Bitter News, 8-7-09

Bitter Newsroom Lawyer, News & Views 1 Comment

Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom that are totally RIP-ing John Hughes:

• What does Obama’s golf game say about him?  According to Ernie the Attorney: “People who fudge golf rules tend to fudge rules in real life. People who adhere strictly to golf rules tend to be very honorable in their real life.” He’s been trading in hoops for a par 5—presidential fore-play.  Oh, and he’s a strategist.  “Obama is a trash-talk enthusiast who tries to get into the heads of his opponents and sucker them into taking more difficult shots.” [Time]

Speaking of Obama, he went to the Harvard well yet again (even though West Point is so much better).  After whisking away former HLS dean Elena Kagan to become the Solicitor General of the United States, this week he tapped current dean Martha Minow as a as board member of the Legal Services Corporation.  [Chicago Sun-Times]

• After her 68-31 Senate confirmation, Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in at the Supreme Court on Saturday morning as the high, high court’s 111th justice and first Hispanic.  And Syracuse Law School is taking all the credit.  []

• You can’t mention AIG lately without seeing countless million-dollar figures fly around. AIG’s former CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg (backed up by Boies, Schiller) agreed to pay $15 million to settle government accusations that he altered AIG’s financial records to inflate its earnings. Howard Smith, AIG’s former CFO, agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle SEC charges relating to his involvement in “sham accounting transactions.” Both agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying any guilt—and avoiding lawsuit-style legal fees.  One figure that’s in the billions?  The amount of government money law firms could possibly earn for breaking apart the insurer: $1 billion. But, out of the goodness of their own heart, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is only charging $950/hour after a 10% discount. [Reuters]

• You gotta spend money to make money—that was money that had been lost.  Listen: It’s as complicated as Denise Richards.  But a judge approved “a $14.6 million payment to a Manhattan law firm working to unravel Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.” [The New York Times]

• Good Samaritan lawyer stolen-thunder alert!  Retired tax attorney Frank Hahn has been feeling big and proud since being recognized by the ABA Journal for whisking 19 ducklings and their mom safely to Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago.  But suddenly—“WHAM!” That’s law firm worker Sarah Kranzberg laying her good Samaritan one-upsmanship smack down.  She helped a 10-year-old boy who wandered onto the NYC subway sans mama become reunited with his parental units.  Human boy beats duck family any day, right?  Unless you’re one of those anthropomorphizing fools[New York Daily News]

• Mass tort litigation attorney Mark Lanier (who, in this Bitter Lawyer video, shows how much, gosh darnit, he really cares a sh!t-ton for the downtrodden) has earned a spot among the nation’s top attorneys in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  The only problem: What the hell does that even mean?  Can anyone figure this website out?  [PR Newswire]

• The fate of the NHL’s Phoenix Cototes hit the fan today. Majority owner Jerry Moyes apologized to a court today for revealing negotiation details between PHX and Jerry Reinsdorf , who wants to keep the team in the desert, while Moyes wants to sell the team to BlackBerry mogul Jim Balsillie, who would move the franchise to Canada.  But Balsillie’s chief counsel, bankruptcy wiz Richard Rodier, is a bit of a focus as well.  He’s been accused of leading the billionaire down “a quixotic path that can’t possibly end in success.” [WSJ Law Blog]

• Being a lawyer in China sucks.  Period.  End of story.  Sorry, Xu Zhiyong.  [Los Angeles Times]

• Paralegal legal eagle.  Don’t sit around waiting to be a lawyer.  Start filing.  You can’t pay those loans without a job[Legal Blog Watch]

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  • Bravo