June 2009

sweet hot justice logo.jpg[Ed. note: The following piece was authored by The Legal Tease, of Sweet Hot Justice fame. Check out her other musings from Sweet Hot Justice here.]
It’s happened–after a few years and a few thousand billable hours, I’ve finally found him. Sure, there have been loads of false starts along the way, but I think this time it’s for real: I’ve finally met the worst partner in the entire firm. At first, I thought the winner might be Russ, the firm’s resident stone-faced robot and reigning Big Firm Savant. But no. Then, for obvious reasons involving hidden harnesses and coconut-flavored lube, I thought it could possibly be Ian, our favorite slave-driving Pervert, Esq. Wrong again. No, in the past few weeks, the true winner has revealed himself to be a creature far more insidious, more vile: the Cool Partner. And I’m here to warn you–he’s a type more dangerous than you’ve ever imagined.
As any Big Law victim can tell you, the Cool Partner, like any true predator, takes time to attract and distract his prey before he bares his polished little fangs and goes in for the kill. He may seduce you at first with hints of an actual personality, an apparent respect for your time, and possibly even a sense of humor. You’ll marvel at how comfortable you are around him, how energized you feel. You’ll smile and shake your head in disbelief as you sing his praises to fellow associates who ask why you look sunnier than usual. You might even find yourself–even just for one brief, indulgent little moment–wondering if you might’ve been wrong all those times you thought this job was nothing but a festering sewer of misery where dreams go to die at the hands of lunatic, unit-holding nerd sadists. Hell, you might even start waking up happy.
And then reality comes crashing back down.
Witness the carnage first-hand, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Myth of the Cool Partner”

Posner.jpg* New Jersey Internet radio talk show host arrested for blogging that federal judges Frank Easterbrook, Richard Posner, and William Bauer “deserved to be killed” after a recent decision on Chicago handgun ban case. [CNN]
* More Morgan Lewis Musical Chairs: Yesterday, the firm announced that it had tapped gas from Baker Botts. Good thing, because Morgan Lewis lost some energy to Pillsbury this week. [National Law Journal]
* We don’t know how Aaronson, Rappaport, Feinstein and Deutsch does in the courtroom, but it’s a big winner in the New York real estate market. [Observer]
* Nationwide (Law School) Layoff Watch: As predicted in May, layoffs have started at Harvard, despite HLS grads’ protest. [Boston Globe]
* The Fourth Circuit supports the ban on ‘partial birth’ abortions in Virginia. [Washington Post]

ACS.gifThe second panel we attended at the recent convention of the American Constitution Society (ACS) focused on a topic near and dear to our heart: free speech on the internet.
The panel, The Internet Revolution and Its Effect on the First Amendment, featured the following participants:

  • Judge Merrick B. Garland, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • Ann Beeson, Executive Director, U.S. Programs, Open Society Institute
  • Gregory S. McCurdy, Senior Policy Counsel, State Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation
  • Cliff Sloan, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  • Paul M. Smith, Jenner & Block, LLP
  • Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
    A summary of the extremely interesting discussion, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “At the ACS National Convention: The Internet and the First Amendment”

  • larry wilder asleep in trash can.jpgIndiana attorney Larry Wilder was honored with an ATL Lawyer of the Day mention last week thanks to the photo at right. It’s not a stock photo. That’s Wilder on a Wednesday morning, after a raucous night on the town.
    That photo going viral has led Wilder to resign his lucrative job with the Jeffersonville City Council. Wilder had been the city’s highest paid attorney — raking in $107,000 from the city or four times that being made by the other five city attorneys — in addition to his private practice work.
    From the Courier-Journal:

    Larry Wilder, the embattled lawyer for the Jeffersonville City Council, has resigned following the release of photographs of him sleeping in a garbage can after a night of drinking.
    “I felt that the best thing for my friends was to eliminate this as on-going angst,” Wilder said.

    Wilder may be freeing himself up for a case against the Jeffersonville City Police Department. The photos were taken by one officer and released to the news media by another officer, even though Wilder was never charged. But as one ATL commenter observed last week:

    I finally understand why there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy in one’s trash.

    Jeffersonville City Council lawyer resigns [Courier-Journal]
    Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: Larry Wilder

    Popped collar warnings.jpg* If you missed South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s press conference, you missed American political theater of the highest order. In case you are interested, here’s what the South Carolina Constitution has to say about impeachment. [The Gaggle]
    * This DePaul College of Law situation does not seem to be getting any better. What is the real story behind Provost Epps? Does interim Dean Judge Warren Wolfson have any chance at succeeding? Feel free to share your thoughts and tips. [Brian Leiter's Law School Reports]
    * It appears that the law firms with high profits per partner don’t have lawyers that maintain blogs. Shocking! [Drug and Device Law]
    * Tweeting jurors can not be stopped. It’s impossible. The end of the jury trial is near! [Law.com]
    * Yesterday, The WSJ Law Blog told us that some conservative students organizations are holding affirmative action bake sales. Obviously, I have some thoughts. Here’s my best attempt to help these people. [True/Slant]
    * Should the collar rest inside or outside the blazer? I pop the collar on the shirt and the blazer, because I’m prestigious. [Corporette]

    Ashram.JPG[Ed. note: This post is authored by ATL guest columnist Hope Winters. Hope is an early retired lawyer, turned Senate staffer, turned corporate lobbyist. She lives in Washington, DC. Read her previous work here. Read part I and II.]
    There are no structured activities left (other than Karmic Yoga which I will not even respond to here) so we decide to take a hike on the pristine lake the Dining Captain told me about before he attempted to rape me. Olivia whips out the sketchy map we can’t follow, and we end up not on a trail but stuck on path of poison ivy and prickly things and mud. We muddle through streams and rocks; my Chanel sunglasses slip and crash on a rock and break. I remind myself that I hate the Ashram and all its surrounding premises.
    But suddenly, as we exit the rocks and the African bush, we really do emerge on flat land facing this huge vast beautiful lake. We just stare at it. It’s sparkling and navy blue and placid. Not a ripple. Not a crescent.
    We’re suddenly silent. Peaceful. Grateful. We are Whitman and Thoreau.
    We’re getting into it.
    But will it last? The adventure ends after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Return of Hope During the Recession: Adventures at The Ashram (Part III)”

    As we mentioned last night, there is an interesting debate over what White & Case should have done in response to the adulterous sex scandal involving its associate, “Miami White.” The Daily Business Review takes a look at some of the competing theories for crisis management:

    For White & Case, the unwanted publicity raises a question all law firm managers and public relations professionals should consider: If an employee’s dirty laundry gets a public airing, how can a law firm respond to minimize the damage?
    When asked about the matter, White & Case spokesman William Sancho in Miami offered a brusque “no comment.”
    Hours later, an official firm statement came out: “This is a personal matter for the individual involved, and we cannot comment on it.”

    It wasn’t really surprising when White & Case declined to respond to the affairs of SexyLexus. But I wonder if Miami White was told by the firm that he couldn’t comment in the press? Cuckolded in Canada said his piece, SexyLexus called in, but multiple phone calls and emails to Miami White have not been returned.
    Regardless of the particular plight of Miami White, should White & Case have gone in a different direction? Let’s get into it after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Should White & Case Have ‘Gotten In Front’ of the Miami White Situation?”

    chair thrower.jpgSometimes a judge will rule in a way that upsets you. Most lawyers know to keep their cool. But not Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer Adam Rodgers.
    Rodgers was annoyed that Judge Chris Wogan refused to lower his client’s bail or reduce his client’s sentence of prison time (which stemmed, ironically, from contempt charges). So Rodgers threw a tantrum. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

    According to observers, the attorney, Adam J. Rodgers, threw a pen and his leather bag, pushed or hurled a chair, and raised a chair over his head, then slammed it down.
    Rodgers then stormed out of Common Pleas Judge Chris R. Wogan’s courtroom, repeatedly screaming “Bull—-!” and yelling about the perceived injustice.

    Luckily, the judge was out of the courtroom when all this transpired, so no contempt charges for Rodgers.
    Rodgers was actually right about the “Bull—-.” Judge Wogan had his client mixed up with someone else. Post-tantrum, Wogan returned to the bench, lowered the bail from $50,000 to $15,000, and granted Rodgers’s client parole.
    Lawyer throws fit in court upon hearing ruling [Philadelphia Daily News]

    ACS.gifWe’re quite talented at bringing you last week’s news. See, e.g., our ridiculously extensive coverage of the Battle of the Law Firm Bands.
    The main reason for our D.C. visit was not the Battle of the Bands, but the national convention of the American Constitution Society (ACS) — the left’s answer to the Federalist Society. With the Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, this year’s conference was well-attended and celebratory. There was even an upgrade in venue, from the Hyatt Regency to the Mayflower Renaissance.
    (Was Eliot Spitzer on the program committee? Or did ACS go with the Mayflower because it’s the traditional venue for the annual conference of the Federalist Society?)
    The first plenary panel of this year’s ACS conference featured a star-studded cast:

  • Judge Rosemary Barkett, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Thomas C. Goldstein (moderator), Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Pamela Harris, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
  • Pamela S. Karlan, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
  • Goodwin A. Liu, Associate Dean and Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law
  • John Payton, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    Read our write-up, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “At the ACS National Convention: Keeping Faith With the Constitution”

  • Detroit skyline from Canada.jpgUsually, Detroit doesn’t make the news unless something terrible is happening there.
    Today is no different.
    Word out of Crain’s Detroit Business is that the two biggest law firms in the city are laying off lawyers and staff:

    Detroit’s two largest local law firms by reported revenue and number of attorneys — Dykema Gossett P.L.L.C. and Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone plc — together confirmed laying off 30 attorneys and 30 staff late Monday; but it was unclear how many were sent packing in Southeast Michigan.

    The firms are blaming the layoffs on the economy.

    “The firm has provided those who are leaving with severance benefits during this difficult time,” Dykema Chairman and CEO Rex Schlaybaugh Jr. said in a statement. “This reduction is based on the economic climate.”

    Does anybody have any positive news to report about the Detroit economy? If so, please share in the comments. Anything positive will do, I’d settle for a story about how a local Detroit retailer is working on a streak of 100 days without having his store windows smashed in.
    Dykema cuts, Miller Canfield cuts again [Crain's Detroit Business]
    Dykema; Miller Canfield Layoff 60 [ABA Journal]
    File Under ‘Not Too Surprising’: Detroit’s Biggest Firms Cut Lawyers [WSJ Law Blog]
    Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of law firm layoffs

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