Eyes of the Law

Aaron Charney solo firm headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Above the Law ATL.JPGSo just how large was the settlement in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell? Professor Scott Moss argued it was probably modest, while Professor Art Leonard believed it to be more substantial.
Here’s some evidence in favor of a larger settlement:

On Saturday at around 5 p.m., I spotted Aaron Charney in a cafe, in the bucolic town of Cold Spring, New York. I would have gone up and talked to him, but I realized who he was too late.

He was dressed in preppy fall wear, very J. Crew, with a wool hat. He was with two friends, and he was joking with them. He looked happy.

Well, how happy? Was it a $500,000 kind of happy, or a $2 million kind of happy?
Earlier: Just How Far Did S&C ‘Bend Over’ for Aaron Charney?

Alberto Gonzales Rebecca Turner Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpgOn Tuesday, we reported on several sightings of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in the vicinity of 13th and F Streets here in Washington, DC. Now we know what he was doing in that part of town:

[F]ormer AGAG has retained George Terwilliger of White & Case to represent him in the investigation surrounding his mismanagement of Justice. White & Case is on 13th between F and G.

So it looks like George Terwilliger, who was considered but passed over for AG, will get to clean up after Alberto after all.
Alberto Gonzales Hires Defense Attorney [AP]
Judge Alberto Gonzales’s Latest Hire [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: The Eyes of the Law: Alberto Gonzales

Here’s our latest legal celebrity sighting, for our occasional Eyes of the Law feature:

I’ve seen Alberto Gonzales walking the streets near Metro Center three times in the last month. Today he was walking with a blonde woman who was keeping a comfortable distance and not saying much. She looked like someone I should recognize, but didn’t.

Hmm… Might it have been Monica Goodling?
Or maybe not:

Alberto Gonzales Rebecca Turner Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpgI think the blonde woman may have been his wife? [Ed. note: Our source directed us to the photo at right.]

All three times have been right around the intersection of 13th and F Streets. Today he was walking west on F Street, and the last time I remember he was walking south on 13th Street. He was with someone then too, but it was a man, and so obviously not his wife. Can’t remember the time before that.

Any idea what he’s up to these days? BTW: he looks taller on TV, but then again I guess everyone does.

True; the celebrities we’ve met generally look smaller in real life. But there are some exceptions. E.g., Bill Clinton (who is taller in real life than you’d expect).
Have you seen a famous lawyer or judge out and about lately? If so, please email us. Thanks.
Update: We now think we know what Alberto Gonzales was doing in that part of town. See here.

Kennedy Center Performing Arts Washington DC Above the Law blog.jpgIf you enjoy spotting legal celebrities, then the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, here in Washington, DC, is where it’s at. Check out these latest Eyes of the Law sightings:

“On Sunday, it was the symphony opening at the Kennedy Center. I walked in with Justice Alito, and Justice Ginsburg came a bit later. And Vernon Jordan.”

“There were also non-legal celebrities in attendance: Steven Schwarzman, Alphonso Jackson, Tom Friedman, and Nancy Brinker, the former head of the Komen Foundation and the new U.S. Chief of Protocol.”

Non-lawyers — who cares about them? Unless, say, they are legal media celebrities:

“On Monday, at the opera, I spotted Nina Totenberg. She wore a nice blue suit and had full metal makeup and hair.”

“She stood in line for her drink in the lobby along with everyone else and did not push to the front or demand that others get her drink for her. Apparently this is very out of character for her.”

If you spot a legal celeb out and about, please let us know, by email. Cell phone pictures and even TMZ-style video are always welcome. Thanks.

Erwin Chemerinsky Duke Law School UC Irvine Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, so the folks over at TMZ.com don’t chase them around yet. But here at ATL, we adore legal celebrities — and invite you to send in your encounters with them, for our Eyes of the Law sightings column.
Last Friday, for lovers of legal boldface names from the left or the right, William & Mary School of Law was the place to be:

William and Mary Law School (and the College) had a series of speakers of today, all wedged into a very tight schedule. They included:

At noon, former Dean of UC Irvine School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to his talk, so I can’t say whether he talked about the controversy.

At 1 PM, UC Berkley professor (and evil incarnate if you believe some blogs) John Yoo spoke. Yoo said in his introduction that he was being “wedged in” between “the former Dean of UC Irvine” and Stuart Taylor, who was speaking at 2 on his book on the Duke rape case, “Until Proven Innocent.”

We also had a panel on Saturday on “Judicial Modesty,” which included such leading lights as Dahlia Lithwick, Michael McConnell, Carter Phillips and Jeffrey Rosen. See here (PDF).

Quite the weekend for legal geeks! (Er. You know. If I was one of them).

Although this tipster wasn’t at the Chemerinsky talk, other ATL readers were. Check out this video, posted on the blog of the W&M chapter of the American Constitution Society. Isn’t Chemerinsky adorable?
Additional discussion of the Erwin Chemerinsky and John Yoo appearances, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Eyes of the Law: Legal Celebrities Descend on William & Mary”

Tom Ridge Governor Tom Ridge Thomas Ridge Thomas J Ridge Thomas Joseph Ridge.jpgHere’s a random legal / political celebrity sighting, sent to us last night, in real time (at around 8 PM):

I’m riding the Philly-to-DC Acela, and who should be in first class but the original don of the Homeland, Tom Ridge, Esq. A dark horse candidate coming down to be reviewed as a potential AG?

The former governor is looking dapper, in a double-breasted, navy pinstripe suit (although the bluetooth earpiece is too much). He’s carrying only a small leather bag.

Tom Ridge for AG? Not as predictable as, say, Mike Chertoff. But when it comes to picking a new attorney general, we’re all in favor of outside-the-box thinking.
Oh wait, sorry, an update and correction:

Upon de-training, it is clear that Ridge’s bag is a black nylon duffel — not leather. I catch his attention and ask him if he prefers “Governor Ridge” or “Secretary Ridge,” and he responds the former, although “Tom is fine.”

Have you recently seen a legal luminary around town? Please send “Eyes of the Law” sightings to us by email. Thanks.

We all scream for ice cream! And that includes high-ranking officials of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Here’s our latest legal celebrity sighting:

Last night I watched the fireworks from the South Lawn of the White House. The event had a very DC feel to it: everyone there was quasi-famous, even if you couldn’t figure out why.

But I did recognize one person: Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, the second-highest-ranking official at the DOJ. He was dressed casually, in a red polo shirt, and was sitting on a blanket with his wife and kids.

McNulty may not be Brad Pitt — but here in Washington, he might as well have been. People kept going up to him, introducing themselves, and having their picture taken with him. This is clearly the dorkiest city in the entire country (and I count myself among the dorks, since I recognized him too).

I discreetly took two photographs of DAG McNulty munching on a Dove ice cream bar. Here they are.

Paul McNulty ice cream 1 Paul J McNulty Above the Law blog.jpeg
High-ranking Justice Department officials: they’re just like us. They eat ice cream bars!
Earlier: Every DAG Has His Day

This one’s a vicarious “Eyes of the Law” through a source in New York. According to the source:

“Since we’re getting close to the end of the Supreme Court’s Term, people might be wondering: Are we going to see any retirements this year? Will Justice John Paul Stevens finally pack it in? Or what about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was described as looking somewhat frail earlier this year?”
“Well, I wouldn’t count on RBG stepping down anytime soon. At the Second Circuit conference a few weeks ago, I saw Justice Ginsburg dancing a jig — with Judge Pierre Leval of the Second Circuit, another prominent judicial liberal.”
“I tried to take some video with my camera phone, but it came out unusual. That may be for the best.”

We wonder if it was “for the best” because of the dancing being anything like this:

At any rate, it sounds like Ginsburg is definitely still kicking.

Harriet Miers Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGWe’re about to sit down and enjoy a sandwich we just picked up from Cosi. If it’s good enough for the Chief Justice, it’s good enough for us.
Normally we’d wash our hands first. But not today.
Why? Because we just met Harriet Miers — and shook her hand!
We were crossing the street at 15th and L Streets in downtown Washington, shortly after 2 PM today. Walking towards us were three well-dressed, older lawyers: two tall men, and a much shorter woman.
We had that feeling of “we know her from somewhere.” And suddenly it hit us:

ATL: “Oh my goodness. You’re Harriet Miers!!!”

HEM: “Yes.”

ATL: “Wow, I’m a huge fan of yours. Thank you for all of your great work!”

We then shook hands with the former Supreme Court nominee. Her handshake was just right: firm, but far from crushing.
More details from this sighting, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Eyes of the Law: A Thrilling Lunchtime Sighting”

Alberto Gonzales 3 Alberto R Gonzales Attorney General Above the Law blog.jpgTime for an installment of ATL’s legal celebrity sightings column, The Eyes of the Law. This one is especially juicy.
We hear that last week, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was sighted in the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins — the firm where he was once a partner. His presence was not kept a secret, since he walked right past the offices of several summer associates.
Was AGAG just paying a friendly visit to some of his former partners? Or could his drop-by signify that he might be resigning as Attorney General and returning to his former stomping grounds (a la Harriet Miers, who returned to Locke Liddell after stepping down as White House Counsel)?
If you think we’re getting carried away, we’d like to remind you: office visits can be very revealing. Remember when a bunch of Weil Gotshal bankruptcy partners defected to Cadwalader back in March? A week before their move was announced, the ex-Weil partners were sighted in the Cadwalader offices, on an evening tour led by CWT chairman Robert Link and bankruptcy chairman Bruce Zirinsky.
If you have any scuttlebutt to add about Gonzales and V&E, please email us. Thanks.
Update: According to this comment, “He was there for the funeral of a former partner — Rush Record.” This explanation sounds plausible to us, since Mr. Record did pass away last week.

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