October 2014

UC Hastings law logo.jpgYesterday, UC Hastings College of Law told its students about next year’s prospective tuition. Due to the graphic nature of the content below, viewer discretion is advised. Please remember that Hastings is a public law school:
UC Hastings tuition increase 1.jpg
Let’s put those horrifying figures in appropriate context, Stanford Law School’s tuition for this academic year is $42,420. Stanford of course could go as high as Hastings in 2010 – 2011. But at least right now it looks like students will pay more to go law school at Hastings than at Stanford.
Tsu-nami, Snake! Tsunami!
After the jump, the Daily Journal tries to make sense of it all.

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REM Michael Stipe Guantanamo torture.jpg* Does R.E.M. have a copyright infringement claim against the government if their music was used to torture Guantanamo detainees? What if R.E.M. was simply used to give the interrogators a blueprint on how to torture somebody? That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Gibson Dunn is joining Pepin Tuma to battle police abuse of disorderly conduct laws. I’d make a joke about cops now, but I’m in the privacy of my own home and I don’t want to tempt any officers to come in here and arrest me. [Huffington Post]
* Parents in Las Vegas don’t want their children to perform a version of Rent as a school play. You live in Las Vegas and you’re worried about what a Bohemian musical is going to do to your kids? That’s like living in Mississippi and wondering if Jackass: The Movie is going to make your kids dumb. [Legally Unbound]
* You know what, screw first time home buyers. What about longtime home renters? Where’s our tax credit? [Blackbook Legal]
* It’s been a good day for jokes about male reproductive organs. [Courtoons]
* Kanye West managed to keep his mouth shut long enough to have his vandalism charge dismissed. [Popsquire]

As many of you know, public interest organizations around the country benefited from the recession’s effects on Biglaw. There are many talented graduates of top law schools working in public interest — and being paid by the firms who have no work for them.
It’s a pretty sweet deal for cash-strapped public interest organizations. Some of them don’t want the good times to end. The ABA Journal reports:

Some lawyers are suggesting that sending new lawyers into the field is such a good idea that it shouldn’t be dropped when the recession ends. One of them is Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
The programs were “a creative response by the firms to what was a very ugly crisis,” Arnwine told AP. “My wish going forward is that what you can do in bad times you can do in good times.”

My wish going forward is that the sea people come and “take me away from this crappy goddamn planet full of hippies.” I think my wish will come true before Barbara Arnwine’s.
Don’t get me wrong, it would be awesome if there were some sort of training ground where new attorneys could learn some basic lawyering skills. If the training were really good, I bet young attorneys would even pay for the opportunity to be educated. Too bad we don’t have any kind of system of schools that can competently prepare people entering into the legal profession.
Public Interest Lawyer Says Loaned Associates Should Be Permanent Program [ABA Journal]

champagne glasses small.jpg
Congratulations to Caroline Nyenke and LaRue Robinson, selected by ATL readers as our August Couple of the Month in a close race. Things were a bit more lopsided in our September Couple of the Month poll, as SCOTUS clerks and lovebirds Karen Dunn and Brian Netter took the crown with 40 percent of the vote. Both couples will compete for Couple of the Year honors in a few months.
Now, this week’s contestants:

1. Molly Rusten and Peter Rosen
2. Xixi Yin and Edward Amley Jr.
3. Simrin Parmar and John Bennett

Check out these newlyweds’ pictures and bios, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 10.18: Jean-John”

tajudeen-oladiran.jpgTajudeen Oladiran is an Arizona attorney who is currently of counsel at Aguilera International Counsel. A Biglaw refugee, he spent a year at Greenberg Traurig, as well as a year working for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Given those credentials, we were surprised that he would file one of the craziest motions we’ve come across here at Above The Law.

From the U.S. District Court of Arizona:

Taj crazy motion.jpg
It is a motion in a case that Tajudeen Oladiran and his wife filed against Suntrust Bank for racketeering. We gather from the motion that Oladiran was not pleased with the ruling by “the Dishonorable Susan R. Bolton” (as she’s identified in the caption). Oladiran wrote: “I just read your Order and I am very disappointed in the fact that a brainless coward like you is a federal judge.”

A lesson on how not to address the court, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Motion of the Day: “We shall meet again you know where.””

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett  Dunner LLP.jpgThe Great Recession has been tough for many different types of firms — and that even includes intellectual property firms. During the past year, IP-focused shops have cut back on hiring, slashed salaries, and lost key partners to larger firms.
A few recent developments at Finnegan Henderson, the D.C.-based IP powerhouse, reflect the new realities. Multiple sources report the following:

1. Earlier this week, at an “all associates” meeting, the firm announced that it is freezing associate salaries.

2. At the same meeting, the firm announced that it is reducing first-year associate salaries from $160,000 to $145,000 (in all offices).

UPDATE: We understand that Finnegan has frozen support staff salaries as well.
Two additional items about Finnegan, after the jump.

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Albert Freed penis pain.jpgLet’s get the boring stuff out of the way. Albert Freed (pictured) won a trip to Hawaii (not pictured). As part of the vacation celebration, Mrs. Freed bought her husband some new Hanes brand briefs. But Mr. Freed is a husky gentleman, and apparently the new trunks couldn’t contain all of his junk. He sued Hanes, claiming they made “defective” underwear.
Let me turn it over to Escambia County (FL) Judge Pat Kinsey:
Freed v Hanes 1.jpg
A question for the guys out there: How long would it take you to correct a problem involving sandpaper and your penis? Don’t you think penis chafing is something that requires immediate attention and decisive action?
And while we’re here, how long does it take for you to notice your stuff hanging out where it is not supposed to be?
Check out Albert’s excuse after the jump.

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Salary Cuts.jpgThere have been a number of firms that have cut associate salaries. But there have not been many firms that have needed to slash salaries twice this year. Allen Matkins associates appears to be in their own personal corner of sadness.
A tipster reports:

For the second time this year, Allen Matkins has laid off lawyers and cut salaries for those who still have a job. 2 lawyers were laid off in Los Angeles. I am not sure how many in other offices, but I know there were more. Salary cuts were also part of the package. Associates untouched by the last round of salary cuts were not so lucky this time. Cuts ranged between 15% and 30%. … This cut occurred Thursday October 15. Cuts are effective November 1, 2009. Nice holiday gift isn’t it.

Allen Matkins has not responded to our multiple requests for comment. In terms of layoffs, other tipsters have reported a few involuntary attorney departures. 2nd year associates seem to be the hardest hit.
Multiple tipsters are also reporting the salary cut news.
Following along with all of the Allen Matkins cuts is a little bit confusing; let me walk you through it after the jump.

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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.
On an unseasonably chilly autumn day, Lat and I are sitting in his office, commiserating about the cold. “I’m freezing,” I say, rubbing my hands over the steam rising from the coffee fountain. “Shouldn’t we be enjoying Native American summer right now?”
“Yeah,” Lat responds absently, his eyes fixed on the computer screen in front of him. I wait for a proper response, but he seems absorbed in the task before him. After a few minutes, I get up and stand behind him, peering nosily over his shoulder.
He is downloading a virtual fireplace to his desktop. After a few minutes of virtual tending, it begins to crackle gaily. “Ah,” he says, relaxing visibly. “There’s nothing like a nice fire on a cold fall day … and virtual fires are much eco-friendlier than their wood-burning facsimiles!” He leans back in his chair and arranges his feet on his desk. “Did I mention that I’m watching my carbon footprint?”
“I did notice that your carbon footprint was looking particularly svelte,” I tell him. I stare out at the window, where the trees are being battered by a cold wind. A wave of melancholy, sudden and bracing, washes over me. “The weather has gone as cold as the scent for job leads,” I say glumly.
Lat strokes his chin thoughtfully for a moment, and then begins to dig through a stack of papers on his desk. It teeters dangerously and then cascades onto the floor. “Sorry,” he mumbles. “Paper avalanche.” After a moment, he extracts a creased copy of the New York Times, which he brandishes triumphantly.
“I was just reading about these job clubs, where people ‘meet to mingle, resumes in tow,'” he says. “And I was thinking: maybe you should try going to one. It could be an excellent networking opportunity!”
Another swell of melancholy builds, gathers into a frothy whitecap, and crashes around me. “That’s what you said about that speed-dating event we went to last year,” I say, trying not to sound peevish, “and that was a total waste of time, in six-minute increments. Besides, I just … I hate those things,” I tell him. “They feel so … forced.”
Lat responds with stony silence, then leans over and minimizes the fireplace. “Get going, sister,” he says sternly. “Find a networking event, and then you can come back and tell me all about it. Until then, no merrily crackling fire for you!”
I sulk for a few minutes, and then relent. In truth, my job search has stalled, and nothing I have done lately in an attempt to jump-start it seems to work. Why not? I figure, trying to muster optimism. At this point, I have nothing to lose.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Notes from the Breadline: Friends and Other Strangers
(Part I)”

Roman Polanski Adrien Brody.jpg* The U.S. formally demands Roman Polanski’s extradition. [New York Times]
* Hate crimes legislation awaits Obama’s loving signature. [CNN]
* I thought discriminating against Wiccan was part of the traditional Halloween celebration. I guess I’ll actually have to give these costumed marauders some kind of treat this year. [Courthouse News Service]
* The malpractice suit against Davis Wright & Tremaine was settled for $30 million. [ABA Journal]
* Ropes & Gray is expanding into London. Cheers. [Am Law Daily]
* Senator Orrin Hatch wants the Obama administration to look into the Bowl Championship Series. Doesn’t he know that the Southeastern Conference is much more powerful than the U.S. Senate? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Nevada Bar results went up last night. Congratulations to those who passed. Who are you? I really want to know. [State Bar of Nevada]

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