July 28, 2012

I’ve been too busy with real work to blog lately, but I feel like taking a break and publishing some thoughts…

Before I started my own firm, I was considering leaving the law in general to pursue a career in real estate. Law was getting so boring… was the light red, or was the light green? Was the person speeding? Are the medical bills reasonable and necessary? Do you think the court actually bothered to read my brief? Probably not, but I can’t blame them. The brief was meaningless anyway, and mostly copy / pasted from my last one. I’ll shut up and go bill some hours.

But as fortune would have it, I had the pleasure of meetingΒ Marc Randazza, First Amendment badass andΒ author of a blog calledΒ The Legal Satyricon. I’ve never seen someone use humor, knowledge, and skill in such an effective way. Marc is a guy who writes with passion and inspiration.

If I have learned one thing from my foray into “solo practice”, and from guys like Marc and Scott Greenfield, it’s this – anyone can do anΒ adequateΒ job. Even a good job. But it doesn’t take much more effort to do an excellent job. And when you strive to do an excellent job, you’ll be surprised at how much more enjoyable practicing law is.Β And you can do an excellent job on cases that may seem boring.

For instance, consider a personal injury case: “On May 18, 2011, the Plaintiff became injured due to the aforesaid negligence of the Defendant, Michael Smith, who was operating a motor vehicle at an unsafe speed while intoxicated. As a result, Mr. Jones sustainedΒ permanentΒ injuries, which include, but are not limited to, a broken back confining him to a wheelchair.”


Instead try “Michael Smith was drunkenly driving his BMW home from a nightclub at about 70 miles per hour when it spun out of control and smashed headfirst into Joe Jones. Mr. Jones is now confined to a wheelchair, where his doctor says he will remain for life. Mr. Jones has over $87,000 in medical bills, and chances are he will never walk again. However, Mr. Smith saved $7.75 in cab fare.”

If you’re going to do something, anything, make it awesome. From start to finish. Don’t just do a “good enough” job.

Find some passion, get inspired, and then go destroy the opposition. Don’t be afraid to do things a little differently, or to be bold.Β There is nothing better than coming back from court with a few heads on a pike. Or to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

Federal Judge: “Sure, their employment statistics are misleading, but if you are dumb enough to enroll in Cooley Law, you deserve what you get.”

July 21, 2012

On Friday, the court dismissed the case against Thomas M. Cooley School of Law for allegedly having misleading employment statistics. The Court pretty much took the position that “Sure… Cooley’s employment statistics are misleading. But everyone knows that, so if you chose to go to a 4th tier school, that falls on you.” According to the court:

Without question, the Employment Reports are inconsistent, confusing, and inherently untrustworthy.

Sometimes hope and dreams triumph over experience and common sense. Nevertheless, it would be unreasonable for Plaintiffs to rely on two bare-bones statistics in deciding to attend a bottom-tier law school with the lowest admission standards in the country. In addition, β€œ[i]t is widely accepted that American law schools, Cooley included, employ all sorts of legerdemain to boost employment rates in a contracting legal market” (Pls.’ Resp. at 5); once again, Plaintiffs state that they had other reasons to not rely upon the Employment Reports. Furthermore, whether before or during Plaintiffs’ attendance at Cooley, it would have been unreasonable to continue to rely on the Employment Reports because of the economy’s massive downfall, which hit the legal business as hard as any.”

The bottom line is that the statistics provided by Cooley and other law schools in a format required by the ABA were so vague and incomplete as to be meaningless and could not reasonably be relied upon. But, as put in the phrase we lawyers learn early in law school– caveat emptor.

While I would be a terrible juror in one of these lawsuits, I think it should have been allowed to proceed before a jury. I don’t have a strong opinion about Cooley, other than I think they are douchebags for filing a defamation lawsuit against an anonymous blogger. According to Marc Randazza:
This lawsuit is a heinous crime against free expression. May an even worse pox than the one currently afflicting it befall that institution for turning the courts into an instrument to beat down free speech and censor the reality that everyone – including many jobless and hopeless Cooley alumni – knows to be true: Cooley sucks.

Thanks to Working Class Creative for Our Awesome New Sign.

July 20, 2012

Thanks to Working Class Creative for Our Awesome New Sign.

We have a new hand-lettered sign thanks to Working Class Creative. Click on the photo to see more of their stuff, or get in touch with them at

Vincent Dispoto Lawyers Up and Sends Kensington Resident Threat of a SLAPP Suit for Re-Publishing Public Documents

July 18, 2012

Last week I wrote about Vincent Dispoto, who achieved notorietyΒ by threatening a Kensington resident with a SLAPP suitΒ for blogging about his criminal caseΒ and statingΒ his property taxes are late. Vincent Dispoto wants to put a nightclub that serves malt liquor baby shower nightclubΒ  in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Naturally, this drew some criticism and commentary from local residents, and now the criticism is drawing threats of a lawsuit.

Dispoto lawyered up, and his attorney wrote me this letter.Β (sorry, it’s a .DOC file, that is how it was sent to me.)

Our response can be found here.

And you can read about the whole saga here.

I represent Philadeliquency.

Developer Vincent Dispoto Threatens Defamation Lawsuit Against Poster

July 12, 2012

Some of you know our neighborhood message board,

TodayΒ Vincent R. Dispoto, Jr., a member of Dispoto Realty LLC, threatened a lawsuitΒ against a poster called “Kenzo” in connection with his blog, Philadeliquency.Β Mr. Dispoto is a developerΒ proposing a nightclub at 2644-58 E Huntingdon Street. The proposal has generated some criticism because it involvesΒ servingΒ take out malt liquor.

Kenzo had been critical of Dispoto’s proposal on the Philadeliquency blog, and pointed out that Mr.Β Dispoto was a defendant in the matter ofΒ State v. Dispoto, 189 N.J. 108 (N.J. 2007).

The Fishtown Lawyers, counsel for Philadeliquency, have responded.

A .PDF copy of our letterΒ is here.

Shameless Plug β€” I’m a Staff Writer for the Lawyerist.

July 6, 2012

For those of you who haven’t yet caught wind, I’m now a staff writer forΒ The Lawyerist. There, I’ll tackle the thorny issues surrounding men’s professional dress.

Take a gander at my articles, where I like to begin with a fictionalized narrative, often at Jordan’s expense.

Leave comments and hatemail here or there. If you have an issue you’d like addressed in a future article, let me know.