Earlier this year, National Jurist took a survey of law schools throughout the country to compile a list of people involved in legal education in 2012 and recently published its list of finalists. One individual on the list—Kyle McEntee, co-founder of Law School Transparency—is not a law professor. Otherwise, it is a moderately diverse group.
“It was surprising to see both the agitators and the establishment on the list,” said Jack Crittenden, Editor in Chief of the National Jurist. “The list is a who’s who of the people who have shaped the discussion over the past year, which has been a challenging and pivotal year. While some have shaped discussion through traditional means, others have stirred the pot more.”
The finalists will be published in order of influence in the January issue of National Jurist, which can be obtained digitally here.
I was pleased to see that Jerry Organ of my alma mater—the University of St. Thomas School of Law—was named to the list in addition to some other very notable individuals.
(photo: Shutterstock: 117503404)
The Atlantic has a nice write-up of some of 2012′s most-watched legal stories. Among the items given honors are issues of drone strikes, gay marriage, and legalization of marijuana in some states. There is also mention of the significant lack of federal judges in some districts due to some members of the Senate refusing to vote on the confirmation of new judges:
Responding to the grave economic cost of this delay and uncertainty, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in March that he wouldn’t allow an up-or-down vote on 17 such judicial nominees….
Some of the stories have ended, but many are issues that will continue on into 2013 (and likely beyond). Lawyerist will continue to keep you abreast of legal developments important to practitioners.
(photo: Shutterstock: 116279290)
Usually it seems pretty self-explanatory that legal fees are to be charged for legal work, but Ms. Katherine M. Guste of Louisiana got herself in hot water (gumbo?) with the Supreme Court of Louisiana for charging and refusing to refund fees for non-legal work. According to the court’s opinion enforcing a two-year suspension [pdf], Ms. Guste provided legal services to prepare a power of attorney and represent her client in the matter of a hit-and-run accident. Thereafter,
[Guste] continued to provide services fro Mr. Perniciaro, including assisting him in canceling the power of attorney, taking him to the bank and running other errands with him, and packing and storing his personal and household belongings in preparation for his move from one nursing home to another.
There was no written agreement for either the legal or non-legal services, although apparently both parties agreed to the same hourly rate of $125 for both types of service. There was, however, a significant question as to his mental capacity based on the fact that the client was a victim of Huntington’s Disease, noted by the court as “a genetic brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of both cognitive functions and physical control.”
So between charging legal fees for non-legal work, having no written agreement, and not keeping an accounting of her time, it seems like Ms. Guste really made a mess of things in this situation. Generally these situations are less black and white than the court’s opinion makes it out to be, but I think we can all agree that this was not an optimal way of interacting with the client. It makes me wonder about other quasi-business transactions clients request of their lawyers, and what would be the best way to respond to such a request. Have you ever had a client request non-legal services? How did you respond?
(photo: Shutterstock: 93796168)
Want a great blog on Lawyerist's network of blogs? Get a great one for just $99/month from Lawyerist Sites.
A while back, I advised you to buy yourname.com so someone else doesn’t. Case in point: when Marc Randazza got in extortionist blogger Crystal Cox’s way, that’s what she did. And the domains of his wife and child. Then, she posted all sorts of horrible stuff. And then, she offered to “fix” Randazza’s online reputation — for a fee, of course.
Randazza wants his name back, so he brought a WIPO arbitration to get it back. And he just won. The arbitrator called Cox’s actions “an artifice intended to extort funds from the Complainant and thus a pretext for a rather egregious variant of cybersquatting.” “Extort” seems like exactly the right word. Actually, maybe not strong enough.
What is somewhat surprising is that Cox has won similar arbitrations in the past. I’ve written before about Randazza’s excellent legal writing. Maybe Cox finally screwed with the wrong lawyer.
I still think it’s a good idea to register your own domain name, but if someone gets there first, and tries to use it against you, it’s nice to know you have recourse.
UPDATE: Looks like Randazza is going after the other domain names, as well (pdf), and is looking for some serious damages.
The ABA Journal reports that an interview with University of Louisville law professor Russell Weaver outlines important considerations to be made with regard to office lottery pools, from which litigation has been stemming more recently.
Keep Reading ⇒
Yesterday the New York Times published an editorial by Lawrence Mitchell, Dean of Case Western Reserve University’s law school. The piece can be seen alternatively as a plea to stop the law-school bashing, or as an exegesis on just how wrong everyone has gotten their assessment of the jobs crisis for lawyers. Regardless of your take on Mitchell’s editorial, it is still an open question whether law school is a sound financial investment at this point.
Keep Reading ⇒
Please see my comment on this post. — Ed.
LexisNexis has released the results of its recent Attorney Research Selection Survey by The Research Intelligence Group (TRIG), and provides some interesting information on the outcomes of consumers’ online legal searches.
The evidence is pretty clear: Consumers aren’t just searching for legal information and attorneys out of random curiosity. The majority of them are highly motivated to find a lawyer and hire one right away. It’s crucial for law firms seeking to grow their business to appreciate this reality and develop online marketing programs that increase their visibility in front of prospective clients who are searching for information and help on the Web.
Fully 57% of online searchers hired a lawyer after searching for one online. This confirms what we have known for a while: people aren’t using the Yellow Pages for their lawyer searches anymore. Granted, most of my clients come from networking and referrals anyway, but when deciding where to invest marketing resources, it’s pretty clear that nixing print media and focusing on one’s online presence is the way to go.
You can download a copy of the full results of the Attorney Research Selection Survey here [pdf].
(photo: Shutterstock: 17484)
Matthew Inman, creator of the hilarious online comic, The Oatmeal, made waves earlier this year after being sued by FunnyJunk and then by FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon. The ensuing meltdown by Carreon was a perfect example of how a lawyer should never act. The furor over the lawsuits from across the internet nabbed Inman charitable donations in excess of $200,000 for the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Foundation.
Keep Reading ⇒
A lawyer in Louisiana was recently the victim of a double disbarment, being permanently disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court for continuing to work as an attorney for Verizon after being disbarred in 2002. The full opinion [PDF] outlines the scenario leading up to the permanent disbarment, requiring quite a bit of ongoing dishonesty on the part of former attorney James D. Turnage:
Keep Reading ⇒
The ABA Journal noted yesterday that Justice Donald Lee of Court of Queen’s Bench compiled opinions on two related matters last year by precisely copying portions of briefs submitted in the matter. The Court of Appeals observed:
Every one of the paragraphs in the [Reasons for Judgment] was extracted essentially verbatim, from the chambers briefs…. There is no independent authorship. Even spelling mistakes in the briefs are faithfully carried forward.”
Keep Reading ⇒