* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
* Quirkiness belies dysfunction: Woody Harrelson’s father, convicted of murdering a federal judge, dies in prison. [AP via MSN]
* You may think people who buy hardbacks on an Oprah endorsement deserve their fate as victims of the great James Frey Swindle, but I have a heart. Losers, get your money back! [Gawker]
* I’m the kind of person who hates being hugged by non-friends without my permission, but this does seem a little inappropriate. [New York Daily News]
* News flash! No one remembers anything from the bar anyway. [PrawfsBlawg; Conglomerate]
- Bar Exams, Books, Celebrities, Deaths, Lesbians, Murder, Non-Sequiturs, Perverts, Sexual Harassment, Tax Law
* May we recommend that the IRS get a myspace page? [TaxProf Blog]
- Books, Education / Schools, Hair, Law Professors, Law Schools, Movies, Nauseating Things, Non-Sequiturs, Nude Dancing, Rudeness
* Strippers always have day jobs, so this is no small victory. [Des Moines Register]
* Why the premium you pay for Fiji water (“untouched by man until you unscrew the cap”) is worth it. [Trentonian]
* (Commercially successful) hipster writer gives it away for free, but will anyone want it? [Sivacracy.net]
* But you still have to read everything. Did you ever get to the five commercial outlines and study guides you bought for evidence? [Discourse.net]
* How mooning can bite you in the ass. [St. Petersburg Times via How Appealing]
* Even in Berkeley, it’s a little bit about the money. And by a little bit, I mean a lot. If you want to be a PD in spite of higher student loans, just apply for a Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship. The OC may be off the air, but some indie law kid is bound to follow up with another pop-culture inspired tie-in. [Nuts & Boalts; Los Angeles Times]
* Smallish firms where named partners are actually still alive and employed should think about adopting a generic boy band-esque name (Menudo LLP?) to avoid the awkwardness that ensues after a member is unceremoniously kicked out (or hits puberty). [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* Let us take back toddler cuteness! I do question visible make-up and the whole Vogue Bambini aesthetic on the under-5 set, but aren’t you glad that unlike real life, that little girl’s bikini top isn’t totally off-center? [eitb24 via Drudge Report]
* This is not a joke (à la SNL fake commercials/Games Magazines fake ads of yesteryear). [Feminist Law Professors]
- Books, Drinking, Education / Schools, Intellectual Property, Non-Sequiturs, Pornography, Pranks, Trademarks
* Would you drink this if you knew it was named after someone who choked on his own drug and alcohol-induced vomit? Yeah, probably, if you were out of Grey Goose. [TMZ]
* I bet it’s Jim and Pam. My best prank? The classic Frozen Underwear I set up in my brother’s room before he came home from college with his new girlfriend. [The Times-Tribune (Scranton)]
* For once, we’re talking about the witch with a “W.” [Newsday]
* WTF? First, I didn’t realize there was some life to that old Vagina Monologues yet, and second, I have learned more about vaginas this year alone (not by choice) than I did through “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” those Women’s Center round tables in college and my compact. [The Journal News (Westchester) via How Appealing]
* At this rate, if we fire even those teachers who don’t have sex with their students, public schools are going to be left with just those “Nice White Ladies.” [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
- Books, Georgetown Law School, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Jeffrey Rosen, Neal Katyal, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
“Hee-hee, this book of mine is TOO FUNNY! Every time I read the story about Souter drinking all of Luttig’s wine, I completely lose my s**t. I can’t figure out who was the bigger a**hole: Souter for drinking the wine, or Luttig for offering it?”
(Lest there be any confusion, the caption above is fictionalized. Jan Crawford Greenburg is far too genteel to say such things. Who do you think she is — Alexandra Korry?)
Here’s a quick, belated write-up of the interesting discussion we attended last week at Georgetown Law School, featuring Jan Crawford Greenburg and Jeffrey Rosen (and moderated ably by Professor Neal Katyal, who happens to be Rosen’s brother-in-law).
Both Greenburg and Rosen have just published new books about the Court. Rosen is the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, and Greenburg is the author of Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court.
Some brief highlights from the conversation, as well as a few photos, after the jump.
- Aaron Charney, Arthur Leonard, Biglaw, Books, Gay, Media and Journalism, Skadden Arps, Sullivan & Cromwell
Yesterday we posted an interesting excerpt from Lincoln Caplan’s book, Skadden: Power, Money, and the Rise of a Legal Empire, which discussed Sullivan & Cromwell. The excerpt concerned a closeted gay associate at S&C who committed suicide after being passed over for partner.
A comment on that post:
“Does this anecdote show anti-gay bias, or just that S&C partners are a**holes? The S&C lawyer who committed suicide was closeted.”
“Would the failure of partners to attend his funeral represent hostility towards gays? Or just general indifference by S&C partners to associates who don’t make partner?”
The “we’re not homophobes, just a**holes” line of defense probably won’t do wonders for S&C’s recruiting this fall. But one of you has brought our attention to an excerpt from later on in the book (pp. 160-61) that speaks more specifically to the issue of gays at S&C.
It concerns the late Jonathan Bowie, a partner at Skadden at the time of his passing. As one commenter noted, “Bowie was passed over for partner at S&C, that’s why he moved to Skadden. On a sad note, he later died of AIDS.”
From Skadden, by Lincoln Caplan:
Unlike the S&C associate from the earlier excerpt, Bowie wasn’t “very closeted” during his time at the firm. He had a boyfriend at S&C, and “people knew” about him. So his story, and his being passed over for partnership, may be slightly more revealing than the prior anecdote.
Note our use of the word “slightly.” It’s worth pointing out that the above excerpt contains no clear, objective evidence of anti-gay bias at S&C. People get passed over for partner for all sorts of reasons. The anecdote rests entirely upon perceptions of S&C held by lawyers at a different, rival firm. And it’s over two decades old; a lot can change over 20 years.
We just thought it was interesting (as did the source who sent it to us). So we’ve posted it here for your consideration. You can decide how much weight to place upon it.
P.S. We try not to miss a single news article about the litigation between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell. But we did fail to mention this interesting Gay City News article, by Professor Arthur Leonard, which appeared late last week.
Professor Leonard analyzes S&C’s recent motion to dismiss Aaron Charney’s complaint. We never offered our own thoughts on that motion, but we agree with much of Professor Leonard’s thoughtful analysis.
Charney Litigation Heats Up [Gay City News]
Earlier: Brokeback Lawfirm: A Walk Down Memory Lane
- Books, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Jeffrey Rosen, Media and Journalism, Neal Katyal, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
We’re stepping away from our computer for bit, to attend an event at Georgetown Law School featuring two of the best writers about the Supreme Court working today: Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News, and Jeffrey Rosen, of The New Republic. It will be moderated by the brilliant Professor Neal Katyal (who also happens to be Jeff Rosen’s brother-in-law).
Both Greenburg and Rosen have just published new books about the Court. Rosen is the author of The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, and Greenburg is the author of Supreme Conflict.
Before her book was published, we speculated that Jan Crawford Greenburg might unseat Linda Greenhouse as Queen Bee of the SCOTUS press corps. We suggested that the young and attractive Greenburg might play Eve Harrington to Linda Greenhouse’s Margo Channing. In light of the rapturous notices that Supreme Conflict has received, as well as its status as a New York Times-certified bestseller, we feel that our prediction is coming to pass. Watch out, Linda G.!
Some content will be posted while we’re gone. So please do check back soon!
Earlier: All About… Jan?
We love our tipsters. You’re the best research team anyone could ask for.
Several years ago, we read Lincoln Caplan’s excellent book, Skadden: Power, Money, and the Rise of a Legal Empire. Unfortunately, we don’t remember as much from the book as we might like.
(Our memory problems, as well as our typing skills, have gotten worse with increased blogging. Someone should conduct research into blogging and what effect it has on your attention span, concentration, and overall brain functioning.)
Fortunately, one of you does have a better recall of the book’s contents. A tipster directed us to this interesting excerpt, from page 89 of Skadden:
Our source comments:
I thought that it was pretty amazing that a 1993 book about another law firm would have two separate references about Sullivan’s negative reputation toward gay attorneys. I’ve attached the first page from Skadden that mentions it; the second comes much later in the book (and is along the same lines, but a different occassion).
Very interesting. Perhaps proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same?
(Yes, David Braff: We know that you and several other gay partners are very very happy over at S&C.)
Update: Please don’t read too much into our bringing this excerpt to your attention. You can draw whatever conclusions you like from it.
We’re just agreeing with our tipster that it’s interesting. That’s all.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)
- Ann Althouse, Books, Conferences / Symposia, John Osborn, Law Professors, Law Schools, Pictures, Scott Turow
Last week we wrote about how John Jay Osborn, a law professor and author of The Paper Chase, sniffily dismissed One L, by Scott Turow. “One L is competent,” he said. “But it doesn’t have a HEART.”
Now a prominent blogger has come to Turow’s defense. In this Times Select column, grande blogress diva Ann Althouse defends Turow — and, in the words of a tipster, “cattily trashes John Jay Osborn, author of the Paper Chase, for his suggestion that law profs not teach via the Socratic method in order to make students ‘happier.’”
Money quote, comparing Osborn’s “The Paper Chase” to Turow’s “One L”:
I preferred the memoir [of One L], the account of an ordinary man as he encounters some interesting, fallible human beings who did the work that both Osborn and I do now.
Though none of the law professors I know are much at all like Kingsfield, Osborn chided us law professors for making our students so unhappy: stop calling on them; listen only to volunteers; don’t dictate how they should think; let them tell their own stories.
Law should connect to the real world. But that doesn’t mean we ought to devote our classes to the personal expression of law students. The cases we read for class are always based on factual disputes that arose in real life….
So law is not abstract unless one makes the mistake of turning it into an abstraction. We law professors tend to worry about seeming like Professor Kingsfield. But we ought to worry less about that prospect and more about preserving and respecting our own tradition of teaching from the cases.
The students who come into our law schools are adults who have decided that they are ready to spend a tremendous amount of time and money preparing to enter a profession. We show the greatest respect for their individual autonomy if we deny ourselves the comfort of trying to make them happy and teach them what they came to learn: how to think like lawyers.
Good stuff (even it it’s not as catty as we had hoped). It’s worth noting that Professor Althouse, whose own excellent blog is less academic than many other law professor blogs, is not opposed to “personal expression.” It’s just that she believes, and rightly so, that there’s a time and place for everything.
P.S. Random aside: Professor Osborn’s daughter, Meredith, is a Harvard Law grad now clerking on the Ninth Circuit.
P.P.S. We had the pleasure of meeting Professor Althouse at the NYLS conference last week (see photo at right).
More photographs from the conference, of superior quality, are available at Althouse and Soloway.
‘A Skull Full of Mush’ [Times Select]
At the “Writing About the Law” conference [Althouse]
Ripped From the Headlines [Soloway]
Earlier: John Osborn to Scott Turow: “Game On, Bitch”
We just got back from a most engaging luncheon talk at the NYLS legal writing conference by John Jay Osborn, a law professor at the University of San Francisco and author of the 1973 novel, The Paper Chase (which led to a movie and television series).
Here’s the Westlaw headnotes version of John Osborn’s talk:
Law students, you need to rediscover and take back your narratives. Law school is all about forcing you to give up your narrative and play by someone else’s rules. Don’t let them do that to you.
Osborn covered a number of topics during the course of his remarks — legal education, law and literature (especially Bleak House), the trajectory of legal careers, the genesis and evolution of The Paper Chase. Great stuff.
Here are a few money quotes. On Scott Turow’s One L, which someone raised in Q-and-A:
“One L is competent,” he sniffed. “But it doesn’t have a HEART.”
Osborn, a former associate at Patterson Belknap, left the legal world for a year to write. He encourages lawyers not to be afraid of trying new things or stepping off the treadmill:
“The nice thing about the law is you can go away and come back… Don’t be afraid to go off and do different things. They’ll ALWAYS take you back. They ALWAYS need associates.”
Finally, Osborn shared with us a great quote from John Houseman, the actor and producer who won an Oscar for his work in The Paper Chase.
Some folks wanted Houseman to perform a scene in The Paper Chase that he didn’t like. He refused, declaring: “I’m too old and too rich to put up with this bulls**t.”
Author of The Paper Chase Joins USF School of Law [USF School of Law]