June 10 roundup

  • British TV regulators field many complaints about performers’ setbacks on reality contest shows [Guardian via Marginal Revolution]
  • “Judge Tosses Much of Campaign Contributions Case Against Katrina Lawyer” (Pierce O’Donnell, said to have reimbursed employees for donations to Edwards race) [NLJ, earlier]
  • Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney in Chicago, threatens to sue publisher over contents of forthcoming book [WSJ Law Blog, NY Mag “Intelligencer”]
  • Late-night neighbor dispute: “Honking horn not constitutionally protected” [Seattle Times]
  • “Strippers Sue to Be Classified as Employees, Not Independent Contractors” [NLJ]
  • Boston-based James Sokolove, biggest legal pitchman, is planning to get even bigger with $25 million ad budget [Wicked Local via Ambrogi]
  • What more satisfying for a lawyer than to win an anti-SLAPP motion against someone trying to silence one’s client? [Ken @ Popehat]
  • “Despite crazy rules, convoluted taxes and rampant lawyers, America is still a great place to do business” [The Economist]


  • The roundup mentions that James Sokolove is increasing his ad budget. Regular Overlawyered readers should already be aware that, although Sokolove is a lawyer, his primary role is not to handle cases directly but to act as a middleman marketer, referring cases to other lawyers. Since lawyers – unlike other professionals such as doctors, CPAs, or engineers – consider it ethical to pay and receive referral fees (as long as they are paid to another lawyer), he is able to do very well from these referrals. But are readers aware that the referral fee in personal injury suits often runs as high as a third of the contingency fee? Personal injury cases seem to be so lucrative that lawyers can give up a sizable share as a referral fee and still find the work profitable.

  • Why the heck would strippers, which as far as I know is not just a cash-heavy business but a cash-only business, want to be classified as employees? That will make it a lot harder for them to cheat on their income taxes, which I bet they pretty much all do.

  • In some states, it is unethical for an attorney to solely refer cases as their primary business. I’ve read of attorneys being disciplined for primary acting as a refer and doing no real work.