August 2014

Janice Rogers Brown Above the Law Wanda Sykes.JPGLast Friday, we attended a fantastic lunch talk by Judge Janice Rogers Brown (near right; her celebrity doppelganger, Wanda Sykes, is on the far right).
In case you’re not familiar with her, Judge Brown is a leading judicial diva. She’s a former justice of the California Supreme Court and a current member of the D.C. Circuit. In light of her inspirational life story — she’s an African-American female, the daughter of sharecroppers — and her seat on our nation’s most prestigious circuit court, Judge Brown is frequently mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee.
We’ll have more to write about the event later — plus some of our fabulously horrendous photographs, an ATL trademark. For now, though, we just want to share you the best quip of the day (or the “money quote,” as those political bloggers like to say):

“I have NEVER thought of myself as a diva.”

What caused her to utter this sentence? During the Q and A, we got up and asked her (among other things): “Judge Brown, you’re a fabulous judicial diva. But you’re stuck on a court that focuses on administrative law. Do you feel that being on the D.C. Circuit cramps your diva style?”
This was just one of several delightful moments from a great event. We’ll provide a more detailed report later.
Calendar of Lawyer Division Events [Federalist Society]
Fili-BUSTED! Magnificent Judicial Divas [UTR]
Earlier: The Courtroom of Style: Judge Janice Rogers Brown

1. Expect a Latham & Watkins announcement imminently. We’ve been reliably advised that the Associates Committee of LW met this morning, by conference call, from 11:30 AM to 12:10 PM (Eastern time).
2. In terms of the struggle for ATL’s soul — i.e., the heated debate over “salary vs. non-salary” coverage — here is what we’re going to do:

(a) We will continue to cover salary developments, but we will put the information and memos after the jump, so they won’t clutter up the main page. (For those of you who are new to ATL — and we can tell from our traffic stats that there are many of you — “after the jump” is blogspeak for “Click on the ‘Continue reading’ link.”)

(b) We will also start increasing the number of non-salary-related posts that we publish. After all, the biggest news — the original Simpson Thacher raise, and the setting of baselines in various major cities — is pretty much over. Much of what’s going on now is just follow-up.

We hope this will strike a balance that will make most of you happy. Thanks for reading!

Aaron Charney 2 headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett CharneyWhy do we say this? Because more lawyers are on the scene, that’s why! And now everybody gets to grab their socks.
(Internal investigations: Fun for the whole family!)
Here’s a quick update on what’s going on in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the lawsuit filed by Aaron Charney against S&C, alleging anti-gay discrimination and retaliation.
On the civil litigation front, Sullivan & Cromwell has a week or two before it must answer Charney’s Complaint (PDF). As we previously mentioned, S&C is conducting an internal investigation into some of Charney’s allegations.
Here’s the latest news:
1. Sullivan & Cromwell associate Gera Grinberg, the purportedly straight associate with whom plaintiff Aaron Charney had a relationship that an S&C partner allegedly referred to as “unnatural” (HOTT!!!), has retained counsel: Gallion & Spielvogel.
Some time ago, we tried to contact Mr. Grinberg. We received this response from his new lawyers:

David Lat:

I understand that you recently have attempted to speak with Sullivan & Cromwell associate attorney Gera Grinberg.

Please be advised that my law firm, Gallion & Spielvogel, has been retained to represent Mr. Grinberg. My partner, Steven Spielvogel, and I are both alumni of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Department; we have a great deal of experience with internal corporate inquiries and, in fact, our firm specializes in handling such sensitive internal investigations.

As you can well understand, under the circumstances we have instructed our client not to speak directly with any media representatives. To the extent that you wish to contact Mr. Grinberg for any reason in the future, you should direct your inquiry to me at my law firm by email.

I trust that you and other representatives of your organization will refrain from any further attempts to reach my client directly.

Thank you.

Edward R. Gallion
Gallion & Spielvogel

Interesting that Grinberg has hired lawyers who are former S&C litigators (and presumably still on good terms with the firm). We wouldn’t be surprised if the powers-that-be at the firm pointed Grinberg in Gallion’s direction.
Why has Grinberg retained counsel? We’re guessing Gallion is representing Grinberg in connection with Sullivan & Cromwell’s internal investigation. Speaking of which…
2. We previously asked you which outside law firm was handling S&C’s investigation.
We haven’t confirmed this 100 percent. But we are hearing on the street that S&C has retained Paul Hastings. The team is said to be led by Zachary Fasman, a Paul Hastings partner who specializes in employment litigation.
We will contact Mr. Fasman and let you know what, if any, comment he has to offer.
If you have info you can share about this matter, please contact us.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)

Sorry for the technical difficulties. Happily, we’re now back online.
Akin Gump has announced its compensation scheme for New York and Washington offices (and perhaps others; these are the ones we’ve confirmed).
Pay scales for Akin Gump, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Skaddenfreude: The Akin Gump Memo”

* Suing BAR/BRI is something we all wanted to do at some point. [ABA]
* Legislation introduced to create CSPAN 3: The Supremes. [WSJ Law Blog]
* What comes before the Iowa caucuses? Law review elections, of course. [New York Times]
* Ari Fleischer testifies in Libby trial regarding leak of confidential information, and the Miami Dolphins. [
MSNBC]
* Brandy may face misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges. [CNN]
* Fraternity brothers get jail time for hazing. [CNN]

Our Latham & Watkins sources agree with the commenters who dismissed this memo as fake (or, if real, not yet released to all associates).
We’re signing off for now. Please continue the discussion, and post additional announcements, in the comments to this post. Thanks.
Earlier: Previous announcements of law firm associate salary increases (scroll down through “Skaddenfreude” archives)

Below is the Sidley Austin memo — sent us to by one source, verified by a second.
MEMORANDUM
TO: All U.S. Associates
FROM: The Management Committee
RE: Associate Salaries
We value highly our associates and your contributions to the Firm’s continued success. We also recognize the need to remain competitive with market conditions in order to recruit and retain the talent required to serve our clients. Accordingly, we are announcing increases in our standard salaries as follows, effective January 1, 2007.
Associates in our domestic offices other than New York will receive increases bringing standard salaries to the following levels:
Class of 2006 – $145,000
Class of 2005 – $155,000
Class of 2004 – $170,000
Class of 2003 – $190,000
Class of 2002 – $210,000
Class of 2001 – $225,000
Class of 2000 – $240,000
For New York associates standard salaries are as follows:
Class of 2006 – $160,000
Class of 2005 – $170,000
Class of 2004 – $185,000
Class of 2003 – $210,000
Class of 2002 – $230,000
Class of 2001 – $250,000
Class of 2000 – $265,000
Class of 1999 – $280,000
The differential between New York and offices other than New York is a reflection of market and cost-of-living factors.
As we have done in the past, we will address, on an individual basis, compensation for Counsel and associates in class years more senior than those listed above.
With your continued dedication and effort, we look forward to another strong year.

This is the Paul Hastings memo that went out earlier today (and previously posted in the comments). We have verified it with several sources at the firm.
Date: January 29, 2007
To: Stamford and New York Associates
cc: Stamford and New York Partners, All Office Chairs and AD Chairs, All Recruiting & Development
From: Jim Owens and Elizabeth Noe
Co-Chairs, Attorney Development
Subject: FY2008 Compensation Structure for Associates, New York and Stamford Offices
We are pleased to announce the Firm will be increasing base-level salaries for U.S. associates in Stamford and New York effective as of the new fiscal year which commences February 1, 2007.
FY2008 Compensation by Class Year is as follows:
Seniority Year / Class year
Stamford & New York
Entering 2007 160,000
1st / 2006 160,000
2nd / 2005 170,000
3rd / 2004 185,000
4th / 2003 210,000
5th / 2002 230,000
6th / 2001 250,000
7th / 2000 265,000
8th+ / 1999 280,000
These increases reflect the Firm’s commitment to paying at the top tier of the market in New York. The commitment to compete at the top tier extends to all of our markets. We will be making salary determinations in our other markets over the next several days. In all cases, any increase in base salary levels will made retroactive to February 1.
We thank you for and commend your performance, commitment and hard work throughout the year and your contributions to our success.
Please feel free to contact us or your local Attorney Development Committee Chair or Office Chair if you have any questions.

Here’s the Sheppard Mullin memo that went out earlier today:
To All Associates:
The Executive Committee is pleased to announce we are increasing the base compensation for all Associates. The 2007 base compensation for our first year Associates in New York will be $160,000, and for our Associates in all other offices $145,000. These new first year levels are consistent with those of our competitors. Base compensation for other classes will also be increased. The amounts for other classes will be announced shortly. The increases will be effective retroactive to January 1, 2007 and will first show up in your February 15, 2007 paycheck. You will also at that time receive the retroactive portion.
2006 was an exciting and successful year, and we look forward to working together to make 2007 even better. Thank you for the energy and hard work that has made our Firm prosper.

Count-down to Superbowl Sunday!
* Turns out those Superlawyer rankings are unrelated to true super legal powers after all. [Crime & Federalism]
* While “Supermax” may sound like an office supply warehouse store, it’s not nearly as fun. [Sentencing Law and Policy]
* In an effort to stay relevant without resorting to cell phone violence, once-ubiquitous (and once
“Super”) model Niki Taylor is suing E! for slander. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* Air America has been saved from its own personal Superhero. [HuffPo]

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