David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, Washingtonian magazine, and New York magazine. Prior to ATL, David worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. David graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, where he served as book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal. David has received several awards for his work on ATL, including recognition as an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, a group of innovators within the legal profession, and inclusion as a member of the Fastcase 50, "the fifty most interesting, provocative, and courageous leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology." You can connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
Yes, the Brokeback Lawfirm litigation has come to an end. No, this is not an April Fools’ joke.
Sullivan & Cromwell and Aaron Charney ride off into the sunset, with Charney a little sore in the saddle — from all the money he’s sitting on. No more “bending over” for this cowboy.
The scoop, from Anthony Lin, appears in the New York Law Journal:
Sullivan & Cromwell said Thursday it had reached a settlement with former associate Aaron Charney, who sued the New York law firm earlier this year for sexual orientation discrimination.
“Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell have resolved their differences in connection with all pending disputes between them,” the firm said through a spokesman.
Charney’s lawyer, Daniel Alterman of Alterman & Boop, did not return a call for comment.
The settlement, the terms of which are confidential, brings to a close a dispute that had fascinated the New York legal community over the past several months, both with its allegations concerning partners at one of the city’s most prestigious firms and its bizarre twists and turns in the courtroom.
The rest of the piece recites the facts of the case and its procedural history, which will be familiar to ATL readers. But it’s a clear and cogent summary, and you can read the rest of it here.
We’ll have more to say in the morning. In the meantime, have at it in the comments.
Aaron Charney, wherever you are: Good night, and good luck. And if you need any help spending those settlement proceeds — call us.
P.S. Anthony Lin’s article was linked to by Howard Bashman at 10:58 PM, but we’re not exactly sure when the news broke. (We just got home from the Georgetown Law EJF auction, which was great fun.) Sullivan Settles With Former Associate Who Sued Firm for Discrimination [New York Law Journal]
If you’re thinking of moving from private practice to government, you should be prepared to take a hit in perks as well as pay. Sure, your hours will be better — just avoid the S.D.N.Y. — and you might even get a free flu shot. But you won’t have the fancy offices, the swanky lunches, or round-the-clock support staff. Sometimes you’ll have to make your own photocopies.
It is not, however, all doom and gloom. In the past, Department of Justice employees got to enjoy four-dollar meatballs (plus $13,000 in brownies). And now we hear that for at least one DOJ diva, work was a day at the beach — quite literally.
From Al Kamen of the Washington Post:
[T]he acting deputy director of the [voting rights] section, Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, has been accused of collecting a $64 per diem, including on weekends and the Fourth of July, while spending half of June and most of July and August with her husband and kids at their beach house on Cape Cod.
The allegation, made to the department inspector general apparently by someone linked to the Boston regional office, was that Lorenzo-Giguere made “multiple” government-paid trips to the Cape and that she improperly said that “her presence on Cape Cod was necessary pending litigation in Boston,” which was in the courts over the summer….
The complaint also alleged that Lorenzo-Giguere “spent little time in Boston” this summer and did little work on the case. Also, what supervision and oversight she provided was done by phone to Boston while she “remained on the beach,” and she would have been able to do this from her office in Washington.
C’mon, folks — cut Susana some slack. Her kids needed her; building sandcastles is no easy task. And she probably looks great in a swimsuit, too.
More about Ms. Lorenzo-Giguere, after the jump.
Our parents keep reminding us to get a flu shot (which we haven’t gotten yet this year). If we worked for a law firm, maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about this. From a tipster:
My firm provides flu shots for all of its employees every flu season. I was wondering if this was typical.
The idealist in me wants to think that the firm actually cares about my health and well-being. On the other hand, the skeptic in me believes the firm doesn’t want me to get sick so that I won’t miss work.
They make you sign a consent form (of course).
Forget about the free iPhones and subsidized gym memberships. Flu shots are clearly what separate the men from the boys.
So… does YOUR firm furnish free flu shots? Please discuss, in the comments.
The headlines say it all, over at the Drudge Report:
We previously wrote about the incident here. The report exonerating the officers is not flattering to the tased bro, Andrew Meyer:
In the 17-page summary of the report, FDLE said it spoke with several witnesses who said that days before the event Meyer vowed to put on ”a show” at the Kerry event.
According to the report, during a Sept. 11 Gators for Rudy [Giuliani] rally, Meyer got into an argument with another student and told a friend that “if he liked what he had seen that he should go to the Kerry speech and he would really see a show.”
In addition, the report said that after his arrest, when Meyer was out of view of the cameras, he told officers that they did not do anything wrong and then asked “if cameras will be at the jail.”
Now it’s in the Miami Herald. Most of the piece will be familiar to those of you who read ourcoverage. But the article does include some new material, including comment from the law school:
A law school spokeswoman declined to comment on the arrest Thursday, but the school’s dean, Dennis Lynch, told The Miami Hurricane student newspaper he was aware of the charge against Jones.
”He is a respected member of our law school community, and the validity of the charges will be determined through the appropriate judicial proceedings,” Lynch said, according to The Hurricane. “I mean, he’s only been charged.”
Jones pleaded not guilty to the solicitation charge last month and has requested a trial, court records show. If convicted of the second-degree misdemeanor, Jones would face up to 60 days in jail.
Dean Lynch, by the way, is stepping down (but related in no way to L’Affaire Jones). Considering the weird publicity the school has been experiencing lately — see examples collected here — we don’t blame him. We’ve been hearing about a fair amount of infighting over there, which we may report on in the future.
P.S. Speaking of UM, we’d love to interview the law students featured here and here. If you know either or both students, please convey our invitation to them. Thanks.
Is there such a thing as a “lifestyle” law firm? We’ve previously expressed skepticism: “[I]n every law school class, some people believe in kinder, gentler law firms. And lavender unicorns.”
Interestingly enough, we’ve been hearing that this recruiting season, New York’s top Biglaw shops aren’t placing much emphasis on “lifestyle.” While firms continue to talk about “collegiality” and say things like “there are no screamers here,” recruits report being told, even at the kinder / gentler firms, “You WILL work hard here.” Perhaps certain firms don’t want to get criticized for pulling the old bait-and-switch: brag about the “lifestyle” to 2Ls, show them a great time as summer associates, and then sling them over a barrel and have your way with them, once they show up full time.
But that’s at the largest law firms, in major markets like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Could smaller firms, especially in other markets, offer more options?
More discussion, built around the case study of a 10-lawyer boutique in Atlanta, after the jump.
Maybe associates clamoring for yet another pay raise have a point. Maybe $160,000 is not enough.
Because, if certain Democrats get their way, a new surtax will be imposed that will hit even first-year associates at most large law firms. Under a tax plan proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), a 4 percent surtax will hit single earners with incomes over $150,000, or married couples with incomes over $200,000. For incomes above $500,000, which are increasingly common in Biglaw, the surtax would rise to 4.6 percent.
So, readers, what do you think? Many lawyers harbor progressive political views. Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is, and support politicians who will raise taxes on people like you? Update: As noted by several commenters, the full plan has several other provisions. For example, it would lower the top corporate tax rate to 30.5% from 35%, and it would scrap the alternative minimum tax (AMT). For more details, see here.
Feel free to vote in our reader poll, after the jump.
A Denver lawyer has filed a complaint claiming the chief judge of the Colorado federal courts threatened to call authorities when she confronted him about parking in a handicapped space.
The lawyer, Jeanne Elliott, was paralyzed in 1986 when she was shot by an angry litigant. She told KUSA in Denver that she waited in her wheelchair behind the illegally parked SUV outside a Walgreens. Judge Edward Nottingham arrived and threatened to call the U.S. Marshals service when she didn’t move, according to her grievance (PDF) filed with the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He later called 911.
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.
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.
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!