Noon-And-Three-Quarters News 07/08/10

Posted in News on July 8th, 2010 by bl1y

“You have my sword.” “And my bow.” “And my book of business.”
[National Law Journal via ABA Journal]

Gregory Evans, a partner at Milbank, is leaving over a growing distaste for the firm’s “profit model” (which likely means he was non-equity partner doing a lot of work, but not sharing in profits), but he won’t be going alone:

Greg can pretty much go anywhere to practice law and we will follow him. It’s all about Greg and his abilities, not the fancy firm and its high prices. In our environmental cases, we need people like Greg who put us first and get us the best results. Often, big firms just seem to get in the way of this kind of extremely valuable relationship.

Who’s the client Evans is taking with him in his Jerry McGuire like departure?  Sherwin-Williams.  Not a bad book of business for a one-man shop.

AbovetheLaw.com has a similar story, with a laid off associate seeking revenge by aggressively going after his old firm’s clients, and winning several of them by offering much cheaper rates, Michael Scott Paper Company style.

SEC Tries to Recruit LeBron James
[TMZ]

No, the Southeastern Conference isn’t trying to give James some sort of administrative position.  A former attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission suing for a paternity test, claiming LeBron is his son.  Or, more specifically, Leicester Bryce Stovell is suing his mother for fraud in tampering with an earlier paternity test and lying to LeBron about his father.

John McCain to Oppose Kagan Nomination
[USA Today]

John McCain has laid out his reasons for opposing Elana Kagan’s nomination to he Supreme Court:

In 1987 [...] I stated that the qualifications essential for evaluating a nominee for the bench included “integrity, character, legal competence and ability, experience, and philosophy and judicial temperament.” On that test, Elena Kagan fails.

[...] During her confirmation hearing last week, Kagan asserted that Harvard Law School was “never out of compliance with the law … in fact, the veterans association did a fabulous job of letting all our students know that the military recruiters were going to be at Harvard.” She went on to assert, “The military at all times during my deanship had full and good access.” The facts are otherwise.

[...] And perhaps most importantly, I will use my vote against Ms. Kagan to remind people vote McCain in the Arizona Senate primary on August 24th.  I’m John McCain, and I approve this message.

Whine Woot
[Work Bench]

The Associated Press has a long history of protecting its content, and not allowing reprint without permission (and, of course, compensation).  Unfortunately, they don’t have a history of respecting the news content other people create.

Woot CEO Matt Rutledge had some strong (and funny) words for the AP when they covered the sale of his company to Amazon:

The AP, we can’t thank you enough for looking our way. You see, when we showed off our good news on Wednesday afternoon, we expected we’d get a little bit of attention. But when we found your little newsy thing you do, we couldn’t help but notice something important. And that something is this: you printed our web content in your article! The web content that came from our blog! Why, isn’t that the very thing you’ve previously told nu-media bloggers they’re not supposed to do?

So, The AP, here we are. Just to be fair about this, we’ve used your very own pricing scheme to calculate how much you owe us. By looking through the link above, and comparing your post with our original letter, we’ve figured you owe us roughly $17.50 for the content you borrowed from our blog post, which, by the way, we worked very very hard to create. …

We’re major digital players now. Don’t force us to pass this matter to a collection agency.

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Noon-Thirty News 06/30/10

Posted in News on June 30th, 2010 by bl1y

Big Law Causes Unhappiness
[ABA Journal]

Want to be happy? Don’t be work at a big law firm.

Have fun being happy and homeless though, and good luck with those loans.

Five Out of Three Pollsters are Frauds
[National Journal]

Daily Kos is suing Research 2000, claiming that the company gave them bogus data.  Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas is not happy.

I hereby renounce any post we’ve written based exclusively on Research 2000 polling.

Everyone cheats when it comes to statistics.  In high school we had a biology project where we had to identify how a trait in fruit flies (for me it was eye color) was inherited.  We were supposed to breed the flies, and then examine the ratios of traits to figure out what chromosome it was on, etc.  I just looked up the trait in Cliff’s AP Biology and faked my data.  At least I never got caught…idiots.

The Bicycle Bandit
[CNN]

Not a whole lot of details here, just a serial bank robber who uses a bike as his getaway vehicle.  It’s suspected that he uses the bike to get to a car that’s parked further away, but having a bike can also make it easier to elude police.  You’re faster than a cop on feet, and have a lot more flexibility than a police car (you can safely go on sidewalks, narrow alleys, etc).

Kagan Hearings Continue

And I still don’t care.

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Noon-Thirty News, 06/21/10

Posted in News on June 21st, 2010 by bl1y
  • Patricia McGuire Reveals the Secret to Career Success: Coincidence

My colleague offered a different point of view: “A good career is a series of well-managed coincidences,” he said. He was right! A coincidence of my work with Street Law was the opportunity to learn how to do television — I was a guest commentator for two years on a weekly CBS News program for children (“30 Minutes”) and later on a local talk show (“Panorama”). Later on, as the chief development officer, I developed invaluable administrative and management skills.

Unfortunately, McGuire has confused “coincidences” with “opportunities” and “experience.”  Fortunately, you have more control over opportunities and experience than coincidence.  Good thing she’s wrong.  Alanis Morissette would call the mistake “ironic.”  [Washington Post]

  • Ninth Circuit Bats 0 for 4

The Ninth Circuit has a reputation for forging its own path but today had to be special: It was reversed three times by the Supreme Court, with a partial defeat in another case.

The Supreme Court was poised to uphold the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Kawasaki v. Regal Beloit, but Judge Koman Coulibaly called off the victory, causing the Ninth Circuit to settle for a tie with Slovenia. [Forbes]

  • SCOTUS Votes 6-3 to Ban Peaceful Support of Terrorist Organizations

The law had been challenged by aid groups who taught Kurds in southeastern Turkey how to bring human rights complaints to the United Nations and helped them in peace negotiations. The plaintiffs had claimed the material support ban was too vague, in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and infringed their rights to free speech and association, in violation of the First Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said support for even benign purposes “frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends. It also importantly helps lend legitimacy to foreign terrorist groups—legitimacy that makes it easier for those groups to persist, to recruit members, and to raise funds—all of which facilitate more terrorist attacks.”

Here’s a pretty sure fire way of making sure that a terrorist organization continues to see violence as the only method available to achieve their goals: cut them off from legitimate channels of voicing their grievances. [ABA Journal] [Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project]

  • E-Mail Record Reveals Harder Side of Kagan

An enormous trove of e-mail messages from Elena Kagan’s years in the Clinton White House released late Friday afternoon offered glimpses of a savvy, sharp-elbowed and sometimes salty-tongued lawyer at ease with politics, policy and bureaucratic infighting.

“Not to carp,” she told a colleague, “but on memos to the president, it’s usually wise to spellcheck.”

Kagan added to another colleague who was slow in responding to messages, “CHECK YOU E-MAIL.” [New York Times]

  • Israel Eases Gaza Blockade

Israel plans to ease its blockade of Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday following an Israeli Security Cabinet meeting, a step commended by major powers and brushed off by a Palestinian organization and government.

Critics of the blockade had previously been accused of being antisemitic and supporting terrorists.  No word on whether the same labels will be applied to Prime Minister Netanyahu. [CNN]

  • Killer Professor Amy Bishop Fails in Suicide Attempt

University of Alabama Huntsville biology professor Amy Bishop, who’s charged with killing three Alabama university colleagues in a campus shooting rampage, was back in her cell Saturday after she attempted suicide in jail.

Earlier in the week she was indicted in her brother’s murder in 1986 in Massachusetts and at least one defense lawyer said news of the indictment probably affected her state of mind. [KWTX]

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69 Law Deans Endorse Kagan

Posted in Uncategorized on June 16th, 2010 by bl1y

Sixty-nine law deans have sent an open letter to the Senate endorsing Elana Kagan in her nomination to the Supreme Court.  When told about the letter, Kagan said this in response:

Why are all of you giggling?  I don’t get it.  Are these not real law deans or something?  Someone tell me what’s so funny about the 69 endorsements!  I don’t get it!

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At Least She’s Not a Wise Latina

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10th, 2010 by bl1y

Elana Kagan will probably sail through the judicial nomination process and be confirmed as the newest member of the Supreme Court.  But, hopefully along the way, women everywhere will learn something that men figured out a long time ago: having leaders of the same sex as you doesn’t really do shit for you.

Male heads of state draft men into military service and then send them halfway around the world to kill or be killed by the men of another country drafted into military service by their male head of state.

Male judges ignore jury sentencing recommendations and order the execution of male criminals, especially when those male criminals had female victims.

They do not send men candy bars and twenty dollar bills every month to solidify Team Phallus, as some women seem to think.  I’m not benefited by there being a male president, and hopefully more women will learn over the next few months that they’re not benefited by having another female Supreme Court Justice.

As CNN reported, during her time as Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan hired 29 faculty members.  24 were male and 28 were white.  While we can’t know what motivations she had in making those hiring decisions, we can at least rule out that she was using her position to diversify the faculty, something many women expect from other women in power.  There’s a good chance Kagan will be a very moderate justice, and is already drawing some fire from the feminist left for not being more gutsy and actively progressive.

There’s one other issue to be on the look out for during the nomination hearings.  Kagan’s presence on the bench actually decreases the Court’s diversity.  I really want to see these two questions asked during the hearings:

With women being just over fifty percent of the population, do you think it is important that women be represented on the Supreme Court?

With Protestants being just over fifty percent of the population, do you think it is important that Protestants be represented on the Supreme Court?

Justice Stevens was the only Protestant justice.  Kagan, who is Jewish, will join 6 Catholics and 2 other Jews.  Activist feminists like to get all riled up over the under-representation of women, racial minorities, and non cis-heteros, and sometimes Jews and Muslims, but I doubt you’ll see many of the mainstream feminist leaders complain about the lack of Protestants on the court.

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