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Janet Welch
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The New York Times tells the story of Shon Hopwood, an unsuccessful young bank robber who has become a sensation as a jailhouse lawyer. His first cert petition to the U.S. Supreme Court was not only successful, it was so impressive that the pro bono attorney who took the case, former U.S. solicitor general Seth Waxman, kept him on to prepare the case, which they won, 9-0. And Hopwood may be coming our way: U of M law prof Richard Friedman, who worked with Hopwood on a recent Supreme Court case, told the Times that he had already talked to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2010 at SBM Blog
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U.S. News and World Report has announced that, together with Best Lawyer, it will publish a list of what it defines as the top-ranked law firms nationally in its October 2010 edition. The remainder of the rankings will be mailed at the same time in a separate publication to 20,000 general counsel across the country. The full rankings will be published on the U.S. News website. More than 5,000 law firms will be ranked in 125 legal practice areas nationally, by state, and by metropolitan area. Rankings of colleges, law schools, and other graduate programs by U.S. News and World... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2010 at SBM Blog
Newsweek and the Washington Post are reporting that a memo from the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility will clear John Yoo and Jay Bybee--authors of memos in 2003 addressing whether interrogation techniques constituted torture--of professional misconduct. According to Newsweek, the memo will say that authors John Yoo and Jay Bybee showed "poor judgment" but did not violate the rules of professional conduct. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2010 at SBM Blog
The Wall Street Journal profiles Michigan native Margaret Tahyar, a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York. Her career advice is targeted to women and includes: ""Marry a man who is not threatened by a successful woman and who will cheer you along." Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2010 at SBM Blog
In its first decision on the application of its new disqualification rule, the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously has denied Geoffrey Fieger's motion for the disqualification of Justices Corrigan, Markman, and Young to hear Pellegrino v Ampco. Justice Corrigan and Justice Young did not participate in the decision. 137111 ANTHONY PELLEGRINO V AMPCO SYSTEMS PARKING [COA #274743] Lower Court: WAYNE CIRCUIT COURT, No. 03-325462 NI MSC Order - Misc Order - See Notes 137111 ANTHONY PELLEGRINO V AMPCO SYSTEMS PARKING [COA #274743] Lower Court: WAYNE CIRCUIT COURT, No. 03-325462 NI MSC Order - Deny Motion 137111 ANTHONY PELLEGRINO V AMPCO SYSTEMS... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2010 at SBM Blog
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How to ask for a continuance based on your team playing for a national championship. Crimson Tide Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2010 at SBM Blog
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ABA Journal flags a report from a California firm reporting on keys to success in recruiting women, minorities and gays. Recommended strategies: lower emphasis on grades in recruiting; greater emphasis on interpersonal and communication skills; senior level mentors; political activism as recruiting tool; and monitoring of diversity across the firm, in high-risk practice groups and in summer associate programs. The Wall Street Journal blog makes another observation based on the successful experience of the Morrison & Foerster firm in retaining Hispanic lawyers: “The ability to advance as a junior partner mitigates the need to develop business through external relationships early... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2010 at SBM Blog
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"I'm happy to take a huge pay cut, I'd love to get out, but there are no jobs," she said. 'There's nowhere to go. The revolving door is jammed and everybody is suffering." Seems like nearly everyone in the legal blogosphere has an opinion about "No Longer Their Golden Ticket," the NYT Fashion and Style section story about the sad plight of elite law school graduates these days. If you don't already have an opinion, get yours here. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
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A new report from the GAO says that administrative cases in the federal system are increasing, that ALJs are, on average, 61 years old, and by the end of 2013, 79 percent of them will be eligible for retirement. Unfortunately, Legal Times reports, the system for hiring is complex and has been subject to litigation in recent years. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
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The Times online takes you inside one of India’s biggest legal outsourcing companies. Meanwhile, TechnoLawyer predicts that 2010 will be a year "in which more of us will discover that work can be "insourced" to states with higher attorney unemployment." We can only hope. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
The U.S. Sentencing Commission is looking for comment on alternatives to incarceration, specific offender characteristics relevant to sentencing, and hate crimes. The 60-day public comment period runs through mid-March 2010, and a public hearing on the proposed amendments is scheduled in Washington, D.C., for March 18, 2010. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
Even bar exam prep. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
What you do on the Internet may hurt you if you’re applying for admission to the bar, at least according to some academics. University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, U of M Law '87, lays out the line, the law, and the links in neat fashion. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
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Bitter Lawyer names its top three comedians who used to be lawyers: Demetri Martin, Al Lubel, and Greg Girardo. (Bob Newhart doesn't count, they say, because he flunked out of law school.) We know several past presidents of the State Bar, former judges, and members with great comedic timing, but we think Michigan lawyers' closest connection to professional comedy could lie with actress and Second City alumna Megan Grano, daughter of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan and the late revered Wayne Law School professor Joe Grano. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2010 at SBM Blog
Great changes are underway in England in the way the legal profession is regulated, and we will bring you news from time to time. Today, The Ethical Quandary reports that Lord Justice Jackson's year-long review of the legal profession has produced a report recommending, among other changes, the introduction of contingency fees, a 25% cap on "conditional fee arrangements" and a 10% increase in general damages, and a ban on referral fees. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
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Given how rare those words have been lately, here's a post from November, before SBM Blog existed, that we didn't want you to miss. Crime and Consequences asserts that the State of Michigan "has been remarkably successful this term in getting Sixth Circuit decisions in habeas cases reviewed by the Supreme Court," and asks whether the high grant rate is because Michigan's Solicitor General Eric Restuccia "is an exceptionally good petition writer, or is it because the Sixth has been blundering exceptionally badly? Or perhaps a bit of each?" Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
From time to time, SBMBlog will feature a Michigan lawyer with distinguished credentials in a field other than law. (Sure, we all have amazing hidden talents, but here we're talking about bonafide, people-pay-for-it, award-winning talent, okay?) As in, say, Justice John Voelker, whose novel Anatomy of a Murder became one of the great courtroom movies of all time. To start us off, here's an impromptu salute to Bob Baldori, the Michigan lawyer whose Detroit rock group The Woolies had a hit with Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love.” Baldori toured with Chuck Berry and can be heard on piano and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
Just in case you were wondering why we need to have professionalism programs in addition to a lawyer discipline system, here's an anecdote from a former law clerk of United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson: “The bar received attention … when disbarment proceedings against a Washington lawyer, whose misconduct seemed to be widespread, never quite succeeded. When I asked why, the justice answered, “The trouble is this fellow is apparently an all-around s.o.b.-–and to be disbarred you have to be a specific s.o.b.” Check out Legal Profession Blog for a picture of what conduct warrants disbarment in D.C.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
One year in 120 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
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Jordan Furlong at Law21.ca (yes, Canada; see Neighbors: We Can See Canada From Here) is sanguine about the future: "I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be happier about what’s taking place in the law right now. That’s because virtually all the changes we’ve seen in the legal services marketplace over the past few years — and most of those to come in the next decade — operate to the benefit of clients and of the public generally. Legal services are gradually becoming more comprehensible, more accessible, and less expensive. Clients (both consumer and corporate) possess more knowledge of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
JavaScript needs to be enabled for polling to work. Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
The blog LawShucks says that 2009 saw 12,196 people (lawyers and staff) laid off at 138 large law firms. The layoffs included some of the nation’s most prestigious firms. We can’t confirm those figures but personally know many lawyers whose fortunes fell last year, not just from big law firms. Although it isn’t easily measurable, the assessment of last year as a terrible year for lawyers looks to be right on, with the trouble reverberating throughout the profession and only small pockets of practice area prosperity (think bankruptcy and collections). Layoffs, rescinded and delayed job offers, fewer engagements, decreased fees,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2010 at SBM Blog
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According to a new report, A Disturbing Trend in Law School Diversity, from Columbia Law School’s Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic, the percentage of African-American and Mexican-American students accepted to law school has declined 7.5% and 11.7% respectively, over the last 15 years, at the same time that the grades and LSAT scores of the two groups improved. Submit your comments: blog@mail.michbar.org Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2010 at SBM Blog
University of Michigan Football Originally uploaded by Anthony Gattine Tony Mauro at LegalTimes reports that University of Michigan law school professor Richard Friedman, arguing for the plaintiffs in the Confrontation Clause, crime lab evidence case Briscoe v Virginia, piqued the interest of the lexophiles on the Court when he described a Justice Kennedy hypothetical as a valid issue for future cases but “entirely orthogonal to the issue at hand.” Roberts: “I’m sorry. Entirely what?... What was that adjective? I liked that? Scalia: “I think we should use that in the opinion…or the dissent.” Of course, we in Michigan all know... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2010 at SBM Blog
Our working hypothesis on this blog is that Michigan has a commercial advantage as a border state and that Michigan lawyers can benefit as a result. So, in your interest, we’re watching the Canadian legal blogs and will let you know what we find. Here’s a headline that caught our eye last month: Business booming for legal profession. The story quotes a Canadian defense lawyer as saying, “A number of class actions initiated in Canada are based on litigation launched in the United States, where such suits are more frequent and move more expeditiously through the court system. A lot... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2010 at SBM Blog