Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

August 2011 Archives

'Bad Mothering' Lawsuit: Kids Sued Mom over Empty B-Day Card

Steven A. Miner claims that, before helping his grown children file a "bad mothering" lawsuit against his ex-wife two years ago, he conducted a significant amount of research.

But one look at the dismissal orders issued by Cook County Judge Kathy Flanagan and then a panel of judges that sit on the Illinois Court of Appeals, and you're likely to wonder just how in-depth that research was.

And what exactly made him think that a check-less birthday card equates to intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Want a Big Law Job? Skadden Debuts New App

Law school gunners, start your engines. And, your iPhone or iPad.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has launched its very own BigLaw app.

Called "Skadden Start Here," the free mobile application comes loaded with goodies for any aspiring BigLaw interviewee.

It features tidbits of information about the firm policies and their view on firm life. It will let users keep up-to-date with Skadden's global recruiting efforts.

Law Student (Also a Cop) Creates App for Cheating on Your Spouse

As law students, part-time jobs can help supplement your income. Earning a few extra bucks here and there can help you pay for that $200 casebook or that new laptop.

Well, have you ever thought about developing a smartphone app to help pay your exorbitant law school tuition?

There is precedence with law students developing applications. Take CATE, developed by former police officer and current law student Phillip Immler. It can help you cheat on your spouse or significant other.

Awesome, right?

Are the Partners at Your Firm Padding their Profits?

Resume padding seems to be an industry-wide habit these days, branching out beyond law school employment data and overzealous students.

Nearly half of the top 50 firms on the Am Law 100 overstated partner profits by more than 20% for the year 2010, reports the Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group study on law firm lending.

Maybe the partners just needed an ego boost?

1L Survival Tips: Top 3 Tips on How to Survive Law School

Are you a first year just now ruing the day you read those ridiculous books urging you to highlight in five colors? Are you already floundering, and it's only the first week? Do you have an uncontrollable desire to smack a classmate? Are you already trying to figure how you're going to survive law school?

Don't worry--you're not alone, which is why we here at Greedy Associates are stepping in to ease your fear and give you a few tips on how to get through the next few years of your life.

So here they are--How to Survive Law School: The Basics.

Law Grads Awaiting Bar Not Entitled to Overtime, CA Court Rules

Guess what, post-bar law clerks? You're a professional!

No, really, you are.

And, in California, that means only one thing: you are not entitled to overtime pay, according to a recent appeals court ruling.

Matthew Zelasko-Barrett brought suit against Brayton-Purcell, a law firm in Novato, California. He alleged that because he hadn't passed the bar, he was entitled to some overtime. Under the FLSA, professionals are exempt from overtime pay. Zelask-Barett was essentially arguing that as an unlicensed attorney, he was not a professional. The court disagreed.

Judge Who Handed Condom-Filled Acorns Cleared on Ethics Charges

He may like to feed women condom-filled acorns, but Judge Isaac Stoltzfus of Intercourse, Pa. is apparently still fit for the bench.

Though he was cited for disorderly conduct for passing out the enriched acorns on state Capitol grounds, the state's Court of Judicial Discipline agreed to dismiss misconduct charges brought earlier this year.

He, however, is to refrain from posing as the safe-sex squirrel in the future.

Attorney Arrested: Challenged Girlfriend to Naked Sword Duel

Naked attorney Terry Lee Locy challenged his girlfriend to a sword duel.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Locy, a Floridian and graduate of the University of Miami's law school, challenged his girlfriend to the duel after a particularly heated argument.

Locy's now presumably ex-girlfriend was arguing with him about his drinking habits. The argument escalated when Locy threatened to hurt her with a mirror. The woman then chucked a hook off the wall and threw it at his head.

Law Students Can Rent Their Casebooks with Online Access for Less

Know anyone who would rather not spend $150 for a Civil Procedure textbook they will only end up using a doorstop? Ever think about buying digital study guides? Or how about renting casebooks?

In addition to being able to access digital copies of most legal study aids on the market through publisher sites and Amazon, West Publishing is now offering the majority of its casebook catalog for rent.

With law school costs skyrocketing and the job market in the dumps, it's certainly something to consider, potentially saving you more than would buying used.

Skadden, BigLaw Firms Increase Hiring: Law Schools Move OCIs to Aug.

The fall semester will soon start for law students across the country. So will the fall recruiting season, and all the related tears of frustration that accompany it.

But along with the usual weeping, fall OCI might bring a few smiles this year, with reports that offer rates are up and both Skadden and Bingham McCutchen are increasing 2012 summer class sizes.

So, is the legal market improving for newly minted 2Ls and 3Ls? And, if so, is your law school taking advantage of the uptick?

Fired Associate with 'Superior Legal Mind' Sues NY Firm for $77M

Gregory Berry is proof that sometimes you need to keep your mouth shut and your head down, even if you do think you're better than everyone else.

The former first year associate at Kasowitz Benson Torres and Friedman is suing the New York firm and two partners for $77 million claiming that the firm lied about its work culture, engaged in unethical behavior, and is trying to ruin his career.

On that last charge, Berry seems to have destroyed his ability to find a job all by himself.

Disbarred Houston Attorney's Stash of $838K Cash, Guns Found

If you've got six figures in cash, where would you stash it? If you're anything like disbarred Houston attorney John B. Kennedy, your hiding place of choice would be a storage facility. And your own car.

Police discovered Kennedy's stash when they arrested him on outstanding warrants of felony fraud. He was found with $12,000 in his car and $838,000 in a storage facility. The storage facility also contained some guns.

Kennedy's motivations are unclear. But, this isn't the first time that Kennedy has, for no discernable reason, amassed a huge sum of cash.

Villanova Sanctioned by ABA for Inaccurate Admission Data

Attorneys and law schools alike both seem prone to making ethical blunders. Though thankfully, the legal profession at least has some accountability, evidenced by the American Bar Association slapping the law school at Villanova with a public censure.

Apparently, Villanova University School of Law knowingly reported inaccurate admissions data.

The inaccurate data includes GPA and LSAT statistics for its entering classes. In multiple years, the "reported" GPA and LSAT were higher than the "actual" GPA and LSAT of its admitted class.

Corporations Hiring GCs out of Law School Instead of from BigLaw

Ask any ambitious 3L this question: what is your dream job fresh out of law school? "General counsel" is likely not something you'd hear, partially because most law students recognize that it used to be near-impossible to land an in-house position without years of experience.

And, some law students are still dreaming of earning $160k their first year at a big law firm.

But, for those looking for a job in the corporate world that pays a bit less, look no further. It seems that some companies are breaking out of the traditional mold of only hiring law firm-trained general counsels.

Why Weren't You Hired as a 2011 Supreme Court Law Clerk?

Now that Supreme Court clerk hiring has officially been completed for the October 2011 term, it's time to sit down and figure out why you weren't even remotely considered for a position.

And why graduates from the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University were.

That's right--this year you can't blame your failure on the uh, lackluster, status of your law school.

Sleeping Attorneys Are Still Effective Counsel, Judge Rules

Want to be a sleeping attorney? Go practice in the 6th Circuit, where counsel is now free to take brief naps during trial without offending a client's constitutional rights.

The court has ruled that Joseph Muniz was not sufficiently prejudiced when his counsel decided to pass out during his cross-examination, even though prosecutors ended up asking him impermissible questions.

Score one for adult naptime.

Should You Quit BigLaw and Just Become an Antitrust Lawyer?

Antitrust enforcement has been one of the Obama Administration's priorities since the start, with both the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission delving deeper into small and big deals alike.

As a result, firms are increasingly seeking attorneys with upper-level government experience, looking to bring them on as partners and "of counsel."

But as we all know, every new partner needs a few good associates to do their bidding.

Should you fill that void and become an antitrust lawyer?

Young IL Divorce Lawyer Paid to Have His Girlfriend's Ex Murdered?

If there's anything that proves that common sense is not required to practice law, it would be the attorney murder-for-hire scheme out of Algonquin, Illinois, which has left 29-year-old Jason Smiekel behind bars and at least $15,000 in the hole.

Arrested after passing $7,000 to an undercover federal agent, Smiekel reportedly wanted his girlfriend's ex-husband dead prior to an upcoming divorce court hearing, believing that the man would reveal information that could potentially ruin his career .

Apparently he didn't think hiring a hit man would have the same effect.

Some Busy Lawyers Sleeping in On Site, Japanese-Style Sleeping Pods

If you're a lawyer, sleeping at the office sometimes seems inevitable.

Needing sleep on the job is especially true if you're in the midst of closing a huge deal, pulling in 16-hour work days.

For some lucky London attorneys, small bedrooms are set aside to allow some sleep-deprived attorneys to get some well-needed R&R.

Some of these capsule bedrooms are even done up in the manner of Japanese capsule hotels.

From Boom to Bust: Nevada Attorney Pay Declining

Have your heard the news? Everything in the Nevada attorney job market is awesome. Pay is increasing, there are dozens of new positions opening up every day, and people would love to hire fresh grads with no experience!

Well, maybe not. That kind of news would happen in an ideal world, but unfortunately, in today's economy, news about the attorney job market is still as dire as ever.

And, next up on the sad legal market news roundup is the great state of Nevada, where attorney pay is declining.

Blind Law Student Can Use Special Software on MPRE, Judge Rules

For one blind law student, the MPRE was going to be a tough challenge. Until now.

Vermont Law School student Deanna Jones, 44, will today be able to use a screenreader software that will read the text aloud while enlarging the font.

Jones is legally blind and has also been diagnosed with an auditory learning disability. In order for her to fully comprehend the exam, she needs to have the exam text read out loud, according to WCAX-TV.

BigLaw's Contract Attorneys Don't do Quality Work: McDermott Suit

J-M Manufacturing Co., the plaintiff in the McDermott malpractice suit, amended its complaint last week, adding new allegations of professional negligence directed at the law firm's contract attorneys.

In addition to originally claiming that McDermott's attorneys failed to properly supervise its off-site staff attorneys, the lawsuit now alleges that the contract attorneys also "negligently performed their duties."

Their duties being document review.

Where Will You Put Your New Clarence Thomas Bobblehead?

The  Clarence Thomas bobblehead has hit the street just in time for the dozing justice's 20th anniversary on the bench.

In contrast to his typically reclining form, wide-eyed and standing atop pizza boxes and a tractor-trailer, the Thomas bobblehead denotes some of the more interesting statements that Thomas has made over time.

But they completely miss the true essence of the Thomas tenure.

Woman Goes into Labor During Bar Exam: Gives Birth After MBE

Most law grads who take a bar review course tend to hear the requisite bar exam horror stories. Your computer might crash in the middle of the exam, forcing you to handwrite pages of essays.

On the day of the exam, a huge traffic accident may occur on the freeway that you're meant to take, meaning that what was once a half an hour drive to the testing center is now a two-hour long bumper-to-bumper road-rage fueled horror.

How about if you're pregnant, and you go into labor during the exam? Well, for one woman taking the Illinois bar that's exactly what happened.

Take Post Bar Exam Trip or Try to Find a Job?

While you recover from your post-bar hangover, you have some important decisions to make about the next few months of your life.

Besides applying for permanent positions, should you go on a post-bar trip? Should you volunteer? Should you find a paying non-legal job? Should you sit on your butt eating pizza and drinking beer until November?

While this last one is especially appealing, it's probably not the best option.

But which one is?