David Lat

David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, New York magazine, Washingtonian magazine, and the New York Observer. Prior to ATL, he launched Underneath Their Robes, a blog about federal judges. Before entering the journalism world, he 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 an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He has received several awards for his work on ATL, including recognition as one of the American Lawyer’s Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Last 50 Years; one of the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels, a group of pioneers within the legal profession; and one of the Fastcase 50, "the fifty most interesting, provocative, and courageous leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology." His first book, Supreme Ambitions: A Novel, will be published in 2015. You can connect with David on Twitter and Facebook.

Posts by David Lat

A news flash for criminal defendants, courtesy of a helpful tipster: “Apparently punching out an elderly juror is no longer a surefire way to get a mistrial in your case.” Or as a second reader quipped: “Did you see this? Defendant punches a juror. Mistrial? Not so much.”
From the Boston Herald:

I Crap Extra Hard For You.jpgA tough-as-nails judge yesterday sent a message to courtroom clowns seeking to disrupt their trials, denying a defendant who cold-cocked a juror a mistrial and instead ordering him chained to the floor.

“It is becoming increasingly common for violent” offenders to try to “derail” their trials by creating chaos, said Suffolk Superior Court Judge Patrick F. Brady. But accused cop shooter Richard Glawson, 46, would not prevail as a martyr of mayhem.

Though “they saw everything that transpired” Friday when Glawson laid out a male juror as the others tried to run or were trapped trembling and weeping, Brady refused to release the remaining panelists or question them as to whether they could still decide the case without prejudice.

Good for Judge Brady. We just hope they don’t give him too a hard time on appeal.
Update: Judge Brady subsequently reversed himiself, and declared a mistrial. That was lame, Your Honor!
But it sounds like the appellate mandarins of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court — who don’t have to deal with violent offenders day in and day out, safely ensconced in the SJC’s ivory tower — may have forced Judge Brady’s hand.
Case continues despite attack: Judge refuses to let courtroom chaos end in mistrial [Boston Herald]
Mistrial declared in chaos case [Boston Herald]

Okay, this isn’t as amusing as the Alexandra Korry haikus that have been unleashed in the comments. But then again, few things are.
Courtesy of ATL reader “Josef Stalin,” here’s a Lolcat graphic, in honor of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell:
lolcat Sullivan Cromwell Aaron Charney Above the Law blog.jpg
Lolcat [Wikipedia]
P.S. Please vote for Jordin Sparks in American Idol!!! Call 1-866-IDOLS-02, or text “VOTE” to 5702.
Even Professor Althouse, a diehard Blake Lewis fan, kind of agrees: “So, okay, let Jordin win. Blake will be fine. It will be better this way.”

Elizabeth Wurtzel Prozac Nation Above the Law blog.jpgWe reiterate last year’s request for funny or interesting stories about summer associates. We’ll use them for our new feature, Summer Associate of the Day. Like ATL’s Lawyer of the Day and Judge of the Day columns — which may be somewhat misnamed, since they don’t appear daily, but whatever — we’re most interested in people making damn fools of themselves.
For today’s Summer Associate of the Day, though, we’re going for “notable” rather than “embarrassing.” From a source:

Judging from your recent post on Shane Chase, it appears you may have a soft spot for interesting or controversial summer hires.

How’s this? The New York office of WilmerHale has hired Elizabeth Wurtzel as a summer associate. You may remember her as the controversial author of Prozac Nation and Bitch, as well as a former music critic/wild card for The New Yorker and New York Magazine. She’s also a looker — see here. She’s at Yale, almost 40 now, and still looks as good.

Who knows, maybe she’ll use Wilmer for fodder for another article/book!

Indeed. Prozac Law Firm, anyone? It seems that commenter WilmerNY could use some antidepressants.
Or maybe Wurtzel could pen a sequel to her 1998 book, Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women? The world of Biglaw should provide ample fodder.
Elizabeth Wurtzel [Wikipedia]
Earlier: Low-Hanging Fruit: Summer Associate Stories, Please


Hillary Clinton Deborah Jeane Palfrey Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Debra Jean Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.JPGTwo great gals that go great together. From the Examiner’s delightful Yeas and Nays:

First, we learned that adult movie star Jenna Jameson supports Sen. Hillary Clinton’s run for president of the United States.

Now, we learn that another, um, Taboo Titleholder backs the New York senator’s White House ambitions: Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka, the D.C. Madam….

Palfrey admitted that she’s pulling for Hillary in 2008. “I think she’s great,” she said. “She’s bright and articulate.”

But is this really newsworthy or surprising? That the D.C. Madam has a soft spot for a ho?
D.C. Madam for Hillary! [Washington Examiner / Yeas and Nays via Wonkette]
Preemptive clarification: WE don’t think Hillary Clinton is a ho. To the contrary, as we’ve stated multiple times, we think she’s fabulous.
We are merely referencing the familiar criticism of Senator Clinton, voiced on both the left and the right, that she’s willing to say or do anything for votes — i.e., that she’s a political whore.

Arthur Leonard Professor Arthur S Leonard Art Leonard Above the Law blog.jpgThis morning we drew your attention to Lavi Soloway’s analysis of the amended complaint in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. See here.
Now our other favorite Charneyblogger, Professor Arthur Leonard, has chimed in. You can access Professor Leonard’s substantive, detailed, and thoughtful post by clicking here.
Update (2:45 PM): Some excerpts and discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: Professor Art Leonard Weighs In”

Antonin Scalia headshot Justice Antonin Scalia Above the Law blog.JPGOkay, make that yesterday. A reader email drew our attention to the saucy conclusion of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Roper v. Weaver:

The greatest harm is that done to AEDPA, since dismissing the writ of certiorari leaves the Eighth Circuit’s grossly erroneous precedent on the books. (That precedent, by the way, cannot be explained away—as perhaps the Court’s own opinion can—as the product of law-distorting compassion for a defendant wronged by a District Court’s erroneous action. As noted earlier, the Eighth Circuit was not informed of that erroneous action. It presumably really believes that this is the way AEDPA should be applied.)

Other courts should be warned that this Court’s failure to reverse the Eighth Circuit’s decision is a rare manifestation of judicial clemency unrestrained by law. They would be well advised to do unto the Eighth Circuit’s decision just what it did unto AEDPA: ignore it.

WHACK! As our correspondent notes: “Scalia manages to benchslap both the majority opinion and the 8th Circuit all in the same paragraph.”
Some of Justice Scalia’s colleagues get cheeky on occasion. Another tipster drew our attention to Part IV of Justice Stevens’s Bell Atlantic v. Twombly dissent — which Justice Ginsburg expressly declined to join, perhaps due to its ‘tude.
But at the end of the day, there’s no disputing this truth: When it comes to benchslaps, nobody does it like Nino.
Roper v. Weaver [FindLaw]
Bell Atlantic v. Twombly [FindLaw]

Former Sullivan & Cromwell associate Aaron Charney is now unemployed. But should you feel sorry for him? No.
Tons of Columbia Law School grads land Biglaw gigs. But very few CLS grads achieve what Aaron B. Charney has already secured, just a few years after his graduation: FAME.
Aaron Brett Charney is probably the most well-known member of his law school graduating class. After all, how many of ABC’s classmates have made thinly veiled appearances on final exams at their alma mater?
number 2 train subway Above the Law Above the Law ATL ATL blog.JPGAnd how many of them have achieved the coveted distinction of being recognized in a public place — the New York City subway? From a tipster:

“Yesterday a friend of mine saw Aaron Charney on an uptown 2 train. He was reading some legal documents from the lawsuit.”

“My friend told me: ‘I bet Charney thought I was checking him out, cuz I kept staring at his crotch where the papers were….'”

Yeah right. He just wanted a peek at Charney’s, er, case caption. And those New York Supreme Court docket numbers are just… so… long…

LeBoeuf Lamb 2 small La Bouche Above the Law Blog.jpgThe crew over at La Bouche LeBoeuf Lamb, who recently showed some love to law clerks, just raised salaries in their California offices.
They’re now on the $160K scale. The raise is retroactive to May 1, 2007.
Memo appears after the jump.
(If your firm recently raised associate base salaries and/or clerkship bonuses, and hasn’t been covered already in these pages, please email us to let us know. Thanks.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: LeBoeuf Lamb Raises in California”

Aaron Charney full length Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Above the Law Above the Law blog.jpgThe indefatigable Lavi Soloway has posted an excellent summary of the juiciest parts of the amended complaint just filed by Aaron Charney.
The best stuff is in the lede (all caps in the original; emphases added):

THE AMENDED COMPLAINT INCLUDES ALLEGATION THAT ON JANUARY 31, FORMER S&C ASSOCIATE, EDWARD GALLION, WHO HAD BEEN HIRED TO REPRESENT ASSOCIATE GERA GRINBERG, REVEALED TO CHARNEY AND GRINBERG THAT HE, GALLION, IS “A HOMOSEXUAL.”

GALLION IS ALLEGED TO HAVE DISCLOSED THIS FACT IN GALLION’S APARTMENT (???) AS GRINBERG, CHARNEY AND GALLION AWAITED THE ARRIVAL OF GALLION’S PARTNER, STEVEN SPIELVOGEL, WHO WAS TO ACCOMPANY THEM TO A SCHEDULED SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE. ALLEGEDLY, GALLION ALSO TOLD THEM THAT HE HAD NOT MADE PARTNER AT S&C BECAUSE OF ANTI-GAY DISCRIMINATION AND THAT WHILE HE WAS AN ASSOCIATE THERE HE HAD BEEN NICKNAMED “THE FAGGOT” BY A PARTNER AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER

You can read Soloway’s full post by clicking here. Good stuff!
Charney Files Amended Complaint Against Sullivan & Cromwell [Soloway]

Harvard Law Review Andrew Crespo Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re going to be doing a series of posts about the world’s premier journal of legal scholarship: the Harvard Law Review. We’ve learned that there are some unhappy campers over at Gannett House (at right), who are less than thrilled with the Review’s new leadership.
Here’s a preview of what’s on the way. From a tipster:

As you might remember, Andrew Crespo was recently elected president of the Harvard Law Review. Since then, he has taken a decidedly fascist approach to leadership and he is running the journal into the ground with a cabal of radical idealogues, making the outgoing editors nervous about the future reputation of the journal.

Some have taken to calling him “Crespolini,” after [Benito Mussolini]. In short, there is a crisis of confidence at Gannett.

As noted in some of the news coverage of his selection, Crespo is the first Latino to serve as HLR president. Fortunately, Mussolini was Italian.
More to come in subsequent posts (including internal HLR emails). If you’re at the Harvard Law Review and have information to share, whether pro- or anti-Crespo, please email us. Thanks.
Crespo Elected First Latino President of Harvard Law Review [Harvard Law Record]
First Hispanic To Lead Harvard Law Review [Harvard Crimson]
Harvard Law Review elects Crespo as new president [Harvard Law School (press release)]

Page 477 of 21621...473474475476477478479480481...2162