In a "how-dare-they-not-grant-me-an-interview-given-my-credentials" complaint, a former state attorney general for North Dakota, Nicholas Spaeth, has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against MSU College of Law. Here's the complaint(PDF). Not in the complaint, but noteworthy, is this nugget from Wikipedia -- he is the only statewide, elected official not to be endorsed by the National Rifle Association in the history of the state.
“The Little Prince connects you with your own being so you’re looking inward rather than outward. When you really get down to trial work there isn’t a mechanism where you learn tricks for convincing people of something you really don’t believe. It all has to come from inside you and requires self-examination. I don’t think it has relevance for lawyers doing transactions or mergers and acquisitions. It does have relevance for those who seek to do what I do, which is trial law.”
If you're an unemployed LinkedIn user, check out "Apply with LinkedIn." If you're unemployed and aren't on LinkedIn, check out LinkedIn. Reuters reports that more than 1,000 companies already include the "Apply with LinkedIn" button on their job pages.
A classic study of solo lawyers in Chicago from 1962, Jerome Carlinl's Lawyers on Their Own, The Solo Practitioner in an Urban Setting, gained such a following that it was republished in 1994. Now it has been been "remastered" and reissued for our times, when the turbulence in the economics of the profession is forcing more and more lawyers into involuntary solo practice. It's available both in paperback and as an e-book.
From an introduction by Golden State University's William Gallagher:
The world Carlin depicts in Lawyers on Their Own is at times strange, almost shocking, and certainly does not comport with an idealized image of lawyers constituting an independent and learned profession. The solo, urban, and largely ethnic practitioners in Carlin’s study have a marginal professional existence at the bottom of the status hierarchy of the bar. Most of their law practices are generally not economically successful or emotionally satisfying, as these lawyers—due to economic necessity—have little ability to pick and choose the types of clients they will work for or the types of cases they will accept. The work these lawyers engage in often has little to do with the practice of law (or at least with a very high level of practice). It more often involves completing and filing routine standardized legal forms, referring clients to other attorneys (and thereby collecting “bare” referral fees without doing legal work for the client), and manipulating local governmental officials on a client’s behalf. As Carlin concludes, the lawyers he studied served more as “bookkeepers, brokers, or fixers” than as lawyers engaged in tasks requiring significant knowledge of the law, legal analysis, judgment, or creativity (Carlin 1994:207-209).
Well he isn't a Norwegian Founding Father, but Geir Lippestad, a Norwegian lawyer and the Labor Party supporter, sounds something like John Adams in explaining why he agreed to represent Anders Breivik, the man who has confessed to the bombing of Norwegian government buildings and the killing of scores of young people participating in a Labor Party youth summer camp. From a Reuters report:
"Someone has to do this job," the lawyer told a news conference. Lippestad, who received Breivik's request through the police the day after Friday's bombings and shootings, said he spent 10 to 12 hours making up his mind before agreeing to accept the case as a matter of principle.
"My first reaction was that this was too difficult," he said. "But then I sat down with family, friends and colleagues and we said that today is the time to think about democracy, and if I said no to this job, then I would say no to democracy."
Among the many useful skills attorneys are typically not taught in law school is how to handle media attention about your client's legal problems. For example, if you are representing a freshman Tea Party-backed Congressman charged with owing over $100,000 in child support, you might, on a moment's reflection, come up with a better statement to the press than that your client "hasn’t been a big-time wage-earner politician until recently."
Kevin Aschenbrenner tells the story of a lawyer who did a fairly significant, high-pressure interview. There were some possibilities for some tense situations and some areas that the lawyer did not want addressed.
“He got training and did a great job through the interview. He stayed on message, used all the techniques. And then, showing the reporter out of the firm, he promptly in the elevator rattled on about everything he wasn’t supposed to say in the interview. Of course, that’s what got printed. So keep yourself on a short leash and talking only about what you want to talk about is really important.”
An Ohio man charged with the misdemeanor of "teasing a police dog" offered the bold explanation on the scene that "the dog started it," but at trial tried the more grown-up defense, "I have a constitutional right to tease a dog." Indeed, a 2003 Ohio case, State v. Gilchrist, held that the First Amendment protects dog-teasing speech. But in the present case, State v. Stephens, the judge muzzled the defense by distinguishing the case on its facts:
The Court of Appeals confirmed the trial court's decision that "the enforcement of [O.JR.C.2921.321 in response to 'barking' with ao at a police dog is prohibited where the defendant is at least thirty feet removed from teh aimal and there is no possibililty of any physical contact with the police dog."
The case at hand is different in a key aspect. Unlike Gilchrist, the Defendant was only a few inches from the K-9's snout.