Lawyers work long hours. They end up sleep-deprived. Do their employers care to do anything about it?
From a recent New York Times article:
Q. If it’s natural to rest in the afternoon, why don’t more companies tolerate napping?
A. A few companies do offer nap rooms as a perk. And in some businesses where safety is paramount, some companies have seen the wisdom of permitting naps, Dr. Turek said.
Does anyone know of a law firm with a “nap room”? When we worked at a firm and got tired, after pulling an all-nighter or something close to one, sometimes we’d close our office door and take a brief nap in our chair. When we were stuck in the office all night, and waiting for something from Word Processing or Duplicating, we’d nap on our office floor (which was carpeted, thankfully).
But there has to be a better way. If medical residents who are on-call get nap rooms, why can’t Biglaw lawyers? That Yawn After Lunch Is Perfectly Normal [New York Times via Althouse]
* Nurse sues Pacman. [Reno-Gazette Journal]
* Defense rests in Spector trial. [CNN]
* Patent infringers in less treble. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Yeah, I’m sure Texas is going to stop killing people because Europe wants them to. [Jurist]
* State charges for Vick too? [AP via Yahoo!]
We’ve now covered over a third of the Vault 100 law firms in open threads. But that means we still have two-thirds to go (assuming we follow through to the end).
The next five firms are colorful. They include one firm that was featured in the Transformers movie, and another that used to employ a high-priced escort.
For your consideration (in Vault 100 order, prestige scores in parentheses):
* This is quite ingenious. [David Gulbransen via Blawg Review]
* Any guesses as to the Rolls-Royce-loving, Texas plaintiffs’ lawyer? [The Wealth Report]
* Speaking of the obscenely rich, Marquette University Law School continues to rake in the dough. [Empirical Legal Studies via PrawfsBlawg]
* “Arbitration is like a jail sentence…. a demeaning and abhorrent substitute for justice.” [Consumerist]
* Praying for somebody’s death doesn’t seem very Christian — even if they did rat you out to the IRS. [TaxProf Blog]
* When the Supreme Court reconvenes in the fall, where will Justice Scalia and his clerks go for lunch? [Washington Post]
Sadly, we’ll probably never learn whether former Clifford Chance partner Michael Bryceland was asked to “bend over” (a la Aaron Charney). Unlike Sullivan & Cromwell, CC settled the case quietly, for an undisclosed amount.
Of course, if you have any details, please feel free to send them to us by email (subject line: “Clifford Chance”). Thanks. Revealed: CC pays out in sexual orientation claim [TheLawyer.com]
A Bronx judge had a court clerk’s wife handcuffed and tossed in a cell for contempt – because she whispered “a**hole” after her husband was kept late at work, a state panel has charged.
Family Court Judge Marian Shelton screamed at the woman, “He’ll leave when he’s finished his work, not when you tell him!” before ordering court officers to take her to a holding cell for the weekend….
Pretty awesome. Should we be surprised to learn that Judge Shelton’s wedding was presided over by another colorful and cantankerous New Yorker, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani?
Interesting enough, Judge Shelton is being eyed for elevation — but not to an appellate court. Details after the jump.
Can you wear white after Labor Day? Or drink a gin and tonic? Or tell a summer associate story?
August is almost over, and our series of SA stories is winding to a close. If you have an anecdote to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
1. Superhero name: Loose Lips
2. Special power(s): Ability to broadcast his sexual misadventures from coast to coast — in the pre-internet age.
3. Summered: A Los Angeles Biglaw firm, summer 1988. (As we’ve said before, we’re happy to post old stories; this is a “greatest hits” compilation.)
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:
“Two summers from top-10 east coast schools, one female, one male, were working at the main office of an LA Biglaw firm. The firm had just installed an elaborate door-locking system. When the office door was locked, a red ‘Do Not Disturb’ light appeared outside the office. An unlocked office, door closed or open, had a green light.”
“Late in the day, after the support staff had left, these two associates slipped into the office of one of them. (They had private or semi-private offices.) After they closed (but didn’t lock) the door, the female associate began pleasuring the male associate.”
“A senior associate, seeing the green light, walked into the office — and got an eyeful.”
Learn the fate of our star-crossed lovers hook-up participants, after the jump.
We alluded to this briefly last week (item #3). But since a number of you have emailed us about it, let’s take a second look.
Judge John Plough, of Portage County, Ohio, is our hands-down Judge of the Day. From the Law & Justice Unit of ABC News:
Portage County Judge John Plough had assistant public defender Brian Jones arrested for contempt of court last week after Jones refused to begin a misdemeanor assault trial because he said he was unprepared. Jones was assigned to the case one day earlier….
Plough’s ruling prompted an outcry from defense lawyers, both in Ohio and across the country. Carmen Hernandez, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said in a statement that defense lawyers have an ethical obligation not to start trial if they are not prepared.
“Asking a lawyer to go to trial without preparation is like asking a doctor to perform surgery before diagnosing the patient,” she said.
We expect (formerly bedbug-infested) Cadwalader to generate a fair amount of discussion, since we hear associate morale over there ain’t so hot. Consider this comment, from the morning’s open thread on happy hours:
At my anonymous law firm they pour water in a trough and hang a feed bag in a conference room daily, they then ring a bell and let us know we have 2 minutes to eat and drink before we must get back to work … Man, I love working at Cadwalader… Oops.
And we also expect interesting stuff about Mayer Brown. From a tipster:
Would you consider running a piece on the troubles at Mayer Brown? You’ve already reported on their partners being fired/leaving, the Refcomess, and their unhappy associates. I think some open speculation on where their firm is going would be very enjoyable at this point.
Since the tireless Howard Bashman is in transit, we’ll temporarily assume his role as super-timely provider of appellate litigation news.
This just in: A divided Seventh Circuit panel has affirmed the criminal convictions of former Illinois Governor George H. Ryan and his associate, Lawrence Warner. The majority opinion is by Judge Diane Wood (who is a judicial hottie); the dissent is by Judge Michael Kanne (who is reportedly not fat).
This is especially bad news for Winston & Strawn. As some of you may recall, the firm reportedly blew $20 million on defending Governor Ryan, on a pro bono basis. United States v. Ryan [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit]
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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