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Old 11-29-2007, 10:25 PM
Howard Treesong Howard Treesong is offline
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Default Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

I for one thought yesterday's thread about the Texas vigilante was thought provoking and thought a more general law thread might be in order. My background: I received my law degree from Duke in 1989, after which I clerked for a federal judge in Atlanta. A federal court of appeal handles appeals from every kind of case: criminal, civil, habeas, INS, you name it. I then started practicing for a huge national firm with a small office in Los Angeles, where I remained for sixteen years. I litigated a fairly wide range of commercial cases (contract, antitrust, commercial tort, copyright, product liability and even a little IP), making partner along the way. A year and a half or so ago, I jumped ship and now manage litigation for a piece of a huge company you all would recognize. My expertise is primarily in litigation, but any questions re career tracks, law practice, or substantive areas are fair game. I'll stay away from overtly political issues (like Guantanamo) even though they might be law-related. My general political leanings are right-libertarian, to the extent that matters.

Flame on! Ask away!

To start the discussion off, I'll relate today's big law news item: the indictment of Richard "Dickie" Scruggs. Scruggs made a ton of money on plaintiffs-side asbestos and tobacco litigation. He is Trent Lott's brother in law. The indictment arises out of a fee dispute over a Katrina case; Scruggs stands accused of paying a state judge $50,000 through an intermediary for a favorable ruling. He is also accused of defying a court order to return certain documents in a separate Katrina case, although that for now is separate from the indictment.

Let me also observe that I thought the vigilante situation was not clear cut. I do not think we should live in a society that permits theft or robbery without significant risk to the perp; at the same time, anyone who is not troubled by the shooter's actions and judgments takes a rather too cavalier view of the value of human life.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:29 PM
bobman0330 bobman0330 is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

What were the keys to your success at your old firm?
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:29 PM
gumpzilla gumpzilla is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

[ QUOTE ]

Let me also observe that I thought the vigilante situation was not clear cut. I do not think we should live in a society that permits theft or robbery without significant risk to the perp

[/ QUOTE ]

Imprisonment isn't a significant risk?
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:43 PM
gobbomom gobbomom is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

I don't have a question as yet, but I wanted to say that I am a big fan Howard, and I will eagerly follow this thread.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:47 PM
Kneel B4 Zod Kneel B4 Zod is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

Howard,

Is Barry Bonds a criminal now? was he before he was indicted?
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2007, 10:51 PM
knockonwood knockonwood is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

What made you want to become a lawywer? Being accepted into law school usually indicates you are a very capable person and would imply you have a lot of options. Why did you choose law over the other options you had?
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:02 PM
James Boston James Boston is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

Howard-

You found my last news link interesting, so here's another.

Link

This happened close to me. For those that don't want to read the story, some sick f**ks skinned a dog alive.

Here's the question I'm putting out...

I believe crimes of this nature clearly indicate that the person responsible has a predisposition to much more serious crimes later in life. I know, it's just a dog, but should we treat crimes like this more seriously for the benefit of preventing more serious, future crimes?
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2007, 11:06 PM
turnipmonster turnipmonster is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

what kind of pro bono work do you do, if any? what area of law do you find the most interesting?
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2007, 11:11 PM
gumpzilla gumpzilla is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

To ask a less hijacky question than my first, what level of knowledge about the law should a random person have? If it's hard to give a broad answer here, what criteria cause you to adjust your answer?
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2007, 11:15 PM
Howard Treesong Howard Treesong is offline
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Default Re: Ask Howard Treesong About Law or Lawyering

[ QUOTE ]
What were the keys to your success at your old firm?

[/ QUOTE ]

A fair ability to write clearly and simply. A fair ability to learn useful skills from senior people early one while not adopting their weak points. A willingness to put up with crummy, difficult work for several years and take lessons from it rather than whine. I don't have much raw jury charisma, nor was I much of a client development guy --both of which ultimately limited my career.

I also benefitted from the fact that I really did enjoy significant aspects of the practice. Courtroom time is really a blast in the right circumstances.
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