As we did previously, we have received a message from the offices of Michael Kennedy, the prominent criminal defense lawyer retained by Aaron Charney, with a request to transmit it to ATL readers.
Here it is:
IF ANYONE HAS INFORMATION ABOUT EFFORTS TO CREATE FALSE AFFIDAVITS IN THE CASE OF CHARNEY v. SULLIVAN & CROMWELL LLP OR SULLIVAN & CROMWELL LLP v. CHARNEY, PLEASE CONTACT THE LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL KENNEDY AT 212-935-4500 OR AT CHARNEYINVESTIGATION AT GMAIL.COM.
We have no further comment on this post. We will simply reiterate what we said the last time around:
“Please note that the posting of this email should not be interpreted as our siding with Aaron Charney in this litigation. We are simply functioning as a clearinghouse for information about the case….”
“[I]f Sullivan & Cromwell or the firm’s outside counsel, Paul Hastings, were to make a similar request of us, we would happily comply.”
Paul Hastings partner Zachary Fasman, counsel to Sullivan & Cromwell, leaving New York Supreme Court after yesterday’s hearing. As he passed us, he called out, “Go back to Washington!” It seemed half-playful, half-sincere.
As we mentioned yesterday, the Thursday morning hearing in Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell was a bit of a snoozefest. Nothing particularly shocking or funny happened. The parties’ arguments hewed closely to their written submissions (as they should have). Justice Bernard Fried issued no significant rulings from the bench.
There were several MSM reporters at the hearing, but none of them has written anything on it — perhaps because it was a non-event. (Blogger Lavi Soloway did do a quick post on it.)
Even if it wasn’t a blockbuster hearing, some of you have requested a substantive report anyway. We’ve done a quick write-up, which appears after the jump.
Our recent post about Aaron Charney and his well-to-do family background generated tons of discussion (about 90 reader comments). We’d like to pass along two pieces of additional information on the subject.
From a tipster who went to the same temple in the Syracause area (Temple Adath Yeshuran) as the Charney family:
“The Charneys do quite well for themselves with their stores. They never seemed to be wanting for cash, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that he’s got a trust fund.”
If Charney does come from such an affluent background, it may explain his willingness to “roll the dice” by pushing forward with his lawsuit against S&C. Someone from more modest means might have taken a more modest settlement, then moved on to a job at another firm. But someone with family money to fall back on might be more willing to shoot for a seven-figure payday, knowing that he could ride out even a lengthy period of unemployment with parental help.
But our source also has this to add:
“I’m not sure if Aaron Charney’s father is the only owner of the clothing store chain. The business may be a family business with more than one owner.”
We looked back at Bob Kolker’s profile of Aaron Charney for New York magazine. Kolker identifies Charney as “[t]he only son of an owner of a small chain of men’s clothing stores in the Syracuse area.” The indefinite article — “an owner,” rather than “the owner” — leaves open the possibility of multiple owners.
So this might dilute Charney’s patrimony, if other branches of his extended family also have their fingers in the dynastic till. Unlike, say, a chunk of the Wal-Mart fortune, multiple heirs from multiple families could be quite dilutive of Aaron’s share.
Does anyone know if Aaron Charney’s father is the sole owner of the Charney chain of stores? Anyone care to estimate what the chain’s annual revenue might be?
As always, if you can shed more light on any of this, please drop us a line. Earlier: Brokeback Lawfirm: Aaron Charney’s Doing Just Fine, Thank You
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:
In 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]
Things have been quiet lately on the Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell front, but this week brings an exciting event. This Thursday, April 12, in New York Supreme Court, Justice Bernard Fried will preside over the Mother of All Hearings: an omnibus hearing at which the parties’ various motions and cross-motions will be argued.
Happily, we will be up in New York on Thursday. We will attend the hearing and report on the proceedings.
So it’s full speed ahead in Charney v. S&C. Contrary to what some predicted — including ourselves, at various points in time — this case doesn’t look like it will be settling anytime soon. This raises the question:
How long will this litigation be dragged out?
(Which raises another question: How is Aaron Charney supporting himself in the meantime? We’re guessing he has ample savings, from his years at S&C, and perhaps some support from his family. But if you have more specific knowledge, please drop us a line.)
One of you suggested a poll, and we like the idea. Please cast your vote:
The New York Law Journal recently published its “Book of Lists,” as an insert to a hard copy issue. We haven’t seen it ourselves, but a tipster highlighted some findings for us:
The ones that impressed me – considering the Aaron Charney litigation – were the surveys on most satisfied midlevel associates and most satisfied summer associates at large NY firms. As you can imagine, Sullivan & Cromwell did very poorly on these rankings.
For midlevel associates, they ranked No. 60, and had the largest number of respondents to the survey (88) of any firm on the list. For summer associates, they ranked No. 71, although several firms that ranked higher had a greater number of summer associates responding to the survey. On the pro bono services list, they ranked No. 45.
But they were No. 11 on size of NY office, and No. 14 on highest grossing.
You really should get a copy of this if you haven’t seen it – it would be grist for quite a bit of info on your blog.
We realize that rankings — e.g., the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings — can be pretty silly. But many people, ourselves included, still fixate on them. This isn’t exactly surprising. As Professor Miranda Fleischer recently observed, “we are all obsessed with measuring ourselves in some way, shape or form.”
(We haven’t located a copy of these rankings online — although, truth be told, we didn’t look very hard. If you locate them online, please let us know.)
Recently H. Rodgin Cohen, chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, was interviewed by Chrystia Freeland, the U.S. managing editor for the Financial Times.
The full transcript interview appears here. Of course, the subject of Aaron Charney v. S&C came up:
FT: You’re being accused quite publicly, your firm is, of sexual discrimination against a gay associate, what’s your response and what has it been like? It’s been a very public case.
RC: It has been public and that makes it unusual because I have had calls from various law firms saying there, but for the grace of God, go us because we were able to deal with it out of the limelight.
RC (continued): Our response, I think, is quite simple. We have made it a real mission to ensure that this is a welcoming and inclusive law firm. And in my view there is no way that we could be engaged in a policy of discrimination in the area of GLT with our record. We have probably more gay and lesbian partners than any firm, anywhere. We tried to make it a welcoming firm for everyone to be totally inclusive and I think if somebody ever sat down and talked to the partners who are here who are gay, lesbian or transgender or our staff or our associates, I think they would all agree that this is a fully inclusive and welcoming place.
FT: Do you actually have transgender partners?
RC: To my knowledge there is not a transgender partner but there is transgender staff.
We appreciate Cohen’s hedge: “To my knowledge.” Because a firm chairman should be hands on, but not TOO hands on. Transcript: Rodgin Cohen [FT.com]
This is completely unverified — nothing more than total rumor. We’re in the process of following up. But we thought we’d toss it out there, to see if any of you can confirm (or deny).
This is what we’ve heard, from a little bird:
“Eric Krautheimer is probably going to be transferred to Sullivan & Cromwell’s L.A. office.”
Because Los Angeles has such different views on gay issues than New York. And out on the distant West Coast, still reachable only by Pony Express, nobody will have heard of this Aaron Charney guy.
As noted, this is UNCONFIRMED. We’ve left messages with Eric Krautheimer, S&C chairman H. Rodgin Cohen, and a firm spokesperson. We haven’t heard back from any of them. But if and when we do, you’ll be the first to know.
Do you have inside information about the truth (or lack thereof) of this item? If so, please email us (subject line: “Eric Krautheimer”). Thanks. Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Eric Krautheimer (scroll down)
We previously solicited tips about Sullivan & Cromwell M&A partner Eric Krautheimer, of Aaron Charney v. S&C fame. Alas, we didn’t get much.
Until now. Someone who knows Eric Krautheimer reasonably well has come forward with some helpful information, which sheds some light upon this powerful partner, and places his alleged conduct in context.
Check it out, after the jump.
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.
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