(We’re filling in today for Stella Q, who has more pressing — and billable — matters to attend to.)
* Super-needy partners are the worst to work for. We knew of one partner who would summon an associate from another floor to retrieve a document from her printer and bring it in to her — because she couldn’t be bothered to stand up, walk outside to her secretary’s station, and get it herself. (This was after hours, and her secretary was gone.) [New York Times]
* Barack Obama draws on Tribe-al support — from Laurence Tribe, that is, and the Harvard Law School mafia. We still feel bad for poor, betrayed Hillary. [New York Observer]
* While we’re on the subject of ’08, check it out: election lawyers are in demand. Who says popular specialties have to be boring? [Politico]
* ATL Public Service Announcement: If you didn’t file your 2003 tax return, and are owed a refund, you need to act fast — or kiss that money good-bye. [TaxProf Blog]
* Brokeback Lawfirm continues to get play on the other side of the pond. [TheLawyer.com]
Posts by David Lat
- Aaron Charney, Barack Obama, Biglaw, Election Law, Hillary Clinton, Laurence Tribe, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Tax Law
(We’re filling in today for Stella Q, who has more pressing — and billable — matters to attend to.)
To see how dumb this topic is, imagine replacing “Harvard” with “Boston University.”
Yes, that would be dumb. Because Boston University School of Law has its own stupid pseudo-scandal, and it’s not Sectiongate. Say hello to… Bagelgate!!!
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 17:24:00 -0500
From: BU Law Student Affairs
Reply-To: BU Law Student Affairs
Subject: Journal issue
To: [1L, 2L and 3L classes at BU]
We wanted to ask your help with an issue that may seem minor but is causing understandable frustration. Our law journals often collect dues from the members for certain things such as refreshments for the morning since they spend so much time in the journal offices putting out the journal books.
Unfortunately, one of the journals which has an office in room 545 has noticed that often students who are not journal members find their way into the office and take refreshments that the journal members have purchased with their journal dues for journal members. This may reflect a misunderstanding on non-journal members’ parts, in that students might think the school is paying for the refreshments.
However, that is not the case — they are paid for out of journal member dues and are only for the journal members. We greatly appreciate your assistance in refraining from going into the journal offices and partaking of refreshments that are for the journal members and paid for by their dues.
In other words: Thank You For Not Stealing.
Before some of you start railing against the caste system that unfairly separates law review members from the rest of the class — showering the former with lucrative law firm jobs, coveted clerkships, and free breakfast food, while shafting the latter — we should note that the bagel-raid victim was not THE law journal, i.e., the Boston University Law Review. We’re told it was the Journal of Science and Technology Law.
So there is no broader social lesson to be drawn here — other than that law students like free bagels.
(We realize that Bagelgate, like Sectiongate, is “dumb” — and that’s why we like it. We have a weakness for the ridiculous, the petty, and the inane — especially when law schools are involved. See, e.g., the mystery smell in the NYU Law library, and the sex-in-the-stacks scandal at Washington University Law School.)
Earlier this week, we wrote:
Despite the catchy and provocative title we’ve bestowed upon this story, we must confess: We don’t completely “get” the quasi-scandal surrounding the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys around the country.
Well, after reading your informative comments, and in light of subsequent revelations, we’re beginning to get it. The Democrats are having a field day with this — and one can hardly blame them.
More discussion after the jump.
This is a continuation of our prior post, Brokeback Lawfirm: An Insider’s View (Part 1), in which a source who worked in the General Practice (i.e., Corporate) group of Sullivan & Cromwell discussed Aaron Charney’s case against S&C, with the benefit of insider knowledge.
If you haven’t already done so, you should read that post before this one. You can access it by clicking here.
After the jump, our S&C tipster shares his thoughts on Aaron Charney’s claims of retaliation.
Over at Kenyon & Kenyon, the prominent intellectual property law firm, it’s the best of times — and the worst of times.
It’s the best of times for incoming associates, who will be earning the new market rate of $160,000. It’s the worst of times for the ex-Kenyon associates who are now looking for jobs.
Our take is that Kenyon is trying to keep up with the Simpson Thachers (or Fish & Richardsons) of the world, but getting winded by the effort. Yes, it’s raising salaries; but it’s not doing so until much later in the year. And it’s shedding associates at the same time, maybe to free up the payroll for raises.
Here are the details:
1. The firm is raising salaries for entering associates, but it’s not doing so until September 1. Here’s the email:
From: Birde, Patrick
Sent: Wed 2/28/2007 3:48 PM
To: ~Attorneys (All)
Subject: NOTICE: Re: $160k Entry Salary
This is to advise you that our first year associate salary will be raised to $ 160K effective Sept. 1, 2007. Also, the Firm is in the process of revising the pay structure including the bonus system for all Associates and Counsel.
2. The firm has laid off associates. On January 11, the firm laid off 16 lawyers, according to partner Patrick Birde (who kindly responded to a fact-checking email we sent to him).
3. There was a rumor going around that the layoffs were made without warning. But according to Birde, this is incorrect:
[S]ome of the attorneys involved were already on probation and others were aware of issues with the firm brought to light during the review process.
4. The firm informed these 16 individuals that their names would remain on the firm website until March 15. (We’re guessing this was done to facilitate their job searches.)
So that’s the 411 on Kenyon. Feel free to discuss this news — or other associate compensation developments, since our last open thread was a while ago — in the comments.
- Blog Wars, Blogging, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Linda Greenhouse, Media and Journalism, New York Times, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Vicious Infighting
We have previously compared the fierce competition between Supreme Court correspondents Linda Greenhouse, of the New York Times, and Jan Crawford Greenburg, of the Chicago Tribune, to the rivalry between Margo Channing (Bette Davis) and Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) in All About Eve.
For decades, Linda Greenhouse has ruled the reportorial roost at the Supreme Court — just as Margo Channing reigned over the New York stage. But just as Channing came to be challenged by a young and attractive newcomer, Eve Harrington, Greenhouse now faces tough competition from Jan Crawford Greenburg.
Perhaps this comparison, much as we love it, must stop here. We don’t want to spoil All About Eve for those of you who haven’t seen it. But let’s just say that Margo doesn’t put up much of a fight when Eve moves into her turf.
Linda Greenhouse, in contrast, is NOT going gentle into that good night. She will NOT pass her tiara graciously to Jan Crawford Greenburg, like a Miss America ending her reign. Greenhouse has no intention of allowing Greenburg to ascend to the post of America’s Next Top Supreme Court Reporter — at least not without a (cat)fight.
How do we know this? Just read between the lines of this “Reporter’s Notebook” item by Greenhouse. It’s snarkily entitled “Alarmism in the Blogosphere” — “blogsophere” being synonymous with “unreliable and dubious rumor-mongering” — and in it, Linda G. goes out of her way to embarrass and even humiliate her younger colleague:
Jan Crawford Greenburg, an ABC News correspondent who covers the court, posted a startling item last week on her blog, Legalities. Under the heading “Faith and Frailty,” she wrote that the “real drama” of an argument concerning the Bush administration’s religion-based initiative came when the argument ended.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s delay in getting to her feet and leaving the bench, Ms. Greenburg wrote, seemed a sign of possible ill health and “made me think I’d better start pulling those possible retirement files together.”
The alarming item quickly made its way around the blogosphere, puzzling court insiders who know that Justice Ginsburg, 73, is in fine health and keeps to a schedule that would exhaust most people who are decades younger….
The explanation is, quite literally, pedestrian. According to her chambers, Justice Ginsburg had kicked off her shoes during the argument and could not find one of them.
OUCH. Jan Crawford Greenburg did some phenomenal reporting work for her fantastic new book on the Court, Supreme Conflict. But in a single breezy, casually tossed-off “Reporter’s Notebook” item, Greenhouse makes Greenburg look like a rank amateur.
We conduct a close reading of Greenhouse’s column, after the jump.
This morning brings some big news in the world of bankruptcy law. From the WSJ Law Blog:
You can go home again, especially if you’re Harvey Miller (at right). The legendary bankruptcy lawyer is expected to rejoin to Weil Gotshal, whose partners are scheduled to vote on his return tomorrow.
“I would be delighted to have Harvey back, but it’s premature at this stage to comment on his rejoining the firm until the partnership votes on the issue,” says Stephen Dannhauser, firm chair.
Before decamping to investment bank Greenhill & Co. in 2002, Miller had spent the previous 33 years at Weil, building its bankruptcy department into one of the most prominent debtor-side practices in the country.
And from a little bird (so consider this to be nothing more than rumor at this point):
It appears four bankruptcy partners are leaving Weil and moving to Cadwalader (apparently to swim in Bob Link’s shark tank and make the big $$$). Partners include Deryck Palmer, John Rapisardi, and George A. Davis.
Could the return of Harvey Miller to Weil be related to the (rumored) departures of these younger partners?
We are following up on this rumor and will let you know what we find out.
UPDATE: Harvey Miller’s return to Weil is official. The WGM press release is available here. A longer version of the release, which was circulated by email at Weil, appears after the jump.
Bankruptcy King Harvey Miller Expected to Rejoin Weil [WSJ Law Blog]
Here’s some juicy gossip about the case that everyone can’t stop talking about: Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. Some of this information has previously appeared elsewhere, but this letter nicely synthesizes everything.
It’s long, so we’ll post it in two parts. Here’s the first installment:
While I’ve hesitated until now to write, your coverage of Aaron Charney’s lawsuit has been extremely entertaining, if often wildly inaccurate.
Like many current and former associates at S&C, I’m torn between my indifference towards Aaron (who was standoffish at best and somewhat obnoxious at worst) and my recognition of some genuinely negative aspects of the firm as portrayed in his complaint. But ultimately I have to come down on the side of the firm, because from where I sit Aaron’s story — while it may be peppered with, or “larded”, with some actual facts — doesn’t really paint a picture of discrimination or retaliation.
First of all, I think the idea of S&C being anti-gay as an institution is completely laughable. I’ve even heard fellow associates express concern that — all other things being equal — being straight is a liability when it comes to making partner. I’ve never heard a homophobic, racist or sexist comment, although I’ve heard rumors of a few. It’s rumored as well that Aaron himself made a homophobic comment or two in his more deeply closeted days. Who knows. Maybe I just inspire caution in this regard.
The letter continues after the jump.
- Cyberlaw, David Hoffman, Free Speech, Media and Journalism, Racism, Rudeness, Sexual Harassment, Technology, Washington Post
Worth your time: this article, from the front page of today’s Washington Post, and this post, by Professor Dave Hoffman (who is quoted in the article).
Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web: Law Students Feel Lasting Effects of Anonymous Attacks [Washington Post]
Article on Xoxohth and Legal Gossip [Concurring Opinions]
This has nothing to do with Sectiongate. It’s actually about something of greater significance, if that can be believed.
Alex Angarita — a Harvard Law School graduate, former associate at O’Melveny & Myers, and star of the “Survivor: Fiji” reality TV show — has been arrested. From TMZ.com:
“Survivor: Fiji” star Alex Angarita faced off with a judge in Los Angeles County Superior Court today after cops claim he attacked a peace officer who responded to a 911 call on February 9.
According to the felony complaint, Angarita, a Harvard Law grad, “used threats and violence to deter and prevent” two officers from performing their duties. The 28-year-old reality star was charged with two felony counts of resisting arrest, one felony count of battery with injury on a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. It is unclear why the police were called, but the National Enquirer reports that Angarita was involved in a “brawl” with his girlfriend.
Angarita spent three hours behind bars at a Los Angeles County Jail, before he was released on $20,000 bail.
This explains why Yale Law School perennially edges out Harvard in those U.S. News and World Report surveys. YLS grads who compete in Survivor play to win — and stay out of trouble with the law.
(Hey Yul — don’t forget to declare the $1 million on your tax return.)
Cops Outwit, Outlast, Arrest “Violent” Reality Star [TMZ.com]
Alex Angarita bio [Survivor / CBS]