Opening Statements

Hearsay: December 2013

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The number of women now authorized to practice law in Saudi Arabia

Source: Jurist, Oct. 7.


The amount of attorney fees that MTV’s 16 and Pregnant star Kristina Head was ordered to pay on behalf of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton after losing a libel claim against him.

Source: Hollywood, Esq., Sept. 30.


The number of patent assertion entities (aka “patent trolls”) that are publicly traded companies.

Source: “Stumping Patent Trolls on the Bridge to Innovation” (PDF), Progressive Policy Institute, Oct. 1.

$85 billion

Total combined revenue last year for the world’s 100 largest law firms.

Source: The American Lawyer, Oct. 1.

$500 million

The estimated amount of legal fees Weil, Gotshal & Manges has collected as counsel to Lehman Brothers Holdings in its Chapter 11 filing.

Source:, Sept. 11.

What to Give That Lawyer Who Has Everything?

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? May we suggest a copy of The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance? This humorous book by San Francisco lawyer Kevin Underhill is a collection of some 200 of the most outrageous laws and legal tidbits from around the world, including the original meaning of the term strip search, how Brazilians take pity on stutterers, and even the 1969 law that makes killing Sasquatch a felony. The ABA-published title is $22.95 and available to order this month at the ABA Web Store.

Say What?

“Flogging. And what I would say now is, yes, if a state enacted a law permitting flogging, it is immensely stupid, but it is not unconstitutional. A lot of stuff that’s stupid is not unconstitutional. I gave a talk once where I said they ought to pass out to all federal judges a stamp, and the stamp says: Whack! [pounds his fist]—STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL. Whack! [pounds again]—STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL! Whack!—STUPID BUT CONSTITUTIONAL … [laughs]. And then somebody sent me one.” —Justice Antonin Scalia, New York magazine, Oct. 6.

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