Greedy Associates: Legal History Archives
Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

Recently in Legal History Category

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.

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.

If you were flipping through Seattle radio stations last Friday, you may have happened upon KEXP's deconstruction of the Beastie Boys' album Paul's Boutique. To celebrate the 26th anniversary of that album's release, the independent radio station played every track of Paul's Boutique, along with every track that was sampled on the album. It took them 12 hours.

Paul's Boutique, like many hip hop albums at the time, was packed with samples, references, and riffs off other artists' work. Within three years of its release, that style of music would have largely disappeared, a victim of litigation as much as changing tastes.

May you live in interesting times, the old Chinese curse goes. Interesting times these are, with rapid judicial and societal shifts, particularly around gay rights and same-sex marriage -- and only Scalia would view that as a curse.

This morning's Supreme Court declaration that the fundamental right to marriage extends to same-sex couples highlights just how much things have changed in such little time.

The Magna Carta, that "Great Charter" which first codified fundamental rights such as due process, speedy trials and trial by jury, turns 800 this Monday. The document, which helped settle a dispute between the English monarchy and rebelling nobility in 1215, gave rise to modern rule of law, constitutions and at least one royal beheading.

What better way to celebrate the Magna Carta's 800 years than with 800 American lawyers? And no, they won't be the victims of human sacrifice on the fields of Runnymede, they'll just be attending a conference -- a very historical conference.

Just in time to update your summer reading list, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence has declassified "Osama's Bookshelf." The list details the 400 some pieces of writing Osama had on hand when his bunker was raided and he was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011. So, what beach reads could you take from Bin Laden's library?

Amongst the list are some predictable jihadist texts, which frankly are a bit too heavy for a summer read. There's also several conspiracy texts and a lot of pieces about Osama himself. Perhaps most surprisingly, Osama bin Laden seems to have been studying the law.

The gender discrimination trial that captured the attention of Silicon Valley, if not the whole nation, came to a close this Friday after weeks of testimony. Ellen Pao's lawsuit against a storied venture capital firm highlighted what many saw as the subtle forms of discrimination and exclusion that keep women out of some of the most powerful positions in both tech companies and VC firms.

The jury, however, sided with Kleiner. Was Pao just a bad plaintiff with a losing case, or is the boys club back?

Study Finds Lawyers Are Liberal, but Judges Are Conservative

A new Harvard study, which claims lawyers are more liberal than the general population, has been making the rounds in the ABA Journal, The New York Times, and on Above the Law. The study aims to determine whether the judiciary is politicized, as has been claimed in the media for a long time now -- at least, depending on whether you agree with the judge's decision (which is problem one here).

The study also aims to determine what, if any, effect the politicization of lawyers has on monetary donations to judicial election campaigns. Most state court judges are elected, and the amount of money being spent in judicial campaigns is going up dramatically.

Midterm Elections 2014: 5 Reasons Lawyers Should Care

Tuesday is Election Day, and because it's a midterm election year, the political climate in the country is poised to change. But because it seems almost no one except hardcore politicos are planning to vote, the reaction on Wednesday is likely to be, "Hey, what happened?"

As usual, there are a lot of legal battles going on this year. Here are five reasons why lawyers should pay particular attention to what happens on November 4:

Roundtable: What's Your Favorite Constitutional Amendment?

Welcome to Constitution Week at FindLaw! Why this week, of all weeks? Because during this week in 1787 (on September 17, to be exact), the U.S. Constitution was signed by attendees of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

Of course, the original draft had a few imperfections -- no Bill of Rights, the three-fifths compromise, and slavery, for example -- but the foundation was solid.

That being said, we're glad the Constitution has a built-in editing function. Here are our staff members' favorite fixes (amendments) to the U.S. Constitution: