Deborah Jeane Palfrey

Ed. note: Lat here. This post is by lawyer turned novelist Allison Leotta, whom I previously profiled. I recently read Leotta’s newest book, Discretion, which I highly recommend. Not only is it a gripping thriller, but it’s legally realistic too, reflecting Leotta’s experience as a federal prosecutor and her research into the escort business.

As a former sex-crimes prosecutor who just wrote a novel about the escort business, I keep getting the same question from my Biglaw buddies: “I already feel like a high-end prostitute. Shouldn’t I get paid like one?”

It’s an old saw that lawyers are already prostitutes. Face it, we care deeply for our clients because we’re paid to care about them. If we’re good, we start by convincing ourselves that the side of the legal dispute we more or less randomly ended up on happens to be the right side. You think a hooker’s job is that different? Forget it. The infamous D.C. Madam — an inspiration for my latest book, Discretion (affiliate link) — was a woman who dropped out of law school and opened an escort agency.

You’re good-looking, you like people, you know how to bill by the hour — you could totally do this. But is being a high-class escort really a better job than the one you’ve got now? The answer will be familiar to every memo-writing associate: It depends. Before you go trading in those Christian Louboutins for five-inch-stilettos, check out these side-to-side comparisons of the trades….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Associates and Prostitutes: A Comparative Analysis”

Cravath Swaine Moore LLP Above the Law blog.JPG[Ed. note: We mentioned this briefly in Morning Docket. But any story involving the words "Cravath partner" and "hookers" deserves its own post.]

The late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka the “D.C. Madam,” has a New York counterpart. From ABC News (via our sibling site, DealBreaker):

Wall street lawyers, investment bankers, CEOs and media executives often used corporate credit cards to pay for $2,000 an hour prostitutes, according to the madam who ran one of New York’s biggest and most expensive escort services until it was busted last year.

But prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office chose not to pursue any of the corporate titans, says Kristin Davis, who pleaded guilty last year to charges of running a prostitution business that used more than a hundred women.

Presumably no relation to actress Kristin Davis, who played squeaky-clean Charlotte York on Sex and the City. The actress is a brunette; the madam is a blonde (of course).

Among the names ABC News was able to confirm on [Davis's client] list:

* a partner at the Wall Street law firm of Cravath Swaine Moore, “looking for a party girl to come fully equipped,” [who] spent a total of $20,000.

Finally — a plausible explanation for those disappointing Cravath bonuses. The money went to a different set of hourly billers.

We appreciate the CSM partner’s demand that his high-class escort arrive “fully equipped.” Cravath lawyers believe in the importance of preparation. Whether dealing with depositions or dealmaking, their motto is: “Be prepared.”

Just like the Boy Scouts. If Boy Scouts blew twenty grand on whores.

Given the prestige (and profitability) of Cravath, some might find this news shocking. But those in the know realize that the white-shoe law firm has a long and august history…. of sexual deviance and prostitute patronizing.

Some historical context, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day: A Prostitute-Loving Cravath Partner?”

Deborah Jeane Palfrey 2 Debra Jean Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.jpgThe Hostess with the Mostest (Hos), alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, continues to make news. First, she’s advancing an interesting new defense. From Big Head DC:

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the accused “DC Madam,” filed a memo with DC’s U.S. District Court today, detailing her plans to move forward with a “Honey Pot” defense, under the representation of lawyer Montgomery Blair Sibley.

The memo alleges that “the United States Government has been directly or indirectly benefiting from the operation of her service by monitoring her customers and is thus equitably barred from prosecuting her,” according to Sibley.

And government officials were “benefiting from the operation of her service” in other ways, too.
Speaking of which, here’s more bad news for Sen. David Vitter. From the AP:

A former New Orleans prostitute who says she had an affair with Sen. David Vitter has passed a lie-detector test and will provide details of the four-month relationship at a press conference Tuesday, according to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Wendy Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis, says she had a sexual relationship with Vitter, R-La., in 1999, when he was a state legislator.

Sounds juicy. Stay tuned.
“DC Madam” Files “Honey Pot” Defense; Names New High-Ranking Govt. Official Who Used Escort Service [Big Head DC]
Flynt Unveiling More Vitter Claims [AP via WTOP]


* Slate debates Sen. Craig’s arrest and plea. [New York Times]
* DC Madam seeks new counsel. [CNN Poli-Tick]
* Federal court, using wooden gavel, upholds NYC metal bat ban. [ESPN]
* Artist arrested for burning Burning Man man. [MSNBC]

Akin Gump 2 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld Deborah Jeane Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.JPGEarlier this year, we devoted extensive coverage to the Akin Gump Escort. She was the legal secretary at Akin Gump who worked for powerhouse lawyer John Dowd by day, and alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey by night.
Courtesy of WTOP, we now know more about the close working relationship between the Akin Gump Escort and the D.C. Madam:

“Why did you do this to me? I never did anything to you.”

That accusatory two-sentence e-mail from alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey to an escort she considered her “little sister” and one of her most trusted confidantes came moments after Palfrey realized her assets had been frozen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“My first thought because of the timing was that (Jennifer) was working with the government,” writes Palfrey, in a series of e-mails to WTOP.

“Jennifer” was the name escort customers knew for a legal secretary at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a prominent D.C. law firm. The woman was fired in May 2007, shortly after revealing to the firm that she had moonlighted for Palfrey’s Pamela Martin & Associates between 2002 and 2006.

Fired? She should have been promoted, due to her intimate knowledge of servicing clients.
More discussion after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Akin Gump Escort: You Can Call Her ‘Jennifer’”

Valerie Plame Wilson Patricia Wettig Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* Let’s just steal Drudge’s tagline: “JUDGE: PLAME HAS NO GAME.” [Washington Post; Associated Press]
(But she does bear an uncanny resemblance to Patricia Wettig, who plays Holly Harper on Brothers and Sisters. See photos at right.)
* A lawsuit against Hillary’s pollster, Mark Penn, has been dropped. [AP]
(Watch out: your employer might be reading your Blackberry messages.)
* Lots of lawyers among the D.C. Madam’s clientele. [CNN]
(“[B]ut of course in Washington it sometimes feels like everyone is a lawyer.”)
* Escalation in the battle over executive privilege. [Washington Post]
(Bush Administration to Congress: “You wanna prosecute us for contempt? You and what prosecutor?”)

David Vitter Senator David Bruce Vitter Sen David B Vitter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a quick follow-up on yesterday’s Lawyer of the DaySenator David Vitter (R-LA), who recently confessed to having been a client of the escort service run by the so-called “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.
Check out this video, put together by the TPM crew. These were our favorite parts:

1. Vitter’s daughter: “Way to move it, Dad!”

2. Sen. Vitter: “In life’s most important moments, we’re not Republicans or Democrats. We’re parents.”

Or, more accurately, philandering spouses.

3. The senator’s wife, Wendy Vitter (also noted by various commenters):

“I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

If the Ginsu guy rings your doorbell, Senator Vitter, you’d best send him packing.
Update: Another ex-madam has fingered Sen. Vitter. See here.
Vitter Va-Va-Voom! [TPMtv / Talking Points Memo]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: David Vitter

David Vitter Senator David Bruce Vitter Sen David B Vitter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThanks to Senator David Vitter for making it so easy to pick our Lawyer of the Day. From today’s Washington Post:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam,” making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter’s apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004….

“This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter, 46, said in a statement….

This is not the first time Vitter has found himself in a sticky situation:

During his Senate campaign, Vitter was accused by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee of carrying on a lengthy affair with a prostitute in New Orleans’s French Quarter. In a radio interview, Vitter then called the allegation “absolutely and completely untrue” and dismissed it as “just crass Louisiana politics.”

We believe him. The French Quarter? How tawdry!
For a Harvard grad and Rhodes Scholar like Vitter, only the high-class escorts of Pamela Martin & Associates — college-educated women, including at least one Ph.D. — would do.
(Random speculation: Might Senator Vitter have been a client of the Akin Gump Escort?)
Senator’s Number on ‘Madam’ Phone List [Washington Post]
Sen. Vitter Apologizes for Number Showing Up on Phone Records of Alleged Prostitution Ring [Fox News]

* NCIS investigating Marines in alleged killings of unarmed civilians. [CNN]
* Gives a new meaning to “Queen Mum.” [CNN]
* Ohio AG, others looking into credit-rating agency investigations. [Fortune]
* Developments in DC madam case. [WSJ Law Blog; The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* TO sues nightclub for using his name to throw party. [Dallas Morning News]

Hillary Clinton Deborah Jeane Palfrey Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Debra Jean Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.JPGTwo great gals that go great together. From the Examiner’s delightful Yeas and Nays:

First, we learned that adult movie star Jenna Jameson supports Sen. Hillary Clinton’s run for president of the United States.

Now, we learn that another, um, Taboo Titleholder backs the New York senator’s White House ambitions: Deborah Jeane Palfrey, aka, the D.C. Madam….

Palfrey admitted that she’s pulling for Hillary in 2008. “I think she’s great,” she said. “She’s bright and articulate.”

But is this really newsworthy or surprising? That the D.C. Madam has a soft spot for a ho?
D.C. Madam for Hillary! [Washington Examiner / Yeas and Nays via Wonkette]
Preemptive clarification: WE don’t think Hillary Clinton is a ho. To the contrary, as we’ve stated multiple times, we think she’s fabulous.
We are merely referencing the familiar criticism of Senator Clinton, voiced on both the left and the right, that she’s willing to say or do anything for votes — i.e., that she’s a political whore.

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