Kirby Fan Club

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

Snail-paced stenographer sent to the slammerA Florida judge in Fort Lauderdale has jailed his own stenographer after she failed to complete a piece of work on time.Sources cited by NBC News…

Snail-paced stenographer sent to the slammer

A Florida judge in Fort Lauderdale has jailed his own stenographer after she failed to complete a piece of work on time.

Sources cited by NBC News revealed that Justice Charles Green convicted Ann Smith of contempt of court when a transcript needed for an appeal went un-typed for several months.


Smith had been given a final deadline to complete the work and after she missed it Green had her arrested, apparently deciding that she could do the work in a cell. Yet, the perpetually lazy Smith even failed to produce the transcript at her contempt hearing.

After spending two nights in lockup, Smith still hadn’t found the time to complete the transcript, claiming that she couldn’t concentrate while worrying about her children.

Folklaw wonders if she should get lessons from the stenographer who recorded her own trial.

Tax lawyer with a sense of humour?

Most lawyer biographies proceed to list the finer points of that person’s contribution to the procedural equity rules of some corporate finance giant, while at the same time relaying how they are also able to enjoy a full and rewarding life as a nerd.

Lawyers Weekly Discover

But RollOnFriday - the UK funny factory- has discovered a biography which actually tickles, rather than litigates.

Martin Ginsburg, counsel at Fried Frank and professor of law at Georgetown University, tells readers of his lifetime’s achievements with a recurrent dry wit.

The biography details that from 1984 to 1997 Ginsburg was a member of the ABA Tax Section Council, where he said he “performed no useful service at all”.

Another accolade, in 1986 “someone who probably prefers never to be identified” endowed a chair in his name at Georgetown University, but Ginsburg said “nobody wants the job” and it has remained vacant ever since.

According to Ginsburg, he is a frequent speaker at tax seminars, but “mainly in warm climates”. The National Woman’s Political Caucus have also awarded him a “Good Guy” award despite Ginsburg’s illustration that history has revealed no instance of a tax lawyer being “considered a “Good Guy” or even a “Decent Sort”.

Ginsburg also acknowledges he is the author of one “exciting treatise” as well as a “ghastly number of articles on corporate and partnership taxation, business acquisitions and other stimulating things”.

Keen to deter family from the profession he notes that his spouse previously practised law until she “found better work” and his son threatens to become a lawyer “when he feels grumpy”, according to the biographies.

Words we’d like to see judicially defined


Definition: “(say .terpsikuh’reeuhn) (often humorous) — adjective 1. relating to dancing. — noun 2. a dancer” — Macquarie Dictionary online.

One of three citations in Australian case law: “On the day before the accident, that is, on Saturday, 14 March 1387 [sic] the plaintiff and his brother had travelled to Dubbo, in order to attend that evening a form of Terpsichorean entertainment known as a Bachelors and Spinsters Ball” — Hardie v McIntosh (NSWSC, 40/1988, McLaughlin M, 17 April 1991, unreported, BC9102104).

Kirby Fan Club

How many judges have such mass appeal that a bunch of tabloid magazine journalists could while away their morning engrossed in conversation about them? Only one of course: Justice Michael Kirby. Here is an email conversation that landed in Lawyers Weeklys inbox from the offices at PBL Media following Kirby’s speech earlier this month in which he lamented the backwardness of his fellow judges:

Journalist 1: How does he have time to write so many speeches??? Kirby is AMAZING!

Journalist 2: I know, I was just reading that. I never used to understand why the Liberal Government elected him to the High Court. But I just checked the stats and saw that he got there one month before John Howard became the PM. What a blessing those 28 days were!

No wonder he goes around making all those speeches - because he probably never gets to speak during his day job. They all look exactly as I imagine the “founding fathers” would have looked, ie old and comatosely boring … including the females.

Journalist 1: Hahahaha. He really is a lone wolf in the wilderness, isn’t he? Imagine being the dissenting voice amongst that lot. It must be like being at a private boys’ school, but for your whole life instead of just your adolescence. He must be extraordinarily strong.

Journalist 2: I also think he likes to stick out a bit too, which could also explain the dissenting rate. Even when he ends up agreeing with the majority he has to go and write his own (sometimes very unusual) interpretation of how he got there …

Journalist 1: Hahaha Yeah I suppose he gets enough love and adulation from the rest of us that he’s pretty well supported in all of his views, even if not from within the High Court.

Journalist 2: I wonder what he would think if he knew that some 20-something girls had spent their morning emailing about how wonderful he is. That would be very flattering. Imagine having that kind of interest in you — especially when you are a boring judge!

Journalist 1: Imagine if anyone found out we had spent the morning emailing about how amazing a High Court justice was. It might be flattering to him but it would be social suicide for each of us!

Harry Potter loses court battle

Indian fans of the Harry Potter franchise have praised a verdict that allows organisers of a religious festival to construct a life size replica of the book’s Hogwarts castle.

According to Agence France Press (AFP) the Delhi High Court dismissed the claim by J K Rowling that the massive reconstruction of her fictional castle infringed copyright.

Though Rowling and her publishers, Bloomsbury, felt only 2 million Rupees ($60, 000) could remedy the alleged abuse, the judgment grants organisers the right to keep the bamboo and papier-mâché castle in place until the end of Durga Puja - the biggest Hindu religious event in Calcutta.

Local Harry Potter fanatic Sayona Manda told AFP he agreed with the decision.

“The court has done the right thing. We have read about Hogwarts in books and seen it in films and now we will finally get a chance to see it,” he said.

Fortunately, the judgment provided some solace for Rowling’s creative integrity and after the event none of Rowling’s characters can be used without her express permission.

Actors about to blow up over patent rights

Why pay real actors when blow-up ones do the trick? If you’ve seen Million Dollar Baby, Oceans Thirteen, Cinderella Man or Seabiscuit, you may be surprised to learn that some of the extras in these films are inflatable — lifeless synthetic torsos designed to bulk out the film’s background.

Even more surprising is that these actors have managed to get themselves in legal trouble. The Wall Street Journal reports that one manufacturer of Crowd in a Box is suing another with an equally subtle title — the Inflatable Crowd — over patent rights.

Crowd in a Box claim that it holds two patents on the inflatable extras that its competitor is infringing its rights. Inflatable Crowd owner Joe Biggins defended his product, saying that he came up with idea several years ago while working as a member of the crew of Seabiscuit.

The legal wrangle over these pneumatic puffed-up plastic people continues.

How to lose a graduate position in 10 kilobytes

A disgruntled US law student, upset at being stood up for an interview by a boutique law firm partner, has recently fired off an angry little email to the missing interviewer, RollOnFriday reported.

The student wrote: “I understand your time is very valuable and I anticipate that your work day is very hectic. However, my time is valuable to me and sitting at the interview location waiting for you has resulted in a fantastic waste of a potentially productive Friday morning.

“Though I find myself being pushed in the direction of the large firms as a result of my grades,” the student humbly mused, “I had high hopes that getting involved in a smaller and yet equally productive camp would be the best fit for me.”

Obviously not backward in coming forward, the student tendered the following deal breaker: “I realise I am just a naive law student in your eyes but I assure you that a day will come when I command a level of respect that would make the idea of standing me up unimaginable.”

Little more than two hours later, the partner replied: “There was a clerical glitch in the scheduling of on-campus interviews, and thus while I was scheduled to be on-campus in the afternoon, the school has me scheduled for the morning. As you move forward toward that ‘level of respect’ which you hope to one day command, you would be well-advised to not jump to conclusions and launch accusations.”

Mental note: don’t assume that your spectacular grades will make any size firm overlook their no idiots policy.

Professional procrastinator

After taking more than a decade to complete a simple hour’s work, Manchester lawyer John Davies of Parkington Holliday has finally been reprimanded by a professional tribunal, RollOnFriday reported.

Davies managed to allow 11 years to pass without processing a client’s file that would have enabled the previous firm of solicitors to receive a legal aid payment for the work they had carried out on it.

Admitting to charges of failing to undertake a professional obligation and failing to answer correspondence, he told the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal hearing: “It was something I was going to sort out tomorrow and tomorrow never came,” the Scottish Law Reporter reported.

Tomorrow did come for the tribunal, which fined him £4,000 ($9,107) and ordered to pay court costs of £3,304 ($7,525).

We would’ve given Davis a call for comment, but have assumed he wouldn’t get back to us in time for press if his past is anything to go by.

Legislator gives lesson in porn

A US politician turned heads in a high school class when he projected pornographic images during a lecture on the constitution that he was presenting.

When Matthew Barrett inserted his memory stick into his laptop, instead of the lack-lustre PowerPoint presentation he had prepared, an entirely different type of educational aid popped up, Associated Press reported.

This stunt was not aimed at capturing the youngsters’ flailing imagination, nor was it intended to colour the dull subject matter with some adult entertainment.

Barrett was “shocked” and immediately tried to find out how the offending image and many others stored on his memory stick had gotten there.

“I have no idea where these came from”, the Democrat nobly told reporters.

Folklaw can only assume he contacted Bill Clinton on how to handle that one - when in doubt, deny, deny, deny.

Barrett conceded the memory stick was a “gift” he received from a fellow politician.

Kirby Fan Club
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