Human Rights Campaign HRC gay rights Above the Law blog.jpgThe Human Rights Campaign has some answers. HRC, which is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, recently released its annual list of Best Places to Work. And law firms were prominently represented:

[T]he Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a report showing that numerous large U.S. law firms are providing important benefits and protections for their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) attorneys and staff. In this year’s report, which is part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s broader Corporate Equality Index, 30 law firms earned the top rating of 100 percent. 80 law firms earned scores of 80 percent or above.

You can see the list of top firms by clicking here (PDF; scroll down to page 48). Alas, no 100 percent rating for Sullivan & Cromwell, of Charney v. S&C fame — despite their generous gifts of Kiehl’s products at LGBT job fairs.

But our friends at Nixon Peabody earned a perfect score. Will they commission a theme song to celebrate? Like “Everyone Loves Gay People at Nixon Peabody”?

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this post, we linked to (and reprinted info from) this page on the HRC website. But an HRC rep has informed us that the page hasn’t been updated from last year, and still reflects scores from the 2007 report.

HRC Corporate Equality Index — 2008 [Human Rights Campaign (PDF)]

H Rodgin Cohen Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell.JPGAfter a quiet period, in which we were reduced to wishing Gera Grinberg a happy birthday, there’s some actual news about Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. From Keeping Up With Jonas:

Judge Fried issued his decision in response to S&C’s partial motion to dismiss. Though both sides landed blows, it seems that S&C can claim itself the victor of this battle. The Court dismissed Charney’s Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (“IIED”) and Conspiracy causes of action, albeit without prejudice. However, at least as it stands now, it appears that Charney may have difficulty reviving these claims. But it was not a complete victory for S&C. The Court declined to strike most of the paragraphs from the Complaint that S&C had requested.

More from Jonas here, and Justice Bernard Fried’s order here (PDF). Jonas titled his post “The Empire Strikes Back.” But why did he use a photo of Sharon Nelles instead of H. Rodgin Cohen (who is closer in age and appearance to Emperor Palpatine)?
Professor Arthur Leonard offers the detailed, thorough analysis that we’ve come to expect from him. Here’s an excerpt:

So, what does all this mean? I’m not entirely sure….

I had thought that these additional claims were separate and distinct from the NYC HRL [Human Rights Law] claims, as relating to the activities of S&C and Gallion in reaction to the lawsuit rather than to S&C’s treatment of Charney as an employee. That is, the HRL claims related to what happened before Charney filed his original lawsuit. The intentional infliction of emotional distress claim was addressed to the tactics that S&C then used after the lawsuit was filed to try to pressure Charney to back down, and the conspiracy claim was specifically aimed at the enlistment of attorney Gallion to add to the pressure and sidetrack Grinberg from allying himself with Charney

Does Fried’s action in dismissing these additional legal claims but refusing to strike almost all the factual allegation paragraphs of the complaint that specifically relate to them mean that he believes the events that came after the first complaint are now part of the overall case under the city Human Rights Law? If so, then Charney has lost nothing by this dismissal order, and the judge has at least implicitly ratified the idea that S&C’s response to his complaint becomes part of the retaliation case, at the very least.

Professor Leonard’s full post appears here. We agree with his assessment that “this continues to be a complicated case.” When are we going to get more sexy and salacious allegations?
Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell [New York Supreme Court (PDF)]
Court rejects bid to expand Charney case [Leonard Link (Art Leonard)]
Charney Sullivan & Cromwell Decision: The Empire Strikes Back [Keeping Up With Jonas]

Eric Krautheimer 2 Eric M Krautheimer Aaron Charney Sullivan & Cromwell Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve been having a lot of fun with Non-Top-Tier Law School Week here at ATL. So we’re extending it, to include all of next week. As we mentioned before, if you have a story idea that fits under this theme, please email us.
As part of this special celebration, each day we’re going to highlight a successful non-top-tier law school graduate, and honor this person as our Non-Top-Tier Law School Graduate of the Day.
Here is today’s winner:
Name: Eric M. Krautheimer
Law School: Western New England College School of Law, 1993
Current Position: Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions, Sullivan & Cromwell
Why He’s Our Winner: Eric Krautheimer is a partner at S&C, one of the world’s most prestigious and profitable law firms. In 2006, profits per partner at S&C clocked in at $2.82 million. Innumerable Harvard-Yale-Stanford grads would KILL to be in his shoes.
The best part of his job: (allegedly) ordering a prissy little Columbia boy to “bend over” and take it (where “it” = a corporate document).
Talk about living the non-top-tier dream!

Gone Fishing Gone Fishin Above the Law blog.jpgOooh boy. What is it about jurists with the surname “Thomas”?
More lurid allegations are being made against Judge Herman Thomas, the Alabama state court judge who allegedly likes to spank male prisoners. From the Mobile Press-Register:

In affidavits filed in support of Michael Dewayne Anderson’s 2003 federal suit against Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas, three men made similar accusations about Thomas.

John Richardson said he saw Thomas “constantly” driving up his block to pick up a neighbor. That neighbor, Richardson said, “told me that as long as he plays the sex game with Judge Thomas, he wouldn’t have to worry about staying in jail.”

Nathaniel Agee said Thomas “inflicted burden and humiliation in my life.”

“Herman and I started off going fishing together, hanging out together. He would even drop by my house early some morning(s), and say he wanted to talk.”

Brokeback Pond? Apparently so:

Thomas increased the visits to his home, Agee said, “but when he found out my children were there, he started to become angry because we couldn’t be alone with each other. I tried to explain to Judge Thomas that it was all right to be friends and hang out, but I’m not into sexual relationships with a man.”

The funny and talented Jolene Roxbury, the ex-paralegal turned comedian and singer, has dedicated another song to Judge Thomas: You Bring the Paddle.
Check it out here. For more about Jolene, see her website. Delightful stuff — thanks, Jolene!
Claims Against Judge Thomas [Mobile Press-Register]
Jolene Roxbury: Certified Verbal Conversationalist
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Judge Herman Thomas (scroll down)

gay porn do not file Above the Law blog.jpgWhen it comes to knowing how to make proper court filings, don’t bother with the FRCP, or even the local rules. Just read ATL.
We tell you everything you need to know. E.g., don’t file an egg with Judge James Muirhead (D.N.H.).
And don’t file gay pornography with Judge Adalberto Jordan (S.D. Fla.). From

That gurgling sound you hear could be Jack Thompson’s legal career swirling down the ‘loo.

The frequent video game critic, already facing professional misconduct charges from the Florida Bar which could see him stripped of his license to practice law, has outraged a U.S. District Court judge by including images of men having sex in a document filed with the court last week.

What was he thinking? And no, the gay porn was not essential to the case (as it might have been in, say, an obscenity prosecution arising out of said porn).
More details — if you want them — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Practice Pointers: Do Not File Gay Porn With Judge Jordan”

Gibson Dunn Crutcher LLP Above the Law blog.JPGIt appears that Quinn Emanuel isn’t the only law firm with a snazzy new website. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

Okay, we’re not necessarily proud of our law-firm Web site fetish, so forgive us for spilling a few pixels over the spanking-new page the folks at Gibson Dunn put up.

[Ed. note: Racy stuff, esp. for the Wall Street Journal! That sentence -- with its references to a "fetish," "spilling a few pixels" (hehe), and "spanking" -- is chock full of double entendres.]

We’re not sure it offers more or better content than the average firm site… but check out that design! We’re big fans, from the newspapery layout to the McSweeney’s-esque literary feel to the overall minimialist aesthetic….

Take, for instance, the six videos on firm diversity. There’s one entitled Out, with gay partners talking about their sexual orientation. And then there’s one called Red & Blue, about the firm’s political diversity, including an interview with former Congressman Mel Levine (Blue) and former Solictor General Ted Olson (Red)…

Unlike those rascals over at Quinn Emanuel, the GDC folks haven’t pulled their videos. And hopefully they will leave them up, even after we poke (gentle) fun of them.
Which we proceed to do, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Methinks that Gibson Doth Protest Too Much”

H Rodgin Cohen full size headshot Sullivan Cromwell.jpgYesterday we broke the news of Sullivan & Cromwell’s new bonus program for its most senior associates. To read the memo from firm chairman H. Rodgin Cohen, click here.
Now we have more details, thanks to the WSJ Law Blog (which has a nice shout-out to us) and the New York Law Journal.
Some ballpark numbers, from the NYLJ:

A Sullivan & Cromwell partner who asked to remain unnamed said Wednesday that the supplemental bonuses would probably range from around $15,000 for fifth-years to around $30,000 for eighth-years.

With the supplemental bonus, the most senior associates at Sullivan & Cromwell can expect to earn total compensation of around $400,000, based on the current top base salary of $310,000 and last year’s $60,000 year-end bonus.

The WSJ Law Blog scored an interview with Rodge Cohen, who explained: “Retention is clearly an objective… 95% of the associates we lose we’re sorry to see go.”
Five percent = Aaron Charney + Gera Grinberg.
But will a little extra cash make a big difference in retention? Law firm consultant Peter Zeughauser has his doubts.
The WSJ also asked Rodgin Cohen about a subject near and dear to all of your hearts: possible increases in base salaries. Cohen said that the subject won’t be discussed for another month or so.
More discussion, plus a reader poll, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More Details About the Sullivan & Cromwell Senior Associate Bonuses”

Kiehls Sullivan Cromwell Aaron Charney Above the Law blog.jpgIn response to yesterday’s quick post on the Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell litigation, a tipster sent us this:

I don’t have any information on the case, but thought you might be interested in this minor tidbit on Sullivan & Cromwell.

The Lavender Law conference (the annual GLBT CLE fest) was in Chicago last weekend. S&C did not send anyone for the conference itself, as far as I know, but they flew in several associates just for the closing ceremonies.

They also offered the nicest swag of any firm: gift sets of Kiehl’s products. Seems they are trying to repair some damage with the gay community, even if it’s only through cosmetics.

“Only” through cosmetics? Kiehl’s products are no ordinary cosmetics. S&C is shrewd: they know the way to our hearts is through our pores.
Sure, that Aaron Charney might seem cute and well-meaning. But who wouldn’t kick him to the curb for a lifetime supply of Facial Fuel?
Correction: According to various commenters, Sullivan & Cromwell personnel were present for the job fair as well. “S&C was front-and-center at Lav Law. A friend of mine called me from the fair to tell me how pallid and haggard they looked.”
Kiehl’s [official website]

Aaron Charney ROB TV screencap.jpgAre you wondering what’s going on in the case of Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell? You’re not alone.
We went to check the case’s status on the electronic docket, but couldn’t find the case by party name or by index number (Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: 100625/2007; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP v. Charney: 600333/2007). This caused us to wonder: Has the litigation been settled?
Apparently not. Sources close to the case tell us that it hasn’t been settled and that there was a court hearing not too long ago. We don’t have more details, but if we get them, we’ll pass them along.
So what can we tell you?
1. S&C Man of Mystery Gera Grinberg — perhaps the critical witness in this case, who left the firm under mysterious circumstances — had his birthday last month. A reader pointed us to his attorney registration information on the New York courts website.
This tipster also noted that Grinberg’s attorney registration status was recently updated, but does not list an employer. This suggests he has not yet found new employment since leaving 125 Broad Street. Does anyone know where he might be?
2. Could the Charney case be affecting S&C’s recruiting this year? Possibly. We reprint an interesting tip, suggesting that it’s affecting the firm’s reputation, after the jump.
Do you have any inside info on the latest developments in the Charney case? If so, please drop us a line. Thanks.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: Happy Birthday, Gera Grinberg”

LEWW logo.jpgThat’s right — this is a combined edition of LEWW. Weep with joy, wedding-watchers!
Before we serve up this double shot, a request for input. In response to prompting from readers, when we’ve chosen the week’s top three couples lately, we’ve been giving a big edge to lawyer-lawyer couples. The result is that we’ve often found ourselves writing about double-JD weddings even when there are other couples with more impressive credentials (but only one JD).
To be honest, we’re not sure this is the right approach. It just feels wrong to pass over a dripping-with-prestige couple like this simply because a couple of unremarkable associates are getting hitched. Particularly during the height of the wedding season, there are often at least three lawyer-lawyer couples, so under our current system you’re basically out of contention if you marry outside the profession.
We’re considering lifting the heavy thumb we’ve put on the scales in favor of dual-lawyer couples, but before we do anything rash, we need to know what our readers think. What’s more interesting to you, ATL fans: lawyers marrying lawyers, or prestigious lawyers marrying other prestigious (and often more interesting) people? Make your opinion known, either in the comments or by e-mail.

Here are this week’s featured couples:
1.) Elaine Ewing and Christopher Viapiano
2.) Carl Roller and Daniel Weiner
3.) Deborah Lipman, Matthew Fox
4.) Katherine Downs, Peter Oppenheim

Read on for more about these three brides and five bridegrooms.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 9.2.07 and 9.9.07: Weiner Kings”

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