Who could ever forget the final scene of Ang Lee’s tragic Brokeback Mountain, in which Heath Ledger’s Ennis Del Mar clutches a shirt belonging to the gay-sheepboy love of his life, as if touching him for the very last time? As shattering as that moment was, however, something called for a coda — perhaps just a brief shot of a smiling Ennis, finally at peace, serving daiquiris to vacationing tourists at the Key West bed n’ breakfast he opened after Jack Twist’s death.
We may not have to rely on our imaginations for that kind of closure, however, as OK! Magazine reports that a Brokeback sequel is on the way.
Is life imitating art? Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell have justsettled the litigation between them. But a sequel to Brokeback Lawfirm may be in the works.
Remember Gera Grinberg — the former S&C associate who worked closely with Aaron Charney, was rumored (incorrectly) to be Charney’s gay lover, and left the firm under mysterious circumstances? A reliable source — we use the source “reliable” intentionally, since all ATL sources should be presumed unreliable, unless otherwise indicated — tells us a lawsuit by Grinberg against S&C is a distinct possibility.
This source informs us that Gera Grinberg has filed “numerous complaints with S&C,” which have not yet been resolved. The former M&A associate hasn’t heard back from them regarding the results of any investigation that they may — or may not — have undertaken. In terms of pursuing further action against the firm, Grinberg has ruled nothing out.
Very interesting. Stay tuned.
Finally, in happier news for S&C, the firm just announced the election of its new partners. The timing, in the same week as settlement of the Charney litigation, is fitting. The firm is turning a new page in its history.
Check out the memo, and see if you know any of these future (or maybe current) millionaires, after the jump.
Are 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.
We realize that not everyone has been following Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the salacious case filed by former S&C associate Aaron Charney (at right), alleging anti-gay discrimination and retaliation by his extremely prestigious (and profitable) former firm. But for those of you who are interested in this matter, today we have a special treat.
Remember Gera Grinberg — the former colleague of Aaron Charney who some partners suspected was in an “unnatural relationship” with Charney? Grinberg, who nolonger works at S&C, is a critical figure in this case. But he has been an elusive figure to followers of this litigation. We’ve seen no pictures, and we know few facts about him.
Finally, after months of mystery, we’ve gotten our hands on a photograph of him. It’s kinda old, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Check it out, after the jump.
LEWW is ashamed to admit that we have not followed the Charney versus Sullivan & Cromwell lawsuit with the attention it so richly deserves. Fortunately, there are other bloggers who’ve got you (and us) covered regarding coverage and analysis of this complex affair in Lat’s absence. Keeping Up With Jonas has a nice capsule summary of the three orders issued by Judge Fried in the matter yesterday, with links to the orders.
And Professor Art Leonard has this more detailed write-up.
Judge Fried denied without explanation a motion by Gera Grinberg’s attorney to have Grinberg’s deposition transcripts unsealed. Writes Leonard:
Attorney Grinberg worked closely with Aaron Charney as a fellow associate at S&C on a variety of client matters, and their close working relationship seems to have sparked the incidents upon which Charney bases his lawsuit. Grinberg was present at the meeting between Charney and S&C partners Vince DiBlasi and David Braff on January 31, the day before S&C discharged and sued Charney.
There is considerable dispute between Charney and S&C about what was said at that meeting, with Charney claiming that the only written record, which would back up his account, was made by Grinberg, who then turned his notes over to his attorney at that time for safekeeping. Charney has alleged that the Grinberg notes were improperly destroyed as part of a conspiracy between S&C and Edward Gallion, a lawyer S&C had retained to represent Grinberg. Amidst the skirmishing over motions to dismiss, Grinberg submitted to a deposition focused on what occurred at that meeting, but the transcript of the deposition has been sealed, and S&C’s lawyers criticized Charney for relying on and referring to that testimony in his amended complaint.
Leonard also reports that Grinberg, who was placed on paid leave by S&C, is no longer listed on the firm website.
Yesterday Aaron Charney, the former Sullivan & Cromwell associate now suing his former employer for sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation, filed an amended complaint against the firm. To download copies of Charney’s latest filings, follow these handy instructions.
Some background about the new complaint, from an article by Anthony Lin in this morning’s New York Law Journal:
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bernard Fried dismissed Charney’s original pro se complaint without prejudice earlier this month, ruling that some of the ex-associate’s allegations and attachments were irrelevant and potentially violative of disciplinary rules. The judge gave Charney leave to replead his case.
Though Charney, now represented by four lawyers, excised the material cited by the judge, he added new allegations concerning events that took place after his initial complaint was filed, in particular a Jan. 31, 2007, settlement meeting.
Many of you have expressed interest in the latest developments in the continuing litigation between gay lawyer Aaron Charney and his former employer, Sullivan & Cromwell. It has been quite some time since our last post about this case.
Unfortunately, as far as we know, nothing is going on right now. We have a Google Alert set to notify us of all things Charneylicious, and it has been silent lately. This morning we checked the docket, as well as the blogs of two top Charney watchers, Professor Art Leonard and Lavi Soloway. Nada, zilch, zip.
To tide you over, here is one little rumor (unconfirmed, so take it with a grain of salt). It’s so minor that we hesitate to share it. But, for what it’s worth, we hear that Gera Grinberg — the S&C associate who had a relationship with Aaron Charney that partner Alexandra Korry allegedly described as “unnatural” — is back in the office.
(We tried to confirm this by emailing Grinberg. We didn’t receive a response; but we also didn’t receive an “Out of Office” notice, either.)
Observers of this case will recall that Gera Grinberg was placed on a leave of indefinite length by S&C, shortly after the lawsuit was filed. He was on this delightful vacation paid leave for a period of at least several weeks. But now we hear that he’s back at 125 Broad Street, working away like a good corporate lawyer.
Boy that must be awkward — for both Grinberg and S&C. After all, Grinberg is at the center of some salacious allegations about possible misconduct in this case.
If you have any information about new developments in Charney v. S&C, please drop us a line. Thanks. Update: In response to this comment: Yes, we called Gera Grinberg too. The call went straight to voice-mail (which makes us wonder whether maybe he still is on leave, since no secretary was covering his phone). We left a message.
Remember our post from last week, hinting at the possibility that false affidavits were created in the Aaron Charney / Sullivan & Cromwell litigation? Well, a few more details — or allegations, at least — are drifting in.
Check out this order by Justice Bernard Fried:
We’ve reviewed the excerpts from the Aaron Charney deposition that were attached to Charney’s court filings from yesterday. We’ve culled out some highlights, so you can review them for yourself and reach your own conclusions.
(We realize, of course, that this is just Aaron Charney’s side of the story. But at this point, in the absence of deposition testimony from Gera Grinberg or any S&C lawyers, it’s all we’ve got. Obviously you should read it with the caveat that Charney isn’t exactly a disinterested witness.)
For starters, here’s Charney’s testimony about the alleged “we’ve represented the Nazis” comment by Sullivan & Cromwell partner Gandolfo “Vince” DiBlasi:
Thank you, Sullivan & Cromwell, for not settling this case and putting the mess behind you. The ongoing saga of Aaron Charney v. S&C is providing lawyers across the country with hours of entertainment.
Each week brings some exciting new development or salacious revelation. And yesterday’s hearing in New York Supreme Court, before Justice Bernard Fried, was no exception to this rule.
Discussion and links, after the jump.
Here’s some juicy gossip about the case that everyone can’t stop talking about: Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. Some of this information has previously appeared elsewhere, but this letter nicely synthesizes everything.
It’s long, so we’ll post it in two parts. Here’s the first installment:
While I’ve hesitated until now to write, your coverage of Aaron Charney’s lawsuit has been extremely entertaining, if often wildly inaccurate.
Like many current and former associates at S&C, I’m torn between my indifference towards Aaron (who was standoffish at best and somewhat obnoxious at worst) and my recognition of some genuinely negative aspects of the firm as portrayed in his complaint. But ultimately I have to come down on the side of the firm, because from where I sit Aaron’s story — while it may be peppered with, or “larded”, with some actual facts — doesn’t really paint a picture of discrimination or retaliation.
First of all, I think the idea of S&C being anti-gay as an institution is completely laughable. I’ve even heard fellow associates express concern that — all other things being equal — being straight is a liability when it comes to making partner. I’ve never heard a homophobic, racist or sexist comment, although I’ve heard rumors of a few. It’s rumored as well that Aaron himself made a homophobic comment or two in his more deeply closeted days. Who knows. Maybe I just inspire caution in this regard.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…
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 protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.