Like many of today’s celebrities, Britney Spears has had her fair share of legal troubles — except hers are a little crazier than your average Lohan-esque criminal case. From child custody hearings to conservatorships, our favorite pop tart has seen it all. Given that she’s been in and out of court so many times, you knew that she’d eventually become romantically entangled with a lawyer.
As luck would have it, Brit-Brit was caught by the paparazzi last week while out on a romantic Valentine’s Day date with a mysterious suitor. This time, as opposed to being a back-up dancer or an agent, Ms. Spears’s new love interest is reportedly (gasp!) an average joe, who just so happens to work for a law firm.
So what does he do? Well, that’s actually up for debate….
* The billable hour may be far from dead, but last year, 61% of general counsel worked out alternative fee arrangements with outside counsel, including counsel from elite (read: Biglaw) firms. [Wall Street Journal]
* Dewey need to take lessons on revenge from this firm? John Altorelli, the D&L defector who spilled all the beans to the Am Law Daily, was blasted on Page Six this weekend. More on this to come later today. [New York Post]
* CHECK YOU LATERALS: recent Quinn Emanuel hires William Burck, Paul Brinkman, and Andrew Schapiro, as well as name partner John Quinn, have entered appearances on behalf of Megaupload. [Am Law Daily]
* Copyright infringement suits over porn downloading involving some 3,500 defendants were dismissed because the plaintiffs’ attorney, Terik Hasmi, couldn’t get it in legally in Florida. [National Law Journal]
* In England, there’s no such thing as a no-fault divorce, but instead, you can get one for “unreasonable behavior” — behavior like malicious service of tuna casserole, and speaking only in Klingon. [New York Times]
* This gives “I’m a Slave 4 U” some new meaning. Britney Spears’s fiancé, Jason Trawick, is trying to start their impending rocky marriage off on the right foot. He’ll soon be her co-conservator. [New York Daily News]
Britney Spears’ lawyers in her custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline are quitting. The law firm Trope and Trope asked a court Wednesday to be relieved as Spears’ attorneys. The firm says there’s been a “breakdown” in communication with the pop princess that makes representing her “impossible,” according to the filing, obtained by CelebTV.com.
Structured finance lawyers, it’s time to put down those securitization agreements and pick up Us Weekly. Representing the embattled pop star is a growing practice area:
On a separate legal front, an attorney for Spears wants the city attorney’s office to prove that the pop star is a permanent California resident and is subject to state laws that require her to have a valid California driver’s license.
Spears faces up to a year of probation if convicted in a misdemeanor case of driving without a valid license, a charge to which she has pleaded not guilty. The case stems from a videotaped fender-bender in a parking lot in August. A hit-and-run charge has been dismissed.
Spears attorney J. Michael Flanagan earlier Wednesday requested that prosecutors be required to demonstrate that Spears, who owns homes in Louisiana and Florida, intends to make Los Angeles her permanent legal home.
Of course she does — Britney Spears is the quintessential Californian.
Now if only the judicial system would just leave… Britney… alone!!!
* U.C. Berkeley has settled on a new name for its law school. Check it out, it’s quite brilliant. [Blogonaut]
(But we’ll probably still conduct the reader poll mentioned here, just for the heck of it.)
* Strained attorney-client relations between Britney Spears and Anne Kiley? Apparently Brit has “trust issues” (in addition to that whole missing-panties problem). [OK! Magazine]
* Wow, this guy is quite a tool. Thankfully he’s not a lawyer — which you could infer from the facts that (1) he lives in Atlanta and (2) he brags about his compensation. [Gawker; follow-up here and here from DealBreaker]
* Judge of the Day. [St. Petersburg Times via Blogonaut]
* Exciting happenings this weekend: (1) the CSPAN rebroadcast of the Clarence Thomas book party, and (2) the nuptials of the Wall Street Journal’s Peter Lattman. Congratulations and best wishes, PL! [WSJ Law Blog]
Here’s an update on the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline legal drama. The emergency court hearing that was supposed to take today, requested by K-Fed to discuss custody of their two children, was canceled.
The reason, according to various media and tabloid reports, is that Spears is back in rehab. She has reportedly checked back into Promises rehabilitation center (which she had fled earlier in the day).
Earlier this week, Spears was photographed sporting a shaved head. Here’s some food for thought from a tipster:
So Britney Spears shaved her head. People think it’s because she’s crazy. But some have speculated it is because her ex-husband threatened to subpoena hair samples from her. And hair samples can show drug use going back years. Like backdated blood samples.
Is this comparable to obstruction of justice? Is it like shredding documents when you’re afraid you might be under investigation, or those documents might be subpoened? Is it a form of spoliation of evidence?
One of our favorite cultural critics, the super-opinionated and hilarious Camille Paglia, recently weighed in on the trend of female celebrities “flashing their goodies for the camera,” in the words of US Weekly. Despite her general “pro-sex” bent, Paglia disapproves of the practice:
These girls are lowering themselves to the level of backstreet floozies. It angers me because I fought a bitter fight to get feminism back on track and be pro-sex at the same time. This is degrading the entire pro-sex wing of feminism.
I am completely appalled by what these young women are doing because I think that they are cheapening their own image and obliterating all sexual mystery and glamour, which are the heart of the star system.
Social conservatives are constantly carping about the threat that gay marriage allegedly poses to the institution of marriage. In response, proponents of gay marriage reflexively bring up the (rather tired) example of Britney Spears, and her joke of a marriage to Jason Alexander.* The debate gets pretty old, pretty fast.
Here’s what we want to know:
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
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, 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.