Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spence: I Am Famous Because I Am Selfish

Spence: I Am Famous Because I Am Selfish

Gerry Spence is nothing if not interesting -- other than sometimes too enamored of himself. We can deduce that much simply from his preference for suit coats made of fringed buckskin. But the latest blog post from this Wyoming trial lawyer is more interesting than most, if only for its ability to suggest so much about the man in so few words. I can't decide whether its title, "Next Post," is a mistake or a cryptic message, but here is the text of the post, in its entirety:

Some folks ask how did I become so well known, or "famous." That is mostly a matter of luck. I took cases that I thought were important, that turned me on. I was selfish. I wanted to satisfy my own needs, namely, to engage in something meaningful. I wanted to help, but that is because I needed to help, and in the end, that is taking care of one's self. Being selfish for the right reasons is the trick. I have not always been successful there.

Cases "that turned me on." We know what he means, but there is something about how he says it... [MORE]

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Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 11, 2009 at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Fiancée Can Get You Fired

Your employer cannot fire you because you pursue your rights under Title VII. That is unlawful retaliation. But can you get fired because someone close to you -- to wit, your fiancée -- filed a Title VII claim? That is the unique issue decided this week by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Thompson v. North American Stainless.

The short answer, as decided by the court, is that Title VII does not protect the person who did not directly engage in protected activity. But as Ross Runkel recounts at LawMemo Employment Law Blog, it took a panel of 16 circuit judges to come up with that short answer, and they split 10 to 6, with three different dissenting opinions filed.

The plaintiff, Eric Thompson, claimed he was fired in retaliation for his fiancée's discrimination charge. Thompson met the woman, Miriam Regalado, at work in 2000. In 2002, Regalado filed a charge with the EEOC alleging that she was discriminated against because of her gender. Three weeks after the employer received notice of the charge, it fired Thompson.

The issue for the 6th Circuit was whether Title VII created a cause of action for third-party retaliation. Runkel explains how the court came down... [MORE]

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Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 11, 2009 at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Minow Named Dean of Harvard Law

Minow Harvard Law School announced today that it has named Martha Minow as dean to replace Elena Kagan, who left to join the Obama administration as solicitor general.

A member of the Harvard Law faculty since 1981, Minow is described in the announcement as a "distinguished legal scholar with interests that range from international human rights to equality and inequality, from religion and pluralism to managing mass tort litigation, from family law and education law to the privatization of military, schooling, and other governmental activities."

Minow chaired the law school's curricular reform efforts of recent years and was recognized with the School's Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005.

She is the author of five books... [MORE]

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Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 11, 2009

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