Bitter News, 5-4-09

Quick headlines from the Bitter Newsroom—because you can relax now that your girlfriend is safe:

• Attorney Michael J. Melkersen is a “fairly consistent winner” when it comes to his poker habit and is rated 3,828 on the World Series of Poker’s website.  But it wasn’t enough to save the face of his “Serious Law Firm” after using its $250,000 line of credit to support his “hobby,” which was discovered after he asked for the loan amount to be doubled in order to keep betting the flop and going down the river.  But his girl Queen Anne’s got his back, right?  [Poker Player]

• People are telling former Prof. Obama to choose a non-sitting judge for his first SCOTUS pick.  It’s advised that a post-Souter-er should be someone with “empathy” who has “done something more than wear a black robe for most of their lives.” So Hugh Hefner’s out. [New York Daily News]

• Once you get inside BigLaw, the tier of your school and your minority status don’t really go together like you’d think.  A TTT white guy is said to have plenty of advantages over T1 lawyers of color.  But it’s nowhere near as bad as, say, a Kuwaiti female lawyer who’s just pleased as punch to be allowed to get her moot court on.  [The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel]

• The elite law firm model is in crisis.  Regional firms are the new white shoes.  Jackson, Mississippi is edgy like SoHo—legally speaking.  [Legal Profession Blog]

• You.  Better.  Work.  New Cozen O’Connor recruit David Girard-diCarlo shows you how.  []

• The cost to go broke could be $200 million in legal fees for Chrysler, which has already juiced up Jones Day with $18.9 million in retainers.  Restructuring partner Corinne Ball and colleague David Heiman’s $900/hour rate for the next two years seem like a thrifty steal in a buyer’s market for legal services. [Bloomberg]

• Few articles written about lawyers are so colorful and spunky.  You can “hear Diana Ross sing ‘I’m Giving You Your Freedom’ for what [Phil] Higdon has done,” experience Stanton Bloom’s anti-“Sympathy for the Devil” motivation, and read how Paul Gattone’s Rages Against the Machine of the rich, elite culture.  [Tucson Weekly]

• The California Supreme Court said it’s okay for christian schools to stipulate that God can touch female students, but they can’t touch one another.  [The Recorder at]

• Casey Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, has been getting Nancy Grace in a lather over his defense of the accused young mother, which, in turn, has made him into a mini media celebrity.  But his career isn’t that of a legal eagle. Baez was unable to practice for eight years after graduation due to not satisfying the Florida character and fitness requirements.  He had claimed bankruptcy, was sited for unpaid child support and founded two bikini companies in his down time.  Many think he’s being unfairly scrutinized and branded too inexperienced since he’s Hispanic, and it’s all enough to have him asking for a change in trial venue.  But Anthony picked him for the job fair and square: Someone she met in jail recommended him.  Where advice is worth its weight in cigarettes.  And now he’s on all the big networks, and you’re not.  [Orlando Sentinel]

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