Inside Legal Blogs by LawCrossing


More Info
									INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                                  1.800. 973. 1177

                              Inside Legal Blogs
                              [By Jeff]
                              It seems like just seven days ago that I last came to you with tidings from the world of law blogs. Here we are now, a few
                              days wiser—and a few days closer to death’s sweet release. We must now turn to the blogosphere for emotional support and
                              news from the outside world. Last week was a good week for the law blogosphere, and I can’t think of anything to prevent
                              us from diving headlong into a week’s worth of good, old-fashioned blogginess.

Last week, as all intelligent fools should know,      fired off a mildly scathing letter, defending        of the esteemed Volokh Conspiracy sees the
was April Fools’ Day. I spent a few hours             his hand gesture and chastising the reporter         move as a gateway to an increased crime rate.
trying to find a good April Fools’ Day prank to       for claiming the gesture was obscene. Ann            I see it as a benefit. Now I know there is a place
reference in this column, but came up empty-          Althouse of the Althouse blog sees the gesture,      I can go where, in a pinch, I can get busted in a
handed. The best online prank I discovered            obscene or not, as a totally rude way to brush       stolen car with a bunch of cocaine and I won’t
was a press release that said Kate Beckinsale         off a reporter, despite Scalia’s claim that it       wind up behind bars.
was being considered to play the lead in the          was just a “jocular” response. David Giacalone
forthcoming Wonder Woman film—but she                 of f/k/a… feels Scalia behaved as a tasteless        Of course, in the States, we are moving in
really wasn’t! It was just a brilliantly crafted      goombah. He goes on to reveal that the gesture       the opposite direction, with stiffer penalties
hoax! I found a story I suspected to be a hoax,       could be interpreted as at least as offensive as     for everything, unless you’re the President.
but it was revealed to be fact. Overlawyered          the middle finger. My grandmother used to say        Jack M. Balkin’s Balkinization blog offered an
reported the launch of the Animal Copyright           that G-d wouldn’t have given us middle fingers       informative post about the application of the
Foundation, an organization that collects             if He didn’t intend for us to use them.              death penalty. Balkin points to studies that
royalties due to animal species when animals                                                               show juries are confused when dealing with
appear in advertisements. So Bull Terriers            The best comment of the week concerning              the death penalty. Many jurors are unaware
would get a nickel every time Spuds MacKenzie         Scalia comes from Evan Schaeffer’s Legal             that life imprisonment without parole is an
came on TV. No word yet on any pending                Underground, where Schaeffer proposes that           alternative punishment. Some even think the
lawsuits from the animal kingdom.                     Scalia should get his own reality show. He           death penalty is mandatory. A related post
                                                      could give Anna Nicole Smith a run for her           from Norm Pattis on the Crime & Federalism
My favorite blogable news item of last week           (or the family of her dead husband’s) money.         blog involves what The Yale Law Journal calls
concerns the always photogenic U.S. Supreme           I don’t have a problem with the hand gesture,        the “CSI effect” on jurors. According to the CSI
Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In what has             but rather with Scalia’s supplemental letter of      theory, jurors familiar with the abundance of
been deemed Italianhandgesturegate on                 astonishment at the gesture’s being taken as         forensic cop TV shows are overestimating the
some law blogs, Scalia gave a reporter from           obscene. Why give somebody the business if           gravity of scientific evidence in criminal trials.
the Boston Herald the old “whatsamatta you”           you don’t even have the cojones to ruffle a few      Even poorly presented scientific evidence
fingers-under-the-chin gesture. This gesture          feathers?                                            allegedly weighs heavily on the minds of jurors,
is allegedly obscene in some circles. When                                                                 resulting in increased prosecutions. Why the
I first heard about the story, I thought Scalia       Another truly awesome news item culled               CSI effect would be a benefit to prosecutors
was involved in an obesity scandal. The media         from the blogosphere involves a new matter           and not defense attorneys remains unclear to
fallout from this hand gesture has fallen             of public policy in jolly old London. Police         me, though the phenomenon is fascinating.
somewhere between the kidnapping of the               have been told to let petty criminals off with a
Lindburgh baby and the death of Don Knotts            warning. The controversy stems from exactly          As the news coming out of Judged reveals, the
on the Media Circus Scale, but the really             what can be considered petty. According to the       associate salary wars show no sign of slowing
fun coverage of the event has been on the             bobbies, quite a bit, actually. Burglary, assault,   down. Big firms continue to raise entry-level
blogosphere.                                          harassment, heroin and cocaine possession,           salaries in order to outdo each other, and the
                                                      grand theft auto, and even sex with a minor          bidding battle has become self-perpetuating.
Reactions have been as varied as public               could be first offenses punishable by only a         Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith, Esq. posted an
opinion on the controversial jurist himself.          stern warning. No court date. No jail time.          interesting analysis on the frenzy in reference
After the Boston Herald broke the news, Scalia        Conservatives are up in arms. Eugene Volokh          to an Op-Ed piece from the Wall Street Journal.

PAGE                                                                                                                                      continued on back
INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                          1. 800. 973.1177

He argues that while everybody would like a       either. Professor Stephen Bainbridge of the        Stay tuned for next week’s update. Until then,
little more money, associates will pay a heavy    blog ProfessorBainbridge argues that while         keep it sloppy!
price for their new salaries. Along with pay,     revenues are going up at big law firms, the
billable hour requirements will also rise. More   associate-salary raises are being shouldered       Jeff is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
money will mean much less free time for           exclusively by the associates with their growing   Currently, he is the moderator of the
attorneys at big law firms. MacEwen says not      billable hour requirements.                        message boards at, the largest
to look for the salary wars to end anytime soon                                                      insider source of law firm information.


To top