Eugene Scalia

It’s Alito time, Phil! (via Getty Images)

* The NSA has violated the Constitution for years, you say? And it’s been misleading the FISA court about all of its domestic spying activities? As of this moment, the NSA is on double secret probation! [New York Times]

* Imagine how the New York stop-and-frisk case would have turned out if it had been before SCOTUS. The “human toll of unconstitutional stops” may not have been weighed so heavily. [Opinionator / New York Times]

* “[N]o one has a crystal ball,” but right now, it’s highly likely that the Supreme Court will take up another gay marriage case. Perhaps it’ll be the one that’s currently unfolding in Pennsylvania. [Legal Intelligencer]

* According to a recent survey conducted by Randstad, about 60 percent of lawyers are proud to be members of the legal profession, which is impressive(!) considering how unhappy they are. [The Lawyer]

* Birds of a feather really do flock together. Philip Alito, son of Justice Samuel Alito, will join Eugene Scalia, son of Justice Antonin Scalia, at Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Even though the vast majority of his race-based claims were dismissed on summary judgment, this “token black associate” still has a respected Biglaw firm up against the Ropes. [National Law Journal]

* Law school applications are plummeting, but top law schools haven’t started scraping the bottom of the barrel — their applicants’ LSAT scores have remained relatively competitive. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female.” Considering (s)he was just sentenced to 35 years in prison, Bradley Chelsea Manning picked a great time to make this announcement to the world. [Chicago Tribune]

* You dare call the Duchess of Dumplins racist and sexist? When it comes to Paula Deen’s new legal team from Morgan Lewis, five are women, and four are black. Take that, Lisa Jackson. [Am Law Daily]

Celebrity Skin: a great album, by the way.

Last month, we asked: Who are this year’s celebrity summer associates? In recent years, major law firms have hosted famous figures as summer associates, including a successful author, a not-so-successful author, and a reality TV beauty.

This year, the celebrity wattage is considerably lower. But there are still a few notable names floating out there (and we welcome additional submissions, by email). For example, we recently wrote about actor Wai Choy, a former co-star of Lindsay Lohan who is now summering at Proskauer in New York.

Our next celebrity summer associate isn’t super-famous in his own right (even though he’s as good-looking as many a Hollywood actor). Instead, he derives his celebrity from a famous father.

So who is he, and where does he work?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Celebrity Summer Associate: Supreme Offspring”

Ann Banaszewski Ann S Banaszewski Justice Antonin Scalia drunk driver drunk driving Above the Law.jpgIf your mom or dad is a federal judge, that makes them perfect (by definition). But Article III infallibility does not extend to you, their offspring. Do YOU have a commission signed by the President? Where’s your fancy black robe?
In fact, federal judicial kids get into all sorts of embarrassing scrapes. For example, sometimes they spill coffee on airplanes.*
And sometimes they get into much bigger trouble. From the Chicago Tribune:

A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was arrested Monday night in Wheaton and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni said.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, was stopped about 7:25 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Econoline van near Gamon Road and Longfellow Drive after a citizen reported a possible drunken driver was at the McDonald’s restaurant near there, Meloni said.

Three of Banaszewski’s “small children” were in the van with her at the time, leading to the child endangerment charge, Meloni said.

Quips our tipster: “Now that I have kids, it really makes me mad to see someone drinking and driving with their kids in the car.”
(Similarly troubling: Banaszewski’s taste in vehicles. A 1996 Ford Econoline van? Not nearly as nice as the BMW her father tools around Washington in.)
Mrs. Banaszweski wasn’t eager to chat about the incident:

Banaszewski, reached by phone at home, declined to speak about the arrest, or whether she was Scalia’s daughter.

“I have no information and I certainly would not speak with a reporter about my father,” she said.

Some unsolicited advice: Next time, Ann, just say “no comment.” We don’t mean to be annoying or pedantic — we’re guessing you don’t speak to the media much — but saying you “have no information” about an episode in which you’re the protagonist isn’t true.
Anyway, we must say we’re rather surprised by this news. The offspring of Justice Scalia are an upstanding bunch. They include a priest, a military officer, and a hot ERISA lawyer. And given Justice Scalia’s emphasis on morality and personal responsibility, we think he’d be displeased to learn that his daughter was allegedly driving under the influence, with his three grandchildren in the car.
* For those of you who care, yes, we will (eventually) respond to Judge Alex Kozinski’s open letter to us. We’ve just been very, very busy.
Daughter of Supreme Court Justice Charged in DUI [Chicago Tribune]
Earlier: Flying the Friendly, Federal Judicial Skies
Judges of the Day: Patrick Young and Jan Fiss
The Honorable Nicole Richie?


celebrity celebrities Above the Law legal tabloid legal blog.JPGWe love lists: the Forbes 400, the U.S. News college and law school rankings, or Washingtonian magazine’s list of 40 top lawyers under 40. We love lawyers — which is good, since we spend all day writing about them. And we love fabulous things.
So you can imagine our delight upon seeing this feature from The American Lawyer: The Young Litigators Fab Fifty. It’s a list of 50 top litigators from around the country, all under the age of 45, whom the magazine “expect[s] to see leading the field for years to come.”
You can check out the list here. Regular readers of ATL will recognize many of these youthful luminaries. Here are some highlights:

– Latham & Watkins partner Sean Berkowitz,* the former prosecutor who rose to fame durring the Enron case;

Paul Clement, the U.S. Solicitor General (who was very nice to us);

– Weil Gotshal partner Gregory Coleman and Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz, two top Texas lawyers (and possible Fifth Circuit nominees);

– Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, the delectable DOJ diva;

Jeffrey Fisher, of Davis Wright & Tremaine, SCOTUS lefty litigator extraordinaire (he’s a Bleeding Reinhardt and former JPS clerk);

– Deputy Solicitor General Gregory Garre, Chief Justice Roberts’s former l’il buddy (from his Hogan & Hartson days);

Professor Neal Katyal of Georgetown Law, the “Paris Hilton of the Legal Elite”;

– Alabama’s Solicitor General, Kevin Newsom (amusing story about him here); and

Eugene Scalia, the Gibson Dunn partner and fabled ERISA hottie (and son of Nino).

On the whole, it’s an excellent list. We can think of a few questionable omissions (and a few dubious selections). But with something this subjective, reasonable minds will differ.
Congrats again to the Fab Fifty!
* Does anyone know if Sean Berkowitz and Bethany McLean, the Fortune reporter who covered Enron, are still an item?
The Young Litigators Fab Fifty [American Lawyer]

erisa lawyers.jpegThis was absolutely agonizing; but after hours of deliberation, we managed to do it. We reviewed the male side of the field in our ERISA Lawyer Hotties Contest, then painstakingly winnowed it down to twelve deserving finalists. (Yes, we previously said we’d have ten finalists. But picking even a dozen, from so many worthy competitors, was nearly impossible.)

Our decisions were based on (1) photographs of the nominees, and (2) reader testimonials about them. In order to make the final cut, a nominee needed an appealing picture and a strong testimonial. We also gave priority to attorneys who work primarily on pension and employee benefit law, as opposed to ones whose practice involves the field only tangentially.

The female finalists will follow tomorrow. For now, check out the pictures and testimonials for the male finalists — and cast your vote for America’s Hottest Male ERISA Lawyer — after the jump (click on the “continue reading” link).

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ERISA Hotties: Your Male Nominees”