New Study Adds to the Debate Surrounding Ideological Divides and the United States Supreme Court

Posted on Categories Judges & Judicial Process, U.S. Supreme CourtLeave a comment» on New Study Adds to the Debate Surrounding Ideological Divides and the United States Supreme Court

Democrats Republicans boxingThe New York Times published an article detailing the results of a new study regarding the career paths of former United States Supreme Court clerks.  The study finds that “former clerks have started to take jobs that reflect the ideologies of the justices for whom they worked.”  The data collected show a shift in the career paths of clerks hired from 1990 and on:

 Until about 1990, the study shows, there was no particular correlation between a justice’s ideological leanings and what his or her clerks did with their lives.

 Clerks from conservative chambers are now less likely to teach. If they do, they are more likely to join the faculties of conservative and religious law schools. Republican administrations are now much more likely to hire clerks from conservative chambers, and Democratic administrations from liberal ones. Even law firm hiring splits along ideological lines.

It is no secret that the justices have shown a greater propensity to hire clerks that share their ideological beliefs (as the article and previous studies explain).  Yet this newest study, which focuses on life post-clerkship, has alarmed those already worried about the strong ideological splits on the Court.  Says law professor William Nelson of NYU, “It’s cause for concern mainly because it’s a further piece of evidence of the polarization of the court.” Continue reading “New Study Adds to the Debate Surrounding Ideological Divides and the United States Supreme Court”

Add Judges To The List of Professionals Who Must Take Care In Using Facebook

Posted on Categories Computer Law, Judges & Judicial Process, Legal Ethics6 Comments on Add Judges To The List of Professionals Who Must Take Care In Using Facebook

facebook-scales-2Professor Lisa Mazzie posted a blog entry back in September about the use of Facebook and other social networking websites by lawyers.  The post shed light on the trouble an attorney can face when the substance of his or her webpage falls short of professional standards.  As Professor Mazzie explained, postings that “criticize” judges, “reveal” client details, or “belie” statements made before a court can land an attorney in hot water.

Those facts should not surprise present and former Marquette students: we were presented with the professional dangers of social networking during new student orientation.

It likely was only a matter of time, but it seems that state ethics committees have turned their attention to the judiciary.  The Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee released an opinion last month that, among other things, finds it inappropriate for a judge to “friend” lawyers on social networking sites when those lawyers may appear before that judge. Continue reading “Add Judges To The List of Professionals Who Must Take Care In Using Facebook”

A Decade-Old Statute Pays Dividends for REIT Investors and Their Attorneys

Posted on Categories Business Regulation, Health CareLeave a comment» on A Decade-Old Statute Pays Dividends for REIT Investors and Their Attorneys

Perhaps real estate investors and their attorneys have reason to be cautiously optimistic: economic reports released this week indicate signs of life in the real estate market.  As reported by the Associated Press, the National Association of Realtors saw increases in pending home sales for the ninth straight month.  And for the first time in six months, construction spending saw an increase.  Optimists say these numbers, in conjunction with recent reports that home prices are climbing, indicate long-term recovery for both the residential and commercial real estate sectors.

Yet many analysts argue that these spikes are temporary.  The growth in construction spending amounted to a measly 0.04%, and the rise in pending sales contracts over the last nine months is attributable to the homebuyer tax credit, which the Obama Administration and Congress recently extended.

I suppose time will tell which analysis is correct.  But while commentators continue to debate, real estate investors have shifted their focus from traditional residential and commercial endeavors to a sector less affected by the downturn: healthcare properties. Continue reading “A Decade-Old Statute Pays Dividends for REIT Investors and Their Attorneys”