Fashion

Deborah Jeane Palfrey Debra Jean Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.jpgApparently we weren’t the only ones who got blue balls from felt cheated by 20/20′s report last Friday on the alleged DC madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Professor Ann Althouse writes:

Were you, like me duped into watching “20/20″ last night to hear what names they’d name based on the big list forked over to them by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who’s accused of running a prostitution ring in Washington?

“Our decision at the end was not to name any names,” said Brian Ross, the news correspondent who presented the segment. Mr. Ross said that the network went with a “conservative approach,” and that “based on our reporting it turned out not to be as newsworthy as we thought in terms of the names.”

At least they’re being honest — it seems — in not pretending they’d belatedly discovered some ethical compunction about it.

Like Professor Althouse, we were also duped, seduced by ABC’s advertising promising a salacious broadcast. We rushed home from a party on Friday night so we wouldn’t miss the 20/20 special report, which we were expecting to be sensational. We were disappointed.
Sigh. Well, at least there was a shout-out to the Akin Gump escort:

Sometimes when Palfrey was unavailable [to answer the phones], a legal secretary at one of Washington’s top law firms, Akin Gump, would handle the calls as well as go out on calls herself.

Using her e-mail account at Akin Gump, the secretary told Palfrey why she wanted to be an escort: “A day a week would be fun and spa money.”

And from an ATL source, here’s more gossip about the Akin Gump Escort, a former secretary to powerhouse partner John Dowd, the criminal defense lawyer now representing Monica Goodling:

This secretary likes to shop at high-end stores. She also drives luxury vehicles.

An escort with a weakness for fashion and the finer things? Color us surprised.
This could, however, be advantageous for Monica Goodling. If we were John Dowd, we’d instruct the Akin Gump Escort to take Monica Goodling shopping for a new suit, before Goodling’s anticipated congressional testimony.
Brian Ross Reports on the D.C. Madam [ABC News / 20/20]
ABC fakes us out about naming names [Althouse]

shoe shopping.jpg
If “attorney-client networking” conjures up images of bars and baseball games, prepare to give those expectations the boot. The shoe is on the other foot at Bryan Cave:

For the 53 shoppers who attended a “shoe event” sponsored by law firm Bryan Cave LLP on a recent Tuesday evening — all of them female lawyers and their female corporate clients or friends — getting to know one another while browsing designer shoes was a refreshing change from being the lone woman at a client dinner or sports event.
“The shoes were an icebreaker for starting conversations,” says Elizabeth DaSilva, managing director, Global Trust Services, Americas at Bank of New York. She mulled a pair of high-heeled evening pumps but quickly turned her attention to the other shoppers. “It was the first opportunity I’d had to talk to lawyers my firm uses about something other than an immediate work assignment,” adds Ms. DaSilva.

It’d be easy to mock this kind of thing, and we’re not above that. (Firms, embrace the girly! The Pillsbury Winthrop Bake-Off! The Stroock Stitch ‘n’ Bitch! Quilting with Quinn Emanuel!)
But in all seriousness, we’re totally in favor of some girl-on-girl bonding action.
In a perfect world, all of us would enjoy the same androgynous pastimes, but the reality is that men and women often gravitate toward different activities (see, for example, this article positing that 90 percent of golfers are male because the game is “the modern version of Pleistocene hunting on the savanna”). There’s nothing wrong with firms recognizing that business development needn’t always involve liquor and/or ritualized combat.

Kate Moss Katherine Moss model supermodel Above the Law blog.jpg* Like you, this attorney and concerned citizen opted for law school because science just wasn’t her thing. [J-Walk Blog]
* Kettles Retailers are being told they’re black warned not to infringe upon Kate Moss’s much-hyped and copyrighted “Pot”-shop Topshop collection. [Fashionista; Retail Week]
(An explanatory note for those of you who couldn’t care less: Topshop is an H&M-esque retailer that rips off designs from everybody so that broke girls and boys can swath themselves in sweatshop-produced crap and still have money left over for cigarettes.)
* Power may be the great aphrodisiac, but in my experience, sexual harassers in the professional workplace are just pervs or losers who couldn’t find a date in high school. Sometimes it’s that simple. [Feminist Law Professors]
* In these violent times, “Red Asphalt” just doesn’t do the trick in scaring the bejesus out of high school drivers. [Central Ohio]
* School lunches + biometrics = ACLU. Of course. [Turn to 10]

We’re back from today’s hearing in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. In terms of entertainment value, it was a bit of a disappointment.
It was a pretty straightforward proceeding. No salacious accusations of destroyed hard drives; no mystery lawyers popping out of the audience to join in the fun; no mention of attorney disciplinary proceedings. Just arguments from counsel, with a lot of mumbled questions from Justice Bernard Fried (who really needs to speak into his microphone — or turn it on, maybe).
There were no rulings from the bench on any of the motions. Justice Fried took everything under advisement — and promised a ruling on at least one of the motions “shortly.” (We may have a more detailed report later; but really, there wasn’t much to write home about.)
For us, the most exciting part of today’s proceedings was getting to meet plaintiff Aaron Charney, in the flesh. We approached him during a break and introduced ourselves. He shook our hand, but didn’t say more (and seemed nervous). His voice was high, thin, a bit fey.
As for his appearance, we thought he wasn’t as cute as he is in photos. We also thought he looked older than we expected. But we chatted with two fellow spectators during a break, and they voiced the opposite views. They thought he looked more attractive in person, and younger in person than in photographs.
Here’s a picture we took of Aaron Charney exiting the courthouse:
Aaron Charney 60 Centre Street Above the Law blog.JPG
Unfortunately, he has his eyes closed (as we did at several points during the soporific proceedings). But you can see his crisp grey suit, baby blue shirt, and red necktie (Ferragamo is our guess). Perhaps he assembled this elegant ensemble at a Charney’s Shop?
Earlier: Brokeback Lawfirm: How Long Will This Spectacle Go On?

Aaron Charney 2 headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett CharneyIn response to our earlier request for information about how plaintiff Aaron Charney is supporting himself while his discrimination and retaliation case against Sullivan & Cromwell goes forward, we received a VERY interesting tip:

“I don’t have specific knowledge but I lived on Charney’s freshman dorm floor at Georgetown (he left after only one semester, transferring to a community college in Syracuse and then Syracuse University and later Brown).”

“His parents own Charney’s, a men’s clothing store in Manlius, NY, which I presume is quite successful. He received generous monthly checks from his parents and other relatives and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re at least partially supporting him again now.”

Great stuff. Our reactions:
1. Why did Aaron Charney leave Georgetown after just one semester? Very, very weird. Did he have some kind of “issues” while he was there?
2. Charney was at a community college for a while? ICK.
3. A correction to our tipster’s report. Aaron Charney’s family doesn’t own just one successful men’s clothing store, but a small chain of such stores — as previously mentioned in Bob Kolker’s profile. So we aren’t surprised to hear that Charney comes from a well-off background.
4. Has anyone purchased clothing at a Charney’s shop? What brands or labels do they carry? What is the shopping experience like? Is it the Barney’s or Louis Boston of Syracuse?
Charney’s Shop [Syracuse - Citysearch]

naomi campbell Above the Law Legal Tabloid.GIFUnless required to do so as part of court-ordered community service. But even when scrubbing toilets, she still looks like a million bucks. From the NYT:

First there was a cry, then a murmur, and finally a swoon. Naomi Campbell, the millionaire fashion model, emerged yesterday from a grimy Department of Sanitation garage in a floor-length evening gown, marking the end of her court-ordered community service.

She waved with her right hand, pulled up the shimmering silver gown with her left, smiled for the cameras and then ducked into her Rolls-Royce limousine, a silver Phantom costing at least $340,000. She did not say a word.

This runway girl was definitely “working it” — with a broom:

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., she swept, mopped and wiped at the garage, which has garbage and recycling facilities. She received no preferential treatment, [Sanitation Department officiall Albert] Durrell said. Ms. Campbell ate pizza from Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, like the others in her work crew.

Yes, Mr. Durrell acknowledged, Ms. Campbell did clean toilets. No, he said, she did not have to be taught how to use a mop or broom. Ms. Campbell “was on her hands and knees at some point cleaning the walls and floors on the second floor,” he said.

One of Campbell’s community service colleagues described her as “wonderful” and “a pleasure to work with.” Who says rehabilitation is dead?
After 5 Days of Mopping and Scrubbing, What Else Would a Model Wear? [New York Times]
Nice and clean [New York Daily News]
The pleasure’s all mine, Naomi [New York Daily News]

Yes, we did catch Judge Marjorie O. Rendell on the Food Network earlier this week (see screenshot above). As we previously mentioned, she recently appeared on Dinner: Impossible, in her capacity as First Lady of Pennsylvania.

Chef Robert Invine was given a challenging task. He was directed “to prepare a stately array of hors d’oeuvres,” to be served at the Inaugural Ball of Judge Rendell’s husband, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell.

The number of guests: 4,000. The amount of time available to him: 24 hours. Despite the difficulty of the project, Chef Irvine completed his mission.

But we were a little disappointed with the episode, for a number of reasons….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Advice for Clerkship Seekers: Bring Duck and Apple Wontons to Your Interview With Judge Rendell”

* “I even got out of community service, suckers!” [AP via HuffPo]
* And somewhere, a torts professor is drafting his “false imprisonment” hypo for upcoming final exams. [Detroit Free Press]
* This is the problem with straight fashion designers. (Serious Note: Sexual violence is one of the few things I NEVER make light of, but I personally see this as a classic he-said/she-said, with a little statutory, which I consider — rightly or wrongly — malum prohibitum, thrown in for good measure.) [Yahoo! News]
* Train wrecks, on the other hand, are free-for-all’s: Lindsay Lohan’s dad is now a free man, and in the past, he’s been such an inspiration in helping her to lay off drugs and to cope with familial dysfunction that there’s no telling what he’s capable of as a redeemed man. [The Showbuzz]

* Even in Berkeley, it’s a little bit about the money. And by a little bit, I mean a lot. If you want to be a PD in spite of higher student loans, just apply for a Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship. The OC may be off the air, but some indie law kid is bound to follow up with another pop-culture inspired tie-in. [Nuts & Boalts; Los Angeles Times]
* Smallish firms where named partners are actually still alive and employed should think about adopting a generic boy band-esque name (Menudo LLP?) to avoid the awkwardness that ensues after a member is unceremoniously kicked out (or hits puberty). [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* Let us take back toddler cuteness! I do question visible make-up and the whole Vogue Bambini aesthetic on the under-5 set, but aren’t you glad that unlike real life, that little girl’s bikini top isn’t totally off-center? [eitb24 via Drudge Report]
* This is not a joke (à la SNL fake commercials/Games Magazines fake ads of yesteryear). [Feminist Law Professors]

Karolina Kurkova pic photo.jpgPlease read this. Here are your study questions:

1. “How did a Goldman Sachs banker earn only $115,000?” (This one was from Professor Caron.)

2. “How can she afford to give away this much to charity — does she have a sugar daddy wealthy spouse?”

3. “So what exactly does $55,000 in secondhand clothing look like?”

(On that last item, maybe we should ask our little sibling, Fashionista.)
P.S. With respect to the title of this post: Yes, we realize that the charity in question, Housing Works, funds its programs by running a high-end thrift store — it’s not giving designer duds directly to homeless people. We’re just taking a little poetic or blogospheric license; please cut us some slack.
Tax Court: Goldman Sachs Investment Banker With $115k Salary Can’t Take $55k Deduction for Charitable Donation of Used Clothing [TaxProf Blog]

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