* Politician busted for cheating in marathon. Seriously. [Sports Illustrated] [FN1]
* iPhone sued over exclusivity. [MSNBC]
* Hospital employees suspended for violating HIPAA after Clooney visit. [CNN]
* Suspected killer escapes to St. Martin, so far evades extradition. [CNN]
[FN1] Shameless plug: Speaking of marathons, David is running the New York City marathon next month, to raise funds for cancer research. If you’d be willing to support him with a tax-deductible donation, please click here.
- Antitrust, Celebrities, Health Care / Medicine, Morning Docket, Running, Shameless Plugs, Technology
* Politician busted for cheating in marathon. Seriously. [Sports Illustrated] [FN1]
We reminded you on Friday, but we fear our post got lost in the shuffle. If you’re part of the plaintiff class in the Bar/Bri class action — and since you’re reading ATL, you probably are — then the deadline for filing your proof of claim is this Monday, September 17. So if you want your $125 or so, you need to act now.
Is the settlement a good deal? We largely agree with this commenter:
That settlement is a disgrace. The plaintiff class was sold up the river…. But I’ll take the money and run.
Just like most of you (see poll results), we filed a claim, knowing that we’re being undercompensated. And knowing that we’re acting against the advice of The Legal Diva — a named plaintiff in the case who now opposes the settlement. From The Recorder:
Loredana Nesci, a
2005graduate of Quinnipiac College School of Law in Connecticut, said lead attorney Eliot Disner initially convinced her he’d built a strong case against BAR/BRI and would seek to break the company apart. “We were promised the moon and stars by Disner,” she said.
But Nesci said everything changed after Disner’s former firm — Los Angeles’ Van Etten Suzumoto & Becket — was acquired by McGuireWoods.
“After that merger, I think that McGuireWoods took Eliot, gagged him [and now] he’s in a basement in their firm, because I can’t find the guy,” said Nesci, now a practicing attorney based in Studio City.
It seems that the Legal Diva — er, Ms. Nesci — was right about Disner. Her “gagged in a basement” comment appeared in a February 2007 article. A few months later, in May 2007, Eliot Disner was fired by McGuireWoods (after he criticized the settlement).
For more on her Diva-ness, check out her website, which is a real trip. Her bio describes her past work as a police officer for the LAPD, explains how she earned the title of “Legal Diva,” and boasts of how she was “quickly gaining notoriety for being a colorful and cunning attorney.” It also mentions that she “enjoys working with feral cats,” which sounds apropos for a Legal Diva. MEOW!
(See especially the super-cute testimonials from her clients, including Doug Smith, at right. We don’t want to know what types of matters she handled for him….)
Bar/BRI Class Action Litigation [official website]
The Legal Diva: Loredana Nesci [official website]
$49M Disappoints Some in Lawyers’ Class [The Recorder]
Earlier: A Friendly Reminder: The BAR/BRI Proof of Claim Deadline Is Monday!
Greedy law firm associates view ATL as a helpful resource. But what about Biglaw partners? They’re greedy too, y’know.
Well, here’s something for all you partners out there. A tipster alerted us to this audio conference, taking place later this month:
IOMA AUDIO CONFERENCES!
STRATEGIES TO ATTACK PAY PLANS THAT DRAIN PARTNER PROFITS
September 20, 2007 * 2:00 – 3:30 PM
The full conference description, plus commentary, after the jump.
- Antitrust, Bill Clinton, Education / Schools, Fabulosity, Hillary Clinton, Lawyerly Lairs, Litigatrix, Politics, Real Estate, Wachtell Lipton, Williams & Connolly
As we have previously
bitterly lamented observed, sometimes it seems like all the blessings of life are reserved for Supreme Court clerks. And they include not just $250,000 signing bonuses and top-shelf legal jobs, but luxury real estate, too.
This latest Lawyerly Lairs post looks at the expanding digs of Joel I. Klein (Powell) and his wife, Nicole K. Seligman (OT 1984/Marshall). From the New York Observer:
New York is a city of poshly-housed public servants.
The mayor owns two mansions in the East 70’s; the governor goes rent-free in a terraced Fifth Avenue apartment (it’s owned by his dad); development chief Robert Lieber has a new $7.25 million condo at Trump International; and even Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is in the Beresford.
Now Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has bonus space on Park Avenue. He and his wife Nicole Seligman, a Sony executive vice president (and an ex-lawyer for both Oliver North and Bill Clinton) have paid $1.7 million for their second apartment at 95-year-old 565 Park Avenue.
Yes, that’s right — their second apartment in this venerable building. The couple already own the unit directly above their new acquisition. Hello, duplex!
(C’mon, get real: Did you really expect Klein and Seligman to slum it in a sub-$2 million apartment? As people have observed countless times in these pages, $2 million doesn’t buy you much in NYC.)
More details after the jump.
If so, then Uncle Sam wants you. The feds need your valuable skills — badly.
First the Department of Justice produces original documents, instead of copy sets, to Congress. And now, the AP reports on a screw-up by the FTC:
Lawyers for the FTC electronically filed documents as part of [its] court case [challenging the Whole Foods purchase of Wild Oats] yesterday afternoon. Court officials realized the redacted portions of the document could easily be read and blocked it from being downloaded from court computer servers. The Associated Press downloaded the document from the public server before it was replaced by a properly redacted version.
In the original version, the words looked redacted but were actually just electronically shaded black. The words could be searched, copied, pasted and read. The second version of the document was filed using scanned pages of the redacted documents. There is no way to remove the blacked-out portions from the final copy.
In a statement late Tuesday, Whole Foods said it was investigating the “apparent improper release by the Federal Trade Commission of confidential proprietary business information.”
So bite your tongue next time you want to dismiss document production as mindless drudgery. If the DOJ and the FTC can’t get it right, surely there must be SOME skill involved, right?
Error by FTC Reveals Whole Foods’ Trade Secrets [Associated Press]
Earlier: Earth to DOJ: Document Production Isn’t That Hard
As you may recall (from yesterday’s Morning Docket), Eliot Disner is the McGuireWoods partner who criticized the settlement negotiated by his firm in an antitrust class action against Bar/Bri, the giant bar exam prep company.
Actually, make that “former McGuireWoods partner.” From today’s New York Law Journal:
Mr. Disner, who was a partner in the Los Angeles office of McGuireWoods, said the firm fired him May 23. “I was terminated because [McGuireWoods] said that my work on the BAR/BRI case had hurt the [firm's] reputation,” he said. His concerns about the proposed settlement with West Publishing Corp., which offers BAR/BRI bar review courses nationwide, surfaced in an objection to the class settlement that was filed last week by three lead plaintiffs (NYLJ, May 21)….
A hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real on whether the $49 million settlement will become final is scheduled for June 18. Mr. Disner’s brief, which was not supported by McGuireWoods, argues that the firm ought to press for at least $400 million from West Publishing, as well as for the breakup of BAR/BRI.
We titled an earlier post about the settlement You Are Probably $125 Richer Right Now. But if Eliot Disner is right, maybe another zero belongs on the end of that figure.
Study questions: Is the Bar/Bri settlement fair? Or has Bar/Bri screwed us yet again?
Law Firm Fires Partner Who Questioned BAR/BRI Settlement [New York Law Journal]
Bar/Bri Class-Action Objector is Fired [WSJ Law Blog]
The Intrigue Grows in Bar/Bri Class-Action [WSJ Law Blog]
Lawyer Who Sued BAR/BRI Now Questions the Settlement [American Lawyer]
Guess this is the calm before the storm. The Supreme Court cranks out lots of important-but-boring opinions in May, so it can clear the decks and focus on the 5-4, “It’s All About AMK” barnburners that it dumps on the nation in June. Nino starts saving up his energy for penning those trademark zingers of his.
The most interesting of today’s quintet of decisions would appear to be Bell Atlantic v. Twombly (05-1126). Per Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog:
“The Supreme Court, in the first of five final decisions, ruled on Monday that claims of parallel business conduct are not sufficient to prove an antitrust conspiracy under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.”
In other words: If you’re thinking of filing an antitrust lawsuit against Biglaw, ’cause large law firms engage in “parallel business contact” with respect to associate compensation — good luck with that.
(True confession: we doubt we’ll be reading these five slip opinions anytime soon. But if you happen to check them out, and come across anything amusing — funny footnotes, bitchy benchsaps — please feel free to let us know.)
Update: A post on Los Angeles County v. Rettele, which has its amusing aspects, appears here.
Court issues five rulings [SCOTUSblog]
- Antitrust, Biglaw, Cadwalader, Chadbourne & Parke, Eliot Spitzer, Fried Frank, Kirkland & Ellis, LeBoeuf Lamb, McDermott Will & Emery, Musical Chairs, O'Melveny & Myers, Paul Weiss, Politics, Thelen Reid & Priest, U.S. Attorneys Offices
Some notable moves within the legal profession:
Government to Private Sector:
* Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, to LeBoeuf Lamb in DC. Last November, Steele lost his bid to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
* Michele Hirshman, who served as Eliot Spitzer’s top deputy at the Attorney General’s office before he became Governor, is joining Paul Weiss, as a litigation partner. Described by the New York Times as “very smart, very tough and rather short,” she sounds perfectly diva-licious.
* Antitrust superstar Charles “Rick” Rule, to Cadwalader, from Fried Frank. This truly IS like musical chairs: Cadwalader, Rule’s new home, recently lost its antitrust group to Skadden.
* Celebrated criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell — who did an excellent job defending Hamlet against murder charges — is moving from Chadbourne & Parke to McDermott Will & Emery.
* Mark Holscher and Jeffrey Sinek are joining the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis. They’re coming from O’Melveny & Myers and Thelen Reid, respectively. From the Law Blog:
Holscher and Sinek are best friends. They were roommates when they served as federal prosecutors in Los Angeles. Holscher, 44, served as an assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989-1995; Sinek, 46, served from 1989 to 1994. Sinek was the best man at Holscher’s wedding; Holscher was a groomsman in Sinek’s. Both graduated from Boalt Hall law school. Holscher told the Law Blog they’ve always wanted to work together.
Such ambiguously gay commentary led an anonymous reader to quip: “Hope that Alexandra Korry doesn’t read about this…”
On The Move: Charles “Rick” Rule [Antitrust Review]
Kirkland Beefs Up West Coast White-Collar Practice [WSJ Law Blog]
Abbe Lowell to Join McDermott from Chadbourne [WSJ Law Blog]
Former Maryland Pol Michael Steele Joins LeBoeuf Lamb [WSJ Law Blog]
Spitzer’s Longtime No. 2 Michele Hirshman to Join Paul Weiss [WSJ Law Blog]
- Anna Nicole Smith, Antitrust, Celebrities, Deaths, Habeas Corpus, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
* The standard for predatory-bidding claims is the same as that for predatory-pricing claims, and Ross-Simmons didn’t meet it. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* A certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court does not toll the 1-year statute of limitations for seeking federal habeas relief from a state-court judgment. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* Juries can’t punish defendants for harm done to nonparties. [U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)]
* James Brown to finally be buried. [CNN]
* But the fight for the right to bury Anna Nicole Smith continues. [CNN]
- Anna Nicole Smith, Antitrust, Crime, Media and Journalism, Morning Docket, Oral Sex / Blow Jobs, Parties
* Are we really gonna let this guy spend 10 years in jail for a BJ? [New York Times via How Appealing]
* Bizarre Anna Nicole Smith saga continues to be so. [CNN]
* Portland lottery winners fight for their right to party. [CNN]
* XM gets Sirius about making profits; will the merger be allowed by regulators? [Washington Post]
* Parker Posey’s character in “The House of Yes” would appreciate this. [AP via Yahoo!]