That was fast. The criminal case against 10 Russian spies, which has captured the national imagination since their arrests on June 27, has been resolved. The New York Times reports:
In a seeming flashback to the cold war, Russian and American officials traded prisoners in the bright sunlight on the tarmac of Vienna’s international airport on Friday, bringing to a quick end an episode that had threatened to disrupt relations between the countries.
Planes carrying 10 convicted Russian sleeper agents and 4 men accused by Moscow of spying for the West swooped into the Austrian capital, once a hub of clandestine East-West maneuvering, and the men and women were transferred, the Justice Department said. The planes soon took off again in a coda fitting of an espionage novel.
It was a very dramatic scene. For more details on the spy exchange, see the Times and also the Washington Post (which reported that the idea of a spy swap was first developed weeks ago by the Obama administration).
Let’s take a look at some of the legal angles to this story….
* BP’s attempts to staunch the oil leak are still unsuccessful. Attorney General Eric Holder is taking a Gulf Coast vacation today to meet with state attorneys general and determine whether any laws have been broken. [New York Times]
* Woman sues Google for giving her walking directions that led her to be hit by a car. She may want to consider a suit against her lawyers for directing her to file this lawsuit. [Salt Lake Tribune]
* Law professor Peter Erlinder, who is imprisoned in Rwanda, is unwell and being represented by Kenyan lawyers. [Star Tribune]
* Kirkland partner John Desmarais decides to go solo and go plaintiff-oriented. [BusinessWeek]
* A “brilliant criminal defense attorney” in Texas turns into a not-so-brilliant criminal. [Houston Chronicle]
* Don’t tell anyone that the DADT law is a goner yet. [Politico]
* Legal recruiter (and ATL advertiser) Lateral Link shares tips on landing a new job. [CNN]
Ed. note: We apologize for the late docket. Technical difficulties, rather than oversleeping, are to blame.
* Yale Law School student Michael Seringhaus wants to put your DNA in a national database. [New York Times]
* Judge goes heavy on the prison time and light on the restitution for the man who peephole video-taped ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews. [True/Slant]
* Toyota class action plaintiffs rev their engines. [Kansas City Business Journal]
* Former McGuire Woods partner Louis Zehil pleads guilty to securities fraud and trading shares in the companies for which he was doing P.E. work. [Business Week]
* General counsels are happy to scavenge Biglaw layoffs. [ABA Journal]
* Eric Holder is not having a good month. [Daily Beast]
* If you see a story about a deadly giraffe attack, don’t believe it. [Houston Chronicle]
* One Darby & Darby refugee finds shelter at Fenwick West. [ABA Journal]
* Kenya has emerged as the chosen venue to try piracy cases. This article is worth it just for the quotes from the Kenyan piracy lawyer. Just try to imagine how much cooler your life would be if you were a Kenyan Piracy lawyer instead of a Biglaw associate. [The New York Times]
* Florida Judge Thomas Stringer worked for years to establish himself as a trusted, competent man. “then last spring, the well-respected, married judge suddenly found his face splashed beside that of a troubled exotic dancer in a kimono,” including here at ATL, of course. Amazing. [The Associated Press]
* Attorney General Eric Holder dodged alternating attacks on Capitol Hill Thursday, with some Congressman telling him to release more documents on Bush-era torture, and some telling him to stop releasing them. [CNN]
* AIG turned in the list of bonus recipients to New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo yesterday–let the games begin. Just kidding, I too fear for the safety of heavily compensated AIG executives–there is nothing scarier than an angry progressive. [The Los Angeles Times]
* Dispensers of medical marijuana have room to breathe after Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal authorities would cease raiding their operations. [The New York Times]
* Attorney General Eric Holder issued guidelines to federal agencies after The White House advised them to release their records to the public. [The Washington Post]
* A 3-judge federal appeals panel is considering whether or not to re-instate Madoff’s bail–springing him from jail until sentencing in June. [Newsday]
* Albert Hu, a Silicon Valley hedge fund manager conned clients by saying he was represented by prominent law firms like Heller Ehrman and Shaw Pittman; he was arrested in Hong Kong, and charged with defrauding millions from investors. [The National Law Journal]
* Another sad tale of an associate whose offer has been put on hold–his employer Latham & Watkins is asking incoming attorney’s to defer their start dates. [The National Law Journal]
* Meanwhile, a Pentagon official who inspected Guantanamo at Obama’s request is under fire from human rights activists for filing a report (which declares Gitmo humane) that is little more than good public relations for the administration. [The New York Times]
* What do you do when your boss gets indicted for securities fraud? You get another job. A team of seven bankruptcy lawyers left Dreier LLP for Epstein Becker Green. [EBG]
* A federal judge encouraged the Obama administration to decide whether to keep pursuing a case against 11 Vietnam War Veterans accused of trying to overthrow Laos’s communist government. [The Associated Press]
* Judge says: UBS must respond to the U.S. lawsuit seeking disclosure of 52,000 names of people who allegedly used Swiss accounts for tax evasion. [Bloomberg]
In prior posts (here and here), we reported on the impressive legal team that President Barack Obama has assembled to staff key positions in his administration. Like many of the Bush Administration lawyers they’re replacing, the Obama lawyers have impressive pedigrees: degrees from top law schools, often with honors and/or law review experience; impressive clerkships, including many SCOTUS clerkships; and stints at leading law firms (but with WilmerHale and Williams & Connolly replacing Gibson Dunn and Kirkland & Ellis as the feeder firms).
Several legal superstars are making big financial sacrifices to go into government service. They can expect low six-figure salaries as government lawyers, a far cry from the seven figures that some of them — not the law professors, but the Biglaw partners — earned in the private sector. As reported by Ken Vogel over at Politico:
Eric Holder, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, will get a separation payment from his firm, Covington & Burling, of between $1 million and $5 million, plus a share of the firm’s profits from this year “based on work performed through date of separation,” and a repayment of between $500,000 and $1 million from the firm’s capital account…. [Holder] earned $3.3 million last year as partner.
Jeh Johnson, Obama’s nominee to be the Pentagon’s top lawyer, would get a severance of between $1 million and $5 million from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, an international law firm. He’ll also get his $200,000 capital investment back from the firm, which paid him $2.6 million last year as a partner.
For more details — e.g., how much Eric Holder and Jeh Johnson’s retirement plans and pensions might be worth — see Politico.
In our earlier hiring round-ups, we missed a few names. Many tipsters came forward to fill in the blanks.
Learn about the latest legal eagles to land in the Obama nest, after the jump.
The confirmation hearings for Eric Holder as attorney general just started.
We’ll try to keep an eye on it for you and update you with interesting news and notes. Especially when the Specter in the punch bowl speaks up.
So far Holder has said the word “independent” twice and now we’re going through the list of black people who were shot in the sixties.
Update (10:31): Let me paraphrase question 1:
LEAHY: Waterboarding mutherf***** do you believe in it?
HOLDER: Waterboarding is torture.
LEAHY: Gonzales! Are you named GONZALES?
HOLDER: Waterboarding is torture.
Update (10:56): Round 1 of Specter v. Holder involved both fighters feeling each other out. Lots of clenching, no haymakers:
SPECTER: Let me remind everybody who Marc Rich is and why he’s a terrible person.
(time passes, seasons change …)
Mr. Holder, did you know about this?
HOLDER: Nope. My bad.
Score the round 10-10.
Meanhwhile Sen. Herbet Kohl (who also owns the Milwaukee Bucks) wants to know if Holder can ball with Obama. As commenter #5 might point out “that question would never have been asked if Holder was white.”
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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