7th Circuit, Federal Judges, Frank Easterbrook, Harvard, Weddings

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Different Worlds

It’s spring, and lovers everywhere are flocking to the altar (or huppah, etc.). Not even the federal judiciary is immune to wedding fever! Last month, Lat wrote about the marriage epidemic breaking out among Seventh Circuit judges. (Note the multiple updates added to the story after publication, which contain details about the two new judicial spouses and the one judicial fiancée.)

We’ll pray nightly for the Easterbrook wedding be featured in the Times, but meanwhile, let’s get caught up on a few of the notable weddings from the chillier months. Here are a few that caught our eye:

Gila Shlomo and Avi Sutton

Caroline Trang Nguyen and Daniel Tran Gien

Twist Phelan and Jack Chapple

Read on to get the details on these fabulous lawyer-newlyweds.

Gila Shlomo and Avi Sutton
(Buy them a toaster oven.)
The Case:
– This groom has an undeniably impressive résumé: He was summa at Yale and is now a 3L at YLS. With a summer clerkship at the Israeli Supreme Court under his belt, he’s headed to Wachtell after graduation. The bride’s a sophomore at the Touro College Flatbush campus in Brooklyn.
– Before we saw this couple’s wedding registry, we thought a paper towel holder was something you picked up for twelve bucks at Target. But Gila and Avi’s $119 Michael Aram “Botanical Leaf” model has opened our eyes to the wedding-guest-extorting possibilities of this lowly device. Well-played, you two.

The Case Against:
– He’s 25; she’s 19. And we get it, we really do. They’re observant Jews who were set up by the groom’s family. (One of Gila’s first questions to Avi’s sister was whether Avi kept kosher and observed the Sabbath. Answer: yes and yes.). There’s nothing inherently wrong with marrying young, and indeed there are arguments for it. What turns our stomach a bit is the groom’s condescending attitude toward his bride, evidenced by how he says he rationalized their age difference on their first date (he was 23 at the time; she was 18): “It may seem like we come from two different worlds in terms of education and exposure, but I saw her as an angel, a 100 percent good person.” What? Two different worlds? No, Avi. You both come from the same world. You just happen to attend Yale, which you seem to think makes you Richard Gere in Pretty Woman.

Caroline Trang Nguyen and Daniel Tran Gien
(Buy them a two-person tent.)
The Case:
– This bride and groom, both children of emigrants from Vietnam, met at a dinner for the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Greater Washington (the bride is a founder of the organization).
– Caroline — whose wedding gown was g-g-g-gorgeous, by the way (click here for a better picture) — graduated from Harvard and has a MPA from Princeton and a JD from Columbia. She works at the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department. Dan, who graduated from Yale and has a JD from UPenn, is a special counsel at the SEC.

The Case Against:
– They’re a good match on paper, but aesthetically we wish Caroline had held out for someone taller.
– The NYT originally reported that the bride’s parents arrived in the US with $10, but a correction clarifies that it was actually $10,000 — not a comfortable sum by any means, but not really consistent with the abject new-immigrant poverty the article tries to portray.

Twist Phelan and Jack Chapple
The Case:
– This bride is a graduate of Stanford and Stanford Law School. A former plaintiff’s attorney, she now writes mystery novels (affiliate linke). (You can check out the first chapters of each book on her website.)
– The dashing groom, who grew up in Canada, graduated from the University of Guelph (quick, name the mascot!) and owns an investment firm, which could mean anything from mega-bucks to living out of his car.
– The boutonniere and wedding bouquet were made of paper flowers fashioned from the pages of the bride’s books, which LEWW thinks is an adorable detail. (And please don’t write us about how you love books soooo much and it breaks your literature-loving heart to see the printed word desecrated. That’s a vapid, faux-intellectual sentiment. Get over yourself and get a Kindle.)

The Case Against:
– A not-so-adorable detail: The wedding guests were “asked” (read: ordered) to wear red, the bride’s favorite color. Ugh. Brides, listen up: If you must boss people around and tell them what to wear, get a wedding party. Let your other guests dress themselves in peace.

The Verdict:
– We hate ourselves for doing this, but we’ve gotta hand Couple of the Week honors to Team Higgins-Doolittle, despite the bride’s alleged (by the groom!) deficiencies in “education and exposure.” LEWW hopes that a few years of marriage will leave young Mr. Sutton either educated or… exposed. Congratulations to all our newlyweds!

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