Bitter News, 3-3-10

Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom as available and garish as Rush Limbaugh’s NY penthouse:

• University of Maryland Law has been making headlines for one woman’s embarrassment of riches and one man’s riches deficit.  First, “unethical” former law dean Karen Rothenberg (not “Rosenberg,” you idiot) is in hot water for taking a small bounty of cash on top of her very decent salary.  Meanwhile, the little people, the law students, struggle publicly to enjoy their lives.  A recent post on Craigslist by “Terp fanatic” 1L Burke Miller offered to “sign a contract that will guarantee a TBD number of billable hours of attorney services fully redeemable upon my passing of the Maryland bar” in exchange for tickets to the Maryland basketball game tonight against rival Duke.  “TBD hours” for a ticket worth, at most even scalped, $600?  At least he wasn’t dumb enough to pull a Susan Finkelstein.  Good luck, Miller.  Even though Jay Bilas is rooting against you.  [Baltimore Sun]

• It’s such a miserable time to be a law student right now that even underpaid legal blog editors feel badly and want to send condolences and a Benjamin to dejected and rejected 2Ls and 3Ls.  And what a slippery slope that would be.  Because based on the new summer recruiting and job offer numbers, it would really have to rain hunkies.  Some of the saddening stats below.  [The Am Law Daily]

—Job offer rates to summer clerks fell from 90% in 2009 from 69% in 2008 (the lowest eva!);

—“Only 10 of 300 firms surveyed made offers to 3Ls in 2009;”

—Median # of summer spots offered at U.S. law firms is 7, down from 15 two years ago;

—Median # of extended offers is 8, down from 30 for Summer 2008.

• Not a banner day for public defender Philip Pagano yesterday.  His own client attacked him not once, but twice, in one court appearance.  After getting bitch slapped in the face when he called him to testify, he endured the delight of further degradation by taking the brunt of a flung mic stand his client hurled at him later.  Will you still think PD life feels so good at $50K/year that it’s like “I don’t even have a job” when your face catches its first hocked lugie, Optimistic Former BigLaw Girl?  Let’s talk then. 

[AP via NJ.com]

• Anastasia “Stasia” Kelly (a name so nice it belongs in porn), the former General Counsel who bounced from AIG because of the new government-imposed pay limits were raining on her highly paid parade, is a new BigLaw inductee.  Since she wasn’t down with having her base pay of $900K slashed to $500K, she’s now joining DLA Piper in their Washington office.  [BusinessWeek]

• Blago isn’t winning over the hometown crowd anytime soon.  When addressing about 1,000 haters at Northwestern University Tuesday night, ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich heard an auditorium of snickers when he mentioned how he invited the FBI to look at his law school performance at Pepperdine.  “’If they look at those grades they’ll see—I obviously never cheated on an exam,’ Blagojevich said to much laughter.” [Chicago Sun Times]

• We met David Quinto, the golden-boy lawyer behind the Oscars, in Bitter News yesterday.  Now meet the law school professors weighing in on the counterfeiting of fashion sure to take place at Sunday’s awards gala.  [Freakonomics @ NYT]

• Mike Sacks and Josh Blackman aren’t “cool.” Sacks is a Georgetown 3L whose current mission in life is to be the first guy in line at every big US Supreme Court argument this session.  (Unfortunately, that mission backfired on Monday when he got there 26 hours before the session only to be third in line.) Blackman loves life outside the high courthouse too.  He’s the “fantasy czar” of a blog contest where people make predictions on the outcome of this term’s SCOTUS cases.  (Both blog about their experiences here and here.) Additionally, the rest of the court’s early tailgaters are a motley crew of randoms.  But they’re all profiled in the New York Times and Bitter Lawyer’s not.  So they’re cooler than us?  Guess so.  Life’s funny that way.  [The New York Times]

• In Missouri, it’s illegal to drive with an un-caged bear.  (Caged bears are OK.) That and 16 “say whaa?” laws that are still on the books today.  [Huffington Post]

• Are we really still wondering why California is a budgetary nightmare?  A two year dispute ends here: “The city of Orange may drop its lawsuit against a husband and wife cited for not having enough plants in their frontyard.” [Los Angeles Times]

• A lawyer is fighting to have “R”-rated films removed from $1-a-movie Redbox kiosks around the country because they’re too easily accessible to minors.  God, if only these things had been around when Basic Instinct was originally released.  [WFIE.com]

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Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom as available and garish as Rush Limbaugh’s NY penthouse:

• University of Maryland Law has been making headlines for one woman’s embarrassment of riches and one man’s riches deficit.  First, “unethical” former law dean Karen Rothenberg (not “Rosenberg,” you idiot) is in hot water for taking a small bounty of cash on top of her very decent salary.  Meanwhile, the little people, the law students, struggle publicly to enjoy their lives.  A recent post on Craigslist by “Terp fanatic” 1L Burke Miller offered to “sign a contract that will guarantee a TBD number of billable hours of attorney services fully redeemable upon my passing of the Maryland bar” in exchange for tickets to the Maryland basketball game tonight against rival Duke.  “TBD hours” for a ticket worth, at most even scalped, $600?  At least he wasn’t dumb enough to pull a Susan Finkelstein.  Good luck, Miller.  Even though Jay Bilas is rooting against you.  [Baltimore Sun]

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