Dickie Scruggs was at one time a preeminent plaintiffs tort lawyer, with major wins in tobacco, asbestos and insurance litigation. His reign ended with his conviction for the attempted bribery of a Lafayette County Mississippi Circuit Court Judge. Former U.S. Attorney Tom Dawson was heavily involved in the Scruggs investigation and prosecution. He and political blogger Alan Lange of YallPolitics.com detailed Scruggs’ dealings in their recent book, Kings of Tort.
In their keynote address, Dawson and Lange will provide an inside look at Scruggs’ modus operandi – complicity in the theft of corporate information (paper and electronic) by a company’s employees who are later paid consulting fees; providing those records to state attorneys general for their potential use in civil and criminal proceedings; striking contingent-fee arrangements with government agencies; the well-orchestrated political and public relations campaigns that accompanied the litigation; and the funneling of political contributions to state officials.
The authors will also provide an inside view of the eight-month undercover investigation and four months of litigation that followed resulting in the conviction and prison sentences of Scruggs, and four other defendants, three of whom were also tort lawyers, including Scruggs’s son and a former State Auditor.
My name is Staci Zaretsky, but most of you have known me as Morning Dockette for the better part (or worst part, depending on your opinion) of a year now. You must be wondering why I’m finally putting aside my absurd pseudonym and writing this post under my real name. Well, thanks to the powers that be at Above the Law, I will be joining the editorial staff as a full-time writer.
I’ll give you all a moment to groan and/or squeal and then soil yourselves with disgust and/or pleasure. Super! Now that we’ve gotten over that hurdle, let me assure you that you don’t have to worry, because my fabulous friend Juggalo Law will continue to write for ATL.
Since I started writing for ATL, I have learned a lot about the legal community that frequents the site. I’ve learned that some people just can’t take a joke. That’s pretty unfortunate, but most law types are lacking in the personality department, so it’s understandable. I’ve learned that our commentariat can determine what people look like, just from their style of writing. Apparently, I’m a hot Asian girl. Who knew?
The most important thing I’ve learned from my time here at ATL is that a lot of our readers have graduated from elite educational institutions and then moved on to even greater law firms. I’ve also learned that not everyone who makes the decision to enter the legal field is so lucky – and I’ve learned that from my own personal experiences.
Now, before you get your Google on, and if you really want to see if I’m a hot Asian girl, please read on after the jump…
Today we’re happy to announce a new sponsor: Applied Discovery. We’ve also added some great speakers to the panels, including David King of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry), John Reilly of Lorillard Tobacco, Erika Santiago of ASDFED, and Mark Herrmann of Aon (and author of Inside Straight, our in-house counsel column).
You can learn more about the summit here, and you can register to attend here. We hope to see you there.
Last month, we announced our exciting Legal Technology Leadership Summit, which we’re hosting in partnership with the Electronic Discovery Institute and the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery (ASDFED).
We are pleased to announce TCDI and Planet Data as VIP Ambassadors of the event. We also continue to add great speakers to the panels, including Nishan DeSilva of Microsoft, Ronke Ekwensi of Pfizer, Paul Meyer of Towers Watson, and Demetrius Rush of Zurich N.A.
Above the Law is partnering with the Electronic Discovery Institute to host a Legal Technology Leadership Summit from September 6 to September 8, 2011. We’ll be bringing together lawyers and technology professionals and offering a special track dealing with digital forensics, managed by the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery. And since this is ATL, we’re rolling to the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida.
If your law firm or organization is interested in attending, we’d love to see you. Click here to sign up now.
Patrick Oot, General Counsel and Co-Founder of the Electronic Discovery Institute (“EDI”), described the summit as an opportunity “to provide a setting where thought leaders from large organizations and corporate legal departments can collaborate on the current state of the law pertaining to various uses of digital information.”
Speaking for Above the Law, David Lat noted that legal technology directly impacts the day-to-day life of many of Above the Law’s readers. The summit will bring together counsel from many major corporations and leaders in providing cost-effective technological solutions.
Clients expect their lawyers to be using technology to keep costs down, lawyers expect technology to be intuitive to a bunch of people with liberal arts degrees, and Above the Law expects that putting all these people together will be good for the whole industry. Tech gurus, thought leaders, clients, David Lat and Elie Mystal, and a Florida resort. What could possibly go wrong?
Click after the jump for the full press release from EDI…
After we announced our special event for law students, We Know What You Should Do This Summer, we heard from a number of our readers from outside New York. These law students, from D.C. and South Carolina and elsewhere, expressed apoplectic anger regret that they wouldn’t be able to attend our NYC event and benefit from the wisdom of our great panelists.
So we’ve decided to make a change. As a web publishing company, we’ve decided to take our event to the web. We’re turning this panel discussion into a webcast — or, more precisely, a series of webcasts — which we will post on Above the Law, accessible for free to all of our readers.
Here’s where we need your help. These webcasts will be providing career advice, with a focus on summer opportunities. To make the webcasts interactive with our readership, we’d like to address the issues that are most relevant to you, our readers. So if you have career questions or requests for advice that you’d like our experts to tackle, please submit them to us by email (subject line: “Event Question”). We will review them and pose selected queries to the panel.
Thanks to the readers who took the time to reach out to us about this; thanks to our sponsor, the Practical Law Company (read more about PLC here); and thanks in advance for your questions to the panel. We look forward to reading them, and to hearing what our panelists have to say.
(And thanks to everyone who originally registered for the in-person event; we’ll be issuing you refunds shortly.)
As regular readers know, this is usually the time of year I go to Vegas, blow my bonus, and come back to work a week later angrier than ever.
Well, this year, it’s going to be different. Oh, don’t worry, when I return to Above the Law’s pages on March 14th, I’m sure I’ll be all kinds of pissed off. It just won’t be because a security guard prevented me from committing suicide by MGM lion enclosure.
No, for my vacation — which begins now and ends a week from this coming Monday, in case you’re wondering — I am going to start the process of quitting smoking….
Ed. note: This is the first installment of Size Matters, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.
Who am I? I graduated from a top law school in Chicago. (Okay, there’s only two.) From there, I went to work for Biglaw for several years. Or, maybe it was only a year and a half. I am pretty sure that time passes more slowly in Biglaw than in the rest of the world.
Then, I took the path well traveled and went to a small law firm to “get hands on experience,” “more client contact,” and “mentoring.” After almost three years — in real time — at my small firm, I have come to appreciate the unique aspects of practicing law at a small firm and these insights I hope to share with you.
While I do not want to give away the milk for free, I will give you a snapshot of what is to come. Small law firms have actual holiday parties. The holiday parties at my Biglaw firm took place in the lobby which was shared with other tenants when the other employees in the 40+ floor office building were attempting to exit. They served cheap wine and had a cheese tray and hired a high school band called “The Cats” to jam out for the partygoers.
At my current firm, where all employees could fit comfortably in a single floor of the 15-floor office of my former firm, they really throw a party….
I’ve been working in small law firms my whole career — nearly 17 years. I’d like to tell you that I chose this path for carefully considered and noble reasons, but I can’t. In truth, I ended up on the small-firm path for one simple reason:
Let me explain.
Now it’s not what you think. I didn’t turn my back on a BigLaw career to pursue a flaxen-haired beauty. That would almost be romantic, and this is a serious law blog. Ish. No, the story is a bit more prosaic.
I entered Boston College Law School in the fall of 1991. At the time, I had a serious girlfriend (the aforementioned blonde) who was not going to law school. And that became a problem. You see, like most 1Ls, I got caught up in everything that was new about law school: new friends, new challenges, new vocabulary (I mean really: how many jokes should there be with “res ipsa loquitur” in the punchline?). I didn’t realize it at the time, but I paid too much attention to my new law-school world, and not enough attention to my girlfriend.
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…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!