: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Those who live by the lawsuit…

Looks like I omitted the most interesting tidbit in my previous post, on O’Quinn being ordered to repay to his former clients part of the fees he received for a lucrative tort settlement. Some of the former clients were represented by none other than Joe “whacha gonna do about it fat boy?” Jamail.

Mary Flood at the Houston Chronicle delves into the seamy underbelly of a lawyer-on-lawyer suit in Legal trend of leveling suits against fellow litigators likened to cannibalism. There is apparently some history between the two although both attorneys deny starting it.

“I’ve never been fighting with Joe,” O’Quinn said. “Joe started fighting, I guess, with me when someone wrote an article in the National Law Journal saying I was the ‘king of torts.’ He thought he was the king of torts. . . . You can add two and two and figure out what’s going on — ego.” Jamail said there is no bad blood.

Austin American-Statesman: Powerhouse lawyer loses $35.7 million ruling.

Professor Richard Alderman on the 54 million dollar pant case

In this Chronicle op-ed Houston Law Professor Richard Alderman points out What the ‘pant rant’ on talk radio misses about lawsuits (archive), advocates for tort reform are pointing to Judge Pearson’s $54 million dollar pant case for all the wrong reasons. The judge tossed this case and Pearson out on his proverbial can.

Jenkens & Gilchrist, Not So Fired Up Anymore (Must See TV)

I hadn’t really thought it worth bothering to mention the recent demise of Dallas firm Jenkens & Gilchrist until I saw this on Google video.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog chronicled the rise and fall of Jenkens & Gilchrist in which a Chicago partner’s aggressive tax advice eventually lead to of lawsuits by clients and federal investigations in which Jenkens paid a $76 million IRS penalty and agreed to close its doors.

I’d say that video alone was enough to deserve some kind of sanction.

Lawyer Advertising


AroundTownHouston Blog asks ‘What kind of lawyer advertises like this?‘ to which the Chicago-based firm of Fetman Garland says:


Goodness. Since I’ve got the song in my head now anyway, I may as well give a plug to fellow maniac Slaid Cleaves ‘Horses & Divorces’ from his Wishbones album:

I met Willie by the still, he was brewin’ a batch
He had a short cigar and one last match
He was tellin’ me ’bout his latest trouble with the government
He had child support and alimony
He was looking depressed and kinda lonely
Just tryin’ to figure out where all his hard earned money went

“Well I’ll be go to Hell,” he said,
” I got nothing but a Ford and a barn full of hay
If it weren’t for horses and divorces
I’d be a lot better off today”

Robert Sutton, the No Asshole Rule

I was talking about this with Andrew Smith at Pub Fiction the other night and he suggested I blog it. I’ve never done a request before, but I guess it’s not a bad idea. Got a suggestion? E-mail me.

Robert Sutton, a Stanford professor of management science, knew he hit a nerve with the response to his article “Breakthrough Ideas for 2004: More Trouble Than They’re Worth.” Harvard Business Review, 83(2): 19-20. That article would later turn into The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t (Amazon).

Sutton defines a jerk as one who oppresses, humiliates, de-energizes or belittles a subordinate or a colleague, causing that person to feel worse about him or herself. Tactics include personal insults, sarcasm, teasing, shaming or treating people as if they were invisible. He distinguishes between “temporary” jerks, those with the potential to act like jerks but who don’t do so all the time, and “certified” jerks, who are routinely nasty. The certified jerks are the ones who pose the greatest threat to an organization’s culture. (SF Gate)

Guy Kawasaki did an informal poll on Google and generated the telling graphic below. The practice of law, one might surmise, has more than its fair share. It may be no small coincidence that Sutton’s wife is a corporate lawyer in Silicon Valley and encouraged Sutton in writing the book through her own experiences at the office.

Guy Kawasaki: The results of an informal ‘google poll.’

It’s not uncommon to hear the idea expressed in legal circles that being known as an asshole is either synonymous with or an unavoidable consequence of doing ones job. Sutton takes care to point out the true cost of assholes to their organizations and notes that even rainmaking assholes often ultimately cost the firm more than they bring in. For a in-depth description, check out his interview with Moira Gunn below.

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Interview with Moira Gunn on IT Conversations

Further reading: Robert Sutton article in, Chuck Newton, Stay Violation, Robert Sutton Video, 50 LessonsRobert Sutton’s Blog.

Are you an asshole? Take the ARSE test.

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