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The Judge has grown weary of sulking in the shadows and letting the MeJDs and Chinaskis of Judged hog the limelight. Here you will find news about Judged, updates to our law firm rankings and the Judge’s daily ramblings. Want the real scoop? Check it out here.

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Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground (http://www.legalunderground.com/) reported on an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that will require all attorneys to submit their total number of annual pro bono hours in order to renew their licensure. Schaeffer doesn’t see it as much of a big deal, just a way of saying to lawyers that pro bono hours are important.

Carolyn Elefant over at MyShingle (http://www.myshingle.com/), however, sees it as more of a subtle jab. While the ruling may appear to be innocent, Elefant thinks it is a slight to solo practitioners and small firms. Big firms will report far more pro bono hours than they really performed, supposes Elefant, while small firms, who actually do far more pro bono work, won’t be able to report as many pro bono hours as the large firm attorneys.

She’s also against the ruling on philosophical grounds. While Don Burnett at the Legal Ethics Forum (http://legalethicsforum.typepad.com/) praises the ruling as highlighting the importance of pro bono efforts, Elefant believes it’s all a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing. After all, the ruling doesn’t require attorneys to do more pro bono work or reward excessive pro bono work. It only offers a pat on the back for those who do any pro bono work at all. With legal aid for the poor still lacking, Elefant doesn’t think lawyers deserve a pat on the back yet.

06-22-2006


This time the violent video game isn't about beating up hookers or stealing cars, it's about killing infidels and non-believers. And it's not militant Muslims, it's an army of born-again Christians taking to the streets and slaying anyone who refuses to convert to Christianity. It's called "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," and it is hilarious.

In his Talk2Action blog (http://www.talk2action.org) Jonathan Huston offers up a really funny news story about a new video game based on the religious extremist novels and straight-to-video film series "Left Behind." In the game, players attempt to convert or kill non-Christians in a post-apocalyptic New York cityscape. Conservative Christian attorney Jack Thompson cut his ties with the Left Behind people after learning of the violent video game. Thompson has made a name for himself in the media over the last few years, crusading against rap music and video games. He is now threatening a lawsuit against the games manufacturers, his former allies, Tyndale House.

It is unclear what the grounds of the lawsuit would be. This game has to be seen to be believed. It actually looks pretty fun.

06-21-2006


The law blogosphere is abuzz with analyses, commentary, and criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Hudson v. Michigan. The case involved Michigan's so-called knock-and-announce requirement, which forces police officers serving a warrant to announce their presence and wait before entering a home.

The High Court ruled that while it's all well and good to knock and announce, the rule doesn't necessarily have to be enforced. Cato@Liberty (http://www.cato-at-liberty.org) sees the decision as a poor interpretation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unlawful search and seizure. He takes special offense at Justice Scalia, who has professed his belief in Constitutional originalism so many times in the past but now sees the Fourth Amendment as needing revision. Orin Kerr (http://www.orinkerr.com/) takes delight in pointing out that a staunch originalist like Scalia would take the side of the 'living Constitution' crowd.

The Agitator (http://www.theagitator.com/) also singles out Scalia for derision. Scalia's assertion that the police force is capable of governing itself and independently ensuring the protection of each citizen's Constitutional rights prompts The Agitator to ask what the Justice is smoking.

06-20-2006


A number of law bloggers are up in arms over the recent New York State Bar regulations governing attorney advertising. As mentioned in the Judged Law Firm News (http://www.judged.com/jdweeklylinks.php), the measures were meant to better protect the public. Some are saying the restrictions don’t help anybody.

Between Lawyers (http://betweenlawyers.corante.com/) takes dead aim at the judges and attorneys who worked so hard to pass the new amendments. According to Between Lawyers, the regulations limit all attorney advertising to the point that an ad from a lawyer could never effectively bring in new business. They also see the restrictions on Internet commerce as retrogressive.

Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog (http://kevin.lexblog.com/) sees the amendments as a death knell for the legal profession. He finds the limitations, including regulations on font sizes in printed ads, completely foolish.

06-19-2006


The Washington Post has reported that University of San Diego School of Law Professor Junichi Semitsu has been tapped to serve as the Dixie Chicks official blogger for their current national tour.

While it's doubtful that his new MSN blog will be very scholarly, it's the latest in a series of high-profile gigs for law bloggers. Inside Legal Opinions (http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_w atch/) has compared Semitsu's appointment as the official Dixie Chicks blogger to other recent law blogger upgrades, including Underneath Their Robe's David Lat (http://underneaththeirrobes.blogs.com/) taking the reins over at Wonkette (www.wonkette.com) and the big book deals offered to bloggers Jeremy Blachman (http://www.jeremyblachman.com/) and Melissa Lakfsky (http://www.opinionistas.com/).

06-19-2006


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