It's good to see some humor in law - check out Weil's Valentine's day post with online dating advice.
As the 50th anniversary arrives, the writers at the Drug & Device blog bring the Beatles into the world of mass tort litigation. It's always good to read work from lawyers with a fully developed sense of humor.
Imagine Being the Judge on this Motion from the SAC Capital Hedge Funder Now on Trial for Insider Trading
Imagine being the judge in this case.
Background: The case is the Martoma criminal trial for insider trading at SAC Capital. The allegations are that Mr. Martoma was paying off a doctor for inside information on inside news of the results on a major drug trial. On obtaining inside word of bad results (which would hurt the stock), he tipped his direct boss and uber boss, the ever-charming Steve Cohen. As the defense story goes, Mr. Cohen did not get a direct tipping email, and gosh darn it just does not remember much about a 20 minute call shortly before he dumped shares of stock worth tens of millions, and then shorted the stock.
Motions: The defense seeks to supress - and keep sealed - records regarding Mr. Martoma's lying and fraud problems that resulted in Harvard law kicking him out of school. The frauds include seeking federal clerkships by sending judges fake transcript showing better grades than were actually earned. As explained in an article by Alison Frankel and others: "According to one of the orders, which was unsealed Thursday, Martoma, then a Harvard Law student, used computer software to create a fake transcript which he then sent to federal judges in an attempt to secure a clerkship. Based on his beefed up transcript, he landed interviews with several judges."
But the lie caught up with him and Harvard initiated disciplinary proceedings. During the proceedings, Martoma changed the date of an email before submitting it as evidence of his innocence. He also submitted a computer forensic report about the email with the falsified date, but did not tell the disciplinary committee that the company that produced the forensic report was his creation."
The judge so far is refusing to seal or suppress the evidence. DealBook also has a story on the subject.
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin runs a service that reports on new complaints filed in Cook County in state court. The service describes the case as follows - it sure sounds like an awful case to defend on the merits. Maybe there is more to the story, but ...
"Complaint alleges that Defendant Clark collided with the rear of the state trooper vehicle being operated by Plaintiff, which was legally stopped at the time of the accident. Defendant was allegedly negligent in operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit, operating his vehicle without keeping a proper lookout, failing to maintain proper control over the vehicle, failing to avoid the accident, failing to decrease his speed and failing to yield or stop for an emergency vehicle in violation of state law. Defendant Technisource is allegedly liable vicariously for the acts of Clark, as he was driving his vehicle in the scope of his employment when the collision occurred. Plaintiff Matthew Woodiel sues Defendants Daniel C. Clark, and Technisource, Inc."
The suit was filed by David Schwartz of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz.
For Chicagoans looking for wickedly smart humor this weekend, consider singing and dancing lawyers presenting the Chicago Bar Association's annual year end show of musical skits lampooning everybody.
We saw it Wednesday night and it was great, with its theme built around the Wizard of Oz. Our favorite skit of the evening played off the recent Illinois law change to allow gay marriage. The skit was to the tune of "ding, dong, the witch is dead." But in the skit, the lyric instead was "ding, dong, the gays can wed." And the skit was presented as the Oz-like dream/nightmare of Michele Bachmann (Dorothy) after accidentally being hit on the head by a poster carried by supporters of Obamacare.
Another great skit featured a faux Jesse Jackson Jr. singing "Bought It" to the tune of "Beat It." (Non-Chicagoans can go here for the back story if its not news you know.)
So, there's proof - some lawyers really can be creative, and sing and dance too !
Perhaps legal writing instructors should provided students with examples of Bruce Carton's legal writing. The man knows how to make a point with just a few words, such as a new post that nails the TSA for ongoing silliness in new rules for items allowed on planes.
AmLaw has the story of a young Jones Day lawyer who had some good success on Jeopardy, the television show. Hint: he won three rounds and thus some cash.
Compilation of Lawyers on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, Including a Peabody Award for a Series on Campaign Finance Laws
Brian Baxter at American Lawyer has provided an article aggregating information on lawyers appearing on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. The other night, Thomas Goldstein of Scotusblog was quite good on the Daily Show as he spoke about the healthcare cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the recent U.S. Supreme Court case he lost - the rapidly infamous and much ridiculed 5-4 decision opinion deferring to police decisions to strip search anyone who is arrested for anything. (Perhaps we can all look forward to watching youtube videos of strip searches, as happened in Canada.)
Trevor Potter, however, has been the best of all. He formerly ran the Federal Election Commission, and today is at Caplin & Drysdale. He and Stephen Colbert have done a wonderful series of short, easy to grasp interviews and vignettes which brilliantly explain - and skewer - the absurdity of campaign finance laws in the US. The series recently won a Peabody Award, as explained by Stephen.
The April Fool's (Law Day) issue has arrived. Enjoy this article on corporations seeking to abolish the Delaware Chancery court, and related "right to life" issues for corporate citizens.
Here's the link to Volume 14 of "Things You Cannot Do on a Plane." It's from Bruce Carton's wonderful blog/articles on Law.com.
All the rules are reminders of the saying "be careful out there," a phrase used to good effect on Hill Street Blues, one of the first "real life" shows about law and order. As third year law students, we used to RUN out of a night class to see the show. Apparently some airplane passengers never received the message.
Courtesy of this post on the Legal Blog Watch, which reposted work by Bloomberg Law ...
"Selecting the '10 Greatest Legal Movie Lines'
Last week, Bloomberg Law put together an interesting series of video clips in an effort to collect the "10 funniest, most moving, or most inspiring legal movie lines." The full video ("The 10 Greatest Legal Movie Lines") ... is a lot of fun to watch."