Gay

champagne glasses small.jpgEven as the national economy teeters on the brink of collapse, Wall Street’s elite continue to flock to the altar. Click here, here, and here, and imagine what this month has been like for these people. Getting married is stressful enough; we can’t imagine doing it while at the center of a financial meltdown.

In other random New York observations, both of the city’s baseball stadiums will close their doors this fall. Last Sunday’s final game in Yankee Stadium was celebrated with a Sports Illustrated cover and wall-to-wall coverage on ESPN. This Sunday’s game could be the last in Shea Stadium, and the New York Times marks the occasion with a gripping piece on how pilots landing at La Guardia won’t be able to use the place as a landmark anymore.

Here are this week’s couples:

1. Jean Park and Albert Cho

2. Trinity Jackman and Joshua Harlan

3. Edward Pierce and Robert Saltzman

More about our finalists, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 9.21: I’ll Meltdown With You”

gay marriage skadden.jpgProminent litigator Raoul Kennedy, a partner in the San Francisco office of Skadden, stuck his head in the lion’s mouth — and lived to talk about it. Legal Pad reports that Kennedy went to a Federalist Society meeting in San Francisco to defend gay marriage, where he didn’t pull any punches:

“How are any of us adversely impacted,” Kennedy asked, “when same-sex couples get married?”

The issue of gay marriage, he added, “is to the 21st century what slavery was to the 19th century.” Years from now, Kennedy insisted, the average person will look back and say, “How could people be so backward-oriented?”

He told the crowd there are so many problems in the world that gay marriage — in which two people only want to commit to a life together — shouldn’t be a problem. “You’ve got to have something better to do with your lives,” he said.

It’s easy to praise Kennedy for defending gay rights in front of a hostile audience, but how about the Federalist Society even existing in San Francisco? That’s like starting a Bill Maher fan club at Sunday school.

Kennedy presumably had the support of some of the Society’s more libertarian members. His debate opponent, Glen Lavy of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, was the flag bearer for the social conservatives:

Lavy also said that only those “who oppose democracy” would try to challenge Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 ballot measure that would limit marriage to heterosexual couples, if it passes. He also argued that a defeat of Prop 8 would lead to legal attacks — on the tax-exempt status of churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriages and on pastors who preach that same-sex relationships are immoral based on biblical teachings.

It would be interesting to hear what Kennedy’s fellow partners thought about their colleague pissing off the Federalist Society.

Californians: Care to predict the fate of Prop 8?

Attorney Defends Gay Marriage to Tough Crowd [LegalPad]

Charlie Herschel Charles Herschel Weil Gotshal Manges Survivor.jpgThings are looking good these days for Weil, Gotshal & Manges. For the sixth year in a row, it made the top 10 of the Vault 100. It took fourth place in the American Lawyer’s A-List rankings, and turned in a strong showing in the magazine’s midlevel associate survey (#11 out of 80+ New York firms).
And Weil attorneys are an interesting crew, too. Some plunge into rapping careers. And some compete on reality shows!
Meet first-year associate Charlie Herschel. He’s a contestant on the latest season of Survivor, premiering on September 25. From his bio:

Charlie Herschel has been a fan of SURVIVOR since the first season and has been training for it ever since. A lawyer for one of the top 10 most prestigious law firms in the world, Herschel is ready to try his persuasion skills on a different type of jury.

This 29-year-old, marathon-running attorney and University of Pennsylvania graduate says he is above nothing when he gets to the island. Charlie’s strategy is to be authentic but with a twist. “With high risks, come high rewards, but the risks must be calculated.” The middle son of three boys and a native New Yorker, the Ivy Leaguer is not afraid to claw his way to the top.

Charles Herschel WGM headshot.jpgIf Herschel can survive in the Biglaw jungle, Gabon should be a piece of cake. And there’s precedent for lawyers faring well on Survivor. E.g., Yul Kwon (winner of Survivor: Cook Islands, and a year behind us at YLS).
Now, large law firms can be a bit stodgy. Some don’t react well to their associates’ forays into reality television. See, e.g., David Otunga (from I Love New York 2, and no longer at Sidley); Jeremy Anderson (from The Bachelorette, and no longer at Hunton & Williams). But see Denise Gitsham (welcomed back by K&L Gates, after appearing on The Bachelor); Stacy Rotner (still at Sidley, after appearing on The Apprentice; guess it’s more respectable than I Love New York 2).
What was Weil’s response to Charlie Herschel going on Survivor? Find out — and ogle photos of a shirtless Herschel — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Another Law Firm ‘Survivor’: Meet Charlie Herschel”

Russian nesting dolls Matryoshka doll.jpg* Why does Wall Street get all the juicy scandals? We’re jealous of our DealBreaker colleagues. [Dealbreaker]
* Larry Ribstein’s take: “it’s hard not to think that it’s really all about dispute a few weeks ago between [the NYT's Andrew Ross] Sorkin and Dealbreaker’s John Carney.” [Ideoblog]
* Are you in the top one percent of U.S. taxpayers ranked by adjusted gross income? And which states are home to the richest of rich taxpayers? [TaxProf Blog]
* “Would you trust a law professor to be President?” [Althouse]
* Speaking of law profs, they may boycott the annual AALS meeting, due to the hotel owner’s opposition to same-sex marriage. [National Law Journal via TaxProf Blog]
* An interesting interview of Fried Frank partner Jonathan Mechanic, a superstar of the real estate bar. [New York Observer]
* Russian judge: “If we had no sexual harassment we would have no children.” [Telegraph (U.K.)]

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney.JPGBack in February 2007, shortly after young gay lawyer Aaron Charney sued his former firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, alleging anti-gay discrimination and retaliation, the WSJ Law Blog asked: “Are Aaron Charney’s Big Law-Firm Days Over?”
Based on the experts it spoke to, the WSJ concluded that “it’ll be tough for Charney, though not impossible, to find work at another big firm.” In the comments to the WSJ post, readers were less optimistic. One described Charney as “toast” — a sentiment apparently shared by many ATL readers we heard from, who found laughable the notion that Aaron Charney might someday return to Biglaw.
If you were one of those who doubted that Aaron Charney could return to a large law firm, it’s time for you to eat one of these. Next month, Charney will be joining Clifford Chance, in the Magic Circle firm’s New York office.
We reached out to both Aaron Charney and Clifford Chance for confirmation and comment. Charney did not get back to us, but the firm did. From firm spokesperson Mike Kachel:

I can confirm that Aaron Charney, a talented lawyer, will join our New York office in early September from Sullivan & Cromwell as a fifth-year associate. Aaron’s presence will further strengthen our M&A practice and we’re delighted he’s joining us.

The firm is clearly pleased to have Charney on the team. But does everyone at Clifford Chance feel the same way? The CC source who tipped us off to the news alluded to some grumbling among the rank-and-file about Charney’s hiring (but didn’t specify why people wouldn’t want to have Charney as a colleague). As for why the firm wanted to hire Charney, this tipster suggested that Clifford Chance may want to improve its standing in the gay community, after settling a sexual orientation lawsuit brought by a gay partner in London last year.
Regardless of the naysayers’ views, this does seem like a felicitous pairing. Aaron Charney gets to return to the world of corporate law and deal work, which he clearly loves. Clifford Chance gets to beef up its New York M&A practice — and enhance its diversity record, too. Congratulations to both Charney and Clifford Chance!
P.S. Clifford Chance wasn’t the only firm that flirted with Charney. As we mentioned back in May, he also interviewed with Kramer Levin.
P.P.S. Whatever happened to Charney pal Gera Grinberg? Might Clifford Chance have room for him too?
Are Aaron Charney’s Big Law-Firm Days Over? [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: A Brokeback Lawfirm for the Other Side of the Pond

Wild Things lesbian kiss Neve Campbell.jpgLet’s close out the week with one more post about everyone’s favorite summer associate scandal: the girl-on-girl kiss that got two summer associates fired from the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.

Earlier today, we alluded to rumors of “additional lasciviousness” at Lindquist, and now it’s time to deliver. We wouldn’t want to be accused of being teases.

Now some of you may be getting lesbian kiss fatigue (although some of you may say, “no such thing!!!”). But having received this tip, we can’t sit on it, or we’d be accused of giving you only part of the story.

From a tipster (who provided additional identifying information to explain how he’s in a position to know this, which we’ve omitted to preserve his anonymity):

“[The Kiss] happened at a bar with a bunch of summer people after dinner at a partner’s house. [One of the summers] was probably just fired as a scapegoat, because that same night [another summer] made out with a married partner. I bet they didn’t fire that girl because they were afraid of employment discrimination suits.”

Well! All this scandalous talk — faux-lesbian kisses, orgiastic firm retreats — is making us blush.

We retract any and all prior remarks suggesting the folks at Lindquist are prudes and squares. To the contrary, it sounds like the place is so buck wild that lesbian lip-action is on the mild side of the spectrum. We are — involuntarily, mind you — imagining Nancy Vollertsen dancing on a table.

Okay, this scandal may have run its course; all good things come to an end. But we remain open to corrections, in case we’ve gotten anything wrong. Feel free to send any info our way, by email (subject line: “Lindquist and Vennum Summer Associate Scandal”). Thanks.

Earlier: Prior coverage of The Kiss (scroll down)

California Supreme Court gay marriage same sex marriage.jpgLast week, the California Supreme Court struck down that state’s statutory ban on gay / same-sex marriage. The court was closely divided, issuing a 4-3 decision. Six out of the seven justices were appointed by Republican governors, interestingly enough.
Here’s a potentially more accurate way to explain the result in the marriage cases than party affiliation. From an observant — and self-confessed elitist — tipster:

I found this breakdown amusing:

Law schools of judges in the majority: Stanford, USC, Berkeley (Boalt) / GW (first in her class at both schools), Stanford.

Law schools of dissenting judges: Hastings, USF, Hastings.

Correlation or causation? I’m just sayin’….

lesbian marriage Above the Law blog.jpgCorrelation or causation is a fair question. Did the four pro-gay-marriage justices reach a “better” decision because they went to “better” law schools? Or did their attending elite (read: liberal) law schools make these justices more sympathetic to what Justice Antonin Scalia has decried as the “homosexual agenda”? Feel free to opine, in the comments.
P.S. Ah, who cares about where these judges went to law school? Which ones are the hottest — or, to put it more crudely, more “do-able”? For some thoughts on this subject, see 23/6 (which has evaluated these judicial hotties in a manner reminiscent of Underneath Their Robes).
Inappropriate Hottie Rundown: California Supreme Court Justices [236.com]
Earlier: Breaking: California Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage

Jay Spechler Judge Jay Spechler Jay Sprechler Above the Law blog.jpgThe fabulous Monica Goodling — if you’re on Facebook, join her fan club — isn’t the only person being accused of anti-lesbian bias these days. From the Daily Business Review (via JAABlog):

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Jay Spechler”

Carl McGee Carl Stanley McGee Governor Deval Patrick Above the Law blog.jpgFor the record, here’s some follow-up on two Bay State lawyers previously discussed in these pages, who have been cleared of the charges against them. At least to some extent.
First, remember Carl Stanley McGee (right), who was arrested after being accused of going down on a 15-year-old boy? Earlier this week, Florida prosecutors decided to drop the case.
Apparently the teen had trouble identifying McGee. But maybe he also learned that it’s bad form to complain about getting a BJ. Unless teeth are involved.
Second, remember the handsome Gary Zerola (below right), named a “Most Eligible Bachelor” by People magazine, and accused of rape and attempted rape by three different women? One of the cases against him went to trial, and he was acquitted (back in January; we missed the news when it came out).
Gary Zerola 2 Most Eligible Bachelor rape Above the Law blog.jpgA second trial is currently underway. In that case, as reported in today’s Boston Herald, Zerola’s defense team argues that the victim wanted to shakedown their client for $150,000.
The third incident, which is the one that we wrote about, has not yet gone to trial.
Sex Case Against MA Guv’s Aide Dropped [AP]
‘Most eligible bachelor’ acquitted in attempted rape case [Boston Globe]
Zerola team: Alleged victim sought $150G [Boston Herald]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: Carl Stanley McGee
Most Eligible Bachelor Becomes Considerably Less Eligible

It’s Friday afternoon, and things are kinda slow. So please forgive the randomness.

Remember Kirkland & Ellis’s big gay party from last month, featuring cocktails and hors d’ouevres, but open only to LGBT lawyers? A source at our former firm writes:

Hors d’ouevres? That’s nothing! At Wachtell Lipton, the gay partners (and whatever associates/summers are out and proud) go to a verrry nice dinner every year. Last year it was at Per Se.

Magnificent. We’ve been to Per Se — on our own dime, not Wachtell’s — and it lives up to the hype.

So if you’re summering at WLRK, say that you’re gay (whether you are or not). You can always “change your mind” when you return to school in the fall; sexuality is fluid. And Per Se’s salmon tartare cornets are to die for!

Earlier: Kirkland & Ellis’s Big Gay Party: Discriminatory?

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