September 2007

gay porn do not file Above the Law blog.jpgWhen it comes to knowing how to make proper court filings, don’t bother with the FRCP, or even the local rules. Just read ATL.
We tell you everything you need to know. E.g., don’t file an egg with Judge James Muirhead (D.N.H.).
And don’t file gay pornography with Judge Adalberto Jordan (S.D. Fla.). From GamePolitics.com:

That gurgling sound you hear could be Jack Thompson’s legal career swirling down the ‘loo.

The frequent video game critic, already facing professional misconduct charges from the Florida Bar which could see him stripped of his license to practice law, has outraged a U.S. District Court judge by including images of men having sex in a document filed with the court last week.

What was he thinking? And no, the gay porn was not essential to the case (as it might have been in, say, an obscenity prosecution arising out of said porn).
More details — if you want them — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Practice Pointers: Do Not File Gay Porn With Judge Jordan”

St Johns University Law School emergency information gunman Above the Law blog.jpgThis story is a few hours old, but we heard about it just now. From a tipster at St. John’s University Law School, in Jamaica, Queens:

If you haven’t already heard — nearly the entire law school has been stuck in the school since a gunman was apprehended at 2:30 this afternoon. Seeing as how you are dedicating this week to second-tier law schools, we thought you could highlight the incident for us.

Sure! In light of how we covered the recent, mysterious passing of a Yale Law School student, of course we’ll cover an incident presenting a serious public safety issue at St. John’s.
So consider this post a shout-out to all ATL readers at St. John’s — especially the hotties. We hope that you are safe and doing well (and not too bored, despite being trapped inside the school building).
It appears that the situation is under control. From our tipster:

I think the law school staff has been doing a superb job of keeping everyone calm and providing us with information as it becomes available.

Update (6:10 PM): From a second source at the school:

They caught one person on the way to the school president’s office wearing a black mask and carrying a rifle in a duffel bag, and are still looking for a second gunman. No shots were fired and no one was hurt from what I have heard. The whole campus has been on lockdown for the last few hours, but I think they are evacuating the campus as we speak.

You can read about the latest developments in this story over at WABC.
St. John’s University student found with weapon [ABC7.com]

* Crazy pro se lawsuit against Google, seeking $5 billion in damages, touches upon the war on terror and a Burton snowboard. And no, it wasn’t filed by Jonathan Lee Riches. [TechDirt]
* A misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals? Guess he wasn’t that good. [Denver Channel]
* Law professors get their academic gowns in a wad over the gender divide in faculty hiring. [TaxProf Blog]
* Dewey LeBoeuf? Already done it. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Debevoise & Plimpton lords it over the competition. [Times of London]

Gibson Dunn Crutcher LLP Above the Law blog.JPGHere are some of the comments appended to our recent post about Gibson Dunn’s snazzy new website:

“I like the pictures on the main directory. Those are the best part. Except that they don’t have too many women, and one of the women is in a very high school girl peek-a-boo around the brick wall pose. They’d never put up a picture of a man doing that.”

“I agree… Shame on you, peek-a-boo posing Asian woman!”

“Uh, that ‘peek-a-boo posing Asian woman’ is Debra Yang, the former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, whom GDC allegedly paid a $1 mil signing bonus. She can peek-a-boo around whatever the hell she wants to peek-a-boo around.”

“Debra Yang’s picture’s been taken down.”

“Wait, the peek-a-boo is still there. Now spotted in the mix over at Practices. Please, GDC, put up a different picture of Ms. Yang.”

Curious to see what all the fuss is about? Check out the controversial photo of Gibson Dunn partner (and former U.S. attorney) Debra Wong Yang, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Playing ‘Peekaboo’ with Debra Wong Yang of Gibson Dunn”

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgAs we mentioned before, we regularly receive all sorts of apocryphal rumors related to the fall recruiting process.
The gossip can be salacious and fun to read — even if turns out to be untrue. Like this rumor, which we heard from a University of Virginia law student quite some time ago:

Skadden has not interviewed here on grounds yet…. [Ed. note: We believe that they have by now.]

There are some rumors going around the school that a handful of my classmates, all of whom are minorities, have already received offers from Skadden. Obviously, any rumor must be taken with a grain of salt, but the word here is that offers were made very early to minority candidates in an effort to attract more minorities. I know of at least two with offers and both are African-American. Neither worked for Skadden last summer, which is the red flag in my eyes….

As I said, I’m not too familiar with the NALP rules, but others have indicated to me that those early offers are not proper given the NALP rules and regulations. I personally could not care — I’m not interested in Skadden or the markets in which Skadden is interviewing for at UVa — but I read the site regularly and wanted to pass along the information.

Sadly, it appears that this gossip — while juicy and potentially controversial — is not true.
The explanation appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Crazy Rumor Watch: Skadden and Minority Students”

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco Eumi Choi Eumi Choi Above the Law.jpgIn the comments to yesterday’s open thread on Boston bonuses, which we thought was going to be the final bonus thread, a number of you requested a thread for SAN FRANCISCO.
We don’t know if bonus policies and expectations in San Francisco / Silicon Valley will differ that much from those in Los Angeles (previously discussed here). Many big national firms appear to have uniform California bonus policies.
But if there are differences you’d like to note, or if you’d like to talk about bonuses at firms that only have an S.F. office, this is thread for doing so. Thanks.
Earlier: Year-end bonus open threads for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC.

Facebook logo MySpace Friendster Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThat’s the question we tackle in our latest column for the New York Observer. Here’s an excerpt:

Among associates at large law firms, Facebook passed the tipping point sometime over the summer. Since the site opened to the public last year, adults everywhere have been joining—there are 40 million people already on Facebook, and about a million more every week. But lawyers seem to be particularly enamored of it (as is Microsoft, which is reportedly considering an investment that would value Facebook at as much as $10 billion).

It’s an expensive love affair…. Next year, the AmLaw 200 law firms are expected to hire 10,000 new associates. Let’s estimate, conservatively, that half of them spend one billable hour a week on Facebook. If we assume (again conservatively) an average hourly billing rate of $200, that comes to about $50 million a year in lost billable hours—and partner profits. Fifty million bucks will buy you a lot of Hermès ties.

You can read the rest of the piece by clicking here.
From Bluebook to Facebook: Social Site Seduces Firmland [New York Observer]

contract attorney temp temporary attorney lawyer work.jpgYesterday we declared this week to be Non-Top-Tier Law School Week at ATL. We’ll be focusing on the career prospects of graduates of non-elite law schools.
As noted, many such grads work in the field of insurance law. Here’s another popular option: working as a contract attorney.
We’ll kick off the discussion with a comment from a reader. Here’s one:

How about a post on JD’s who are doing contract work while waiting for bar results? There have to be more people like myself who don’t have jobs wit the Am 100, who once bar exam results emerge will be hitting the legal market in search of the dream job.

Maybe you would tap into a large section of people like myself who are presently in a legal no-man’s-land…. [F]rom what I hear, only about 20% of students actually have jobs coming out of law school or before bar exam results come out.

So, any takers? Are any of you similarly situated, doing contract work while waiting to hear from the bar examiners? Any recommendations about landing such gigs?
(We have fodder for more general discussion of contract attorney gigs, but we’ll save it for future posts. Feel free to send tips our way, by email. Thanks.)

Supreme Court 6 Above the Law blog.JPGWe have to step away for a bit. We’re attending this panel discussion, in which various Supreme Court experts will offer a preview of the upcoming Term. We also plan to attend another SCOTUS preview panel, taking place on Friday morning, focused specifically on the Court’s business-law cases.
But fear not; we’ve arranged for content to be posted while we’re gone. We wouldn’t dream of leaving you for two and a half hours without fresh procrastination material. So check back soon.
A Preview of the Supreme Court October 2007 Term [Federalist Society]
Annual Supreme Court Briefing [American Enterprise Institute]

Mikal Watts Mikal C Watts Law Firm Above the Law blog.jpgEven when they’re not getting indicted or pleading guilty, high-profile plaintiffs’ lawyers can still entertain us with their antics. From Walter Olson, over at Overlawyered:

Looks as if the legal tactics of one politically ambitious Texas plaintiff’s lawyer may have blown up in his face:

“Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mikal Watts of San Antonio once tried to pressure a legal opponent into a $60 million personal injury lawsuit settlement by claiming he would have an advantage on appeal because of his firm’s ‘heavy’ campaign financial support to an appellate court’s justices, ‘all of whom are good Democrats.’

Guess Brad Schlozman isn’t the only arbiter of “good”-ness. Anyway, back to Watts:

A “nine-page letter Watts wrote to opposing counsel in 2001 apparently was intended to make an out-of-state corporation think the donations could sway” the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi. The letter was sent to a defense lawyer representing American Electric Power in an auto-accident case. “Politely put, south Texas venue by itself makes this a very dangerous lawsuit,” Watts wrote.

We commend Mikal Watts for his candor. Why should walking into a south Texas courtroom be a trap for the unwary?
Furor over Mikal Watts “judges owe us” letter [Overlawyered]

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