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January 28 2008 Legal Blog Roundup

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Newsflash: it's hard to supervise an incarcerated paralegal. Or so says the headline at Legal Profession Blog for a January 16 entry detailing the rather unfortunate story of a too-creative-for-his-own-good lawyer who hired his jailed client as a paralegal — while he was still incarcerated. Apparently, the jailed client, a former paralegal, expressed his desire to not only be represented by one Mr. "Attorney Compton" but work for him as well. Long story short, the lawyer ended up billing the paralegal's time as his own, garnering nearly $5,000 for what the court termed "false representations." Lawyers...what won't they think of next?

Michael Nifong. Sound familiar? Duke lacrosse team rape charges? Now you remember! Well, it turns out that falsely accusing three college students of raping a stripper is not a good career move. Nifong was recently forced to file a personal bankruptcy claim to the tune of (gulp) $180.3 million. Why so much, you ask? Turns out the disgraced ex-district attorney, whose personal assets total $243,898, is facing a trio of lawsuits from the accused Duke students, each of whom is asking for $30 million in damages. The bankruptcy filing may actually be Nifong's first smart move in a long time, at least according to Charles Tatelbaum, a Florida lawyer and Law Blog Moustache Society member, as detailed in the January 15 entry at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

Another national figure who has fallen from grace is Olympian Marion Jones, who recently confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs and was given the maximum sentence under her plea agreement. In the midst of her situation and the entire fiasco that is Major League Baseball, Rick Karcher of Sports Law Blog asks, "Should Role Model Status Influence Sentencing Decisions?" Apparently not, according to his January 12 column, where he adds, "[E]ven if Jones is in fact a role model, what relevance does it have with regards to a sentencing decision?! Do teachers and firemen receive harsher sentences because many consider them to be role models? Role model status influencing public opinion is one thing, but influencing judges imposing prison sentences is another..."

What I can't get over is how a track runner gets six months in jail for injecting herself with drugs while Scooter Libby is let off scot-free by "The Decider" for lying to federal prosecutors, obstructing justice, and putting CIA operations officer Valerie Plame's life and vocation (and that old standard bearer, national security) in terminal jeopardy.

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