The second time was a charm. Constitutional crisis averted.
Okay, it was hardly a “constitutional crisis.” But it was probably wise to take a mulligan on the oath, to avoid crackpot claims of illegitimacy. In the words of law professor Jonathan Turley, who recommended retaking the oath:
He should probably go ahead and take the oath again. If he doesn’t, there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn’t meet the constitutional standard. I don’t think it’s necessary, and it’s not a constitutional crisis. This is the chief justice’s version of a wardrobe malfunction.
Turley seems to place blame for the screw-up on Chief Justice Roberts, as does CNN (see their headline below). Based on the results of yesterday’s reader poll, ATL readers concur.
Last night we wrote about some of the top-notch talent that will be filling senior legal positions in the Obama Administration. These are big names, and you probably also read about them in big publications, like the Legal Times or the Wall Street Journal.
ATL is willing to drill down deeper. We now bring you personnel news at more junior levels. If you graduated law school in the past 15 or even 10 years, you might actually know some of these people.
Our prior post focused on two of the most prestigious parts of the Department of Justice: the Solicitor General’s office, and the Office of Legal Counsel. We now turn our attention to two other top offices: the White House Counsel’s office, and the office of the Deputy Attorney General.
President Barack Obama has hit the ground running. Even before President Obama was done flubbing taking the oath of office, the revamped White House website was launched. You can check the WH website, including the new “Briefing Room” blog, for news of notable nominations and appointments.
A few more names have surfaced since then. Some of them pertain to the Office of Legal Counsel, the most prestigious DOJ component to work for other than the Solicitor General’s office (and arguably more powerful). We once dubbed OLC the Finishing School for the Elect:
If you don’t land a Supreme Court clerkship that immediately follows your feeder judge clerkship, cool your heels at the OLC, then reapply to the Court. Success is practically guaranteed!
As previously reported, with the Senate’s consent, the headmistress of the Finishing School will be Dawn Johnsen (pictured). Professor Johnsen teaches law at Indiana University – Bloomington and served at OLC during the Clinton Administration, as Acting Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Assistant Attorney General, so she is well-prepared for the job. When we spoke at IU almost two years ago, students we met were already speculating that Professor Johnsen — described as a “brilliant” scholar, even if not the clearest or most effective classroom teacher — might someday return to government.
Since President Obama is a former legal academic, it should come as no surprise that he’s recruiting so many law profs to join the upper echelons of his administration. The marquee names of Kagan, Sunstein, Johnsen, Barron and Lederman will also be joined by one of the brightest young stars of the legal firmament: Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal (pictured), of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld fame. As reported by the Legal Times (via the WSJ Law Blog), wunderkind Katyal has been tapped to serve as Elena Kagan’s right-hand man, principal deputy solicitor general.
For a comprehensive listing of the top legal eagles in the Obama Administration, see this handy round-up over at the BLT. As you can see, these are big, boldface names — gods and goddesses of our profession. Congratulations and good luck to all of them (not that they’ll need it).
We’ll have more hiring news — including items about less celestial beings, more junior lawyers, people you might actually know — in subsequent posts. If you have info to share, please email us. Thanks.
Update: Add Harvard’s Einer Elhauge to the list of legal academics bound for the Obama Administration. Details via Brian Leiter.
As we type this, our fingers are still thawing from standing in the cold on the National Mall during today’s inauguration. The number of people willing to brave the cold was impressive. Every time President Barack Obama appeared on a jumbotron screen, the crowd went crazy with shouts of “O-bam-a” and “Yes, we did.”
The crowd quieted down in order to hear Obama take the oath of office. But what followed was a bit confusing. SCOTUS Chief Justice and now-President Barack Obama appeared to be talking over one another. In the crowd, people started asking, “Who screwed it up?”
The Constitution prescribes the text: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will to best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
But Chief Justice John Roberts, using no notes, flubbed his lines, and Obama knew it.
First, Obama jumped in before the “do solemnly swear” phrase, which seemed to throw the chief justice off his stride. Roberts rendered the next phrase as “that I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully.”
“That I will execute,” Obama repeated, then paused like a school teacher prompting his student with a slight nod. Roberts took another shot at it: “The off … faithfully the pres … the office of President of the United States.”
Is there a little pro-Obama bias there? We’re not so sure Roberts is totally to blame. As one ATL commenter says:
First Flub: Obama. Roberts proceeds with the swearing in and Obama jumps the gun before Roberts gets done. Second Flub: Roberts.
* The Madoff case will garner lawyers lots of money in fees. “This is a financial 9/11 for our clients” said a Proskauer Rose litigation partner, licking his lips. [Bloomberg.com]
* Meanwhile, the U.S. is challenging the New York Judge’s decision to keep Madoff free on bail. [Bloomberg.com]
* Legislators in Maine are introducing a bill that would recognize same-sex marriage. [The Boston Globe]
* Obama and Biden will visit the Supreme Court this afternoon to meet with the Justices and get a tour. The elephant in the chambers: Obama and Biden voted against Roberts’ confirmation. [The Washington Post]
* Al Franken asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to let him get to the Senate without waiting for the resolution of opponent Norm Coleman’s legal challenge. His lawyers argue that Senator’s will need Franken for comic relief in the midst of our trying times (just kidding). [The Associated Press]
* Dozens of suspected terrorists released from Guantanamo have returned to terrorism says the Pentagon (gulp). [CNN]
More than three thousand ballots were cast, but there can be only one Lawyer of the Year.
Starting at the bottom, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich may not have hit the very lowest point in Chicago political history, but he did manage to get the lowest tally in our vote, with only 96 supporters.
Harvard Law Avenger Phil Telfeyan was a close second-to-last in your esteem, with a mere 110 votes.
Judge Halverson rounded out the bottom three at 167 votes.
That makes THREE! THREE! THREE candidates who did worse than Count Layoffula! HA! HA! HA! (He received a total of 233 votes.)
Listen dude, you really want the Spitzer? Apparently not. The prosecutor-turned-commentator came up only average in our slate of nominees, with 288 votes.
Nervous T-10 1L may not have found a job this year, but he touched the hearts of 428 voters, landing him in the Final Four.
Marc Dreier — if that’s his real name — swindled up 485 ballots, more votes than disgraced governors Eliot Spitzer and Rod Blagojevich combined. Way to rock the scandal vote, sir. You’re the Second Runner-Up for the 2008 ATL Lawyer of the Year.
That leaves us with the final two. Will last year’s runner-up, President-elect Barack Obama, finally be Number That One? Or will The Anonymous Laid-Off Big Firm Attorney finally get something to soothe his pain? (Elie won’t share his pot.)
Find out who will be crowned the 2008 ATL Lawyer of the Year, after the jump.
Today, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case about whether Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as President of the United States.
With no public discussion or debate, the Court ignored Donofrio v. Wells — and didn’t bother to explain themselves.
Apparently, the Court takes Justice Thomas about as seriously as the rest of us. According to SCOTUSblog:
In a brief order, the Court, as expected, turned aside a New Jersey voter’s plea for the Court to determine if President-elect Barack Obama was qualified to run for the White House — that is whether he was a “natural born citizen.” The stay application came in the case of Donofrio v. Wells, Secretary of State of New Jersey (08A407). This marked the second time in recent weeks for the Court to turn aside such a challenge; the first came on Nov. 3, in Berg v. Obama (08A391). The Court, in neither instance, gave reasons for turning down the applications. In neither case did the Court seek a reponse, thus indicating it had little interest in either or had found them to be completely without merit.
After the jump, was there a cognizable point to all of this?
* Barack Obama has promised to close Guantanamo Bay, but what is going to happen to the most dangerous inmates? Should they be released anyway? What legal basis can the U.S. use to keep them captive? [Bloomberg.com]
* Roman Polanski — the Academy Award-winning director of Rosemary’s Baby, who admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in Jack Nicolson’s house in 1977 — has asked a judge to dismiss his case. Polanski fled to London 30 years ago to avoid a prison sentence and has been a fugitive ever since. [Los Angeles Times]
* The Republican victory in Georgia of Senate incumbent Saxby Chambliss means that the Democrats will not have a flibibuster-proof majority of 60 in the Senate. The Democrats now hold 58 of the 100 senate seats. The Minnesota senate race is still undecided. [The Guardian]
* A Massachusetts couple’s suit over their public school’s response to their five-year old’s complaint of sexual harassment on her school bus has raised some interesting constitutional questions for the U.S. Supreme Court. [New York Times]
* The SCOTUS also sent a murder case back to the Ninth Circuit for reconsideration. The case involved a 16-year-old robber who killed a gas station attendant in a robbery that garnered him $150. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* For love of the law…and video games. A 26-year-old lawyer at Sheppard Mullin manages a 20-person team that deal with mergers, licensing contracts, and other legal transactions that fuel the game industry. Imagine how fun it would be to crash one of their office parties — there is nothing sexier than a lawyer who loves video games. [Los Angeles Times]
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.