Christmas tree.jpg* The holiday season is here, and you know what that means: year-end bonuses for law firm associates. On Friday, Milbank Tweed made the first big bonus announcement. And this time it wasn’t fake.
* They talk a lot about “due process” over at Yale Law School. But questions have been raised concerning the process by which Linda Greenhouse, SCOTUS reporter for the New York Times, was selected over Justice Samuel Alito for the school’s prestigious Award of Merit.
* If Greenhouse benefited from preferential treatment from YLS Dean Harold Koh, it wouldn’t have been the first time.
* Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer: not just geniuses, but also an inspired comedic duo.
* Speaking of great legal minds, Professor Noah Feldman is leaving NYU for Harvard Law School.
* And speaking of NYU Law School, if you haven’t already voted in the 3L hotties contest, there’s still some time left. Polls close tomorrow at 3PM (Eastern time).
* Finally, we have a new little sibling. Please extend a warm welcome to Supermogul: The View From the Top.

New York University Law School NYU Law School Above the Law.JPGThe polls remain open in our latest hotties contest: NYU Law School third-year students. You can vote on the men by clicking here, and the women by clicking here.
A quick administrative announcement: voting will end on Monday, December 11, at 3 PM (Eastern time). If you’d like to do some campaigning, for yourself or for a friend, make good use of the weekend.
What are the current standings? The men’s race is very close: Michael Okoye leads with 20.9 percent of the vote, but Marcos Arellano is right behind him, with 20.0 percent. Okoye may be benefitting from an internet campaign, as well as a testimonial from his college roommate.
The women’s race, in contrast, isn’t looking terribly exciting. Apparently gentlemen prefer blondes: Noa Clark currently leads, with a third of all ballots. Rachael McCracken is running second, but with only half as many votes (17.4 percent to 33.3 percent).
Over three full days of voting, however, a lot can change. Consider the words of Justice Stephen Breyer, from his recent debate with Justice Antonin Scalia:

We don’t need activist judges; we need activist citizens. The Constitution sets up a democratic system, and it expects you to participate. And if you don’t participate, it doesn’t work.

So please, perform your civic duty. Vote for your favorite NYU 3L hottie by clicking here and here. Justice Breyer is counting on you!
Earlier: Above the Law Hotties: NYU Law School Third-Years (Female)
Above the Law Hotties: NYU Law School Third-Years (Male)

Supermogul Logo Dead Horse Media.gifHey, guess what? Above the Law is no longer the most junior member of the Conference Dead Horse Media family of websites. Today marks the launch of
It’s nice not being the most junior member. Just ask Justice Breyer, who was delighted when Justice Alito arrived at the Court. As the most junior justice, Justice Alito took over from Justice Breyer the duty of answering the door — and fetching the coffee — when the justices are meeting in private conference.
So now that Supermogul is around, maybe ATL won’t have to fetch the coffee? Uh, think again. We’re probably still on coffee duty — because we’re the lawyers, and they’re the clients. is a business site for C-level (CEO/CFO/COO/etc.) executives and senior-level managers. Check it out here.
Welcome to Supermogul [Supermogul]
Dead Horse Media Introduces [DealBreaker]

We’ll be stepping away shortly to attend what should be a fantastic event: A Conversation on the Constitution: Perspectives from Active Liberty and A Matter of Interpretation. It’s being sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society, and we’re attending as a guest of the ACS (whom we thank for the gracious invitation).
Two Supreme Court heavyweights will be stepping into the ring. In the liberal corner: Justice Stephen G. Breyer, author of Active Liberty. In the conservative corner: Justice Antonin Scalia, author of A Matter of Interpretation. The referee: Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News (who recently interviewed Chief Justice Roberts).
So if our posting is sporadic over the next few hours, it’s because we’re watching Justice Scalia and Justice Breyer trade benchslaps. Check back soon, either later today or tomorrow, for our full report on the jurisprudential battle to the death proceedings. Hasta luego!

pumpkin pie.jpgWhy are you in front of your computer? To quote our big brother:

The rest of America is either sleeping off their Thanksgiving hangovers or pushing their way into a mall to grab those holiday shopping discounts. But you’re rubbing the sleep out of your eyes while staring at a glowing screen. Well, you’re not alone. We’re here with you too today. And we’ll do our best to keep you entertained, and maybe even informed.

Yup, that’s right. For all of your poor saps who are at your computers working away, we’re here to keep you company (even if other usually industrious bloggers, like Howard Bashman and Peter Lattman, have cruelly abandoned you).
In the comments to this post, feel free to start up an open thread explaining why you’re in the office today (and bitching about it). Also, here are a few random Thanksgiving posts to be grateful for:
What Tax Profs Are Thankful For [TaxProf Blog]
Looking back on the Thanksgiving squirrel [Althouse]
Thanksgiving, Thursday(s), and… Gettysburg? [PrawfsBlawg]
Thanksgiving for Law Reviews? [PrawfsBlawg]
(Feel free to email us with more Thanksgiving-related links, and we’ll add them to this list when we update it later today.)

As Howard Bashman might say, “Programming Note”:
Over the next three days, we’re going to be attending various events at the Federalist Society’s 2006 National Lawyers Convention. It’s taking place right here in Washington, DC, a few blocks away from where we reside. So we’ll be splitting our time between our blogging HQ (our apartment) and the Mayflower Hotel (which unfortunately doesn’t have wireless internet in its public areas).
We’ll bring you dispatches about the different panels, speeches, and parties that we attend. Right now we’re running off to attend a panel discussion featuring celebrity law professor Tim Wu, among others. Hasta luego!

britney spears britney_spears naked nude breasts above the law atl britney spears topless.JPGTo any single celebrities out there who happen to frequent legal gossip blogs, we offer you this piece of friendly advice: Before getting hitched, make your future spouse sign a prenup.
Sounds pretty obvious, right? But consider this, from Forbes’s Prenup Primer:

Last week, Britney Spears filed for divorce from her two-year marriage to Kevin Federline, whose nickname has gone from “K-Fed” to “Fed-Ex.” [A] day later, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe also filed for divorce.

The difference between the two: Witherspoon did not have a prenuptial agreement, and Phillippe will likely have a claim to a substantial portion of her $60 million estimated net worth. The estimated $29 million in earnings from her next film may also be at stake — her ex could get half.

But Spears did have a prenuptial agreement. In fact, it was a 60-page agreement that protects most of her estimated $100 million fortune. Britney could get away with paying Federline a measly $300,000, which he says he is owed, plus $30,000 a month for half the number of years they were married, which would amount to one year. That’s pocket change for Britney.

More about the Britney Spears prenup, from the Daily Mail:

Britney even staged an elaborate sham wedding, again to protect her fortune.

The event, on September 18, 2004, in the modest back garden of a friend’s house in the Los Angeles suburb of Studio City, was meant to be the “real thing.” But with Federline yet to sign the pre-nup, a proper wedding could not go ahead.

So, with the paparazzi on her case, Britney decided to stage the “fake” wedding — and drew up a watertight contract to ensure the ceremony was not legally binding.

The pair were then married for real in a secret ceremony on October 6 — after Federline had signed the agreement that banned him from making any future claim against any assets his wife had prior to their marriage.

British newspapers are way more fun than ours. We love the colorful description of Spears’s attorney, Laura Wasser, as “one of Hollywood’s most ruthless lawyers.”
For an impressively detailed analysis of the legal issues surrounding the timing of the Spears-Federline wedding(s) and prenup, check out Death and Taxes — The Blog.
World Exclusive – Every detail of Britney Spears’ pre nup and £65 million fortune [Daily Mail]
Divorce Docs Prove Britney Faked Her “Wedding” []
Prenup Primer [Forbes]
Sometimes I Run, Sometimes I Hide, Sometimes I Blog About Britney and K-Fed [Death and Taxes - The Blog]
The Role of the Prenup in the Timing of Britney Spears’ Divorce [TaxProf Blog]

red envelope Above the Law pictures pics photographs nude naked celebrities.jpgIn case you’re wondering, the email problems that we alluded to earlier today have been solved.
So if you have a Supreme Court justice sighting for Eyes of the Law, a law firm interview horror story, salary information for Skaddenfreude, or any other juicy gossip or funny story, please send it to us at our usual address:
tips AT abovethelaw DOT com
Or just click here. Thanks for your patience!
Earlier: Some Technical Difficulties: Issues With Our Email

red envelope Above the Law pictures pics photographs nude naked celebrities.jpgIf you’ve tried emailing us lately, your message may have bounced back to you. We seem to be having some difficulties with our email.
We’re not quite sure when these problems will be resolved (but they’re being investigated). In the meantime, we’ve set up a temporary email address that you can use to reach us for the time being:
abovethelawtips AT gmail DOT com
Or just click here.

Happy Monday, everybody. We’re guessing you’re still recovering from the weekend; so are we. (We had a bit too much red wine last night, and we fear we’re coming down with a minor cold.)
Anyway, before we plunge into matters of “substance,” a quick administrative announcement. The polls in our October 2006 Couple of the Month contest will close tomorrow at 3 p.m. — on Election Day, fittingly enough.
(ATL’s mitzvah for the day: We remind you that, regardless of your party affiliation, you should vote tomorrow. We think democracy is swell.)
If you haven’t done so already, check out the Couple of the Month competition and cast your vote, by clicking here. As you’ll see, we have now secured photographs for all five couples — including this photo of Katherine Dowling and Marc Axelbaum. Fantastic!
katherine dowling marc axelbaum

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