February 2007

The ATL front page has no post about associate compensation developments. That’s unacceptable.
So here’s an open thread for you to discuss the latest firms to announce associate pay raises. If anyone drops off the LIST OF SHAME — or if any major legal news breaks while we’re gone — this is the place to mention it.
P.S. Can someone please take a screenshot of the rumored Mintz Levin memo, and send it to us? We will then remove the firm from the next LIST OF SHAME. Thanks.

Jan Crawford Greenburg Jeffrey Rosen Above the Law blog.JPGWe’re stepping away from our computer for bit, to attend an event at Georgetown Law School featuring two of the best writers about the Supreme Court working today: Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News, and Jeffrey Rosen, of The New Republic. It will be moderated by the brilliant Professor Neal Katyal (who also happens to be Jeff Rosen’s brother-in-law).
Both Greenburg and Rosen have just published new books about the Court. Rosen is the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, and Greenburg is the author of Supreme Conflict.
Before her book was published, we speculated that Jan Crawford Greenburg might unseat Linda Greenhouse as Queen Bee of the SCOTUS press corps. We suggested that the young and attractive Greenburg might play Eve Harrington to Linda Greenhouse’s Margo Channing. In light of the rapturous notices that Supreme Conflict has received, as well as its status as a New York Times-certified bestseller, we feel that our prediction is coming to pass. Watch out, Linda G.!
Some content will be posted while we’re gone. So please do check back soon!
Earlier: All About… Jan?

We love our tipsters. You’re the best research team anyone could ask for.
Several years ago, we read Lincoln Caplan’s excellent book, Skadden: Power, Money, and the Rise of a Legal Empire. Unfortunately, we don’t remember as much from the book as we might like.
(Our memory problems, as well as our typing skills, have gotten worse with increased blogging. Someone should conduct research into blogging and what effect it has on your attention span, concentration, and overall brain functioning.)
Fortunately, one of you does have a better recall of the book’s contents. A tipster directed us to this interesting excerpt, from page 89 of Skadden:
Skadden Arps Sullivan Cromwell Lincoln Caplan Above the Law.JPG
Our source comments:

I thought that it was pretty amazing that a 1993 book about another law firm would have two separate references about Sullivan’s negative reputation toward gay attorneys. I’ve attached the first page from Skadden that mentions it; the second comes much later in the book (and is along the same lines, but a different occassion).

Very interesting. Perhaps proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same?
(Yes, David Braff: We know that you and several other gay partners are very very happy over at S&C.)
Update: Please don’t read too much into our bringing this excerpt to your attention. You can draw whatever conclusions you like from it.
We’re just agreeing with our tipster that it’s interesting. That’s all.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)

In the past week or so, the romantic exploits (and misadventures) of lawyers and law students have been in the news. Here are a few noteworthy links:
Amani Toomer Yola Dabrowski divorce divorcing Above the Law.jpg1. ‘ABORT’ SHOCK IN GIANT DIVORCE [New York Post]
Football star Amani Toomer (at right), a wide receiver for the Giants, is divorcing his wife, Dr. Yola Dabrowski. The parties’ divorce filings are full of salacious allegations, but here’s what jumped out at us:

Dabrowski’s papers complain that Toomer: … * Sabotaged her dream of becoming a lawyer by stealing her computer and files, making it impossible to study for her law-school exams and leading to her getting an incomplete for the term.

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to a law student’s heart — or the way to break her heart, as the case may be — is through her papers.
Another allegation:

[W]hen she didn’t want to have sex, Toomer acted “irrationally and outrageously” – once urinating on her clothes, and another time tossing her BlackBerry into the Hudson River.

Destroying your spouse’s Blackberry? Now you’ve thrown down the gauntlet. If The War of the Roses were updated for 2007, there would surely be a scene of Blackberry destruction.
Damon Colbert Damon D Colbert Pillsbury Winthrop Above the Law.jpg2. Date Lab [Washington Post]
“Date Lab,” in which the Post sets up two people on a blind date and then writes it up, is one of our favorite guilty pleasures. This recent date, involving Pillsbury Winthrop associate Damon Colbert (at right), actually went fairly well. (The column is more fun when the dates are disasters.)
But the WaPo reader comments — “the two shallowest people in all of Creation,” “this Date Lab made me unbearably sad” — are kinda vicious. And we thought ATL commenters were harsh….
Gillian Hearst Shaw Christian Simonds Christian A Simonds Above the Law.JPG3. Page Six: Ready To Wed [New York Post]
Gillian Hearst Engaged! [Socialite Rank]
From Page Six:

LOVE is in the air for Hearst heir Gillian Hearst-Shaw and her yearlong boyfriend, Christian Simonds. Sources say the gorgeous brunette socialite and philanthropist was proposed to with “a blindingly huge diamond engagement ring” from Simonds. Her hubby-to-be, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, popped the question last weekend, following a romantic sleigh ride for two in the Berkshires. Mazel tov!

Page Six doesn’t identify his firm, but as Socialite Rank points out, Christian Simonds is an associate in the New York office of Lowenstein Sandler. Next time you make a disparaging remark about the New York office of a New Jersey law firm, ask yourself: “If my firm is so much better, then why am I not marrying a beautiful media heiress?”
4. Wendi Adelson and Dan Markel [New York Times]
Happy Anniversary to Wendi Adelson and fellow legal blogger Dan Markel, of PrawfsBlawg fame!

Last week we posted this photo, with captions:
“Speaking of asking people out, have you ever seen a tax law professor bust a move?”
Paul Caron Shari Motro TaxProf Blog  Above the Law.JPG
“Well, now you have.”
For the record, these captions can be read in more than one way. Was Professor Paul Caron hitting on Professor Shari Motro (profiled here)? Or was it the other way around?
Within the legal blogsophere, Professor Caron is a total rock star. And what’s a rock star without groupies?
(Digression: Speaking of Professor Caron, he has prepared this handy list of teaching fellowships for aspiring law professors. It’s a great resource for those of you interested in legal academia.)
By the way, after we chastised Professor Caron for wearing a button-down shirt with a suit, the good professor wrote us as follows:

I showed my students your comment about the button down shirt and asked them to vote on whether your fashion sense was correct about button down shirts with suits — maybe it is a Midwest v. East Coast thing (or perhaps they were just sucking up to me), but the students voted 85% v. 15% in favor of the button downs.

Update/clarification: We can’t believe we even have to do this. But for the record, a “button-down shirt” refers to a shirt with a button-down collar.
Time for an ATL reader poll:


Earlier: Writing About the Law: A Correction, and Photographs

Bill Burck 2 William Burck William A Burck Above the Law.JPGFormer Sullivan & Cromwell associates take many different career paths. Some join smaller firms or go in-house; some file lawsuits against S&C; and some join government service.
Last week we wrote about the high-powered William A. Burck (OT 1999/Kennedy), who has had his ticket punched by some of the legal world’s top employers: Sullivan & Cromwell, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District, and the White House Counsel’s office. We announced that Burck was leaving the White House for the U.S. Department of Justice, but we didn’t have information on his new post at the DOJ.
We now have that information, courtesy of some Justice Department tipsters. Burck will be serving as Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General, Alice Fisher. From an internal memo that was circulated on Friday by Fisher:

Bill will be responsible for overseeing and advancing the legislative agenda of the Criminal Division, supervising the Office of Policy and Legislation, and representing the Division before the United States Sentencing Commission and the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure of the U.S. Courts.

In our prior post about this move, we noted the incestuous nature of conservative legal circles. One of our tipsters had this to add:

Re: incestuousness, note that Dabney Friedrich (nee Langhorne) — a former colleague of Bill Burck at the White House [whose nomination to the federal bench was discussed in the same post] — is married to Matt Friedrich, Alice Fisher’s former Chief of Staff/Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in Crim (and now a member of AG Gonzales’s staff).

Whew! Did you get all that?
In light of how well Republicans groom their young lawyers (figuratively and literally), we share this commenter’s interest in learning about high-powered young LIBERAL lawyers. We realize that it’s tougher when your party doesn’t control the executive branch, which is home to so many plum executive appointments (and doles out plum judicial ones). But still, we’re curious. We welcome your comments and emails.
It’s not terribly exciting; but if you’d like to see it, Alice Fisher’s memo announcing the arrival of Bill Burck appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: More Info About Bill Burck”

letter writing 2 Above the Law Blawg.JPGCheck out this exchange of correspondence.
Job Application Etiquette: The Polite Rejection Letter
[Fortune's Legal Pad via Overlawyered]

Anna Nicole Smith 3 Anna Nicole Smith photo photograph pic picture Above the Law Above the Law.JPG* Southern Poverty Law Center’s getting it done. [CNN]
* NLJ reports that Camp 6 at Gitmo shows little improvement for cleared prisoners. [
Law.com]
* Bobby Brown has to stay downtown (until he throws down about nineteen thou’). [CNN]
* Barry Bonds won’t cooperate in steroids investigation. [Sportsline]
* Anna Nicole Smith’s mom appeals. [CNN]

This is a continuation of our prior post, Brokeback Lawfirm: The New York Magazine Piece (Part 1), which discussed the first half of Robert Kolker’s New York magazine article about Aaron Charney.
Our discussion picks up on page three (web pagination) of Kolker’s piece. At the top of that page is this fabulous graphic, entitled “Notes on a Scandal”:
Sullivan Cromwell Notes on a Scandal Aaron Charney Above the Law.jpg
It’s arguably a little derivative of an earlier New York Observer graphic (discussed here). But the textual elements are new, and some of the featured individuals are different.
The illustrations are amusing. They’re perhaps the most “pro-Charney” part of the whole article, since they’re so unflattering to the S&C lawyers, who are drawn to resemble animals. H. Rodgin Cohen looks like a frog, and Alexandra Korry looks like a chimp.
Our further thoughts on the article appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: New York Magazine Piece (Part 2)”

* Maybe you read this over Sunday brunch. I was going to make a crack about barely educated sorority girls in schools I’ve never heard of in states I’ve barely heard of, but then I thought of this, or this, or this. You know who should shed some light on this? Tyra. [New York Times]
* As culturally valuable as Britney’s hair? [Yahoo News]
* Man was “more than” friends with Man’s Best Friend. (You also don’t need to explicitly define “cheating” to know he was also cheating on his girlfriend… although that’s the least of her concerns.) [Bay City Times]
* Because we’re not all Wiki fans. [Conservapedia via Discourse.net]

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