The Best Lawyers Money Can Buy –

OTHERWISE: The Best Lawyers Money Can Buy –
by George Conk
The most frequently appearing Supreme Court advocates come from a narrow circle. From the usual elite law schools come former law clerks – outstanding students recommended by prestigious professors and selected by Justices who graduated from Yale and Harvard. They join law firms that value that credential which is highly salable to their clients who angle to get their cases heard by the high court.
But is it really a case of buying the “best lawyers” as the Times argues? Or is the key to their success that these advocates for corporate clients are preaching to the choir?

OTHERWISE: BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims leader – Houston Chronicle

Is a federal court-appointed Administrator subject to the Code of Conduct of United State Judges? the judicial disqualification statute 28 U.S.C.455?  the RPC’s? And, in any event, was BP misled by Patrick Juneau?

BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims leader – Houston Chronicle

by Janet McConnaughey//AP December 24, 2014

“NEW ORLEANS – BP is asking the federal appeals court in New Orleans to kick out the administrator of damage settlement claims from its 2010 oil spill. A 75-page brief submitted this week to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals contends, among other things, that Patrick Juneau had secretly drafted court papers filed against BP before he was appointed claims administrator.

via OTHERWISE: BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims leader – Houston Chronicle.

Lawyers Coax State Attorneys General to Big Paydays – NY Times

Conservative Attorneys General talk the tort reform talk when they woo their donors and primary voters.  But when faced with the chance to be populist heroes and put cash in the state coffers they often turn into aggressive and innovative plaintiffs lawyers. -gwc

via OTHERWISE: Lawyers Coax State Attorneys General to Big Paydays – NY Times.

Posner: What’s wrong with legal education //Collins //Concurring Opinions

Posner: What’s wrong with legal education today?
by Ronald K. L. Collins //Concurring Opinions

Question: What do you think is the single greatest shortcoming of legal education in America today?

Posner: There are several shortcomings; I don’t know how to rank them.

1.)  Legal education is too expensive, in part because law school faculties are too large.

2.) Not enough law professors, especially at the elite law schools, have substantial practical experience as lawyers, and

3.) Law school teaching focuses excessively on legal doctrine, to the exclusion of adequate attention to facts, business practices, science and technology, psychology, judicial mentality and behavior, legal practice, and application of legal principles.

Question: Insofar as the teaching of legal ethics is concerned, is teaching the rules of professional responsibility and the cases interpreting them enough in your opinion? Or should some significant attention be devoted to familiarizing law students with some of the great works of the Western Philosophical tradition? – say, to Plato’s Gorgias or Aristotle’s Rhetoric?

Posner:  I don’t consider instruction in legal ethics an important part of legal education. Aristotle’s Rhetoric is pertinent to the rhetorical dimension of legal practice, rather than to legal ethics. Gorgias can be read as critical of lawyers’ tricks, though there were no lawyers as such in fourth century b.c. Athens.”

via Posner: What’s wrong with legal education //Collins //Concurring Opinions.

Debate on Lawyer Advertising in Florida Continues

Attorney Robert Rubenstein has sued the Florida Bar over its new and improved 2013 attorney advertising rules. Following the issuance of the new regulations, Rubenstein developed an advertising campaign that included information regarding past recoveries for clients. Consistent with the Florida Bar’s procedures, these ads were submitted for review, and the Florida Bar issued opinion letters which reported that the past performance advertisements complied with the revised Rules.

View an example of the advertisements in question at

By early 2014, the Florida Bar issued new guidelines regarding advertising past results, and then the Bar notified Rubenstein that it was withdrawing its opinion letter on compliance. By March 2014, Rubenstein sued the Florida Bar on first amendment grounds.

In the instant case, heard by Federal Judge Beth Bloom, the Florida Bar challenged jurisdiction on the basis of standing and ripeness. Judge Bloom disagreed and denied the Florida Bar’s motion.”Plaintiffs have clearly demonstrated a very real threat of prosecution for engaging in their advertisement of past results.”  The slip opinion is available at 2014 WL 6610972.