What happened this weekend? Well, Trump supported safe spaces, people decided that forcing baristas to say Trump’s name was somehow a punishment, Ted Cruz still looks like Cousin Eddie, and, because even in the fever dream that is 2016 we need some hope, I watched Band of Brothers for the 18th time.
This morning came with the news from Andrew Dunn on CharlotteAgenda.com breaking out the news that Charlotte School of Law , much like Delta Tau Chi, has found itself placed on probation by the American Bar Association. In a statement released by the American Bar Association, it’s clear that the probation is not “super secret double probation” that can be resolved with a rousing party and the crashing of the homecoming parade. Instead, the school’s probation follows a decision letter from the accreditation committee regarding Charlotte Law’s allegedly low standards and the appeal therefrom, and essentially upholds the determination letter by stating:
[T]he Council affirmed the Committee’s conclusions that the Law School is not in compliance with Standards 301(a), 501(a), and 501(b).
Maybe this shouldn’t surprise the Charlotte School of Law community, though, as for the last four administrations of the bar exam the first-time passage rate has been less than 50%, dipping as low as 34.7% this past February. Of course, even the bar passage rate shouldn’t be a surprise, considering in 2015 their LSAT score range was from a 25% percentile score of 140 all the way to the blistering high LSAT score in the 75% percentile of 145, and GPA’s ranging from a low of 2.51 to a sky-high average of 3.17. Notably, these statements are from Charlotte School of Law’s own 509 Disclosure.
Well, isn’t that just comforting.
The next time I get the idea to toss my hat into the ring on a Twitter war like Parrotghazi, someone make sure to smack me firmly, yet somehow gently, in the crotch. Since the post went live yesterday, I’ve found myself quoted on People.com, retweeted God knows how many times, and somehow intimately involved in the sordid tale of how two lawyers have embroiled themselves in a war over custody of a tweet.
I’m glad people are enjoying reading about this, and excited they’re reading about it here, but Jesus Christ I now know more about parrots than I ever wanted to know. So let’s go in a different direction. Let’s look at the worst case scenario in Parrotghazi, and the legal stuff that has been brought into play in it.
I’m going to warn you before we start, I’ve already started drinking tonight. But really, I want to be clear that everything that follows is completely speculative, and I’m only using Parrotghazi and Mr. Adler as an example of how a lawyer using social media can go horribly awry. I’m not accusing Mr. Adler of a damn thing, it’s just the “what ifs” here allow for a fun exploration of ethics and social media for lawyers. Mr. Adler has asserted he stands behind the originality of the tweet and the representation of this case, and he’s entitled to the benefit of the doubt on that.
If Mr. Adler wants to get his side out here, I’ll gladly post his version of events, unedited, to this blog. Trust me, in this situation nothing would make me happier than to do a full retraction. I don’t like talking about other lawyers.
Holy fuck, so how about that Parrot thing? That was wild. Why do you think that got so popular? Righteous indignation? Maybe some joy in correcting the record? It’s possible, but I got another theory.
People really like it when lawyers fuck up.
[Updates at the end, including some prior tweets from Mr. Adler, a response from Mr. Dent, an explanation of the long odds, and an interview on this tweet Mr. Adler gave to the BBC]
So yesterday a marginally funny tweet showed up on the page of a lawyer from Philadelphia. Since us attorneys are so well known for our sense of humor, it of course went viral. A hearty chortle was had by all, and people went on with their daily lives.
Just settled a divorce over visitation of a parrot. Neither may teach it negative phrases about the other. I went to law school for this.
— Michael Adler (@madler9000) November 14, 2016
So, Michael Adler is a Philly lawyer who, from his website, seems to specialize in business law. This means nothing, because I can say my areas of practice are geared towards protecting the intellectual property of one-armed left-handed underwater basket weavers. That doesn’t mean I won’t take a divorce if it walks through my door with cash in hand. I certainly will.
I have to say, Mr. Adler’s tweet was pretty amusing, too. I saw it last night and it gave me a brief smile, and I don’t smile. Joviality hurts my blackened soul. Apparently it was a slow news day as well, because the tweet even deserved a bit of a human interest story, getting a post on BillyPenn.com written about it.
Adler said disputes over dogs are relatively in common in divorces, but the parrot provided a new challenge… verbalization. In other words, they can talk. Therefore, they can talk shit.
So he spoke with other lawyers for advice this morning before coming up with “the idea of just agreeing not to say anything nasty in front of the parent.”
However, it appears one of those “other lawyers” may be @ParkerLawyer, who tweeted this back in September:
Just settled a divorce over Parrot custody/visitation. Neither may teach it negative phrases abt the other.
I went to law school for this.
— Lady Lawya (@Parkerlawyer) September 15, 2016
Those are…really similar. Oh shiiiiiiit, we about to get all Cease & Desist up in here!
Before we continue, let me say: I have no opinion on any of the people involved. I don’t encourage anyone else to form one. Reserve judgment until the facts are in.