Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

November 2016 Archives

A prosecutor in the Brooklyn district attorney's office was arrested on Monday. Her crime? Love.

Well, love, plus allegedly forging judges' signatures to fake their approval of an illegal wiretap she used to spy on a police detective and a fellow prosecutor as part of a messy "love triangle gone wrong."

Is Delaware the Best-Paying State for Lawyers?

'It's Good Being First.' Delaware's slogan turns out to be true -- again.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hottest spot on the map for new lawyers is Delaware. The report shows that the first state in the union is also the highest paying for lawyers based on cost-of-living adjusted salaries. The magic number is $132,446 annually.

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.

Lawyer Disbarred for Tell-All Book About Former Client

When it comes to attorney-client privileged information: if you don't ask, don't tell.

That's a rough translation of a professional rule that led to the disbarment of Jodi Arias' former attorney, who wrote a book about his client's infamous murder trial. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.9(c)(2) explains that a lawyer has a duty not to reveal information relating to the lawyer's prior representation of a former client. Lawrence "Kirk" Nurmi probably never read the disciplinary footnote, which goes even further:

"The confidentiality rule, for example, applies not only to matters communicated in confidence by the client but also to all information relating to the representation, whatever its source," according to the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility.

It's the start of final exams panic season, when law students realize that there are only a few short weeks before they'll sit down for their make-or-break exams -- and they still have so much law to learn.

Some desperate students are spending 14 hours a day doing nothing but studying. Some have more or less moved into the law library, bringing their pillows and pizzas with them. Plenty of those students will be popping Adderall and other prescription stimulants in order to fuel their study-binges. You shouldn't be one of them. Here's why.

Surviving as a Weekend Warrior Lawyer

To be or not to be a weekend warrior; that is a tough question.

Yet it's a question every lawyer must answer sometime in his or her career. The difficult answer too often is "yes" because attorneys don't always have a choice. Being a weekend warrior is part of the business of law.

Here's Another Reason to Ditch Brain Training

So you're not that good at Sudoku. Maybe you can't spell it, or even know what it is.

No worries. It's not as bad as you think, especially if you are an aging lawyer trying to train your brain with games and puzzles. (Sudoku, if you were wondering, is one of the most popular puzzles in the mobile world today.) Brain training, it turns out, might not be such a good idea after all because getting older is getting better.

Kentucky Lawyer Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Settlement Funds

Kentucky police have arrested a lawyer for allegedly stealing one client's money. Police also apparently have evidence of more victims.

Danny Butler, 70, is being held on $207,000 bail -- the same amount he allegedly stole from his client. Wanda Brewer, who filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of her son Dana, said Butler was a respected lawyer in her small town. She expected he would be honest and dependable.

Even Though You're a Lawyer, You Shouldn't Be an Elitist

How many lawyer jokes are there? Three. The rest are true stories.

It's an oldie but illustrates a point. Many of those jokes are based on a public perception that attorneys are elitists and must be put down or at least humbled. Like the U.S. election results seem to say, 323 million people can't be wrong.

Lawyer jokes are to the profession what gallows humor is to the condemned. Sad but true -- which is what makes them funny. It is society's way of purging a distasteful reality without choking. An attorney says on national television that his murderous client is not guilty as a matter of law (ahem, Dershowitz), and you can almost hear the collective retching.

It's Thanksgiving break. You're overworked, stressed out, and dreading all the studying you'll be doing in the few weeks before finals. The last thing you want to do is deal with some cousin asking, "Why don't you work for the Supreme Court this summer? I hear they take interns."

But no matter how much you'd like to avoid the subject, if you want turkey, you'll have to talk about law school. Here are some strategies to get you through it.

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.

ABA Punishes Law Schools for Low Bar Pass Rates

It's bad enough failing the bar exam, but when your law school fails bar association standards, that's just disheartening.

The American Bar Association has now sanctioned three law schools for not preparing students to succeed in school and pass the bar exam. Basically, the schools got a "D" or an "F" on their bar pass percentage rates.

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:

Way back in May, Donald Trump released his first list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Among those named was Eleventh Circuit Judge William Pryor. Now that Trump has won the presidency, he has recommitted to picking a justice from that group. Pryor could be a good fit. He's extremely conservative, emphatically against Roe v. Wade and gay rights. The fact that Trump has started packing his cabinet with controversial right wingers doesn't hurt Pryor's chances either.

There's just one problem: rumors that Judge Pryor has a gay porn past.

Have you heard that there's some hiring going on in Washington, D.C., these days? It's true! The incoming administration may have the filled the attorney general's spot, but there are plenty of government openings left in our nation's capital, including roles in agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And if serving under the Trump administration isn't your idea of a cool job, we've even got a spot for you over on here on the Left Coast.

So, as part of our affiliate relationship with Indeed, here are the three coolest legal jobs of the week.

The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner. That means some relaxation, a break from law school, time with family and friends, and plenty of turkey and pie, right? Not. On. Your. Life.

If you're a law student, Thanksgiving isn't a holiday for counting your blessings. It's the time to start counting down to final exams. To get you off on the right foot, here are six things you should know as you enter law school final exam crunch time.

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.

Like most everyone else, you graduated law school with six figures of student debt. Like most everyone else, you didn't end up with a job where you could pay back those loans in a few short years. You might even be struggling to make your monthly payments right now. You may be on an income-based repayment plan and hoping for future loan forgiveness.

Now that Donald Trump has been elected, on a promise to shake up Washington (among other things), what does that mean for your law school loans?

It's an interesting time to be in compliance, to say the least. With Donald Trump elected on a platform that includes repealing major Obama initiatives and halting government regulation, the future of corporate compliance practice remains somewhat uncertain. When there is uncertainty, people need lawyers to help them make sense of things.

So, if you've been considering a new job in compliance, now could be your time. As part of our affiliate program with Indeed, this week we're bringing you the top 3 coolest, compliance-focused jobs we could find.

The Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no fan of President-elect Donald Trump. That's been clear since this summer, when she declared she didn't "even want to contemplate" Trump's impact on the Supreme Court and joked about moving to New Zealand should he be elected. Justice Ginsburg hasn't announced any relocation plans yet and she's been relatively silent on Trump since the election on Tuesday. That is, except in her attire.

During Wednesday's oral arguments, Justice Ginsburg appeared to wear her "dissent jabot" on the bench, which many are viewing as a "repudiation of Donald Trump's victory."

The first Friday of November marks Love Your Lawyer Day, a day to show a little appreciation for the attorneys of the world. Actually, a little appreciation might be asking a bit too much. When Love Your Lawyer Day was founded 15 years ago, by the legal marketer Nader Anise, the goal was for people to simply refrain from lawyer bashing and anti-esquire jokes for one day.

We'd like to propose something a bit more meaningful. Instead of looking to the public for affirmation, lawyers should use Love Your Lawyer Day to indulge in a bit of much needed self-care.

A professor at the University of Oregon School of Law decided that the best choice for this year's Halloween costume was blackface. The white law prof allegedly smeared his (or her, the professor's gender is unclear at this point) face with black makeup, then headed out to an off-campus Halloween bash attended by students and colleagues.

Did he wow the crowd? Was his costume met with accolades? Was he praised for his wit, bravery, ability to buck P.C. trends? No. The professor is now on paid leave, under official investigation by the university, and facing pressure to resign. No one is surprised.

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.

American Jurisprudence 2d is the epitome of legal reference materials, the sin qua non for legal research. If you're not familiar with this legal encyclopedia, it's one massive, indispensable collection of American law. Coming in at over 140 volumes, its breadth of coverage and depth of research is unparalleled, covering everything from state criminal laws to obscure points of federal civil procedure.

Now, for the first time ever, portions of Am Jur 2d are available online, for free, right here on FindLaw.