If you happen to be on the frigid East Coast today, currently experiencing the coldest temperatures of the season, grab yourself a cup of cocoa and a copy of the Sunday New York Times. The NYT often has articles of interest to a legal audience, but this weekend’s edition has an especially high number of stories either by or about the boldface names of the legal profession. To wit:
1. Power of Attorney: Questions for John Yoo. Deborah Solomon interviews John Yoo, the Berkeley law professor perhaps most well-known for his authorship of the so-called “torture memos.” Considering her liberal politics and modus operandi as an interviewer — we’ve previously described her as “snarky, cranky, exceedingly direct” — we were expecting her to go to town on Yoo.
But Professor Yoo actually comes across very well in the short Q-and-A (and is looking newly svelte in the accompanying photo). He’s smart, funny, and charming — not a surprise to us, based on our personal interactions with him, but perhaps a surprise to some who know only the cartoon villain depicted by the mainstream media.
2. The 30-Minute Interview: Jonathan L. Mechanic. An interesting interview with real estate super-lawyer Jonathan Mechanic, chairman of the real estate department of Fried Frank (and previously profiled here). We learn that Mechanic, in addition to being a top real estate attorney, is also a real estate investor: he owns retail and commercial properties in Bergen County, NJ (where we grew up).
Three more stories, after the jump.
3. A Man of Influence. Prominent law professor Jeffrey Rosen, perhaps most famous for his New Republic piece The Case Against Sotomayor (criticizing then-Judge Sotomayor as a possible SCOTUS nominee), offers a positive review of Joan Biskupic’s new biography of Justice Scalia, American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
4. What’s a Bailed-Out Banker Really Worth? This is not a law-related story per se, but it’s written by Steven Brill, founder of the American Lawyer magazine and Court TV. It will also interest lawyers who obsess about the salaries of their counterparts in finance. (Brill, by the way, has written some great freelance long-form pieces recently; see, e.g., his hard-hitting New Yorker article about New York City schools and teachers’ unions, The Rubber Room.)
5. On Language: Choate. Ben Zimmer takes a closer look at Justice Scalia’s pet peeve, the use by advocates of “choate,” and whether it’s truly justified. (We previously linked to this in Non-Sequiturs.)
We might write more about some of these stories later, but we thought we’d highlight them now for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
P.S. We’re looking forward to our visit to the West Coast this week, which will give us the opportunity to escape from the cold.