Well, it was an SAT word! Of course, it’s stupid to insult a judge, but at least San Diego lawyer Benjamin Pavone went beyond the usual invectives when he did so.

Here’s what got Pavone in trouble with the California bar: He called a female judge’s opinion “succubustic,” reports the The Recorder. (Pavone used the term in his appeal after the judge denied his request for $160,000 in legal fees.)

So what’s the big deal about that word? According to the California appeals court, it comes from the noun “succubus,” which is a “demon assuming female form which has sexual intercourse with men in their sleep”—and that apparently is not a nice way to describe a judge’s deliberation. The court says Pavone’s use of the term smacks of gender bias and “will not be tolerated.” (In case you’re wondering, the masculine form of succubus is “incubus,” according to Wikipedia.)

But Pavone didn’t stop there with his verbal flourishes. The full sentence in his notice of appeal reads: “The ruling’s succubustic adoption of the defense position, and resulting validation of the defendant’s pseudohermaphroditic misconduct, prompt one to entertain reverse peristalsis unto its four corners.”

Wow! How many times do see the words “pseudohermaphroditic” or “peristalsis,” not to mention “succubustic” in one sentence? And how many of you knew what those words meant (without thinking back to your high school Latin)? Be honest now. Let me just say that I can’t tell whether Pavone was being sexist and disrespectful toward the judge. I can say, however, he comes off as a pretentious jerk.

My only concern: Do we want to start penalizing lawyers for being pretentious jerks?

What law student can afford lunch with Amal? Columbia Law School’s public interest program must be full of trust fund babies. How else to explain this item?

Straight from Page 6 of the New York Post: A first-year law student got the winning bid at Columbia Law School’s Public Interest Law Foundation auction recently, and the prize is lunch with our favorite human rights lawyer Amal Clooney at Jean-Georges restaurant. (Note the irony: Jean Georges is located in the Trump International Hotel at 1 Central Park West. Let’s not forget how Amal and other human rights lawyers have railed against Trump.)

Oh, the price tag for the lunch? $8,100 (champagne included).

Maybe Columbia attracts a different breed of public interest types because the ones I knew at NYU could barely afford a greasy sandwich at Mamoun’s Falafel on Macdougal Street.

In any case, you’ll be relieved to know that Clooney and the lucky law student won’t have to eat and drink $8,100 worth of delectables by themselves. Joining them will be human rights professor Sarah Cleveland plus six other students of the winner’s choosing. All told: that’s around $1,000 per head—what you’d expect to pay at a nice closing dinner. Such a deal.

Told ya! McGahn returns to the fold. Were you worried that Don McGahn would be left in the cold after he quit his post as White House counsel last October? Well, worry no more. He’s now happily back at his desk at Jones Day.

I am personally relieved that he’s returned to private practice and is no longer in a position to cause widespread harm. As you might recall, I’ve been hounding him to leave government since he landed in Trumpland. First, I thought he was an awful White House counsel. And though he was an early Trump supporter, he didn’t seem to be enjoying his job very much as time wore on.

So I’m not at all surprise he decided to bail. The only mystery is why he stayed so long. My hunch is that he needed to cleanse his record and set himself up as unTrump—something he achieved when all those stories spilled out about how he saved Bob Mueller from being fired and objected to Trump’s insistence that Jared Kushner be given top security clearance.

Cleanups take time.

Attention: Women Lawyers. Harvey Weinstein is casting! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t inform readers about a career opportunity.

You know how women often get sidetracked in high-profile matters? Well, here’s a chance for female lawyers to get loads of attention!

“People around Harvey are saying he’s desperately trying to hire a ‘skirt’—their term—for the legal team as he feels it will soften his image,” reports the New York Post.

As you might recall, Weinstein lost Ben Brafman as a lawyer earlier this year. And though he has other lawyers in his stable, he’s been trying to hire more female lawyers. So far, though, he’s been out of luck. The Post reports that Isabelle Kirshner and Susan Necheles already turned him down.

Besides “softening” his image, Weinstein also thinks he can get female lawyers cheaper. According to a Post source, “Harvey does not want to pay premium fees.”

Hey, I know it sounds insulting to work for a guy who thinks women are bargains. But the reality is that Weinstein has a point: Not only are female partners paid less than male ones, but their billing rates are also lower. Men’s billing rates average $701 per hour while women’s are $636, according to Major, Lindsey & Africa’s 2018 partner compensation survey.

Anyway, don’t look at this as selling yourself cheap. Representing one of the most notorious, despicable figures in recent history will put you on the map, particularly if you can get him acquitted. Think like a starlet eyeing that breakout role!


Twitter: @lawcareerist.