This year we decided to dress up as Judge Denny Chin (S.D.N.Y.), recently nominated by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. If you’re a criminal, Judge Chin can be quite frightening — he sentenced Bernie Madoff to a whopping 150 years.
And where did we get the idea for our costume? ATL comments (see #2 and #17).
A slideshow of photos showing us in our Judge Chin costume, after the jump.
We launched our Spooky Services caption contest yesterday evening, giving ATL readers just over 17 hours to submit captions for this photo:
To our horror, you buried us with over 400 entries. We nearly laughed ourselves to death.
See the finalists after the jump. If you dare.
Congratulations to WilmerHale and two of its associates, Ross Firsenbaum and Shauna Friedman. They just scored a big-time victory in a pro bono case.
It’s a story straight out of the movies. WilmerHale’s client, Dewey Bozella, a 50-year-old African-American man, was released from custody earlier this week — after serving 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. From the New York Times:
Mr. Bozella would still be in prison except for a few lucky breaks. The first came in 2007, when he contacted the Innocence Project, a legal group that focuses on wrongful convictions. The group, after determining all the physical evidence had already been destroyed, asked the high-powered law firm of WilmerHale to handle the case on a pro bono basis.
Ross E. Firsenbaum, a senior associate, said the firm’s lawyers had spent 2,500 hours — worth $950,000 at customary rates — on the case, the kind of representation almost never available to indigent convicts.
Will Bozella file a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit — perhaps represented by Wilmer, on a contingency basis? It could yield up a nice chunk of change (to make up for the nearly $1 million in non-billable work). Given all the firm has done for him, Bozella certainly owes WH a debt of gratitude.
Anyway, it’s a remarkable case. Read more about the victory in the NYT and Am Law Daily.
Such success is not entirely surprising. Although WilmerHale has one of the country’s top appellate practices, WH lawyers know their way around the trial court too. As noted in the firm’s ATL Career Center profile,”[t]he firm is known for its litigation expertise, as well as its regulatory practice and Beltway connections.”
Meanwhile, in other firm news, we got our hands on the WilmerHale warning memo that we mentioned earlier this month. Truth be told, it’s a little disappointing — not nearly as scary as we were led to believe.
We were expecting associates to be threatened with 26 years of imprisonment (or doc review) for leaking firm information to ATL. Or maybe waterboarding by Bill and Bill. But the actual memo is not unreasonable and fairly tame, guilt-tripping rather than menacing.
Check it out, along with some cautionary words for law firms thinking of clamping down on leakers, after the jump.
There’s nothing scary about this Halloween edition of the Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. Our featured newlyweds include two Skadden associates, a SCOTUS clerk, and a famous heiress / model / entrepreneur.
Here are our fabulous finalist couples:
If you’re going to have a little afternoon delight with a stripper, why not head to the local cemetery? We applaud South Carolina deputy assistant attorney general and former legislator Roland Corning for really getting into the Halloween spirit this week by getting his jollies at the graveyard.
Unfortunately, his Monday lunch treat got tricky when a police officer happened by. From CBS News:
Deputy assistant attorney general Roland Corning said he was on his lunch break when a police officer found him with a stripper, a Viagra pill, and sex toys in his sports utility vehicle, according to Corning’s boss.
Let’s learn a bit more about the stripper, shall we?
What would you do to score World Series tickets? If you aren’t willing to do what this Philadelphia Phillies fan had in mind, then you aren’t really trying. Earlier this week, the New York Post reported:
A rabid Philadelphia fan — apparently believing the “P” on the team’s cap stands for “prostitution” — was busted yesterday for offering sex in exchange for World Series tickets, police said.
Susan Finkelstein, 43, was nabbed after allegedly soliciting an undercover Bensalem, Pa., cop who answered her innuendo-laced craigslist ad seeking the coveted ducats.
CBS has a full photo spread of Susan Finkelstein, in case you have two spare tickets for Saturday.
That’s right, she needs two. One for herself, and one for her husband. UPDATE: Actually, it seems that she no longer needs tickets for the next game. (Gavel bang: commenter.)
Allegations after the jump.
According to the Center for Disease Control, these are the groups most at risk for swine flu:
* Children younger than 2 years old; * Adults 65 years of age or older; * Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks postpartum (including following pregnancy loss) * Persons with the following conditions: * Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus); * Disorders that that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders) *Immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV;
Oh wait, I think the CDC forgot a group: Biglaw lawyers. Ropes & Gray apparently thinks that its lawyers are at risk — so like any good company, the firm is “stockpiling” swine flu drugs. The Boston Globe reports:
The Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray made arrangements this month for hundreds of its employees and their families to obtain the antiviral medicine Tamiflu to protect them from swine flu, a move that the company calls a wise precaution but that public health officials criticized as medically questionable stockpiling.
Hoarding swine flu medication? Really? That is not cool.
Additional details after the jump.
Back in May, Drinker Biddle came up with a radically different program for first years. For the first six months, first years at Drinker are more like apprentices than traditional first years. They get intensive training, but are only paid $105,000.
Despite those changes, the firm has still decided to lay off attorneys. Multiple tipsters report that 22 Drinker Biddle associates were laid off yesterday.
Drinker Biddle spokespeople did not comment about the news. But tipsters report that the significant cut to first year salary did not end up saving the jobs of more senior associates.
Details on departments and offices and an update after the jump.
* Schools warn parents that their children shouldn’t wear scary Halloween costumes. [New York Times]
* Under New York employment law, companies that require a uniform are supposed to provide that uniform for their employees. Apparently that is not happening at Hooters. [Daily News]
* Cancer patients want to put bone marrow on the open market. [National Law Journal]
* Everyone knows that monkeys are funny. But are they service animals? [Courthouse News Service]
* Am Law 200 lawyers are flocking to Chris Christie over Jon Corzine. [Am Law Daily]
* Food racism. [CNN]
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. From our sister site, Going Concern:
[A] judge in Seattle has allowed a revised lawsuit to proceed that lists “Washington Mutual officers and directors, underwriters, and the auditing firm Deloitte & Touche” as defendants.
The revised lawsuit was trimmed down to a “concise” 267 pages from the original 388 that the judge described as “verbose” and “disorganized”.
“Verbose” and “disorganized” would also describe many lawyers we know. On the defense side, though, it’s an all-star cast. From Am Law Litigation Daily:
The lineup for the defendants includes Simpson Thacher & Bartlett attorneys Barry Ostrager and Rob Pfister for former WaMu officers; Ronald Berenstain of Perkins Coie for former WaMu outside directors; Barry Kaplan of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for former WaMu CEO Kerry Killinger; Peter Wald of Latham & Watkins for Deloitte; and Jonathan Dickey of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for the underwriters.
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