A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Let’s Kill All the Dentists…

As if the job isn’t bad enough, now depression is taking hold among more lawyers. Or a least so reports the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. Personally, I believe that psychological issues are part of the dark underbelly of the legal profession, in which suicide ranks second only to dentistry as a cause of professional death. Now everyone may hate lawyers, but they are afraid of dentists (most especially periodontists)!!


Now the really sad part is that on my posterous microblog, this post is the single most popular, garnering nearly 1,000 page views in just a few weeks. Even more than updates about Jennifer Aniston posing naked. Now that’s depressing!

Posted via email from glenn’s posterous

The First Thing We Do Is…

Well, this has got to take the cake. The official trade rag of the legal industry — a notorious technology backwater for decades — is publicizing the wonders of the Internet social networking phenomenon Twitter. And that’s not all. More Attorneys Tweet in Twitterverse [ABA Journal]. Of course, being lawyers they take credit for the whole thing:

Attorneys posting such “tweets” on Twitter are credited with helping to drive a massive increase in subscribers this year, from fewer than 300,000 at the end of 2007 to an estimated 3 million-plus by the end of 2008.

Yeah, and the ABA will single-handedly solve global warming and welcome the messiah to Earth.  That would apparently be Messiah 2.0 now!


Lawyer Who Paid Rent of Edwards’ Mistress ‘Shocked’ to Learn of Affair [ABA Journal-Law News Now]. Yeah, sure. Although I have no reason to doubt Fred Baron, this sounds suspiciously like Captain Renault (Claude Raines) in Casablanca. (”I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! “) Indeed, I am truly shocked to learn that U.S. presidential candidates may have sexual dalliances and lie about them. And then mislead his own lawyer. It could never happen in a great country like America. Must be all the headiness of national politics distorting the judgment of a little ol’ country boy lawyer….NOT.

Not the Best & Brightest

Thirty years ago the U.S. Department of Justice, and its Honors Program for law school graduates, attracted some of the best-credentialed, smartest and most talented young lawyers around. It made DOJ a plum position for aspiring litigators, where one could "learn by doing" instead of watching others and — despite obvious financial sacrifices — allowed the federal government to recruit from the top law schools in the nation.

But now it seems the Bush Administration has totally politicized the Justice Department. As if firing U.S. Attorneys for political reasons — not being "loyal Bushies" according to internal emails — is not bad enough, now the DOJ Inspector general reports that senior political appointees at Justice have for six years been "using ideological reasons to scuttle the candidacy of lawyers who applied to the elite honors and summer intern programs."  So members of the conservative Federalist Society got a free pass, without the resume to warrant a position, while members of the Nature Conservancy were nixed without consideration at all for being too liberal.

That’s revolting.  It’s truly a sad end to a once impressive agency where I was proud to have stared my own legal career in 1982 after a judicial clerkship.

Liar, Liar Pants On Fire

Michael Jackson’s ranch manager conceded on Tuesday that he lied when he told police that the singer never slept with children. Jackson Defense Witness Admits Lying to Police [Reuters.com]. He also testified that Jackson had a collection of bondage dolls, after first denying that he had ever seen Jackson with “adult materials.” And this was a defense witness! Reuters reported that:

Asked whether Jackson had female friends aside from his two wives, [Joe] Marcus again faltered before naming actress Elizabeth Taylor and singer Liza Minelli.

“So, we’re up to two?” a sarcastic [prosecutor Gordon] Auchincloss said, prompting an objection from defense lawyer Robert Sanger.

Marcus . . . appeared uncomfortable under cross-examination, often looking to Jackson before answering difficult questions.

Lawyers can’t always control their own witnesses on cross-examination, but this is stupidity at its worst. Calling as a defense witness a person who lied to the police about the central witness in the case is really inexcusable. Of course, this may be all that Tom Meserau and his team have to work with. Not much.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

The story was about a significant constitutional case concerning private property rights and eminent domain before the U.S. Supreme Court. But buried in the text was the observation that with the absence of Chief Justice Rehnquist due to illness and another Justice (Stevens) missing due to a travel snafu, that “created an opportunity for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the most senior remaining justice, to become the first woman to preside over an oral argument at the court.”

The significance of this moment was its relative insignificance. Meaning that 20 some years after she became the first woman on the Supreme Court, O’Connor’s assumption of the presiding role at the Court was not treated as anything extraordinary. That illustrates the extraordinary social changes wrought by the women’s rights movement, which began with Betty Friedan and blossomed in the late 1970s. When I was in law school (1978-81), it was the first time that women made up nearly 50% of the student body. I remember celebrating Myra Bradwell Day, named after the first woman who was admitted to the bar as an American lawyer (after unsuccessfully appealing her initial denial to the U.S. Supreme Court) in 1870. Now it’s no big deal to have female lawyers, women judges and even women presiding at the Supreme Court. The same Supreme Court, mind you, that wrote about Bradwell, “The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many occupations of civil life….The paramount destiny and mission of women are to fulfill the noble and benign office of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator.”

Holy revolution, Batman! John Riggins, of Washgington Redskins fame, once drunkenly quipped to O’Connor “Loosen up, Sandy baby.” I think it’s more appropriate, now, to say — like the old cigarette ad (or the newer Fatboy Slim CD) — “Sandy, you’ve come a long way, baby.”