The inanity of Kevin Federline’s fame never ceases to amaze. He has achieved widespread recognition by shacking up with Britney Spears, making some babies, and creating some bad music.
K-Fed has garnered enough media attention that there’s some excess for his attorney. Mark Vincent Kaplan is interviewed by the AP this week. He talks about the custody proceedings over Spears and K-Fed’s two children and how the case has helped his career:
The case is arguably among the most significant in the attorney’s 34-year career, and Kaplan said it has inspired personal satisfaction and professional growth.
“Very few lawyers get the opportunity that this case has presented on every possible issue you can think of,” he continued. “Even fewer lawyers recognize the opportunity, and even a smaller percentage of those have the (guts) to go for the opportunity.”
Of course being around celebrity has perks of its own.
“It’s made it possible to not have to make reservations at a restaurant,” he said, “but that too shall pass.”
Celebrity divorces and custody battles seem like a nice niche. No reservations needed at restaurants. He gets to use the paparazzi to do his research instead of hiring private investigators (like that no-good Pellicano guy).
His quote seems a little defensive, though. Maybe because there’s a good percentage of attorneys who wouldn’t want their name followed by “aka K-Fed’s attorney.”
We spotlighted Kaplan previously as a Lawyer to Layabout Lovers. He also served as counsel to Chris Judd, another back-up dancer turned celebrity husband, in his divorce from Jennifer Lopez. Federline Lawyer Candid About Spears Custody Case: ‘There’s Never Been Anything Like This’ [Associated Press via Law.com]
When a Biglaw partner is accused of domestic violence, we can’t help but honor him as ATL’s Lawyer of the Day. But we must note that this article from the New York Daily News drips with lawyer hatred, in describing a case where the attorney was not convicted.
They didn’t even spell Cadwalader partner Ira Schacter’s name correctly. We’ve put the perceived lawyer hatin’ in bold:
A high-powered Manhattan lawyer was cleared of wife-beating charges Tuesday — even though cops said his estranged wife was hurt in a scuffle last fall at the couple’s East Side townhouse.
Ira Schachter, a partner at the white-shoe firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, was freed despite dramatic photos that appear to show him causing a commotion outside the pricey brownstone on E. 78th St.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Larry Stephen also scrapped an order of protection against Ira Schachter, 48, after prosecutors said they couldn’t prove the case against him….
Ira Schachter walked out of court surrounded by an entourage of powerful lawyers, including divorce lawyer Raoul Felder and Ira Sorkin, former head of enforcement at the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Not to say that beating your wife is okay. His wife claims he choked her, and police photos showed bruises on her head and neck. Schacter claimed it was self-defense after his wife bit his finger “to the bone.”
Heather Mills was awarded nearly $50 million yesterday in her divorce from Paul McCartney. CNN has video of Mills speaking with reporters after the verdict. Mills says:
It was an incredible result in the end to secure mine and my daughter’s future and that of all the charities that I obviously plan on helping and making a difference with.
The funny way Mills says “obviously plan on helping” in the video made us surf over to her official website and look at her charities. The charities seem like a collection of photo opportunities: Heather in a hard hat with a landmine sign, Heather with limbs, etc.
We also discovered a bizarre “Heather’s Friends” section, which includes video testimonials from Richard Branson and Hillary Clinton. Weird.
Mills spends a good amount of time ranting about the law courts’ conspiracy against litigants who represent themselves:
Obviously the court do not want a litigant in person to do well, it’s against everything that they ever wish, so when they write the judgment up they’re never going to make it look in favor.
* “Are we headed for another Great Depression?” [McClatchy]
* Quelle surprise: Bear Stearns shareholder lawsuit (filed in S.D.N.Y. by Coughlin Stoia). [Bloomberg; WSJ Law Blog (PDF of complaint)]
* Speaking of Bear Stearns, here are some law firms losing out on BSC business. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Tenth Circuit reverses convictions of former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. [AP]
* Harvard Law School will pay the 3L tuition of future students who agree to work for nonprofit organizations or government for five years following graduation. [New York Times via Tax Prof Blog; Harvard Law School (news release)]
* Settlement in Paul McCartney-Heather Mills divorce (more on this later). [Legal Week]
* SCOTUS to hear Second Amendment / D.C. gun control case today (more on this later too). [New York Times; Reuters]
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!!!
Rapidly climbing the Most Emailed Articles list over at the New York Times is an op-ed entitled Taking Marriage Private, by Professor Stephanie Coontz. It includes an interesting history of the legal regulation of marriage (which Coontz observes is a fairly recent phenomenon):
Why do people — gay or straight — need the state’s permission to marry? For most of Western history, they didn’t, because marriage was a private contract between two families….
The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later part of that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-law marriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.
By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos.
In the latest issue of the Legal Times, Nathan Carlile has a somewhat salacious story about Beveridge & Diamond. Perhaps you haven’t heard of this D.C.-based environmental law boutique — which might be mistaken for a livestock brokerage, thanks to the sheep photos on their website. But a livestock brokerage probably has fewer hijinks:
[A] sordid story… has ensnared partners at 95-lawyer Beveridge & Diamond in allegations that include adultery and forgery. The dispute stems from a bitter divorce battle between firm partner John Guttmann and his wife, Nancy Lasater, a nonpracticing attorney who was previously co-chairwoman of the Law Practice Management Section of the D.C. Bar and a solo practitioner who often represented firms on ethics issues.
* Al Gore, law school dropout, wins Nobel Peace Prize. [WSJ Law Blog; Washington Post; New York Times]
* Houston crime lab drops the ball, again. [CNN]
* Iraqi families sue Blackwater in U.S. court. [CNN]
* Lithwick’s take on the interesting SCOTUS case, Medellin v. Texas. [Slate]
* McCartney-Mills divorce settlement could break records. [MSNBC]
* After typo, infants in Arkansas can’t not be allowed to marry. [CNN]
If you think most legal technology misses the mark, LexisNexis Firm Manager® wants to change your mind. Read more about it here.
Built with input from hundreds of solo and small-firm attorneys across the country, it’s made for practitioners who’d rather build the firm of their dreams than deal with the hassles of running a business.
· Go Mobile, Stay Connected.
See all your firm’s information, wherever you are, on whatever device you’re using. Access and update client files, enter billing, search & share documents and more. It’s just like you’re in the office, only you’re not.
When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!