Groupon has announced that February 15th is Divorce Attorney Groupon Day!? The date comes as a surprise considering February 14th is National Instagram Pictures of “Surprise” Flowers Day, also known as Valentine’s Day. Website officials claim “carnations” and “homemade coupon books” (ironically) as the most common grounds for divorce.
Divorces can be ugly, especially when “ugly” is the reason for the divorce in the first place. Jian Feng, living in Northern China, sued his wife when he found out that she had plastic surgery prior to meeting him. It may be old news in China, but Fox News recently resurfaced the story of an odd divorce that occurred in May 2012 and since its headline, it has gone viral.
Yes, there were more thefts of lawn ornaments today, but we’re not going to report on those anymore. It’s getting out of control. But we do have news of ridiculous airport safety, along with vodka marketed to lawyers who barely have time to drink it. Plus, for those newly divorced, there’s a fantastic list of gifts you should consider for yourself or others in the same boat. And if you need to keep those pesky teens off the lawn, consider a bucket of urine. Yep, it’s the happy hour law review for Thursday, September 22, 2011.
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In a banner day, we get six judges who go nuts on the bench, divorce on the grounds of Alzheimer’s, and a guy who has changed his name from George Blackburn to Led Zeppelin II (obviously not to be confused with Zeppelin III or IV). And only in the midwest can you find a pothead father of seven stealing a jar of coins from his kids’ Sunday school teacher. Welcome to the Bitter Lawyer happy hour law review for Thursday, September 15. The drinks are on us.
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We here at Bitter Lawyer are all for finding the easy way out. Grinding it out in BigLaw can earn you some dollars, but so can at lot of other things like marrying rich. The only thing better than marrying rich, is marrying rich . . . then getting into a messy divorce battle that you win! Here’s to hoping you find the right cash cow—and make sure you don’t get suckered into a prenup.
Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom that make the 11th biggest lie in history:
• Headline reads: “Gritty 80-yr-old is probably city’s oldest law student.” Probably? The city’s? Don’t want to step out on a limb and expand the geographic scope of that statement a smidgen? You’re already using the word “probably.” For the love, he’s so old he couldn’t find grade records from his 1967 undergraduate degree. And what kind of backhanded adjective is “gritty” anyway? How the hell does that word factor? Regardless, here’s Uddhav Alkari, the 80-year-old Mumbai University law student. [Mumbai Mirror]
• Don’t’ tell Courtoons’ David Mills this, but apparently it’s hard to be an aspiring U.S. Attorney candidate when you’ve published drawn caricatures of your state’s senate minority leader wearing a cheerleader uniform. At least that’s what Louisville, KY lawyer Marc S. Murphy is realizing. He’s been discussed to run for U.S. Attorney, but his series of editorial cartoons for the Louisville Courier-Journal are maybe standing in his way because political officials he’s featured in his work don’t find him hilarious. [Main Justice]
• “Gone are the days when landing at a big law firm meant a long legal career.” And none of the new business models (ie: virtual law firms and solo shingle hanging) are realistic options for the newly minted seeking experience. That’s why panelists at the University of San Francisco Law School hashed out future ideas for young, wannabe-associates and offered such constructive feedback as, “You folks are going to have to figure out how to reengage yourselves.” Hmm, thx! [San Francisco Business Times]
• Answer: This £90 ($150) lingerie-and-blouse stipend is provided to senior female attorneys at British law firms such as Clifford Chance. Question: What is the “90 Nicker Knicker Allowance?” I’ll take BigLaw Unmentionables for $200, Alex. [Schott Blog via NYT]
• The simmering dish of Am Law 100 firms boiling down into a “Global 10” is certainly not vegan when you mix the “ranks of the Magic Circle” with the “cream of the U.S.” Sounds like a legal economic crisis chowder. [The Am Law Daily]
• A secretary, 43-year-old Mary Merten (who’s for sure a real world 6, law firm 9), has been charged in connection with the theft of more than $700,000 from corporate and personal accounts at the New York law firm where she worked. But out to steal Mary’s thunder is George Michael Perez. He admitted to the FBI that he defrauded the law firm where he was employed out of over $1 million. In a related story: Matthew Richardson has requested Mary’s number. [Newsday]
• You think being a laid-off or underpaid lawyer is harsh? At least you’re not the focus of debates about your original birth gender. Teenage South African runner Caster Semenya has a lot to run from in record time: Mainly anyone looking for a moose knuckle in her runners tights. She’s been ordered to undergo gender testing for purposes of competing, and Dewey & LeBoeuf’s sports law stud Jeffrey Kessler, who argued a legless man into the Beijing Olympics, is repping her pro bono. Best line in the article: “As for the nuts and bolts of the case…” Well, we hold these nuts to not be self-evident. [The Am Law Daily]
• An NYU law student can’t navigate something as simple as signing a lease—and here’s the long-winded story to prove it. [The New York Times]
• The WSJ Law Blog brought up a good quote today from William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew: “And do as adversaries do in law, Strive mightily but eat and drink as friends.” Loosely translated, it means you shouldn’t try to hire a hitman for $10K to kill a rival attorney you’ve known since 1982. Not cool, Irby Walker. Not cool. [TheSunNews.com]
• Ending your marriage in the divorce capital of London doesn’t always mean the man is going to get his bank accounts drained to support his ex. Women are getting progressively walloped now too as the legal system becomes less biased about the belief that “vulnerable women needed protection from men.” Some say if you do want to avoid all the financial risk, just don’t get married in the first place. “I would bet most family lawyers give that advice several times a year these days.” And I would bet they don’t. [Times Online]
For today’s “The Best of the Bitter: 2009,” we’re revisiting the three most popular associate abuse pieces from the last year. “(Marital) Home Wrecker” was the winner, followed by “Bageled” and “Does No Legal Analysis.”
I worked on a large, involved divorce case for over a year. It was my full-time job. I came in and spoke with the client every single day (day in, day out).
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Love does not conquer all. Virgil got that one wrong. People fall out of love just as easily as the fall into it. And when the relationship goes south, there’s a good chance bitterness isn’t far behind.
Here are some divorces that certainly left a bitter mark. Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at Bitter Lawyer.
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Just when your feelings about Ed McMahon couldn’t get any more confusing, the media is reporting that two New York law firms have brought suit against the former late-night sidekick for over a quarter of a million bucks he allegedly owes them for handling his daughter’s divorce. This news rounds out a generally unpleasant quarter for McMahon, who recently admitted he’s facing foreclosure on his $6.25 million Beverly Hills home and and owes American Express almost $750,000.
While legal experts following the story have noted that you can’t fault a law firm for being excited about representing a man who no doubt raked in millions and millions after years of sitting beside a late-night legend and hawking magazine subscriptions on TV, they have nonetheless reminded billing partners everywhere that such circumstances are still no excuse for deviating from the cardinal rule of dealing with celebrities in legal distress: for the love of god, get a retainer. [NY Daily News]