By Dan Brillman
Anchored putting, a popular golfing technique where players
rest or "anchor" putters against a part of their body, will be
against USGA regulations from January 2016. The new rule will
"prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club
held directly against the player's body, or with a forearm held
against the body to establish an anchor point that indirectly
anchors the club."
The style of many golfers, including stars Adam Scott, Webb
Simpson and Ernie Els, could be affected by the change. Keegan
Bradley, currently ranked 15th in the world, recently told
Golfweek Magazine that he would "do whatever I have to do to
protect myself and the other players on tour." Did Bradley mean
lawsuit? If so, he really doesn't have a putter to lean on,
Vermont Law professor Michael McCann told Golf.com.
McCann said that because golfers are essentially independent
contractors and not members of a union, they cannot challenge
the rule change as a violation of a collectively bargained
Players' only hope for a case would be an antitrust suit.
But even that's a long shot since the golfers would have to
prove that the terms of employment have changed and that the
market for quality golfers has been diluted -- not a very sound
argument. Besides, courts generally defer to governing bodies'
rules, as in 1981's Gunter v. Hartz, in which a tennis equipment
manufacturer sued the sport's governing body over its ban on
"spaghetti" or double-strung racquets. Bradley and his cohorts
are probably going to have to learn to putt the old-fashioned
way. They have three years to practice.
Time for a veto?
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
The latest version of the annual military budget might
prevent the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Prison, says a
coalition of advocacy groups that has written to President
Barack Obama urging him to veto the budget, reports Politico.
(Hat tip: Lawfare.)
On Nov. 27, a coalition including the ACLU, Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch, wrote a letter to the
president expressing concern about the deadline for transferring
detainees from the prison. The transfers are set to expire March
27, 2013, but if the deadline is extended -- a possibility under
the proposed budget -- "the prospects for Guantanamo being
closed during (Obama's) presidency will be severely diminished,"
says the coalition. To close Guantanamo, which the coalition
labels a "hallmark" of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, a
veto will be needed, it says.
Lawfare argues that a veto is the only effective move
available to the president to close the prison. It is unlikely
Obama will use it, though, given his "crowded field of other
legislative priorities" and the fact that he has failed to veto
past versions of the military budget in spite of the transfer
Wachtell vs Harvard
By Erin Geiger Smith
Some highbrow legal battles are fought in courtrooms.
Others, it seems, are waged via memo. One intellectual skirmish
that keeps popping up on our radar is between the merger and
acquisition department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and
members of Harvard Law School's Shareholder Rights Project, a
clinic that promotes what it believes are better corporate
On Wednesday top Wachtell partners, including Martin Lipton,
wrote a memo complaining about the project, calling it
"misguided" and finding it "disappointing that a leading law
school" would be a place for advocacy.
The M&A partners were miffed by some clinic press releases
touting its success in pushing corporations to hold annual
elections for board members, rather than staggering those
elections. Wachtell partners and clinic leader Professor Lucian
Bebchuk disagree on which is the best corporate governance
For a blow-by-blow account of the legal dispute, check out
the letter and Reuters' April coverage of round 1 between these
two groups of brainy boxers. As for any bad blood between the
parties, Bebchuk told us in the spring that he and several of
the Wachtell partners have been friends for years. All's fair,
it seems, in love and corporate governance.
Dean to critics: Lighten up
By Erin Geiger Smith
As Reuters reported yesterday, the number of people who took
the law school entrance exam this year, and the number who
enrolled as One Ls fell pretty dramatically this year. This
comes after several years of questions about why so many people
are still going to law school despite the tough job market and
high tuition costs.
One law school dean is apparently tired of all the
negativity. Case Western Reserve University law school dean
Lawrence Mitchell writes an op-ed in The New York Times
Thursday, and its simple headline sums up his argument: "Law
School is Worth the Money."
Mitchell says the "press, bloggers and a few sensationalist
law professors" have turned promising potential lawyers against
the idea of law school. Though he admits the job market it bad,
he argues it's been this miserable before and there's too much
of a focus on a graduate's first job. Law students, he says, are
educated for a full career, and that could include a variety of
productive things that don't fall under the umbrella of
Mitchell provides a variety of numbers to convince readers
that lawyers do pretty well in the long run. If they just stick
it out they'll be able to pay off their law school debt, which
runs about $125,000. The average lawyer's annual salary exceeds
that amount, says Mitchell, adding "You'd consider a home
mortgage at that ratio to be pretty sweet."
Having it all
By Dan Brillman
Two British women have started a legal outsourcing business
that aims to give work mostly to female lawyers who leave firm
life to have families.
According to CNN (hat tip: ABA Journal), Obelisk Legal
Support works with 100 lawyers who will provide legal help to
firms and companies at flexible, hourly rates commensurate with
what the attorneys made before ditching full-time law.
Co-founder Dana Denis-Smith tells CNN that many women she
talks to "feel they have been forgotten and their skills don't
matter anymore. We have built a business around a skill set that
has not been tapped into." She cites stark statistics that show
women in the UK make up 70 percent of starter lawyers but only
12 percent of partners.
Men who want a more flexible lifestyle can also work at
Obelisk, but the enterprise is clearly geared toward the working
mother. "What do we want to say to our daughters?" Obelisk
co-founder Charlotte Devlin asked. "That law is a great
profession until you have children?"
Summary Judgments for November 28
Summary Judgments for November 27
Summary Judgments for November 26
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