* Sonia Sotomayor has been dubbed as the “people’s justice” in a law professor’s article recently published in the Yale Law Journal Online. If only RBG had appeared on Sesame Street, the title could’ve been hers. Sigh. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* It’s a “procedural game-changer”: Virginia’s class action lawsuit against same-sex marriage has been stayed pending the outcome of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in the case that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage. [Legal Times]
* “They’re certainly going to be very careful about biting the hand that feeds them.” Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, the firm behind the “Bridgegate” report that cleared Gov. Christie of wrongdoing, received $3.1M from New Jersey last year. [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
* Now that approximately 60 percent of compliance officers are women, in-house insiders are starting to wonder if the position is being reduced to “women’s work” — and not in a good way. [Corporate Counsel]
* Everyone involved in this case is dead, but it’s been hanging in the courts for more than a decade. Soon we’ll find out if Anna Nicole Smith’s ex-stepson will be sanctioned in the grave. [National Law Journal]
* Slow and steady wins the race, especially when it comes to reporting the news. A few news sites were eager to let readers know that Amanda Knox lost her appeal… except she didn’t. [Atlantic Wire]
* The Supreme Court has rejected yet another Obama birther lawsuit. Legal reasoning? “STFU, we’ll probably only have to deal with this dude for another year.” [CBS News]
* TWU to NYPD: Please don’t force us to listen to these Occupy Wall Street fools. We’d rather have our regular crazies on board. Of course, their lawsuit says it a bit more eloquently. [Wall Street Journal]
* Karolina Stefanski is being sued by an ex over some blank checks to the tune of $80K. Seriously, who cheats on a Playboy model? I mean, come on, boobs. [New York Post]
During her short lifetime, Anna Nicole Smith managed to sell sex, jeans, weight-loss pills and, with her reality show, a sense of superiority to millions of Americans who could take some solace in the fact that they were not that messed up. She was voluptuous, then she was just plain fat, then she was voluptuous again and, all the while, she slurred her words and giggled through a series of unfortunate events that were all surely her own doing, right? She asked for all of this, right? The deaths and bankruptcies, rises and falls. She had it coming and when her life became entangled in a series of lawsuits, well… that was the natural outgrowth of a life lived so stupidly.
And then she died. Because, of course she did. And the lawsuits refuse to die. Because, of course they do. As noted last fall on this website, the Supreme Court took up one last (?) appeal in the case involving Anna Nicole Smith and sex and money. Except, the Court employs euphemisms like jurisdiction and congressional intent and non-Article III bankruptcy judges, because heaven forfend or something.
As her case flops and wheezes its way to the finish line, now is the perfect time for a look back at Anna Nicole’s life….
Anna Nicole Smith: her candle burned out long before her legend ever did. And the great beauty’s legend continues to grow, over three years after her untimely death in February 2007, as litigation involving her estate contributes to the development of a rich body of law regarding bankruptcy and probate law — in a tribunal no less distinguished than the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear an appeal from the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, the late Playboy model and TV reality-show star, in the decades-old dispute over an inheritance from her tycoon husband.
The action, involving a sensational set of characters in an otherwise dry case at the intersection of probate and bankruptcy law, came on a day of varied court business that included acceptance of 14 new cases for the 2010-2011 term that officially begins Monday.
Sounds scintillating. Let’s get all up in Anna Nicole’s business, shall we?
Despite her death back in February 2007, Anna Nicole Smith (aka Vickie Lynn Marshall) continues to make headlines. From the Ninth Circuit comes bad news for her former lawyer (and lover) Howard K. Stern, and her daughter, Daniellynn. From E! Online:
[A court] said today that the estate of Anna Nicole Smith is not entitled to the $300 million-plus judgment previously awarded from her late oil tycoon hubby’s billion-dollar estate.
The court battle over Texas oilman J. Howard Marshall II’s millions has been ongoing since 1995.
You can download the opinion from the Ninth Circuit here [PDF]. You’ll see a familiar name on the list of counsel.
Kathleen Sullivan, new name partner at Quinn Emanuel, filed an amicus brief in the case for the Washington Legal Foundation, arguing in support of the decision by the Texas probate court that originally denied Smith’s claim to Marshall’s $1.6 billion fortune.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Dechert partner G. Eric Brunstad, the veteran Supreme Court litigator who represented the victorious estate of Pierce Marshall in this case. (Brunstad was also Lat’s bankruptcy law professor at Yale.)
* SCOTUS to hear some pretty interesting cases next term. [Washington Post; New York Times; CNN]
* Apparently, Ross Perot owns the Magna Carta, for now. [CNN]
* Jack Bauer arrested for DUI, was allegedly speaking in an urgent, raspy tone. [MSNBC]
* Attorney sues Larry Birkhead for defamation. [MSNBC]
* Calls for campus paper editor to resign. [CNN]
They prefer crack, thank you very much.
Because why else would the justices rule against noble, crusading students, and in favor of the mean old school officials, in Morse v. Frederick — aka the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case?*
But free speech proponents shouldn’t despair. Over at SCOTUSblog, Marty Lederman notes:
Morse is a very limited holding — essentially limited to the drug context. The Alito concurrence, joined by Kennedy, is controlling. He writes:
I join the opinion of the Court on the understanding that (a) it goes no further than hold that a public school may restrict speech that a reasonable observer would interpret as advocating illegal drug use and (b) it provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as ‘the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.’”
In other words: Hey liberals, this Alito guy might not be as bad as you thought.
* As we previously observed, petitioner Deborah Morse, one of the prevailing school officials, is “a curvaceous, dark-haired beauty.” But we would hope that Supreme Court justices would decide cases based on the merits, not on the attractiveness of the parties.
Of course, sometimes both factors point in the same direction. See, e.g., Marshall v. Marshall — the Anna Nicole Smith case. Quick Preliminary Notes on Hein and Morse [SCOTUSblog]
Judge Larry Seidlin is best known for tearfully presiding over the Anna Nicole Smith proceedings in Florida state court. But perhaps it’s the American people who should be shedding tears right now. From the Daily Business Review:
Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin – the weeping probate judge who presided over the recent legal fight for custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s body – announced today that he is leaving the bench at the end of this month.
“It is now time for me to devote more of my daily life to my own young family and to pursue the many opportunities that have been offered to me outside the judicial system,” Seidlin wrote in his resignation letter to Gov. Charlie Crist.
So why should we shed tears over the departure of this fine jurist?
It has been rumored that Seidlin has a television show in the works.
* Creepy smut producers gone wild. [MSNBC]
* Pacman Jones suspended for the 2008 season, Chris Henry out for eight games. [SI]
* It’s Birkhead! [CNN]
* Duke lacrosse charges likely to be dropped. [CNN]
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.