New York Times, Weddings

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Sweet November

champagne glasses small.jpgThanks to all of you who sent along good wishes after the birth of Baby Lin. It’s been a busy two months, but we’re emerging from the vicious beatdown that is new parenthood. (By which we mean that we’re sleeping in luxurious two-hour stretches and showering almost daily.)
We’ve been keeping up with the NYT weddings, but as usual the November and December offerings were relatively weak, which gives us a good excuse to eliminate the dreary matches (e.g., Fordham-marries-Fordham; Cardozo 1L, no picture; U. Penn., blah, blah) and bring you each month’s top three. And if ATL management accuses of slacking off, we’re totally playing the mommy card.
We’ll be back soon with December’s couples and our 2009 Couple of the Year reader poll.
Here are your November couples:

1. Mia Feldbaum and Mark McGoldrick
2. Lisa Rockefeller and Edward Sebelius
3. Stephen Davis and Jeffrey Busch

Read more about these newlyweds, after the jump.

Feldbaum-McGoldrick.jpg1. Mia Feldbaum and Mark McGoldrick
The Case:
– He’s a cum laude HLS grad and a deputy public defender for Alameda County, California. She graduated from Rice, got her master’s at Syracuse, and works as a curriculum specialist.
– They met in 2001 on an 800-mile canoe trip in Canada, where Mark, who was paralyzed in a car crash in high school (he “rocketed through his adolescence . . . on the highly combustible fuel of alcohol, drugs and trouble”) wooed Mia with poetry and fireside flirtation. They were an item briefly, then broke up and dated other people, and reunited in Berkeley in 2007.
The Case Against:
– Alameda County public defender doesn’t light up our prestige-o-meter. But they seem sweet and sincere, and we’re not going to bash a guy who completed an 800-mile backcountry trip without the use of his legs.
Rockefeller-Sebelius.jpg2. Lisa Rockefeller and Edward Sebelius
(Buy them an ice cream scoop.)
The Case:
– Lots of prestige in these family backgrounds. The bride is a descendant of the Standard Oil Rockefellers. Lisa was cum laude at Princeton and has a MBA from Dartmouth, but there’s no mention of any current employment for her. We can confirm, however, that at least someone in her family works for a living; her mom is a partner at Nixon Peabody.
– The groom, who has undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown, is the son of Kathleen Sebelius, the former governor of Kansas and current HHS Secretary. His dad’s a federal magistrate judge, his maternal grandfather is a former governor of Ohio, and his paternal grandfather was a congressman. With that lineage, he doubtless harbors political ambitions, but for now he’s lying low as an associate at Ropes & Gray.
The Case Against:
– They met while working for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Ted describes Lisa as “cute as a button . . . . It was pretty easy for me to pick her out of a room of the 150 staffers involved in the campaign.” So, the ability to identify someone in a room full of people = eternal love connection? Also, who under sixty uses the phrase “cute as a button”?
Davis-Busch.jpg3. Stephen Davis and Jeffrey Busch
The Case:
– This exuberant same-sex pair was featured in the Vows column, so we don’t know much about their educational credentials. What we do know: They’ve been together for 20 years; they “do not eat meat, watch television or kill insects”; and they were part of a group of same-sex couples who successfully sued Connecticut for the right to marry.
– Jeffrey is a real estate agent, an administrative law judge for the New York City Department of Finance, and a part-time legal services lawyer. Stephen works at Columbia as the head of the digital library program.
The Case Against:
– The couple have a seven-year-old son, Elijah, who was conceived with a donor egg, a gestational surrogate, and either Stephen’s or Jeffrey’s sperm — they don’t know which. We’ve seen this who’s-your-daddy stunt before, and we don’t think it’s a good idea. The notion is that it shouldn’t matter who’s the biological father, but if you turn it into a guessing game, that’s all anybody thinks about. Also, it’s always spectacularly obvious whose genes the kid has, but everybody has to pretend it isn’t. (Based on the picture, our money’s on Jeffrey.)
The Verdict:
Both Team Feldbaum-McGoldrick and Team Davis-Busch seem more likeable, on a personal level, than the bland but undeniably prestigious Team Rockefeller-Sebelius. Still, you can’t argue with those pedigrees. The win goes to the Standard Oil heiress and the prince of Kansas. Congratulations to all the newlyweds!