Bitter News, 5-12-09

Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom that help eradicate polio like lawyers at the Bridgeport Rotary Club:

• It’s strictly no peeking in the exam room and the men’s room. Pretty obvious.  But Syracuse University College of Law is watching out for cheaters this exam period by allowing only one bathroom break because of a narc email to administration alleging that there’s cheatin’ goin’ on in them’s there crappers during tests.  [Syracuse.com]

• “Alcoholic” U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent apologized to his family before being sentenced to 33 months in prison for nonconsensual sex with two colleagues, who got no love in the Kent apology department.  Guess he hadn’t heard that mea culpa is so in vogue this season.  [ABA Journal]

• Obama’s getting his first shot at nominating a trinket of his legacy to the Supreme Court, and everyone is chirping and tweeting and crapping out suggestions, speculation and boring analysis of judges you don’t care about because you could never work for them anyway.  How the court stands now is that “seven of the court’s nine sitting justices are from the East Coast, six of the nine are graduates of Harvard Law School, and all came to the court from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.” There are two roads Obama can go:  Nominate an “if it ain’t broke” stuffy Ivy-trained judge, or mix it up and pick from a state that’s untouchable like Elliot Ness.  Talk it out.  [Los Angeles Times]

• Facebook does not equal freedom.  They supposedly killed the “marketplace of ideas” by taking down two group pages denying the holocaust.  [The Legal Satyricon]

• The implication of “deferred” meaning “soon to be hired” may be a little too optimistic.  When deferred start dates roll around for the class of 2009 right on the eager heals of an equally indebted class of 2010, there’s going to be a massive JD pileup.  “‘The problem is that law firms don’t know what the next business model will be,’ said Bill Henderson, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law-Bloomington.” (It’s a diamond! Or a big-ass pear!) But if you want, you can wrap yourself in the comfort and warmth of mogul Ted Turner, who addressed University of Baltimore Law School graduates with the feel-good ooze of “problems are going to need lawyers, so thank God we have a big graduating class.” And, “I’d love to be a lawyer right now.” Feel free to quote those lines when they call to rescind your offer.  [The National Law Journal]

• One man throwing himself on the sword to demonstrate his commitment to the survival of BigLaw is Barton Winokur, Dechert chairman and chief executive officer, who announced that he’s taking a $1 million pay cut (read: reduction in grab from firm profits), which he toted at a “super-secret gathering of big-firm leaders.” Despite the fact, if reported correctly, such a trim would still leave him with $7 million a year to try and get by on, he still looks a lot cooler to clients right now than any other partner.  [Philly.com]

• Being nickeled and dimed by tolls at Massachusetts turnpikes may result in a $300 million refund for three-growing-into-600-and-beyond drivers if their attorney, Jan Schlichtmann (the central character in the movie and book A Civil Action), wins his precedent-supporting case that refuses to pay for Boston’s Big Dig disaster a cent longer.  They’ll probably really hate the new Indy 500 policy. [Boston Herald]

• Marc Dreier, original “disgraced the honorable profession of law” gangsta, pleaded guilty to a bevy of fraud and laundering charges yesterday.  But he has reason to celebrate because today is his 59th birthday, and he still lives better than you[WSJ Law Blog]

• Hey, guys in the courts, it’s still me here: Peter Madoff.  Get this “baseless” law student bitch Andrew Samuels off my back already. I’m serious this time.  Capiche?  [Bloomberg]

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