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

Recently in Legal History Category

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?

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.

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:

What if Washington Lawyers Want to Toke, Advise Clients on Pot?

As lawyers, we can't advise our clients on the best way to break the law. We also aren't supposed to break the law ourselves. It's that ethics stuff that you slept through in law school.

In Washington (and Colorado), it is perfectly legal to toke up. Recreational use of marijuana, thanks to state initiatives, does not violate state law. It does, however, violate federal law to buy, sell, smoke, snort, chew, or to do pretty much anything with weed. So, when a Seattle lawyer wants to partake in a state-legal substance, or advise a client on the best way to structure her pot dispensary corporation, he may just be violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.


California Allows Undocumented Immigrants to Practice Law

With a few signatures from Governor Jerry Brown, California may have just become the most immigrant-friendly state in the country. On Saturday, Gov. Brown signed a package of bills reducing the state's cooperation with federal deportation programs, giving undocumented immigrants the right to obtain driver's licenses, and most important for our purposes, allowing undocumented immigrants to practice law, so long as the other requirements of bar admission are met.

While the legislation should have far-reaching effects across the state, it will be especially good news for one 36-year-old man, who has been waiting for a green card since the age of 17, and who passed the bar in 2009, yet is still waiting to practice law. Sergio Garcia's case ended up in the California Supreme Court last month, but with the new legislation, the case may be moot.

How to Get Sworn In to the U.S. Supreme Court

There may be no pragmatic reason for you to be sworn in to the Supreme Court. After all, how many of us will ever actually argue a case in those hallowed chambers? Still, for most of us, the Supreme Court represents the epitome of our legal system.

It may be the Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park of American law, home of some of the greatest legal minds in history, the playing field for countless others, but gaining admission is simply a matter of applying, after meeting a few prerequisites.

In honor of Supreme Court Week here at FindLaw, here are the rules of the game:

At FindLaw, we're a little tired of the negative "lawyers are sharks" jokes, so we're reclaiming the word. As Run-DMC would say, it's "Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good."

When people are making all those jokes, they seem to forget that lawyers are also the people defending their civil liberties. So, in honor of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week, we thought it would be fun to highlight some of the most bad-ass lawyer sharks throughout history.

How Do Random Acts of Ignorance Affect the Gay Rights Debate?

In case you missed it, vandals redecorated the Lambda Law Students Association's office at Boston College Law School (BCLS) over the weekend with a wall full of hate. Above the Law has a photo of the hooligans' handiwork here.

BCLS Dean Vincent D. Rougeau condemned the act. Jason Triplett, co-chair of the school's Lambda Law chapter, told Above the Law that the graffiti was shocking because the both students and faculty at the school are inclusive and supportive of the organization. Another Lambda Legal member suggested that the perpetrator was unaffiliated with the law school.

A Tired, Yet Unsettled Debate: Pleaded or Pled? Drunken or Drunk?

We have a problem. The editors insist on uniform standards of writing. Though such a quest is laudable, it creates a significant issue for us writers when it comes to two weird words: pleaded and drunken.

It's not just us either. The ABA and the Daily Report are pleading for a resolution to the pleaded versus pled debate. Meanwhile, we've turned to bottles of two buck chuck after arguing for common usage over technicalities in the drunken drunk debate.