H Rodgin Cohen Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPG(Because, you know, they have better things to do with their ten-foot poles.)
The New York Observer’s Anna Schneider-Mayerson has penned an interesting article on Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. Here’s the link.
Random aside: When ATL holds its “Legal Journalist Hotties Contest,” expect Anna Schneider-Mayerson — a Harvard-educated blonde beauty — to give Jan Crawford Greenburg a run for her money.
Much of Schneider-Mayerson’s article will be familiar to regular readers of Above the Law (since we’ve been “covering the crap” out of this case, as promised). But the piece does contain some new information. Like this:

Mr. Charney said he called Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a legal advocacy organization that represents gay clients on civil-rights-related issues, to aid in his case.

“I called the hotline, spoke to the representative who answered, and was told I would hear back from them,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Days later they returned my call and informed me that they were not interested in pursuing my matter against S&C.”

(A representative at Lambda contacted by The Observer said it does not comment on these matters.)

The Lambda diss is the juiciest tidbit. But the NYO piece contains a few other highlights, which we reprint after the jump.


The Observer goes into the history of S&C as a firm, as well as a workplace for gay lawyers:

“Sullivan & Cromwell is a distinguished firm with a well-known reserved culture,” said Alisa Levin, a principal at legal recruiter Greene-Levin-Snyder. “I would never go to S&C in anything other than a proper skirt suit, whereas I would go to just about every other firm in edgy dress.”

But in a survey of law firms drawn from anonymous interviews and published on the Web site Vault.com, the entry for Sullivan & Cromwell reads, in part: “Regarding acceptance of gays and lesbians, “it’s unfair that Cleary has the gay-friendly rep,” says a contact, “because S&C is undoubtedly at least as supportive.” Sexual orientation is a non-issue, as Sullivan “has many outspokenly gay partners and associates who are fully integrated into the firm’s professional and social life.”

Sullivan & Cromwell is a monster mergers-and-acquisition firm, 125 years old and as blue-blooded and white-shoed as they come.

Its history stretches back to its involvement in the creation of the Edison General Electric Company and U.S. Steel; last year, for the third year in a row, Bloomberg News named the firm the top deal advisor for its role in counseling on $487.9 billion in transactions. Among those deals, S&C represented AT&T in its $83.1 billion buyout of BellSouth, the highest-valued deal in the world in 2006.

The article also goes into Aaron Charney’s background:

Mr. Charney grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., and attended Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He continued his education immediately following that at Columbia University Law School, earning honors as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Sullivan & Cromwell was his first choice of firms; as he puts it, rather worshipfully, “It’s probably the world’s most famous law firm. I felt fortunate to be there.”

(Umm, Aaron, have you forgotten about Cravath?)
Charney comments to the Observer about his current state — paid leave — and his future plans:

“I haven’t thought at all about what happens the day after this ends,” he said. “I’d like to be working at the firm still on my current clients. I didn’t ask to be removed today.”

Interesting stuff. Charney’s relationship with S&C is, to put it mildly, complex.
As we’ve said before, we read the Charney coverage so you don’t have to. Think of us as your Charney v. S&C clipping service.
We’ve set up various news alerts to keep us abreast of developments in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. But please don’t be shy about emailing us concerning articles or blog posts that you think might be of interest to us. Thanks.
Sullivan Associate Charges His Firm With Gay-Baiting [New York Observer via WSJ Law Blog]


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