August 2014

* Maryland becomes the latest state to temporarily halt lethal injection executions, this time because of procedural issues with the way the lethal injection protocol was adopted. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* Church burners expected to plead in Alabama [CNN]
* No good deed goes unpunished in Libya. [Jurist]
* First the minimum was too much, and now 10 years is not enough. Why doesn’t the appellate court just go ahead and sentence the child-renter?. [CNN]
* And in more bad parenting news…. [CNN ]

Andrew Cuomo Andy Cuomo Attorney General New York.JPGShortly after we predicted that he’d be making some personnel announcements, Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Attorney General-elect, made some personnel announcements. From the AP:

Cuomo, the eldest son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, named Robin Baker as his executive deputy attorney general for criminal justice. Baker was the deputy chief of appeals for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan Southern District of New York. She has worked in that office since 1996, prosecuting gangs, terrorism, organized crime, narcotics, and other criminal cases.

Eric Corngold was named executive deputy attorney general for economic justice. He has served as chief assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan since 2005. He headed the office’s business and securities fraud unit from 1999 to 2005 and its general crimes unit from 1997 to 1999.

Baker and Corngold are impressive hires. They’re veterans of the S.D.N.Y. and E.D.N.Y., two of the most prestigious prosecutor’s offices in the country (recent setbacks notwithstanding).*
Correction: Thanks to “Ferris Reynolds” for this observation. Contrary to the AP report, Corngold was an AUSA in the Eastern District of New York, not the Southern District of New York. See, e.g., here and here.
Two other key Cuomo appointments announced today: Mylan Denerstein, head of legal affairs for the New York City Fire Department, was named executive deputy attorney general for social justice; and Jenny Rivera, of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, was named special deputy attorney general for civil rights.
* There appears to be a mini-trend of tristate attorneys general looking to federal prosecutors’ offices for talent. On the other side of the Hudson, Stuart Rabner, New Jersey’s new attorney general, has recruited from his former office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark. For example, he picked John Vazquez, one of the U.S.A.O.’s most promising young prosecutors, to serve as his Special Assistant for criminal justice matters.
Cuomo Hires A Staff [The Politicker via The Daily Politics]
Cuomo names four appointments to attorney general’s office [Associated Press via Newsday]
Earlier: Coming Soon: Andy’s Kids

* All may not be genetically sound with Suri babies of holoprosencephaly sufferers. (But does genetic perfection really exist?) And once again, wordplay gets us out of the woods of potential litigation by a crazy actor midget. [Overlawyered]
* Jack Abramoff has been hitting the books in the prison law library and will represent himself in two lawsuits filed against him by Indian tribes. I think “kitchen duty and carpentry” is prison-speak for “shower activities.” [Law.com]
* Off-ensive or just off-menu? Not brought to you by the people who brought you this refreshing drink. [Vivir Latino via Racialicious]
* Remember when we used to de-contract words (e.g., “does not” for “doesn’t”) to inch our way towards the minimum word requirement? [FN1] Apparently, this is the only way law school is not like high school. [PrawfsBlawg]
[FN1] Enough already! law professors lament. And yes, smart aleck, footnotes do count toward the word limit.
* Running with Scissors writer Augusten Burroughs is being sued for libel, not for his part in the adaptation of his memoir into the abysmally bad film version. [Vanity Fair]
* Any future husband of mine should be so lucky as to take on “Q” as their last name, or our combined last name. But for the record, could it be that “Buday” is pronounced “booty”? [ACLU of Southern California via PrawfsBlawg]

stack of bills cash money.jpgWe must run, although we shall return later today. Please post breaking bonus news in the comments.
We define “breaking news” broadly. Another firm matching the market may not be thrilling, but we keep track of these things anyway.
Before we go, we can report that Schulte Roth & Zabel matched the market bonuses. Schulte matched the market (for 2000 hours), but with additional $10,000 bonuses at 2300 and 2500 hours.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)

library sex sex in the stacks bookshelves sex.jpgWe reiterate our earlier inquiry: What is UP with law school libraries?
First smells. Then strangers.
Now, sex. This email, from Student Bar Association president Kenley Maddux, just went around at Washington University Law School in St. Louis. Alterations are in the original, except as indicated by “Ed. note.”

From: Kenley Maddux
Sent: Tue 12/12/2006 1:45 PM
To: Announcements
Subject: sex acts

Fellow Students, I received this message as a forward from Dean Bolin, and was asked to pass along the following. This is not a joke.

Excerpts of message from Don Strom, WULAW Police Chief:
Subject: High Priority — Campus Police Alert

Today we were alerted by an Aramark supervisor that some of their employees have noted sex acts occurring at Olin Library and AB Hall. [Ed. note: AB Hall is Anheuser-Busch Hall, the law school building.]

The students usually do not have the common sense or the decency to stop when they are confronted, and seem to expect the Aramark employees to leave and come back later to do their work….

[ARAMARK employees have been instructed to report these incidents to the police in the future, and the campus police will be adding new overnight patrols through the law school. While there is no indication that the past sex acts were other than consensual, the Police will take that possibility seriously and thoroughly investigate every report. -- Don Strom]

My advice is, do not have sex at school. My understanding is that, in addition to whatever criminal sanctions are imposed, this will go into your law school record, and that it will be reported to the character and fitness panel of every state or territory that you apply to practice law in. This reporting is not a matter of discretion, and is not contingent on proof of a criminal act. Bar authorities may delay your admission, require remedial activities, or exclude you from the practice of law. Necessity is not a defense (even if your power is out at home). [Ed. note: Emphases added. But we don't get the part about the power outage.]

You have been warned. — Kenley

Maddux’s position may be unreasonable. “Sex in the stacks” is a time-honored tradition, at both undergraduate and graduate institutions.
But if you’re going to do it, be smart. Follow these useful pointers. And be safe!
Have Sex in the Stacks: Put Your Widener in My Pusey [Harvard Crimson]
Earlier: More on the Attorney General in the Emory Law Library
What Is Up With Law School Libraries These Days?
Breaking: Mystery Smell Hits NYU Law Library!!!

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFThe latest collection of moves within the profession:
From government to private sector:
* George Bundy Smith, former judge on the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court (duh) — to Chadbourne & Parke, as a litigation partner.
Lateral moves:
* “A little ditty, about Jack and Diane”: M&A lawyer Jack Bodner, bankruptcy lawyer Dianne Coffino, and bankruptcy lawyer Ben Hoch, to Covington & Burling (NY), from Dewey Ballantine. We hear that this trio is “extraordinarily nice.”
Dewey Ballantine is in the process of merging with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe — a combination that has been delayed (and might possibly fall apart).
Covington will soon unveil plans for new office space in the fancy, Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building. It may be the coolest move since the Skaddenites got to shack up with the Conde Nasties (but there are probably fewer hotties among the ink-stained wretches of the Times than the staffers of Vogue).
* Duane Morris launches its Baltimore office by snagging three partners and an of counsel from DLA Piper: Jay Gordon Cohen, Keli Isaacson, George Nemphos, and Wilbert Sirota (of counsel).
On the Comeback Trail?
* You can’t keep a good woman down: Star Jones, the prosecutor turned television personality, is doing a radio show (after getting booted from “The View”). Good luck, Star!
Star Jones: a star reborn? [Miami Herald]
At Last, Star Jones Reynolds’ Dramatic Comeback! [Gawker]
NY Lawyers Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
Firm Opens Baltimore Office With Raid [NYLawyer.com]
Three More Walk Away From Dewey [WSJ Law Blog]

michael lee mike lee christopher paolella chris paolella matthew schwartz matt schwartz gordon todd.JPGsamuel alito jr samuel a alito jr justice alito.jpgSorry it has taken us so long. As promised months ago, we now begin our series profiling current Supreme Court clerks (aka the “October Term 2006″ or “OT 2006″ law clerks).
We’ll be going chambers by chambers, starting with the most junior justice. Here are the four law clerks to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.:

1. Michael S. Lee (BYU ’97/Benson (D. Utah)/Alito)

2. Christopher J. Paolella (Harvard ’99/Alito)

3. Matthew A. Schwartz (Columbia ’03/Alito)

4. Gordon D. Todd (UVA ’00/Beam)

As a member of the Alito extended family explained to us, here’s the key to understanding the Alito chambers: 3:1. This golden ratio perfectly captures the demographics of the OT 2006 Alito clerks. Consider:

1. Familial status: three are married with children, one is not (Chris Paolella — married, but no kids yet).

2. Undergraduate institution: three are Princetonians, one is not (Michael Lee — BYU).

3. Prior Alito clerkship: three previously clerked for then-Judge Alito on the Third Circuit, one did not (Gordon Todd).

4. Religious affiliation: three are Christian,* one is not (Matthew Schwartz — he’s Jewish).

5. College debate: three were gods of the parliamentary debate circuit, and former presidents of the American Parliamentary Debate Assocation (APDA); one was not (Michael Lee).

But we wouldn’t want such commonalities to overshadow the individuality of these gents. Check out our profiles of Messrs. Lee, Paolella, Schwartz, and Todd — after the jump.
* Mitt Romney footnote: Michael Lee is Mormon, which we consider to be Christian. Presidential candidate Romney hopes that evangelical Christians voting in the Republican primaries will agree with us.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Alito’s OT 2006 Law Clerks”

Andrew Cuomo Andy Cuomo Attorney General New York.JPGWe hear that Andrew Cuomo, New York’s incoming Attorney General, will be announcing some of his top appointments very soon — perhaps as early as this afternoon.
Since Eliot Spitzer reinvigorated the New York AG’s office, then used it as a vehicle to the Governor’s Mansion, the office’s profile and prestige have increased. Positions within it have become much more desirable.
It will be interesting to see Cuomo’s picks. We’ll keep you posted.
(Cuomo, of course, comes from a prominent family of lawyers. His father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, is now at Willkie Farr & Gallagher. His brother, Fordham Law grad Chris Cuomo, just joined ABC’s Good Morning America, after serving as a legal correspondent for the network.)
Andrew Cuomo Transition 2006 [official website]
The Cuomo Family [New York Observer via WSJ Law Blog]

stack of bills cash money.jpgThis doesn’t really matter much (except, of course, to the people receiving the dough). But for those of you keeping score at home, Dewey Ballantine has just announced bonuses. Surprise surprise, they’re matching market.
Well, almost matching market. The stub bonus for Class of 2006 folks was a flat $5,000.
Other notable items from the memo: (1) a requirement of 1900 hours to receive the bonus, and (2) a vague statement concerning Dewey’s possible, but now delayed, merger with Orrick:

[M}any of you have questions regarding the 2007 bonus structure and how it will be impacted should we complete a merger with Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP. We have not yet reached a final determination regarding the 2007 structure, but please be assured that our objective will always be to remain competitive in the legal market place and reward our attorneys for their hard work and contributions.

Assuming that a merger with the Orrick firm does occur, we will communicate the combined firm’s associate compensation structure as soon as possible. If the merger does not occur, attorneys will be notified of the Dewey Ballantine FY 2007 hours threshold promptly.

The full Dewey Ballantine memo, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Dewey Ballantine Announces”

Meryl Streep Devil Wears Prada Miranda Priestley Miranda Priestly Meryl Streep Above the Law.JPGThis post has nothing to do with the morbidly obese (which we recently learned is a medical term, not a colorful insult). In fact, they should probably hang a sign out reading, “Fat people need not apply.”
“They” refers to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, which is launching an exciting new practice group: the Fashion and Apparel Team (“FAT”). And if it’s anything like the fashion industry itself, a BMI over 20 will kill your chances of working there.
An advertisement the firm ran during New York Fashion Week encouraged people to “Get the skinny on FAT law.” Here’s what FAT law entails:

From negotiating contracts for TV reality show “Project Runway” to fending off UGG boot knock-offs, the new group is marketing itself as the go-to firm for Los Angeles and New York’s booming fashion industries….

So far, the group’s clients include Abercrombie & Fitch Stores; Victoria’s Secret Stores; Louis Vuitton U.S.; and Gap Inc.

It also is hoping to court celebrity clients who use their famous name to launch their own perfume or clothing line — such as when pop singer and fashion icon Gwen Stefani launched a clothing line in 2003.

This may strike some of you as yet another dubious new practice group. Is there really that much synergy to be gained through aggregation of fashion-related matters?
But hey, it sure sounds fun. It beats the pants off Global Warming for “coolest newfangled practice niche.” And when that associate who really wanted to be in Government Contracts gets stuck in Fashion and Apparel, the partner can superciliously tell her:

“Oh, don’t be silly — EVERYONE wants this. Everyone wants to be US.”

Sheppard Mullin Launches Fashion and Apparel Practice Group [The Recorder via Law.com]

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