June 2007

Fresh off her scene-stealing performance versus Ferrell in the Landlord, Pearl is back, only this time as the bad cop to Will Ferrell’s suspect. Of course, there is some NSFW language, but still funny nonetheless.


Good Cop, Baby Cop

Thx to Pearl and FunnyorDie

Laura Ingraham—for any of you who haven’t been fortunate enough to hear her nationally syndicated radio show—is perhaps the most spectactularly overqualified radio host in the history of the medium (with a nod to Secretary Bennett of course).

She lacks the grating egotism of Rush and O’Reilly, has the affability and easygoing charm of Hannity, but with (forgive me Sean) substantially more intellectual heft, which allows her to delve into the weeds on both law and policy in ways her cohorts cannot.

Laura Ingraham, Esq.

Her legal vitae is as pedigreed as any lawyer could hope to have. After graduating from Dartmouth, she worked as a speechwriter for President Reagan, then graduated from UVA Law School, clerked for both Judge Ralph K. Winter on the Second Circuit, and later Justice Thomas, and then worked at—hands down—one of the most preeminent law firms on the planet at Skadden Aarps.

Add to this her unwavering conservatism and innate likeability, and you have one formidable package.

Oh, and National Review had some great things to say about her recent role in the immigration debate as well.

Thx to NRO and Laura Ingraham

Michael McGough of the L.A. Times wrote a thoughtful piece detailing how Justice Thomas, through his concurrences and dissents, has carved out a niche for himself which distances him from his ideologically similar peers.

J. Thomas

Granted, the L.A. Times seems to take the time to point this out mainly in an attempt to demonstrate the weakness in the conservative majority’s reasoning on recent cases such as the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case. Nonentheless, still nice to see Justice Thomas getting some long-overdue jurisprudential accolades. I still am not totally comfortable with his silence during oral argument, but if and until I sit in one of those nine Seats, my opinion counts for naught.

Thx to the L.A. Times and LauraIngraham.com


Watch out, because I may just turn into a Chief Roberts‘ groupie. The all-time, most succinct rebuttal of race-based preferences (from affirmative action to school busing) is found on pages 40-41 of the Court’s opinion in Parents Involved in Community Schoosl v. Seattle School District No. 1, wherein Chief Roberts reasons that:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.

Parents Involved in Cmty. Schs. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, Nos. 05-908 and 05-915, slip op. at 40-41 (June 28, 2007).

Justice Thomas cuts even deeper into the dissenters’ quick by citing to Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S 483 (1954), and Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537 (1896), as support for the Court’s decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools. In his concurrence, he reveals that:

Disfavoring a color-blind interpretation of the Constitution, the dissent would give school boards a free hand to make decisions onthe basis of race—an approach reminiscent of that advocated by the segregationists in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S 483 (1954). This approach is just as wrong today as it was a half-century ago.

Parents Involved in Cmty. Schs. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, Nos. 05-908 and 05-915, slip op. at 1-2 (U.S. June 28, 2007) (Thomas, J., concurring).

Justice Thomas then puts the nail in the coffin, quoting to Justice Harlan’s dissent from Plessy:

The plans before us base school assignment decisions on students’ race. Because “[o]ur Constitution is color-blind,and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” such race-based decisionmaking is unconstitutional.

Id., slip op. at 36 (quoting Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, 559 (1896) (Harlan, J., dissenting)).

Thx to the Parents Involved in Community Schools majority

The D.C. administrative law judge, Roy Pearson, who brought the $54 million dollar lost-pants suit against his dry cleaners, not only had his claims dismissed, but his reappointment to the D.C. administrative law bench has apparently been held up as well.

Pride of the D.C. bar

No doubt due to questions rightly raised over his judicial temperment.

Thx to the Washington Post


I’ve tried to get psyched up about these cases, but I just can’t do it.

The bottom line on Morse v. Frederick, No. 06–278 (U.S. June 25, 2007) (the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case) is that students are hereafter restrained from speech “that a reasonable observer would interpret as advocating illegal drug use,” but are not restrained from speech that “that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as ‘the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.'” Morse, slip op. at 1 (Alito, J., concurring, joined by Kennedy, J.).

Regarding Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., No. 06–969 (U.S. June 25, 2007) (the campaign finance case), the Court held that “issue advocacy” advertisements could be aired within thirty days of a federal primary election or within sixty days of a federal general election.


Some depressing analysis of the BigTex legal market relative to national BigLaw rates (taken wholesale from a discussion of same over at AbovetheLaw):

Here’s how it worked after last year’s round of national raises: First years in Texas got a big increase, from about $110k to $135k. 2nd and 3rd years also got around a $15k increase. And that’s pretty much where it stopped. 7th years received a $5,000 raise, to about a $185,000 base. To put that in perspective, it’s about 50% less than a 7th year currently makes (at the same firm or a national that pays a uniform scale) in LA, NYC, DC, etc. That is, a 7th year at BB in Texas makes $185,000; a 7th year at BB in NYC makes $275,000. Sheeeeeit! And don’t look for explanations in billing rates. The vast majority of work done in Texas by these firms is billed at national rates — the same charged in DC and LA (though maybe 10% less than in NYC).

The point: screw the first years! They now make only $50,000 less than the folks up for partner. Not that partnership chances have increased.


Texas Offices at $160K
Dewey Ballantine (Austin – 9)
Fish & Richardson (Austin – 9, Dallas – 30)
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Dallas – 27)
McKool Smith LLP (Dallas – 46)
Skadden Arps LLP (Houston – 19)
Weil Gotshal LLP (Dallas – 57, Houston – 46)
Wilson Sonsini (Austin – 32)
Texas Offices at $150K
Dechert LLP (Austin – 6)
Jones Day LLP (Dallas – 109, Houston – 26)

Thx to AbovetheLaw and no thx to BigTex

Next Page »