Friday, August 10, 2012

Barry Levinson - the Quantum Attorney?

Is it possible for one law firm to actually be two law firms at once, like one of those crazy, Michio Kaku, quantum photon experiment?

or aliens. could always be aliens.
Perhaps so, it would appear.  A few comments have been popping up about a law firm, Mason and Mason, and the striking similarity between its website and the website for Barry Levinson and Associates.

More after the Jump.

At first glance, these websites seem different, until you notice that the listed attorneys and staff are the same people.  So unless this is the law firm equivalent of two sets of identical twins getting married, something is up.

it's gonna be an awkward wedding night.
So what the hell is going on?  Does anyone have any info?  We all know Levinson has been AWOL for a while now, which is also evident since his "Blog By Barry" has not been updated since last Fall.  Yes, there is a Blog By Barry.  And you should read it.  All the posts are very short and exceedingly hilarious, though not intentionally so.  Here!  READ IT!  And when you're done reading, Barry has (had) a radio show, where he answered legal questions for free.  While it is admirable that Mr. Levinson wants to hand out free advice, he has clearly forgotten the most important rule:

Yeah, hi, my legal question is...why are you giving this away for free?

It is also worth noting that Barry's office could have you evicted by part time community college student.  I don't know why that is entertaining, but I do know why that is horrifying.  I imagine being evicted that way feels like this:

warning, this clip contains gratuitous awesome

Of course, I don't imagine going up against Barry Levinson, a graduate of the one and (thankfully) only Thomas M. Cooley Law School, feels much better.  On the other hand, Cooley did just defense the law suit accusing them of lying to law students about the quality of the school and the prospect of getting jobs out of Cooley.  The sad part was the case was not dismissed because Cooley didn't finesse/exaggerate/lie.  While the Court was clear that Cooley was "inherently untrustworthy," the case was still bounced but because an "ordinary prudent person" should just know better than to believe Cooley's statistics.  Seriously, that was the ruling.

But back to the point here, what's going on at Mason and Mason...or Barry Levinson and Associates?  Is Levinson even still in town?  Is there even one Mason, let alone two of them?  Please give us the dirt in the comments.



  1. I think it's noteworthy that Thomas Cooley was not really represented by Thomas Cooley grads.

  2. I think it's noteworthy that neither Mason nor Mason appear to work at Mason & Mason

  3. WHOIS information shows site is registered to barry levinson, and was registered on May 12, 2012.

  4. So much for true in advertising!

  5. Barry is a total mess. He’s got over $300,000 in judgments against him, personally, and his “former” law firm. There are over a half dozen open cases ranging from malpractice to failure to pay bills. He’s missing six figures from his trust account. He’s got a BK judge trying to prevent him from ever getting a BK client again. And, the Supreme Court still has to rule on his temporary suspension pending formal disbarment.
    As for Perry Mason and Associates, there are only two active Mason bar members – one in Louisiana and one in Zephyr, NV (wherever that is).

  6. Here is an interesting series of recent articles from the Portland Oregonian. Apparently, ours is not the only legal job market with very serious troubles. The comments are telling - the public seems to have very little sympathy for our predicament.

  7. lmfao @ Barry... poor poor Barry Levinson. I hear Barry will be representing the honorable Mr. Arash Hashemi (google "Arash Hasmehi Las Vegas") on August 29th, 2012, at 2:00 PM at 1835 Village Center Circle in Las Vegas. The incomparable Mr. Hashemi's Resident Agent for Earl Scheib of Las Vegas is none other than the honorable Mr. Barry Levinson... are they business partners??? ;-)

  8. I remember a very polarized debate regarding student loans not too long ago.

    What kinds of realistic solutions do you think will help the problem? Should it be more difficult to borrow so much money? Should students be permitted to BK their debt - maybe that would reduce lending. The diploma mills should be shut down, but how do we do that? The numbers quoted on the Oregonian are staggering.

    And the guy who locked his keys in the car on his way to take the bar for the third time - he just gives up? Sacrifice is necessary - Mississippi's pass rate is the 90s I think.

  9. How about taking away the government guaranty on student loans AND making them bankruptable? That would have the very positive effect of bringing tuition back into reality. It would also have the positive effect of discouraging many who should probably be out working from languishing aimlessly in universities throughout the nation. Sure, education is a good thing. But hanging out until you're 26, racking up massive debt, and then finishing without a marketable degree, or any degree, is a really bad thing. (Actually, a J.D. has become a difficult degree to market - imagine that!)

    Student loans feel like "free money" while one is in college or grad school. If student loans were more difficult to get or (gasp) people actually had to pay for college, we might end up with fewer 28-year-old Native American Studies majors (or Boyd grads).

  10. @11:07- Precisely what part of making student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy would bring tuition rates down? Your theory seems to be that we want to be "discouraging many who should probably be out working from languishing aimlessly in universities throughout the nation." If you tell students that they cannot not only rack up that debt but rest assured that they will never have to pay it, the economic effect would be the exact opposite of what you advocate.

  11. @11:41,

    If you make them dischargeable in BK, the lenders are actually going to want to look at the student's likelihood of repayment, reducing the total amount of loans available. Reduced loan availability reduces the number of people willing to shell out 20k per year in tuition, meaning fewer people will attend. Fewer enrollments will tend to lead to decreased tuition. But that assumes the respective deans won't jack up tuition anyway.

  12. Aside from discharge...

    How about the lender is not entitled to double recovery on federally guaranteed loans?

    If they collected, then the debt should be to the US Treasury not Sallie Mae's affiliate.

  13. 11:41 - Did anyone ever teach you basic economics? Do you really think lenders will continue to hand over huge amounts of student loan money if they know the debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy and not guaranteed by the federal government? Perhaps banks would engineering majors at Cal Tech or business majors at Harvard. To Womens Studies majors at UNLV, not so much.

    What we have now is an education bubble (not unlike the 2002-2006 real estate bubble) wherein easily-available student loan money has educational institutions raising tuition without regard to the actual value of the education product. If student loan money becomes tighter, educational institutions will have to adjust tuition to account for demand.

  14. 9:39 says "The diploma mills should be shut down"

    If the free-flow of nondischargeable federally-guaranteed student loan money stops, they'll shut down (or at least be shrunken to their appropriate size) naturally.

    Student loans are a great example of a government plan that seems good at first but causes a multitude of unintended problems. The proliferation of J.D. mills is just one of those problems.

  15. 11:52 - Deans will only be able to continue to jack up tuition as long as student loan money continues to be so easily available. If lenders have to actually make a financial assessment of a particular student's future ability to pay back the money, the student loan money will dry up and schools will be forced to make tuition more competitive.

  16. I agree with 4:40, but don't know how to put the diploma mills out of business. They keep pumping barely competent would be attorneys out without any regard of its affect on the profession.

    Not everyone is smart enough to practice law.

  17. When "the free-flow of nondischargeable federally-guaranteed student loan money stops, they'll shut down".

    I suppose another benefit of shutting down the JD mills is that the average level of competence in the profession will trend upward,