Daily Roundup 2008-12-31

Due to work and family commitments today and tomorrow, this may be my final post at Overlawyered.  Walter Olson will be returning shortly.

  • Eight Los Angeles police officers may face suit from an unwilling Jamie Lynn Spears decoy. Why does the LAPD provide any officers at all to protect B-list celebrities?
  • What slippery slope? New Jersey Civil Rights Division finds discrimination in case of Methodist ministry which refused to rent a pavilion for civil union of two lesbians, but otherwise rented the pavilion for marriage without regard for sectarian concerns.  Perhaps this makes sense if sexual orientation is protected under New Jersey civil rights law, but I’m pretty sure New Jersey still gets it wrong on the First Amendment;
  • Revolutionary breathrough in cellular anti-aging, or journalistic malpractice?
  • “But the majority voted not to disbar since they saw a distinction between an attempt to have sex with the minor and actually doing it.”  Like Eric Turkewitz, I’m astonished;
  • In building a law firm, perhaps Craigslist is not the best substitute for traditional recruiting practices;
  • Great news for British authors of Popeye fan fiction.  American fans are still out of luck;
  • Talk show hosts whose entertainment relies on “zinging” stupid guests, with the support of an even more stupid audience, should never invite Christopher Hitchens to appear on their shows;
  • Thoughts on whether it’s deceptive, or just lame, to call a solo law practice “the Law Offices of John Smith” or “John Smith and Associates” from sole practitioner Scott Greenfield.

In the event that this is my final piece here, I’ve enjoyed my stint guest-blogging, and commend Walter on the hard work he’s done through the years to make this a great site, as well as to build an unusually good commenting audience.  Happy new year!


  • With respect to the New Jersey case, it seems as if the ministry’s arguments would have applied with equal force if they had decided to open an Arby’s franchise and then refuse to sell food to Catholics or something. Perhaps an argument can be made that the entirety of anti-discrimination law violates First Amendment freedoms. But I don’t think this is a credible tipping point.

    Religion Clause has links to both NJCRD decisions issued yesterday. In the second one, NJCRD found no probable cause to proceed on a complaint by another same-sex couple against the ministry on the grounds that the ministry, at that point, had decided to cease offering the pavilion as a public accommodation.

  • That Spears thing may be the most frivolous money grab I have ever heard of.

  • Pat, I agree it’s frivolous to the extent she probably didn’t suffer damages. But if a cop used me as bait to assist the easy departure of some insipid celeb, I’d be on the warpath for that cop’s job.

  • Yes, that deserves a misconduct complaint filed at the PD, but not a demand for money.

  • SSFC, you did a fine, fine job (from a fellow NC defense lawyer)!

  • I’m not convinced the Spears thing is completely frivolous. I don’t know that it’s worth money, but I think that it’s plainly obvious that anything they thought they were saving Spears from would have been inflicted on the other gal.