Legal Blog Watch
The Alito Effect
"This timing of Justice O'Connor's retirement provides an unusual opportunity to isolate the effect of the appointment of Justice Alito on the Court's jurisprudence."
For the three cases reargued after O'Connor's departure, Goldstein offers "a very educated guess" on whether Alito's appointment changed their outcomes. In two of the three, he says, the answer is yes.
In Garcetti v. Ceballos, Goldstein notes that Justice Souter ended up writing no majority opinions from the Court's October sitting, while Justice Kennedy ended up writing two, of which Garcetti was one.
"Because there were only 8 cases argued in October, no Justice should have ended up writing the opinions for the Court in two cases. ... So it is fair to conclude that Justice Souter had the majority before Justice O'Connor's retirement, then lost it when Justice Alito joined the Court."
Hudson v. Michigan suggests a similar scenario, Goldstein writes. While the eventual opinion was authored by Justice Scalia and the principal dissent was by Justice Breyer, the fact that Scalia ended up with two opinions from the January sitting and Breyer had none means "it is fair to conclude that Justice Breyer had the majority before Justice O'Connor's retirement, then lost it when Justice Alito joined the Court."
In the third reargument, Kansas v. Marsh, O'Connor's retirement appears not to have made a difference, Goldstein says.
"Justice Thomas ended up with no opinion from the December sitting, indicating that Marsh was the opinion he would have authored for that sitting had it not been reargued. Justice Souter wrote a majority opinion for that sitting, indicating he did not lose a majority from that sitting."
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 28, 2006 at 12:58 PM | Permalink
Rebranding the Plaintiffs' Bar
Meanwhile, back at the WSJ's Law Blog, Peter Lattman is kicking off a contest inviting suggestions for ATLA's new name. He doesn't promise a prize, but given the WSJ's big-business bent, I suspect the winning entry is unlikely to pass muster with the plaintiffs lawyers of ATLA.
My suggestion: Justice League of
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 28, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink
Task Codes for E-Mail Overload
At some point after e-mail began to overwhelm him, Stein writes, he realized he could delegate to his assistant messages that required straightforward and definable tasks. This created its own problem, because each task needed his explanation, and providing it sometimes took longer than the task itself. So Stein came up with his series of task codes:
"Now, whenever I receive an email message that requires one of these actions, I click on 'forward,' move the cursor to the end of the subject matter line of the email message, type the abbreviated action code right there, and send the message to my assistant for further processing. My assistant then handles that particular piece of my email deluge, so I can spend more time doing legal work and less time doing data entry, file manipulation, and processing."
Stein's article sets out his series of codes and invites others to use them. Of course, there is one drawback to Stein's system -- it requires that you have an assistant.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 28, 2006 at 12:54 PM | Permalink
California's Traps for Unwary Employers
Topping the list: meal and rest period penalties. They explain:
"This is the current favorite claim of plaintiff's class action attorneys in
If $192 million in penalties grabs your attention, then visit InhouseBlog for the rest of the list.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 28, 2006 at 12:51 PM | Permalink
And U.K. Law Firm of the Year Is ...
"Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was the other big winner of the night, picking up prizes for Banking/Restructuring Team of the Year, M&A Team of the Year and Pro Bono Team of the Year."
Here is the full list of winners of The Lawyer Awards 2006.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 28, 2006