October 2014

One morning last week, I walked past dozens of loyal Apple customers lined up to buy the new iPad 2. I scoffed as I walked by, my old, beat-up iPod nano playing in my ears. I also had the misfortune of walking past the same store later in the evening.

A sign in the doorway said something like, “Sorry, you’re too late. We’re sold out, na na na na.” Of course sample iPads were spread across the tables for gullible saps like me to play with, and I couldn’t resist. I really wanted to be able to legitimately say the gadget is silly and excessive, but — curse you, Steve Jobs — that thing is really cool.

It’s been, obviously, an exciting week for the company, but coincidentally (or not?) the Apple legal team has probably been working overtime too. Apple is no stranger to litigation, and we’ve covered Apple’s legal wrangling before.

Details about Apple’s hyperactive legal week — why Steve Jobs got deposed, who owns the phrase “App Store,” and a company that claims Apple stole intellectual property — after the jump.

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It’s about time. We’ve been writing about the new Boston office of Latham & Watkins for weeks now (here and here), revealing a number of their top lateral hires.

On Wednesday, Latham made its official announcement — and confirmed the accuracy of our prior reporting. All of the partners we previously named as Latham-bound, taken from such top firms as WilmerHale, Proskauer Rose, and Bingham McCutchen, are mentioned.

Let’s take a closer look at the L&W crew, and also learn about additional attorneys who are joining up (including associates)….

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* In the Barry Bonds trial, an expert on steroids described how the government injected a bunch of baboons with the drug Bonds is accused of using. I, for one, welcome our new baboon overlords. [ESPN]

* Some Amish in Kentucky are fighting a regulation that requires reflective safety triangles on their buggies. Say they’d rather get Munsoned out in the middle of nowhere than use those things. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

* Fresh off his Bushwick Bill impersonation, Allen Stanford has withdrawn his lawsuit against the federal government. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A lawyer in Illinois faces possible jail time for letting her detained client use her cell phone. At least she’ll get bars now. HIYOOOO! [ABA Journal]

* The FBI has instructed agents to to hold off on Miranda warnings when interrogating “operational terrorists” about immediate threats. These threats include suitcase bombs, sex bombs, nude bombs, and La Bamba. The Los Lobos version. [New York Times]

* Law firms are whetting wetting their collective beak on drug deals. But drugs is a dirty business. It makes, it doesn’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, understand. But your business is, uh, a little dangerous. [Am Law Daily]


On Tuesday, Ropes & Gray was sued in Manhattan federal court by a former partner, Patricia A. Martone. Martone’s lawsuit claims age discrimination, sex discrimination, retaliation, and interference with protected retirement benefits in violation of ERISA (the basis for federal jurisdiction in the S.D.N.Y.).

As you might expect from an ex-Ropes partner, Martone has some high-powered counsel: Anne Vladeck, one of New York’s top labor and employment lawyers, widely regarded as the queen of employment discrimination law. Vladeck famously (and successfully) represented Anucha Browne Sanders in her sexual harassment lawsuit against Isiah Thomas and the Knicks.

Patricia Martone is a veteran intellectual-property litigatrix, a specialist in patent litigation, with almost 40 years of practice under her belt. She made partner at Fish & Neave, the well-known patent law firm, in 1983, and then became a Ropes partner in 2005, when Ropes absorbed Fish. She’s now a partner at Morrison & Foerster, which she joined in October 2010.

Why did she leave Ropes? Let’s have a look at Patricia Martone, and her lawsuit….

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* Still more benchslappery, this time from the Second Circuit. Professor Nita Farahany wonders whether Judge Gary Sharpe “may have missed a few important days of his genetics class in high school or in college.” [Law and Biosciences Digest]

* In other federal judicial news: I’ve never bought into the silly claim that Clarence Thomas is the jurisprudential puppet of Antonin Scalia — and Linda Greenhouse’s analysis of the Term thus far confirms CT’s independence from AS. [Opinionator/ New York Times]

* The ability of judges to be funny: AFFIRMED. [Supreme Court of Washington Blog]

* Remember the crazy deposition dispute over the definition of “photocopying” (which we previously linked to)? Here’s some additional background. [Lowering the Bar]

* Lawyers who rap are a dime a dozen; lesbian lawyers who rap are more rare (and more interesting). Meet GW Law alum Amanda Carter, aka “330.” [DCist]

* In other D.C. news, congratulations to the four bloggers behind Who Murdered Robert Wone?, whose sleuthing efforts have just been honored. [Washington City Paper]

* The estate of the defunct Heller Ehrman firm is getting $20 million, courtesy of Bank of America and Citibank. That’s nice. [Am Law Daily]

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Size Matters, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

I suppose that I should interview John Quinn (or john quinn?) on what it takes to start a successful small law firm. I mean, yeah, Quinn Emanuel was once small and now is sort of successful, but the reason for this interview would be because so many Quinn attorneys leave to start their own practices.

I did not interview Quinn, though. Instead, I spoke to former Quinn attorneys turned small-firm superstars: Ryan Baker and Jaime Marquart, principals of Baker Marquart LLP.

Baker and Marquart have been doing the small firm thing for nearly five years now, so they know of what they speak. And they both went to HLS and worked at Quinn for many years, so they are smarter than most of us.

Here is what they had to say….

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You know an email has gone viral when we get unsolicited emails asking us to not post something we just received from a bunch of people all at the same time. Let’s hope Wake Forest School of Law is ready for its closeup.

Someone — claiming to be a Wake Forest law student, and calling himself or herself “Wes Law” — apparently woke up this morning with a bug up the ass. The object of pain was apparently the law librarians at Wake Law. And so the supposed student asked a rhetorical question: “Is there someone who can please explain why do we even have librarians at this law school anymore, and to what purpose they serve?”

What followed was a tirade against the services provided by the librarians, naming names in a flurry of accusations and insults. The entire campus is talking about it, with a few people even trying to answer the question.

I’ve never been to Wake Forest, so I’ll have to answer his question with my own rhetorical question: U mad, bro?

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There must be no more of this childish abuse…. No more or there will be sanctions. In more than 29 years as a judge, I have never encountered such bickering, quarrelsome lawyers. You are wasting my time and your clients’ money.

– Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, sitting by designation as a district judge (N.D. Ill.), ruling on motions in limine in Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Lear Corp. (PDF).

(The context of this quotation, which contains additional benchslappery, appears below.)

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Are you a law student (or lawyer) who belongs to one of the following groups?

  • You’ve lined up summer employment, and you want to ensure that you make the best of the opportunity (e.g., that you get an offer, if that’s an option).
  • You haven’t lined up summer employment, and you’re interested in ideas and leads about what to do.
  • You’d like the chance to pose specific questions about your career development to a panel of knowledgeable experts.

Anastasia Boyko

If you fall into any of the foregoing categories, then you should attend our panel discussion on Wednesday, April 6, We Know What You Should Do This Summer. You can sign up for the event, which we’re co-sponsoring along with the Practical Law Company and the ABA Law Student Division (Second Circuit), over here.

We’ve been revealing our panelists over the past few weeks. We’ve already lined up Steven Molo, founding partner of MoloLamken (and a former partner at Shearman & Sterling and Winston & Strawn), and Anastasia Boyko, professional development manager at Practical Law Company (and a former attorney at Akin Gump and Katten, as well as a former investment banker).

King Milling

Today we announce our final panelist: King Milling, the New York recruiting partner of Orrick. King is a member of Orrick’s corporate practice, where he focuses on M&A and leveraged buyouts. Prior to joining Orrick, he was a partner at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now K&L Gates).

They’ll be joined by Above the Law’s own David Lat — a former Ninth Circuit clerk and assistant U.S. attorney, who will discuss public sector opportunities — and Elie Mystal, who will moderate.

The diverse panel features litigators and transactional attorneys; lawyers with private and public sector experience; a former state prosecutor and a former federal prosecutor; and attorneys who, collectively, have worked at eight Am Law 100 firms. The discussion will be spirited and candid — more frank than what you’d get from your law school career services office. And there will be ample time for audience Q-and-A, so you’ll be able to get your specific queries answered directly by these great panelists.

Get TicketsIt’s less than two weeks away, so don’t delay. You can sign up over here (and feel free to spread the word to your friends).

We hope to see you on April 6th!

We will have a new winner in this year’s Coolest Law Firm contest. When Above the Law first ran this bracket back in 2008, you picked Latham & Watkins as the victor. This time around, they got… Lathamed, in the first round. Cravath crushed Latham by a 60% – 40% margin. That was the second-highest margin of victory among all of the first-round match-ups.

So, for those playing along at home, paying a spring bonus is “more cool” than not paying a spring bonus.

As we move into the Elite Eight, some of our readers are asking us to give a more clear definition of what is “cool.” We respectfully decline to do so. It’s up to you to tell us what makes a top law firm cool. Is it job security, making maximum bank, prestige points? It’s really up to you. Personally I think the coolest law firm would be the one most likely to represent bad-ass clients on the correct side of moral issues, but… eeek, that’s not really what Biglaw is all about.

So bring your own prejudices to the table when you vote in the next round of the Coolest Law Firm Tournament. Use whatever reasoning makes sense to you. Just don’t go with chalk because you can’t be bothered to actually form an opinion — don’t be boring, son….

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