Life imitates The Onion: the madam in the Client Nine scandal is questioning the propriety of the invitation from Prof. Lawrence Lessig’s Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard. [NY Daily News] Spitzer, for those who’ve already forgotten, curried political favor with anti-libertarian feminist and legal services groups by helping lead a crusade to lengthen sentences for “johns”, then deftly dodged the harsh penalties that his own law has inflicted on many offenders less well connected than himself. Lately, by way of rehabilitating his image, he’s taken to the columns of publications like Slate to lecture the rest of us about things like respect for the rule of law. More: Above the Law, Greenfield (& welcome Chequer-Board readers).
Things you’re missing if you’re not keeping up with my other site:
- Judge dismisses much-watched Kivalina suit demanding damages for Inuit village from global warming;
- Supreme Court will tackle controversial doctrine of “honest services fraud”;
- Class action lawyer Sean Coffey [Bernstein Litovitz] may run for New York attorney general;
- Not even a hearing before Senate confirms OSHA nominee David Michaels?
- Law firm pay-to-play in representing New York public pension funds. And Spitzer: let’s use public pension funds to annihilate the U.S. Chamber;
- When Teamster librarians signal you to be quiet, you’d better be quiet, understand? And Connecticut orders utilities not to lay off workers.
Desiderata from the web, mostly off-topic:
- How the mighty have fallen: A German solar power company offered to buy out GM’s Opel subsidiary, which survived the worst of the Great Depression, two World Wars, Nazi expropriation, allied bombing, and Soviet takeover, for a billion Euros, but GM had to front the Euros on credit. Fortunately the American government intervened, offering billions of Euros with no preconditions. The linked article, translated from French, is recommended to those who find “Engrish” funny, as well as those who want to know what Europeans think of stupid Americans, safe in the knowledge that their articles won’t be translated into Engrish;
- That was pretty long for a microblog, wasn’t it? This is shorter: The Mos Eisley Spaceport of the Blogosphere;
- A very funny web comic (a la xkcd) explaining the mortgage crisis – strong language (Via Nancy Friedman);
- Out of the mouths of babes, a Christmas parable, complete with dinosaurs;
- Disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer observes that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” (Via Above the Law);
- Money for nothing. Focus groups where participants get cash for attendance may come with a catch;
- Buy a lemon of a used car, go directly to jail, and get a tax lien from the IRS – an automotive horror story from TaxProf Blog;
- What Barack Obama isn’t telling about contacts with Rod Blagojevich.
We’ll have something of substance up later today.
Yes, he’s going to be back, as a columnist for Slate instructing the world on matters of government, regulation and finance. Perhaps one of his early columns will be on the topic “Why it’s a bad idea to lead a public crusade to toughen penalties for a particular legal offense if you yourself are an ardent repeat committer of it.” Prof. Bainbridge has some further thoughts, along with a collection of Jay Leno jokes.
[A] large deal of the gleeful Spitzerfreude on Wall Street arose from of the poetic justice of Spitzer’s undoing at the hands of the same extra-judicial tactics he regularly used against Wall Street firms and corporate executives when he was attorney general of New York. The real scandal of Spitzer’s career was not so much the former Girls Gone Wild model as the prosecutors gone wild.
My retrospective of Eliot Spitzer as both archetype and victim of overaggressive prosecutors in the July/August American Spectator is now on line at the AEI website.
New Jersey dental assistant Amber Arpaio found herself an asterisk-to-an-asterisk in the history of political scandals when it was reported that Ashley Dupre used Arpaio’s lost driver’s license to pass for more than 17 when she made a “Girls Gone Wild” video that later became notorious after the exposure of Dupre’s paid liaison with Gov. Eliot Spitzer. So now Arpaio is suing Dupre and Joe Francis, impresario of the “Girls Gone Wild” series. The news coverage of the lawsuit contains no indication that Arpaio suffered any damage to her credit record or other tangible interests from the affair, but she wants upwards of $10 million in cash solace for defamation and invasion of privacy, and, per her attorney, because “when someone searches her name on the Internet, pornographic material comes up.” Much better, when someone searches her name on the Internet, for intimations of litigiousness to come up. (Nancy Dillon, “Duped by Dupre: N.J. woman charges Spitzer call girl with identity theft”, New York Daily News, Jul. 17; AP/Comcast, Jul. 17)(& Prettier Than Napoleon). Plus: complaint at The Smoking Gun (h/t commenter VMS).
More 7/22: Thanks to commenter Eric Turkewitz for pointing out that Dupre had posed as Arpaio in actual news coverage, not just in the signing of film releases and the like, which makes the basis for the suit less unreasonable than I had hastily assumed.
- Beck and Herrmann fisk a NEJM anti-preemption editorial. [Beck/Herrmann; NEJM]
- Lessons of the Grasso case. [Hodak]
- You think BigLaw has it bad? Plaintiffs’ attorney who invented the benefit-of-the-bargain theory for pharmaceutical class actions where no one has suffered any cognizable injury, has made his firm tens of millions, but still hasn’t made partner. “Zigler said he never meets most of the people he represents in these high-profile cases.” [St.L. Post-Dispatch; related analysis from Beck/Herrmann]
- Speaking of harmless lawsuits, “an atrocity in Arkansas,” as Arkansas Supreme Court ignores basic principles of due process and civil procedure to certify an extortionate pre-CAFA class action from MIller County. [Hmm, that’s Beck/Herrmann again; General Motors v. Bryant; related from Greve]
- Speedo competitor: unfair competition to say your innovative swimsuit has an advantage just because 38 out of the last 42 world records (as of June 30) were broken in the suit. [Am Law Daily]
- Background on bogus shower curtain scare story (earlier). [NYT; related AEI event]
- EMTALA-orama: don’t discuss payment in the emergency room if you don’t want to get sued. [ER Stories]
His future in private practice? (NBC Saturday Night Live, dubiously safe for work; via Turkewitz).
- Raelyn Campbell briefly captured national spotlight (“Today” show, MSNBC) with $54 million suit against Best Buy for losing laptop, but it’s now been dismissed [Shop Floor; earlier]
- Charmed life of Florida litigators Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt continues as Miami judge awards them $218 million for class action lawsuit they lost [Daily Business Report, Krauss @ PoL; earlier here, here, and here]
- Lerach said kickbacks were “industry practice” and “everybody was paying plaintiffs”. True? Top House GOPer Boehner wants hearings to find out [NAM “Shop Floor”, WSJ law blog]
- It’s Dannimal House! An “office rife with booze, profanity, inappropriate sexual activity, misuse of state vehicles and on-the-job threats involving the Mafia” — must be Ohio AG Marc Dann, of NYT “next Eliot Spitzer” fame [AP/NOLA, Adler @ Volokh, Above the Law, Wood @ PoL; earlier]
- Sorry, Caplin & Drysdale, but you can’t charge full hourly rates for time spent traveling but not working on that asbestos bankruptcy [NLJ] More: Elefant.
- Fire employee after rudely asking if she’s had a face-lift? Not unless you’ve got $1.7 million to spare [Chicago Tribune]
- Daniel Schwartz has more analysis of that Stamford, Ct. disabled-firefighter case (May 1); if you want a fire captain to be able to read quickly at emergency scene, better spell that out explicitly in the job description [Ct Emp Law Blog]
- As expected, star Milberg expert John Torkelsen pleads guilty to perjury arising from lies he told to conceal his contingent compensation arrangements [NLJ; earlier]
- Case of deconstructionist prof who plans to sue her Dartmouth students makes the WSJ [Joseph Rago, op-ed page, Mindles H. Dreck @ TigerHawk; earlier]
- How’d I do, mom? No violation of fair trial for judge’s mother to be one of the jurors [ABA Journal]
- First sell the company’s stock short, then sue it and watch its share price drop. You mean there’s some ethical problem with that? [three years ago on Overlawyered]
“Kristen” from the Spitzer affair wants $10 million, saying the notorious video series photographed her when she was 17, not the requisite 18 — it seems likely that she had a hand in this deception herself — and now owes her $10 million for injury to her “business, reputation and good will”. (Curt Anderson, “Spitzer call girl sues ‘Girls Gone Wild’ for $10 million”, AP/Philly.com, Apr. 28; WSJ law blog, Apr. 29).