April 2014

* For you law review nerds out there, some direction as to the citation of new species of sources. But *sigh* you probably already know all of this. [Slaw.ca]
* Law students bring logic and order to child-bearing… It’s a shame that we have to forego all that spontaneity and excitement of unplanned pregnancies. (Like what 2L Tamina must have felt when she had her first of two kids in her late teens.) [Law.com]
* An Ohio woman litters by tossing bags of McDonald’s out her window, then invokes the Fast Food Nation defense — to no avail. [Tribune Chronicle]
* An Indian thief seizes the day — what’s money if you can’t spend it? [Reuters]

Fed Soc 20.JPGThe Federalist Society Annual Dinner is basically one huge party. And no party would be complete without a rockin’ after party.
The Oscars have the Vanity Fair after-party; the Fed Soc dinner has the Harvard Law School after-party. And it’s supremely convenient. Unlike many after parties, which are held in obscure venues like underground bars or illegal clubs, the HLS Federalist Society party is held just across the hall from the ballroom hosting the dinner.
Like many non-HLS folk, we crashed the Harvard afterparty. Pictures from the raucous festivities, plus a few final photos from the dinner itself, appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Party Crash: Wherein the Harvard Federalists Throw a Bitchin’ After Party”

law library Above the Law.jpgBrian T. Valery is our hero. He figured out a way to save $100K on a legal education — namely, by not getting one. From Law.com:

Brian Valery is under fire for his pro hac vice appearance in a 2005 complex litigation case heard in Stamford, Conn. His motion to appear, which went unopposed, was based on his affidavit stating he was an attorney in good standing at the New York City firm of Anderson Kill & Olick. He also claimed to be a member of the New York Bar with no history of discipline.

As it turns out, Valery not only isn’t a member of the Bar, there’s no record that he ever applied or sat for the bar exam in New York or even set foot in a Fordham Law School classroom, which he told Anderson Kill partners he was doing at night to advance his career beyond that of a paralegal, Connecticut grievance officials say….

Valery, after working at Anderson Kill [as a paralegal] since 1996, told the firm in 2004 he had passed the New York Bar. Partners at the 132-lawyer firm have conceded to Connecticut grievance authorities that they regrettably took Valery at his word.

Oh Emily, if only you hadn’t sent that email, you could have tried this trick too.
Anderson Kill Discovers ‘Associate’ Is Not a Lawyer [Connecticut Law Tribune]Bryan Valery Brian Valery Brian T Valery Bryan T Valery.JPG

Edith Jones Edith H Jones Edith Hollan Jones Above the Law.jpgFor years we’ve been huge fans of Judith Edith H. Jones. She had a reputation as a tough, smart, conservative judge. She was known as as a badass of the bench, more than capable of eviscerating counsel or colleagues who crossed her. Her dramatic nickname — “horsewoman of the right-wing apocalypse” — pretty much said it all. (See here, hottie #3.)
(The high-powered Judge Jones was also a recurring Supreme Court short-lister — so frequent a SCOTUS mention, in fact, that Slate once dubbed her “Susan Lucci in Judicial Robes.”)
So our obsession with Judge Jones went way back. How could we not adore such a strong-willed, right-wing judicial diva? Sometimes muttering her full name under our breath — the Honorable Edith Hollan Jones — would make us shiver involuntarily.
This past weekend, at the Federalist Society conference, we actually got to meet Judge Jones. It was a thrill! And we even got to take a picture of her — so cool!
(Alas, Judge Jones forbade us from publishing it on the internet — and we don’t want to be found in contempt. So the picture will have to remain in our personal stash of federal judicial portraits. Sorry!)
In addition, we had the chance to observe Judge Jones up close, while she was in the audience of the final panel of the conference — a magnificent shouting match between social conservatives and libertarians that was nominally entitled “The Role of Government in Defining Our Culture.” (We expect to write more about this steel-cage match panel discussion later.)
We are sad to report, however, that some of these observations have changed our view of Judge Jones. We reveal what we saw, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Edith Jones: And She Brakes for Small Animals, Too”

pile of cash or money Above the Law Legal Blog.JPGToday is a banner day for mergers-and-acquisitions lawyers. Our big brother takes note of Blackstone Group’s gigantic proposed buyout of Equity Office Properties Trust, the nation’s largest office-building owner and manager, for roughly $36 billion ($20 billion plus $16 billion in assumed debt).
And that’s not the only deal. The WSJ Law Blog ticks off three more billion-dollar transactions: Bank of America acquiring U.S. Trust, Freeport-McMoRan acquiring Phelps Dodge, and Evraz Group acquiring Oregon Steel Mills.
Biglaw shops are involved in all of these transactions. The lucky law firms: Sidley Austin, Simpson Thacher, Cleary Gottlieb, Howard Rice, Wachtell Lipton, Davis Polk, Debevoise & Plimpton, Covington & Burling, and Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt (of Oregon).
Okay, “lucky” may not be the right term for people who have probably been pulling one all-nighter after another over the past few weeks (or months). But let’s look on the bright side: the fees from these deals will be delicious. And they’re likely to mean very good associate bonuses for 2006.
How delicious? This is where you come in. For this latest edition of Legal Fee Voyeurism, we’d like to ask you for any information, rumors, or quasi-informed speculation about the fees that firms will be earning on these deals. And, of course, we’re always interested in the related subject of associate bonus scuttlebutt.
Please send any such tips our way, by email. Thanks!
The Biggest LBO Ever: Does The Blackstone REIT Deal Mark the Beginning of the End of Public Companies? [DealBreaker]
M&A Mania: Good for the Lawyers! [WSJ Law Blog]

Fed Soc Program.JPG

This post is a continuation of our prior post, ATL Party Crash: The Federalist Society Annual Dinner (Part 1). It consists of additional pictures from the 2006 Annual Dinner of the Federalist Society, which took place last Thursday, at the Marriott Wardman Park.
The Fed Soc banquet is like Oscars night for the legal conservative establishment. The cavernous ballroom was packed with celebrity judges, lawyers, and legal academics, simply too numerous to mention here. Everywhere you turned, you saw a boldface name.
The evening’s two biggest stars were undoubtedly the two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Justice Antonin Scalia, honored for his twenty years of service to the Court, and Justice Samuel Alito, who delivered the keynote address for the evening.
Our photographs — with numbering continued from the eariler post, law-review style — appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Party Crash: The Federalist Society Annual Dinner (Part 2)”

breast implant breasts Above the Law.jpgLast Friday, something happened that made Walter Olson, the distinguished scholar and “intellectual guru of tort reform,” a very happy man:

“The government on Friday rescinded a 14-year ban on silicone gel implants for cosmetic breast enhancement, a decision praised by some for providing women with a better product but criticized by others who still question their safety. … After rigorous review, the [Food and Drug Administration] can offer a ‘reasonable assurance’ that silicone implants are ‘safe and effective,’ said Donna-Bea Tillman, director of the FDA Office of Device Evaluation.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Daniel Costello, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 18).

Silicone breast implants, available to consumers in most other countries, were driven from the market after a campaign of speculation and misinformation by trial lawyers and allied “consumer” groups, particularly Dr. Sidney Wolfe’s Public Citizen Health Research Group. The campaign resulted in billions in legal settlements over nonexistent autoimmune effects from the devices, none of which had to be repaid even after more careful scientific studies dispelled the early alarms.

We suspect Mr. Olson isn’t the only American male who was gladdened by this news.
FDA ends ban on silicone breast implants [Overlawyered]
F.D.A. Will Allow Breast Implants Made of Silicone [New York Times]
Memorable Quotes from Seinfeld (1990) [IMDb]

Fed Soc 1.JPG

As we mentioned earlier, we spent much of the past few days attending events at the Federalist Society’s 2006 National Lawyers Convention. Conveniently enough, the convention was held right here in Washington, D.C. (primarily at the Mayflower Hotel).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Society, here’s a blurb about them from their website:

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

Convention coverage will be interspersed throughout our posts over the next day or two. We attended many interesting events and took tons of pictures, so we have lots to share.
(A note to the American Constitution Society: In the interest of ideological balance, we will gladly cover your national convention next June, if you would be so kind as to invite us.)
A few photographs from the biggest social event of the Fed Soc convention — the Society’s star-studded annual dinner, held on Thursday, November 16, at the Marriott Wardman Park — appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Party Crash: The Federalist Society Annual Dinner (Part 1)”

* Let’s see. Romney wants the Massachusetts Supreme Court to force an anti-gay marriage amendment onto the ballot if the legislature fails to act on the issue before the session ends January 2. Wouldn’t that be, um, I dunno, activist? [Associated Press via How Appealing]
* It’s important to find something to occupy your time and stimulate your mind once you retire. It shouldn’t be anything like this, though. [CNN]
* Global warming: the new tobacco? [WSJ Law Blog]
* If he did it, you’re not gonna find out about it on these stations. [AP via Online Athens]
* Suit by stinky man kicked off flight fails to take off in Germany. [AP via Yahoo!]

Laurence Tribe Laurence H Tribe Larry Tribe Above the Law.gifProfessor Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School is one of the country’s most distinguished constitutional scholars and Supreme Court advocates. Having argued before the Court numerous times, Professor Tribe has no fear of the coutroom.
So why did Professor Tribe flee from the Ames Courtroom of Harvard Law School last Thursday? He was scheduled to judge a moot court for Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, the school desegregation case that the Supreme Court will hear next month. But before the arguments began, Professor Tribe bolted from the coutroom, leaving an empty swivel chair on the bench.
From The Harvard Crimson:

Laurence H. Tribe ’62, the Loeb University professor at Harvard, was scheduled to judge the moot court but had to leave upon notice that his dog, Chloe, had been found “shaking like a leaf” on the streets. The traumatized Chloe had fled the sound of a fire alarm in Tribe’s house, jumped a fence, and raced down Brattle Street, where a passerby waited with her while Tribe dashed the mile to the rescue.

Chloe was fine, if “badly-shaken,” said Tribe.

What set off the fire alarm in Larry Tribe’s house? A bonfire of Scalia opinions?
(Gavel bang: How Appealing.)
Desegration Case Argued at Law School [Harvard Crimson]

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