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January 2011 Archives

Addicted Lawyers: How To Treat Them

Most attorneys can attest to the fact that their job is stressful. However, a frequent side effect of having a high pressure job also means that lawyers are more likely than the general population to abuse alcohol and suffer from depression, the Associated Press reports.

How do some lawyers turn into addicted lawyers?

"Attorneys have high-stress jobs. They have unreasonable expectations on how much they can hoist on their shoulders. Some of the qualities that ... make them good attorneys make them really bad at self care," says Chuck Rice, a supervisor at the Hazelden treatment facility.

Attorney E-Discovery Sanctions At All-Time High

Electronic discovery (also known as e-discovery), has long been hailed as a salvation over the time-consuming, traditional process of discovery. But it's not as promising as it once seemed to lawyers. 

Lawyers are getting sanctioned for e-discovery sanctions at a higher rate than ever before, according to the Wall Street Journal. In fact, e-discovery sanctions have reached an all-time high, the ABA Journal reports.

Ex-Prosecutor, Harvard Law Grad Attacks SFO Cops with Metal Pole

We all have our breaking points. Apparently former Los Angeles deputy city attorney Angela West reached hers during a violent rampage at San Francisco International Airport. She found herself thrown into a psyche ward after going on a tirade that included the use of a dust pan and a 3-foot-long metal pole. (As this was on Christmas Eve, perhaps it was a Festivus pole?)

The Harvard Law School graduate allegedly used the metal pole to smash merchandise, milk and containers and other items, at a Peet's Coffee, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Judge Killed In Arizona Shooting Tackled Tough Issues

U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, who was killed in the attack against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, tackled tough legal issues from the bench. The chief federal judge of the District of Arizona even received death threats.

Judge John Roll received death threats after he ruled to allow a civil rights lawsuit worth $32 million to proceed against a rancher who corralled Mexican nationals trying to cross his property, the New York Times reports. He also ruled to strike down a federal requisite for mandatory background checks on handgun purchases.

Class Action Approved Against Florida's 'Foreclosure King'

A Florida state appellate court has decided that a class action lawsuit against attorney David J. Stern can move forward. Stern, the self-proclaimed "Foreclosure King," is accused of charging excessive fees to homeowners desperate to fight their foreclosures. The case against the Plantation, Florida attorney was first filed three years ago. The class includes Wells Fargo customers that were Florida property owners facing foreclosure. The class members received reinstatement letters from Stern's office.

Palm Beach Circuit Judge had already granted class action certification to a lawsuit brought by Boynton Beach electrician Loren Banner. Stern appealed the decision but the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The lawsuit named Stern, Wells Fargo Bank and Stern's law firm. According to the lawsuit, Stern's clients were charged excessive fees for things like title searches, being served foreclosure papers and other legal work and were even billed for expenses and mortgage payments that were not yet due, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Man Quits Job, Becomes Attorney to Sue Email Spammers

Looking for an interesting legal niche? Daniel Balsam found his long before he went to law school. In 2002, Balsam was working as a marketer and became frustrated with the spam emails he constantly received.

So did he complain to his friends? Write letters to his senator? Switch to Gmail? No, instead, Balsam started a website called, went to law school, got his law degree and now sues spammers for a living.

"What started just as kicks turned into a hobby, which turned into a career," Balsam told The Associated Press. "I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet."