Bitter News, 11-4-09

Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom—as useful as being able to drunkenly open wine bottles with a shoe:

• Things people might be hesitant to call Jim Belushi: Thespian and lawyer.  But what if there was a project combining both?  Ta-da!  Belushi has signed onto a television project with Barry Levinson (Tootsie writer, Rain Man director) based on the life of famous criminal defense attorney Mickey Sherman.  Does that sound better or worse than the British bloke who’s going to play a Chicago lawyer who coaches his clients to represent themselves in court because he’s “so prone to panic attacks he cannot be relied on in the courtroom”?  [Inside TV at AOL]

• The combined power of an outspoken legal blogosphere, intense counsel and Google juice is likely the reason University of Miami law professor Donald Jones voluntarily dismissed his own lawsuit against legal tabloid Above the Law.  Seeking millions in a lawsuit against the site, he was disgruntled by their 2007 coverage of his arrest for allegedly offering a undercover officer $20 for some sweet lovin.  ATL was represented by First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza, who may or may not be the biggest asshole to work for[Above the Law]

• Alyson J. Kirleis, a female partner who was suing her law firm because the male partners are allegedly paid better and hit the strip joints without her, had her case dismissed.  Apparently, as a partner, she’s considered an employer and not an employee who would be covered by anti-discrimination laws.  And as an employer, why they hell wouldn’t she pay herself more. Geez.  [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via ABA Journal]

• Who said Justices Sotomayor and Alito weren’t major supporters of big business?  They are not being shy their Yankees allegiance.  Which was quoted in our post as practically “rooting for Microsoft, Exxon or Bechtel. The team ought to have a fucking IPO.” [Washington Post]

• Also, should the Supremes spare the sniper?  10 dead people probably think no.  [Washington Post]

• Yesterday in Maine, citizens decided what they are legally allowed (and now allowed) to shop for.  Fat joints, yes.  Wedding gifts for Jim & Steve, no.  Voters chose to make Maine the fifth state to allow retail pot dispensaries, but they repealed the state’s law allowing gays to marry.  [ABC News]

• Also, Republican and former state attorney general Robert F. McDonnell won the governor race in Virginia, and former federal prosecutor and gubernatorial candidate Christopher J. Christie “became the first Republican to win statewide in 12 years by vowing to attack the state’s fiscal problems with the same aggressiveness he used to lock up corrupt politicians.” [The New York Times]

• And to wrap up election coverage… Can we get a little goat-leggings happy dance up in here?  A Republican pagan lawyer won an election in Queens.  So when not lawyering or worshiping Norse gods, Dan Halloran will now be working as a New York District 19 City Council member.  [Gawker]

You shut your mouth when you’re talking to SCOUTS.  Someone got shamed by a justice today—and it wasn’t Mayor Brown fourth-year associate Steve Sanders.  After dropping a “choate” bomb in front of the court, attorney Randolph “Dolph” Barnhouse was called out by Justice Scalia, who chided him by saying, “[t]here is no such adjective.” Which had to be a little hard to choate down.  [The Business Insider Law Review]

• After only one mention on The Bitter Five, Keith Bardwell, the Louisiana judge who made headlines for refusing to marry a black man and a white woman for fear of their offspring, officially resigned.  “At least four times in the last 2 1/2 years, Keith Bardwell says he refused to marry interracial couples while serving as a Louisiana justice of the peace.” And the last time comes at the expense of a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bardwell and his wife.  For not helping the Deep South with that whole stereotype thing.  [Associated Press]

News continues below video:

• On Monday, we asked what you call a lawyer you tells lawyer jokes.  And the punch line was “Glenn.” But today’s riddle is: What do you call a lawyer who tells fat lawyer jokes to a fat lawyer?  Answer: Raphael Scotto.  (Rim shot!) The 62-year-old defense lawyer was “fined $2,500 and barred from city administrative court after throwing tantrums and cracking fat jokes about an overweight prosecutor during a sexual-harassment hearing.” [New York Post via Gothamist]

• There’s a map app lawsuit for that.  AT&T is suing Verizon.  [MobilitySite.com]

• Pop quiz: How man blind or low-vision people take the bar exam every year?  Answer: 150.  Who wants to be one of them?  Stephanie Enyart.  But there are glitches that have resulted in her filing suit against the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  While the California State Bar is being totally cool and agreeing to the visual impairment technology Enyart is requesting—after all, they learned their lesson in July, when the California Supreme Court was forced to resolve paralyzed law student Sara Granda’s issue with taking the bar exam.  But the NCBE is allegedly being…shortsighted.  Hopefully it gets resolved easier than it did for ol’ Amar Jain.  [The Daily Californian]

• Promoted to partner, and it feels so good.  BigLaw is moving a chosen few up the ranks.  Wachtell took two up the ladder, and Latham went from biggest lay-er off-er to biggest promoter, as they now have 23 new partners[The Am Law Daily]

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3 Comments

  1. Magnus Wellborn

    November 5, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Scalia may think “choate” is not a real adverb, but the good people that published Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th. ed., disagree:
    choate, adj.  1. Complete in and of itself.  2. Having ripened or become perfected.  Cf. inchoate.

  2. Magnus Wellborn

    November 5, 2009 at 7:10 am

    *adjective.

  3. Anonymous

    November 5, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Booya, Antonin

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