And when they commit crimes and get sentenced, immigrants are sometimes subjected to snide remarks by judges. The Seventh Circuit recently vacated a sentence and remanded for resentencing by a different judge, after trial judge Rudolph Randa (E.D. Wis.) made some unfortunate comments in sentencing defendant Jose Figueroa. From the Seventh Circuit opinion, by the fabulous Judge Diane Wood:
During the hearing, the district court digressed to discuss Figueroa’s native Mexico, the immigration status of Figueroa and his sisters, and the conditions and laws in half a dozen other countries—not to mention unnecessary references to Hugo Chávez, Iranian terrorists, and Adolf Hitler’s dog.
Chávez, Iranian terrorists, and Hitler’s dog. Those are all § 3553(a) factors, right?
So how exactly did Judge Randa achieve the impressive feat of working all of these topics into a routine sentencing?
As you’ve probably heard, last week Las Vegas cops arrested partying hag Paris Hilton for cocaine possession, after pulling her over in a Cadillac Escalade that was trailing marijuana smoke. And as you’ve probably also heard, the police would have never found the coke in the first place if Paris hadn’t been such a vain twit:
According to Sgt. John Sheahan, while police were questioning Waits, Hilton, who was in police custody inside the Wynn Las Vegas, allegedly reached inside her purse for “a tube of lip balm. At the same time, says Sheahan, a bindle of cocaine in a plastic bag came out of her purse” in plain view of police in the room.
Paris shrewdly floated several excuses – that the purse wasn’t hers and that she had no idea that the coke was in there, or that she had seen the coke in there, but mistook it for gum* – before settling on the airtight alibi that the purse was in fact hers but she had loaned it to a “friend” who left coke in there. Throw the kitchen sink at the police and see what sticks, that’s what I always say….
Last decade — back in the aughts — a Holland & Knight real estate partner got up to some very bad things. While we have heard that coke can be an aid for sleep-deprived attorneys, it caused problems for Theodore Silva Jr.
Silva was formerly a partner in Holland & Knight’s D.C. office. According to the National Law Journal, in 2005, Silva forged signatures and created fictitious notaries for an easement agreement. Then he lied to his clients and bar counsel about that and about his cocaine use:
[Silva] attributed his conduct to stress, cocaine use and drinking. The incident cost the firm about $150,000 in expenses plus 50 hours’ work from another Holland & Knight partner who had to rectify the problems.
Silva, who had made partner in 1995, was fired by Holland & Knight in 2006. The District of Columbia Board of Professional Responsibility just issued its report [PDF] and its recommendation for discipline last week.
The Legal Blog Network is surprised that this conduct was not enough to get Silva disbarred. We’re surprised to learn that Silva had a coke use criminal charge in 2002 and that it passed the sniff test at Holland & Knight. As long as the snow helped Silva make it rain, it seems the firm didn’t mind what he did with his dollars.
The voting wasn’t even close. There were seven entrants, but Akin walked away with over 44 percent of the vote. It was the commenters’ favorite, too:
“I work at HayBoo [Haynes and Boone], and really like our card. But I was actually laughing (alone in my office) at Akin Gump’s. A little cliched, but still, well-executed.”
“Akin hands down. All others were simply dreadful.”
“OK, the Akin Gump ‘holiday’ card (we all know we are talking xmas cards here) is hands down the best by a very wide margin, although the Goodwin Procter ‘gift’ of a pile of blow on the mantle at the end of their e-card was a nice touch.”
Once again, congratulations to Akin Gump on a well-deserved victory!
P.S. We received a few nice late submissions, like Proctor Heyman (inspired by the Abbey Road album cover) and Howard Rice (donating the savings from sending electronic rather than physical cards to a charity chosen by readers). Unfortunately, we were unable to include them because voting was already underway. Check ATL early and often, so as not to miss our contests and other features.
Back in the eighties, the popular myth was that all Manhattan attorneys had a leather briefcase, a good blue pen, and a Scarface-sized bowl of cocaine on their desk. Sadly, by the time I got to Biglaw the briefcase had been replaced by a canvas bag with a gaudy firm emblem emblazoned on the side like the mark of the beast. The nice pen was replaced with a desktop computer designed to block The Onion. And the coke was replaced by the marvelous ephedrine they used to put into Red Bull.
But perhaps London attorneys are poised to relive the NYC glory days. A new study reports that hard drug use is on the rise in the U.K.:
One partner claims he knows “people who just make a phone call from their office and nip down to reception to pick up their delivery” — something that happens in every big law firm, he claims.
The survey, by the magazine Legal Business, also says that there is evidence of “cocaine clubs” in law firms’ basements and of partner-led games of poker and taking cocaine with clients. But it also finds that law firms are ignorant or indifferent to the problem. One lawyer is quoted: “I spanked £100,000 on cocaine in one year and no one noticed.
If a partner ever invited me to a coke and poker party I would still be in rehab a practicing attorney today.
The key similarity between Britain today and the America of yesterday seems to be the total professional indifference to drug use:
The legal profession, unlike other classic professions such as medicine and teaching, does not give a damn, as long as you are profitable.
Well, nobody wants a coked-up doctor trying to save you from a cocaine overdose. And nobody wants a coke-head teaching your kids. But if a little nose candy is going to make you work longer, why would partners particularly care what you do on the side?
Because you could die? Because partners care about your health? Right. You could be the last unicorn and you’d still bill 100 hours a week if there was work to be done.
Substance abuse problems that span the ocean after the jump.
A candy company’s been under some scrutiny lately about their new drink mix, which they innocently named “Blow.” It comes in little clear packets and supposedly gives you lots and lots of energy. Athough it probably doesn’t work as well as that Adderall you have in your desk, it is likely much cheaper.
In any event, get your Blow now if you want it. The FDA is mighty displeased, and they’ve threatened legal action if the company doesn’t “rehab” its image. Hmm, what other drug-related words can we pack into this story?
Oh goodness. And you thought Paris Hilton was troubled. From the AP:
Lindsay Lohan, who just finished a second stint in rehab for substance abuse treatment, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Tuesday, authorities said.
Lohan, who is already facing a drunken driving charge in Beverly Hills, was pulled over near the Santa Monica Police Department after authorities spotted her car chasing another vehicle…..
Authorities conducted a field sobriety test and then transported Lohan to the police department. The 21-year-old actress was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license and possession of cocaine, among other charges, [Sgt. Shane] Talbot said.
Police found cocaine in one of her pants pockets during a pre-booking search, Talbot said.
Summer associates can get pretty wild, especially after they’ve had a few drinks. But Lolita ain’t got nothing on LiLo.
Law-and-economics types will appreciate this analysis, from Perez Hilton:
This could ruin Lindsay’s career! NO ONE is going to want to work with her now. And IF they do hire her, Lohan will most likely be forced to pay for her own insurance on films, which will be VERY COSTLY.
The following comes from a trial in the Southern District of Alabama, Chief Judge Ginny Granade presiding. It’s from an assistant U.S. attorney’s examination of an accomplice in a bank robbery:
Q: Well, let me just as an aside right now, what kind of a high, what kind of feeling do you get from smoking, and you were smoking crack?
A: Yes, ma’am.
Q: What kind of a high do you get from that?
A: You get a real intense high and you’re not really able to really able to make good — good judgment calls about what you’re doing.
News flash: Crack use may impair your judgment. That’s why all the Biglaw attorneys stick to powder cocaine. Clients pay them big bucks for their sound judgment!
The excerpt from the trial transcript continues, after the jump.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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