle aged, highly-unattractive women.  And, the paralegals don’t have law degrees.  Firms hire law grads as associates, and then fire them after they fail the bar (usually letting them try twice).  They don’t keep them on as paralegals.

But, the most glaringly bad problem in the show is that we’re expected to believe associates in their first month of work are leading cases, bringing in clients, and going to court.  Many mid-level or senior associates never get to do those things.  Sure, no one wants to watch an entire season of junior associates doing doc review, but at least make the kids really suffer before they get into good stuff.  BitterLawyer.com managed to make some creative, interesting short videos that played up just how boring, tedious and demeaning law firm life is.  You’d think a staff of professional TV writers could do as well.

McBealThis show needed to take a lesson from House or The Office.  Instead of making all the associates into heroes-in-training, give them all their own agendas, their own vices, and make them multi-dimensional, interesting people.  Have a social outcast, have a catty bitch, have an awkward guy, whatever it takes to make the show have some appeal.  I know it’s still too early to completely condemn the show, but at this point, I’d rather just watch re-runs of Ally McBeal.

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