October 2014

It’s not as cute or amusing as the two young women we videotaped yesterday. But for those of you might be interested, another short video from our recent Supreme Court visit appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Hits 4 ATL: Pro or Con?”

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGWord on the street is that Sullivan & Cromwell is now paying a $50,000 clerkship bonus. In addition to Greedy Clerks, the news has surfaced in comments on this blog, and we’ve also heard about it via email. So the tip seems fairly reliable to us.
We first learned the news from a tipster with two prior clerkships, which raised the possibility that the $50K bonus reflected more than one clerkship. But it now appears that it’s actually a flat $50,000 bonus for anyone with a prior clerkship (i.e., a second clerkship doesn’t give you a second clerkship bonus (unless it’s a Supreme Court clerkship)).
Considering that a significant number of S&C associates come to the firm after having clerked, this rather large clerkship bonus is almost like a second pay raise (on the heels of the recent Simpson Thacher-induced salary bump). It appears to be second only to Kellogg Huber’s $100,000 clerkship bonus, and certainly the largest such bonus in New York.
So who cares about a few nasty partners? Sullivan & Cromwell is telling former clerks: “There’s $50,000. Bend over and pick it up — I’m sure you like that.” And many clerks will probably respond, “You bet we do! Fifty grand is pretty much equal to a law clerk’s annual salary.”
Feel free to discuss this development, or other clerkship bonus news and rumors, in this open thread.
S & C Raises Clerkship Bonuses! [Infirmation / Greedy Clerks]

What are you doing tomorrow night? If you are here in Washington, DC, and don’t already have plans, please consider attending the annual benefit dinner of the Asian Pacific American Bar Assocation Educational Fund (AEF). Here are some reasons you should go:
1. It’s for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit the organization’s charitable and educational activities.
2. We’re emceeing for the evening. We’re breaking out the tux — and shaving (which is a big deal for us as bloggers).
3. There will be silent and live auctions. One of the items up for bids: Supreme Court bobbleheads! (Did you hear that, Mr. Bashman?)
4. The dinner invitation is both elegant and coherent, which is no small feat.
If you don’t believe us, see for yourself — the invite appears below. Tickets, which will be available at the door, are $90 for lawyers in private practice, $75 for government and public interest lawyers, and $60 for students.
We hope to see you there!
AEF annual benefit dinner invitation.jpg

alberto gonzales alberto r gonzales attorney general.JPG(Not because Alberto Gonzales is looking secure in his position as Attorney General, but because everyone else — the WSJ Law Blog, the Legal Times — has used it already.)
In the past hour or so, the Justice Department released about 3,000 pages worth of documents relating to the U.S. Attorneys firing fiasco. The documents were sent over to Capitol Hill, quickly and in non-chronological order (which the Dems may complain about; but hey, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth). It appears that some of these documents may relate to the specific reasons for firing the dismissed U.S. Attorneys — a belated attempt by the DOJ to explain, in more satisfying and greater detail, why exactly these eight federal prosecutors were canned.
Another interesting rumor going around: If AG Gonzales steps down, one possible replacement is Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff — former assistant U.S. Attorney General, and former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey (and the only U.S. Attorney not replaced immediately by President Clinton when he cashiered almost all of the U.S. Attorneys upon taking office).
The whole situation is very fluid. Stay tuned…

* Unlike batting averages, Zagat numbers are not exactly accurate to begin with. And don’t you wonder who fills out those surveys anyway? [New York Post]
* You defile it, you buy it. [Morning Call]
* While this does merit more than a Non-Sequitur, a show of hands of those who really care about Phil Spector or his rip-off of William Burroughs’s “William Tell” defense. [Reuters via Yahoo! News]
* Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go… [Jurist]

We interviewed a young woman from Brazil outside the U.S. Supreme Court today. We were quite impressed by her. She’s more into the Supreme Court than supermodels!
(As you can see, this was a very “meta” exchange. She made a video of us, making a video of her, being interviewed by us.)

A Taste of Brazil [YouTube]

We could probably get away with an editorial comment or two, under the “Chris Rock Can Make Black Jokes” rule, since we’re Asian ourselves (and have numerous relatives and friends who don’t speak the Queen’s English).
But we will restrain ourselves, and just pass this flyer along with the comment of our source: “I think this ad speaks for itself.”
LLM party flyer Harvard Law School.jpg

Remember this poll, showing that Americans are better acquainted with Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs than the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices?
We did a little follow-up research this morning, while waiting outside the Supreme Court building at One First Street:

Nine Supreme Court Justices vs. Seven Dwarves [YouTube]
Seven Dwarfs vs. Supreme Court justices [UPI]

We were very excited for our SCOTUS field trip this morning. We had some friends in from out of town, and the four of us headed over to One First Street, to try and watch two Supreme Court arguments: Morse v. Frederick, the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” student free speech case argued by former Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr, and Wilkie v. Robbins, the civil RICO case argued by Professor Laurence Tribe.
Unfortunately, even though we arrived at 8:00 AM — two hours before the scheduled ten o’clock argument — we didn’t make it in for the Morse case. The crowd was simply too large, the line too long. The people who did make it in had been waiting outside the Court, in freezing temperatures, since at least 5:30 AM. Some had folding chairs and blankets, suggesting they had camped out overnight.
We were admitted to watch a few minutes of Professor Tribe’s argument in the Willkie v. Robbins case. But we didn’t make in to that argument until around 11:30 AM.
So we had a lot of time to kill in the cold. Over the three and a half hours, we made a few random videos — like this one:

Outside the U.S. Supreme Court [YouTube]

D Kyle Sampson Kyle Sampson Kyle D Sampson Kyle Samson Above the Law blog.jpgAttorney General Alberto Gonzales’s former chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson, resigned from his CoS post effective March 12. Some news organizations reported that his resignation was due to a failure to keep senior Department of Justice officials in the loop about discussions he had with former White House counsel Harriet Miers concerning the controversial U.S. Attorney firings.
Kyle Sampson wants you all to know that such reports are incorrect. From the Politico:

Another act in the drama opened this weekend with the release of a statement by D. Kyle Sampson….

The statement was issued by his lawyer, Bradford A. Berenson, who had worked for Gonzales in the White House counsel’s office for the first two years of Bush’s presidency. The statement makes it clear that Sampson does not want to be blamed for the fiasco, and particularly for any incomplete briefing of Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William E. Moschella before they testified to Congress about a lack of political influence on the decision to dismiss the prosecutors.

Here’s the full statement:

“Kyle did not resign because he had misled anyone at the Justice Department or withheld information concerning the replacement of the U.S. Attorneys. He resigned because, as Chief of Staff, he felt he had let the Attorney General down in failing to appreciate the need for and organize a more effective response to the unfounded accusations that the replacements were improper. The fact that the White House and Justice Department had been discussing this subject since the election was well-known to a number of other senior officials at the Department, including others who were involved in preparing the Department’s testimony to Congress. If this background was not called to Mr. McNulty or Mr. Moschella’s attention, it was not because any of these individuals deliberately withheld it from them but rather because no one focused on it at the time. The focus of preparation efforts was on why the U.S. Attorneys had been replaced, not how.”

Translation: “Sorry, Alberto, but I’m not taking the fall for you. I’m too young, and too ambitious, for my career to end now. I may be from Utah; but my name is not Angela Stander!”
Dems Seek Maximum Political Gain in Attorneys Uproar [Politico]

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