October 2014

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGWe’ve reached the end of another exciting day in the salary wars.
Okay, exciting may be an overstatement. But it’s obvious that reader interest in this subject remains high.
After the jump, we reprint a pair of non-announcements — or perhaps they could be called “placeholder announcements” — from DLA Piper and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. We also provide space for you to chime in on the latest compensation news, argue over pay differentials in different cities, and bitch about your hours.
To quote Hillary Clinton: “Let the conversation begin!!!”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Skaddenfreude: Two Non-Announcements, and End of Day Open Thread”

* The point of this fluff piece feature is that Ferraris are not always penis substitutes. [Legal Times]
* Is there actually a rental market (Netbux?) for books-on-tape? [Patry Copyright Blog]
* New York fashion week starts soon, and I will yet again be reminded that as a woman living in the cultural capital of the world (arguably), I will never amount to anything because I am not 6 feet tall and 105 pounds. So would I really care if they keeled over and died? [Access Hollywood]
* She also claimed to have coined, “I’m listening.” [New York Law Journal]
* Must-see TV, PBS-style. Those of you who know me also know I only discovered PBS when I got to college. And then, I just didn’t care. (Nah, just being obnoxious — I’ll occasionally watch a well-intentioned documentary or a live concert by some 60s band). [Legal Blog Watch]
* Defense should probably open with a clip of The Birds. [Los Angeles Times]

H Rodgin Cohen The Queen Helen Mirren Above the Law.JPGWe haven’t seen as many films this year as we usually do. But one of our favorites, either our #1 or #2 pick for the year, is The Queen (directed, and brilliantly so, by Stephen Frears).
Here’s a decent plot summary:

In late August 1997, just as Prime Minister Tony Blair was moving into 10 Downing Street, Princess Diana died in a Paris car wreck. England went into traumatized mourning deeper than anyone could have predicted, while the royal family — Diana’s estranged former inlaws — offered no public reaction at all.

As resentment toward the royal cold shoulder built into a monarchical crisis of public opinion, young Mr. Blair [attempts to intervene] with the Queen, [urging] the House of Windsor [to make] a public demonstration of something like humanity.

But Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) resists Blair’s call for a more public show of empathy. She is a deeply traditional woman, and as far as she’s concerned, Diana’s death is a “private matter” — since Diana, divorced from Prince Charles some time ago, was no longer a “royal” or “HRH” at the time of her death.
The Queen’s commitment to tradition makes her tone deaf on the public relations front. She does not know how to navigate the complex and challenging world of the modern mass media. The Queen fails to see the crisis in confidence that is looming — a crisis that threatens the institution of the monarchy, which she loves above all.
What we must now ask is:

Is H. Rodgin Cohen, the chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, the Biglaw version of “The Queen”?

Our reflections on this question, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is H. Rodgin Cohen ‘The Queen’?”


Cahill Gordon & Reindel has raised base salaries for its associates. The memo — posted on Infirmation, verified to us by one source at the firm, and emailed to us by another — appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Skaddenfreude: Cahill Matches”

airplane cabin 2 Above the Law Legal Blog.jpgThe story we’re about to share with you is great, gossipy fun. But we must warn you that it’s not for everyone. It’s on the long side, and it’s aimed at a rather narrow demographic.

It’s most likely to entertain (1) current or former Ninth Circuit clerks and (2) people who follow the federal judiciary very, very closely. If you were a reader of Underneath Their Robes back in the day, then this story is for you.

In recognition of its “inside baseball” nature — and so as not to inflict it upon people who just want Biglaw salary info — we’ve placed the complete story after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Flying the Friendly, Federal Judicial Skies”

WSJ Law Blog Peter Lattman Above the Law.jpgThe Justice Department’s Shanetta Cutlar isn’t the only idiosyncratic manager in the legal profession. The WSJ Law Blog offers up some interesting blind items about bosses from hell challenging supervisors in the world of private practice.
From the main post:

[Wall Street Journal columnist Carol Hymowitz] interviewed Gary Hayes, a psychologist and consultant, who says he worked with a New York law firm where a senior partner flung heavy law books across the room at an associate.

“The associate told me it was all right since the partner intentionally threw to miss — not hit him,” says Hayes. “But the associate soon moved to another firm.”

It’s okay to hurl F.3ds at your underlings, as long as you have crappy aim.
And from the comments:

“In the eighties there was a story making the rounds about a partner at a major firm (yes I do know which one) who punctuated a heated discussion by ripping a telephone out of the wall and flinging it across the room at another partner. Does partner v. partner mean it’s ok?”

“There is a certain partner at a certain well-known firm who is reputed to have hit her secretary in the head with a phone.”

“It just happened to me on Monday. A partner started yelling at me, reaching a high-pitched crescendo, because I handed him a photocopy of the wrong e-mail in an informal discussion. I almost started laughing, which infuriated him even more. The guy was on the verge of a stroke. I pity the man. He is a punishment to himself.”

If you’d like to enlighten us about these blind items, or speculate as to the individuals involved, you may do so — at your own risk — in the comments.
We will remind you, as we’ve done before, that under Section 230, YOU are responsible for any defamatory comments you post. We are providing the forum for discussion, but YOU are the speaker or publisher of your own remarks.
(And only YOU can prevent forest fires.)
The Scream [WSJ Law Blog]

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgFor those of you who are new to ATL, welcome to Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. In this recurring feature, we review the wedding announcements in the storied society pages of the New York Times, pick out three couples in which one spouse is a lawyer, and then score them numerically — on their credentials, families, looks, and “couple balance.” Each week, we declare a winning couple. The winners then square off in our “Couple of the Month” contest.
Due to competing claims on our attention — e.g., associate pay raise news — we’ve fallen a few weeks behind in LEWW. If you can think back that far, please cast your mind back to early January….
The weekend of January 6-7, the first wedding weekend of the new year, was a busy one. The most notable nuptials: the marriage of Ann Leventhal and Judge Jon O. Newman, of the Second Circuit. Numerous legal blogs took note of it.
But there were other lawyer weddings that weekend. Here are the three that we will review and score:

1. Ann Leventhal, Jon Newman

2. Erica Piccininni, Andrew Brettler

3. Debra Salz, David Finkelstein

Scores and commentary for the aforementioned couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: January 7, 2007″

We’ve confirmed the fact that Wilmer Hale has raised associate base salaries, in Washington and New York. We don’t have a memo, though, because associates received personal latters.
More about what we’ve learned, plus an open thread for your comments, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Skaddenfreude: WilmerHale, and Midday Open Thread”

And he was VERY prestigious…
Gallion Spielvogel gsbarristers Edward Gallion Steven Spielvogel.jpg
In case you don’t visit ATL in the evenings (even though we post at all hours), please check out this post from last night: Please Stop Forwarding the Gallion & Spielvogel Link To All Your Friends, While Laughing Your Ass Off.
It concerns the website of Gallion & Spielvogel, a highly esteemed boutique law firm founded by former associates of the extremely well-regarded, exceptionally international law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. G&S is now representing associate Gera Grinberg — y’know, the guy who allegedly had an “unnatural relationship” with Aaron Charney — in connection with Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell.
As one of you suggested, we reached out to Edward Gallion and Steve Spielvogel. We inquired into the death of their delightful website.
Check out our correspondence to them, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Gallion & Spielvogel: We Killed Kenny!!!”

Shanetta Cutlar 2 Shanetta Y Cutlar Shanetta Brown Cutlar DOJ SPL Special Litigation Section Civil Rights Division.jpgWe’re so excited. Our girlfriend SYC has made the big leagues!
Shanetta Y. Cutlar, the successful and high-powered lawyer who oversees the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section, is the subject of an article in today’s Legal Times. We’re praised her profusely in these pages; but we’re glad that she’s finally getting her due in the mainstream media.
Some excerpts:

Ty Clevenger, 37, a former Washington Times reporter and line attorney in the section who was fired in October, has accused veteran Section Chief Shanetta Cutlar of being “abusive toward attorneys and support staff,” specifically those hired by Schlozman.

Among Clevenger’s allegations: Secretaries were ordered not to assist him with an eight-hour typing project, another attorney was publicly berated for using a paper clip rather than a binder clip on a document, and an intern was reprimanded for not greeting Cutlar while passing her in the hallway.

In his whistleblower complaint, Clevenger included a copy of a statement by the intern, Deborah Meiners, 24, to a DOJ ombudsman about the hallway incident.

“I did get the sense that this was a common occurrence,” says Meiners, now a third-year law student, of her treatment.

For those of you who have been wondering if Shanetta Cutlar is aware of her newfound celebrity, the answer is probably yes — now that the Legal Times has contacted her office for comment:

Cutlar’s office referred questions to a DOJ spokeswoman, who issued a statement saying the department is looking into the allegations.

Interesting. Does anyone know what “looking into the allegations” entails?
Is the DOJ conducting a full-blown internal investigation of SPL? Or is it just AAG Wan Kim getting on the phone to Shanetta and saying, “This is all silliness that I don’t need to pay attention to, right?”
We hope the latter. As we’ve previously pointed out, Shanetta Cutlar is just doing her job — and exceptionally well, at that. We hope that a bunch of whiners and crybabies don’t interfere with SYC’s longstanding efforts to vindicate federal civil rights laws on behalf of the disabled, prisoners, and other groups who can’t stand up for themselves.
To Shanetta Cutlar: Congratulations on your shout-out in the Legal Times!
Whistleblower Complaint Filed Against DOJ Civil Rights Division [Legal Times]

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