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Quote of the Day - “Reviewing has one advantage over suicide: in suicide you take it out on yourself; in reviewing you take it out on other people. - George Bernard Shaw
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2009 Legal News: The Fourth Annual Legal Louie Awards

2008: The Legal Year In Review

Looking back on this past year in legal news, there's been a lot of ups and downs even though the economy has spiked that graph chart in a downward direction.  MIPTC once again jumps into the fray of those with 20/20 hindsight vision with its Fourth Annual Legal Louie Awards, a tongue-in-cheek look at last year's legal news. 

Why a "Legal Louie?"  Louie was my grandfather's barber, who always had an opinion about legal shenanigans.  Grandpa Walker called him "three-spin Louie," because once you sat in the barber chair, just three spins later you were out.  Here's a round-up review of the legal news for 2008 and the resulting awards for the best and worst, in multiple categories:

Worst TV Legal Show:  Last time, Boston Legal won.  This year, it qualifies for this category only because ABC took it off the air.  What were they thinking?  Don't ask me.  Write to ABC.  Best line from the show?  "Maybe we can find a new network that cares."  No kidding.

Best TV Legal ShowPerry Mason via the beta Google video network.  Sometimes, nostalgia is good, especially when there's few current worthwhile choices for this category.

Worst Legal Decision: The California Supreme Court decision(s) upholding same-sex marriage, Proposition 8 outlawing it and then the California Supreme Court's election to hear challenges to Prop 8.  Who's in charge here?

Best Legal Decision:  The California Legislature passed a law outlawing texting while driving, as a follow-up to the earlier law requiring hands-free cell phone devices while driving.  My only question -- why didn't they think of both laws at the same time?

Runner up?  We still have a Second Amendment, thanks to a 5-4 Supreme Court decision

Worst Jail Sentence (pending)Eliot Spitzer.  Here's a guy who takes on the world, starts to shut down the bad guys and then can't keep his zipper up.  Best Spitzer joke?  "He's the only politician who went to D.C. and left with less money than he came with."

Runners up?  There are almost too many to count.  "Rudyard Rod" Blagojevich (current Illinois governor who is alleged to have senate seats for sale - he's almost a tie with Spitzer just on the basis of chutzpah).   Former [yes, it's capitalized because it's now become a title, not an adjective] Senator Ted Stevens (convicted of making false statements on a financial form).   Senator Larry Craig (weaseling out of a guilty plea that he solicited gay sex in a public bathroom at an airport).  Then there's former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.  (his book and PR tour admits he helped his bosses lie to us about policy decisions).

Notice the consistency here?  They're all politicians.  Surprise! 

Best Jail Sentence:  Nine to 33 years.  Finally, O.J. gets a sentence he deserves.  Best line of the sentencing hearing?  "I didn't know whether Mr. Simpson was arrogant or ignorant or both.  During the trial, I got the answer, and it was both."  Worst part of the hearing?  Figuring out how long O.J. will be in jail.  I listened to Clark County Judge Jackie Glass as she sentenced O.J., but along with the rest of the legal community, it took a call to her Court Clerk to figure out what she meant.

Worst New Legal Trend:   MySpace crimes.  It's hard to believe that the anonymity of the Internet has sparked crime sprees [tongue planted firmly in cheek here].

Best New Legal Trend:  Online legal directories, such as Avvo and the consolidation of legal blogs and podcasts.  The blawg is coming of age and starting to make money.

Saddest Legal-related Event:  The departure of Heller Erhman, Thelen, Brobeck and a host of other big-firm dissolutions.  The economic shakeout hit the seemingly impervious business of law. 

Most Hopeful Legal Event:  A Nebraska State Court judge dismissed a lawsuit against God, saying he wasn't served properly.  But if God is all-knowing . . .?

Worst Government MomentSarbanes-Oxley, the omnipresent reporting requirement where company lawyers and government overseerers worried about whether to report a janitor taking a roll of toilet paper, all while Wall Street lay waste to the world's economic system, starting with a 10.5 richter-scale earthquake otherwise known as the subprime crises.  Can't wait for those aftershocks.   Runners up?  Madoff, Mark Dreier, any one of the Big 3 CEOs on a private jet to Washington, D.C. to ask for bailout money, AIG executives enjoying a $440,000 spa trip at the St. Regis here in Dana Point.  I could go on, but you get the point.  Runner up?  Maybe the SEC.

Best Government Moment:  The FCC's auction of the wireless band spectrum.  Finally, we get some innovation.  Runner up in the oxymoron department?  Citified wi-fi.  Whatever happened to the promise of universal wireless coverage?  Guess there was no money in that service.

With that, we wrap up this year's awards, with three spins of the barber's chair.  To relive those old barbershop times, if you'd like to share your comments, the comment feature below is open. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, January 04, 2009 at 14:44 Comments Closed (1) |
 
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