June 13 roundup

  • High school graduation got rained out in Gilbert, Ariz., and a dad wants $400 from the school district for that [Arizona Republic]
  • Happens all the time in one-way fee shift awards, but still worth noting: lawyer in police-misconduct case “billed 22 hours at $480 an hour — a total of $10,560 — just to figure out how much his fees are going to be” [Seattle Times]
  • We get to decide and that’s that: New York judge orders that salaries of New York judges including his own be raised [PoL, Bader] Also at Point of Law: white-shoe Clifford Chance throws a party for New York lefties, should anyone be surprised? outsourcing of interrogation to profit-minded private contractors is bad when it’s Blackwater, good when it’s Motley Rice; tax break for trial lawyers said to be blocked for now.
  • One firefighter killed in Boston restaurant blaze had sky-high .27 blood alcohol level, the other traces of cocaine, which probably won’t impede the inevitable lawsuit against the restaurant and other defendants [Globe, background]
  • Writing again on U.S. exceptionalism, Adam Liptak contrasts our First Amendment with Canadian speech trials; James Taranto thinks he’s siding with the Canadians, but the piece looks pretty balanced to me [NYTimes, WSJ Best of the Web]
  • Milberg said to be on verge of deferred prosecution agreement deal with feds involving $75 million payment and admissions of wrongdoing [NLJ]
  • Courts in Australian state of Victoria, emulating a model tried in Canada, will resort more to mediation of intractable disputes [Victoria AG Rob Hulls/Melbourne Age]
  • Great moments in international human rights: KGB spy on the lam sues British government for confiscating royalties he was hoping to make from his autobiography [five years ago on Overlawyered]


  • Walter, re: the hard-left stance of elite law firms like Clifford Chance and ultra-liberal pro bono — your colleague Heather MacDonald summed this all up in a great City Journal piece circa 2003. It neatly indicts the hypocrisy of it all.

    It is funny to me that the legal profession is so liberal, especially BigLaw, given that its clients have often conservative concerns like taxes and regulation and, naturally, abusive litigation. But I suppose this is just a sign of the left-wing saturation of pretty much all points of our society, from schools to churches to governments. Really, big business clients are eager to ape to the liberal examples of the law firms with things like “diversity” demands.

  • $480 an hour? In Seattle? For that kind of work?


  • […] Previous reports indicated that the Milberg firm would agree to a government monitor for two years, which will be of some nuisance and expense to them as well. Glater’s closing is interesting: Even prison walls have not ended Mr. Lerach’s trademark bravado. In a recent article for the business magazine Portfolio, he wrote, “Paying plaintiffs was an industry practice,” thereby making the lives of his former colleagues that much more difficult. […]