Back in April 2010, we bestowed Lawyer of the Day honors upon Jonathan Moss, former in-house counsel to Gucci. There was a question, however, as to how much of a “lawyer” Moss was.
During his seven years working at the luxury fashion house, Moss did not have an active law license: he was a graduate of Fordham Law and a member of the California bar, but with “inactive” status. As a result, during the discovery process in some trademark litigation, opposing counsel from Guess? challenged Gucci’s assertion of attorney-client privilege over communications to and from Moss. The reasoning: because Moss wasn’t entitled to practice law in any jurisdiction, due to his inactive status with the California bar, the attorney-client privilege did not extend to communications with him.
A federal magistrate judge sided with Guess, concluding that Gucci’s communications with Moss weren’t privileged — and subject to disclosure. Yikes. After conducting an investigation that confirmed Moss’s inactive bar status, Gucci fired him in March 2010.
But now a federal district judge — Judge Shira Scheindlin, that delicious judicial diva of Zubulake fame — has set aside the magistrate’s order, and granted Gucci’s motion for a protective order….
The melding of fashion and law seemed like an odd concept in the past, as evidenced by Elle and her hot pink suits in Legally Blonde. With concerns about counterfeiting, the new intellectual property bill in Congress, and the complex nature of the fashion business, designers need legal support more than ever now.
Stilettos and staid suits met quite literally today as Fordham Law School in NYC launched the Fashion Law Institute yesterday. The CFDA donated $100,000 to the Institute and CFDA president/fairy godmother, Diane von Furstenberg, matched that with a donation of her own. The Institute anticipates that it will need about $1 million its first year.
Continue reading about Fordham’s bold foray into fashion at our sister site, Fashionista.
Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, like the rest of the nuptial media, is in a state of giddy anticipation over Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming wedding, scheduled for tomorrow in Rhinebeck, NY. We’ll be gobbling up all the juicy details as they leak out, just like the lucky guests will be devouring the vegan and gluten-free fare. Yum!
Chelsea’s big day is one of the social events of the season and is estimated to have up to a $2 million pricetag. This week’s featured weddings may not quite reach that stratospheric territory, but they do have lawyers out the wazoo (unfortunately, neither Chelsea nor her fiancé has a JD; her parents, of course, have two).
Yesterday, we brought you the news of Fordham Law School Dean William Treanor’s appointment as dean of Georgetown Law School, when we posted a message that went out to Georgetown law students at 4 p.m. We soon learned that we blindsided Fordham students and alumni with the news. They weren’t happy to get the “Surprise! Your dean is bouncing!” message from us, instead of from Fordham or from the dean himself.
One alum g-chatted us:
I can’t believe Treanor is leaving Fordham… All of my friends are shocked and now in the anger/betrayed phase.
Treanor was well-liked at Fordham, but his hasty departure left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of his former students. One commenter said:
Congratulations Georgetown you just earned a Dean who left Fordham Law without any sense of warning or notice to Fordham students after years of issuing statements of how Fordham is a “community” and a “home.” Oh! and how convenient after he was a strong cause for Fordham dropping in the rankings from 25 to the 30′s. Oh ya Bulldogs. That was a great steal.
Let this be a lesson to other deans who plan to jump to a higher-ranked ship. Make sure you send your farewell message before your new school sends out its welcome message.
Dean Treanor did send out an email to Fordhamites, but it was sent over two and a half hours after Georgetown kids got the giddy news, and two hours after our post went up. A two-hour delay may seem inconsequential to some, but in the world of instant news and communication, it’s unforgivable in the minds of some Fordham folk. Did he make up for the faux pas in the email?
Georgetown Law, ranked #14 by U.S. News, is getting a new dean. Here’s part of the letter from the Georgetown president, John DeGioia:
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of our new Executive Vice President and Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center, William M. Treanor, effective August 16. Dean Treanor joins our community from Fordham University, where he has served as Dean of Fordham Law School since 2002.
No word on whether or not Dean Treanor has any deeply personal message he’d like to share with the entire GULC community via Facebook.
But what will new Dean Treanor bring to GULC? Is there any chance for a better-than-#14 finish in Georgetown’s future?
Let’s finish off the top 50 law schools as ranked by U.S. News. As many people know, U.S. News jump from its top 100 straight to the “third tier.” The jump allows many clearly “second tier” schools to claim that they are “first tier schools” even though everybody knows they are not. I’m not even sure that all the top 50 schools should be able to call themselves first tier: but I don’t make the rules, I just watch as prospective law students are fooled by them.
To refresh your memory, here are the next batch of schools:
34. Ohio State (Moritz)
34. University of Washington
34. Washington & Lee
38. Arizona State
38. University of Colorado – Boulder
38. Wake Forest
42. George Mason
42. University of Arizona (Rodgers)
42. UC Hastings
47. Florida (Levin)
48. American University
These places charge like first tier law schools. But are they?
Every once in a while, we talk about fashion here at ATL, such as our recent post on the Chicago Bar Association’s (confusing) advice for how legal types should dress.
But the real experts on fashion here in the Breaking Media offices are the ladies at our sister site Fashionista. They’ve recently weighed in on how Ann Taylor LOFT got around the new FTC regulations for bloggers and on Fordham University’s new Fashion Law Institute
Given students’ difficulties finding “regular” law jobs, Fordham is apparently thinking outside of the box. Elle Woods would be proud.
Thumbs up to cameras in the courtroom from Judge Alex Kozinski and our own David Lat
The Ninth Circuit sent waves through the legal community earlier this year when Judge Vaughn Walker proposed broadcasting the Prop 8 trial. In January, the Supreme Court swept in and shot down that idea.
The right to an open and public trial is guaranteed by the Constitution, and understanding what’s going on in our courts is a crucial part of democratic self-governance. The standard for closing a courtroom to the public is very high, and justifiably so. We the People should be allowed to know — and to hear, and to see — what is transpiring within our courts. After all, these are our laws being interpreted, our rights being adjudicated, and our taxpayer dollars at work.
And in this age of videoconferencing, YouTube, blogging, and Twitter, the distinction between physical and virtual attendance of court proceedings is becoming increasingly artificial.
Kozinski is a fierce advocate of cameras in the courtroom. On Monday, he stopped by Fordham Law School to talk about why courts need to admit cameras (before Congress forces cameras on them). Beyond the public’s “right to know,” he focused on the fact that cameras are impartial observers that are becoming increasingly necessary as the media devolves into a bunch of highly-subjective blogger-types…
Gucci wants g’s for the use of its big G. Gucci sued Guess Inc. in 2009 for trademark infringement, for allegedly selling knock-offs of its designs and for using the interlocking “GG” pattern.
Guess may be the company making knock-offs, but Gucci’s the company with fake lawyers. Gucci recently fired in-house lawyer Jonathan Moss because he had been working for the company since 2002 with a lapsed license. Gucci revealed this on Friday in a motion requesting that his inactive status not invalidate attorney-client privilege.
According to court documents filed Friday, Gucci America Inc. terminated Jonathan Moss on March 1. Gucci said it discovered in January that Moss’ status with the California bar had been inactive for the whole of his seven-year run as legal counsel with the firm. Guess has sought access to Moss’ communications regarding a trademark infringement lawsuit Gucci brought against it in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last year. Gucci’s disclosure came in a memo backing a motion that the attorney-client privilege should still apply to his involvement in the case.
So why did Moss let his license lapse? Apparently, he wasn’t making enough money in-house to keep his status active…
At the end of a wild week that included Blue Monday, terrible (or terrific) Tuesday, and corporate-overlord Thursday (sponsored by Justice Anthony Kennedy), we bring you an unusually strong January edition of LEWW.
It features six lawyers in a wide range of practices: public sector, teaching, Biglaw, nonprofit — even personal injury (or “accident law,” as they apparently call it these days). Here are the lucky finalists:
If you think most legal technology misses the mark, LexisNexis Firm Manager® wants to change your mind. Read more about it here.
Built with input from hundreds of solo and small-firm attorneys across the country, it’s made for practitioners who’d rather build the firm of their dreams than deal with the hassles of running a business.
· Go Mobile, Stay Connected.
See all your firm’s information, wherever you are, on whatever device you’re using. Access and update client files, enter billing, search & share documents and more. It’s just like you’re in the office, only you’re not.
When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!