The law firm that “specializes” in World Trade Center aftermath issues has already drawn the ire of the judicial system. The firm represents workers injured in the WTC cleanup, and a federal judge previously benchslapped them for seeking excessive legal fees.
You’d think Worby Groner would try to keep a low profile after that. But the firm’s latest advertising campaign is just tasteless….
* Sorry Wisconsin, but Judge Sumi’s going on vacation, so you can take your bargaining rights and stick ‘em where the sun don’t shine. Man, I hope she’s going to a place where the sun does shine. [Wisconsin State Journal]
* An NBA referee is suing a sportswriter over a tweet made during a Timberwolves/Rockets game. Seriously? You can’t call a foul just because someone hurt your feelings. [St. Paul Pioneer Press]
* Quinnipiac Law: where being convicted of fraud is a pre-req for employment as the registrar. I guess they must have a work from home option, since Mary Ellen Durso is under house arrest. [Hartford Courant]
* Should all buildings that were damaged in the September 11th attacks be declared landmarks? Probably not — after all, Century 21 was damaged, and that’s just a landmark for crappy couture. [Reuters]
Capturing Somali pirates.
* Arr, me matey. Five Somali pirates were forced to walk the plank. Okay, not really, but it was the first time in 190 years that a U.S. jury convicted a defendant of the peg-legged kind of piracy. [CNN Justice]
* Because common sense is hard for some lawyers, you probably shouldn’t advise your clients to break into their foreclosed homes. You probably shouldn’t break in on their behalf, either. [ABA Journal]
As you may recall, Schroeder is the 27-year-old Harvard Law School graduate who set fire to a memorial housing the remains of unidentified 9/11 victims, on Halloween 2009. Schroeder then did the right thing and turned himself in to the authorities. Shortly thereafter, Sidley — where Schroeder was headed, after a deferral to do public interest work — rescinded his job offer.
Yesterday afternoon, Schroeder pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with the fire he set (more specifically, charges of burglary, criminal mischief and cemetery desecration). He accepted full responsibility for his actions and apologized for them.
What led the handsome Harvard grad — described by ATL sources as “a good guy” and “really smart,” albeit “a little strange” — to set the blaze? One word: alcohol. Schroeder testified that he couldn’t even remember setting the fire, but admitted to a hard-partying Halloween: “I drank many alcoholic beverages.”
So what kind of sentence is Brian Schroeder getting? One that isn’t pleasing prosecutors….
* If buying soda with food stamps is outlawed, only outlaws with food stamps will have soda. Wait…what? [New York Times]
* More than 100 lawyers have applied to lead the way against BP and their big oily hole. Big names like David Boies, Mike Espy, and Derriel McCorvey, who “noted that he was an all-Southeastern Conference defensive back at Louisiana State University.” [Associated Press]
Who knew that zoning law and land use could be so controversial? A proposal to build a Muslim center and mosque just two blocks away from Ground Zero has become a huge issue here in New York — and, in fact, around the country.
Opponents of the project — originally known as Cordoba House, but now more commonly referred to as Park51, a 15-story tower that will contain a mosque, 500-seat auditorium, and swimming pool — had hoped to stop the project by winning landmark status for the building currently on the site. This morning, however, NYC’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0 against granting protected status to 45-47 Park Place in lower Manhattan, which will be demolished to make way for the $100 million center.
Of course, this controversy is about so much more than granting landmark status to a random downtown building designed by an unknown architect….
On Halloween, a Sidley Austin-bound Harvard Law School grad celebrated by setting fire to a chapel holding remains from 9/11. His St. Patrick’s Day was less festive.
Yesterday, Brian Schroeder, who is no longer Sidley Austin-bound, appeared in criminal court and pleaded not guilty to arson and burglary.
According to court documents reviewed by DNA Info, Schroeder says he partied “through the night” on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side, then walked two miles to set fire to the chapel on East 30th Street between 5 and 7 a.m.
Schroeder, 27, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009 and had reportedly taken Sidley’s pro bono deferral package, turned himself in to police the day of the fire. He may have set fire to the chapel, but not to his legal career. Though Sidley immediately rescinded his offer, he’s since found a job.
So what is his defense strategy — and his new employment?
But there are other developments at Sidley too. Regarding start dates for class of 2010 graduates, a source reports:
Sidley Austin sent out letters regarding their deferral program. The details are a January 2012 start date, not optional. Health insurance coverage starting June 1, 2010 (thank goodness), and a stipend of $5000 / month starting January 2011. As usual, no stipend if we work for another law firm, and they reserve the right to call us back early if hell freezes over work picks up.
Sidley declined to comment on its deferral program.
On the subject of being summoned to work before 2011, we’d tell the tipster: hey, it might happen. As you may recall, some Sidley D.C. incoming associates were contacted over the summer and asked to start early.
A year and a half is a long time to be deferred. Hopefully members of the class of 2010 won’t get into as much trouble as Brian Schroeder during their time off.
CORRECTION: As noted in the comments, and confirmed by emails sent to us directly, Sidley is splitting up the class of 2010. Some are starting in January 2012 and some in January 2011 (which is apparently the earliest start date).
Speaking of Brian Schroeder, we wanted to draw your attention to one reader comment that struck us as funny, as well as yet yet another testimonial about him (to add to the prior ones).
We wrote earlier today about Brian Schroeder’s Halloween misadventures. On the morning of October 31, the Harvard Law ’09 grad set fire to a chapel housing the remains of unidentified 9/11 victims. He turned himself in that evening.
Sidley Austin has responded to our inquiry regarding Schroeder, who had summered with the firm in 2008. The firm says it officially rescinded Schroeder’s job offer today.
Many have written to us about Schroeder, expressing surprise that he would do something like this. A collection of comments, after the jump.
Delaying start dates for incoming associates may have another downside: leaving them with nothing to do but get into trouble.
Brian Schroeder has an impressive résumé. The Texan graduated from Duke in 2005, having majored in theater studies, and went on to Harvard Law School. There, he was an editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review and a co-president of Lambda, an LGBT student group. He also took part in Parody, the HLS comedy show (which Elie was involved in during his time at Harvard Law).
After taking a year off to travel around Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe, he graduated from HLS this spring and moved to New York for a Biglaw job. He was supposed to start at Sidley Austin. [Update: Tipsters say Schroeder had taken the Sidley deferral package and was doing pro bono work.]
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The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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