* Return of the Equal Rights Amendment? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* Rumsfeld torture charges dropped because his actions were related to his government position. [CNN]
* DOJ: Monica mum, but Sampson speaking. [MSNBC]
* On that subject, here’s a chart and timeline with links for all you need to know about “Attorneygate.” [Slate]
* Now that his ex-wife has become a man, the ex-husband is seeking to end alimony payments on that basis. [CNN]
- D. Kyle Sampson, Department of Justice, Divorce Train Wrecks, Feminism, Gender, Morning Docket, Torture, U.S. Attorneys Offices, War on Terror
* Return of the Equal Rights Amendment? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
- Abortion, Craigslist, Feminism, Gender, Job Searches, Non-Sequiturs, NYU Law School, Traffic Accidents
* Senator Brownback doesn’t include women of reproductive age in his litany. But you can’t protect everyone, can you? [Mirror of Justice]
* I once sent out letters like this to production companies, volunteering my script-reading services, and one guy took the time to tell me to f*%k myself because what the hell did I know about scripts. But I’m sure this guy will have much better luck. [Prettier Than Napolean]
* Let’s all be thankful that cosmos weren’t served. My gender-neutral marketing and client development strategy would be to recruit only hot associates of both genders and all sexual orientations, and pimp them out to clients as appropriate. [WSJ Law Blog via Professor Bainbridge]
* Looks like it’s every man for himself. [Overlawyered]
* Lower wages for women? Always. [MSNBC]
* Trial date set for only charged Abu Ghraib officer. [Jurist]
* Racial controversy: the breakfast of champions. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Gay groups not really satisfied about Super Bowl ad; Snickers pulls it. [AP via Findlaw]
* North Dakota, now slightly less boring, but not really, issues hemp permits. [AP via Yahoo!]
- Blogging, Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Fabulosity, Feminism, Gender, Glenn Reynolds, Shanetta Cutlar, You Go Girl
Shanetta Y. Cutlar, a high-ranking official of the U.S. Department of Justice, oversees the Special Litigation Section (SPL) of the Civil Rights Division. As chief of the SPL, Cutlar is a steward(ess) of our nation’s civil rights laws.
And, of course, Cutlar is a great diva — which is why we adore her so much.*
Those who get to see a great diva up close, or to work with one, are truly blessed. So what if divas are difficult? That’s why we call them divas.
It should come as no surprise, then, that working for Shanetta Cutlar comes with a few occupational hazards. From a former employee at SPL:
I loved my position, duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, in time I become a victim of Shanetta’s vicious, often brutal attacks, of constant, uncontrolled rage.
I tried to tolerate and persevere. But eventually the stress began to take a physical toll on me. Down to my last few months or so with the Department, I suffered a bout of diarrhea, each and every morning, before going to work.
My nerves were wrecked. I soon realized I had to seek employment elsewhere outside of the Department.
So I left DOJ and Shanetta. Life is good again.
Color us incredulous. You sacrificed the opportunity to work under an amazing lawyer and leader because, well, you had a touch of the runs?
You need to toughen up. Your “problem” wasn’t anything that couldn’t have been solved with a family-sized bottle of Kaopectate. And a lifetime supply of Depends.
* Sorry, Shalini. We will not apologize for having a weakness for divas. We have loved divas for our entire life, ever since we popped out of one’s womb.
For those of you who care (all six of you), we defend our fixation on divas after the jump.
Or actually, “I’m missing you already.” Supreme Court justices have feelings too, y’know.
The former cheerleader and current Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader “Kiki” Ginsburg, misses having a “wing-woman” when she visits the highest ladies’ room in the land. Per Joan Biskupic of USA Today:
It’s been a year since Sandra Day O’Connor retired from the Supreme Court after a quarter-century tenure and left Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the lone woman on the nine-member court. Although it’s unclear how O’Connor’s departure will affect the law, this much is certain: Ginsburg misses her friend, and worries about the message court visitors get when they see only one woman on the bench.
“The word I would use to describe my position on the bench is lonely,” Ginsburg, 73, said in an interview with USA TODAY.
“This is how it was for Sandra’s first 12 years,” she said, citing the time from O’Connor’s appointment in 1981 to Ginsburg’s arrival in 1993. “Neither of us ever thought this would happen again. I didn’t realize how much I would miss her until she was gone.”
Awww…. Isn’t that cute? Who knew that someone who spent 13+ years dealing with admin law could be so sentimental?
(We aren’t joking about the supreme judicial ladies room. As indicated here by Jan Crawford Greenburg, aka the Eve Harrington of One First Street, the justices’ robing room has a women’s bathroom — even though it didn’t back when Justice O’Connor first joined the Court.)
Ginsburg ‘Lonely’ Without O’Connor [USA Today]
Madame Justice [Legalities via How Appealing]
- Biglaw, Gender, Greenberg Traurig, Lawsuit of the Day, Racism, Rudeness, Sexual Harassment, Yasmin Marinaro
Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell isn’t the only discrimination lawsuit against a large law firm kicking around New York Supreme Court these days. Earlier this month, a complaint was filed in the case of Yasmin Marinaro v. Greenberg Traurig LLP.
Meet Harley I. Lewin (at right), a shareholder (partner) in the New York office of Greenberg Traurig LLP. According to his firm bio, he’s the head of their trademarks and global brand strategies practice.
And according to allegations made by Yasmin Marinaro, a Latina female who previously worked as his administrative assistant, Harley Lewin:
– described her to two male clients, within her earshot, as a “hot tomato”;
– told these two clients that they should “check her out,” then called her into his office, “whereupon Lewin and his male guests ogled her”;
– referred to her by the nickname “Chiquita Banana”;
– ordered her into his office, “whereupon he would instruct her to view sexually explicit and inappropriate emails”;
“encourag[ed] her to gain weight so that she would be more sexually attractive”;
– attempted to intimidate her into not coming forward with her allegations by sending her an email entitled “Be Careful,” in which he urged her to “keep [her] own counsel”; and
– played a role in her allegedly retailatory firing from Greenberg Traurig.
Juicy allegations — and there’s more in the full Complaint.
Alas, we don’t have enough time to do it justice right now. But we’ll surely have more to say next week about the case of Marinaro v. Greenberg Traurig LLP. If you’d like to read the Complaint for yourself, we’ve provided a link below.
Yasmin Marinaro v. Greenberg Traurig LLP [New York Supreme Court (PDF)]
Harley Lewin bio [Greenberg Traurig]
- Deaths, Feminism, Gender, Judith Vladeck, Law Professors, Litigatrix, Marsha Berzon, Plaintiffs Firms, Stephen Vladeck
Proud of her courtroom contentiousness, Ms. Vladeck brought a combination of showmanship and detailed analysis of salary histories and job performance to her cases. She took on potent opponents like major Wall Street investment firms, the Union Carbide Corporation and the City University of New York — and usually won, or settled for millions.
A chain-smoker known for working 11-hour days well into her 70s, Ms. Vladeck was a partner in Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, the Manhattan law firm that her husband, Stephen, helped start in 1948 and she joined in 1957.
Judith Vladeck was a colorful character. Check out these excerpts from her obituary at the WSJ Law Blog.
She is survived by several highly accomplished descendants. One of her sons is Dr. Bruce Vladeck, interim president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (and owner of a nice Manhattan apartment). Another son, David Vladeck, is a law professor at Georgetown. Daughter Anne Vladeck, a partner in the Vladeck law firm, has been recognized as one of the best labor lawyers in New York.
Judith Vladeck is also survived by five grandchildren. One of them is a fellow legal blogger: Professor Stephen I. Vladeck, of the University of Miami School of Law, who blogs at PrawfsBlawg.
ATL sends its sympathies and condolences to Professor Stephen Vladeck and the entire Vladeck family.
P.S. Interestingly enough, Steve Vladeck clerked for She Who Must Not Be Named. This is an example of a great fit between judge and law clerk. Just like his high-powered grandmother, Steve Vladeck’s former boss was a leading labor litigatrix, who argued several cases in the Supreme Court before being appointed to the Ninth Circuit.
Judith Vladeck, 83, Who Fought for Women’s Rights, Dies [New York Times via WSJ Law Blog]
- Alston & Bird, Arnold & Porter, Biglaw, Bingham McCutchen, Contests, Feminism, Gender, Nixon Peabody, Perkins Coie, Rankings
Congratulations to these five law firms, which just made Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For:
The Recorder has a write-up of the results, which contains some fun factoids. Did you know that each Perkins Coie office has a “Happiness Committee,” which throws surprise parties for lawyers and staff?
This is unusual. Many law firms have “Unhappiness Committees,” which are sometimes called “Personnel Committees” or “Associate Life Committees.” But we don’t know of any other firm with a “Happiness Committee.”
And here’s something we didn’t know about the #94 company on the list, Bingham McCutchen (whose name we keep on misspelling):
[A]t Bingham, women outnumber men two to one and make up 23 percent of the partner ranks — believed to be the highest percentage in the industry, according to the Fortune report.
No wonder the Bingham men are so happy.
Five Law Firms Score Places on Fortune Magazine’s ‘Best Companies’ List [The Recorder via Law.com]
100 Best Companies To Work For [Fortune]
- 9th Circuit, David Levi, Duke Law School, Federal Judges, Gender, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Orin Kerr, SCOTUS, SCOTUS Potential, Sex, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks, Weirdness
Big news for both the federal bench and legal academia: Chief Judge David F. Levi, of the Eastern District of California, has been picked as the next dean of Duke Law School.
If approved by the trustees, Levi will replace Dean Katharine Bartlett on July 1. Here’s the official press release.*
Chief Judge David Levi is one of the most highly-regarded district judges in the entire federal judiciary — and this should come as no surprise, given his pedigree. The 55-year-old judge is a Harvard College and Stanford Law grad, former Ninth Circuit clerk, and member of the Elect (OT 1982/Powell).
Legal genius runs in the Levi family. David Levi is the son of the late Edward Levi, former Attorney General under President Ford (and recently in the news in the wake of President Ford’s passing; he recommended Justice Stevens for the SCOTUS). As the WSJ Law Blog points out, David Levi’s older brother is also a high-powered lawyer: John Levi, a partner at Sidley & Austin.
When we clerked on the Ninth Circuit, we worked on an appeal from a decision of then-Judge Levi (he became Chief Judge in 2003). It was
a bizarre an interesting case involving a transsexual ex-prison inmate, one Torey Tuesday South, who filed a civil action against California prison officials. She alleged that the officials improperly cut off her sex hormones (which she had been taking since she was a teenage boy). The officials asserted qualified immunity.
The record on appeal was
really weird highly unusual. It included quasi-soft-porn photographs of Torey Tuesday South in various unusual positions, designed to showcase certain parts of her anatomy. It also included materials that gave us a crash course in gender dysphoria.
We’ll spare you the details; if you’re curious, you can look up the decision on Westlaw. In the end, Chief Judge Levi’s decision to allow the case to move forward was affirmed. The factual findings and legal reasoning he provided in support of his ruling were impeccable.
In his new role as dean of Duke Law School, David Levi will surely grapple once again with issues of transsexuality. But the questions presented will be less thorny. For example: Can transexuals use both the male and female bathrooms in the law school (as they can in the New York subway)?
The Duke deanship is an exciting new opportunity for one of our nation’s most distinguished jurists. Congratulations, Your Honor!
Food for thought: Professor Orin Kerr wonders: Is Chief Judge Levi, regarded by both liberals and conservatives as a fair and thoughtful jurist, the kind of Supreme Court nominee who could win over Democratic senators?
David Levi is only 55 years old. He’s a moderate conservative with 16 years of judicial experience, as well as a civil procedure guru. Now he’s adding another feather to his cap: the deanship of a prestigious law school. If he steers clear of controversy as dean, he’s certainly a SCOTUS possibility.
* From the Duke alum who sent us the press release: “I can speak for many of my fellow Duke Law alums when I say good riddance to the former dean, Kate Bartlett.”
Update: Some Duke alumni dissent from this assessment of Dean Bartlett. For further discussion, see the comments.
Federal Judge David F. Levi selected as Dean of Duke Law School [Duke Law School]
Duke Law School Selects Judge David Levi as Dean [WSJ Law Blog]
Wonderful news for Duke Law School, but a sad loss of a very talented judge [How Appealing]
David F. Levi bio [FJC]
Ex-Inmate’s Suit Advances [Sacramento Bee]
Transsexual inmate mistreated, court says [Sacramento Bee]
More on 100-0 Nominees [Volokh Conspiracy]
- ACLU, Books, Celebrities, Crime, Defamation, Feminism, Food, Gender, Immigration, Jack Abramoff, Law Professors, Movies, Native Americans, Non-Sequiturs, Prisons, Pro Se Litigants, Weddings
* All may not be genetically sound with
Suri babies of holoprosencephaly sufferers. (But does genetic perfection really exist?) And once again, wordplay gets us out of the woods of potential litigation by a crazy actor midget. [Overlawyered]
* Jack Abramoff has been hitting the books in the prison law library and will represent himself in two lawsuits filed against him by Indian tribes. I think “kitchen duty and carpentry” is prison-speak for “shower activities.” [Law.com]
* Off-ensive or just off-menu? Not brought to you by the people who brought you this refreshing drink. [Vivir Latino via Racialicious]
* Remember when we used to de-contract words (e.g., “does not” for “doesn’t”) to inch our way towards the minimum word requirement? [FN1] Apparently, this is the only way law school is not like high school. [PrawfsBlawg]
[FN1] Enough already! law professors lament. And yes, smart aleck, footnotes do count toward the word limit.
* Running with Scissors writer Augusten Burroughs is being sued for libel, not for his part in the adaptation of his memoir into the abysmally bad film version. [Vanity Fair]
* Any future husband of mine should be so lucky as to take on “Q” as their last name, or our combined last name. But for the record, could it be that “Buday” is pronounced “booty”? [ACLU of Southern California via PrawfsBlawg]