Department of Justice

Monica Goodling 4 Monica M Goodling sexy pose Above the Law blog.jpgWe hear that the Justice Department’s special report on our favorite DOJ diva, Monica Goodling, will be coming out later today — in fact, later this morning. Perhaps within 15 minutes or so, give or take….
Stay tuned. We’ll update this space with more as it emerges.
Update (10:08 AM): As we predicted, the report of the Office of the Inspector General, “An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General,” has been released. To access it, click here (PDF).
We haven’t head the chance to read it yet (since we’re juggling several stories this morning). If you take a look at the report, please feel free to point out the most interesting portions, in the comments.
Further Update: More from NPR, the AP, and the WSJ Law Blog.
Justice Dept.’s Hiring Tactics Illegal, Report Says [National Public Radio]
DOJ: Former aide broke law in hiring scandal [Associated Press]
Who’s to Blame for GonzoGate? DOJ Report Points to Goodling [WSJ Law Blog]

WilmerHale Wilmer Hale 2 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGWe bring you news of a career move by one of America’s most fabulous young lawyers. From a press release issued by WilmerHale:

WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Rachel L. Brand and Mark D. Nelson will join the firm’s Washington, DC public policy and strategy practice focusing on congressional investigations, regulatory affairs and crisis management. Ms. Brand will also be active in the firm’s government litigation and defense and national security practices. Ms. Brand was most recently Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy, where she served as chief policy and regulatory advisor to the Attorney General and managed the confirmation process for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Wait, hold on a sec — Rachel Brand? As in young-conservative-superstar Rachel Brand, known in some circles as the Federalist Society Prom Queen?
Are you sure there hasn’t been some mistake? Maybe Brand went to another D.C. law firm whose name starts with a “W,” like Wiley Rein — perhaps a more natural home for a prominent Republican attorney?
WilmerHale, after all, is one of Washington’s most high-profile, left-leaning law firms. It’s home to leading liberal lawyers like former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, a possible Attorney General or Defense Secretary in a Democratic administration; former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, a possible judicial (D.C. Circuit?) nominee; Randy Moss, former head of the DOJ’s super-elite Office of Legal Counsel; and Howard Shapiro, former general counsel to the FBI. [FN1]
But no, it’s true — Brand is at Wilmer Hale. Word on the street, in fact, is that the firm is actively looking for Republican lawyers like Brand and Nelson. Perhaps they need someone to hold down the fort when everyone bails to serve in the Obama Administration?
We spoke to Rachel Brand yesterday, her first day of work. You know how useless first days can be — paperwork, orientation, technology training. “They taught me how to turn on my computer,” she quipped.
As for her new gig, Brand expressed excitement about the opportunity to join WilmerHale, “a great firm with some incredible lawyers.” She noted the abundance of lawyers with government experience at WilmerHale and said that her skill set fit well with the firm.
We wish Brand and Nelson the best of luck in their new professional home.
(We tried to contact Nelson but were unable to reach him. The WilmerHale telephone operator did not have an extension for him. Perhaps he isn’t in the office yet? If he is, someone needs to give his phone number to the receptionist.)
[FN1] As it turns out, a number of prominent Republicans are current or former WilmerHale partners. E.g., current partner Reginald Brown, who most recently served in the White House Counsel’s office, and former partner C. Boyden Gray, currently U.S. ambassador to the European Union Special Envoy for EU Affairs.
WilmerHale Adds Top DOJ and Congressional Investigation Lawyers To Public Policy and Strategy Team [WilmerHale]

Monica Goodling small 2 Michael Krempasky Above the Law blog.JPGThis just in: the super-fabulous Monica Goodling, one of ATL’s all-time favorite people, is engaged!
Monica Marie Goodling, of Alexandria, is engaged to be married to Michael Krempasky, of Falls Church. The wedding is planned for later this year.
The future bride, a consultant, previously served as senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and White House liaison at the U.S. Department of Justice. She graduated cum laude from Messiah College and received J.D. and M.A. degrees from Regent University.
Mr. Krempasky is a senior vice president at Edelman, a full-service, global public relations firm. He is also a founder of RedState, a leading conservative blog.
Although Monica Goodling and Mike Krempasky are a “power couple” here in Washington, their story goes back more than a decade and originates outside the Beltway. Look for more details later, either in these pages or elsewhere (e.g., their official engagement or wedding announcement).
Update: More details about their courtship appear here.
Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple! Full-size engagement photographs, exclusive to ATL, appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Monica Goodling Is Engaged!”

Chris Hook Christopher Hook DOJ Pride gay Above the Law blog.jpgNot everyone likes Attorney General Michael Mukasey. At Boston College Law School, students are protesting Dean John Garvey’s decision to invite Attorney General Mukasey to deliver the school’s 2008 Commencement address. See here (Facebook group: “Waterboarding IS Torture”), here, and here.
Why are liberals so unhappy about Mukasey? We’d expect the AG to receive a warmer reception, in light of this happy news, which made the pages of the Washington Post:

Five years after a gay advocacy group was told that it could no longer use the e-mail, bulletin boards and meeting rooms at the Justice Department, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey has reversed that decision and issued a revised equal-employment-opportunity policy barring discrimination against any group.

Mukasey informed leaders of DOJ Pride last week that the department would give it the same rights as all other DOJ employee organizations, said the group’s president, Chris Hook. In a statement, Mukasey said the department will “foster an environment in which diversity is valued, understood and sought” and maintain “an environment that’s free of discrimination.”

Writes a Department of Justice source:

Finally — now I can celebrate “Pride on Ice” anytime I want! Michael Mukasey gets two snaps in a circle for this decision!

In another sign of libertinism running rampant in the halls of justice, Lady Justice’s magnificent metal breastses are no longer covered up, as they were during the repressive Ashcroft regime (during which female DOJ lawyers had to wear burqas to court). But the credit for the breast-baring belongs to Alberto Gonzales.
Attorney General Mukasey Reverses Anti-Gay Policy at Justice Dept [Towleroad: A Site With Homosexual Tendencies]
Attorney General Reverses Curbs On Gay Group at Justice Department [Washington Post]
Boston College Law School Community Members Protests Mukasey [ACS Blog]
Mukasey Invitation Prompts the Question: “What has BC Law become?” [Eagleionline]

* Renomination of Steven Bradbury to head OLC seen as diss to Dems. [New York Times]
* Barry Bonds seeks dismissal of perjury charges. Depends on what the meaning of “is” is? [San Francisco Chronicle via How Appealing]
* Senate debates whether to grant phone companies immunity from suits arising out of their helping out on warrantless wiretapping. [Washington Post]
* Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan seeks Supreme Court review of his conviction. [Chicago Tribune via How Appealing]
* Also turning to the SCOTUS: cheeky pro se litigant who forestalled foreclosure for 11 years. [WSJ Law Blog]
* You’ve got mail? Maybe not, at least at the White House, which is having some email archiving problems. [Washington Post]

Alex Kozinski David Lat.jpgWe now yield the floor to Laurie Lin. Who better to report on one of the year’s biggest social events than the writer of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch? Over to you, Laurie.
****************
Ambition and Old Spice wafted sweetly through the air last night at the Federalist Society’s 25th Anniversary Gala at Union Station — a kind of right-wing Golden Globes. Nearly two thousand G-ed up conservative lawyers packed the main hall to hear President George W. Bush blast the Senate on judicial confirmations:

“Today, good men and women nominated to the federal bench are finding that inside the Beltway, too many interpret ‘advise and consent’ to mean ‘search and destroy,’” Bush said.

Tickets to the black-tie affair were $250 — actually $249, because there was a new $1 Madison coin at every place setting — but that was a small price to pay to breathe the same oxygen as Ted Olson, Antonin Scalia, and Laura Ingraham.
More on the conservative legal fabulosity — including pictures of the people who didn’t hide when they saw us coming — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Night at the Federalist Society Birthday Bash”

* Judge Mark Filip (N.D. Ill.) picked to be Mukasey’s deputy. [AP via How Appealing]
* SCOTUS stays Florida execution like I said they would. [New York Times]
* Hmm…Bush administration didn’t properly consider impact of climate change…. shocking. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Hillary Clinton takes the gloves off, giving “her most commanding performance to date” in last night’s debate. [The Atlantic (Marc Ambinder)]

Alberto Gonzales 3 Attorney General Alberto R Gonzales Alberto Gonzalez Above the Law blog.jpgHe just wants your money. From the ACS Blog:

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will receive $40,000 for a speech at the University of Florida, according to the Independent Florida Alligator, UF’s student newspaper.

The November 19 speech will be paid for by student activity fees. (H/T The Blog of Legal Times)

Being an ex-AG: nice work if you can get it.
Gonzales to Receive $40,000 for Speech [ACS Blog]
Alberto Gonzales to Give Speech in Florida [The BLT]
Alberto Gonzales to speak at UF [The Independent Florida Alligator]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgSorry to leave you unattended for a while — we were off appearing on this panel. We left some items to be published in our absence, but unfortunately, continuing technical difficulties — which frustrate us even more than they frustrate you — prevented their posting.
In case you’re wondering, we have no confirmed Biglaw bonus news to report right now. It seems that nowadays firms are holding their bonus news until the end of the day, perhaps in the hope that it will be less disruptive to associates billing away hours. But that just means associates spend the mornings and afternoons wondering about their financial fates — and visiting sites like this one.
Anyway, we do have some bonus news, of a different sort. From a lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice:

Any thought of doing a post on government attorney bonuses? Such as they are, that is. Might give some of the Biglaw associates who are wailing and gnashing their teeth a little perspective.

Just to get the ball rolling, my year-end bonus was $694.28. And as a special bonus, I got 8 hours of annual leave. Woot!

Are you at a firm that’s giving out standard year-end bonuses, but not “special” bonuses (or at least not across the board)? Well, look on the bright side: at least your bonus is denominated in the thousands.
Feel free to discuss your experiences with government lawyer “bonuses” in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch 2007 archives (scroll down)

Michael Mukasey small Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgThe Senate Judiciary Committee just voted in favor of the nomination of Michael Mukasey to serve as attorney general. The tally was 11-8, with two Democrats — Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein — joining all the Republicans in supporting him.
What had been looking like a nailbiter of a nomination should sail through the full Senate fairly easily. The floor vote on the nomination should take place by next week.
Congratulations, Judge Mukasey!
Nomination of Mukasey Sent to Full Senate [New York Times]
Panel Sends Mukasey Nomination to Senate [Washington Post]

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