Blogging

Jonas Blank Skadden Arps Above the Law blog.jpgRemember Jonas Blank? He was the fellow who, while working at Skadden Arps as a summer associate in 2003, sent out this infamous email:

“I’m busy doing jack shit. Went to a nice 2hr sushi lunch today at Sushi Zen. Nice place. Spent the rest of the day typing emails and bullshitting with people. Unfortunately, I actually have work to do — I’m on some corp finance deal, under the global head of corp finance, which means I should really peruse these materials and not be a fuckup…”

“So yeah, Corporate Love hasn’t worn off yet… But just give me time…”

Despite this problematic email — which he meant to send to one friend, but instead sent to the firm’s entire underwriting group, partners included — Blank went on to full-time employment at Skadden after graduating from Harvard Law.

After several (no doubt thrilling) years at Skadden, Blank — accurately described by the New Yorker as “handsome” (see photo) — is moving on.* As reported by the Skadden Insider blog, next month Blank will be starting work as an associate at Richards, Kibbe & Orbe. We wish him the best of luck.

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, check out Skadden Insider, which started up in January. Here is its mission statement:

Welcome to the Skadden Insider, a blog created to collect and pass along (and sometimes comment on) the gossip and news making its way through the halls of a certain law firm’s offices. Whether its New York, Boston, Washington DC or Palo Alto, Skadden Insider will be your place to read the latest.

May similar blogs sprout up for every large law firm in the land! Especially Sullivan & Cromwell.

* If it appears in the New Yorker, you KNOW it’s true, because their fact-checking process is second-to-none. For purposes of this Talk of the Town item, a New Yorker fact-checker asked us: “Is it fair to say that you have ‘a boyish face’?” So presumably some recent Ivy League grad with literary aspirations had to ask Jonas Blank: “Do you consider yourself to be handsome?”

Jonas Has Left the Building [Skadden Insider]
OOPS [New Yorker / Talk of the Town]
Jonas Blank [Friendster]

Solengo Capital Dealbreaker Above the Law blog.jpgOur big sibling, the Wall Street tabloid DealBreaker.com, obtained and posted a promotional brochure for Solengo Capital, the new hedge fund being launched by former traders at the ill-fated Amaranth Advisors. Amaranth, you may recall, accomplished the impressive feat of losing $6 billion in a single week, before breathing its last.
Apparently the Solengo Capital folks weren’t thrilled about the free publicity. After DealBreaker didn’t comply with its request to take down the brochure, Solengo had its lawyers at Kobra Kai Kobre & Kim send out a mean letter. And that’s where things currently stand (no summons and complaint just yet).
Update: It looks like that lawsuit is on its way.
Anyway, if you have some free legal advice thoughts to offer on this matter, we welcome them in the comments.
P.S. As for why Solengo is so hot ‘n bothered over all this, here’s one theory.
Solengo Capital coverage (scroll down) [DealBreaker]
Ex-Amaranth traders ask blogs to remove materials [Reuters]

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgAs some of you may have noticed, we have fallen hopelessly behind in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. We’re over a month behind. We were hoping to catch up, but we’ve now reached the point where we must admit defeat.
(Do any of you hoard newspapers or magazines that you tell yourself you’ll read “eventually”? And then the pile just gets bigger and bigger, until you finally have to admit that it’s not happening, and take them all down to recycling? We’ve reached that point with LEWW.)
So here’s the thing. As one of you suggested in a comment, we’re putting Legal Eagle Wedding Watch on hiatus. It probably won’t be permanent, but it will likely last at least until the summer months, when lawyer weddings (and weddings generally) go into full swing.
But here’s one possibility we’ll leave open. If we can find a writer who would be willing to take over authorship of LEWW from us, then we will gladly hand over the column to him or her, starting now.
If you might be interested in writing Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, please email us (subject line: “LEWW Application”). Please tell us a little bit about yourself and explain why you’d be the ideal writer for this column. You can write under your own name or a pseudonym. And if you have ideas for taking the column in a different direction, changing the scoring system, etc., that’s fine too — we’d love to hear them. Thanks!

We find this hard to believe, but there are people out there who are even more obsessed than we are with law clerks. Like this person.
The lists are not complete, and the information could be presented in a more user-friendly fashion. But we suspect that some of you will find this blog very interesting anyway. And it certainly has great potential as a future resource — a la the fantastic Wikipedia listing of Supreme Court law clerks.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this site going forward.
I Seek Validation Through Clerkship Placement [main page]

Janet Reno hairstyles Above the Law blog.jpgA friendly warning to Peter Lattman and the WSJ Law Blog: “Hey guys, step off our turf!”
In a post this morning comparing President Bush’s purge of U.S. Attorneys with President Clinton’s, the WSJ Law Blog includes the graphic at right, showing three different WSJ “hedcuts” of former Attorney General Janet Reno. They pose the following “Law Blog Bonus Question”: “Which of Reno’s three dot-drawings do you prefer?”
Despite the attempt to mask the inquiry as focused on “dot-drawings,” we see this post for what it really is. It’s a clear incursion into our blogging territory: evolving hairstyles of legal celebrities (e.g., Judge Janice Rogers Brown).
So back off, guys! We leave the options backdating and Vioxx litigation to you. Why can’t you leave the hair and make-up of former AGs to us?
WSJ Law Blog readers agree with us. Right now there are a ton of comments to the post, but only two address the “Bonus Question” — which one of them criticizes as “rather inappropriate.”
Inappropriate for an MSM blog about “law and business, and the business of law”? Sure. But certainly not inappropriate for an online legal tabloid.
Time for a poll. We know that ATL readers are very knowledgeable about hair. But just to be perfectly clear, in the graphic at right, the hairstyles are (left to right) Janet With a Perm, Janet With a Part, and Janet With Bangs.


Bush’s U.S. Attorney Purge Vs. President Clinton’s . . . Discuss [WSJ Law Blog]

Miami 3 Above the Law legal tabloid blog.JPGWe’re still here in sun-kissed Miami, where we enjoyed meeting a small but lively group at yesterday’s happy hour. In a few hours, though, we’ll be heading back up to our home base in Washington, DC — where, sadly enough, we don’t enjoy vistas like the one at right.
Before we leave, here’s a final bit of local color (like yesterday’s post about that jailed court reporter — who was, by the way, released from jail last night). Today’s story concerns a dispute between a local blogger and a local MSM outlet.
David Oskar Markus, who writes the excellent Southern District of Florida Blog, recently reported that Judge Shelby Highsmith (S.D. Fla.) would be retiring at the end of the year (and declining criminal cases, which is his prerogative as a senior judge, as of March).
Then Julie Kay, of the Daily Business Review, did a little follow-up. She wrote a quasi-catty item saying that Markus was wrong, at least about Judge Highsmith retiring by the end of the year. (She confirmed that the judge will be going off the criminal wheel as of this month.)
In accuracy spats such as this one, people usually place their bets on the MSM. But based on things we’ve heard hither and thither, we’re going to go out on a limb here and predict that, as reported by David Markus, Judge Highsmith will step down from the bench by the end of 2007.
If you have any inside information on the good judge’s plans, feel free to share them with us. Thanks.
Judge Shelby Highsmith to retire [Southern District of Florida Blog]
From the Courts: Justice Watch [Daily Business Review]
Blog Controversy [Southern District of Florida Blog]

* Is he a journalist? Well, he’s done the time, so let’s give him credit for the crime. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* It’s for a slightly different reason this time, but the U.S. still self-righteously refuses to run for seat on the UN Human Rights Council. [Jurist]
* I’m not sure I’d even put a mop in her hand; this woman is dangerous. [CNN]
* Hagel to announce ’08 plans. [AP via Yahoo!]
* I’ve heard of someone getting “killed” in court, but it’s usually a metaphor. [WSJ Law Blog]

All About Eve 2 Linda Greenhouse Jan Crawford Greenburg Jan Greenburg Jan Greenberg Jan Crawford Greenberg Above the Law.JPGWe 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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Greenhouse v. Greenburg: This Queen Bee Will Not Buzz Off”

Federal Judges on a Plane.jpgSome time ago, we posted an anecdote about the family travel mishaps of Judge Marsha Berzon, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Many ATL readers enjoyed the story. But Judge Berzon’s colleague, Judge Alex Kozinski — one of the federal judiciary’s most brilliant thinkers and talented writers — was less pleased. He sent us an open letter criticizing the story and our decision to publish it.
We posted Judge Kozinski’s letter here, and we promised a more detailed response.
We intended to publish a response much earlier. But having to respond to a benchslapping at the hands of a brilliant federal judge tends to induce “writer’s block.” Who’d have thunk it?
Anyway, we finally got over our writer’s block. Our response appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Response to Judge Alex Kozinski”

NYLS 13 James Lindgren Jim Lindgren Randy Barnett Randy E Barnett Volokh Conspiracy Cameron Stracher Above the Law.JPG
A pair of Volokh Conspirators, Professors James Lindgren and Randy Barnett, at last week’s NYLS conference on writing about the law. Inset: Professor Cameron Stracher, who organized the symposium.
In our write-up of the NYLS conference panel on law reviews, we offered the following fashion commentary:

Professors Barnett and Stracher are both rockin’ the “downtown auteur” look: black or dark blue suit, dark collarless shirt, no tie. Not bad in a vacuum, but unfortunate that they’re on the same panel with the same look (except as to the color of their shirts).

Professor Barnett has taken issue with our observations. He claims that he was wearing a crewneck shirt, while Professor Stracher was wearing a turtleneck — and that “a world of difference” exists between the two.
We pulled out our photographs of Professors Barnett and Stracher. Professor Barnett is clearly wearing a crew neck — the same crew neck he’s wearing in his website photo, it seems. But we couldn’t tell the type of Professor Stracher’s collar (above inset).
So we looked up Professor Ann Althouse’s more detailed photograph of Professor Stracher (together with yours truly). Yep, that’s a turtleneck (although a relatively short one).
We apologize to Professor Barnett, and we regret the error.
In addition, Professor Lindgren wanted to clarify his choice of a button-down shirt (for which we criticized him). He explained that he has several levels of sartorial formality, and he deliberately chose a button-down because he viewed the NYLS conference as calling for a moderate rather than extreme level of formality. Given the fairly laid-back nature of the proceedings, we can see where he’s coming from.
For true legal-media-and-academia groupies, additional pictures of top legal journalists and law professor bloggers appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Writing About the Law: A Correction, and Photographs”

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