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Just how hungry do you have to be? Matthew S. Toll’s interview request is something of a Rorshach test. The third-year law student at New Orleans’ Tulane University Law School is either a creative go-getter or an example of what’s wrong with the profession. Toll, 25, drafted his pitch to look like a five-page pleading. It says he doesn’t “need to see the light of day for the next 30 years” and swears, “I am utterly unconcerned with having any sort of personal life outside the firm.” If his mother’s funeral was on the day of an important deposition, “I would do the eulogy via teleconference.” Toll defines a reasonable job offer as “at least $70,000″ a year plus a couple of $5,000 bonuses and pension and health benefits. “I don’t regret sending it out,” Toll told our reporter Gary Young. But he said that he only meant to test out its impact, never intending it to get widespread attention. Hundreds of e-mail messages about it, he said, include many purporting to be from people at law firms who know nothing about it when called. He said he’s gotten eight genuine interviews, six with firms, one with a judge and one with a prosecutor. Despite the success, he’s plenty miffed at Wolff & Sampson, the West Orange, N.J., firm that leaked his application. Because of the publicity, “I can’t even approach a whole range of firms,” he said, muttering about an ethics complaint or a suit. The firm said only, “The recent release of the cover letter and resume of Mr. Toll was the unauthorized act of an associate who is no longer with the firm.” Toll thinks his critics are losing sight of the fact that the letter was obvious hyperbole. “Of course I would go to my mother’s funeral,” he said. ‘Bill of Rights Golf’ Professor Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law loves the idea of people incidentally learning stuff while having fun. That’s why he devises computer games like “So You Want to Marry a Founding Father” and “Bill of Rights Golf.” In the latter, if you guess Reynolds v. U.S. featured snake-handling, you’ve shanked your first shot and might as well just go to the clubhouse for a beer. “Oh, I get some criticism that it’s not elaborate enough, like there aren’t any sand traps,” said Linder. “But I think my next goal will be to expand it from nine holes to 18.” Judge not Some court may have handed down a more apologetic opinion than a 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel did Sept. 9 on Judge Milton Pollock. Or maybe not. Pollock awarded $92 million in a 1997 bench trial. The lead plaintiff originally was Chemical Banking Corp. Pollock said he didn’t realize that Chemical was acquired by Chase Manhattan Bank in 1995. He said he may have seen “hearsay” in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time and Newsweek, but no flares went off before the trial when he bought $250,000 to $300,000 worth of Chase stock. In 2000, the judge got rid of it-too late, Justice Ralph Winter wrote for the 2d Circuit panel. Still, one must not be “unforgiving of all honest mistakes,” Winter said, and $250,000 was not even 1% of Pollock’s personal fortune. “We emphasize that there is no possibility that the judge ruled for the banks in order to enrich himself,” Winter wrote. Justice Dennis Jacobs concurred that the “opinion cannot be fairly read to cast the slightest aspersion on an estimable senior judge.” But there’s that pesky reasonable person standard. Such folk don’t know how courts work or the reputation of particular judges, the panel said. They might think it significant that witnesses testified they’d worked for Chase, a Chase official attended settlement negotiations with the judge, letters came in under Chase’s letterhead, and so on. So the case must be retried.

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