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 Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, Washingtonian magazine, and New York magazine. 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." You can connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Posts by David Lat

United States Attorneys US Attorneys Above the Law blog.JPGThe scandal surrounding the firing of the eight U.S. Attorneys, while explosive and salacious, has presented us with some challenges. It’s a fast-moving story, and the information just keeps flooding in.
And because it’s such a huge story, the MSM has been covering it like crazy. We asked ourselves: What’s left for ATL to do?
Answer: Sponsor a U.S. Attorneys hotties contest!
Now that our Law Librarian Hotties contest is over, we must find a new group of legal professional hotties to rank. In light of all the public attention recently focused upon United States Attorneys, they’re an excellent subject for our next hotness competition.
Patrick J Fitzgerald 2 Patrick Fitzgerald Pat Fitzgerald Above the Law blog.JPGThere are many reasons to focus on chief federal prosecutors for a hotties contest. They’re clearly public figures, so they don’t present the same privacy concerns as so-called “civilians.” Their photographs are easy to find, because they’re always appearing before media outlets.
And, most importantly, some of them are pretty darn hot. For example, the hunky Patrick Fitzgerald (N.D. Ill.) helped make the Plamegate scandal worth following (with an assist from the scorchingly hot Valerie Plame herself). The apolitical zeal with which Pat Fitzgerald pursued the Scooty Libby prosecution was modern manliness at its best.
Carol Lam 2 Carol C Lam Southern District of California San Diego Yale College Stanford Law School.JPGThere are some fine offerings on the distaff side, too. The elegant Carol Lam (S.D. Cal.), according to her critics, was easy on immigration enforcement. But she’s pretty easy on the eyes, too!
(We could say more about Carol Lam’s hotness, but we won’t, ’cause she kinda looks like our aunt.)
We are now accepting your nominations of hot United States Attorneys. If you’d like to submit an attractive U.S Attorney for consideration, please review the rules and nomination guidelines, which appear after the jump. Thanks!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Hotties: U.S. Attorneys!”

Bong Hits 1.JPG
The U.S. Supreme Court building at One First Street, on the morning of Monday, March 19. Like rock star groupies, SCOTUS fans camped out overnight for a chance to breathe the same air as the nine robed ones.
As we previously explained, we didn’t make it in to see the argument in Morse v. Frederick, aka the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, before the Supreme Court on Monday. But our trip wasn’t a complete waste, since we did get some video footage (here, here, here, and here).
Oh wait — you HATED our videos. Well, at least give us credit for mixing things up a little around here. Every now and then, we like to try new things, to keep ATL from getting hidebound. Not every experiment works; but that’s why they call them experiments.
Anyway, hopefully you’ll like our still photography more. We’re post them in two batches. The first set of pictures, of Dean Kenneth Starr and two colleagues, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Hits 4 ATL: A Photo Essay (Part 1)”

Aaron Charney 2 headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett CharneyPerhaps you’re sick of reading about the aborted settlement talks between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell. Presumably you’ve already read our extensive coverage of the March 15 court hearing, at which the settlement talks took center stage, as well as the reports of Lavi Soloway (who effectively functioned as ATL’s New York correspondent for the hearing).
But if your appetite for all things Charney-licious continues unabated, then be sure to read this excellent article, by Anna Schneider-Mayerson of the New York Observer. It doesn’t contain much new material, but Schneider-Mayerson does a superb job of explaining a rather confusing series of events at the hearing, in clear yet engaging prose. Enjoy!
Update: We agree with the various commenters about the juiciness of this tidbit (and apologize for apparently missing it until now):

Michael Kennedy, an attorney for Mr. Charney, described an alleged “rant” by [S&C partner Gandolfo "Vince"] DiBlasi.

“That rant said, ‘Sullivan & Cromwell is invincible.’ That rant says, ‘We defended the Nazis, and nobody can do anything or cared. We’ll crush you like a bug,’” Mr. Kennedy said, quoting his client’s recollections at a Feb. 22 hearing in the New York State Supreme Court. “Those aren’t settlement negotiations; those are threats.”

First Thing, Kill All the Evidence [New York Observer]

Anna Nicole Smith kissing J Howard Marshall kiss Anna Nicole Smith ANS J Howard Marshall Above the Law.jpgOr maybe not, thanks to two pesky vigilant police officers.
P.S. Don’t get your hopes up: the toker in question was Judge Lawrence Korda, who played a secondary role in the Anna Nicole Smith case. Judge Larry Seidlin, who handled the bulk of the proceedings, was not caught smoking pot. ‘Cause to get THAT crazy, you need to use the harder stuff.
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up [Concurring Opinions]
Anna Nicole judge cited for pot in park [Associated Press]
ANS Judge Busted For Smoking Weed [dlisted]

alberto gonzales alberto r gonzales attorney general.JPGThe story is moving very quickly, and there’s so much to keep track of. And we’re going to be away from our computer, attending the AEF dinner, when President Bush holds his press conference at 5:45 PM today.
So here’s an open thread to discuss the controversy over the U.S. Attorney firings. Please share your thoughts on the recently released emails, the chances of Alberto Gonzales keeping his job, and other related matters, in the comments to this post. Thanks.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the U.S. Attorneys controversy (scroll down)

We covered the story extensively at the time, so we now bring you information about its resolution. See links collected below.
Officer’s death was an accident [New Haven Register]
Judge cleared in fatal accident [New Haven Register]
Bush cousin is cleared in officer’s death [Boston Globe / AP]

We have to step away from the computer for a while, to get ready for our emcee gig at the AEF Annual Dinner. We’ve arranged for content to be posted while we’re gone, though, so please keep visiting.
Also, we’d like to put in a final plug for the AEF dinner. In addition to the reasons we previously gave for attending, we would add a fifth: it’s a great networking opportunity. And who in this town can resist that?
Tickets are available at the door, so it’s not too late for you to attend. Hope to see you in a few hours!
Earlier: The Most Fun Tuesday Night You’ll Have in a Long Time

Gregory Kennedy Greg Kennedy Above the Law blog.jpgOOPS!!! Sorry about that.
The Court’s order vacating its December grant of review explains that it was “advised by Justice Kennedy that he now realizes that he should have recused himself from participation in this case, and does now recuse himself.”
Justice Kennedy contemplated, but ultimately decided against, issuing a separate order explaining his belated recusal, calling his son Gregory Kennedy (at right) “very handsome,” and declaring his intention “to hug him no matter how old he gets.”
Kennedy Recuses From Antitrust Case Involving Son’s Company [Legal Times]
Greg Kennedy bio [Credit Suisse]
Earlier: The Michigan Supreme Sandbox: We Left Out the Best Part

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGThe ranks of the Elect, while small, are constantly expanding. We have some new information about a few more folks hired to serve as Supreme Court law clerks for October Term 2007.
Some of this news isn’t truly “new,” since the clerks in question were hired a while ago. But it’s new to ATL, since it wasn’t previously reported in these pages. Anyway, here you go:

1. “I imagine you already know this, but Erin Morrow is the last Roberts hire. She clerked for him briefly on the DC Circuit (with Anton Metlitsky and George Hicks) before he went up to the Supreme Court and got the offer over the summer. She’s currently clerking for Wilkinson.”

2. “Justice Samuel Alito is done hiring. He did not hire any of the people he recently interviewed. Instead, he hired two more former clerks of his (from his Third Circuit days). Alito is turning himself into one of the biggest feeder judges of the past ten years — after the fact!”

3. “Justice Souter has hired Bert Huang (HLS 2003/Boudin) and Micah Smith (HLS 2006/Calabresi) for OT 2007. Don’t know if he’s hired the other two.”

4. “Don’t know which justice, but Mike Mongan (Stanford 2005 / Garland) has been hired for OT 2007. I think it’s either Breyer or Souter.”

5. “Here’s an OT 2008 hire for you: Matt Price (HLS 06, Boudin), by Justice Breyer.”

Do you know which justice Michael Mongan is clerking for? Do you know which ex-Alito clerks will be reunited with their erstwhile boss?
Do you see any other errors or omissions in the information appearing above? If so, please email us. Thanks!
(After the jump, an updated tally of Supreme Court clerks for next Term, reflecting these latest additions.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “October Term 2007 Clerk Hiring: It’s Almost Over (If It Isn’t Already)”

Alexandra Korry Alexandra D Korry Alex Korry Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Aaron Charney ATL.jpgWe tried — we really did. We aggressively solicited reader comments about S&C M&A partner Eric Krautheimer, one of the principal players in Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, to see if he could be made anywhere near as interesting a character as his colleague, Alexandra Korry (at right).
The answer: NO. This comment is representative of many others:

Eric is gruff and abrupt and does not suffer fools or mistakes lightly. I’ve heard him yell and I’ve seen him rant and rave. But at the end of the day he is a genuinely good person who deserves better than being dragged through the mud in this frivolous suit.

We tried to turn Krautheimer into a divo; we tried. But at the end of the day, the dramatic possibilities just aren’t there.
Some folks are rock stars, and other people aren’t. Some people are Scalias, and some people are Souters. It’s that simple.
So back to our favorite S&C partner: Alexandra Korry, the Queen of Mergers and Acquisitions, who most definitely IS a rock star. We love her to the ends of the earth.
After the jump, we discuss this fascinating article about her, from Corporate Board Member Magazine.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: Alexandra Korry Is A Goddess”

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