Paralegal / Legal Secretary Job

October 23, 2016

Randazza Legal Group needs another paralegal / legal secretary.

The successful candidate must be enthusiastic about working for a firm that does First Amendment Law and international intellectual property law. Candidates must be in Las Vegas or willing to relocate to Vegas.

You must be organized. In fact, really organized, because the boss lacks that quality.

Experience as a paralegal is helpful, but not required. College helps, but is not necessary. Although, if you did go to college and you majored in English or Journalism, please step this way, past the velvet rope, and sit down. You’re going to the VIP lounge of candidates. You know why I like English/Journalism majors? Because usually they can compose a coherent sentence, or guess what word I wrote in some edits that are in my terrible, terrible penmanship.

If you can’t spell or notice typos, you’re not going to last more than a week. Attention to detail really matters. I stop reading when I see the first typo in a letter, and then I tell you to do it again. If you get the letter handed back to you three times, you get a prize! A new job. Somewhere else. I don’t care where. Your job is to make mine easier, not harder.

Send your resume to me with a short cover email. If you are wondering if it is too long, then it is. One page resume only.

If you do not know where to send a resume, that’s too bad. Figuring things like that out is going to be part of your job. Figure it out.

NOTE: Every time I post a job like this, I get attorneys and recent law grads applying too. I’ll consider JDs for the position, but only if you’re prepared to make a 1-2 year commitment to staying in the support staff ranks. Also, if you’re a JD who thinks “I’m a JD, lah dee freakin dah, I can do a paralegal’s job drunk ” then you’re an idiot. A paralegal’s job is way harder than a first year associate’s job.


Associate Attorney Position

October 23, 2016

This position has been filled as of November 23, 2016.  

Randazza Legal Group is looking for an associate attorney with 1-5 years of experience, but others will be considered.

Should you apply?  Will you do no harm to the First Amendment, nor through inaction allow harm to come to the First Amendment?   Then maybe you’ll fit in.

We mostly make our living doing First Amendment litigation, but we have a lot of international intellectual property work, work on §230 immunity cases, and we’re doing a lot more privacy based work too.  Sound like fun?  It is.

I greatly prefer that the candidate be admitted to the bar, somewhere already, but the successful applicant must be ready, willing, and able to take the Nevada bar. Candidates must be in Las Vegas or willing to relocate to Vegas. A Florida bar license is a plus, but not necessary.

You must be organized. In fact, really organized, because the boss lacks that quality. If you have not yet seen The People vs. Larry Flynt, then don’t apply until you see it. If you don’t already know New York Times v. Sullivan before the interview, you’re not going to get the job. You will be asked why I cite Kinney v. Barnes a lot. If you don’t know why before the initial phone interview, you’re not getting an in person interview.

I can teach you all the rest once you get here.

Did you go to a third, or even fourth tier law school? That’s ok. You’ve got the same shot as some prick who went to Georgetown. (Pricks from Georgetown are welcome, but will get no preference).  If you think I’m impressed by your alma mater or your GPA, you’re applying to the wrong firm.  I don’t care what your politics are.  I don’t care what your background is.  We are all misfits anyway.

What’s it pay?  You will make more money elsewhere. We do a lot of pro bono work.  When the First Amendment needs protection, and the client can’t pay, we still likely take the work.  We believe in this shit.

That said, we do have good paying clients.  And, if you’re financially productive, you’ll get more than a “thank you” and a pat on the head. The bennies are pretty good. You’ll get to work on cool stuff. We actually make a living doing First Amendment law and international intellectual property work. The firm does a six week retreat in Hawaii every year, all expenses paid, including surfing lessons. (That is a bald-faced lie. We do no such thing.)

Don’t like swear words? Good. I’m trying to work on that. Maybe you will be a positive influence on me. Speaking of which, everyone else at the place is a positive influence on me, so you’ll probably like them a lot — unless your attention to detail sucks. If that’s the case, then they will eat you alive before I get a chance to fire you.  When someone gets canned here, it is usually because the paralegals or other associates don’t like them.  How do you make them like you?  Be a team player and don’t be the weak link in the chain.

If you don’t take ownership of your tasks and your mistakes, you’re screwed. If you fuck up, and you say “mistakes were made” instead of “I made mistakes” you’ll get fired.  If you don’t understand why the first one is wrong and the second is right, don’t apply.

I want 1600 billable hours a year, which really ain’t bad. I do not want you to bill 2000, because anyplace with a requirement that high is probably encouraging you to pad your bills. You’ll get fired for that too.

If this doesn’t scare you off, then send your resume to me with a short cover email. (Subject line RLGASSOC) If you are wondering if it is too long, then it is. One page resume only. I don’t have time for an entry-level attorney who thinks that his/her life is interesting enough that they can’t tell me all of the relevant facts on a single page. If it is two pages, the second page better tell me that you wrote The Big Lebowski or you won a Nobel Prize. (And if that’s the case, it belongs on the first page).

Don’t know where to send your application? Figuring shit like that out is going to be part of your job. Figure it out.  Yeah, it’s test number 1.


Now Her Children Gather Round Her

September 2, 2016

by Jay Marshall Wolman

Georgetown University has decided to violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.  In a grand gesture that has alternately received praise or been derided as empty, the descendants of some 272 slaves sold by the Jesuits in 1838 to keep the ship afloat will now receive an admission preference.

Missing from the discussion is a conversation about racial discrimination.  More commonly seen in employment law, there are two major categories of discrimination: disparate treatment and disparate impact.  Disparate treatment claims are pretty straightforward, where you generally try to show overt or masked bias (e.g. “No Irish Need Apply”).  Disparate impact is harder.  First established in Griggs v. Duke Power, 401 U.S. 424 (1971), the essential theory is that a facially neutral policy (e.g., the requirement of a highschool diploma to get a job) that really isn’t necessary and favors or disfavors a particular protected group is unlawful.

Racial discrimination in higher education is prohibited under Title VI for the recipients of federal funds.  Pretty much any major university is going to fall into the ambit of this statute.  The regulations implementing Title VI essentially prohibit universities from implementing policies that have a racially disparate impact, save for affirmative action programs to correct prior discrimination.

Georgetown’s new policy is, at a minimum, one that would have a disparate impact on admissions.  Although some of the descendants of these slaves may identify as White, Latino, Asian, or Native American, it is a pretty safe bet that the overwhelming majority would identify as African American.  [Arguably, it is disparate treatment, as it discriminates in favor of those with an African American ancestor, but the law does not specifically categorize mixed race persons, and the “one drop rule” isn’t good law.]

That said, Title VI is a right without a remedy, or at least a useful remedy.  In Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275 (2001), the Supreme Court ruled that there was no private right of action under Title VI.  Basically, it means that students who would have been admitted but for this new admissions criterion cannot sue Georgetown.  [This is not to be confused with public universities that could be sued for discrimination under the 14th Amendment.]  Only the U.S. Department of Justice could sue Georgetown for violating Title VI.

I have no problem with Georgetown wanting to do something for the descendants of the people it harmed–clearly, the Jesuits never had to purchase the slaves, utilize their labor, or sell them.  And the history of slavery has likely had an adverse impact on these descendants in some manner.  There is a strong moral case for Georgetown taking such action.  [Full disclosure:  I am an alumnus of the Georgetown University Law Center.]  But, I just don’t see how it passes muster under a disparate impact theory.  It is not affirmative action in the sense it is correcting for a history of discrimination in the admissions process.  Should Georgetown retract its policy or should the law change to accommodate Georgetown?  And, if the latter, how would you draft an exception to the law that nefarious persons might not drive a truck through?

 


Big Win for TMZ & Nevada Anti-SLAPP law

April 11, 2016

Last year, Dan Bilzerian, professional poker player and Instagram playboy, sued gossip website “The Dirty World” for publishing a story about a woman who alleged Bilzerian gave her Chlamydia. The media news website TMZ posted an article about the lawsuit, and Bilzerian amended his initial complaint to include TMZ as a defendant, alleging TMZ’s article was false and defamatory. Of course, we (Randazza Legal Group) filed an Anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of TMZ in Clark County District Court. We’re happy to say the court granted the Anti-SLAPP, dismissed all of Bilzerian’s claims against TMZ, and awarded costs and attorneys’ fees.

Just another good day in the world of journalism and Anti-SLAPP law. Check out the TMZ Anti-SLAPP Order here.


Violence and Political Speech

March 21, 2016
I don't write the headlines

I don’t write the headlines

My most recent CNN Column discusses violence in political settings. See Defend Donald Trump’s right to free speech

I don’t get to write my own headlines, ok?

Some good people think that sometimes being violent is ok. What they don’t understand is that when we use violence in politics, no matter what, the bad people always win. They get to escalate the violence, feeding off of it, up to a point where the good people lose the stomach for it — or at least a critical mass of them lose the stomach for it.

Always.

And the bad people will always have more of a stomach for it, so in the war of attrition, they will win. They’ll always be willing to bash you over the head with a truncheon for less of a reason, with more willingness to keep going long after your head looks like cherry pudding. They’ll always go further on a macro level too, they’re the bad guys because they’re sociopaths.

No matter how right you are… if violence ensues and you win? You’re probably one of the bad people. I don’t care if you’re protesting against the KKK or NAMBLA or the Black Panthers or ISIS or Nickleback fans.

That’s kinda the point of my column:

Donald Trump finally learning about the meaning of free speech?

Other candidates might be bad for free speech once elected. But Trump is the only candidate to actually campaign to reduce our First Amendment rights. This is the guy who said, “There used to be consequences to protesting. There are none anymore. These people are so bad for our country, you have no idea, folks.”

On Friday, he canceled a rally in Chicago, citing security concerns. Eyewitnesses reported that there were thousands of protesters outside, and hundreds demonstrating “in unison inside.”

Even after it was canceled, there were reports of several outbreaks of violence in the streets after the speech and protesters celebrating by chanting, “We stopped Trump!”

And now, while everyone is trying to play the blame game, Trump ironically asks, “What happened to freedom of speech?”

Read the rest here.

This post originally appeared on Popehat. View it here.


A fabulous Roman candle exploding like a spider across the stars

March 20, 2016

kerouac

On March 12th, 1922, the universe lit the fuse on the roman candle of the existence of one Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac. Somewhere along the line after that there were girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl was handed to him, but like so many that stand at the center when the blue light pops, the pearl drops into the grate on a street where you can still smell the last exhale of the cigarette that the guy put out as he got into the taxi.

The taxi that drove down the wet street, where most of the streetlights were still working, but that one keeps flickering, and no more taxis come and you knew none would. So you walk, and walk, until you get to that corner where there’s the place down a few stairs, and you wonder if you’d rather get out of the wet and the rain and have a drink, but then you would have to be with all the other people that wanted to get out of the rain or have a drink or just be with each other.

But, maybe it would just be better to smoke a joint there, in the rain by yourself, whether any cabs came or not, because how you get there is better than wondering why, or is it the other way ’round? And as you exhale the smoke and walk past the door, you remember that the pearl dropped into the grate. And now all the grates look the same, so even if you could reach your hand down there to try and get it, you can’t ever remember which one it fell into. So you just keep walking. Let someone else have the pearl or nobody else or maybe there just wasn’t ever one at all.

This post originally appeared on Popehat. View it here.


The USPTO Would Prefer Not to Follow the First Amendment

March 19, 2016

The USPTO is, apparently, a big Melville crowd.

In December, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided In re Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22593 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 22, 2015). In it, the Federal Circuit made a sweeping pronouncement that the First Amendment applies to trademark registrations, and that a long-criticized prohibition on “disparaging” trademarks could no longer stand. The portion of the trademark act that fell was Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1052(a).

Then, the Department of Justice conceded that § 2(a) was no longer enforceable in light of In re Tam.

We do not believe that given the breadth of the Court’s Tam decision and in view of the totality of the Court’s reasoning there, that there is any longer a reasonable basis in this Court’s law for treating them differently… The reasoning of Tam requires the invalidation of § 2(a)’s prohibition against registering scandalous and immoral Trademarks as well.”

One might think then, for a moment, that the USPTO would stop relying on an unconstitutional provision, no? Well, time for a literature lesson:

In Herman Melville’s classic, Bartleby the Scrivener, an attorney finds frustration with his scrivener, Bartleby. Any time Bartleby is directed to perform a task, he replies with the classic refrain: “I would prefer not to.”

The first of many such exchanges continued thus:

“Prefer not to,” echoed I, rising in high excitement, and crossing the room with a stride. “What do you mean? Are you moon-struck? I want you to help me compare this sheet here – take it,” and I thrust it towards him.
“I would prefer not to,” said he. Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street 10 (Dover 1990) (1853).

Initially infuriated, but beguiled by Bartleby’s charmingly passive insolence, the narrator tolerates Bartleby’s masterfully eccentric defiance, but eventually fires him. Once fired, Bartleby’s behavior becomes stranger, and he refuses to leave the premises of his employer, who finds Bartleby’s stubbornness to be an immoveable object. Bartleby’s defiance, as effective as it is, eventually leads to his undoing. Bartleby’s preference leads to his imprisonment and starvation, as he finally encounters both men and forces of nature who are unmoved by his antics.

We have, at least for the moment, a government agency that fancies itself in the role of Bartleby. The USPTO has already been instructed by the Federal Circuit that Section 2(a) (at least as far as the “disparaging” portion of it) is unconstitutional, and the case law that the USPTO has relied upon to justify its bullshit standard under the “scandalous” portion is specifically overruled.

Rumored to be the new USPTO policy director

Rumored to be the new USPTO policy director

Nevertheless, the USPTO has essentially decided “we would prefer not to” follow the Constitution.

The USPTO continues to examine applications for compliance with the scandalousness and disparagement provisions in Section 2(a) according to the existing guidance in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure § 1203. While the constitutionality of these provisions remains in question and subject to potential Supreme Court review, for any new applications the USPTO will issue only advisory refusals on the grounds that a mark consists of or comprises scandalous, immoral, or disparaging matter under Section 2(a). If a mark’s registrability under these provisions in Section 2(a) is the only issue, the examining attorney will identify the reasons for the advisory refusal and suspend action on the application in the first Office action. For all applications, including those initially examined before the Federal Circuit’s decision in Tam, if the examining attorney made other requirements or refusals in the first Office action, action on the application will be suspended when the application is in condition for final action on those other requirements or refusals. Any suspension of an application based on the scandalousness provision of Section 2(a) will remain in place until the Federal Circuit issues a decision in Brunetti, after which the USPTO will re-evaluate the need for further suspension. Any suspension of an application based on the disparagement provision of Section 2(a) will remain in place until at least the last of the following occurs: (1) the period to petition for a writ of certiorari (including any extensions) in Tam expires without a petition being filed; (2) a petition for certiorari is denied; or (3) certiorari is granted and the U.S. Supreme Court issues a decision. (source)

Please note, I received this document from an intellectual property lawyers’ list serve, and I have not confirmed its authenticity. Nevertheless, the document properties say that the author is Christina J. Hieber, who does check out as an attorney with the USPTO’s office of the solicitor. (source)

So, remember folks – the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit told the USPTO that it was violating the Constitution. Their position? “We don’t care, we might appeal, and then again, we might not. But, until we are told that the courts really really mean it, the Constitution doesn’t matter.” And they think that the word “fuck” is “immoral” and “scandalous.”

You know what is “immoral” and “scandalous?” A petty little bureaucrat, or group thereof, deciding that they are above the Constitution, because… well, dirty words and all.

____

If you find the issue of morality and intellectual property rights of interest, I’d be delighted if you downloaded and read my law review article on the subject. See Marc J. Randazza Freedom of Expression and Morality Based Impediments to the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

This post originally appeared on Popehat. View it here.