October 2014

Kahn Mongol.JPGWonder why IP lawyers still have work? In the midst of a 177-page indictment against the “Mongols” biker gang, the government put in a charge invalidating the gang’s trademarked name.

If prosecutors succeed, the feds will own the Mongols trademark and can charge patch-wearing gang members with trademark infringement; or, at the least, have one more reason to stop them for a little sidewalk chat. Which is bound to irritate the gang members. Which may be the point.

As a person with some Chinese ancestry (that would be Elie “Ying” Mystal for those playing along at home) I am happy that the American government is finally standing up to those raiding Mongolians who come on their dread (steel) horses. Every time I try to build a wall, some goddamn Mongolian always comes to tear it down.

Of course, the government’s actions are disingenuous — soon NYPD will be able to stop anybody wearing a do-rag because it’s a yarmulke knock-off — but the Mongols leave us little choice.

Said one Mongol leader “To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”

But we will break this gang. I don’t believe in the no-win situation.

Kirk out.

Freeze, Trademark Police [Doyle Reports]

Palin Vogue.JPG* Lehman’s lawyer fees “could reach a record $1.4 billion.”[Bloomberg]

* The RNC spent more than a first-year associate’s salary on clothes for Sarah Palin. So, when you are reading mind-numbing legal documents at midnight tonight and your friends are out partying, just dream of all the snappy red jackets you can buy. [Los Angeles Times]

* Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe was bad, but it could be worse. A Philadelphia state senator spent roughly 3.5 million dollars of tax payers money to pay personal assistants who “spied on his ex-lovers, chauffeured his children, oversaw mansion renovations, and permormed a myriad of other chores.” [Associated Press]

* The IRS withdrew a $319 million tax assessment on FedEx. [Associated Press]

* Milberg has hired NYU professor Arthur Miller to run its appellate practice. [Bloomberg]

* Recent developments in the U.S. District Court Judge Edward “Naughty” Nottingham may stop him from practicing law in Colorado. [The Rocky Mountain News]

* A former administrative law judge is still trying to sue his dry cleaner for 54 million because they lost his pants. [ABC]

Dechert logo.JPGApparently, Dechert Chairman and CEO Bart Winokur still finds Above the Law not worth his time, but that hasn’t stopped him from talking about our information elsewhere.

Winokur spoke with the WSJ Law Blog to try to clear up some things about the firm:

1. Quite apart from any characterization as to reasons why associates might have been asked to leave and contrary to anonymous posts in abovethelaw.com, there were not 10, let alone 30, associates who were asked to leave in July with or without deadline.

2. Contrary to the implication in The Legal Intelligencer article, I do not believe that we are replacing “people with better people.” To clarify what I said to The Legal Intelligencer, as associates get more senior, they need to keep doing higher and higher levels of work, and not work that can be done by their juniors.

3. Additionally, in response to the slowdown in our structured finance practice, rather than lay-off associates, we assigned associates to full-time pro bono work, where they could continue to hone their legal skills while at the same time helping others. When the economy stabilizes and business picks up, it is our expectation that they will be part of the firm’s vibrant practices.

Parsing the language after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Update: Dechert CEO Winokur Indirectly Responds to ATL”

Palin Vogue.JPG* The RNC has spent $150K on clothes for caribou barbie Sarah Palin. Is that a legal use of campaign cash? [Marc Ambinder]

* It’s been a while since we had a good, old fashioned, tax revolt in this country. Since it’s probably politically incorrect to dress up like Native Americans this time around, I think people should dress up like Olbermann and Maddow. Obamatons will never see it coming. [TaxProf Blog]

* In case you realize that you want no part of the legal industry after you pass the bar exam, but before you’ve been admitted, here’s a primer for how to make sure that your application to the bar is denied. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Some advice for firms getting crushed: be nice. [Law and More]

Pitt pearl necklace.JPGI just couldn’t resist posting this email from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law listserv:

I found a pearl necklace on the floor of the law school basement near the hallway with the microwaves.

Please e-mail me if you think it’s yours, so I can arrange to get it back to you.

Sorry about that.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  • 22 Oct 2008 at 4:19 PM
  • Uncategorized

A Happy Letter From Simpson Thacher

SimpsonThacher.gifGiven all the horrible news yesterday, we wanted to post something positive about the legal job market.

Luckily, last week Simpson Thacher & Bartlett felt the exact same way. Taking a cue from Cleary, STB decided to send around an “aren’t you glad you received an offer from Simpson Thacher” email to last summer’s offerees:

There have been many exciting recent developments here since you left and I wanted to send news of what is going on. The firm is at the very center of the developments that are reshaping the financial world and when you return there should be some fascinating work awaiting.

For those of you who just want to know what deals are in the works, also included is news of a couple of major new engagements. For a more complete list, including some recent litigation successes, check out the Spotlight News on our web page: http://www.stblaw.com

Sounds like a flight to quality to me.

Check out the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Happy Letter From Simpson Thacher”

Will Work for Food 2 Above the Law blog.JPGAfter our post on the importance of accepting your offers, we figured that most students sitting on offers would do the right thing — for themselves and their colleagues — and make a decision.

But maybe some students are just a little more indecisive than others. Last night, Northwestern students received this email:

Dear Second-Year Students Holding Offers,

As you know, we are in very tough economy. In tough economies, firms, not unexpectedly, tend to take a much closer look at the bottom line.

Please accept your offers as soon as possible. We have heard, both by communication with our colleagues at UPenn and from one of our own students, that offers may be withdrawn once a firm considers that its summer class is full, whether or not the 45-day period has expired.

In addition to assisting other students who may then receive an offer that you turn down, it is also in your own best interest to accept quickly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your Career Advisor.

Good luck with your decisions,

Your Career Advisors

We expect that quite a few Northwestern law students have offers in the Chicago market. Have you guys been paying attention to what is happening in the Chicago market?

More laggards after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Accept Your Offers: A Brief Follow Up”

We’ve received reports that the New York Times building has received some sort of terrorist threat. Apparently a white powder has been sent to somebody at the Time’s editorial desk.

The building houses the firms of Covington & Burling and Goodwin Procter, among others.

One tipster reports that the place is crawling with police officers.

Building security just sent around an email informing workers that they can leave via the freight elevator, but cannot come back if they do. While the email told people “there is no need to panic,” that has predictably caused some amount of panic.

Safety first people. The powdered substance could be talcum, but why take the risk?

We hope everybody is safe.

fax machine rage.jpgFlorida judges are starting to get a rep for misbehavin’ here at ATL, from smoking pot in the park to insensitivity on the bench. Now we have two Miami-Dade Circuit judges succumbing to fax machine rage.

From the Miami Herald:

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Espinosa Dennis says she was battered at the courthouse — by fellow Circuit Judge David Miller. She says Miller was bent out of shape because the fax machine at her office, which his staff sometimes used, was broken.

Dennis, 52, and Miller, 54, both work at 73 W. Flagler St. They had adjacent offices on the fourth floor. Miller initially spoke to Dennis’ bailiff and judicial assistant about the fax machine, then asked to see her.

When she repeated that the machine was out of order, Miller became ”confrontational and told [Dennis] that he felt that he wasn’t getting the full story,” the Oct. 7 police report says. Miller then “charged toward [Dennis], grabbed her by her shoulders and pushed her toward her office in an attempt to close the door behind them.”

Miller and Dennis.jpgThe courthouse police came after someone hit a panic alarm. Judge Miller is not the first Florida judge to bully a female colleague. See former Judge of the Day Jay Spechler.

But that’s a pretty extreme reaction to a broken fax machine. We’re wondering what the “full story” might have been. Did Miller suspect that Dennis “office-spaced” it?

Yet another reason to e-mail rather than fax.

Miami-Dade judge: I was battered by a colleague [Miami Herald]

Dechert logo.JPGReaders have demanded more information about the so-called “stealth layoffs” at Dechert. Finally, we have additional information to report.

Readers, commenters, tipsters, recruiters, employees, and the Virgin Mary who appeared to me in a breakfast grapefruit are all reporting that a number of associates will be laid off at the end of this month. These layoffs have nothing to do with the March departures from the firm, and contradict the firm’s official statements on the matter.

As best we can tell, no less than 10 and no more than 30 associates were told at the end of July that they would be laid off in 3 months. According to one tipster:

Effectively we were told that we can come in to work, but do not have to, and we can tell the recruiters and places where we interview that we still have a job at Dechert. Now, at the end of the three months our salaries would stop coming. These three months was our severance. At the same time the partners did absolutely nothing to help us locate jobs because most were too afraid to do anything.

As many of you know, Gina Passarella of the Legal Intelligencer was able to speak at length (free version) with Dechert Chairman Bart Winokur. Mr. Winokur declined to speak with ATL directly, but in the Intelligencer article he does not really deny that associates were asked to “move on” in this manner. Instead, the Intelligencer reports:

“In my view, layoffs are when you decide to cut head count,” Winokur said. “It’s not when you decide to replace people with better people.”

Winokur said the culture of the firm is to improve year over year and when people reach a point of seniority and still aren’t getting better, the firm will sometimes tell them they don’t have a future at Dechert.

Whatever advantages there are to stealth layoffs are pretty much destroyed when your firm chairman starts talking about replacing people “with better people.” People we’ve talked to have emphasized that the firm is doing nothing to help associates put on notice find new jobs.

Even if you look at all of the evidence in the light least favorable to the firm, it doesn’t look like the number of July/October layoffs rise to the level that has been mentioned by some of our commenters.

But, there might be some other stealth moves going on. Read more after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dechert: Inside The Black Box”

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