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Trump Hearts Jones Day (Still)

Vivia Chen

July 20, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 10.49.34 AMI try to keep it light and frothy during the heat of the summer. So here's my selection of news and gossip that you shouldn't miss:

Jones Day wants to Make America Great Again—and Again. If Donald Trump becomes a two-term president, we can all thank (or not) Jones Day. Already, it's working on Trump's reelection—and getting paid handsomely for it. 

The New York Times reports that the campaign "spent nearly $700,000 on legal fees between the beginning of April and the end of June." And that the lion's share—$545,000—went to Jones Day. (The work includes advising on election, lawsuits and matters related to the Russia investigations.)

Now, I know $545,000 sounds like a lot of moolah. But let's keep this all in perspective. For Jones Day, which prides itself as a magnet for U.S. Supreme Court clerks (it hired 10 of them in 2015), that amount is small change, barely enough to cover the starting compensation for one high court clerk (each costs at least $300.000 in bonus plus the going-rate salary). 

I don't know if the campaign's legal bills will cover all those expensive clerks, but I think Trump and company will keep Jones Day busy. Besides, if the firm's bills become too astronomical, the administration can just hire directly from the firm. Already, it's practically a revolving door between Jones Day and the Trump team. Not only is ex-partner Don McGahn the White House Counsel (he also served as the campaign's lawyer) but about a dozen Jones Day lawyers work in top positions for the administration.

May we suggest a Jones Day branch office in the White House? 

Asian-American law student gets dinged by Airnb host. It's hard to believe that this could happen in California of all places, but it did. Here's the skinny, according to the ABA blog: Tami Barker, an Airnb host, cancelled a reservation by Dyne Suh, a student at the UCLA School of Law, citing Suh's race as a factor.

Barker texted Suh just as the law student and her friends were approaching the mountain rental during a snowstorm: "I wouldn’t rent to u if you were the last person on earth. One word says it all. Asian." (Can we at least give Barker credit for using "Asian" instead of "Oriental"?)

And when Suh responded that she would file a complaint with Airbnb, Barker replied: "It’s why we have trump… And I will not allow this country to be told what to do by foreigners.” (In case you're wondering, Suh is an American citizen who's been in this country since she was three years-old. But that's beside the point.)

The upshot? Barker was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, take a course on Asian-Americans and volunteer with a civil rights organization, among other other actions. Edward Lee, Barker's lawyer, issued a statement that Barker regretted "her impetuous actions and comments." 

Funny that Barker hired an Asian American lawyer to resolve the matter. 

Seriously, would you rather read about pizza ovens? Law professors usually present fact patterns on exams that are boring, confusing and totally divorced from real life. They're usually about broken pizza ovens, lost parts or some kind of mechanical malfunction. So what's wrong with an interesting hypothetical that's relatable to our lives?

Alas, a longtime law professor at Howard University is facing possible termination for presenting a hypo that was considered too hot and personal. The topic: Brazillian wax. 

National Law Journal's Karen Sloan reports : "The exam question at issue involved a client who fell asleep during a waxing session at a salon and later sued the salon worker of improperly touching them."

Apparently, litigation about these procedures is not that uncommon (who knew?). Despite that, some students felt that the hypo was too sexual. NLJ reports that "the hypothetical provides an extensive explanation of what a 'Full Brazilian' wax entails, including the phrases 'hairless from belly button to buttocks,' and 'access every follicle of public hair.'" Some students thought the hypo was forcing them to reveal whether they had undergone a Brazilian wax procedure themselves. 

I don't mean to sound insensitive, but I didn't find the hypo to be offensive or invasive. For goodness sake, it's a hypo—and one that's shows some awareness about current culture. I mean, would you prefer some fact pattern about widgets?

Judges who love porn. What's going on in Pennsylvania? Another judge has been snared into what The Legal Intelligencer calls Porngate. The latest is Monore Country magisterial district judge Michael Muth, who's been charged by the judicial conduct board for viewing pornography "on multiple occasions in full view of the court staff at his chambers." 

I know being a judge can be tedious and unstimulating. But why didn't this judge do what most sensible judges would do: Watch porn in the privacy of his/her paneled office? Was the porn Judge Muth viewing so compelling that he couldn't wait? Or is porn just part of the Pennsylvania judicial culture?

 

 vchen@alm.com

Follow me on Twitter @lawcareerist

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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