The court will not countenance the gross overreaching evidenced under the facts and circumstances of this case in which the client is not even being billed for legal services. To move any court to put its imprimatur of approval on such practices is simply intolerable.
– Judge Frank Nervo, denying a Biglaw firm’s request for more than $126,000 in attorneys’ fees in a lawsuit over a $6,400 security deposit. Judge Nervo added that the firm spent “a grossly unnecessary amount of time” on simple tasks, including “research on the most basic and banal legal principles.”
(Which firm was on the receiving end of this benchslap? Find out after the jump, where we’ve posted the full opinion.)
The firm in question was Mayer Brown, which apparently made this foray into landlord/tenant law because one of the tenants, Thomas Clozel, is the son of Jean-Paul Clozel, a founder and CEO of Actelion, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company that’s a Mayer Brown client. The client wasn’t being billed, as noted by Judge Nervo, because the case was being handled as one of those “friend of the firm” matters.
I can’t really fault Mayer Brown here, since “friend of the firm” matters often require Biglaw attorneys to immerse themselves in areas of law that they know nothing about. I once worked on such a case, involving the high school disciplinary problems of a kid whose father was a titan of finance, even though neither I nor the partner I worked with knew anything about education law. Luckily we were able to resolve the matter to the family’s satisfaction (and they sent me a lovely case of wine for the holidays).
So next time your cousin wants your help getting back his security deposit, refer him to a knowledgeable residential real-estate litigator — unless your cousin is willing to pay you a six-figure sum.
The mophie space pack is coming, and it’s the sort of product that had us thinking, “This is so obvious – why didn’t anyone do this sooner?” We’ve all known mophie for its excellent battery packs and battery cases, but with the space pack, we’re getting more storage space, too.
If your 16/32/64GB iPhone isn’t cutting it for you, you can add an additional 16GB or 32GB, plus 1,700mAh of juice to your iPhone 5 or 5S. And the big news for mophie is that it just got the Made for iPhone certification from Apple, too, hence the big CES 2014 announcement.
The mophie space pack is almost exactly like the mophie juice pack air, except it’s 3mm longer and it features the new “Space” hardware inside that works in conjunction with mophie’s Space iOS app.
You’ll feel right at home with the Space app since it’s designed to look and function like a native iOS 7 app. From there, you can access your files, photos, videos and anything else you store within the mophie space pack.
You can also see your usage and available space via a pie chart or a line graph that looks like the iTunes usage graph. It’s really great and there is virtually no learning curve in using this thing if you’re already familiar with iOS 7 and iTunes.
One neat feature is the way file management is handled: you can transfer files between the iPhone and space pack, send files via e-mail, messaging, AirDrop, Dropbox and more from space pack, and you can arrange/delete/transfer files on the space pack via your computer.
Mophie gave us a quick demo of the Space app, and we were impressed with just how easy it is to use. We’re definitely looking forward to reviewing the mophie space pack next month. We were reminded again why we gave the mophie space pack a Best of CES 2014 award.
As far as the hardware goes, it will be familiar to any mophie user with the addition of a new feature for that silver button in the back. The button will allow you to use Space when you open up the app, and the reason for the button is so that it conserves memory and battery life when you’re not using Space. You just press the button again to activate it when you’re in the app.
We can’t stress enough just how useful the mophie space pack is, and why no one has thought to do this before. The downside is that it supports only the iPhone 5/5S right now, so if you’re a mophie user with a Galaxy device, you might have to wait a bit longer.
The mophie space pack will become available March 14 in 1,700 mAh 16GB and 32GB variants for $149.95 and $179.95, respectively, but you can pre-order them now from mophie.
Earlier this week, we mentioned the ridiculous argument from a University of Tennessee law professor, Lucy Jewel, that law degrees confer non-economic benefits like “cultural cachet,” which make the deal valuable to people who risk financial ruin to get it.
Professor Jewel writes: “Every graduation, when I see the beaming smiles from my students’ family members, I do not think about the fact that they are getting a degree from a so-called fourth-tier toilet law school; I see people who have achieved a dream (albeit at great financial expense) and obtained a credential that signifies membership in a powerful profession.”
Guys… I just can’t. I can’t keep beating back every stupid argument that any law professor can come up with to defend the systemic price-gouging of American law students. I am just one man and they are many. I have never in my life confronted a group of educated people so eager to justify the precise manner in which they economically take advantage of students — kids, really — too stupid to know any better. At this point, if a law professor took candy from a baby she’d say she did it to help the kid save on dental bills.
You want talk about the non-economic benefits of going to law school? FINE! Let’s talk about the social and cultural “cachet” you’ll get, and see if it’s worth all the CASH you won’t ever be seeing again…
1. You’ll Be A Lot Of Fun At Parties.
Has anybody ever said: “You know, Brad was a prick before he went to law school, but now that he thinks he can justify everything by telling me to Google a statute, he’s really mellowed.” Wait, that’s never been said? What about: “Jane was also such a sweet and open-minded girl, and now that she’s in law school and can passionately argue out of both sides of her mouth for every position, her new mix of equivocating judgmentalism is really quite fetching.”
Oh, that’s right, nobody’s ever said that, because law school turns nice people into pricks and pricks into Super Villains.
But hey, you’ll always have something to say! A law degree means never having to STFU ever again!
2. Cops LOVE Hearing About Your Rights.
Having a law degree means YOU have the power to turn any ordinary stop and encounter with the police into an arrest and a court date. Just think of the fun you’ll have antagonizing and pissing off law enforcement officials with all your fancy law-talkin’. Turning a “warning” into a thousand-dollar citation is really cool when you are (almost totally) sure that you’ll prevail in court. And if you are a minority, telling Officer Racist that he doesn’t have probable cause to make you stop and talk to him will feel really empowering when you are sitting at the station with a plunger up your ass and no witness to all the scary ways you “resisted” arrest.
3. But At Least You’ll Be Able To Understand When Your Rights Are Taken Away.
4. Reading Fine Print Is Fun.
A normal person doesn’t even see the fine print. Can you believe it? They just gloss over that stuff and move on with their lives. But not you, J.D. holder. You always notice it; you can’t help noticing it. Warning labels too. And privacy agreements, man, you could redline the terms and conditions on your new iPad in your sleep if you had to. There’s a whole world of absolutely meaningless boilerplate language out there just waiting for somebody to read it.
(As for Judge Richard Posner, he’s too smart to bother with fine print.)
5. Arguing With People Is A Great Way To Make Friends And Get Laid.
Obviously, lawyers are much better at getting sex than musicians, artists, or the very wealthy. If Jay-Z wants to woo Beyonce, he has to sing and dance, lavish her with gifts, and seem like an awesome and cool person. But if a lawyer wants to get with the prettiest girl at the party, all he has to do is go up to her and explain it to her. Logically. Perhaps with a reference to her past precedent with men. “Look Barbara, I know you like good-looking guys who are fit and have no more than one chin. But where has that gotten you? You are 32, still unmarried, and starting to show signs of age. Don’t you think it’s time that you settled? My offer will stand for the next two hours or until the bar closes.”
And we’ve recently discussed how lawyers make great roommates. You never have to worry about a lawyer/friend bending the spirit of an agreement beyond all recognition solely for their personal benefit.
6. People Will Ask You For Legal Advice, For Free, All The Time.
Nothing says “I am respected within my community” like friends and family demanding that you perform tasks for them for no remuneration. Like, if your friend asks you to help him move, he might throw you a couple of bucks or a case of beer. But if he wants you to “figure out if this will makes sense,” well… he respects you so much that he expects you can do it quickly and for no money.
7. Mommy and Daddy Will Be Really Proud.
Sure, you might spend the rest of your career trying to conceal the fact that your law degree doesn’t confer the ECONOMIC benefits that Mommy and Daddy thinks that it does (or would if you just tried harder), but they’ll be really freaking proud of their child, “the lawyer.”
(Unless you have a sibling who is a doctor. If that’s the case, you should just skip this point.)
8. You’ll Just Love Law School, Almost Inexplicably, Because…
9. You’ll Never Be Wrong Again.
Do you realize that lawyers get to say things like “I totally believe blah blah blah, but IN THE ALTERNATIVE…. everything I just said is wrong but everything I’m saying now is right, so either way I’m right and always have been.” It’s a goddamn super power. I had an argument last winter with a lawyer friend (which are the only kinds that I have left, see #5, supra) ABOUT WHETHER SNOW WAS COLD. He was arguing that it wasn’t (on some kind of cosmic, Kelvin-scale), and I was arguing that it was. And we were both right. And in support of my argument, I said that treating snow as “not cold” was (wait for it) RACIST because it didn’t take into account cultural differences among disparate people… and instead of just laughing or punching me in the face, he engaged with my point!
Getting a law degree is like getting a ticket into BS Nirvana. You know, if you are into that kind of thing.
10. You Get To Read Above the Law.
In a way, ATL is just like law school. You get to sit here and be told that the way you used to think was wrong and intellectually weak. All around there are people doing much worse than you, and some people doing much better than you, which just kind of makes you feel bad about yourself. You leave, stronger and more informed, but in a sad, bitter way. And all that knowledge doesn’t help you one goddamn bit when it comes time to GET A JOB.
Really, if we charged you $30,000 a year to read, and then talked about the “social cachet” you received from wasting your money, we’d get ABA accreditation.
Certified Family Law Attorney, Donald P. Schweitzer has been elected to serve as the 2011 Vice President and Program Chair of the Pasadena Bar Association. Mr. Schweitzer will begin his position, January 2011. Mr. Schweitzer will be responsible for planning and organizing all of the PBA’s general meetings, assisting with the Section Chairs, and special meetings that take place within the year. Mr. Schweitzer will also serve by assisting the incoming President of the association with the implementation of benefits to members of the PBA.
Mr. Schweitzer was elected to this position by board members and past and present presidents whom select people they think would make meaningful contributions towards the Pasadena Bar Association. According to Mr. Schweitzer, “I have chosen to accept the position, because I thoroughly enjoy doing volunteer work and have come to enjoy the meetings and association that I’ve made after becoming a member”
In addition, Mr. Schweitzer will also be responsible for obtaining money for the association through sponsorships and will be organizing a Pasadena-based High School Speech Scholarship Tournament where the PBA will award the top two finalists with significant scholarships. “I expect the speech and debate tournament will be extremely meaningful to the competitors and our members, said Schweitzer, while reflecting on the 2011 calendar.
Schweitzer further added, “One of my primary goals while serving as Vice President is to provide meaningful benefits to our members as well as serving the community.” Mr. Schweitzer is a Certified Family Law Specialist with over 15 years of trial experience. Prior to going into private practice, Mr. Schweitzer served as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County for 8 years. Mr. Schweitzer worked in numerous units within the District Attorney’s office including, Writs and Appeals, Family Support, Municipal Court, Felony Panel, Gang Target, Felony Filing, and the Sexual Assault Unit. H e is a member of the American Bar Association, the California State Bar, Los Angeles Bar Association, and the Pasadena Bar Association.
Site : sandpointpr.com/2013-08/donald-p-schweitzer-pasadena-family-law-attorney-recently-elected-to-new-position-on-the-pasadena-bar-association.html