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

Look for an official announcement later today:

The office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he is dismissing all charges against three Duke Lacrosse players, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case….

Cooper will announce his decision regarding the case at the North Carolina Attorney General’s office in Raleigh, N.C., at 2:30 p.m.

What took them so long?
Duke Lacrosse Case Charges to Be Dropped [ABC News via Drudge Report]

Along with London, New York is one of the great tabloid cities of the world. When we opened the door of our hotel room this morning, we were greeted by this sight:

New York Post Anna Nicole Smith Larry Birkhead.jpg

The news has been mentioned in a few places on ATL (e.g., comments, Morning Docket). But for those of you who haven’t been paying attention: Larry Birkhead is the Anna Nicole Smith babydaddy.
(Which may not result in the financial windfall that Birkhead might have been expecting.)
LUSTY LARRY LICKS ‘EM IN ANNA NICOLE DADDY DERBY [New York Post]
Earlier: Oh Crap. This Baby Ain’t Worth Millions? Then You Take Her!

Apparently the world is not yet ready for successful and strong professional women.
Even if they are widely praised for their brilliance, work ethic, leadership, and communication abilities. And even if they balance their career successes, which might be threatening to some — e.g., chauvinist pigs — with “world-class” baking abilities.
SIGH…
ATL poll results Monica Goodling Above the Law blog.jpg
Earlier: Monica Goodling: Just How Fabulous Is She?

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGThere were a few salary-related comments appended to our administrative post from yesterday. E.g., these comments about McGuire Woods.
So we figure we might as well create an open thread for such discussion. If you have any information or comments about compensation-related matters, please note them here.
Also, rest assured, we have not forgotten about the promised update to our earlier special report on clerkship bonuses. We’re still waiting for a few pieces of information to come in (including verification of a rumor about Simpson Thacher). If you have anything to share, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.

New York City skyscrapers Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ll make it anywhere. We’re about to leave Washington for New York, New York, where we’ll be spending the rest of this week.
We have multiple reasons to be up in New York. We’ll be giving a talk at Columbia Law School, attending the CLS Moot Court finals and Law Revue, and covering a major hearing in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell.
So we’re going to be offline for a little while. If anyone resigns or raises associate salaries to $175K while we’re gone, please let us know in the comments to this post. Thanks.
Earlier: Our Upcoming Visit to Columbia Law School

Adriana Dominguez 2 Brooklyn Law School Playboy Above the Law blog.JPGHere’s the promised follow-up to our earlier post about Adriana Dominguez, the Brooklyn Law School 3L who has embarked upon a career as a Playboy TV stripper.
Remember the similarly named Adrienne — the Boston College Law School student who did a racy spread for Barstool Sports? Adrienne ain’t got nothing on Adriana. Adriana Dominguez doesn’t just do soft-core, Sports Illustrated swimsuit-style spreads; she takes it all off. And she works it for the camera.
More discussion, including some comments from her classmates at BLS, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Jurisdiction Stripper: More on Adriana Dominguez”

Anna Nicole Smith 3 Anna Nicole Smith photo photograph pic picture Above the Law Above the Law.JPGHere’s an interesting analysis of the underlying merits of the litigation over J. Howard Marshall’s estate. It contains some bome bad news for Anna Nicole Smith’s infant daughter, Dannielynn.
From a Legal Times piece by Professor Horace Cooper (who narrowly missed being a colleague of Kiwi Camara, and probably isn’t unhappy about that):

[T]here is little chance that this child will inherit millions. Why? Because Anna Nicole Smith’s legal claims on J. Howard Marshall’s estate were always tenuous.

And once the courts act, they will likely extinguish the claim altogether. That means Dannielynn is more likely to be saddled with legal bills and other debt from litigation associated with her mother’s estate than she’s likely to inherit any portion of Marshall’s estate.

We’ll spare you Professor Cooper’s detailed examination of the case, which deploys such fancy-pants legal terms as “de novo” and “res judicata.” We’ll just give you his bottom line:

A separate trial in the Bahamas is going forward to determine who Dannielynn’s biological father is. Once that is answered, will the biological father continue his efforts to secure custody after all the legal claims on the Marshall estate are extinguished?

I predict that once those claims are finally exhausted, even King Solomon himself might not have the wisdom to find a father for this baby.

And Judge Larry Seidlin is no King Solomon.
Anna Nicole’s Daughter Is No Million-Dollar Baby [Legal Times]

martini glass Above the Law blog.jpgIf so, then a reporter with a national newspaper would like to speak with you. Here’s the message:

I want to write about the social pressures on summer associates. Specifically, I understand that at a time when firms are competing harder than ever for the best candidates, it’s ratcheted up an already intense party circuit for summer associates.

I’ve heard incoming first-year associates often get nervous about whether they’ll be able to keep up and, more importantly, not get too drunk and blow it. I wanted to get your thoughts on the topic and find out if there were any examples of students doing anything interesting to prepare themselves (e.g., build up their tolerance) for the summer. I’m equally interested in whether there are groups of sober students for whom this is a particularly stressful time.

I can be reached by email at legal DOT story AT gmail DOT com. Thanks.

We think this will be an interesting story. There are tons of tales out there about summer associates who get wasted and do stupid things. E.g., Aquagirl. It would be refreshing to hear about prudent students on the other side of the fence, who consciously try to avoid getting trashed and making fools of themselves.
If you have some insights to share on this subject, please do contact our reporter friend, by email. Much thanks!

Adriana Dominguez 2 Brooklyn Law School Playboy Above the Law blog.JPGYes, we know all about Adriana Dominguez, the third-year student at Brooklyn Law School with a penchant for taking her clothes off. Dominguez is the subject of a Playboy TV striptease video that’s spreading from inbox to inbox like the clap wildfire. More details here, from the New York Daily News (of course).
We’ll post a more comprehensive write-up later today, which will include some comments we’ve received from her classmates. If you have firsthand knowledge of Ms. Dominguez, we welcome your input. You can reach us by email (subject line: “Adriana Dominguez”).
For people who can’t wait for their fix, here’s a (sanitized) screencap from the video. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Enjoy!
Update: After some reader complaints, we’ve placed the photograph of Adriana Dominguez after the jump. If you’re reading ATL in a reasonably private place, and want to see what all the buzz is about, click on the “Continue reading” link below.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Meet Adriana Dominguez: Aspiring Lawyer Cum Porn Star”

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney.JPGThings have been quiet lately on the Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell front, but this week brings an exciting event. This Thursday, April 12, in New York Supreme Court, Justice Bernard Fried will preside over the Mother of All Hearings: an omnibus hearing at which the parties’ various motions and cross-motions will be argued.
Happily, we will be up in New York on Thursday. We will attend the hearing and report on the proceedings.
So it’s full speed ahead in Charney v. S&C. Contrary to what some predicted — including ourselves, at various points in time — this case doesn’t look like it will be settling anytime soon. This raises the question:

How long will this litigation be dragged out?

(Which raises another question: How is Aaron Charney supporting himself in the meantime? We’re guessing he has ample savings, from his years at S&C, and perhaps some support from his family. But if you have more specific knowledge, please drop us a line.)
One of you suggested a poll, and we like the idea. Please cast your vote:

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