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John Steele
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Thanks, Jack. And like Andy I want to thank our readers.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Blog Rankings at Legal Ethics Forum
I agree with Monroe's first paragraph. As for the second, there are too many nuances about how we interact with other persons and social systems (e.g., courts) to rely just upon 8.4.
@Stephen, my slide deck for the conference had the Posner issue (and the Sam Sheppard trial, the Wichita abortion protesters and Judge Kelly, the Microsoft trial and Judge Jackson, Scalia and the Newdow case, Judge Rakoff and his article urging more prosecutions for financial fraud, etc.). @Andrew: how closely something will affect proceedings isn't sufficiently stringent for regulating judges, imho. If that were the test, a USDC judge could go on cable news programs and offer partisan views about a case pending before SCOTUS. That wouldn't affect the fact that Justice Kennedy would still be the swing vote and would still vote as he pleased, but it sure would degrade public respect for the process. (Or am I being too traditionalist in my views?)
Richard, do you see a conflict on the grounds that the law firm's own work is implicated? I wonder (speculate?) if GM didn't feel it necessary to hire K&S because of its factual knowledge and will have Jenner involved to have fresh eyes draw conclusions. To try to answer your question, it seems to me inevitable that attorney client privileged conversations and even attorney work product need to be examined in the review.
Steve, the number doesn't seem huge. But it does seem partisan. What percentage of US citizens donate even $200 to presidential campaigns? According to Open Secrets, only 1 in 1,000, or 1/10th of 1%. According to the Washington Post, the "vast majority" of the lawyer's $6750 was donated in the last two presidential cycles. That makes the lawyer roughly 1 in 10,000, according to Open Secrets. (See, the Widow's Mite, etc.) The investigation should have been headed by someone else, imho. It's important that the investigation be respected. But to press my point again, leaving aside the partisan aspects, I would hope that everyone would find it awful if an agency intentionally deceived the Congress on an issue that members of Congress had been pointedly asking about for several years. Given that it was GOP members asking for the information that was being withheld, it was all the more important not to make the assignment the way it was made.
I haven't seen any direct ties to the White House. But there's no doubt in my mind about whether key IRS personnel intentionally deceived Congress. They did. I hate seeing that from agency officials. (Fwiw, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed today pulling together what the writer thinks is evidence that the IRS was reacting to speeches by the president and letters from Democratic senators. I have not pored over that yet and hence cannot support the the theory.)
Rick, quarters would be an improvement. This generation needs a more modularized form of learning.
Andy, I guess I have a different take than you. Partners in biglaw compete intra-firm for resources (including knowledgeable and skilled associates) with which to compete for demanding clients. They also have to justify the value-add of associates to skeptical clients. Hence the partners competing in those settings put huge premiums on the knowledge and skills that will help them win and keep demanding clients. (Fwiw, I was the hiring partner at a corporate firm and the results of that survey match my experience. But maybe that's just confirmation bias.) As for what clients want, as I noted in the post, if I were a student I would carefully consider those views (as well as the views of profs, judges, etc.). I assume there's data out there on what clients value. I'll warrant a guess/speculation that what those particular clients want is basically the same as that survey shows. Second, I agree that HLS isn't typical. But isn't it interesting how relentlessly practical and functional the courses were? If the survey is an accurate guide, wouldn't that suggest that at lower ranked schools there is all the more need for practical, functional courses?
William -- yes, it can be so painful, especially as the clock is running down.
In response to Nicole and others -- time for a quick online symposium on the two decisions? Shoot me an email if you are.
I've done orientation talks to 1Ls in their first couple of weeks of school and have stressed to them that they are already playing a game with very different rules. Not all of the students seem to understand that as of "day one" in school.
Patrick and Monroe, I understood the Law School Grad not to arguing that once the indictment comes down there is a level playing field, but rather that the prosecutorial system is overwhelmed and cannot bring its (vastly superior) power into play nearly as often as it might. That's not the first time I've heard that claim. Assuming that's the argument, it would not be impossible that it's also true that prosecutors overcharge on the cases they do get ahold of.
Stephen, that's news to me. I was aware that some government agencies banned themselves from signing waivers, but I have a hard time understanding why that should be in the ethics rule itself.
Patrick, as always, thanks.
mt45, is there a short article out there that might acquaint me with how this issue is currently being played out? In about 10 weeks I will be teaching this and I want to be as current as I can be. Thanks.
Patrick, thanks. I was not aware of Posner's views on international law. What I found funny was the suggestion that the two are inversely related, rather than distributed in a 2x2 box across all four possibilities. (And I'm glad to say that PR's best theoretical pieces are still quite immersed in the intensely practical question of how lawyers should behave in concrete situations.)
Thanks, Patrick and you're welcome, Nicole.
Patrick: I believe you are linking to the article by Judge Rakoff that I do mention in the list.
Patrick, as always, thanks. I did post about Lynne Stewart's release, which technically seems to be a 2014 story. You can use the google-site search on the right menu to find the many stories we carried about her.
Andy, sorry that I blanked on that. Early on in the drafting of this year's list, I just mentally wrote off the 20/20 because I (incorrectly) thought it was solely a 2012 phenomenon. I will add it to the Honorable Mention list.
Stephen, I think we will have a conference panel on this issue before the summer is over. I forget if it's APRL or ABA, but it's one of those. We have lots to talk about: Scheindlin, Rakoff, Scalia, Posner, Jackson, Baer, etc.
Two former students brought this practice to my attention and asked me to post this fact pattern.
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Mar 15, 2010