Against the tide
By Anna Louie Sussman
With law school applications at their lowest levels in a decade and the job market already saturated with lawyers, some colleges and universities are taking the counterintuitive road and opening new law schools, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Confused? So are we. Brian Z. Tamanaha, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, calls the current environment "the worst possible time to open a new law school," but the article says there is some explanation for the trend. In some cases, the schools may have been betting on an economic upturn, when increased business activity would generate new demand for legal services. In others, the new schools appear to serve regions with few existing law schools.
However, there are law school opening in areas that seem to have plenty already. For example, the University of North Texas is planning to open a law school next year, "down the road" from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, the Journal says.
By Caitlin Tremblay
Paul Raef, the photographer charged under California’s anti-paparazzi law for being involved in a high-speed pursuit of pop star Justin Bieber, isn’t off the hook just yet.
An appeals panel in Los Angles said in a brief that contrary to what a Superior Court judge ruled In November, the anti-paparazzi law appears to be constitutional, according to the Associated Press. Raef was the first person charged under the 2010 law, which imposes harsher penalties for those who break traffic laws or interfere with a celebrity’s vehicle in order to get a photo. Breaking this law is punishable by six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The Superior Court judge must now review his order. He can either decide to schedule additional arguments in the case or stand by his decision, causing a full appeal.
Raef was charged with reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain, following another vehicle too closely and failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officers for driving over 80 mph to get a snapshot of the Canadian heartthrob. Bieber was also cited for speeding at the time but claimed he was trying to flee the pack of paparazzi.
The legal Ed Koch
By Dan Brillman
With all the remembrances (including this wonderful obituary in The New York Times) flowing in for iconic former New York Mayor Ed Koch, we here at Summary Judgments must mention his legal legacy.
According to the Times, Koch graduated from NYU Law School in 1948, founded the firm of Koch, Lankenau, Schwartz & Kovner and went on to practice law for 20 years before becoming a U.S. congressman. Later, after his term as mayor ended, Koch joined Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn & Berman, which later became Bryan Cave, as partner.
And lest we forget, Hizzoner had a two-year stint in the late 1990s as presiding judge on “The People’s Court.” RIP, Mayor Koch.
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
India is facing a “cultural emergency” akin to the 1970s, when the government suspended civil liberties, says writer Salman Rushdie in a statement published by Outlook India. The author was speaking out about a series of incidents over the past few days involving the free speech rights of filmmakers, authors and other artists.
In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, a new film described by the Agence France-Presse as a spy thriller, was forced out of cinemas when Muslim groups complained that they were portrayed in poor light. The state government banned the film on grounds it could cause a law and order problem, though experts say it is more a question of politics than religion, according to Al Jazeera. At the Jaipur literary festival, attended by many of the world’s leading writers and novelists, Ashis Nandy, a sociologist, was questioned by police over a comment that seemingly had caste-ist overtures. Rushdie himself was asked by state police to stay away from the city of Kolkata, where he was scheduled to promote a film adapted from his Booker Prize winning novel “Midnight’s Children.”
The right to free speech, albeit subject to some restrictions, is written into India’s constitution. The recent incidents, experts say, suggest that the government is pandering to extremist groups. Manu Joseph, an editor of an Indian news weekly, writing in The New York Times, says the blame for the continued affront to free speech lies squarely with the state, whose first reaction is to appease those who claim to have been offended.
By Anna Louie Sussman
An art gallery that closed in 2011 after being accused of
selling forged artwork has been charged yet again, this time in
a lawsuit alleging it turned a $4.75 million profit off a fake
Mark Rothko painting, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in
Manhattan by the Martin Hilti Family Trust against the Knoedler
Gallery. It alleges the oil, which the gallery purchased from a
dealer named Glafira Rosales, was deemed a "fantastic Rothko" by
the gallery's president, Ann Freedman.
The painting, "Untitled (1956)," for which the Hilti family
paid $5.5 million in 2002, turned out to be more phony than
fantastic, according to the lawsuit. The complaint says Rosales,
who sold it to the Knoedler Gallery for $750,000 earlier that
year, had a dodgy backstory about how she came to acquire it and
other works by Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and
other artists, none of which Freedman disclosed.
A forensic analysis of "Untitled (1956)" turned up a red
pigment that did not exist until the 1960s, the lawsuit said,
years after the painting was said to be created, according to
The Knoedler Gallery operated out of a townhouse on East
70th Street until December 2011, when a Belgian collector showed
the gallery results of a test proving a $17 million Pollock he
had purchased was bogus.
Summary Judgments for January 31
Summary Judgments for January 30
Summary Judgments for January 29
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