Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of US Supreme Court Decisions

A take on the "Worst Supreme Court Decisions" is found at the Los Angeles Times in an article written by David G. Savage, reporting on a survey of law professors which included respondents "Jack Balkin, Yale; Mary L. Dudziak, USC; Jonathan Varat, UCLA; Richard Epstein, University of Chicago; Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine; Goodwin Liu, UC Berkeley; Pamela Karlan, Stanford; Michael C. Dorf, Cornell; Steven Calabresi, Northwestern; Douglas Kmiec, Pepperdine; John C. Eastman, Chapman; Marci Hamilton, Cardozo Law School; M. Edward Whelan, Ethics and Public Policy Center; and Robert A. Levey, Cato Institute and the co-author with William Mellor of "The Dirty Dozen," a book on 12 Supreme Court decisions that "radically expanded government.""

The Legal Market : Effect of the Financial Crisis on the Demand for Lawyers and their Services in Large Law Firms

The current financial crisis is marked by six factors "likely to have a significant negative effect on [the] demand for legal services", says Paul Lippe, founder of Legal OnRamp, who lists the following likely legal market trends in the October 22, 2008 edition of the American Lawyer:

1. Downward pressure on corporate executive compensation.

2. Less deal origination in synthetic or derivative securities.

3. Fewer mergers and acquisitions.

4. Economic activity will be dampened by recession.

5. Financial institutions will make budget and personnel cuts.

6. Risk will be less tolerated, and practices more standardized.

Lippe sees five effects on law firms through these trends which can be read here.

Hat tip to Molly McDonough at the ABA Law Journal and "Legal Market Predictions: Double the Extreme".

We ourselves are more "jaundiced" about the law, to borrow a term intimated in Charles Dickens' Bleak House in the case name of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, where Dickens perspicaciously recognizes that the law in its processes has no end and that, in the end, the lawyers always win.

After all, the financial crisis everywhere will be straightened out in the last analysis by the lawyers, and not by the bankers, who, as the current credit crunch proves, are not to be trusted, and never have been trustworthy. Greed rules all, and that is why you have to have rules, and that is why we have lawyers, both in good times as well as in bad times.

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