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Posts by Marin

You don’t have to be a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars to have predicted that Warner Bros. — the company that produces Two and a Half Angry Men and, not un-coincidentally, Looney Tunes — would fire Charlie Sheen from the show. And on Monday, that’s exactly what happened. Writing on behalf of Warner Bros., Munger Tolles (specifically, partner John Spiegel) fired off an 11-page letter immediately axing Charlie from Two and a Half Laughs, Ever Men.

But even if someone wields a machete from a roof or requests a battle in the Octagon, you can’t necessarily fire him for cause just because he’s crazy. For instance, Tom Cruise jumps on couches and he has gone on to not be fired from several lackluster movies, most notably Valkyrie. Warner Bros. needs cause to fire Charlie under his $1.8 million per episode contract, and in the letter, they offer up a kitchen sink of it.

A lot rides on the outcome here: if Charlie prevails in arbitration and proves that Warner Bros did not have cause to fire him, he stands to get paid for the ten remaining episodes in the show’s ninth (!!) season. And if the reports are accurate, he also has a “Michael J. Fox” clause in his contract, which specifically permits a washed-up 80s actor to continue to draw paychecks from humorless sitcoms that remain in production after the actor has left the show to fade into obscurity – a hold over from the days when Sheen replaced Fox in Spin City and Fox continued to get paid. If Warner Bros. prevails, they may seek 10 episodes worth of lost revenue from Charlie, though admittedly it will be difficult to convince an arbitrator that anybody watches the show, must less pays to advertise on it.

In any event, down to brass tacks. Here are the various allegations Warner Bros. makes in the termination letter to assert that they have cause to fire Charlie under his contract, along with my evaluation of their merits….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Charlie Sheen’s Bitchin’ Termination Letter”

In the comments to Elie’s Sugar Mama post from yesterday, which chronicles the woes of a female Biglaw associate who is being harassed by coworkers for affiancing (KABLAM: Princeton Review Hit Parade) a Starbucks barista “peasant,” Bonobo_Bro wrote:

Not bad big guy (other than the usual typo issues which must be intentional); however, I really think you should’ve handled this pls handle thx style because I’d love to see Marin’s opinion of women with lower income life partners.

Rex and either thirty-six other anonymous internet trolls or one troll logging on from 36 different computers liked this comment. My mandate was clear. The people thirsted for my response…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In Defense of Tommy, Who Used to Work on the Docks”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear ATL,

I’m in my last year of law school and will be taking the bar this summer. I was wondering if you had some advice on the necessity of a bar review course. The opinions I’ve received from friends who have passed the bar has been split. They all say that it helped keep them “on pace” or “forced them to study” which I’m frankly not worried about. Is there going to be enough new law in one year to sink your bar exam if you’re studying from the previous year’s materials?

— Pay to Play

Dear Pay to Play,

Upon realizing that Suze Orman’s Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke was not itself filled with money, I recently sat down with a “financial advisor”…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Do You Need to Take a Bar Review Course?”

This would not be happening if Leo McGarry were still alive.

When Charlie Sheen heard the news that Charlie Sheen was found naked and coked out of his mind in a trashed suite at the Plaza with a porn star hooker locked in the bathroom, Charlie Sheen knew he had to do something drastic – something epic – to top himself. 

Last week, the Two and a Half Men whacktor reasoned that the best way to supercharge the party was simply to multiply the coke, hookers and party duration by a factor of three. Here are the allegations, from TMZ:

Charlie Sheen had a “briefcase full of cocaine” delivered to his home — and was using large amounts of the drug during the 36-hour bender that landed him in the hospital … this according to a source inside the house….

We’re told Sheen had several people inside his home during the 36-hour span that started Tuesday night — including 2 porn stars, a business associate, and several other women….

Sheen was eventually hospitalized early Thursday morning for “severe abdominal pain.”

Charlie was released from celebrity hospital Ceders-Sinai last Thursday and is now spending his time rehabbing… his job, by writing public apologies to CBS and Warner Bros, and promising them he’ll be healed and back to work by the end of February. A number of sites have wondered how the 16 million blind and deaf fans who rely on Charlie, a fat, zitty teenager and some other talentless hack to make them laugh every week are going to survive while the show is on production hiatus. But I have an idea. Kill yourself…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Martin Sheen to Seek Conservatorship Over Charlie? (Or: Not Another Charlie Sheen Post)”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear ATL,

I’m an associate at a mid-sized law firm, and I recently received an offer from a much larger and more prestigious firm. I’ve decided to accept. My question is: should I ask for a signing bonus, and if so, how large? The salary bump from what I’m earning right now is already huge, so I feel greedy asking for more, especially in this economy. But if I can get it, why not, right?

— Money Never Sleeps

Dear Money Never Sleeps,

Here’s a sample of some of the items that landed in my inbox this week: One reader wanted to know whether to ask the firm where she was contracting at to upgrade her to associate. Somebody else requested an opinion on whether law school was still a bad idea given that he currently makes $16,000 a year and manages a coffee shop. And, my passive-aggressive personal finance site, emailed me to “let me know” that I was over budget for “Alcohol & Entertainment” expenditures in January. And then I received your question. Yeah….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Should You Ask for Lateral Signing Bonuses?”

By now you’ve probably watched or seen an ad for MTV Skins, a fictional show about, well… I’ll let MTV explain this gem:

Skins is a wild ride through the lives of a group of high school friends stumbling through the mine field of adolescence… and stepping on most of the mines as they go….

Be it sex, drugs, the breadth of friendships or the depth of heartbreaks, Skins is an emotional mosh-pit that slams through the insanity of teenage years.

Picture My So-Called Life with seedier plots, despicable characters  and more drugs, alcohol and indiscriminate sex than you can shake an H&M blazer at.

Doesn’t sound that bad, right?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Is MTV’s ‘Skins’ Child Porn?”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear ATL:

I work in a fairly specialized litigation sub-field in a suburban market. The bar of attorneys who do what I do around where I am is therefore a pretty small and cutthroat group that hasn’t exactly emphasized “civility” in recent years.

I found out that a lawyer who’s one of my firm’s regular adversaries recently died. It wasn’t a big surprise; he’d been sick and in the hospital for some time, plus he was pushing 65-70. The thing is, he was (and his law partner still is) a gigantic asshole. He’d engage in frivolous tactics to rack up billables and then cut clients loose as soon as they couldn’t pay anymore. He’d insult other lawyers, including judges, in correspondence and at depositions. He’d condescend to women and junior attorneys. He even once wrote a smear piece about my firm as an op-ed in the local bar newsletter.

All this is to say, I know one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I’m not exactly grieving. There’s going to be a memorial service, but I’m not exactly sure what to do in this situation. Should I go and at least make an appearance, and duck out at the earliest opportunity? Would it be bad form not to go, because the legal community in my practice area is so small? Should I just send a card? Or should I go and secretly gloat?

— Left Behind

Dear Left Behind,

When it comes to death and funerals, there is no right or wrong. People grieve in their own way, and sometimes not at all, particularly if the deceased was a truly horrible person…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Requiem for a Rival Attorney?”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear ATL:

I am a graduate of a T3 law school.  I was on a law journal, successfully competed in moot court competitions (regional and national) and loved my clinical experience during my third year of law school.  Basically, I love the courtroom, want to be a litigator, and have seriously been searching for a public interest job for a longtime.  It just hasn’t happened yet.

However, recently I had the opportunity to interview with BigLaw.  It’s a Vault50 firm, with an excellent reputation (like I need to say that). However, the offer I received was for a non-legal position, in the litigation support arm of the firm.  The pay isn’t great, but it’s almost in line with what most new lawyers are making anyway (those who aren’t going straight to BigLaw from OCI).  Is this a smart career choice?  Does the networking opportunity outweigh the cons of the position?  I’m just not sure if it’s smart to wait for a real lawyer gig, or take this position and run with it, and be the best non-lawyer I can be at the law firm.  Thoughts, comments, advice?

— Oliver Twist

Dear Oliver Twist….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Are Non-Lawyer Jobs Career Suicide for JDs?”

Let’s face it: the best thing about dying is that you are reunited with your loved ones on a puffy cloud get to control people from beyond the grave. I don’t look forward to dying, but the one thing that brings me comfort is knowing that my funeral playlist will be epic, as I’ve taken the liberty of including it in my will (Thong Song, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Red Red Wine, Mambo #5, etc.).

Elizabeth Edwards, who died on December 7th after losing her battle with breast cancer, didn’t exactly pull a Leona Helmsley, screw her children and leave nearly everything to her dog. But she did exact revenge on her cheating, megalomaniac estranged husband:

Elizabeth Edwards left everything to her children, with no mention of her estranged husband, John Edwards, in her will.

“All of my furniture, furnishings, household goods, jewelry, china, silverware and personal effects and any automobiles … to be divided among them …” Edwards says in the document dated December 1.

Yowza. Not even an “I acknowledge my husband, John Edwards, whom I intentionally omit from this will” put in for good measure. In the words of MTV’s best dating show: John, You Are Dismissed…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fame Brief: Elizabeth Edwards’ Parting Gift to John”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to

Dear ATL,

I am an assistant clerk at a state court.  I graduated in May 2010 and worked hard to find a decent job after taking the July bar.  I have noticed over my past few months that a co-worker, also a 2010 law school graduate, has told at least a few pro se parties and attorneys in the court that he is a lawyer.  This would be fine except for the fact that he has not taken the bar in any state.  It particularly annoys me because I am a graduate of a top tier school in the same state as his third tier school and I have taken and passed the bar in two states while he seems to have spent the summer doing nothing.  I only inform attorneys and parties that I am a licensed attorney when specifically asked because the court is suppose to stay neutral and we are not allowed to give legal advice.  I recently tired to point out to him that he is not a licensed attorney and should not tell or imply to people that he is.  He made some BS distinction between a lawyer and an attorney that made it ok for him to say he’s a lawyer.  Need less to say I’m didn’t buy it.  I cannot believe that the parties contacting our office with questions would understand the difference between his definition of lawyer and attorney….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: The Informant”

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