October 2014

Above the Law launched five years ago today, on August 30, 2006. If you like, you can take a trip down memory lane and read my letter from the editor, introducing ATL to the world.

Reaching this milestone is no small feat. If you think of Above the Law as a blog, this is a major accomplishment; in the words of one observer, the typical blog “has the lifespan of a fruitfly,” with most blogs being abandoned within a year. If you think of Above the Law as a business, this is also noteworthy; according to the Small Business Administration, new firms have about a 50 percent survival rate in the first five years.

So, on the occasion of our fifth anniversary — or “blogiversary,” as some say — we’d like to give thanks. We extend our deepest gratitude to our wonderful readers, our knowledgeable tipsters, our generous sponsors, our talented fellow journalists and bloggers, and our loyal friends. We couldn’t have made it this far without you.

That’s our main message, and you can stop reading here. If you’re interested, though, feel free to read on, as I identify five ways in which Above the Law has changed and evolved over the past half-decade.

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Sri Srinivasan

* “Ten Worst Things for a Law Prof To Put on a CV.” [The Faculty Lounge]

* Think of this as another warning against taking sexually explicit photos of yourself. Or buying suspiciously cheap used computers. [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* Musical Chairs: Sri Srinivasan, chair of the appellate and Supreme Court practice at O’Melveny & Myers, is leaving OMM to serve as principal deputy to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. [Main Justice]

* Hey Warren Buffett: if you really feel that you are taxed too little, feel free to write a big check to the United States Government. [Huffington Post]

* Lawyer turned CEO Andy Lansing is looking for a few nice men (and women). [New York Times]

Woof woof!

* Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A dog walks into a bar…. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* IMF employees give Dominique Strauss-Kahn a warm welcome. [Dealbreaker]

* What is up with Georgia judges? Another one bites the dust: Judge Douglas Pullen leaves the bench, terminating an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

* More bad news for the much-sued Dov Charney. [Fashionista]

* Congratulations to the recipients of the First Chair Awards for in-house counsel! The awards will be presented tomorrow night. [First Chair Awards]

Some of you have been wondering about the whereabouts of our colleague, Elie Mystal. As several of you have noticed, he hasn’t written for these pages since last Tuesday.

No, Elie’s not still on vacation. Unfortunately, he’s on sick leave: he has been bedridden since Tuesday with tonsillitis and an acute sinus infection.

Either he’ll be back at work soon, or we’ll be reporting on one hell of a med mal suit. We wish him a speedy recovery.


Roy Lee Conger Jr.

You take my … money you better get a federal law agency like the F.B.I. on the case. You will hear about me and read about me. I promise that.

Roy Lee Conger Jr., complaining about a lien placed on one of his bank accounts after his divorce train wreck. Conger had been involved in child support proceedings with his ex-wife, and his motion to reduce payments was denied earlier this month.

This morning, Conger, a truck driver, tried to ram his big rig into the Madison County Courthouse. The 18-wheeler got stuck on the courthouse steps.

Back in June, we notified our readers about a fabulous job opportunity for attorneys in Philadelphia. There was one catch: the applicant had to be a “sharp dresser.” In fact, “no casuals” need apply for this lucrative position.

Apparently, the maverick behind the original Craigslist ad is still searching for a partner in crime law practice, because the job listing has reappeared.

And this time, if you’re thinking of applying, you had better get your headshots ready….

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It’s hard to say which of these (non-lawyer) wedding write-ups is more cliché-ridden: the one about the two lesbian PE teachers, or the one about the peace activists who keep their income below a taxable level so they don’t give money to the Pentagon. The latter pair are way too busy rummaging through dumpsters to read the Internet, so we feel zero guilt about exposing them to ridicule in the comments. There’s certainly a lot of ridiculous material there.

But on to the lawyer weddings: still ridiculous, but in a different way. Your finalist couples:

Kathleen Cassidy and Ian Shapiro

Nina Yadava and Travis Davis

Emily Feinstein and Eric Olney

Aliya McLendon and Aaron Horne Jr.

Rebecca Krauss and Benjamin Taibleson

This is a summer mega-LEWW, with five finalists and a loooooong list of also-rans at the end. Read on for a virtual nuptial feast….

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Would you want this man as your roommate?

The cast of characters in the criminal case against Stephen Mark McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School alumnus accused of killing his neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings, continues to grow. Last week, the existing players — the wild-haired defendant, his super-religious mother, the good ol’ boy defense lawyer, the handsome handyman, the 58-year-old law student — were joined by a fellow with the improbable name of Thaddeus Money. Who happens to be a financial advisor, amazingly enough.

Thad Money, a former roommate of Stephen McDaniel, came to public attention last week when his name was mentioned at McDaniel’s magistrate court hearing. In building their case against McDaniel, Macon police are relying in part on Money’s recollections of the defendant.

After the hearing, Thaddeus Money gave an interview to the Macon Telegraph. Let’s learn more about this young man, and hear what he has to say about his ex-roomie….

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There are no magic questions to take through the interview process. There are only areas to be examined. Life is one long extemporaneous speech. It is not canned dialogue. The student who prepares and understands the areas that are significant to her decision will know where to focus her questions.

Some questions should be directed at associates, while others should be directed to partners. Students sometimes forget that they can actually learn something more about the firm by asking questions. Yes, the questions you ask will be assessed by the interviewer; but please don’t ask certain questions for the sake of asking questions.

This helpful information is provided by Lateral Link’s Frank Kimball. What follows is an outline of areas you may want to consider, but remember who your audience is….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: To Be, or Not To Be (An Associate) – Interview Questions You Should Ask”

As we mentioned in Morning Docket yesterday, two adult children in Illinois have sued their own mother on the grounds of “bad mothering.” You must be wondering how one qualifies to be a bad enough mother to warrant such a lawsuit. Well, apparently, failing to completely spoil your children will do the trick — especially if your ex-husband, an attorney, has it out for you and is representing the kids.

The lawsuit has since been dismissed, but it was so ridiculous that we thought it deserved its own showcase here on Above the Law. Find out what these snotty little brats alleged against their mother, after the jump….

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Walking the hallways at One First Street.

Last month, the Supreme Court law clerks for October Term 2010 finished their clerkships, turning over their clerkly duties to the October Term 2011 class of clerks. As in past years, many of the OT 2010 clerks are joining private law firms — which welcome them with six-figure signing bonuses. These bonuses are paid on top of base salaries reflecting their seniority (many SCOTUS clerks join firms as second- to fourth-year associates), as well as the usual year-end bonuses.

For the past few years, at least since 2007, law firm signing bonuses for members of The Elect have hovered around $250,000. But this year, at least a few firms are offering even more.

So how much are we talking about?

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