Podcast: Lawyer writes best-selling romance novel

Legal Talk NetworkThe Wedding Date is San Francisco attorney Jasmine Guillory's first novel, and it's already a USA Today bestseller. In an American Bar Association podcast, "When a pediatric surgeon impulsively asks the mayor’s chief of staff to be his date to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding that weekend, sparks fly. But can the two make a long-distance relationship work? In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Guillory tells the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles that writing served as a stress release from her legal work and functioned as her creative outlet. She discusses the challenges of representation for women of color in the romance industry, and the issues she had to consider when writing about an interracial couple falling in love. Guillory also shares how her background in legal aid helped inspire a subplot of the book, as the heroine tries to win funding for a diversionary program for at-risk teens." Podcast courtesy of the Legal Talk Network.

Parsing Trump's lawyer's words about that $130K payment

Just when you thought you'd heard all there was to tell about the payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels that President Trump's personal lawyer "facilitated," Michael Cohen, the aforementioned attorney, piped up with another statement regarding the alleged affair that all parties deny happened. At The Washington Post, columnist Paul Waldman says Cohen's latest statement is interesting as much for what it doesn't say as for what it does. Here's what Waldman says is the key part from Cohen's latest statement:

In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly. The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.

Waldman notes that Cohen doesn't say he used his own money to make the payment; he "used his own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford," which is Ms. Daniels' real name. While Cohen takes pains to emphasize "Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign" was involved, ethics experts say Cohen may have made an "in-kind" donation to the Trump campaign -- implicating himself.

Another interesting thing is that there's no denial that Trump himself may paid the hush money or reimbursed Cohen for the payment. Still another is this observation by Waldman, "Remember: The president may have had an affair with a porn star who was paid $130,000 in hush money to keep it quiet, and we treat it like it’s the third- or fourth-most scandalous thing that happened this week."

You can read his complete analysis at The Post.

2017 Top Verdicts and Settlements

The Trial Lawyer's listing of the top verdicts and settlements by members of The National Trial Lawyers for 2017 includes the acquittal of former NFL star Aaron Hernadez and a Johnson & Johnson talc case award of $417 million. Our list of the top verdicts and settlements for the previous year is available by clicking the link below.

2017 Top Verdicts and Settlements