Anonymous

Can Pumping a Bottle Get You Fired?

Sue Shellenbarger at The Juggle reports that "an Ohio Supreme Court decision allowing a breastfeeding mother to be fired from her job for taking breaks to pump milk has ignited an angry buzz among bloggers." A closer look at the ruling reveals the court actually dodged the core question – whether breastfeeding mothers are protected by pregnancy-discrimination laws – and focused instead on the fact that Ms. Allen’s attorneys didn’t offer enough evidence up front that her employer was motivated by discrimination. One dissenting justice, J. Pfeifer, objected that the court should have ruled anyway on the core question of…

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Anonymous

Doris Brin Walker Dies at Age 90

Politically radical attorney Doris Brin Walker died at a San Francisco hospital last week. She was 90. Walker graduated from Boalt Hall in 1942, the only woman in her class. She was elected the first woman president of the National Lawyers Guild in 1970. She as fired from her first firm job, allegedly because she was a women. In 1972, Walker defended Angela Davis in what Harvard University law professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. called "clearly the trial of the 20th century, and one that exemplified the vast and diverse talents of the true Dream Team of the legal profession."…

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Anonymous

Jack Welch is Wrong

The Internet has been abuzz for a week over Jack Welch's comments that women can't have it all. Janet Bangall of The Gazette goes straight to the Forbes magazine 2008 list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women to find out how wrong Welch is. Sure, she points out, the woman who ranks 1st on the list, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, doesn't have any children. But check out the next five on the list: Sheila C. Bair, chairperson of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is married with two children. She describes balancing work and family as her "biggest challenge."…

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Anonymous

Why the Supreme Court Needs a “Critical Mass” of Women

Vanity Fair conributing editor Dee Dee Myers thinks the Supreme Court needs more than just another woman: what it needs is a critical mass. Critical mass isn’t a static number, nor is it an argument that there should be an equal number of men and women in every room. It’s not just another word for “quota.” Instead, it refers to the point at which there are enough women that the culture begins to change, that different points of view and different life experiences are equally valued, where everyone’s voice can be heard. A critical mass, Myers explains, will help overcome…

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Anonymous

Scaling Back Career for Baby

In a recent post on her New York Times' Motherlode blog, Lisa Belkin turned a question she received over to her readers. Here's a snippet of Anna's letter to the readers: I used to secretly look down on stay-at-home moms. I’m not proud of being so judgmental, but opting out seemed like the easy road to me, an excuse to avoid the 9-to-5. If I asked someone I just met at a party what she did for a living and her answer was “I stay at home with the kids,” I’d mentally check out of the conversation. Surely I had…

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Anonymous

AmLaw Litigator of the Week: Dianne Elderkin of Woodcock Washburn

After a year of naming Litigators of the Week, The American Lawyer selected their first female litagator to receive the honor: We can finally confess something that's been bugging us for several months. We've been picking Litigators of the Week for a little more than a year, and we've never selected a woman. It wasn't because we didn't want to, or because we weren't looking. We were. In fact, it's been surprising and more than a little disturbing to see how few women are leading the cases we cover at the Litigation Daily. Dianne Elderkin led the trial team that…

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Anonymous

How Female Judges Decide Cases

Neil A. Lewis discusses the question of how female judges decide cases in his piece Debate on Whether Female Judges Decide Differently Arises Anew: Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, is often quoted as saying that a wise female judge will come to the same conclusion as a wise male judge. But the opposing argument was bolstered forcefully in April by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, currently the court’s only woman, in a case involving Savana Redding, a 13-year-old girl who had been strip-searched at school by the authorities on suspicion of hiding some ibuprofen…

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Anonymous

The Secret of the Women in Black Robes

What do Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor have in common? Well, besides the obvious? They were all young fans of one fictional teenage super-sleuth: Nancy Drew. In a delightful New York Times article, Nancy Drew and the Secret of the 3 Black Robes, Mary Jo Murphy reports that all three women admired the young, courageous heroine: It doesn’t take a big clue to deduce that there’s something between Supreme Court women and Nancy Drew of River Heights, Somewhere, U.S.A., the teenage star of a wholesome series of detective novels that have been in print in some…

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Anonymous

Making Waves

A recent New York Times piece, The Waves Minority Judges Always Make, looks at the persuasive force of minority justices. The first woman on the court, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, often says that wise old women and wise old men reach the same conclusions. But empirical research on federal appeals courts tugs in another direction. In sex discrimination and sexual harassment cases, according a 2005 study by Jennifer L. Peresie in The Yale Law Journal, “female judges were significantly more likely than male judges to find for plaintiffs.” Perhaps more surprisingly, the study found, “the presence of a female judge…

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Anonymous

Taking a Break

Even in these rough economic times, Anna Stolley Persky reports that taking a vacation is still a good thing. The necessity of relaxation doesn’t change based upon the economic climate,” says Manning, a principal at Manning Sossamon. “The only difference may be how lavish that retreat is.” However, leaner staffing due to layoffs may mean more difficulties scheduling time off and some question whether taking advantage of cheap fares might be a "good way to get yourself fired." If you decide to take a vacation, Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Worthen offers some tips, including: make sure there's wireless Internet…

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