Move over, Bryant Park. The real fashion show was going on here: New York Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street.
Last week, of course, was New York Fashion Week. Our little sister, Fashionista, covered the events extensively.
Meanwhile, downtown from the tents in Bryant Park, we too had fashion on the brain. But instead of watching runway models strut their stuff, we assessed the sartorial choices of lawyers — namely, counsel at last week’s hearing in the litigation between gay lawyer Aaron Charney and his former employer, Sullivan & Cromwell.
You’re dying to know:
– Who was the best-dressed attorney in Courtroom 540 — and who was the worst?
– Who sported the nicest footwear?
– Who had the most problematic hair?
The answers to these questions, and more, after the jump.
As regular ATL readers well know, we’ve been offering wall-to-wall coverage of Shanetta Y. Cutlar. If you’re not familiar with her, Ms. Cutlar is the nightmarish awesomely overachieving diva who oversees the Special Litigation Section (SPL), part of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Shanetta Cutlar is a strong leader with a distinctive managerial style. She drives lawyers and staff away in droves sometimes rubs people the wrong way. But even if it’s lost on her underlings, we appreciate SYC’s deliciousness!
Some of you have wondered whether Chief Cutlar is aware of ATL’s coverage of her and, if so, what she thinks of it. We had heard through the grapevine that she is aware of this site and finds the attention amusing. Now we have more concrete confirmation.
At a recent meeting of the Section Chiefs of the Civil Rights Division, Shanetta Y. Cutlar whipped out a tiara. She then placed it on her head and proclaimed:
“I GUESS I’M A DIVA NOW!!!”
This is a clear reference to ATLs’ naming Cutlar our DOJ Diva of the Day — on two separateoccasions.
We draw the following conclusions from this tiara incident:
1. Shanetta Cutlar is even more fabulous than we thought. The woman owns a tiara, for chrissakes. And she brings it to meetings of high-level DOJ officials.
2. Shanetta Cutlar has a healthy, self-deprecating sense of humor. The commenters who defend her so earnestly on ATL, like “Life” — see this thread — need to relax. They should follow their idol’s lead, and just laugh it off.
3. Shanetta Cutlar is completely confident in her ability to keep her post. She’s unfazed by the attention she has received, and she’s unfraid of, say, congressional investigations of SPL. She knows she’s not going anywhere.
WE LOVE YOU SHANETTA!!!
P.S. Where did SYC get the tiara? On a totally random note, our cousin-in-law is a leading maker of wedding tiaras.
Rumor has it that Sullivan & Cromwell’s chairman, banking law god H. Rodgin Cohen, was “pretty angry” when he learned that the New York Times would be covering Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against S&C by a gay former associate, Aaron Charney.
(The NYT story was pretty even-handed. But it was surprisingly long and detailed, which Cohen probably didn’t like. We discussed it back in this post.)
If Rodge Cohen doesn’t like MSM coverage of lurid litigation involving his firm, then he’s probably less than pleased by all the news coverage of Sullivan & Cromwell v. Charney, S&C’s countersuit against its former M&A associate.
Today’s New York Law Journal has an article about the case. Most of it is familiar to ATL readers. What’s new is info about Charney’s legal team, which now includes the scrumptiously credentialed Laura Schnell: Dartmouth, Chicago Law, Jack Weinstein clerkship, Best Lawyers in America listing.
In addition, the New York Times’s widely read DealBook blog has a write-up of the suit. The DealBook post contains a shout-out to ATL. Thanks, NYT!
As some commenters have noted, one purpose of S&C’s countersuit was surely to get Aaron Charney to shut up. It appears to have succeeded, since Charney has been tight-lipped since last Thursday, when the suit was filed.
But the countersuit does mean that (1) S&C is “stooping to Charney’s level,” i.e., crossing swords with someone of lesser stature (no “Rose Garden” / “we will ignore you as if you were a gnat” strategy); and (2) opening itself up to more media coverage, to wit, coverage of its affirmative lawsuit.
We are coming up to New York on Thursday to watch the preliminary injunction hearing before Justice Bernard Fried of New York Supreme Court. And we don’t think we’ll be the only media (or quasi-media) types in attendance.
Bob Kolker, of New York Magazine, is writing a feature-length article about Charney; so we’d expect to see him there. Other top legal reporters we’ll be watching out for — we have no idea of whether they’re coming, though — include Peter Lattman and Nathan Koppel, of the Wall Street Journal; Anna Schneider-Mayerson, of the New York Observer; and Anthony Lin, of the New York Law Journal. Update (4:35 PM): Prolific ATL commenter Lavi Soloway will be there.
If you’re at the hearing, feel free to come over and say hello. We look like this.
We also look forward to meeting the parties and their lawyers. We’ve emailed Aaron Charney to tell him that we’ll be there (although he hasn’t responded). And we’ve emailed Zach Fasman of Paul Hastings, who represents S&C, to put him on fashion-and-style notice:
I’m planning to attend the hearing on Thursday, so perhaps I’ll meet you then. Be sure to dress for success! I’ll definitely be writing about the sartorial choices of counsel at this red-carpet event.
* The point of this fluff piece feature is that Ferraris are not always penis substitutes. [Legal Times]
* Is there actually a rental market (Netbux?) for books-on-tape? [Patry Copyright Blog]
* New York fashion week starts soon, and I will yet again be reminded that as a woman living in the cultural capital of the world (arguably), I will never amount to anything because I am not 6 feet tall and 105 pounds. So would I really care if they keeled over and died? [Access Hollywood]
* She also claimed to have coined, “I’m listening.” [New York Law Journal]
* Must-see TV, PBS-style. Those of you who know me also know I only discovered PBS when I got to college. And then, I just didn’t care. (Nah, just being obnoxious — I’ll occasionally watch a well-intentioned documentary or a live concert by some 60s band). [Legal Blog Watch]
* Defense should probably open with a clip of The Birds. [Los Angeles Times]
We’ve been DYING for a photograph of Shanetta Cutlar, the Bitch Goddess Chief of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section, whom we have written about extensively in these pages. So we were absolutely delighted to receive the photograph at right, which one of you dug up for us on an archived DOJ web page.
As you can see, Shanetta Cutlar is attractive and stylish. We love the combination of the pearl necklace and the pearl-gray pinstripe suit (with hints of purple in the sleeve). Her smooth mocha skin and glossy red lips couldn’t be more alluring. Her hair is fabulous; it looks professionally styled.
Just like Paris Hilton, another one of our favorite women on planet Earth, Shanetta Cutlar takes a great still photograph. We’re reminded of what cosmetics heir and art collector Ronald Lauder recently said, to the New Yorker, about socialite Adele Bloch-Bauer, whose portrait was painted by Gustav Klimt (a portrait Lauder recently bought for $135 million):
“She had a salon, she had a personality, and you can feel that personality. Unlike The Kiss, this is a painting that is alive.”
The same can be said of Shanetta Cutlar. Love her or hate her, the woman has personality. Unlike so many of those “DOJ Official In Front Of A Flag” photos, which are generic and interchangeable, Shanetta’s photo portrait is alive. You can practically hear her yelling at a line attorney for including extra spaces in a document, or upbraiding a summer intern for failing to say hello.
For those of you who are as obsessed with “SYC” as we are, we reprint the text that accompanied this Shanetta-licious image, after the jump.
The latest item for Eyes of the Law, our legal celebrity sightings column, is a doozy. From the AP:
Rock band Bon Jovi, Harrisburg restaurants and school bands from all over the state were part of yesterday’s daylong celebration of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s inauguration for a second term….
Even more talented than Rendell was his wife, Midge Rendell [aka Third Circuit Judge Marjorie O. Rendell], who capped the concert by singing a duet with rock star Jon Bon Jovi of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?”
The performance brought the night’s first standing ovation. Rendell ambled up on stage afterward and marveled that no other first lady could sing with Bon Jovi.
“Take that Maria Shriver,” he bellowed, referring to the wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Please correct us if we’re wrong. But this is, as far as we know, the first time a federal circuit judge has sung a duet with Jon Bon Jovi.*
In addition to her musical prowess, the Honorable Marjorie Rendell also deserves props for being the Stylish Marjorie Rendell.
The attractive Judge Rendell, a federal judicial hottie, wore a gown by noted designer Paula Hian to the inauguration festivities.
For hard-core fashionistas, a lengthy description of the frock appears after the jump.
Some people, like the Overlawyered crew, can’t stop bitching about our ridiculously litigious society. They complain that here in the United States, people sue at the drop of a hat, for the most stupid or frivolous of reasons.
But there may be an upside to our culture of litigation. From the AFP:
The leading association of US fashion designers said it would issue guidelines this week on the issue of skinny models. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) will issue its findings to designers, modeling agencies and production companies by the end of the week ahead of castings for fashion week, which begins on February 2….
The former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Stan Herman, last year ruled out a ban on skinny models in New York, saying such rules would expose the organizers to possible legal action.
“It would be the same as banning somebody who’s too fat,” he told AFP in September. “Those people could sue… I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.”
* We took Eve Harrington’s Jan Crawford Greenburg’s quip that Justice Stevens told her when he was planning to retire as a joke. But not everyone did. [Volokh Conspiracy; Althouse]
* A juicy rumor. But who on earth could it be? [Concurring Opinions]
(Btw, congrats to Concurring Opinions on its one millionth visitor.)
* Former fashion designer Ilene Moses is on trial for allegedly defrauding banks of $26 million. But her design of fur-trimmed capes may be the more serious offense. [Associated Press]
* Fred Fielding will be taking a pay cut as White House counsel. But that’s okay, ’cause he can afford it. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Drape an invisibility cloak over the Federal Register, and call it a day. [Wonkette]
* We recommend to you any blog post that contains the words “palpably fresh.” [Crescat Sententia]
* Here’s Blawg Review #90. [Minor Wisdom]
* We weren’t the only ones who had a blast at last week’s crazy law-bloggerparty! So did Miriam Cherry, whom we had the pleasure of meeting at the festivities. [PrawfsBlawg]
Four years ago, the “Gifties” of Beaubien School lost in the principal’s office. Then, this class of gifted eighth-grade students lost in U.S. district court.
Undeterred, Thursday the group went before one of the highest courts of the land, arguing their principal violated First Amendment free speech rights when he punished them for wearing T-shirts with the word “Gifties” on them.
“There’s a certain point when you have to stick up for your rights,” said Michael Brandt, one of 24 gifted students who sued their principal and the Chicago Board of Education. His mother, Irene Dymkar, is representing the students in the class action lawsuit.
At oral argument, Judge Richard Posner sounded unsympathetic to their cause:
“Why do people bring lawsuits for such trivialities?” Judge Richard Posner, a notoriously tough jurist, asked Dymkar during a three-judge hearing of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Thursday. “Have they been harmed, these ‘Gifties’?”
“Trivialities”? C’mon, Judge Posner — have a heart! Surely you, a genius among geniuses, should be sensitive to the plight of “gifties.”
Chicago Public Schools lawyers say Kotis was protecting the kids from possible attacks by regular education students. They argue there were tensions between the groups and Kotis had outlawed the word “gifties,” as well as “tards,” used to refer to regular education students….
The gifted students claim there was no safety issue.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
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