Dorsey & Whitney

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFOodles of juicy moves today, especially out of and into the federal government. As the leaves change, so do the lawyers.
Government to Private Sector:
* Federal prosecutor John Hueston, a leader of the team that prosecuted Enron execs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, is heading for the greener pastures of Irell & Manella.
All around the country, AUSAs with white-collar criminal experience are leaving U.S. Attorney’s Offices — including our former workplace — for the more lucrative precincts of private practice. The trend is especially pronounced in the legendary Southern District of New York, as noted by Anna Schneider-Mayerson.
Private Sector to Government:
* Corporate and securities lawyer Michael Halloran, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop, has been appointed to serve as deputy chief of staff and counselor to Christopher Cox, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Lateral Moves:
* Broker-dealer compliance specialist Steven Lofchie, to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, from Davis Polk & Wardwell. (In this day and age, compliance is a hot area. We’re guessing Lofchie got offered a nice deal.)
* Tax lawyer John Narducci, to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, from White & Case.
* IP lawyer Robert Wasnofski Jr., to Dorsey & Whitney, from Baker Botts.
* M&A lawyer Sandy Feldman, to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, from Torys.
Retirements:
* Plaintiffs’ lawyer Alan Schulman, of Bernstein, Litowitz — and formerly of the indicted Milberg Weiss — is retiring at the end of the year.
Not Going Anywhere — Yet:
* Apple CEO Steve Jobs and HP CEO Mark Hurd are sticking around — despite the problems that their companies face.
NY Practice Leader Leaves One Elite NY Firm for Another [NYLawyer.com]
More NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
Milberg Weiss: Merger Talks Break Down; An Alum Retires [WSJ Law Blog]
Enron Prosecutor John Hueston to Join Irell & Manella [WSJ Law Blog]
The Gang That Shot Straight Is Disbanding, For a Profit [New York Observer]

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFThe latest news on the most notable moves within the profession:
Government to Private Sector:
* Seth Silber, to Wilson Sonsini (as counsel), from the FTC. (Quips our tipster: “What a lovely week to join that particular firm!”)
New Office Openings:
* Crowell & Moring — aka “Cruel & Boring”*** — is opening a New York office. They’ve grabbed litigator William McSherry, from Arent Fox, and patent lawyer Janet McLeod, from Dorsey & Whitney, to kick things off.
* The exceedingly profitable, Houston-based Susman Godfrey is opening a New York office, headed by name partner Stephen Susman.
Lateral Private Sector Moves:
* Bankruptcy guru Paul Basta, to Kirkland & Ellis, from Weil Gotshal & Manges.***
* Patent litigators Joseph O’Malley and Bruce Wexler, to Paul Hastings (NY), from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.
*** “Cruel and Boring” is just a silly nickname for Crowell & Moring that we’ve heard around town. We have no idea as to whether it has any factual basis. We just think using nicknames for law firms is fun.
Other law firm nicknames we’ve heard: Weil Gotshal & Manges = “We’ll Getcha & Mangle Ya” (self-explanatory); Cravath Swaine & Moore = “The Death Star” (self-explanatory); Davis Polk & Wardwell = “The Teahouse on Lexington Avenue” (for their penchant for hiring geishas attractive Asian-American females — don’t get mad at us, we didn’t make it up).
(Feel free to add more law firm nicknames in the comments to this post.)
On The Move [Antitrust Review]
Basta Says Hasta to Weil Gotshal [WSJ Law Blog]
DC Firm Opens NY Office [NYLawyer.com]
Houston Firm Opens Manhattan Office [NYLawyer.com]
Firm Adds NY Patent Litigators [NYLawyer.com]

conrad black.jpg* In the legal and regulatory crackdown on business corruption and white-collar crime, “lawyers serving fraud-ridden companies have emerged relatively unscathed,” reports the Washington Post. Chalk it up to professional courtesy. [Washington Post]
* Lord Conrad Black (at right), former media mogul, has had his worldwide assets frozen by a Canadian court. But don’t feel too sorry for him — he still gets an allowance of $20,000 a month. (Is that U.S. dollars, or Canadian?) [BBC News; Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
* Judge Eldon E. Fallon (E.D. La.) upheld the jury verdict finding Merck liable in a recent Vioxx case, but ruled that a new trial must be held on damages because the $50 million compensatory damage award — not a punitive damages award — was “grossly excessive.” Seems like the right decision to us. After all, the guy survived (and isn’t a pro basketball player). [Associated Press via DealBreaker]
* Two former Brocade Communications executives, charged in the options backdating scandal, have pleaded not guilty. [Bloomberg News]
* A federal bankruptcy judge ruled that Dorsey & Whitney breached fiduciary duties of client loyalty — and ordered the firm to cough up almost $900,000 in fees.
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune]


The latest crop of entries in the Wall Street Journal’s ongoing Summer Associate Diary (subscription) are pretty boring. If you don’t have a subscription, don’t worry; you’re not missing much. Here’s our executive summary:

Marc Allon (Jenner & Block/University of Michigan): “Mr. Allon has mixed feelings about heading back to school. At Jenner & Block, he liked the feeling of getting things done. ‘I found that I really liked offering [my services] to a client.'” Insert lawyers-and-prostitutes joke here.

Carolyn Gleason Sanchez (Quintana Law Group/University of Maryland): “In law school, you complain if you have a week to do an assignment, but in the real world you have to do it right away.” Yeah, it kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

Matthew Duke (Burr & Forman/University of Alabama): Wants to improve as a writer. Don’t we all.

Andrew Meyerson (Dorsey & Whitney/NYU): “Working at Dorsey has further convinced him that transactional law, not litigation, is what he’s suited for.” In other words: “My summer experience has taught me I’m even more boring than I thought I was.”

YAWN. If anyone has salacious summer associate stories from this past summer, please send ‘em our way (by email).
2006 Summer Associate Diary (Aug. 2, 2006) [WSJ via WSJ Law Blog]

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