August 2014

* A. This blogging law professor appeared on Jeopardy yesterday. Q. Who is Paul Horwitz? [Prawfsblog via How Appealing]
* Due process? Priceless. [CNN]
* Another soldier pleas in Iraq rape-murder case. [Jurist]
* Sexual abuse is the family business. [CNN]
* 240 years for NYC hate criminal. [AP via Yahoo!]

Carol Lam 3 Carol C Lam Southern District of California San Diego Yale College Stanford Law School.JPGDebra Yang Debra Wong Yang Above the Law blog.jpgHere are three fun facts:

1. Until her controversial ouster, Carol Lam (far right) was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California (San Diego).

2. Until she was tempted away from government service by a $1.5 million offer from Gibson Dunn, Debra Wong Yang (near right) was the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California (Los Angeles).

3. As far as we know, Eumi Choi continues to serve as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Coincidence? We have to ask:

What is up with Asian-American women and leadership positions in California U.S. Attorney offices?

Their presence in these posts would seem like a great leap forward for diversity — but it’s causing problems. Just ask poor Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Here’s what Senator Schumer wrote in a recent letter to President Bush:

In an email to the White House, [former Alberto Gonzales aide Kyle] Sampson refers to a “problem” with Carol Lam.

What was this “problem” and was Lam’s firing motivated by her investigation into former Congressmen Randy Cunningham and Representative Jerry Lewis?…

Mr. Sampson’s email was sent the same day [May 11, 2006] that the Los Angeles Times had broken the news that Ms. Lam’s investigation of former Congressman Randy Cunningham (R-CA) had expanded to include Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA).

OOPS. Carol Lam wasn’t investigating Jerry Lewis. If you go to the article in question, you’ll see that the Lewis investigation was being conducted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles — then headed by Debra Yang.
When contacted for comment, Senator Schumer stated: “The notion that I have bias against Asians is ludicrous. My favorite restaurant in D.C. is Hunan Dynasty. And I know all of the waitresses there by name!”
Update: In response to these comments, we must clarify: the Schumer quote is a joke.
Schumer’s Five Questions [TPMmuckraker]
Lewis Surfaces in Probe of Cunningham [Los Angeles Times via Truthout]
Carol Lam: Not Targeted Over the Jerry Lewis Investigation [Patterico's Pontifications]

* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
* Quirkiness belies dysfunction: Woody Harrelson’s father, convicted of murdering a federal judge, dies in prison. [AP via MSN]
* You may think people who buy hardbacks on an Oprah endorsement deserve their fate as victims of the great James Frey Swindle, but I have a heart. Losers, get your money back! [Gawker]
* I’m the kind of person who hates being hugged by non-friends without my permission, but this does seem a little inappropriate. [New York Daily News]
* News flash! No one remembers anything from the bar anyway. [PrawfsBlawg; Conglomerate]

On the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, after his oral argument in Morse v. Frederick, Dean Kenneth W. Starr has an epiphany. He realizes why he decided to take on this case, pro bono.
It’s because his client, petitioner Deborah Morse — a curvaceous, dark-haired beauty — reminded him of a young woman he once loved, many years ago…
Bong Hits 15.JPG

This morning we posted the first half of our photographs from our recent trip to the Supreme Court. The rest of the pictures appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Hits 4 ATL: A Photo Essay (Part 2)”

Stephen Kotran Stephen M Kotran Steven Kotran Steve Kotran Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law blog.jpgGandolfo DiBlasi Gandolfo V DiBlasi Vince DiBlasi Above the Law Blog.jpgWe’re glad to see that our last post on Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell — concerning Gandolfo “Vince” DiBlasi’s alleged boast that S&C “defended the Nazis,” and would “crush [Charney] like a bug” — gave rise to such a comment clusterf**k lively reader discussion.
This raises the question (which has already surfaced in the comments):

Is there any truth to this allegation?

We have emailed Vince DiBlasi (near right, glasses) with a request for comment. But we doubt he’ll get back to us.
So to figure out whether he actually said these things, we hereby request some character evidence — from you, our readers. If you have any firsthand information about DiBlasi — what he’s like as a person, as a boss, as an adversary — please email us (subject line: “Vince DiBlasi”).
Now, we’ve written a fair amount about alleged “villains” at S&C — in addition to DiBlasi, M&A partners Alexandra Korry and Eric Krautheimer. But now we’d like to hear about a “good guy.” A tipster wrote to us:

The S&C partner you should be soliciting info on is not Krautheimer or Korry but STEVE KOTRAN. Stephen Kotran [far right, no glasses] is by far the most fascinating character in this story. After all, Charney’s initial complaint makes clear that at every phase Kotran bucked the system (refused to do what his partners wanted him to do) in order to do what he felt was right.

This is storybook shit! How many partners at top-tier law firms are made of such stuff? I, for one, would love to know more about the man who appears to be the lone hero of this story.

And so would we. If you have inside info about Mr. Kotran, please email us (subject line: Stephen Kotran).
We thank you in advance for your thoughts on Messrs. DiBlasi and Kotran — and we look forward to reading them.
Stephen M. Kotran bio [Sullivan & Cromwell]
Gandolfo V. DiBlasi bio [Sullivan & Cromwell]

We find this hard to believe, but there are people out there who are even more obsessed than we are with law clerks. Like this person.
The lists are not complete, and the information could be presented in a more user-friendly fashion. But we suspect that some of you will find this blog very interesting anyway. And it certainly has great potential as a future resource — a la the fantastic Wikipedia listing of Supreme Court law clerks.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this site going forward.
I Seek Validation Through Clerkship Placement [main page]

United States Attorneys US Attorneys Above the Law blog.JPGThe scandal surrounding the firing of the eight U.S. Attorneys, while explosive and salacious, has presented us with some challenges. It’s a fast-moving story, and the information just keeps flooding in.
And because it’s such a huge story, the MSM has been covering it like crazy. We asked ourselves: What’s left for ATL to do?
Answer: Sponsor a U.S. Attorneys hotties contest!
Now that our Law Librarian Hotties contest is over, we must find a new group of legal professional hotties to rank. In light of all the public attention recently focused upon United States Attorneys, they’re an excellent subject for our next hotness competition.
Patrick J Fitzgerald 2 Patrick Fitzgerald Pat Fitzgerald Above the Law blog.JPGThere are many reasons to focus on chief federal prosecutors for a hotties contest. They’re clearly public figures, so they don’t present the same privacy concerns as so-called “civilians.” Their photographs are easy to find, because they’re always appearing before media outlets.
And, most importantly, some of them are pretty darn hot. For example, the hunky Patrick Fitzgerald (N.D. Ill.) helped make the Plamegate scandal worth following (with an assist from the scorchingly hot Valerie Plame herself). The apolitical zeal with which Pat Fitzgerald pursued the Scooty Libby prosecution was modern manliness at its best.
Carol Lam 2 Carol C Lam Southern District of California San Diego Yale College Stanford Law School.JPGThere are some fine offerings on the distaff side, too. The elegant Carol Lam (S.D. Cal.), according to her critics, was easy on immigration enforcement. But she’s pretty easy on the eyes, too!
(We could say more about Carol Lam’s hotness, but we won’t, ’cause she kinda looks like our aunt.)
We are now accepting your nominations of hot United States Attorneys. If you’d like to submit an attractive U.S Attorney for consideration, please review the rules and nomination guidelines, which appear after the jump. Thanks!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Hotties: U.S. Attorneys!”

Bong Hits 1.JPG
The U.S. Supreme Court building at One First Street, on the morning of Monday, March 19. Like rock star groupies, SCOTUS fans camped out overnight for a chance to breathe the same air as the nine robed ones.
As we previously explained, we didn’t make it in to see the argument in Morse v. Frederick, aka the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, before the Supreme Court on Monday. But our trip wasn’t a complete waste, since we did get some video footage (here, here, here, and here).
Oh wait — you HATED our videos. Well, at least give us credit for mixing things up a little around here. Every now and then, we like to try new things, to keep ATL from getting hidebound. Not every experiment works; but that’s why they call them experiments.
Anyway, hopefully you’ll like our still photography more. We’re post them in two batches. The first set of pictures, of Dean Kenneth Starr and two colleagues, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Hits 4 ATL: A Photo Essay (Part 1)”

Aaron Charney 2 headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett CharneyPerhaps you’re sick of reading about the aborted settlement talks between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell. Presumably you’ve already read our extensive coverage of the March 15 court hearing, at which the settlement talks took center stage, as well as the reports of Lavi Soloway (who effectively functioned as ATL’s New York correspondent for the hearing).
But if your appetite for all things Charney-licious continues unabated, then be sure to read this excellent article, by Anna Schneider-Mayerson of the New York Observer. It doesn’t contain much new material, but Schneider-Mayerson does a superb job of explaining a rather confusing series of events at the hearing, in clear yet engaging prose. Enjoy!
Update: We agree with the various commenters about the juiciness of this tidbit (and apologize for apparently missing it until now):

Michael Kennedy, an attorney for Mr. Charney, described an alleged “rant” by [S&C partner Gandolfo "Vince"] DiBlasi.

“That rant said, ‘Sullivan & Cromwell is invincible.’ That rant says, ‘We defended the Nazis, and nobody can do anything or cared. We’ll crush you like a bug,’” Mr. Kennedy said, quoting his client’s recollections at a Feb. 22 hearing in the New York State Supreme Court. “Those aren’t settlement negotiations; those are threats.”

First Thing, Kill All the Evidence [New York Observer]

* WWJS? [Slate via How Appealing]
* I apologize for bringing this back up again; DNA test ordered for Anna Nicole’s baby. [CNN]
* No class action status for Enron shareholders. [Jurist]
* Bush draws line in the sand on aide testimony; Dems promise to step over it as early as today. [AP via Yahoo!]

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