Last year, prominent Richmond law firm Williams Mullen was hit with a lawsuit from a former employee alleging racial discrimination and sexual harassment. It was a juicy one — cucumber juicy.
Vietnam native Hanh Nguyen Allgood, 53, who was a case manager for the firm, claimed that a partner rubbed up against her in an elevator with a surprise in his pants:
When the doors closed, Robert Eicher pretended to be sad and depressed. He asked Allgood for a hug. When she complied, he pressed his genital area against Allgood’s left thigh. Allgood felt something hard pressing against her thigh and attempted to pull away from him. Eicher held Allgood tighter to prevent her from pulling away, and pressed his genital area against her thigh even harder. Allgood was horrified. She pushed him away and stepped back. In response, Eicher laughed and pulled a cucumber out of his pants pocket.
Eicher also allegedly asked inappropriate questions about her vajayjay:
Litigation partner Robert Eicher bears the brunt of Allgood’s sexual harassment allegations. According to her complaint, he asked when he first met her whether “her vagina was vertical or horizontal,” a reference to “a horrible racial slur bandied about by some American soldiers during the Viet Nam War contending that Vietnamese women had vertical vaginas.”
Um, aren’t all hoo-has vertical?
In an article about another Williams Mullen employee suing the firm, Richmond’s Style Weekly provided some updates on the case from Allgood’s attorney. Williams Mullen was not pleased. Reports an ATL reader:
No oral in Cucumber-Gate, per the new gag order.
What was it that Williams Mullen couldn’t swallow?
Next month we’ll be speaking on a panel at a conference for Asian American law students and lawyers. It’s taking place at the University of Pennsylvania and being sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) at U. Penn. Details and registration info appear here.
Asian law students. In Philly. Will there be a metal detector at the door?
In the past three years, two Asian law students in Philadelphia have gotten into trouble with the law due to gun-related incidents. First there was Joseph Cho, at the time a 2L at U. Penn., who shot up the door of his neighbors’ apartment in January 2007. Earlier this month, Gerald Ung (pictured), in his final year at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, allegedly shot Edward DiDonato Jr., a recent college graduate and the son of a partner at Fox Rothschild. (See prior posts here and here.)
On Monday, we wrote about a shooting in Philadelphia involving a law student, as the accused shooter, and the son of a law firm partner, as the apparent victim. We now have some updates on the situation. Alas, we still have more questions than answers.
Gerald Ung (pictured), 28, is in his final year at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. (Small correction to our last post: he’s a fourth-year student in the night program, not a 3L.) Ung is accused of shooting Edward DiDonato Jr., 23, a recent college graduate and the son of a partner at Fox Rothschild.
First, some (relatively) good news. Edward DiDonato, who was in critical condition immediately after being shot, is hanging in there and making progress (although he’s still critical). According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he underwent a fourth operation yesterday. A Facebook group created to express support for Eddie DiDonato has over 1,800 members.
Second, some of Ung’s friends believe he has been treated unfairly in coverage. What are their concerns?
Many law students these days are angry and frustrated. If the allegations are true, one has resorted to gun violence (and not just against his casebooks). From Philadelphia’s Fox 29:
A Virginia man is in custody after a weekend shooting in front of Fox 29′s studio in Philadelphia that was caught on camera. Temple University grad student Gerald Ung allegedly shot Villanova graduate Ed DiDonato at 4th and Market Streets early Sunday morning.
According to WPVI, the suspected shooter, Gerald Ung (pictured), is a third-year fourth-year law student at Temple’s Beasley School of Law. UPDATE (1 PM): Temple has confirmed that Ung, 28, is — or “was,” to use the exact language from the Philadelphia Inquirer article — a law student there. CORRECTION: Ung is not a 3L, as we originally wrote. Rather, he’s a fourth-year law student in Temple’s evening program.
It is unclear what exactly provoked the shooting, although it appears that Ung and DiDonato were engaged in an argument before the incident. You can see this by watching (somewhat grainy) video footage of the altercation over here. One tipster’s reaction:
This happened in my hometown, which I miss less and less these days. And the [alleged] perp lived three blocks from where I used to live. I wonder if having an appreciation of the law and how much it’s going to run over you makes it any more difficult to sit in jail knowing you’ve done something like this.
UPDATE (2 PM): A different perspective on this incident, after the jump.
How do you say schadenfreude in Mandarin? Babel Fish won’t tell me. In fact, Babel Fish doesn’t even have an option to translate German into Mandarin or Cantonese. (I think that’s BS — I’m sure you can get a good schnitzel in Beijing — but that’s beside the point.)
Anyway, back to China. The ABA Journal reports:
A new study supports the tales of woe told by recent law graduates in China.
It is more difficult to find a job in law than any other profession studied, the China Daily reports. The story cites a June 2009 study by China’s Academy of Social Science and the Mycos Institute, a consulting company.
Mmm … terracotta law students.
I wonder how much (if any) private debt Chinese law schools saddle their students with?
Additional details after the jump.
We just returned from a very fun weekend in Las Vegas, where we watched a friend compete in the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon. Our friend was one of many lawyers in competition. He’s a prosecutor, but we also saw a public defender — her T-shirt said so — and possibly some lawyers from Morrison & Foerster (in “Run Like a MoFo” apparel). As discussed before in these pages, there’s something about marathon running that attracts attorneys.
Sadly, while in Sin City, we suffered some ill fortune at the craps tables. But things could have been worse — much worse. From an article in the Wall Street Journal:
During a year-long gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos in 2007, Terrance Watanabe managed to lose nearly $127 million.
The run is believed to be one of the biggest losing streaks by an individual in Las Vegas history. It devoured much of Mr. Watanabe’s personal fortune, he says, which he built up over more than two decades running his family’s party-favor import business in Omaha, Neb. It also benefitted the two casinos’ parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which derived about 5.6% of its Las Vegas gambling revenue from Mr. Watanabe that year.
In a civil suit filed in Clark County District Court last month, Mr. Watanabe, 52 years old, says casino staff routinely plied him with liquor and pain medication as part of a systematic plan to keep him gambling.
More about the lawsuit, plus a fun fact about the article’s authorship, after the jump.
Williams Mullen is a prominent Richmond-based law firm that is “100 years strong,” according to its website. For 18 of those years, Vietnam native Hanh Nguyen Allgood, 53, was a case manager for the firm. She left in March 2007.
Apparently, the departure was not “all good” with her. She has filed a $950,000 lawsuit against the firm, alleging discrimination and sexual harassment, according to Style Weekly.
Litigation partner Robert Eicher bears the brunt of Allgood’s sexual harassment allegations. According to her complaint [PDF], he asked when he first met her whether “her vagina was vertical or horizontal,” a reference to “a horrible racial slur bandied about by some American soldiers during the Viet Nam War contending that Vietnamese women had vertical vaginas.”
And then there was the cucumber incident….
UPDATE: A statement from the firm has been added after the jump.
Last week, we reported on a questionable offering in the Lexis-Nexis Rewards Program store: an “Asian Angels” calendar.
Shortly after our post went up, the calendar came down. It seems that legal research companies respond well to media coverage.
But the calendar, despite being quickly withdrawn from the Lexis swag offerings, still incurred the ire of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association at UC Berkeley.
Read their response, plus a statement from Lexis, below.
LexisNexis has a rewards program that allows loyal users to accumulate points for certain research activities and then to use them to “shop from millions of items.”
One of the items makes us want to give LexisNexis an “ex” rating. An ATL reader and loyal Lexis-Nexis user pointed the item out to us, writing:
Search for it in the rewards store. It’s available for 1261 points. Pretty shocking if you ask me. The calendar that is, not the price.
We’re red-flagging this. Check it out, after the jump.
The cast for the latest season of Survivor, which premieres on September 17, has been announced. This season, the show’s nineteenth, takes place on the tropical island of Samoa.
Four of the 20 contestants, or a fifth of the field, are either lawyers or law students. Is appearing on a reality television show the best way to wait out the recession?
We believe this to be the highest number of law-related contestants in a single season. We reached out to Charlie Herschel — the former Survivor contestant and current Weil Gotshal associate, who has encyclopedic knowledge of the show — and he said that, as far as he knows, four would be a record. Herschel explained:
Lawyers are making a better showing than bartenders for once on Survivor! There was a lawyer on the first Survivor who sued producers for rigging the show. Word was that they avoided casting lawyers after that.
Also, it’s generally difficult for lawyers to drop everything at a moment’s notice for the casting process and also for the show (which is required), so they have trouble casting lawyers. Most of the lawyers on survivor dont practice anymore.
Perhaps you know one of these four. Let’s learn more about them, shall we?
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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