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

Recently in Legal History Category

Senator Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump's nominee for attorney general, went before his colleagues today in a marathon confirmation hearing -- now on its fifth hour and still ongoing. (You can watch the live stream here.)

If confirmed, and so far it looks like Sessions will be confirmed, the Republican Senator from Alabama will become the head of the Department of Justice and the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer in the federal government. Here are some of the highlights from the hearings thus far.

The holiday season may be the time for peace on earth, joy to the world, and copious eggnog, but it's also as good of a season as any for a lawsuit. If Santa has his elves, well, we've got our lawyers.

Whether it's Christmas displays on public property, holiday candy in the classroom, or religious holiday concerts, the holidays have engendered plenty of great lawsuits. Even Charles Dickens has gone to court over "A Christmas Carol."

If you're looking for a break this week, might we recommend 'Loving,' the new-ish film written and directed by Jeff Nichols? The film tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple whose relationship led to the Supreme Court's landmark Loving v. Virginia decision invalidating anti-miscegenation laws and declaring marriage a fundamental civil right -- a decision which continues to reverberate today.

'Loving' isn't a courtroom drama. You won't see great legal oration or be regaled by high-minded judicial arguments. (The legal battles take place largely off screen.) What you will see, however, is a masterful telling of a pivotal moment in American history, played out in the small and intimate details of the Lovings' relationship.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett could be the most famous justice on Twitter. With more than 60,000 followers, and a near-constant stream of jokes, trivia, and personal insight, Justice Willett has earned the title of "Tweeter Laureate of Texas."

He's also gained the attention of another Twitter enthusiast, President-elect Donald Trump. The justice was included on Trump's original shortlist of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees and has a fair shot of making it to the High Court in the near future.

Cranberry sauce, tart, tangy, and deliciously red, is a staple of the Thanksgiving table. And, sorry foodies, nothing is better than the canned stuff. Shiny, wobbly, still bearing the marks of the tin can, it's the perfect side for topping turkey, spreading over a biscuit, or just eating on its own.

But canned cranberry sauce didn't come to us straight from the pilgrims. (Shocking, I know.) It was popularized more than 100 years ago by one very enterprising lawyer.

On Friday, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be attorney general for the United States under his incoming administration. As attorney general, Sessions would be the top lawyer and law enforcement officer for the federal government, setting policy, guiding prosecutions, even representing the government before the Supreme Court if he so chooses. Under Sessions, the Department of Justice could become one of the most transformed government departments in a Trump administration, according to George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.

So, who is Jeff Sessions and what do you need to know about him? For one, his full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Here are five more important details about the man who could take over the DOJ:

James Gilliland Jr., a prominent San Francisco attorney, was killed in front of his home on October 27th. Gilliland was a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP, where he worked on litigation, representing companies like Oracle, Sony, Williams-Sonoma, and Levi Strauss in intellectual property and other disputes.

In the weeks since Gilliland's death, investigators have yet to establish a motive for the killing. Now, an anonymous donor is offering $50,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Gilliland's killer.

The Trump brand has always been good for lawyers' bottom line. There are the bankruptcies, coupled with the constant lawsuits, on top of the constant threat of lawsuits. All of it adds up to plenty of billable hours, if not always the clearest respect for the rule of law. Now, with Trump posed to take over the highest office in the land, BigLaw lawyers are expecting an increase in work should Trump follow through on his promises to upend everything from international trade, to health care, to tax law.

But there's another group who might be set to gain, in both cash flow and public profile, under a Trump administration: nonprofit, public interest groups, and their lawyers, who have vowed to fight some of the candidate's most controversial proposals.

Worried that the singularity will hit soon and the human race will be enslaved by an army of hyper-intelligent robots? Or, worse, that artificial intelligence programs will replace lawyers? Don't worry, we're not there yet. Most artificial intelligence programs are still too rudimentary to do more than rote legal work, and a Cylon-style insurrection is at least a few years off.

But, AI has gotten better at thinking like a lawyer, with a new report showing that artificial intelligence can accurately predict case outcomes 79 percent of the time. There are, however, a few catches.

Political dysfunction is nothing new, but the recent spat between Louisiana's governor and the state's attorney general seems to take state government infighting to new extremes. Governor John Bel Edwards recently sued the state's own attorney general, Jeff Landry, in order to keep the attorney general from blocking state contracts.

The dispute stems from a disagreement over anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender workers. Edwards wants them, Landry does not, and he has refused to approve state contracts with LGBT antidiscrimination provisions. "He basically told me that if I wanted him to approve those contracts that I would have to sue him," Governor Edwards said after he filed suit. "So I'm obliging him on that."