Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

September 2015 Archives

Taboo Tabou isn't just any Chicago sex shop. There's a certain refinement, a sophistication if you will, that one must bring when entering this purveyor of crotchless panties, silicone third legs and Japanese neck massagers.

So when Cook County prosecutor Sarah Naughton showed up, feeling naughty but also spitting, sputtering and stumbling about after a day of drinking, the ladies of Taboo Tabou asked her to leave. When that didn't work, they dragged her butt to the curb. The rest of Naughton's naughty night is happily preserved on YouTube, police reports and, now, an agreement to have her license suspended.

She can't buy you a drink, but she could put you behind bars. Robyn Crawford was sworn into the Florida Bar last Thursday at the tender young age of 20. Crawford will be working as an associate state attorney -- after graduating from Cooley Law School, no less.

So, how did this legal Doogie Howser get into the state bar before being legally allowed into an actual bar?

Should young lawyers mix some French classes in with their études de droit? Learn to sprechen a bit of Español before sending out their resumes? Yes, of course.

No one these days would be worse off for having learned a second language. Lawyers especially will benefit from a mastery of, or even familiarity with, foreign tongues.

It was a case of attempted murder by soup and the attorney knew all along. That's the gist of a new lawsuit against Bowling Green, Kentucky, lawyer John Deeb. According to Dewayne Reid, his wife tried to poison him with her minestrone soup. It wasn't just her poor cooking skills that would have done him in, either. The minestrone was also flavored with a few handfuls of Lorcet and Xanax.

Reid alleges that Deeb knew about the plan a week in advance and not only failed to take any action, but discouraged others from reporting the soupsicious plot.

Attorneys visiting clients in Portland, Maine, jails can breathe a sigh of relief: they no longer have to remove their bras to get in to the jail. The change came after two attorneys' underwire bras set off the jail metal detector. The women were told to remove their underwear if they wanted to get in to see their clients. Both declined.

After one attorney, Amy Fairfield, reported the incident, Sheriff Kevin Joyce originally defended the policy as a simple safety requirement. "There is no way (for a metal detector) to differentiate people with underwire bras and someone bringing in a gun," the sheriff said. Thankfully, he seems to have changed his mind.

Working for a large firm has its perks. Aside from the salary, you get to set your own hours, take unlimited vacation, even go on parental leave when you have a new child. Good luck taking advantage of any of that, though. Billable hours tend to trump all else.

Lawyers who are new or expecting parents often find that, in the firm's eyes, the work-life balance should always tilt towards work. Fathers in particular face extra pressure to put work before family. But for dads who want to be present at the start of their children's lives, taking parental leave is difficult, but not impossible.

Just a few months ago, young law students and aspiring future lawyers sat down for the ritualized torture that is the state bar exam. Now, the results are starting to come in and things aren't looking good.

Scores on the Multistate Bar Exam multiple-choice questions tanked, dropping even lower than last year's disappointing results. They were the lowest scores in over 25 years, dropping to a mean score of 139.9, compared to 2014's 141.5 and 2013's 144.3, Bloomberg reports. State passage rates are likely to continue their decline as a result.

Who will get the blame?

It's football season and that means it's fantasy football season. For, while it's fun to watch athletes give each other concussions for your amusement, it's even more fun when you can pretend that you're in charge.

And while the American workplace might not be as tight as it once was (almost no one has close friends at work, The New York Times reported last week), fantasy football remains one of the few social activities that regularly spills into the office place -- including law firms. So whether you're a stats nerd, football fan, or just like having some fun, it's worth taking part. When you do, here are some things to keep in mind.

They litigated one of the landmark cases of a generation. They made it to the Supreme Court and won. They expanded marriage to millions of couples who had been denied it just years before. Now they want to cash in.

The lawyers who represented gay marriage plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized a constitutional right to marriage for same-sex couples, have submitted their bill to the courts. They're asking for over $1 million in attorneys' fees. Let's see how it breaks down.

Discovery got you down? Have you been chewed out by a partner after working the whole weekend? Would you rather stay in bed all day? Sounds like you could use some inspiration.

Thankfully, TED Talks -- those quick combos of smart thinking, great storytelling, and PowerPoint mastery -- specialize in inspiration. Here are seven of our favorites that can remind you why you became a lawyer, how you can work for justice, and how you can use your skills to persuade and inspire others.

White-linen luncheons catered in the conference room. A bottle of 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape tucked away next to the photocopier. Poker night and NFL viewings. Forget Pimp My Ride, real hustlers looking to impress are tricking out their law firms.

The Wall Street Journal reports that BigLaw firms are increasingly adopting opulent perks in an attempt to grab the attention (and dollars) of deep-pocketed clients. But will clients be impressed?

They say LinkedIn is like Tinder for job applicants ("swipe right to get in touch with a recruiter!"), but some users seem to take the comparison literally. One U.K. lawyer was recently called out for using LinkedIn to comment on the appearance of a human rights lawyer 30 years his junior.

Of course, the randy married lawyer claimed the message was purely complimentary, which just goes to show that one's man compliment can be another's ceaseless, uninvited focus on appearance over personal and professional accomplishments. Now, the woman who went public with the comment is facing significant professional backlash. Just which side crossed the line?

Remember those stories about the up-tick in legal hiring? You know, the ones that made it seem like maybe, just maybe, the legal market was springing back from its 2007 implosion. Well, there's some bad news.

Revised numbers by the Bureau of Labor show that the legal job sector lost 2,000 jobs in August, erasing gains from spring hiring and leaving the almost 5,000 less legal jobs than a year ago. What's an (aspiring) greedy associate to do?

Kansas may be without a state court system soon, if the governor and legislature get their way. The courts face a total loss of funding after a judge struck down a change to the way chief judges were selected. In an attempt to prevent that ruling, the state legislature passed budget legislation in June that would make the court's budget "null and void" should the law be invalidated.

Besides just selecting new chief judges, Kansas court's system is also responsible for simple things like conducting criminal trials, granting divorces, and probating wills -- services that might be harder to provide should all funding disappear.

Judges tend to be a staid sort. On the bench, they're meant to be sober, serious-minded, impartial. For the most part, their life outside the court reflects this. Justice Scalia, for example, goes wild by hunting. Ruth Bader Ginsburg parties down at the opera.

Then there are the judges who have hobbies that are truly out of the ordinary. Awesome, weird, awesomely weird, these jurists spend their off hours pretending to be goblins, playing air bongos, and more.

Last week we looked at the many celebrities who graduated law school, from Gerard Butler to Jerry Springer. But for every budding actor, singer, and talk show host who made it through three years of law school, there are plenty of famous men and women who said, simply, "Screw this!" and dropped out.

They're hardly failures, either. Famous law school dropouts include Supreme Court Justices, Presidents (lots of Presidents), and some of the world's most famous movie stars.

Happy National Wildlife Day! The holiday, now in its tenth year, serves to celebrate and raise awareness around endangered animals throughout America's wild lands. It's fitting, then, that America's president is just getting back from his tour of Alaska, a state that's home to some of America's wildest lands and wildlife.

Between hiking along glaciers, visiting the Arctic, and being spawned on by salmon, Obama has taken plenty of actions of legal significance on his brief vacation. These include renaming America's tallest mountain, checking out endangered species and pressing for support for his efforts to address climate change. Oh, and he also teamed up with reality star Bear Grylls for a quick lesson on wilderness survival skills, should he ever get stuck alone in the tundra.

Dr. Strangelove has nothing on West Point law professor William Bradford. Unlike Stanley Kubrick's crazed doctor, or even the unhinged General Buck Turgidson, Prof. Bradford doesn't want to just kill America's supposed enemies abroad, he wants to take out the traitors here at home as well. That means killing pretty much everyone who dares question the war on terror.

Don't worry though, it's all legal! At least that's the argument he made in his absolutely nutballs 180-page manifesto which an even nuttier editorial board at George Mason's National Security Law Journal decided to publish in full. According to Bradford's piece, lawful military targets in the war on terror include religious sites, civilians, "law school facilities, scholars' home offices and media outlets where they give interviews."

Argumentation is part of any lawyer's DNA. It's essential to the profession and it's often something lawyers deeply enjoy. But good argumentation means avoiding -- or at least recognizing -- the hundreds of logical fallacies that can work their way into an exchange.

Of course, one man's sophistry is another's effective argument. But errors in logic can undermine the force of an otherwise strong position. Whether you want to avoid relying on fallacies, or simply want to call other attorneys out on their BS, here are seven logical fallacies attorneys use much too often: