October 2014

And we’re not speaking metaphorically, about the remaining decisions from October Term 2006.
We’re talking about the shoes of celebrated Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News. Will a pair of Manolos fall from the sky?
So, what happened to JCG’s footwear? Was it a case of sabotage, by an increasingly threatened rival?
Jan Crawford Greenburg 2 shoeless without shoes Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
Go Home Already: Missed Connections [DCist]

Latham Watkins LLP Above the Law blog.JPGBefore those big Supreme Court opinions start drifting in, let’s put in a quick word about clerkship bonuses.
As several commenters suggested yesterday, we contacted Latham & Watkins to find out about their clerkship bonus policy. We confirmed that the firm effectively pays a clerkship bonus just shy of $50,000, which does not vary depending upon which office you work in, and we learned some additional information as well:

* Latham & Watkins pays federal clerk bonuses at approximately $50,000, which comprises a $35,000 bonus plus a $13,333 bar study / bar exam and review fees bonus.

* Clerks to federal magistrate judges do receive the federal clerkship bonus.

* Latham & Watkins paid its 2006 U.S. Supreme Court clerks a ‘signing bonus’ of $200,000. In 2006, six Supreme Court clerks joined Latham & Watkins in the firm’s Washington, D.C., San Diego and San Francisco offices.

* “As a leading global law firm with a diverse national presence in the U.S., Latham & Watkins regularly evaluates its compensation.”

We thank Latham for furnishing us with this helpful information.
Update: As for multiple clerkships or years of clerking experience, the firm does not have a fixed and easily summarized policy, since more factors come into play. If you’re in that boat, you should consult with Recruiting.
Further Update: Don’t shoot the messenger. If you don’t like Latham’s clerkship bonus policy, that’s fine, but don’t blame us for communicating it to you.
Commenters, you’ve ticked us off. We are no longer going to reach out to firms for information about their clerkship bonus policies, because (1) it doesn’t affect that many people, at least compared to base salary increases or year-end bonuses, and (2) we’re tired of your ingratitude and abuse.
We will still cover clerkship bonus news, by posting information that tipsters send in to us. But we’re no longer bothering with affirmative outreach to firms on this front, since such “sua sponte” efforts are not appreciated. In light of all the other things we cover, it’s just not worth our time and effort.

* That was quick. [CNN]
* Linda G. says Scalia is calling Roberts a puss. [NYT]
* Wow, these guys got rid of the death penalty before us. [Jurist]
* Is it weird to anybody else that the WWE lawyer is looking into this? [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Does working for free pay? [WSJ Law Blog]

Our Bloggingheads TV appearance with the fabulous Ann Althouse, previously discussed here, is now online:
David Lat Ann Althouse Bloggingheads tv Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
David Lat & Ann Althouse [Bloggingheads.tv]
“Bong Hits 4 Lawyers” [Althouse]
Earlier: Programming Note: Ready for Our Close-Up?

Larry King Paris Hilton Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Who says Loyola 2Ls can’t land good jobs? [SCOTUSblog]
* Lobster rolls. And Chipwich. Yum. [Gawker; Althouse]
* It’s nice to know that you can neglect your caseload, fabricate documents, and still get reinstated to the bar. [Boston Globe]
* Law firm ranking schemes are kind of like blogs. If everyone has one, who’s supposed to read them all? [WSJ Law Blog; Wall Street Journal (subscription)]
* Don’t forget: Paris Hilton will be on Larry King tonight (9 PM Eastern time). [CNN]

Italia Federici hottie Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSee here. And another one is going to prison.
Just another day here in the nation’s capital.
P.S. Best name ever for a paramour involved in a corruption case: Italia Federici.
Senate Subpoenas White House, Cheney House [Wonkette]
White House, Cheney’s Office Subpoenaed [Associated Press]
Ex-Interior Aide Is Sentenced in Lobbying Case [New York Times]

Howrey LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGAs associate salaries climb (further) into the stratosphere, will firms start experimenting with different compensation schemes? Is lockstep compensation for associates headed for the dustbin of history?
As we mentioned yesterday, Thelen Reid just moved to a two-tier system. And now we’re hearing that Howrey LLP may have something odd up its sleeve.
Today the firm had a meeting / conference call about compensation matters. Here are two reports:

“They are planning to adopt a sweeping salary change that amounts to ‘it depends.’ It seems that they will determine salary based on individual evaluations and various forms of progress indicators. Who knows what this means. They said that “market rate” is not the upper cap, and that all-stars could make more than market. This plan is basically final, but they will be speaking to people in focus groups to fine tune the policy.”

“Switching to a ‘competancy’ model as of 2008. First years at 160 but from there based on skills – some above and some below market. Details not released yet as focus groups will be used to fine tune the program.”

Interesting, albeit vague. We’re eager to see what results from this process.
Is Howrey adopting an innovative approach, one that will result in a more flexible and/or meritocratic associate compensation structure? Or is it just an attempt by the firm to get away with paying below-market salaries?

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGThe Supreme Court hasn’t yet finished up for October Term 2006 (which should end tomorrow). The law clerks for October Term 2007 will start arriving next month. But many of them have already started hiring clerks for October Term 2008.
We reported on some of those hires back in this post. And now we have more to add:

1. Conservatives hoping for his retirement will be disappointed. Rumor has it Justice John Paul Stevens has hired all of his clerks for OT 2008. The only one whose name we have, however, is Lindsey Powell (Stanford 2007 / Garland).

2. Justice Antonin Scalia has hired Jameson Jones (Stanford 2007 / Sutton). Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a judicial superhottie, is turning into quite the feeder to his former boss.

3. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hired at least one clerk for October Term 2008 — Miriam Seifter (Harvard 2007 / Garland) — and perhaps more.

So in terms of OT 2008, Stanford Law School and Judge Merrick B. Garland are off to a good start.
If you have more SCOTUS clerk hiring news to add, please email us (subject line: “Supreme Court clerk hiring”).
A list of OT 2008 law clerks thus far appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: OT 2008 (Update #1)”

blood contract red ink Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgMaybe blood oaths work in the Mafia. But outside organized crime circles, they may be harder to enforce. From the AP:

A Nietzsche-quoting judge said a promise penned in blood by a businessman was not an enforceable contract. Superior Court Judge Corey S. Cramin ruled Monday that Stephen Son could not be forced to repay Kim Jin-soo more than $140,000 that Kim provided to Son’s companies, not to Son himself.

Son punctured his finger and drafted the promise in a restaurant after his companies accepted cash from Kim but failed to turn a profit.

Son was not required to guarantee those transactions, the judge said.

“Blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth,” Cramin said, paraphrasing German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

To all ATL readers currently studying for the bar: Whaddya think? How would you argue in favor of holding the blood contract enforceable, despite the apparent absence of consideration?
Judge: Blood promise can’t be enforced [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]

Miami 2 South Beach Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re more or less done with our series of posts profiling various “secondary” legal markets. We thought about putting up the Portsmouth thread that some trolls commenters have been demanding, but we decided against it after reading this.
So now we’re going to loop back to a city that we previously covered, to wit, Miami. We have a news hook for this post: a recent story, from the Daily Business Review, about how 2006 treated South Florida’s top law firms.
More details about this market, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Skaddenfreude: Life Is Good in Miami”

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