October 2014

Here’s a good appetite suppressant: Ginsburg in the Nude?*
As it turns out, the article has nothing to do with Ruth Bader Ginsburg sans robe. It’s about a copyright / misappropriation case, decided by the Ninth Circuit, that is now the subject of a certiorari petition before the Supreme Court.
Usually cert petitions emanating from the Ninth Circuit get put in a special “Summary Reversal” bin at One First Street. But that might not happen in this case. The opinion isn’t a Judge Reinhardt special, but a unanimous decision by a conservative judge, Jay S. Bybee (most well-known for his controversial pre-robesecent writing, namely, the so-called Bybee Memo).
Also, the song at issue is by Jennifer Lopez. And any lawsuit that would interfere with the dissemination of J. Lo’s music should be immediately dismissed.
* This isn’t the first time someone has thought about Ruthie in the nude. We know that Jon Stewart has. And so has, presumably, Martin Ginsburg.
Ginsburg in the Nude? [Townhall.com via How Appealing]
Laws v. Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. [Ninth Circuit]
Circuit Breaker: The High Court vs. Death Penalty Foolishness [Washington Post]

Frank Easterbrook Judge Frank H Easterbrook Above the Law.JPGBack in September, we reported that Judge Frank Easterbrook — “a veritable judicial hottie, a possible SCOTUS nominee, and brother of well-known author and ESPN.com commentator Gregg Easterbrook” — would be taking over in November as the chief judge of the Seventh Circuit.
The passing of the torch has now come to pass. From a tipster:

Judge Frank H. Easterbrook (your favorite judicial bear hottie) assumed the mantle of Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit on Monday, November 27.

Judge Joel Flaum turned 70 over the weekend. Under 28 U.S.C. 45(a)(3)(C), he was forced to step down as chief judge.

There was a nice little party in the main courtroom for employees of the court. Cake even!

How lovely! But we think that Chief Judge Easterbrook might have preferred an Arby’s Melt.
28 U.S.C. § 45: Chief Judges [Cornell Law School / Legal Information Institute]
Earlier: All Hail the Chief: Judge Frank Easterbrook

New York University Law School NYU Law School Above the Law.JPGThe NYU Law School hotties contest that we mentioned yesterday is still underway. The polls will close at 11:59 PM on November 30.
Alas, the Geocities voting site — which a commenter claimed was operational earlier today — appears to have gone down again. So we’re unable to see what all the fuss is about.
We did enjoy this exchange about the hotness of NYU law school students over at Gawker:

Gigi: From my experience: Stringy-looking over-achievers, Borderline Aspergers, Awkward footwear, Douche-y attitudes, Most hideous college sweatshirts ever. Lame.

dorkattack: We may be dorky, douche-y, and dowdy. But every day when I walk to class in my practical shoes, outdated jeans, and enormous backpack, I pass through a herd of undergrads in ass-gripping tights, gold lame’ belts, and fuck-me heels talking about last night’s coke-fueled threesome and how they are finding acting lessons to be so incredibly intellectually stimulating. Honestly, I’d rather hang out with people who can’t dress, are awkwardly argumentative, and can’t stop talking about Scalia. NYU law: Holla!

(We think dorkattack has the better of the argument — but of course we’re biased.)
Although the voting site is unavailable, a tipster was kind enough to send along the email message that went around to NYU 3Ls promoting the contest. We reprint the message in its entirety, after the jump.
NYU Law Students: Hot or Not? [Gawker]
Who Are the Most Attractive 3Ls at NYU? [Geocities]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NYU Law Students: Dorkily Desirable?”

stack of bills cash money.jpgHey kids, guess what? It’s almost December. Christmas is only a few weeks away; the end of the year is within sight. And we all know what that means: Associate Bonuses!!!
Welcome to Associate Bonus Watch. In this recurring ATL feature, we’ll keep you updated on the latest news and rumor about bonuses for law firm associates.
Here’s the latest speculation, from the Wall Street Journal:

Bonus season for New York City-based associates at big firms usually begins in early December, and there is more intrigue than usual this year, because of the possibility that firms will scale back associates’ bonuses after having raised their base salaries earlier this year.

In New York — the nation’s largest and most lucrative market, thanks to Wall Street business — bonuses for associates often have little to do with either a firm’s overall financial performance or the individuals’ productivity. Rather, many firms match the competition’s bonuses, regardless of whether firms have had similarly good years….

Asks a partner at one New York firm: “What top-tier firm wants to go to Harvard Law School and be the one that pays $5,000 or $10,000 less” in bonuses?

Exactly. And here at Above the Law, we’re happy to reinforce that market pressure, by broadcasting on the internet what different law firms are doling out as bonuses. Who’s naughty, and who’s nice? Check in at ATL to find out.
We aspire to cover breaking bonus news more thoroughly than the mainstream media or even the legal press. We were, after all, the first outlet to break the news of Wachtell Lipton’s midyear bonuses, back in September. We have a good-sized network of Biglaw moles, whom we turn to for tips and for fact-checking. (Yes, we do check facts — sometimes.)
But we need your help to do the very best job possible. As soon as you hear of any news or rumor about year-end bonuses for associates, please contact us ASAP, by email (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com, subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”). Thanks!
Jury’s Still Out on Wall Street Law Bonuses [Wall Street Journal]

Tim Wu Timothy Wu Above the Law.jpgAlthough we mentioned it in passing, we didn’t give adequate attention to Anna Schneider-Mayerson’s delightful profile of Tim Wu when it appeared earlier this month in the New York Observer. (It was discussed on several other prominent blogs.)
Now we have an excuse to double back and correct the error: We’ve received an email from the good professor! Here it is (reprinted with permission):

Hi this isn’t exactly a tip — I just read your entry for above the law and the FedSoc conference, and wanted to say sorry I couldn’t meet you at the Net Neutrality panel…. It turned out I had the wrong date and it conflicted with my Thursday copyright class, so I couldn’t come….

I hope to run into you in person one of these days.


Wow! When we received this email, we giggled girlishly with excitement. First, Professor Wu is brilliant. As noted in the profile, he was nicknamed “the Genius Wu” by no less an authority than Judge Richard Posner, who knows genius when he sees it (e.g., when he looks in the mirror).
Second, Professor Wu is quite handsome (see photo). How many other Columbia Law School professors have earned themselves a music video tribute (“Ain’t No Other Man But Wu”) from their students?
(Our only grooming suggestion to Professor Wu: Have those eyebrows thinned. We go to someone very good for ours, but she’s probably not convenient for you given that you’re in New York.)
Finally, we were glad to learn why Professor Wu missed the Federalist Society panel: he misread his calendar. It’s nice to know that a member of the Elect — and not just any old Supreme Court clerk, but one who has been called “indefatigable” and “a valuable man in chambers” by his former boss, Justice Breyer — makes scheduling mistakes. How utterly charming!
Wu-Hoo! Nutty Professor Is Voice of a Generation [New York Observer]
Tim Wu, Voice of a Generation [Volokh Conspiracy]
George Clooney’s Got Nothing On Tim Wu [WSJ Law Blog]
“I Heart Wu” [YouTube]

* The DOJ’s IG, its equivalent of the GAO, will investigate the NSA’s warrantless issuance of acronyms. [Law.com]
* Disecting the Chief Justice’s humor… lawyer style. [WSJ Law Blog]
* No name-calling: Court strikes down President’s power to designate terror groups. [MSNBC]
* Back in the Dogg pound: this time charges include “having a false compartment in a vehicle.” [CNN]

Richard Sander Richard H Sander Professor Above the Law.jpgfor this thought-provoking article — “Lawyers Debate Why Blacks Lag at Major Firms,” by Adam Liptak, one of our favorite legal affairs writers — to hit the New York Times “Most E-mailed Articles” list?
(Our prediction: By the close of business tomorrow, November 29, it will be in the top 10.)
Update: It happened even faster than we expected. The article cracked the top 10 by 9:35 AM.
We may blog about it more later. At the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, we attended a spirited panel discussion on law firm hiring practices and diversity, featuring Professor Richard Sander (at right). So minority lawyers and the world of Biglaw is a subject that’s been on our mind lately.
In the meantime, feel free to opine in the comments.
Lawyers Debate Why Blacks Lag at Major Firms [New York Times]

* Thesauruses can still do the trick. Who knows if I would have passed AP English without one? On the other hand, one of the perks of public high schools is having your Cliffs Notes-cribbed essay graded by a teacher qualified only to teach woodshop and coach girls’ softball. [New York Times]
* What would the Supreme Court say about McDonald’s plans to patent its sandwich-making process? [CNN Legal Pad]
* Ah, law school flirting is just so cute. [Overheard in New York]
* While the poodles seem to be safe, babies, sadly, are not. [WCSH Portland]
* Blood money, in a way. Because someone killed my will to love. [Newsweek via Overlawyered]

Details here. The original site is currently unavailable, apparently due to overload.
If you have the full email, please send it our way. We’re curious about this contest, so any additional information would be most welcome. You know where to reach us.
NYU Law Students: Hot or Not? [Gawker]
Who Are the Most Attractive 3Ls at NYU? [Geocities]

The AEI panel discussion on Watters v. Wachovia Bank that we were liveblogging earlier has ended. Our quick thoughts on the question-and-answer session, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The AEI Panel: A Final Dispatch”

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