* New accounting rules for M&A. [DealBook]
* Lilly contemplates $1 billion payment to settle civil and criminal investigations relating to its marketing of Zyprexa. [New York Times]
* NYPD officer accused of pimping child. [MSNBC]
* Ex-priest jailed for murder via exorcism. [CNN]
* Indiana man arrested for making his own crosswalk. [The Indy Channel]
* Nader takes steps toward another run for the presidency in 2008. [Bloomberg]
* New accounting rules for M&A. [DealBook]
- Bad Ideas, Drinking, DUI / DWI, Lawyer of the Day, Rank Stupidity, Reader Polls, Rudeness, Sex Scandals
Last week was a busy one in terms of bonus news. In addition, we were prevented from publishing as much as we wanted by technical difficulties (which lie outside the jurisdiction of your undersigned blogger, a mere writer and not a tech person).
Our recent neglect of the “misbehaving lawyers” beat has given rise to a backlog of possible Lawyers of the Day. We’ve decided to clear the backlog by tossing out five nominees and having you vote on who should get the honor.
Click on each lawyer’s name to read more about their alleged misadventures. Then vote on who should be our Lawyer of the Day.
1. Todd Paris: This North Carolina lawyer was held in contempt after a judge caught him reading Maxim [quasi-NSFW] in court. “When [Judge Kevin] Eddinger gave Paris a chance to respond he apologized and ‘stated in his view the magazine was not pornography, was available at local stores and that he did not intend contempt,’ the [contempt] order said.”
2. Beth Modica: “A former suburban prosecutor and PTA president had sex with two underage boys, joined many other teens in booze and pot parties and kept it all a secret from her police chief husband, officials said Tuesday. Beth Modica, 44, was indicted on 35 counts alleging statutory rape, criminal sex acts, sex abuse and endangering children. Wearing an olive-gray suit and handcuffs, she pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Rockland County Court and was ordered held on $75,000 bail.”
3. Mikal Hanson: “Pierre police early Thursday morning arrested an assistant U.S. attorney, who is accused of drunken driving and speeding. Mikal Hanson, 52, an assistant U.S. attorney in Sioux Falls, was stopped by police shortly before 1 a.m. for speeding, said Pierre Police Chief Elton Blemaster. The arresting officer could smell alcohol on Hanson and asked him to perform field sobriety tests, Blemaster said. ‘Mr. Hanson didn’t complete them as instructed,’ he said.”
4. Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer: “Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer is under investigation by the Law Society of British Columbia for allegedly overbilling one of her legal clients, including charging for 30 hours of work in a single day…. Jaffer has been called before the law society to account for more than $6 million in legal bills charged to her former client, a Catholic missionary order known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.”
5. Jay Grodner: From the Chicago Tribune (via Blackfive.net):
Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine’s car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, finally got his day in court last week. Grodner pleaded guilty in a Chicago courtroom packed with former Marines. They came to support Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty, whose car Grodner defaced in December, but who couldn’t attend because he’s preparing for his second tour in Iraq….
“You caused damage to this young Marine sergeant’s car because you were offended by his Marine Corps license plates,” said Judge [William] O’Malley….
“That’s because there is a little principle that the Marine Corps has had since 1775,” the judge continued. “When they fought and lost their lives so that people like you could enjoy the freedom of this country. It is a little proverb that we follow: “No Marine is left behind.
“So Sgt. McNulty couldn’t be here. But other Marines showed up in his stead. Take him away,” said the judge and former Marine.
So those are the five contestants. Here’s the poll:
Defendants in deep doo-doo come up with all sorts of innovative defenses. Last week, we learned that fashion mogul Dov Charney, accused of sexually harassing a former employee, claimed in a deposition that when he appeared before the plaintiff wearing nothing but a strategically placed sock, he was merely testing a new line of underwear.
But this is even more dubious. At a murder trial underway in New York, a father accused of killing his seven-year-old stepdaughter has introduced into evidence a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug she once bought for him.
If the mug has writing on it, you must acquit.
‘World’s Greatest Dad’ Mug Seen In Nixzmary Trial [wcbstv.com]
Implausible defense department [Overlawyered]
The tipster who forwarded this invite to us pretty much said it all: “Weil: Are you joking?”
Weil is currently ranked #9 on the Vault 100. How many spots should they be docked for this?
(In case you’re wondering, yes, we did contact the firm for comment. We did not hear back from them.)
WEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES — INVITATION TO DIVERSITY RECEPTION FEATURING STAR JONES
Please join us at our diversity reception for first year law students next Tuesday, January 22nd! Please also note that the time for the reception has changed to 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
Our guest speaker, Star Jones, will be arriving at 6:00pm to mingle, so plan to be there early! Further details are below.
For those of you who cannot view the JPEG, here are the details for the event:
Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Special Guest Speaker: Star Jones of truTV (formerly Court TV)
RSVP by Friday, January 18 to [xxxx] or (212) 833-[xxxx]
Legal Recruiting Coordinator
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
767 Fifth Avenue
Star Jones Reynolds [Wikipedia]
Star Jones [official website]
As you know, here at ATL we have a weakness for lawyers who pose in the nude. So today’s pick for Lawyer of the Day should surprise no one. From Legal Blog Watch:
Remember the racy billboard ads posted by Chicago law firm Fetman, Garland & Associates that raised so much controversy last spring? The ads featured two photographs, centered on the chest of a scantily clad man and woman with the slug line, “Life’s Short. Get A Divorce.”
Now, one of the firm’s principals, Corri Fetman, has revealed something else about her firm’s revealing ads. In this press release issued today, we learn that “the sexy female in the ads is none other than Corri herself.” Fetman first shared “the naked truth” about the ads in the February 2008 issue of Playboy, which includes another law firm ad, a “provocative nude pictorial of Corri” and a new online column by Fetman, entitled Lawyer of Love.
Carolyn Elefant disapproves:
[I thought] that Fetman’s billboard ad was an effective form of advertising, because it made a point clearly, provoked an emotional response and generated buzz. But the nude spread in Playboy goes too far. As a pure marketing ploy, I’m hard pressed to figure out what kind of clients Fetman is trying to target by posing nude in Playboy.
Horny male ones? Surely men in need of matrimonial counsel are disproportionately represented among the ranks of Playboy readers.
Elefant anticipates this argument:
Even if her spread did generate some decent clients, Fetman would spend hundreds of hours culling through all kinds of calls from various perverts and weirdos contacting her for reasons other than aggressive legal representation.
Hehe. Hey Beavis. She said “aggressive legal representation.”
Lawyer With Racy Divorce Ads Exposed — Literally! [Legal Blog Watch]
‘Life’s Short, Get a Divorce’ Attorney Corri Fetman Bares All for Playboy.com [EarthTimes.org (press release)]
Corri D. Fetman bio [Fetman, Garland & Associates]
- Bad Ideas, Blogging, Drudge Report, Law Professors, Law Schools, Movies, Non-Sequiturs, Politics, Tax Law
* News you can use: under the “Free File” program, opening tomorrow, the IRS and its private-sector partners will provide free tax preparation and electronic filing services to qualifying taxpayers (AGI of $54,000 or less — sorry, Biglaw denizens). [TaxProf Blog]
* The law school essay question: an unrecognized art form? [PrawfsBlawg]
* Practice pointer: don’t “recreate” correspondence to use as evidence in your case. Dramatic reenactments belong on television, not in court. [Feminist Law Professors]
* We just got called “the Matt Drudge of the legal world.” Our thanks to Neil Squillante for making our day. Now where did we put our animated siren GIF? [TechnoLawyer]
The firm of Dewey Ballantine was never known for being particularly PC. From a 2004 article by Anthony Lin, for the New York Law Journal:
Nearly one year after lawyers at Dewey Ballantine infuriated members of the Asian-American community by performing a stereotype-laden parody song at their annual dinner, the law firm is again dealing with allegations of racial insensitivity….
On Monday, an employee sent a firmwide e-mail advertising the availability of some puppies for adoption. Douglas Getter, a London-based American who heads Dewey Ballantine’s European mergers and acquisitions practice then sent a firmwide reply.
“Please don’t let these puppies go to a Chinese restaurant!” Getter wrote in his e-mail.
Now Dewey has merged with LeBoeuf Lamb. Happily, it appears their firm cultures are a good match. Check out this email exchange appearing below — and note that Partner X came from the LeBoeuf Lamb side of the marriage….
The ethical rules governing advertising by lawyers are designed in large part to protect the public from misleading pitches. But maybe it’s the lawyers who need protecting — from themselves.
If these lawyers scratch themselves inappropriately during meetings, or hog the cold cuts at lunch, don’t say they didn’t warn you.
Magilla Gorilla, Esq. [copyranter]
Earlier: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My — Is It a Law Firm Ad Campaign?
Wondering where to spend New Year’s Eve this year? Well, if you’re in New York City, do you have any friends over at Skadden? Surely you must. Considering that the firm recently passed the 2,000 attorney mark, everyone has friends at Skadden (if they don’t work there themselves).
From an internal email by “New York office guru” Wally Schwartz, posted at the Skadden Insider blog:
Since our 4 Times Square office is located in such close proximity to New York City’s New Year’s Eve celebration many employees have rung in the New Year by viewing the festivities from our offices. For the most part these gatherings have been enjoyable and appropriate. However, during last year’s celebration there were several problems caused by an excessive number of guests, and, in some cases, excessive drinking.
[T]he following policies are being implemented for this year’s celebration:
Each employee is limited to inviting a maximum of three guests, each of whom must be registered with security….
Guests must be accompanied, or met, by their Skadden host in order to be admitted.
No alcohol will be permitted.
A New Year’s Eve celebration without booze? That sucks.
Moral of the story: If you’re spending New Year’s Eve at SASMF, get royally trashed before showing up at Four Times Square.
No vodka in the Skadden lemonade [Skadden Insider]
Did you hire a Hogan and Hartson senior partner for bet the company liltigation? Was your case handled by a junior lawyer instead of the senior partner you thought you were paying for? Call 800-759-8611.
Well, Peter Lattman and the WSJ Law Blog have gotten to the bottom of this oddness. It turns out the ads, which ran in print as well as on the radio, were financed by a company called General Steel. Earlier this year, General Steel sued Hogan, alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. From the Law Blog:
In July a judge in Denver dismissed all but one of the claims against Hogan and sent the remaining claim — essentially a fee dispute — to arbitration. Hogan says General Steel owes the firm around $300,000; General Steel wants its money back and more. Click here for the judge’s order; and here for the judge’s order denying General Steel’s motion for reconsideration. General Steel is also appealing the judge’s ruling.
Hogan & Hartson says it’s not surprised by the Times ad, which has also run in D.C. newspapers (and on the radio). During the settlement negotiations, Hogan says that Knight had threatened a “shock and awe” campaign against Hogan if it didn’t pay General Steel money to settle its claims.
We are “shock[ed] and awe[d]” — by the tackiness of General Steel. If we’re ever in the market for prefabricated commercial steel buildings, they’re definitely not getting our business.
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Dissatisfied Hogan & Hartson Client [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Remember Those Weird Radio Ads Mentioning Hogan & Hartson?
Lawsuit of the Day: Have You Been Injured… By Hogan & Hartson?