October 2014

Crush gladiators.jpgThis is a very common story about school sanctioned gladiatorial combat among high school boys. The Guardian reports:

Some schools have counsellors to settle disputes between students. But South Oak Cliff high school in Dallas preferred another, more direct method: bare-knuckle fighting inside a steel cage.

According to a 2008 report obtained by the Dallas Morning News, staff at the school sanctioned the use of “the cage” – a section of the boys’ changing room barricaded by wire mesh and steel lockers – to settle disputes and bring unruly students under control.

I fondly remember the day I bludgeoned Vespin the Trapper Master to death with my graphing calculator. Nobody makes weapons of woe like Texas Instruments. Unfortunately, I went to high school on Long Island, so our Colosseum was in the basement of a Genovese drug store. Would that I was born a citizen of Texas. There I could have received the full adulation of the mob:

Frank Hammond, a counsellor at the school who was dismissed and has since filed a whistle-blower lawsuit, said: “It was gladiator-style entertainment for the staff. They were taking these boys downstairs to fight. And it was sanctioned by the principal and security.”

The (ex) principal weighs in after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Steel Cage Discipline: It Makes Sense In Texas”

champagne glasses small.jpgIt’s NCAA Tournament time, which means that if you get married this weekend or the next two, your guests will be cursing you as they surreptitiously refresh their BlackBerries. We therefore applaud this week’s brides, who planned their weddings for this past weekend, before the madness struck. They are — if we may say so — our Cinderellas.

Here are this week’s finalists:


Sara Schacter and Aram Erenburg

2. Melissa Weiss and Kenneth Mazer

3. Rebecca Kirszner and James Katz

Read more about this week’s legal lovebirds, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 3.15: The Brides of March”

Troutman Sanders logo.jpgYes, we live in a world where any firm wide meeting has to be greeted with a sense of “oh, crap.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t still hold out hope that one of these meetings will end up being completely benign.

We just received word that Troutman Sanders has scheduled an all staff meeting for 2:00 p.m. EDT today. Conference rooms have been booked at all of the firm’s offices. The purpose of the meeting was announced via firm-wide email:

Bob Webb is holding a meeting today for all of the US Firm’s staff employees to discuss a very important matter. Your attendance at this meeting is requested and we appreciate if you would adjust your schedules in order to attend. Thank you.

We collect some of our other Troutman tips, and an update about an all associates meeting, after the jump.

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Angry Mob v AIG.jpgLet’s take a closer look at the torches and pitchforks the U.S. Congress is brandishing. As you have undoubtedly heard, Congress overwhelming passed the 90% tax on “things we don’t like.” 85 Republicans joined the fracas, so this is a bipartisan ex post facto effort.

Our sister site, Dealbreaker, has already weighed in on the legality of this tax. (Aren’t you glad law firms didn’t take any government money?) They neatly summarize some of the key legal questions:

The “bill of attainder” test keys off these two prongs:

Is it targeted at specific individuals?

Is it of punitive intent?

So what’s punitive intent? The Fifth Circuit’s SBC Communications v. FCC ruling is about the most direct on this as the Supreme Court hasn’t touched the issue in decades.

We’ve collected some of the arguments, for and against, for your perusal. After the jump, we invite you to take our reader poll.

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BuckleySandler logo.jpgYou don’t see this everyday. Two D.C.-based partners of Skadden Arps partners are leaving the firm. And it’s not even to work for the government.

The two Skadden D.C. litigators are Andrew Sandler and Benjamin Klubes. Associates were told in group meetings late yesterday afternoon. Skadden furnished Above the Law with the following statement:

Andrew Sandler and Benjamin Klubes are forming their own law firm to be named BuckleySandler, which will also include all of the 36 attorneys from the firm Buckley Kolar, a DC-based boutique that focuses on regulatory issues affecting the financial services industry. In addition, Andrew Sandler will become the CEO of Corporate Risk Advisors, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing services to the financial services industry.

Our sources weigh in after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Skadden Partners Jumping Ship”

mayer brown logo.JPGGood morning. I hope you enjoyed your evening. Welcome back to your daily carnage report.

We just received word that Mayer Brown expects to lay off 55 lawyers and staff. Here’s the internal memo that went out to U.S. employees early this morning:

In recent weeks, Mayer Brown has undertaken various actions to respond to the ongoing global economic crisis, which is impacting our clients, our profession and the firm. As part of that process, our London office today began a redundancy consultation that we expect will result in the departure of up to 55 lawyers and support staff.

The action in London is part of a review of our global operations. We have not yet determined what that will mean for each office and practice. However, the only responsible course is to align our personnel levels with current and anticipated client demand for our services.

We are carefully weighing our decisions and considering a number of options, with full recognition that these decisions could affect the careers and lives of people whose contributions to the firm we value. We expect to make any further decisions shortly. As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.

Thank you for your understanding.

This is the second round of layoffs at Mayer Brown. Our sources feel that this is a clear indication that layoffs will be immigrating to the U.S. “shortly.”

If they do, we’ll keep you posted. Good luck to those in London. Happy Friday.

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of law firm layoffs


* AIG turned in the list of bonus recipients to New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo yesterday–let the games begin. Just kidding, I too fear for the safety of heavily compensated AIG executives–there is nothing scarier than an angry progressive. [The Los Angeles Times]

* Dispensers of medical marijuana have room to breathe after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal authorities would cease raiding their operations. [The New York Times]

* Attorney General Eric Holder issued guidelines to federal agencies after The White House advised them to release their records to the public. [The Washington Post]

* A 3-judge federal appeals panel is considering whether or not to re-instate Madoff’s bail–springing him from jail until sentencing in June. [Newsday]

* Albert Hu, a Silicon Valley hedge fund manager conned clients by saying he was represented by prominent law firms like Heller Ehrman and Shaw Pittman; he was arrested in Hong Kong, and charged with defrauding millions from investors. [The National Law Journal]

* Another sad tale of an associate whose offer has been put on hold–his employer Latham & Watkins is asking incoming attorney’s to defer their start dates. [The National Law Journal]

Loyola logo.JPGOn Tuesday, I told you about Loyola Law School’s OCI policy of preventing students who had outstanding transfer applications from participating in Loyola’s on-campus interviewing program. I suggested that the policy was unfair:

It’s totally understandable for Loyola to want to service people who are happy to be at Loyola. But every student paying tuition should have equal access to the school’s services.

Well, that post has generated a somewhat blistering response from the Dean of Loyola Law School, Victor Gold. He sent the following message to all students today:

The website Above the Law carried a story recently about Loyola’s policy concerning transfer students’ participating in on campus interviews (OCI). The story misrepresents our policy, omits some key facts, and gets others wrong. The purpose of the policy is not, as the story claims, to discourage transfers. Rather, its purpose is to make sure that offers intended for Loyola students in fact go to Loyola students. It is my job to maximize employment opportunities for Loyola graduates and to ensure that employers coming to Loyola actually get to interview Loyola students. That is why I approved the policy.

The key facts Dean Gold wishes to publicize, plus a reader poll, after the jump.

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Laurence Tribe Above the Law.gif* Not that anybody asked me, but I think Jeff Steiner should be a little less judgmental towards his laid off friends that are “partying” instead of “diligently volunteering and considering his next career steps.” It really doesn’t take all day to send out resumes and refresh your barren email account, and some people are able to consider all of their career options while playing a little Golden Tee. Everybody’s got their own coping mechanism. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Larry Tribe thinks that a 90% “ever dance with the Devil in the pale moon light” tax is cool. I’m waiting for John Larroquette to weigh in with a cricket bat. [TaxProf Blog]

* I’m ashamed I didn’t put this together earlier. If you don’t have the technical chops to work in IP, think about pulling out your old Property books and brushing up on squatters’ rights. I’m not sure your future clients will be able to pay you, but you are going to have future clients. [Law and More]

* I used to hope the future of criminal investigations would look like an episode of Star Trek, but now I see it’s going to look like an episode of CSI. Oh well, it’s still better than watching five minutes of Minority Report. [Slate]

* No cats were harmed in the writing of this post. [Popsquire]

UNC Law Logo.jpgThere was a snafu over in the admissions department at UNC Law School. A tipster reports the basic details:

UNC Law sent out a number of e-mail invitations to their admitted student weekend today leading to the recipients of the e-mail believing they had been accepted. 15 minutes later they sent out this e-mail to the students who had received the invitations.

Kind of like the ultimate “sike” isn’t it? Here’s the copy of the retraction letter the almost-admitted students received:

Hello [Redacted],

You just recently received an email inviting you to the UNC School of Law admitted students days. That email was sent in error. Please disregard the email. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. If you have any questions regarding this. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,

Dean States

Another tipster didn’t hesitate to cross UNC off of his list:

I received an email welcoming me to the University of North Carolina Law School. Thirty minutes later I received a second email telling me to disregard the first. When I called the admissions office to clarify, I was stonewalled by an overly defensive and patently unapologetic Dean of Admissions. Please let me know if you would like me to forward the emails to you guys. North Carolina can “go to hell!”

Coach Roy Williams probably thinks this student should focus more about basketball and spend less time worrying about which law school he’s getting admitted to.

How did this happen? Assistant Dean for Admissions Michael J. States explains after the jump.

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