September 2007

Fourth Circuit 4th Circuit US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.jpgThe Honorable H. Emory Widener, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, passed away yesterday morning. From the Bristol Herald Courier:

Judge H. Emory Widener, 83, died at his Abingdon home around 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to court personnel in Bristol Virginia….

Widener began his law career in the Navy, then opened a private practice in Bristol in 1953. Ten years later, he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

President Richard Nixon appointed Widener to the 4th Circuit in 1972, and he reached senior status in July, Schrinel said.

A source notes:

I was sad to hear that Judge Widener passed away. They literally worked that man to death. I’ve heard that the other judges on the Fourth Circuit basically begged him to stay active until Bush could find a replacement… He complied — but a replacement was never confirmed.

The Fourth Circuit is now operating at two-thirds capacity. It has 15 judgeships and five vacancies. For more detailed discussion of the state of the court — long regarded as a conservative bastion, but now up for grabs — see this article, published when Judge Widener took senior status in July.
A 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge from Abingdon, Va., died on Wednesday [Bristol Herald Courier]
Judge H. Emory Widener Jr. steps down as active member of 4th Circuit [The Daily Record]

We noted this development in passing yesterday. Now here’s an AP article with a great title:
Dry Cleaner in Pants Suit Closes Roy Pearson.jpg
And then she headed off to a clerkship interview?
P.S. Results of our recent fashion poll after the jump.
Dry Cleaner in Pants Suit Closes [AP]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ambiguous Headline of the Day”

robot intellectual property IP law Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSometimes it seems like we talk about the same handful of general practice Biglaw shops again and again. So let’s mix things up a bit. Here’s a suggestion from a loyal reader:

I’m in the field of patent law. It might be interesting to post a Fall Recruiting Thread that discusses both patent boutiques (Finnegan Henderson, Fizpatrick Cella, Kenyon & Kenyon) and general practice firms with a strong IP practice (Kirkland, Irell, MoFo, Jones Day, Ropes & Gray).

Yes, it might. So here’s that post — an open thread in which people can talk about firms that specialize in or excel at intellectual property law.
(Last month we had a post dedicated to discussion of compensation issues at IP firms. But this open thread is intended to be broader, to go beyond pay to discuss quality of life, strong practice areas, type of work, etc. Enjoy.)
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: IP Firms

* Didn’t they just execute somebody with an electric chair? And this is what gets them in trouble with the Constitution? [Jurist]
* Mel Weiss to be indicted. [New York Times]
* Oh, Al Sharpton, you’re incorrigible. [CNN]
* Judge withdraws jury instruction in Spector case; has he set up an easy appeal if there’s a conviction? [CNN]

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGAfter we did a post about foreign clerkships, we received a number of follow-up inquiries. Readers wanted to know whether any firms pay clerkship bonuses to (1) staff attorneys and (2) administrative law judge clerks:

“I was wondering if there are bonuses offered for ALJ clerkships – you can clerk in D.C. for, among others, the EPA, the FERC, the Department of Labor . . . It seems like some firms carefully excludes these from their bonus policy, but others are a bit less clear on the question.
It seems to me, though, that if you’re going to a firm that does a lot of regulatory work, a clerkship with the appropriate agency would be quite valuable.”

“What about former administrative law judge clerks? For example, how much would one of the clerks coming from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge this past summer pull from a DC energy firm?”

“Do you have information on whether firms pay clerkship bonuses to staff attorneys at circuit courts?”

We’re don’t know of such firms, but we’re not omniscient. If you know of any, please share your info in the comments. Thanks.

* Ahoy, matey. Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! [TortsProf Blog]
* My kingdom for… $14 million? Someone tries to sell Belgium on eBay. [What About Clients?]
* If he wins his lawsuit against CBS and Viacom, Dan Rather can buy five Belgiums. [Overlawyered]
* David Bernstein on Chemerinskygate, Larry Summers, and academic freeom. [Los Angeles Times via Volokh Conspiracy]
* Ann Althouse wonders: “Speaking of upstart Taser-boy Andrew Meyer, how many Americans do you think would agree to get tased if it would get them the attention it got him?” [Althouse]
* Crime & Federalism, RIP. [Crime & Federalism via Volokh Conspiracy]
* Custom Cleaners, RIP. Roy Pearson, are you happy now? [Raw Fisher; Overlawyered; WSJ Law Blog]

H Rodgin Cohen full size headshot Sullivan Cromwell.jpgSullivan & Cromwell gives out Kiehl’s toiletries at conferences for gay law students and lawyers. But senior associates at S&C get an even better gift: cold, hard cash.
In a memo that was sent out by email within the last half hour, S&C Chairman H. Rodgin Cohen announced the creation of the “Senior Associate Supplemental Compensation Plan.”
The two-page memo appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Sullivan & Cromwell to Pay Special Bonuses to Senior Associates!”

Larry Craig small Larry E Craig Larry Edwin Craig gay senator Idaho Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a little riddle: What do these three senators have in common?

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

First, they’re all Republican senators from underpopulated sparsely populated states.
Second, they’ve all run into ethical, legal, or political problems. You know all about Senator Craig — in fact, more than you ever wanted to. As for Senator Stevens, see here and here. As for Senator Murkowski, see here.
What’s the third thing they have in common? Find out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Ninth Circuit Curse”

Taser 2 lawyers taser client Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIt seems that the family of this woman may have a stronger cause of action than Andrew Meyer:

A Clay County woman’s family said it’s seeking justice after their loved one died shortly after being shocked 10 times with Taser guns during a confrontation with police.

The family of 56-year-old Emily Delafield said it would take the Green Cove Springs Police Department to court, according to a WJXT-TV report….

Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case.

“One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.

That may have been a bit much.
Wheelchair-Bound Woman Dies After Being Shocked With Taser 10 Times [Local6.com via Drudge]
Earlier: Sadly, John Kerry Wasn’t Tasered (But He Could Have Used the Electricity)

Bill Lerach William Learch William S Learch Above the Law blog.jpgAs we mentioned in passing yesterday, infamous plaintiffs’ lawyer William Learch will be pleading to a federal conspiracy charge, related to his involvement in Milberg Weiss’s secret scheme to make payments to name plaintiffs in class-action cases. Under the deal that was so skillfully cut by Lerach’s lawyer, John Keker of Keker & Van Nest, Lerach will cough up $8 million in forfeiture and fines and serve one to two years in federal prison.
Is Bill Lerach getting off easy? Quite possibly. But a judge still has to sign off on the deal.
Not surprisingly, Lerach spread his cash around liberally among several Democratic candidates for president. But his favorite was fellow plaintiffs’ lawyer John Edwards. From Ben Smith over at Politico:

Edwards and Biden each gave away money from Lerach; no word yet on whether Hillary will give back the money he gave her 2006 Senate campaign.

Edwards, though, is particularly tied to him. Though he’s giving away the $4,600 from Lerach, Lerach is also listed as a bundler, and employees of the lawyer’s firm are his third-largest group of donors, mostly giving in the first quarter.

If we had to choose between disgraced Democratic fundraisers, we’d pick Norman Hsu over Bill Lerach any day. That Hsu is so cute — he looks like a Treasure Troll! And he didn’t intend to skip out on court the other day. He was “sick and confused,” you see, and “may have thought he was boarding a Bay Area Rapid Transit train when he instead caught an Amtrak train heading out of the state.”
The Lerach Case [Politico]
Fortunes Darken for Lawyer Melvyn Weiss [New York Sun]
Bill Lerach Agrees to Plead Guilty [WSJ Law Blog]
Is Bill Lerach Getting Off Easy? [WSJ Law Blog]
Hsu Didn’t Intend To Skip Court, Spokesman Says [CBS5.com]

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