Aaron Charney

From a reader who uses MySpace (no, not a 14-year-old girl in Manassas):

Totally random, and not necessarily newsworthy, but the attached MySpace profile appeared randomly on my “cool new people” list when I logged in.

Strange, huh?

MySpace Aaron Charney weirdness Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
(Random spam like this, in the form of fake profiles — usually of attractive women from ex-Soviet republics, but apparently now of people who follow Charney v. S&C — is one of the many reasons we prefer Facebook.)
facebook is better than myspace group [Facebook]

Because he’s not THAT Aaron Charney. No relation. He swears!
Here’s a Facebook exchange that we reprint with permission of our correspondent:
Aaron Charney Facebook exchange Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
Poor guy. When you see a résumé from Aaron Charney next spring, before you toss it in the circular file, please double check: Are you sure it’s from the right — or wrong, as the case may be — Aaron Charney?
In other Charney news, Keeping Up With Jonas has created a Charney v. S&C Superstar Poll. To cast your vote, click here. (We know how we’re voting, but we’ll keep it to ourselves.)
Aaron Charney [Facebook]
Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell Superstar Poll [Keeping Up With Jonas]

H Rodgin Cohen Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGAs we’ve mentioned before, our interest in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell is flagging somewhat. It has been a while since the last salacious accusation, and now the case is starting to look like any other civil action — motion practice, discovery, etc.
Been there, done that. Yawn.
(Wake us up when Alexandra Korry gets deposed. Now THAT is gonna be good — although we’ll have to pray for a leaked transcript, since presumably it will be covered by a confidentiality order.)
On Friday, Charney filed his opposition to S&C’s Motion to Dismiss. Taking a page from Judge Jacobs’s (unopened) book, we haven’t bothered to read it. But here are three bloggers who have:

1. Keeping Up With Jonas

2. Arthur Leonard

3. Lavi Soloway

Based on their posts, the upshot is that Charney’s lawyers have accused S&C of “grandstanding” and “arrogance.”
C’mon, guys — was that really necessary? Did you have to call S&C arrogant? Can’t Justice Fried just take judicial notice of that?
Okay, sorry, we couldn’t resist. To be fair, Charney’s lawyers aren’t acquitting themselves that well either, with all of these ad hominem attacks on their adversaries.
For more criticism of Charney’s counsel, see here. We hereby designate Jonas the pro-S&C Charneyblogger. Now, thanks to him, coverage of Charney v. S&C will be fair and balanced!
Charney’s Lawyers Accuse Sullivan & Cromwell of Arrogance and Grandstanding [Soloway]
Charney Accuses Sullivan & Cromwell of “grandstanding” in pending dismissal motion [Leonard Link]
Charney’s Opposition [Keeping Up With Jonas]

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL.JPGWe realize that not everyone has been following Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the salacious case filed by former S&C associate Aaron Charney (at right), alleging anti-gay discrimination and retaliation by his extremely prestigious (and profitable) former firm. But for those of you who are interested in this matter, today we have a special treat.
Remember Gera Grinberg — the former colleague of Aaron Charney who some partners suspected was in an “unnatural relationship” with Charney? Grinberg, who no longer works at S&C, is a critical figure in this case. But he has been an elusive figure to followers of this litigation. We’ve seen no pictures, and we know few facts about him.
Finally, after months of mystery, we’ve gotten our hands on a photograph of him. It’s kinda old, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: A Portrait of Gera Grinberg As A Young Man”

Aaron Charney.jpgLEWW is ashamed to admit that we have not followed the Charney versus Sullivan & Cromwell lawsuit with the attention it so richly deserves. Fortunately, there are other bloggers who’ve got you (and us) covered regarding coverage and analysis of this complex affair in Lat’s absence.
Keeping Up With Jonas has a nice capsule summary of the three orders issued by Judge Fried in the matter yesterday, with links to the orders.
And Professor Art Leonard has this more detailed write-up.
Judge Fried denied without explanation a motion by Gera Grinberg’s attorney to have Grinberg’s deposition transcripts unsealed. Writes Leonard:

Attorney Grinberg worked closely with Aaron Charney as a fellow associate at S&C on a variety of client matters, and their close working relationship seems to have sparked the incidents upon which Charney bases his lawsuit. Grinberg was present at the meeting between Charney and S&C partners Vince DiBlasi and David Braff on January 31, the day before S&C discharged and sued Charney.

There is considerable dispute between Charney and S&C about what was said at that meeting, with Charney claiming that the only written record, which would back up his account, was made by Grinberg, who then turned his notes over to his attorney at that time for safekeeping. Charney has alleged that the Grinberg notes were improperly destroyed as part of a conspiracy between S&C and Edward Gallion, a lawyer S&C had retained to represent Grinberg. Amidst the skirmishing over motions to dismiss, Grinberg submitted to a deposition focused on what occurred at that meeting, but the transcript of the deposition has been sealed, and S&C’s lawyers criticized Charney for relying on and referring to that testimony in his amended complaint.

Leonard also reports that Grinberg, who was placed on paid leave by S&C, is no longer listed on the firm website.

Sharon Nelles Sharon L Nelles Sullivan Cromwell Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog.jpgIf you’re looking for the latest scoop on Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, there’s another site to check out in addition to the usual suspects. Please extend a warm welcome to the newest Charneyblogger: Keeping Up With Jonas!
While we were away last week, Jonas reported on a fabulous new addition to the S&C legal team:

Sullivan and Cromwell partner Sharon L. Nelles filed a notice of appearance yesterday in the Aaron Charney v. Sullivan and Cromwell case.

Do we overuse the term “fabulous” around here? Oh maybe. But Sharon Nelles has been certified as “fabulous,” by the mainstream media:

Perhaps most important point about this development, Ms. Nelles was selected by The American Lawyer as one of “The Young Litigators Fab 50″ — 50 litigators under 45 who are expected to be “leading the field for years to come.” Since this case will be around for a long time, a very long time, Sullivan was smart to select a lawyer predicted to have staying power.

So Charney’s lawyers had better watch out. Charney’s legal team, which includes Dan Alterman and Michael Kennedy, consists of experienced and well-regarded attorneys. But we don’t know if we’d call them “fabulous” — especially in light of their unfortunate fashion choices.
(If you’re really into this case — we’ll admit we’re getting a little bored, in the absence of new allegations about “bending over,” fabricated evidence, and Nazis — check out Jonas’s summary of the parties’ squabbles over discovery. It’s available over here.)
“Fab 50″ Litigator Joins Charney v. Sullivan and Cromwell Drama [Keeping Up With Jonas]
Charney Seeks Court’s Assistance in Setting Timetable [Keeping Up With Jonas]
Sharon L. Nelles bio [Sullivan & Cromwell LLP]
Earlier: Congratulations to the Fab Fifty: A Constellation of Young Legal Superstars

H Rodgin Cohen 2 Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGWe’ve only skimmed Sullivan & Cromwell’s latest Motion to Dismiss, filed just yesterday in the (in)famous case of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. We haven’t had the chance to write up detailed thoughts on it.
Fortunately, others have. Like Professor Art Leonard, whose comprehensive analysis — including a helpful history of this tortured case — appears here.
And Lavi Soloway, who has taken the lead on the latest Charney developments. You can access his post, collecting some of the juiciest excerpts from the motion, by clicking here.
We did obtain comment on the S&C motion from Charney’s lawyers. David Holland, an attorney who works with Michael Kennedy on the case, had this to say:

“Apparently, Sullivan & Cromwell not only represented the Nazis, but seem to have adopted Dr. Mengele’s techniques to torture the facts and law of this case.”

HA. Did we mention how much we enjoy covering this case?
P.S. We have some Charney v. S&C reader polls that remain open. Click here and here to vote.
Sullivan Files Another Dismissal Motion in Charney Litigation [Leonard Link / Arthur Leonard]
Sullivan & Cromwell Moves to Dismiss, Again [Lavi Soloway]

Aaron Charney 2 headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett CharneyRoughly three weeks have passed since the last substantive development in Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. What the heck is going on right now?
Sadly, not much. Lavi Soloway brings us this update.
(Normally we’d be quite excited about the dirt that can be expected to surface during the discovery process. But we fear the parties will be more discreet than we might like.)
Aaron Charney v Sullivan & Cromwell: Parties Move on to Discovery Phase [Lavi Soloway]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)

Aaron Charney 2 headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett CharneyWell, maybe not quite. But we do find it interesting that, in the recent wave of publicity over Aaron Charney’s amended complaint, Sullivan & Cromwell’s public relations team at Sard Verbinnen reached out to us. They emailed the following statement to us:

“This is just a rehash of his original, now dismissed, complaint with the addition of some unsubstantiated allegations. We will continue to defend the Firm vigorously against these same baseless claims. Sullivan & Cromwell remains committed to fostering an inclusive workplace environment for all of its lawyers and staff and is proud of our track record of promoting diversity.”

It’s not a particularly exciting statement; but we were excited to receive it. Although they’ve been working extensively with the mainstream media over the past few months, Sard Verbinnen — which S&C hired specifically for L’Affaire Charney (a different media relations shop handles the firm’s general publicity) — had never contacted us before.
And we weren’t the only “new media” types to get the message. The PR gurus also emailed their statement to two leading Charneybloggers: Lavi Soloway and Professor Arthur Leonard.
Not to be outdone, Aaron Charney’s lawyers spoke to us on the phone. We had a quick conversation the other day with Dan Alterman, of Alterman & Boop, who had this to say:

“The amended complaint is a wonderful opportunity for us to get this case focused back on the main issues — especially the discrimination and retaliation claims.”

Public relations firms reaching out to us; lawyers talking to us on the telephone. We feel so… legitimate!
Charney v Sullivan & Cromwell, Take 2 [Arthur Leonard / Leonard Link]
I Received This Email, Moments After Posting About Charney’s Amended Complaint [Lavi Soloway]

Okay, this isn’t as amusing as the Alexandra Korry haikus that have been unleashed in the comments. But then again, few things are.
Courtesy of ATL reader “Josef Stalin,” here’s a Lolcat graphic, in honor of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell:
lolcat Sullivan Cromwell Aaron Charney Above the Law blog.jpg
Lolcat [Wikipedia]
P.S. Please vote for Jordin Sparks in American Idol!!! Call 1-866-IDOLS-02, or text “VOTE” to 5702.
Even Professor Althouse, a diehard Blake Lewis fan, kind of agrees: “So, okay, let Jordin win. Blake will be fine. It will be better this way.”

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