- Baker Hostetler, Biglaw, Celebrities, Drugs, FTC, Google / Search Engines, Howrey LLP, Marijuana, Morning Docket
* How is there a human trafficking problem in Michigan? Are they all Canadians? No one cares if Canadians aren’t getting their fair share of maple syrup. [Chicago Tribune]
* Let me save you the trouble: Dockette, your comment about dwarfs was completely inappropriate. I hope that you turn into a dwarf. [Washington Post]
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.
Ann Taylor’s Blogger Initiative Made the FTC Uncomfortable [Fashionista]
Fashion Law at Fordham [Fashionista]
If so, then Uncle Sam wants you. The feds need your valuable skills — badly.
First the Department of Justice produces original documents, instead of copy sets, to Congress. And now, the AP reports on a screw-up by the FTC:
Lawyers for the FTC electronically filed documents as part of [its] court case [challenging the Whole Foods purchase of Wild Oats] yesterday afternoon. Court officials realized the redacted portions of the document could easily be read and blocked it from being downloaded from court computer servers. The Associated Press downloaded the document from the public server before it was replaced by a properly redacted version.
In the original version, the words looked redacted but were actually just electronically shaded black. The words could be searched, copied, pasted and read. The second version of the document was filed using scanned pages of the redacted documents. There is no way to remove the blacked-out portions from the final copy.
In a statement late Tuesday, Whole Foods said it was investigating the “apparent improper release by the Federal Trade Commission of confidential proprietary business information.”
So bite your tongue next time you want to dismiss document production as mindless drudgery. If the DOJ and the FTC can’t get it right, surely there must be SOME skill involved, right?
Error by FTC Reveals Whole Foods’ Trade Secrets [Associated Press]
Earlier: Earth to DOJ: Document Production Isn’t That Hard
* Wow, talk about passive-aggressive behavior. (The husband, not the wife.) [Island Packet]
* The FTC may be good at many things, but creative punny language is not one of them. [Truth on the Market]
* Sexual harassment: once a dog, always a dog. [Reuters / Oddly Enough]
* I blame the same wiring responsible for guys’ breasts-as-stimuli reaction for the double take on that guy with the Che Guevara neck tatt. Reflex trumps judgment. [Agoraphilia]
We’ve all done it: Use of office resources for personal purposes. Maybe you take the occasional personal call on your office telephone. Maybe you used the work fax machine to receive a one-page tax document from your accountant. Maybe you took some paperwork home with you one night, along with an office-issued ballpoint pen, and later used that pen to take down your mother’s chicken casserole recipe, as she read it to you over the phone.
If it’s de minimis use, then it’s okay. But this might have been, um, de maximus:
According to court records, while an attorney in the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Seth Zimmerman used his office’s Federal Express account to send Redskins tickets to eBay bidders….
The FTC says he cost the federal government $1,938. FedEx also says it lost $3,880 due to the discount shipping rate given to the federal government. According to the plea agreement, Zimmerman also profited by charging each buyer an additional $12 fee for the FedEx delivery.
Two grand strikes us as a sizable sum. But there is room for argument. Zimmerman might respond: “Come on, feds, lighten up! Isn’t that just, like, three Pentagon toilet seats — not even the padded kind?”
So how was the fraud detected? Was an elaborate investigation required?
In August 2004, investigators at the Office of Inspector General for the FTC were contacted by people complaining that tickets they bought from Zimmerman on eBay were never delivered.
What could have been some difficult Internet sleuthing was made easier because Zimmerman used his FTC e-mail address to set up his eBay account. The inspector general subpoenaed records from eBay showing that Zimmerman had been buying and selling tickets on the site since 2001.
Seth, it’s called Gmail. Try it, you might like it.
(Yes, we know: even if Zimmerman had used Gmail, if he used it from his work computer, messages could still be traced back to him using his IP address. But at least then the investigators would have WORK a little to uncover his identity, instead of having it served up on a silver platter.)
Penalty Box: FTC Lawyer No ‘Overnight Sensation’ [Legal Times (pass-through link) via NYLawyer.com]
- Arent Fox, Biglaw, Cravath, Crowell & Moring, Davis Polk, Dorsey & Whitney, FTC, Kirkland & Ellis, Musical Chairs, Paul Hastings, Weil Gotshal, Wilson Sonsini
The latest news on the most notable moves within the profession:
Government to Private Sector:
* Seth Silber, to Wilson Sonsini (as counsel), from the FTC. (Quips our tipster: “What a lovely week to join that particular firm!”)
New Office Openings:
* Crowell & Moring — aka “Cruel & Boring”*** — is opening a New York office. They’ve grabbed litigator William McSherry, from Arent Fox, and patent lawyer Janet McLeod, from Dorsey & Whitney, to kick things off.
* The exceedingly profitable, Houston-based Susman Godfrey is opening a New York office, headed by name partner Stephen Susman.
Lateral Private Sector Moves:
* Bankruptcy guru Paul Basta, to Kirkland & Ellis, from Weil Gotshal & Manges.***
* Patent litigators Joseph O’Malley and Bruce Wexler, to Paul Hastings (NY), from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.
*** “Cruel and Boring” is just a silly nickname for Crowell & Moring that we’ve heard around town. We have no idea as to whether it has any factual basis. We just think using nicknames for law firms is fun.
Other law firm nicknames we’ve heard: Weil Gotshal & Manges = “We’ll Getcha & Mangle Ya” (self-explanatory); Cravath Swaine & Moore = “The Death Star” (self-explanatory); Davis Polk & Wardwell = “The Teahouse on Lexington Avenue” (for their penchant for hiring
geishas attractive Asian-American females — don’t get mad at us, we didn’t make it up).
(Feel free to add more law firm nicknames in the comments to this post.)
On The Move [Antitrust Review]
Basta Says Hasta to Weil Gotshal [WSJ Law Blog]
DC Firm Opens NY Office [NYLawyer.com]
Houston Firm Opens Manhattan Office [NYLawyer.com]
Firm Adds NY Patent Litigators [NYLawyer.com]
A few moves to report today:
* Antitrust attorney Jeffrey Brennan, to Dechert (DC), from the FTC (where he was Associate Director of the Bureau of Competition and Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Health Care Services and Products Division).
* Capital markets lawyer Rachel Coan, to Morrison & Foerster (NY), from LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
* White-collar and securities litigator Stephen Ascher, to Jenner & Block (NY), from Kronish Lieb.
On The Move [Antitrust Review]
Federal Trade Commission Associate Director Jeffrey W. Brennan Joins Dechert LLP [Dechert]
NY Capital Markets Partner Switches Firms [NYLawyer.com]
NY Partner Leaves Merging Firm [NYLawyer.com]