UB Law enrolls in success

Though Yale, Stanford and Harvard law schools may be top of the class this year according to U.S. News & World Report rankings, the University of Baltimore School of Law may have won the popularity contest.

The University of Baltimore School of Law had one of the highest increases in enrollment in 2011, U.S. News & World Report announced Tuesday.

Enrollment at law schools dropped 2 percent nationally last year compared to the previous admissions cycle. UB Law, however, saw a 3.7 percent increase in enrollment from the previous year. Of the students it accepted, 38.5 percent enrolled, giving it the tenth-highest increase in year-to-year enrollment in 2011.

UB Law placed 113th in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings released earlier this month.

The University of Virginia School of Law had the highest increased enrollment with 51.9 percent of its accepted students enrolling, a 12 percent increase from the previous year. Georgia State University College of Law came in second with a 52.7 percent enrollment rate, a 9.1 percent increase from the year before. The University of North Carolina School of Law took third place with a 53.7 percent enrollment rate, a 7.2 percent increase from the previous year.

Law schools sent out a total 175,085 acceptance letters in 2011 but only enrolled 44,366 students.

Woman guilty of illegally performing butt enlargements

Kimberly Smedley's Facebook profile photo via TheSmokingGun.com

An Atlanta woman who nearly killed a Baltimore stripper after illegally injecting automotive-grade silicone into her buttocks, pleaded guilty Wednesday to using an adulterated and misbranded product.

Kimberly D. Smedley, 45 — who is not a licensed medical practitioner of any kind — faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced. Prosecutors said Smedley used the silicone to enlarge her clients’ buttocks and that she carried out the procedures over an eight-year period, usually in hotel rooms, charging people $500 to $1,600 per session.

“Kimberly Smedley endangered her customers’ lives by injecting them with commercial silicone, causing at least one victim to suffer lung damage from a substance not approved by the Food and Drug Administration,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “No one should undergo medical procedures in a hotel room.”

The case was prosecuted by the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office after the dancer was hospitalized for symptoms of pneumonia. Doctors determined that the fluid in her lungs was a reaction to silicone poisoning.

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Woman acts crazy to avoid jury duty

Remember the time on “30 Rock” when Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, got out of jury duty by dressing up as Princess Leia and pretending she actually thought she was the Star Wars character?

“I really don’t think it’s fair for me to be on a jury since I’m a hologram,” Lemon, in full Leia garb, told the judge on the show.

A Denver woman tried to pull off a similar ploy in real life, except instead of a side-buns hairstyle and intergalactic white dress she donned mismatched reindeer socks, smeared make-up and hair curlers, The Denver Post reports.

Susan Cole, a published author and cosmetologist, spoke in “disjointed” speech to Denver District Court Judge Anne Mansfield during jury selection in June last year.

“I broke out of domestic violence in the military,” Cole told the judge. “And I have a lot of repercussions. One is post-traumatic stress disorder” she told the judge.”

Cole avoided jury duty, but the story didn’t end there. Cole called into a radio program that was talking to listeners about how they avoided jury duty. Cole described her outfit and behavior to the hosts and Mansfield heard it all.

Cole tried to tell Fox31 in Denver that her story to the judge that day was true, but her effort was in vain. After investigators looked into the matter, the Denver District Attorney’s Office charged Cole with perjury and attempting to influence a public servant.

Now, it’s possible Cole could be headed to jail in the not too far, far away future.

Turley: On health care, don’t forget Scalia

Interesting post from GW’s Jonathan Turley Monday on the health care arguments before the Supreme Court. While all eyes are on Justice Kennedy, Turley urges us to think of it as a “court of two,” with one additional complication:

As I have previously noted, it is not simply Justice Kennedy but Justice Scalia that will be the focus of attention in these oral arguments. In order to support the states, Scalia will have to distinguish past statements embracing broad interpretations of federal jurisdiction. For all intents and purposes, this could be an argument before a court of two with the parties striving to lock in both Scalia and Kennedy.

It is a closer case because of the refusal of Justice Kagan to recuse herself. I have previously said that I believe there are strong arguments to be made for such recusal by Kagan. If the Administration prevails, her participation will always be viewed in history as problematic by many.

While Turley says both sides present compelling arguments, he views this as a watershed moment for the Constitution’s system of enumerated and reserved powers – one that could ”leave few things as protected by federalism by expanding Congress’ enumerated powers to an unprecedented scope.”

Law blog roundup

Welcome to the first Monday of spring and the roundup. Here are a few news items that do not involve a certain health care law.

– Chinese attorneys must make loyalty oath.

– Russian lawyers turn to European Court of Human Rights.

– Parents should take heed of the litigation law-school graduates brought against their alma mater.

– In memoriam: A civil rights attorney and a Watergate special prosecutor.

Lapses in the legal system

Being a 9-year-old can be tough. Sometimes you have to pick up the toys in your room. Sometimes you have to solve multiplication tables for homework. And sometimes you have to go in for jury duty.

Well, that’s the way it was for Cape Cod third-grader Jacob Clark, who got a summons for jury duty in the mail, even though you are only eligible for jury duty after turning 18.

His first reaction?

“I was like, ‘What’s a jury duty?’” Clark, who lives in Yarmouth, Mass., told the Cape Cod Times.

His second reaction, according to his grandmother, Deborah Clark?

“He said, ‘I don’t want to go! I don’t want to go!’” she said.

And who could blame him? So, Clark’s dad called over to the jury commission office to get to the bottom of it. Apparently the state had his birth date wrong. Someone had typed in 1982 instead of 2002.

Speaking of slips in recordkeeping . . .

A Nebraska lawyer practiced law without a license for 12 years before anyone noticed.

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Law blog roundup

It’s Monday and that means two things: No basketball for another three days and the roundup. Here are my choices for the final four (at least for this week):

– An alleged Manhattan madam has a discriminating taste in lawyers.

– Chief Los Angeles County Juvenile Court judge invites press to cover foster-care proceedings.

– Wisconsin Supreme Court conferences can allegedly turn violent.

– Gaming-industry lawyers play the odds in Florida.

(Photo of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser courtesy of Lukas Keapproth, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)

From lawyer to lawbreaker, all caught on tape

They are calling him a “legal Rambo” and “a Wild West divorce attorney gone rogue.”

A New Mexico lawyer was sentenced to 30 days in prison for breaking into the home of his client’s ex-husband,the Alamogordo Daily News reports. Video surveillance shows the lawyer, Raymond T. Van Arnam, kicking in the rear door of the ex-husband’s home, a move more reminiscent of Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible” than in “A Few Good Men.”

Van Arnam was representing Melissa Stonecipher, who was pregnant at the time, in divorce proceedings from Anthony Stonecipher. Van Arnam and his client decided to break into her ex-husband’s home to retrieve baby furniture and accessories. Little did they know that Anthony Stonecipher had rigged his house with surveillance cameras.

Video surveillance shows Van Arnam letting associates into Anthony Stonecipher’s house and carrying out the items. The video also shows Van Arnum hugging his client for about 30 seconds.

“I was personally angry with what he was doing to my client,” Van Arnam told ABC News. “He was bullying her and dominating her.”

Van Arnam will have to serve 334 days of probation after he gets out of jail and will pay$2,732 in court costs and $5,000 in restitution to Anthony Stonecipher. He will also complete 100 days of community service.

Melissa Stonecipher did not escape unscathed. She pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property of a household member and was was placed under 364 days of supervised probation.

Ivy League shake-up in the law school rankings

Some Ivy Leaguers may have their crimson shorts in a twist after U.S. News & World Report’s release of its 2013 Best Law Schools rankings.

Yale Law School once again tops the list, but Stanford Law School moves into the No. 2 spot, over East coast incumbent, Harvard Law School. The Cardinal have topped the Crimson.

Harvard has held its second place position since 2007, though it tied with Stanford in 2009.

Columbia Law School in New York followed by University of Chicago Law School round out the top five on the list.

The University of Maryland School of Law climbed up the rankings, coming in at No. 39, a jump from its No. 42 position last year. The year before, it rose from No. 48 to No. 42.

Maryland is tied, however, tied at the No. 39 spot with three others—Brigham Young University Law School, George Mason University School of Law and Ohio State University College of Law.

For specialties, Maryland ranked No. 3 for healthcare law and No. 5 in clinical training.

The University of Baltimore School of Law ranked No. 113. It was tied with Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut, Gonzaga University School of Law in Washington, Florida International University College of Law, Albany Law School and CUNY School of Law in New York.

Law blog roundup

Good luck with your brackets. The following items, like those brackets, are for entertainment purposes only.

– What would happen if every defendant rejected a plea bargain?

– Does “Obamacare” opponent’s debt hurt her case before the Supreme Court?

Judicial temperament could be put on trial in Chicago.

– And you thought driving on a suspended license took a lot of chutzpah.

– A federal judge did not practice what he preached.