It's all about optics.
Joe Patrice is an Editor at Above the Law. For over a decade, he practiced as a...
Kathryn Rubino is a member of the editorial staff at Above the Law. She has a degree...
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021....
When an associate left Jones Day before serving a full two years, the firm billed for pro-rated bar study expenses. Once again, just because an agreement allows a firm to do something, doesn’t mean it should. It’s just not a good look for a firm. Speaking of optics, we also talk about Justice Brett Kavanaugh partying with Matt Gaetz and Alex Acosta — and more importantly, parties with business before the Court this Term — all while Supreme Court legitimacy sinks like a stone. Speaking of legitimacy, the Fifth Circuit agrees that a judge committed an ethical breach in hearing a case, but decided to just sweep it under the rug. Also, by the time this posts, Twitter will have changed its policies five more times, but we discuss the legal ramifications, if any, of Twitter’s short-lived ban on mentioning “competitors.”
Joe Patrice: Greetings.
Kathryn Rubino: Hey.
Chris Williams: Yow.
Joe Patrice: This is another episode of Thinking Like a Lawyer.
Kathryn Rubino: It is.
Joe Patrice: Yes. That’s true. I’m Joe Patrice from the Above the Law. I’m greeted by a couple of other people.
Kathryn Rubino: I’m Kathryn Rubino, also of Above the Law.
Chris Williams: I’m Chris Williams and I’m just basking in Joe’s more joyous than normal tone. This is phenomenal actually.
Joe Patrice: I’m doing what I can to change —
Kathryn Rubino: Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.
Joe Patrice: That is not what’s causing it. I am trying my best to shake up the opening just so it cannot —
Kathryn Rubino: So you think I won’t interrupt you then? Is that the theory?
Joe Patrice: No, I’m trying to come up with ways in which I could feature the interruption and make it work.
Kathryn Rubino: I like that you no longer fight against it.
Joe Patrice: I mean, I understand what I’m up against.
Chris Williams: Giving up is really in right now especially considering like
Elon, should I give this up thing?
Joe Patrice: Is this a segway?
Chris Williams: Into?
Joe Patrice: Small Talk.
Kathryn Rubino: Small Talk.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, no, yeah. Okay. So yeah. So Elon Musk is giving up? Yes.
Kathryn Rubino: He might be. The poll certainly suggested that he should be giving up control of Twitter. He won’t, he won’t. Spoiler alert.
Chris Williams: I think that all people with the same kinks need to take note of what Elon is doing. This is the most public embarrassment I have ever seen in my life. Like this dude paid $44 billion dollars for an L. That is like being documented.
Joe Patrice: And that’s the thing. I had a conversation with one of our columnists the other day where she was saying, you know that maybe it’s time to be done with Twitter and cancel your account and everything. And I was like, but then I would miss the real time meltdown. Like watching Musk flail every day is one of the most interesting, entertaining things I do.
Kathryn Rubino: Pure joy.
Chris Williams: Plus missing the real time meltdown, that but also catching the tweets that then get deleted that people catch because it’s fucking Twitter.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. So from a quasi-legal perspective, the issue that got me about this poll is one, this is not how companies should be managed by user poll, but also even it’s a private company, whatever, but he also is the CEO of a public company whose value is going in the tank and at what point does a shareholder say, a Tesla shareholders say, “Wait a minute, your actions at your private little hobby house are eroding the value of the stock that I bought.”
Kathryn Rubino: I mean, it’s not untrue.
Joe Patrice: I mean, I think an enterprising plaintiff’s attorney out there could be cooking up on class action.
Kathryn Rubino: Make some hay.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, for all the shareholder’s derivative action. Yeah. I don’t know. That was my takeaway from it.
Chris Williams: Both and like yes, that’s like the dub, but also, I did not have potential antitrust lawsuit from Elon buying Twitter on my bingo. Like, there was a point where he was like, “Yeah, if you use this to link to Mastodon, or Instagram, or Facebook, were — “I’m like, that is straight up, like anti-competitive.” There’s no way like Twitter isn’t in a like a major market control or in whatever social media.
Joe Patrice: I don’t know its always market. I don’t know it’s always market control. This is what Kathryn with curfew.
Chris Williams: It’s fucking Twitter.
Joe Patrice: No, yeah, exactly. I don’t think it’s even close to being —
Kathryn Rubino: I mean, you can say disparaging things about your opponent, right? Like the whole Coke, the Pepsi Coke wars, the cola wars, like that whole thing, right? It’s not like you can’t say to people whatever. And I mean, I think this is probably fine, like legally okay rule. I think it’s dumb.
Chris Williams: No, he was like, if you reference — he say, if you reference or acknowledge that a competitor exist on this platform, I’m blocking you.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. I don’t think there’s anything legally wrong with that. I think it is.
Chris Williams: Really?
Kathryn Rubino: I think it would be a very novel legal theory to pursue.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, no, but what I do think though is that when the only value to Twitter is the fact that there’s a community. Telling people that they’re getting kicked off because they do other things is problematic. Well, they aren’t even things that directly compete, which is another part of it, right? Like people are not —
Kathryn Rubino: I don’t put the same stuff on Twitter that I put on Instagram.
Joe Patrice: Exactly.
Kathryn Rubino: If you’re an artist, that’s probably doubly true.
Chris Williams: So Mastodon isn’t being like touted as like the replacement for Twitter?
Joe Patrice: Well, no, that’s a good point. Now Mastodon of course is trying to directly compete.
Chris Williams: And I should also mention that like, I’m a fan of the Sherman Act back when people were like, “Oh, this company is literally bigger than I’d like it to be. That’s a violation.” Like over time and Sherman Act kind of got like, cut at the knees so.
Joe Patrice: I mean, it’s certainly not employed as liberally as it once was.
Kathryn Rubino: It’s coming back though.
Joe Patrice: Well, this is a question —
Chris Williams: Which is why I’m hopeful.
Joe Patrice: But this is a question, Kathryn. Now, if you define the market as social media, obviously, Twitter does not have monopoly power or anything close to it, but if you define it very narrowly as like micro blogging platforms where it’s just Twitter versus Mastodon.
Kathryn Rubino: I think that’s interesting, but sort of a legal counter argument is that whatever the policy and it was only implemented for a very short amount of time.
Joe Patrice: True, it’s gone now.
Kathryn Rubino: It’s gone now. But also what has the actual impact been on Mastodon? I think that everything has been a tremendous increase in the amount of users on Mastodon.
Joe Patrice: That’s a good point.
Kathryn Rubino: So I’m not sure that what the harm is.
Joe Patrice: That’s fair.
Chris Williams: I didn’t know that the Sherman Act had a timeframe caveat. And also — So like you can you can just be hell of anti-competitive and if it’s only like two days, you’re fine.
Joe Patrice: Well, you have to measure what the impact to the anti-competitiveness was.
Kathryn Rubino: Right. It’s the what becomes the impact? If it’s something that has only been in effect for two days, the impact is obviously a lot smaller than a policy that lasted for two years.
Joe Patrice: Which also this goes back to Kathryn’s point which I think is the actually correct one that you know, befitting somebody who actually practiced in this area.
Kathryn Rubino: A little bit.
Chris Williams: True.
Joe Patrice: When the impact was not to kill Mastodon but instead to drive Mastodon signups 4000 times up. Then that probably —
Kathryn Rubino: Same for the hosts, same for —
Joe Patrice: It suggests that there isn’t much harm when all it did was forced more people over there.
Chris Williams: But doesn’t the Sherman Act traditional look at intent rather than outcome.
Kathryn Rubino: There’s two different kinds of litigation under the Sherman Act, right? One is a private plaintiff like if Mastodon wanted to sue, or if the government went after it. The government is not going to do that. First of all, by the time they got around to it, question what’s left of Twitter, right? But when you’re talking about a private plaintiff, obviously you want to look at what the harm of what the impact was of it.
Joe Patrice: You need damages if you’re pursuing a private claim.
Kathryn Rubino: It will be troubled because it’s antitrust.
Joe Patrice: Right. But I mean, this all goes back to how you end up with these cases where somebody wins, but only wins $1. That stuff happens because there’s no real direct damage.
Chris Williams: If you want to talk about timeframe, I think that there’s a significance on like how quickly there was a backlash against Mastodon because like there could have been more of a change over to Mastodon than what is now but for the chilling effect that the ban had.
Joe Patrice: Well, did it chill though? I mean, the numbers for Mastodon went up. Like I said, something like 4000.
Chris Williams: I don’t know about you all but when I went out, when I read the terms and condition was like “If you make any reference to a fire platform, I was like, “Oh, shit, does the ATL blog on Twitter have a reference to our to our Instagram?”” Right?
Joe Patrice: Right. Oh, yeah. But that wouldn’t be a chilling effect on going to Mastodon. Like, I see the example.
Chris Williams: But like it also prevented like link trees in people’s bios. I mean, I could be wrong, but essentially, I just had the conversation.
Kathryn Rubino: Well, first of all, again, no longer their policy first of all, but second of all, it doesn’t necessarily chill how people use Mastodon. It made me chills what you do on their own platform. But it doesn’t — I don’t know that there’s a direct link between what happens on other platforms and this policy on Twitter.
Joe Patrice: It is interesting. The best analogy I heard for it was from a senior lawyer at a big law firm who I follow who referred to the policy as this would be like eating at Olive Garden and then kicking you out because they overheard that last week you had a burger at Burger King or something or eating chilis or whatever. It’s just not really — it’s a dumb policy. I don’t necessarily know as though it’s anti-competitive, but it is a really bad one which is probably why it’s gone and probably why he —
Kathryn Rubino: Somebody probably spoke to him about it.
Joe Patrice: Probably why he’s trying to get out. Anyway. so this is great. I love this conversation. And this conversation was Small Talk, believe it or not. Yeah, so we haven’t even talked about the big stories of the week that we want to talk about. What do you want to talk about first? Do we want to go law or court or whatever we want to do?
Kathryn Rubino: I literally don’t care.
Joe Patrice: Let’s talk about —
Chris Williams: I’m flipping an invisible coin, but — It’s tails.
Joe Patrice: Let’s talk law firms then. So, we heard that Jones Day —
Kathryn Rubino: A little birdie told us also plug reminder, tips if you have weird things are going down at your law firm, your law school, anything in the legal industry, you can always send us a note, [email protected]. All our sources are kept strictly confidential.
Joe Patrice: Excellent point. So you can — Jones Day, a law firm that we have talked a lot about over the years. Obviously, there’s that great book ‘Servants of the Damned’, which you should pick up if you’re doing holiday books.
Kathryn Rubino: I’m actually giving it to my cousin for a Christmas gift. He’s headed to law school in the fall and I want to be like, “Here, this is what can happen if it’s bad.”
Joe Patrice: Yeah. So Jones Day, we found out that there was an associate who lateralled out of the firm in June or July, as earlier in the year.
Kathryn Rubino: Halfway through the year.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, and thought everything was fine, you know, got the usual sendoff that people get when they lateral from big law firms, and then got a little holiday treat from his old firm and emails saying, “You didn’t stay with us for a full two years so here’s your bill for Bar Prep services and your pay during bar study. Please give us $3,300” or whatever it was.
Kathryn Rubino: Some cheap ass shit right there. That’s what that is. I mean, come on. You are a global law firm. Take the L on the $3,300.
Joe Patrice: Well, yeah.
Chris Williams: Me personally, I’m built different. I would just have said, “Oh, no, that’s in my spam folder.”
Joe Patrice: Well, I mean, eventually. Yeah. I mean, there is something to be said for is does Jones Day care enough to file a lawsuit against this kid for it? But it just struck me as really ridiculous on a lot of level.
Kathryn Rubino: Small minded.
Joe Patrice: It’s petty, it’s dumb, it’s horrible publicity in all. But it just — look, if what is somebody commented and when I posted this on social media, the aforementioned Twitter actually, someone replied that, you know, you see this a lot with small and regional firms and I thought, yeah, like if you’re a small firm, first of all, a lot of small firms don’t pay for you to take the bar and take three months off. But if you are a small firm that did that, I can understand why you actually have some reason to believe that —
Kathryn Rubino: They’re not nearly as obscene as they are in big law.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. Okay. So you do need to stick around a little bit so that we can get our money back, fine. This is not the situation at Jones Day, a law firm where let’s conservatively estimate what young associate is billing out at, they made — they cleared over the salary and all adjusted expenses. They cleared something like $1 or $2 million off of the investment in this person all before laterally. So you’ve already made a profit of a neighborhood of a million, a million and a half or whatever and now you’re complaining about 3,300 bucks?
Kathryn Rubino: It’s small, it’s a small move and I also think like what a way to sour the relationship between the associate and the firm. Even if you know, maybe I’d pay it, maybe I wouldn’t, whatever, but the amount of vindictiveness I will continue to hold in my heart at a law firm that demanded that back is going to be legendary.
Joe Patrice: Yeah.
Chris Williams: I just wanted to say, in defense of Jones Day, what if the associate had bad vibes? You know, well, what does they have the audacity to wear argyle socks in 2022?
Joe Patrice: Fair. No, but that, that’s a great question. So is this a situation where there was some sort of a riff that they’re trying to be petty and vengeful over? At which point it really raises the question of how appropriate it is to selectively deploy a policy like this. I mean, are they going after everyone who laterals with this bill? More importantly, considering that it’s Jones Day, where they going after people who were bolting to become deputy US attorney and some backwards MAGA world? Because, look, we know that the Trump administration actively drew from Jones Day and drew from not particularly qualified people at Jones Day in its mad dash-defying —
Kathryn Rubino: According to the ABA.
Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean, it was trying to fill jobs with people who are a very small minority of lawyers because most lawyers are capable of not being MAGA people.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: And so they were, they were really digging, which is why they created a federal judge out of an associate there.
Kathryn Rubino: Associate.
Joe Patrice: The ABA was a little concerned about that. But an associate who only work there for 10 months. Now, that’s different than latterly, but —
Kathryn Rubino: Is it? You’re not getting your money back if you’re Jones Day.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, as a policy goes, they pay clerkship bonuses to this person and then she left to become —
Kathryn Rubino: Which are larger than your bar costs.
Joe Patrice: Right. And then she left to be a federal judge. Now, they may not have put in their employment agreement that there’s a clawback on clerkship bonuses, but that also is a choice. They basically said there’s some money that we pay people that we don’t care about getting back and some that we do. And, you know, that’s all a choice and not a particularly good one.
Kathryn Rubino: I mean, listen, they have their claws and they use it for — it’s probably been incredibly effective for years, which is that plenty of people don’t consider lateral options until after they’ve hit that two-year mark.
Joe Patrice: Right.
Kathryn Rubino: Take the W on what you’ve already used it for and the $3,000 is completely meaningless.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, yeah. It’s wild but you know, I think we could safely say that Jones Day does not care about its public image at this point, with the exception of Kevin Orr like whining about it all the time to anybody who questions the firm. Everybody else at that firm seems to be really leaning in to the Voldemort style reputation that they have.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, very much so.
Joe Patrice: Oh, well —
Chris Williams: Just a quicker side.
Joe Patrice: Sure.
Chris Williams: If everybody listening, if somebody ever identifies as a Slytherin, you should not trust them. You just don’t they were the Nazis. They had slaves. They called them house elves. Don’t trust Slytherins and if your firm has Slytherin vibes be better.
Joe Patrice: Now Chris is talking about ‘Harry Potter’ books for anybody who didn’t know that. Since now, this show has official policy of explaining every pop culture reference.
Chris Williams: ‘Harry Potter’, great book written by a turf, used to be homeless oddly enough, you know, but she’s, you know, she’s, she’s great now.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, you know, I was thinking about this, this morning. Like, in some ways, you got to respect her because most people with billion dollars in franchise rights constantly coming into their house might just, you know, sit down and soak it up. But she, she commits to her —
Kathryn Rubino: Trying so hard to lose that money.
Joe Patrice: She commits to her and form bigotry to the point where she’s willing to cost it. Yeah.
Chris Williams: If memory serves, I think she’s one of the first few people who like lost billionaire status because of how much money she was giving to charities.
Joe Patrice: Oh, maybe, yeah, yeah.
Chris Williams: I could be wrong but that feels right. We should just say she doesn’t care about the money. She’s going to do what she wants.
Joe Patrice: So, it’s been a busy time.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, yeah. You know how I know it’s busy?
Joe Patrice: How?
Kathryn Rubino: Because we’ve had the phone ringing off the hook.
Joe Patrice: Off the hook. Is it really on a hook?
Kathryn Rubino: Well, and you know, I think that it’s one of those phraseology —
Joe Patrice: Idioms that you’re just not going to let go of.
Kathryn Rubino: I’m not going to, but you know what I will let go of, my need to actually answer the telephone.
Joe Patrice: Okay, okay.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, yeah.
Joe Patrice: How will you do that?
Kathryn Rubino: Virtual receptionist services?
Joe Patrice: All right.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah.
Joe Patrice: That makes some sense.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, it really does.
Joe Patrice: So let’s hear from Posh about that.
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Craig Williams: Today’s legal news is rarely as straight forward as the headlines that accompany them. On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we provide the legal perspective you need to better understand the current events that shape our society. Join me, Craig Williams, and a wide variety of industry experts as we break down the top stories. Follow Lawyer 2 Lawyer on the Legal Talk Network or wherever you subscribe to podcasts.
Joe Patrice: Alright, so Kathryn, you wrote something about the Fifth Circuit and refusals.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, well, you might remember a year or so ago, the Wall Street Journal did this massive story about all these conflicts that federal judges had, all the stock that they owned, and they still heard cases where the company that they own stock of was a party to the litigation, so they obviously had a financial interest in the out — potentially had a financial outcome, interest in the outcome of the litigation but fail to recuse themselves. And this case that this is a Sloane Roberts was sued Walmart and the judge in her case, Rebecca Doherty did not recuse herself. She should have, she owned stock, she should have recused herself but did not. Now, the plaintiff has come back and said, “Well, we should vacate the results of that case and let’s start all over again with a judge that is not financially interested in the outcome of the case.” Fifth Circuit disagrees.
Joe Patrice: Yeah, Fifth Circuit basically said, “You know, we think this was really bad, and we’re going to publicly call out how bad it was.”
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, that is the only remedy if you have a judge that failed to recuse themselves when they should have.
Joe Patrice: And look, when I think a lot of us who went through law school had that moment where you learn that there are rules in this had comes up —
Kathryn Rubino: There are rules man.
Joe Patrice: Well, okay, this comes up a lot more in criminal procedure situations where, oh, you know, that was, that was an illegal search and what did the court do about that illegal search, they said, “Eh, probably would have found it anyway, go forward.”
Joe Patrice: The number of times that you start running into, in law school situations where the rules are broken and the courts say, it’s just too much of a burden for us to redo all this. So we’re just going to go ahead and call it even. From the court’s perspective, we have this Wall Street Journal report that came out with hundreds of judges in hundreds and hundreds of cases.
Kathryn Rubino: Over a thousand cases.
Joseph Patrice: Yeah. Over a thousand cases where improperly hearing the case based on the ethical rules that are applied judges. From the court’s perspective, reopening all those cases just because the judges screwed up is a massive drain on judicial resources. Totally. On the other hand, rules were broken and you have to have some sort of consequence for this.
Kathryn Rubino: It’s clearly a weighing that has to happen. But I think in this decision the Fifth Circuit is coming out pretty clearly that they’re going to be very heavily on the side of keeping the status quo that unless there are some very obvious evidence of bias or the ruling was wrong in some other way or if the issue at otherwise been preserved perhaps, but most likely if the only issue is that the judge had stuck and one of the parties in the case they are very, very unlikely to let you have a new trial.
Joseph Patrice: It’s a reckoning that has implication. Look, obviously, we’re talking about the Supreme Court having the most ethical problems because it has no real ethical rules at all. However, when the Federal Judiciary gets tagged with thousands of cases being compromised, when the response to that is, let’s just ignore all this. It’s not doing any wonders for the public faith in the courts, which seems like something that’s going to become an increasing problem in coming years for reasons above and beyond just ethics. We talked already about putting associates who have 10 months of legal practice under their belt on the federal bench, not great. When these sorts of issues are going to keep compounding, taking a hands-off approach to ethical violation, certainly seems like it could backfire.
Kathryn Rubino: And let’s not forget these are all federal cases. These are all federal judges which are underneath the Supreme Court. Yes, there are no ethical rules that applied to the Supreme Court, but the constant barrage of stories that are ethics corruption. Another ethics scandal, the Supreme Court, will they ever, you know, do something about the Clarence Thomas and Jenny Thomas problem to solve fuels a general sense of corruption about not just the Supreme Court, but the whole system at large and in the face of knowing that we have these sort of record low opinions of the federal court system, the Fifth Circuit being like, “Eh, too bad. So sad.” It’s not a great look.
Joseph Patrice: Yeah, no. For the first time ever, a good news Fed Soc. For the first time ever, we found something that trickles down. Unfortunately, it’s ethics problems. Your clients are expecting you to know a lot of things about a lot of things even topics like domain names.
Kathryn Rubino: Domains were definitely not covered in my law school classes.
Joseph Patrice: Worse yet, your client might want a domain name to protect their brand or support a product launch that’s already taken.
Kathryn Rubino: Fortunately, GoDaddy’s domain broker service can help. Expert brokers will help you securely and confidentially to get that perfect domain.
Joseph Patrice: To learn more, visit godaddy.com/dbs. So we just had last week, this actually happened a week-and-a-half ago but we didn’t really get an opportunity to talk about at the last recording. So let’s talk about it now. Brett Kavanaugh went to a party.
Kathryn Rubino: Woo!
Joseph Patrice: Yeah. I mean, it’s holiday time.
Kathryn Rubino: So, it’s a holiday season. You know, you got to —
Joseph Patrice: So he went partying with Matt Gaetz who you may remember has had a sex trafficking of a minor probe looming over him for a while. The Department of Justice ultimately determined not to pursue charges there. However, since then, his alleged co-conspirator in that situation has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to a decade in prison. So, you know —
Kathryn Rubino: Not a great look.
Joseph Patrice: It’s not a great look, but it’s also a situation where a person who, at least according to the leaks we’d already had might be in a position to, you know, testify for some benefits. Now, has every incentive to testify to get some benefits. So, you know, not a great time to be hitching your start of that wagon. But Brett Kavanaugh went to this party and hanging out with him. He was hanging out with friends who ran a company where several of his employees in the course of doing their job ended up being convicted of murder and manslaughter.
Kathryn Rubino: Well, you know.
Joseph Patrice: You know, I mean, break a few eggs. You have Alex Acosta who the former cabinet official, but who is also best known as —
Kathryn Rubino: Letting Jeffrey Epstein go.
Joseph Patrice: The prosecutor who determined that Jeffrey — when they caught Jeffrey Epstein the first time. Meh, slap on the wrist. Also, not a great person –put aside Kavanaugh, not a great person for Gaetz to be seen with probably right now. So, yeah. I mean, this is the kind of party and it raises the question, you know, there are no ethical rules obviously for the Supreme Court, but this is not great for the court’s —
Kathryn Rubino: Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Joseph Patrice: It’s not great for the court’s legitimacy and appearances. You know, we wrote the story and a lot of people pushed back saying, “Oh, you know, it’s just a Christmas party. He was friends with the hosts.” The hosts been the people who run CPAC. You know, what you can’t really blame him for wanting to accepting an invite. He’s not responsible for the guest list. You just accepted an invite from his friends and all I could think about that is, I think people are underselling the ethical complications here. I mean, Steve Miller was at this party and Steve Miller of course has cases in front of the court this term. So, not great. And they say, “Oh, well, what are the chances of the lawyers run into each other parties all the time.” It’s like yeah, they run into each other at the bar association or something, but you know, that’s not a place where people talk ex parte lobbying because they expect people to overhear them and snitch. This is the kind of party it looks like by the guest list where everybody was not going to snitch if something like that happens.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah, and the way that the party itself I believe was initially reported it was very much as like a society report like, “oh, someone so seen.”
Joseph Patrice: Politico’s just terrible. But I just want to point out like we have the conversation very recently of how Sam Alito skirted off all of these ethical violations about potentially divulging The Hobby Lobby decision before it was released by saying, “Oh no, it didn’t really happen.” But the problem with that story, the allegations of that story were he went to private parties with people with business before the court and was telling them what was going on. We just went through the situation that is exactly what’s being discussed here. We all felt skeeved out by that situation and now here it is again. So I don’t think it’s — these people trying to blow it off as oh, well, it’s just kind of a party are missing the point really because it’s the kind of party that is exactly what we just had an ethical blow up over and here it is again. But also with the more salacious and comedic value of Matt Gaetz and Alex Acosta being there, which, yeah.
It’s just really — this is the world the court lives in right now. I don’t know if the chief is even attempting to talk to his charges about behaving themselves in public, but certainly not great. Yeah. You know, the other thing people said I got flak from some wacko saying like, “Oh, well you didn’t criticize Sonia Sotomayor for speaking at ACS.” And I was like, “Yeah, I don’t criticize the conservative justices for speaking at Fed Soc per se either.” I think that’s perfectly fine.
Kathryn Rubino: And I think that criticizing the content of either of those judges is very much fair game.
Joseph Patrice: Exactly. And just as if Justice Sotomayor had used her ACS speech to be basically a political rally, I would criticize that. But just going there and giving a talk, I don’t see as a problem nor do I think that’s true of the conservative justices but for how they structured their speeches there. But for years before this one where Alito basically turned it into a rally, I’ve not had any issues with them speaking of Fed Soc. I think that’s perfectly fine. In fact, also ACS, I went to ACS only once and there was a Supreme Court justice who spoke and it was a Republican. So I don’t necessarily think it says as right wing as people want to play it up. But yeah, this is distinct from speaking at academic leaning judicial legal nerd conferences. I mean, this is a party and I think everybody has the flip side. They were like, “Oh, this is just a party. It’s different than those kinds of events.” And I was like, “Actually, those events are less problematic than a party.” I feel like a party with these people before the business before the court is uniquely worse. But, anyway.
Kathryn Rubino: Yeah. But here we are. More problems for the court’s credibility.
Joseph Patrice: The mere appearance of impropriety is not anything these folks care about at this point.
Kathryn Rubino: LOL!
Chris Williams: No, no, no. The mere appearance is the problem. Appearance of impropriety is okay. You just can’t have asset. Like, if you’re going to fuck up, fuck up royally.
Joseph Patrice: I mean, yeah.
Chris Williams: Or supremely actually, you know.
Joseph Patrice: Go supreme or go home.
Chris Williams: You feel me.
Joseph Patrice: I like it. I like it. You know what else I like?
Kathryn Rubino: What do you like?
Joseph Patrice: When people subscribed to the show so they get new episodes when they come out, which is always great.
You should be —
Kathryn Rubino: Give us reviews not just the stars.
Joseph Patrice: Yes.
Kathryn Rubino: So obviously, we’ll take them but the written reviews help us move up the algorithm and help other people find us as a legal podcast.
Joseph Patrice: I think that’s true. You should listen to the Jabot, Kathryn’s other podcast so you can hear me on the Legal Tech Week Journalist Roundtable. You can also listen to all the various shows of The Legal Talk Network. You should read Above the Law, see the stories and more as they come out, you can follow it on the [email protected]. It also —
Kathryn Rubino: Also on Mastodon @atlblog.
Joseph Patrice: Okay. It’s also atlblog on Mastodon. I’m Joseph Patrice on Twitter, which funny story I was Joe Patrice on Twitter but I was such an early adapter that I signed up, didn’t really do anything with it for several years. And then when Twitter came back around, I couldn’t figure out how to log myself back in. Which is why I created the new Joseph Patrice, which I am there. To the extent, I’m on other platforms. I’m Joe Patrice at Mastodon.
Kathryn Rubino: We don’t have those rules you can say. You know, which platform–
Joseph Patrice: Yeah. No, exactly. At Mastodon and in about 20 minutes post. Kathryn is @[email protected].
Kathryn Rubino: @[email protected] on Mastodon and I’m @[email protected].
Joseph Patrice: Okay.
Kathryn Rubino: Kathryn1 was not available.
Joseph Patrice: Oh, I didn’t know that you got your post approved too. All right.
Kathryn Rubino: I did.
Joseph Patrice: So, yeah. I just have enough time to sign up for it. And Chris is @WritesForRent on Twitter and —
Chris Williams: I’m @trumpliesmatter on Parlor.
Joseph Patrice: Okay. Yeah. All right. So, you’re just still on that for now?
Chris Williams: Just on Twitter.
Joseph Patrice: Just Twitter? All right. Okay. Good, good, good. Anyway. You know, it’s making this whole section more complex every day.
Kathryn Rubino: And longer.
Joseph Patrice: Yeah.
Kathryn Rubino: You can’t just fast forward through it.
Joseph Patrice: That’s true. You shouldn’t because there’s so much good thing.
Kathryn Rubino: So much.
Joseph Patrice: Yeah. So much. All right. Anyway. So with all that said, I think we are done.
Kathryn Rubino: Peace.
Chris Williams: Don’t trust Slytherins.
Joseph Patrice: And thank you as always to Posh and GoDaddy Domain Broker Service for sponsoring the show.
Kathryn Rubino: Thanks.
Male: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
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|Published:||December 21, 2022|
|Podcast:||Above the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer|
|Category:||Legal Entertainment , News & Current Events|
Above the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer
Above the Law's Joe Patrice and Kathryn Rubino examine everyday topics through the prism of a legal framework.