Bitter News, 8-26-09

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Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom that make you wonder why you don’t have a $50K begger job:

• “’Take my mother-in-law — please,’ isn’t a joke you’re likely to hear often these days from Sunda Croonquist. The veteran comic is being sued by her mother-in-law after making her the punchline of too many jokes.” M-i-l Ruth Zafrin is tired of being the topic of, what she calls, Croonquist’s defamatory and racist routines.  (Video of her in-law bits here.) Luckily Sunda is married to a lawyer who’s firm is representing her.  And hardly a single First Amendment lawyer thinks there’s really a case, but where there’s a lawsuit, there’s a career boost.  She’ll be thanking her mother-in-law soon.  Trust me.  [AP via Yahoo!]

• Speaking of career boosts, one of our own, Living the Dream’s “Nick” (AKA John T. Woods) guest stars in tonight’s episode of the Jerry Bruckheimer series Dark Blue on TNT at 10/9C.  Check it out below—I think good ol’ boy Nick Conley has gone rogue. [Dark Blue on TNT]

• Here’s the story that everyone’s talking about.  And has been for months.  It’s yesterday’s NYT story that opens: “This fall, law students are competing for half as many openings at big firms as they were last year in what is shaping up to be the most wrenching job search season in over 50 years.” We mentioned it yesterday with Skadden as the whipping post and several times before.  Big-firms-with-big-paycheck dreams are being interrupted by small-firms-with-tiny-paycheck nightmares.  How bad is it really out there?  It’s bad.  Enough to make LawShucks famous for reporting the carnage in bar graphs.  Stop acting surprised.  [The New York Times]

• Want to get a real taste of the deleterious ire over BigLaw?  Here’s what “Law is 4 Losers” has to say: “Welcome to reality, comrade. You’re barreling head-on into the Stalag 17 of temporary doc review hell! Welcome to $28 an hour straight time, along with cockroach infested basements and retina-burning hours of staring mindlessly into a computer screen. Did I mention the complete lack of health insurance? The lying, pimp-daddy temp agencies who skim 20% of your paycheck each week, cut rates and overtime mid-project, and do everything short of fellatio to keep the sociopathic, money-grubbing Biglaw partners happy at all costs?” And there’s about another 1,800 words to go with it.  [Big Debt, Small Law]

• A little diversity issue on the federal bench.  “President Obama changed the ethnic makeup of the Supreme Court by choosing Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice. But her elevation reduced the number of Latina federal appeals court judges by one-third.” And like all great things, this story comes with GRAPHS[The Washington Post]

• Not breaking news to you, I’m sure, but Senator Ted Kennedy died yesterday at 77.  He was a University of Virginia law grad, and his second wife, Victoria Reggie, whom he is survived by, is also a lawyer.  His strong views, including support for abortion rights after Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, showed his willingness to stand up for his beliefs. [Newday]

Update: University of Virginia Law School remembers Sen. Kennedy.  [Virginia Law]

• What may be news to you is the oddly timed headline: “Half brother to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis accused of possessing child pornography in Oregon.” [AP via Chicago Tribune]

• A U.S. district judge dismissed a gay marriage lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.  “Richard Gilbert, the lawyer handling the case for the plaintiffs, said he would accept Judge Carter’s invitation to submit it again.” And that just sounds gay.  [The Washington Times]

• The law firm that gave us such lines as “They’re called boobs, Ed” and “What you might expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez” is going bankrupt. Masry & Vitotoe, the firm portrayed in the movie Erin Brockovich filed chapter 11.  [WSJ Law Blog]

• Even though there is a previous history of violence (and aside from Brown claiming he wanted to plead guilty right away even though Geragos would let him), Chris Brown was sentenced yesterday to five years probation—with 180 days of “hard” community labor—for his beating of Rihanna.  But he got a few of those hours behind him last night by doing some heavy lifting of his hands in an LA nightclub.  [E! Online]

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