October 2014

Wood_Sheryl_LR.jpgSo it appears that Detroit’s ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was carrying on other text-based affairs. His exchange of over 14,000 steamy, adulterous texts with his chief of staff made headlines last year. Now, it’s been revealed that he exchanged some inappropriate SMSes with another woman: Sheryl Robinson Wood
At the time, Wood was at Kroll, a New York-based risk assessment firm, and had been appointed to monitor Detroit’s Police Department reforms. Now, she’s a partner at Venable in the firm’s Baltimore office.
From the Detroit Free Press:

Saul Green, Detroit’s group executive of public safety, briefed the media after a closed meeting with Detroit City Council after shocking revelations that Sheryl Robinson Wood, who resigned as monitor last week, had a relationship with Kilpatrick.
Green said the Justice Department turned over text messages from fall of 2003 through January 2005 that show Kilpatrick and Wood met in Detroit, Washington and other cities.
“They showed contacts between the monitor and the former mayor that were inappropriate and also an exchange of information related to the litigation,” Green said. “It was a personal relationship in which they met, in which they went to dinner… not in an official time or context.”

There’s nothing better than a little litigation information exchange over drinks.
Wood resigned from the monitor position, but trouble looms for her. One tipster points out that a judge recently slammed the police department reforms as “grossly inadequate.” The monitoring of those grossly inadequate reforms cost Detroit over $13 million. Now the Justice Department is considering a criminal investigation of Sheryl Robinson Wood.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Kwame Kilpatrick Text Scandal Redux: This Time With A Venable Partner”

Jeez. Even we are sick of this story — and that’s saying a lot.
But apparently some folks think, despite the endless navel-gazing and handwringing over the (canceled) visit of Dr. Li-ann Thio to NYU Law School, that there is more to be said here.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Let’s Talk Even More About Dr. Li-ann Thio”

kirkland ellis logo.JPGThe rumor mill is churning over at Kirkland & Ellis this week. While we’re unable to confirm that the firm is poised to grind down associates, we are hearing from sources worried that layoffs are coming.
The first warning sign came last week, when we learned that Kirkland had decided to move up annual performance reviews. A tipster reported the news this way:

Kirkland and Ellis has moved up its annual review process by 2-3 months. Look for layoffs (stealth or otherwise), likely starting sometime in August.

In this market, changing the timing of performance reviews is often interpreted as a move by the firm to set up for layoffs. But associates are so generally terrified these days that just having a partner look at an associate the wrong way can make a person freak out.
Other evidence suggesting that Kirkland is gearing up for a round of layoffs, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Are Layoffs Coming to Kirkland & Ellis?”

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom new.jpg* Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, the No. 3 official in the Obama Justice Department, signed off on a decision to drop a voter intimidation complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party. [Washington Times]
* Can’t we all just get along — with the help of beer? Today at a White House picnic, President Obama will drink a Bud Light, Professor Gates will drink a Red Stripe, and Sergeant Crowley will drink a Blue Moon. We told you Cambridge police officers were yuppies. [Washington Post]
* A San Francisco lawyer who interviewed Bernie Madoff may use the information obtained to pursue feeder fund managers. [Reuters]
* Advisers on the Microsoft-Yahoo ad partnership: Sheppard Mullin, Skadden, and Perkins Coie. [Am Law Daily]
More links after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Morning Docket: 07.30.09″

Javits Convention Center Leak.jpgToday’s big bar exam news is that the ancient and decrepit Jacob Javits Convention Center sprung a leak. A tipster reports the news from Manhattan:

In the middle of the afternoon session, the ceiling started to leak and it appeared that it required a few students to relocate. It was somewhat noisy and created a bit of a scene for a while.

How did the bar finish up in other parts of the country? How was the first day of the bar for those of you in states that run the exam on Wednesday and Thursday?

For those of you lucky enough to be done with the exam, you’ve earned yourself a well deserved drink (or twelve).

Celebrate tonight. Tomorrow, you’ll have to get back to preparing to be a practicing attorney. That has very little to do with the exam you just finished.

Congratulations to all the test takers.

WARNING: Please do NOT discuss actual questions or topics from today’s bar exam in this thread. We will delete your comment and ban you from commenting if we see it, and we will NOT FIGHT anybody who subpoenas us to obtain your IP address.

You can talk about whether you found the exam easy or hard or somewhere in between. But please, nothing about the substance of the exams today. Thank you.

Angry Goose.jpg* Don’t walk into a Bronx courtroom looking like you live in the Bronx. [Gothamist]
* Paul Weiss doesn’t limp into Delaware, Paul Weiss runs into Delaware with the force of a mack truck. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Anna Wintour appears to be unfamiliar with the Sherman Act. [Fashionista; New York Observer]
* Is trying to have sex with an underage girl grounds for disbarment? Maybe not. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]
* What should we learn from the Twitter lawsuit? [Young Lawyers Blog]
* You know what you should avoid? Geese. Seriously, they are really foul fowl. [Lowering the Bar]

Notes from the Breadline Roxana St Thomas.jpgEd. note: Welcome to the latest installment of “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here. You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email (at roxanastthomas@gmail.com), follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
Ah, the library. When was the last time you thought about it? When I started law school, I had a somewhat mystical notion of what the library would be like. Rays of afternoon sunlight would filter through tall windows, illuminating dust motes and spilling onto the pages of my neatly IRAC-ed briefs. I would sit at a long table, chewing thoughtfully on my pen before delving into an incisive analysis of Carolene Products, fn 4. A delicate lamp with a green glass shade would cast warm light on the law review article I was writing in longhand, with a fountain pen. I would meet a handsome stranger in the stacks and we would fall in love, like the Clintons.
In reality, the law library was devoid of such scholarly romanticism. It was either oppressively hot, resulting in all-girl study groups whose attire was more suggestive of a “Law Students Gone Wild” video than a chat session about conveyances, or cold enough to require indoor scarf-wearing. I spent more time asleep, with my face planted awkwardly on an open book, than I did actually reading. One of the bitchier members of our section patrolled the library with fierce determination, shushing us when we giggled about bizarre tort cases and classroom gunners. When it came time to study for the bar exam, I spent so much time in the library that, toward the end, I would wake up — in my own bed — feeling disoriented by the unfamiliar surroundings, groping anxiously for my highlighters. For years, I couldn’t pass by the building without experiencing the panicky sense that I had forgotten something important about commercial paper.
These memories, which conjure a queasy blend of academic stress, physical discomfort, and the feeling of being incarcerated in a cell made of CFR parts, resulted in a certain degree of library amnesia. Indeed, it hadn’t occurred to me to set foot in a law library for … well, years. Then, a few weeks ago, I received an email that read….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Notes from the Breadline: In This Age of Fiberglass I’m Searching for a Gem”

Heller Ehrman small logo.jpgSince it has been so long since Heller Ehrman collapsed, it’s easy to forget that the firm’s dissolution continues to affect so many. Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the owners of the building that housed Heller will now have to forfeit that property:

The owners of a premier San Francisco office tower plan to forfeit the property to their lenders, the city’s second distressed transaction involving a major commercial building in recent weeks and another sign of the growing pressures in the sector.
Hines and Sterling American Property decided to transfer their interest in 333 Bush St. to the original financers, following the surprise dissolution of law firm Heller Ehrman in September, according to a letter Hines sent to local real estate brokers and obtained by The Chronicle. The 118-year-old law firm defaulted on its 250,000-square-foot lease, leaving the nearly 550,000-square-foot property 65 percent vacant.

That’s one hell of a jingle mail.
How are former Heller associates and partners doing these days? Have people put the Heller experience behind them? Or is the pain still too near to talk about it?
S.F. tower’s owners will forfeit it to lender [San Francisco Chronicle]
Earlier: WilmerHale Hires Operational Wisdom, From Heller Ehrman

Not Hiring sign.jpgMany a law student has forwarded along an e-mail from his or her law school career services office announcing that this or that law firm has dropped out of on campus interviewing schedules (a.k.a. OCI). Here’s a recent sample from Columbia announcing that Sullivan & Cromwell will not be interviewing 3Ls:

Date: Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 7:09 AM
Subject: EIP 2009 UPDATE: Sullivan & Cromwell 3L Schedules
Dear Students,
Unfortunately, Sullivan & Cromwell will no longer be interviewing 3L students on their EIP schedules. We will be happy to accept one additional bid – to be entered in either the same slot as you had placed the firm in your bid list, or in the last slot on your list. Please email me your selection by 12 pm tomorrow, July 29. If you will not be able to do so, please let me know as soon as possible. If you do not select an additional firm to add to your bid list, all of your bids will simply move up one place in your list.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, and please let me know if you have any questions.

We are happy to get these e-mails but we’re not likely to do an “X-firm-has-dropped-from-X-law school schedule” play by play on fall recruiting. So here is an open thread for law school students from across the country to discuss which firms have dropped out of recruiting at which law schools. Also, feel free to make use of the ATL Community Section.
It may not necessarily reassure you, but this happened last year too. See this 2008 vintage post: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Some OCIs are DOA.
Earlier: Some Top Law Firms Will Not Interview At Yale

Southwestern School of Law logo.jpgIt’s a pretty sad time at Southwestern School of Law. The National Law Journal reports:

The recent murder of a 17-year-old girl who was abducted near the Los Angeles campus of Southwestern University School of Law has sent shockwaves through the law school.

The victim’s mother, Deborah Drooz, a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, had just finished a summer course as an adjunct professor at the school.

The victim, Lily Burk, was leaving Southwestern’s campus when she was abducted. A suspect has been arrested for her murder:

Burk had just picked up some paperwork at the Southwestern Law School’s building for her mother when she was abducted on Friday afternoon, according to recent press reports. During the next hour, Burk called her parents, asking how to withdraw cash from an ATM using her credit card. Her beaten body was discovered in her car Saturday morning at a downtown parking lot. A 50-year-old transient, Charles Samuel, who had entered a drug treatment program near the law school’s campus, has been arrested for her murder.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Drooz and her family.

L.A. Law School Stunned by Murder of Professor’s Daughter [Law.com]
Lily Burk’s slaying shakes an up-and-coming neighborhood [Los Angeles Times]

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