October 2014

Bank of America Merrill Lynch B of A.jpgCould the nomination of Judge Denny Chin (S.D.N.Y.) to the Second Circuit be derailed by his ruling in Chiscolm v. Bank of America?
Click on the link below to read about this lawsuit filed by an irate customer (or purported customer) of the banking giant.
Area Man Has One Month To Prove Why Bank Of America Owes Him 1,784 Billion, Trillion Dollars [Dealbreaker]

Department of Justice seal DOJ seal Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWho says the wheels of government turn slowly? Earlier this month, we reminded you that Justice Department Honors Program applications were almost due. Now, three short weeks later, candidates are hearing back about interviews. Sources report:

“DOJ Honors interview notifications have gone out. I was fortunate enough to snare one in the Civil Division. You might want to put up an open thread for discussion.”

“Interview invites came out Wednesday, information about which component came out Thursday. Open thread?”

We aim to please. Here you go.

If interview notifications went out on Wednesday, was that ahead of schedule? According to the list of key dates on the Honors Program website, today is supposed to be the day that the DOJ “notifies candidates selected for interviews by e-mail.”

Feel free to discuss the Honors Program interview process — which components you’re interviewing with, what you’d like to know about the process, or what you already know about the process (for those of you who have been through it) — in the comments.

The Attorney General’s Honors Program [U.S. Department of Justice]
AG’s Honors Program Key Dates [U.S. Department of Justice]

Earlier: Reminder: DOJ Honors Program Applications Are Almost Due
Open Thread: The DOJ Is Hiring Again …
Fall Recruiting Open Thread: DOJ Honors Program

Vick Eagles return.jpgThis Sunday marks Michael Vick’s official return to the National Football League–an event that has been widely criticized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (“PETA”), as well as some sports writers and doggie bloggers.
What those who criticize NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstating Vick fail to understand, however, is that the NFL may have ultimately lacked any real choice. Had the NFL not reinstated Vick, Vick could have potentially filed an antitrust lawsuit against the 32 NFL clubs for concertedly refusing to deal with him. Even though such a lawsuit would have likely failed in the Second and Seventh Circuits (due to the holdings respectively in the Clarett and American Needle cases), a lawsuit against the NFL clubs would have likely gotten to a jury in the Third, Sixth, Eighth and D.C. Circuits–all places where professional athletes have previously won large antitrust settlements.
As a quick background in antitrust law, Section 1 of the Sherman Act, in pertinent part, states that “[e]very contract, combination … or conspiracy in the restraint of trade or commerce … is declared to be illegal.” Although most Section 1 claims involve restraints of trade related to product markets, the Sherman Act likewise prohibits restraints in labor markets, as long as these restraints occur outside of the proper workings of a collective bargaining agreement (“non-statutory labor exemption”).
Courts in general determine whether a particular restraint violates Section 1 of the Sherman Act in three steps. First, courts will determine whether a particular restraint emerges from a “contract, combination or … conspiracy” among two or more parties. Next, they will determine whether the restraint yields a net anticompetitive effect to consumers. Finally, they will assess whether any antitrust exemption would negate the finding of liability.
After the jump, how might a court weigh these factors?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sports And The Law: Why PETA Shouldn’t Blame Roger Goodell For Michael Vick’s Return”

Paul G Kirk Senator.jpg* Paul G. Kirk is America’s interim, new filibuster busting Senator. [New York Times]
* Apparently, Kirsten Dunst isn’t the most powerful witness. Why didn’t her lawyers just give her a script? [New York Post]
* McKool Smith expands its New York office space. [Am Law Daily]
* A New York lawyer received a glowing recommendation in the Daily News. “[Joseph] Tacopina is the kind of lawyer who makes you want to get into trouble so he can defend you.” Long live trial lawyers. [Daily News]
* I learned a new word: Superfetation. It means “I don’t know when to stop procreating.” [Trans World News]
* If you are a pilot and you are stalking somebody, isn’t it natural that you’d do it from your plane? [CNN]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg cancer surgery.jpgIn February of this year, Senator Jim Bunning predicted that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be dead in nine months from pancreatic cancer. It was a horrible and tasteless prediction, for which Senator Bunning apologized.
But might he be right? Here’s the latest news about Justice Ginsburg’s health. From the Associated Press:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday after becoming ill in her office at the court following treatment for an iron deficiency.

The 76-year-old justice, who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in February, was taken to Washington Hospital Center at 7:45 p.m. EDT as a precaution, a statement from the court said.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized”

Lesbian harassment law firm girl on girl.JPGHere at Above the Law, we’ve reviewed a lot of employment discrimination complaints over the years. But this one is special.

The firm (like it matters):
Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson.

The plaintiff:
Jennifer Braude.

Why you care:

Do I have your attention? Click after the jump for more details, plus Maron Marvel’s response.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Girl-on-Girl Sexual Harassment at Delaware Law Firm”

The Future of Red Sox nation.JPG* David Lat, Tony Mauro, and Matt Welch discuss how the new media covers the law. [Legal Blog Watch]
* The 25 “most dangerous” colleges in America. Yes, of course Yale is on this list! [Tax Prof Blog]
* Muammar Gaddafi has some thoughts on international law. [Miss Trials]
* Ladies, “flaunting your curves” does get you noticed. I’m not sure if that is a good thing. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* Complicated laws v. Simple laws. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* A Red Sox fan was allowed to temporarily leave jail to see a Red Sox game. This bears repeating: post the second, 2007 championship, there is no difference between Sox fans and Yankee fans. None. You’ve become what you beheld and your children will never know the joy of rooting for an underdog. [Yahoo]

Dorsey Whitney logo.JPGDorsey & Whitney’s managing partner, Marianne D. Short, was making the rounds in the Minneapolis office yesterday, talking to associates there about the future of the firm.
That future might be one without lockstep compensation. A source reports:

[T]he firm [suggested] it was restructuring our compensation. They did not give us any specific details. But, it seems likely that this will result in another large pay cut for associates. While hazy on the details, Dorsey management indicated that the restructuring will be something like this: we will be given a base pay rate which will be below market (whatever that means these days, but regardless, likely well below what we are currently making after our 10% pay cut), which will be supplemented by a ‘bonus’ if we make our hours to bring compensation up to market.

Alright, slow down. While it does appear that Short broached the subject with associates in Dorsey’s Minneapolis office, it appears that there are still a lot of evaluations and reviews that will have to take place at Dorsey before any final decision is made. It is premature to speculate about what kind of new base salary the firm might offer.
But it does look like the firm is considering a new system. We have statements from the firm and more from our tipsters, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dorsey & Whitney: Do We Have Another Firm Looking to Abandon Lockstep?”

ACORN acorn lawsuit maryland wiretap.JPGThe Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is fighting back thanks to Maryland’s “Linda Tripp Law.”
For those of you that have been living under a rock, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute to dupe ACORN employees. The two shot hidden camera footage that showed two (former) ACORN employees giving tax advice on how to run a brothel to the unsavory couple.
ACORN and their former workers are suing O’Keefe, Giles, and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart – who posted the video on his website — under Maryland’s wiretapping laws. The law states that both parties must consent to an audio recording, and was used to indict Linda Tripp during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.
ACORN is seeking a lot of money in this lawsuit. Hey, now that Congress has cut off their funding the money has to come from somewhere. The AP reports:

The lawsuit claims the video damaged ACORN’s reputation and asks for injunctions barring its further broadcast or distribution. It seeks $2 million in compensatory damages — $1 million for ACORN and $500,000 for each of the two former employees — as well as $1 million in punitive damages from each of the three defendants.

As one tipster put it:

I read the basis for the law suit and vomited a little in my mouth.

It’s not that O’Keefe and Giles have clean hands here, but the “optics” of this lawsuit are pretty bad for ACORN. Let’s look at this in more detail after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: This ACORN Stuff is Nuts”

Arent Fox logo.JPGWe have done a lot of reporting on firms that have deferred their incoming class, and then extended the deferral period. At some firms, it has been an indefinite deferral extension.
So give Arent Fox a little bit of credit. Instead of continuing to string the class of 2009 along, the firm has cried “no más” and just revoked offers to several of its incoming associates.
Arent Fox has confirmed to Above the Law that it has decided to revoke offers to some 2009 graduates who have not yet started at the firm. The firm is giving them $20,000 for the inconvenience of believing they had already successfully secured post-graduate employment.
Maybe Arent Fox read Morning Docket today. We linked to a story in the Atlantic that asked why firms were doing deferrals instead of revoking offers outright.
There has been much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments by would-be Arent Fox first years on Facebook this morning. But we think this comment on a status update captures the general feeling:

I just sent them an envelope with powder in it. Don’t worry, I wore a ski mask when I walked to the mailbox so they can’t trace me.

Please, Arent Fox friends, do not blow your $20K on terrorist activities. Instead stock up on Ramen and a buy a good sleeping bag. It’s going to be a long winter.
UPDATE: We assume the Facebook commenter was joking. Clearly. The wearing a ski mask to the mailbox line is clear parody.
FURTHER UPDATE: Arent Fox Chairman Marc Fleischaker shared some numbers with the BLT:

In all, Fleischaker said, about 12 incoming associates were affected. Washington, which has the firm’s largest office, had “about eight,” New York had “between two and three,” and Los Angeles had one, Fleischaker said. The news was first reported on Above the Law.

Read Arent Fox’s full statement after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Incoming Associates, Some of You Aren’t Going to Be Working at Arent Fox”

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