Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

March 2011 Archives

Federal Courts are Worried Your Smart Phone is a Bomb

Ah, smartphones. We know many of you are so addicted to them that if you dropped them in a toilet you'd fish them out.

But federal courthouses around the country are less keen on the do-everything phone-computer combo.

Many federal jurisdictions don't allow the devices into courthouses because of fears that could be used as weapons by terrorists.

Colorado District Attorney Offers Cash Bonuses for Convictions

Now your lawyer friends in the public sector are getting a shot at cash bonuses.

And they don't have to bill 2150 hours, either.

A Colorado district attorney is offering financial incentives for felony prosecutors who meet their goals for conviction rates at trial, reports the Denver Post.

Tech Company Sued After It Trademarked the Word 'BigLaw'

Everyone uses the terms BigLaw and SmallLaw. Hell, even law school career services--who often doesn't know anything about the current legal market--uses the popular terms to delineate between the AmLaw 100 and the 20 person firm down the block.

But PeerViews, Inc., owner of legal blog TechnoLawyer, doesn't want you, me, or your mother to be able to the use the terms without prior permission.

So, in a diabolical plan to corner the market on legal blog fodder, the company trademarked both of the words.

Now is defending our honor.

Jailed Ex-Qwest CEO: 'I Won't Pay for My Attorneys' Underwear'

Be honest. Have you ever billed a client for a late night, in-room movie?

How about for fresh underwear?

Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications, has sued the lawyers who represented him in his insider-trading case, claiming they "grossly overbilled" him and sought payment for staff breakfasts, underwear and in-room movies, Bloomberg reports.

Guess if you're already running up the tab on bagel spreads and Spectravision, you don't think twice about tacking on the cost of new boxer brief, right?

Lawyer Suspended Over Sham Marriage to Elderly Client

California is one of those strange states that frown upon sexual relationships between attorneys and clients. To make matters worse, the state even prohibits the use of a sexual relationship to exercise undue influence over a client.

Such morality has been a roadblock to the plans of many trust and estates attorneys who seek to profit from a client's eventual death. Only the smart ones have figured out how to circumnavigate these rules.

One of the not-so-smart ones happens to be Linda Lowney, a 60- (or so) year-old attorney in Pacifica. She was doing well for awhile, but then she got caught. Now, like many of us, she can't even make money practicing law.

How to Play Hooky From Your Firm

You get paid a lot of money to work at BigLaw. But what if you wanted to get paid a lot of money to not work at BigLaw? 

Well, that could be potentially unethical, so we could never advise you to do it. But people are going to play hooky anyway, so we've compiled a list of ways other attorneys have managed to do so. FindLaw, and especially its corporate parent, does not condone any of the following tricks, by the way:

Law Firm Lifeboat: What to Do if Your Firm is About to Fold

Yet another BigLaw firm is going down. Howrey has announced plans to dissolve. Yoss LLP, one of South Florida's largest law firms, is also closing. Which brings up an interesting question:

What should you do if you're at a firm that's about to go under? How will you know when things are on the brink? First, watch out if partners suddenly start leaving the firm or if rumors begin spreading that another firm is going to buy or rescue your firm.

Former Federal Judge Gets 30 Days for Helping Stripper Buy Drugs

If anyone should know not to help someone buy drugs, you would think it would be a former federal judge. Especially a former federal judge known for giving defendants harsh sentences. 

But hypocrisy infects all professions, and former judge Jack Camp, 67, made continuing lapses in judgment that will be "a scarlet letter chiseled on his forehead the rest of his life," said Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, who sentenced him to 30 days in prison and 400 hours of community service.

California Firm Gives Staff $500 for New Clothes at Ann Taylor

Pop it with citron.

Wait. The color or the fruit? And if we're talking about the color, just what exactly is citron? A bright yellow? A yellow-green? The vodka?

This blogger likes color, but she also likes to call a spade a spade. Or a yellow a yellow. But if she were to work at Newport Beach, Calif. law firm Cummins & White, she'd probably be obliged to talk citron and leopard print. And it wouldn't be pretty.

The Best Law Schools to Make you Boatloads of Cash

Let's be real. A lot of students go to law school with dreams of big paydays. Elite schools advertise starting salaries for their graduates of $160,000.

But only a tiny percentage of students ever get jobs in this pay stratosphere.

So, which law schools set you up for the biggest salaries after graduation?

Judge in Robe, Wig Tackles Fleeing Defendant in Courtroom

Ever just wanted to smack opposing counsel as they addressed the Court?

How about sprint across the courtroom and tackle 'em?

Well a British judge, sporting full robes and a (powdered?) wig tackled a sex offender to the ground as he tried to flee a trial, Reuters reports.

U.S. Firms Flocking to Brazil: Davis Polks Opens Sao Paulo Office

All those billable hours have you thinking about a radical change of scenery? Você fala português? How about following some of the many U.S. Law firms heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Think about it, you'll be close to rain forests, tropical weather and exotic animals. What more could you ask for?

Small Towns That Pay Attorneys Big City Salaries

Most of you graduated law school with dreams of big cities, big salaries and Big Law.

Sorry. If it hasn't happened yet, it isn't happening anytime soon.

But if you're still intent on raking in a six-figure salary, the ABA Journal is touting 10 smaller legal markets that pay just as much, if not more, than their regional metropolis counterparts.

Though a six-figure income can go a long way in these fly-over cities, the list represents an odd mixture of Southern hicksville, Midwestern small town, and Western nothingness. A few also seem to have crime rates that rival Detroit.

February Bar Exam Taxers: Take a Mini Vacation

Now that the February bar exam is over, what are you going to do with all your time?

Your dreams of rest, relaxation and vacationing may finally come true. Or not. 

In case you do want to reward yourself, here are some suggestions:

Be Honest: Are You Addicted to Your Smart Phone?

Phantom rings keeping you up at night? Constantly fighting the need to reach into your pocket? Suffering from stiff-thumb syndrome?

You may be a smart phone addict. Or at least addicted to smart phone games.

According to a recent survey, 20% of smart phone users consider themselves addicted. iPhone devotees self-identify as addicts 26% of the time, whereas only 13% of BlackBerry users do the same, reports Crowd Science.

The best part? About 57% of users who are addicted to smart phone capabilities would be willing to fish their phone out of a public toilet. That's some intense dedication. Or stupidity. Seriously, a real smart phone addict wouldn't be so careless with their phone in the first place.

Facebook Stalking: The Next Big Thing in Law Firm Training

If you've graduated from law school in the last five years, chances are you spent many a class on Facebook. And you can deny it all you want, but we all know that class time was not spent catching up with far-flung friends. Nope. It was spent perfecting the art of Facebook stalking.

As law students, job applicants and now (hopefully) associates, we all took on the role of Facebook stalker. Want to learn about your interviewer? Facebook stalk them. Want to get in good with your professor or partner? They've all got Facebook these days. Want to take down the suck-up stealing all your glory? Take 'em down with Facebook.

Texas Lawyers Reject Ban on Sex with Clients

Texas lawyers want to keep their ability to have sex with their clients. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

As it is, attorneys in the Lone Star State have never been ethically barred from fraternizing with clients. And they intend to keep it that way. The ban was defeated by a majority of voting Texas lawyers, reports the ABA Journal.