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EV Joins MBRM:
From the press release: "The international law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP is pleased to announce that Eugene Volokh, who holds the Gary T. Schwartz chair at the UCLA School of Law, has joined the firm's litigation practice as an academic affiliate."
Cornellian (mail):
What does an "academic affiliate" do, and does this now mean you'll have to shut up rather than comment on any litigation in which MBRM is involved?
1.22.2006 6:06pm
von (mail) (www):
Congratulations, Professor Volokh. MBRM is a quality firm.
1.22.2006 6:28pm
WB:
But has he passed the California bar?
1.22.2006 6:28pm
Wintermute (www):
Congrats, EV!

Read the bio, getting my confirmation hearing questions ready :-D
1.22.2006 6:32pm
Cornellian (mail):
I don't consider the fact that Kathleen Sullivan failed the California bar exam to be conclusive or even prima facie proof that the exam is defective. The skill set for a practicing lawyer is entirely different from the skill set for a law professor.
1.22.2006 7:15pm
Bobbie:
In case anyone is interested (I'm not sure why it was brought up), Professor Volokh became a member of the California bar in 1998.
1.22.2006 7:20pm
Nobody Special:
Plus, Kathleen Sullivan admitted not studying for it.

The test, apart from the MBE (which I think she didn't take) didn't ask about constitutional issues.

That's not a defective test; that's hubris of the highest order on the part of the applicant.
1.22.2006 7:35pm
JLR (mail):
Congratulations Professor Volokh!

If I may ask a question about Professor Volokh's Davis Enterprise hypothetical: Would it be possible for any of the VC bloggers to provide a sense of the contours of potential responses as to the constitutionality of California Education 66450?

I have a sense that Cohen v. Cowles Media Co, 501 U.S. 633 (1991) [click here for link to Justice White's opinion] can be pertinent to the fact pattern of the hypothetical regarding "newsgathering." While perhaps of limited relevance, Cohen v. Cowles does seem to have some relevance because of Justice White's statement that Cohen is controlled by the Branzburg v. Hayes and Associated Press v. NLRB line of decisions; i.e., the line of decisions "holding that generally applicable laws do not offend the First Amendment simply because their enforcement against the press has incidental effects on its ability to gather and report the news." (Cohen at 669.) But I am unsure as to its exact relevance to the hypothetical at hand. It seems that Cohen could either control the hypothetical, or be distinguished from the hypothetical.

I'd greatly appreciate any of the VC bloggers' opinion(s) on this. Thanks.
1.22.2006 7:36pm
JLR (mail):
Whoops -- Cohen v. Cowles is at 501 US 663, not 633. I apologize for the error.
1.22.2006 7:43pm
minnie:
Congratulations, Eugene! Good luck with this new opportunity.
1.22.2006 7:48pm
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
Bobbie wrote:

In case anyone is interested (I'm not sure why it was brought up), Professor Volokh became a member of the California bar in 1998.


Weird. Prof. Volokh's bar number is six digits long, but only 24 off from mine.

Congratulations Prof. Volokh!
1.22.2006 8:17pm
Hugh59 (mail) (www):
Congrats Prof. Volokh! I suggest that you celebrate this happy occasion by playing a 12 hour game of STARFLEET COMMAND with five or six of your best friends.
1.22.2006 8:19pm
Dustin (mail):
In other news, according to that California bar thingy, Mr. Volokh had a bachelor's degree when he was 15!

Granted, it was just a UCLA degree, but still.
1.22.2006 11:24pm
Nobody Special:
That's news to you, Dustin?
1.23.2006 12:46am
Dustin (mail):
Yeah it is.

I only know of Volokh from this site, a law review articl,e and from one of his books on academic legal writing.

I actually didn't even know what he looked like until I was already a big fan.

The idea of some computer whiz kid becoming a law-talking-guy is very appealing.

But I know who Juan non-Volokh is, so you can't act like a know it all to me!

Actually, no. i don't know that either.
1.23.2006 1:23am
Jack John (mail):
Will Volokh advise on appellate matters or on general litigation matters? If he works with Mayer's appellate practice -- which is top-notch -- it means that Volokh will probably be arguing before the Supreme Court sometime soon.
1.23.2006 2:03am
Dustin (mail):
Jack, I believe the release said Volokh would be in their appellate division.
1.23.2006 2:09am
WB:
I meant the Cal. bar comment as a joke... sort of along the same lines as "Alito got nominated the the Supreme Court, but what were his SAT scores?"

...though I was genuinely curious as to what the answer was. Thanks, Allen Asch.

I don't intend to hijack the topic any further. Congratulations to Prof. Volokh, and I hope that the opportunity proves to be interesting and rewarding. Many of the professors I admire most have a foot in the door of some kind of litigation practice and have a better sense of where the rubber meets the road in the material that they teach. Good luck.
1.23.2006 8:44am
Public_Defender:
Welcome to the world of client representation. One of the difficulties of representing real clients is that you have to take their interests into consideration when speaking or writing publicly.

You now have a duty to every one of your firm's clients. Have you thought about how this affiliation might affect what you can write about?
1.23.2006 9:59am
Professor Frink:
"Academic Affiliate" = Professor lifestyle + Partner paycheck?
1.23.2006 12:59pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Oh, and congrats to Eugene, although I, like everyone else above, am curious about what this actually means.
1.23.2006 1:45pm
Houston Lawyer:
I'm more interested in what an "academic affiliate" charges by the hour. Does the "hey, I'm a professor" status raise or lower your billing rate? Are you required to bill in 10 minute increments? Do you now have to limit the amount of time spent on a topic so that your bill is not out of line with client expectations? Welcome to the dark side.
1.23.2006 2:36pm
Nobody Special:
Possibly.

They're all out to get you, too.
1.23.2006 3:14pm
Public_Defender:
I would think it would be hard for a practicing academic to be a practicing lawyer. Academia is about honorbly fighting for the truth. Litigation is about honorably fighting for your client's best interests.

On any given issue, the good academic asks "which side is right and why?" The good lawyer asks "which side helps my client, and can I make a reasonable argument for that side?"

For example, if Professor Volokh knows he has a client who needs the courts to resolve a copyright issue one way (assuming there are plausible arguments supporting that view), can he ethically write a law review article that says it should go the other way if that's what he believes?

Does he have to do a conflict check before submitting a law review article? If I were a client paying Mayer Brown rates, I'd be furious to see a law review from a Mayer Brown lawyer saying I should lose.
1.23.2006 3:57pm
Dustin (mail):
Public defender, Mr. Volokh already has a point of view that he argues in many forums. In other words, he has already taken a side.

He can do that while making the best argument for his clients, or more likely, giving advise to them behind closed doors.

I think, f anything, real world practice leads to much better academic work. Think of Alan Dershowitz and that insulin-guy (I can't remember his name). Alan gave that suspected mudered the best possible appeal, but that doesn't mean Alan thought he was innocent. He just held the state to a standard of evidence. Volokh can give the best advise on copyright issues (or whatever else) without betraying his acadmic work. It's not like he's going to put a Coke icon on his Syllabus.

Mary, I regret even replying to you once. I have no doubt that you could 'make rain' as you say, if only by charging by the word or ink barrel.
1.23.2006 4:55pm
Dustin (mail):
[ublc, I hadn't seen you comment. I'm sorry I didn't because I would've taken your advise. I shoud have had to manners to do so without your prompting.
1.23.2006 4:57pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
I've taken the liberty of deleting a long digression by one commenter related to the Bar and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other commenters' reactions to that digression; my apologies if I've in the process inadvertently removed some comments that weren't part of the digression. More later this week, when I'm done packing -- our family is moving (in town) tomorrow.
1.23.2006 5:20pm
Manny Klausner (mail):
Very impressive, Eugene! Congratulations on this new chapter in your multidimensional career!

I'm awed by your illuminating publications and speeches, and the timely and insightful quality of your blogs!

MBRP has recruited a very able academic affiliate!

Manny Klausner
1.24.2006 4:20am
Public_Defender:
He can do that while making the best argument for his clients, or more likely, giving advise to them behind closed doors.

I think, f anything, real world practice leads to much better academic work. Think of Alan Dershowitz and that insulin-guy (I can't remember his name). Alan gave that suspected mudered the best possible appeal, but that doesn't mean Alan thought he was innocent. He just held the state to a standard of evidence. Volokh can give the best advise on copyright issues (or whatever else) without betraying his acadmic work. It's not like he's going to put a Coke icon on his Syllabus.
Using Al Dershowitz as an example doesn't exactly make academics practicing law look like a good idea. Dershowitz is a blowhard. I have never heard a practicing criminal defense lawyer speak highly of him. And didn't he recently had some academic honesty problems? Do people in the academic world still take him seriously?

Here's an example of a potential problem. Let's say that Google is giving Mayer a ton of money to protect Google's interests in copyright fight with newspapers. Let's also say that Professor Volokh is working on a law review article about fair use.

If the professor knows his firm has a stake in the litigation, it could influcence his writing. At a minimum, it would put at least some taint on the writing, just like there's a taint on drug studies by "academics" who take money from drug companies.

(I am making up these facts, so if I happen to come close to describing something real at the Mayer firm, that's just a coincidence.)

I've consulted with academics on my cases. They tend to do it pro bono for public defenders. But we all know that they have no relationship with my clients. One professor even said he had already spoken with the other side of the case, but he happily shared his knowledge with us, too. That professor was being a scholar in the best sense of the word.

But once professors become affiliated with law firms, they lose the ability to honestly and openly share their knowledge. They cease to become scholars and become advocates.

There is a huge difference between the duties of a scholar and an advocate. Scholars should argue what is right for any given question. As an advocate, I fight for the plausible position that best helps my client.

Professor Volokh said he'd post more later in the week. It will be interesting to hear how he will deal with his dual roles.
1.25.2006 8:00am