I recently graduated from a state school in the California State University system as a Philosophy major. My original plan was to go to law school, but I am now thinking I may want to go into accounting instead (due to the terrible job market for lawyers and the 150k debt I’d be faced with).
Particularly, I would like to work at a Big 4 firm. Is this change possible?
— from a question sent into the advice column of Going Concern (the accounting world’s answer to Above the Law). Note the questioner’s less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA.
We are not fans of Crocs here at Above the Law. We stand by this position, even though First Lady Michelle Obama — aka She Who Can Do No Wrong — has been spotted in them.
Apparently we are not alone in our opposition to Crocs. It seems that the people at Porsche — yes, the luxury sports car maker — have sued the footwear folks. In Germany.
Seriously? Yup. The lawsuit was mentioned in the Crocs (CROX) third quarter 10-Q, which is how it came to the attention of our sister site, Going Concern (via Footnoted).
So what is Porsche suing Crocs over? Find out at the links below. Deadline Watch: Porsche Suing Crocs For ‘Cayman’ Use [Going Concern] Porsche vs. Crocs… [Footnoted.org] Earlier: Crocs: Ugly and Dangerous
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. From our sister site, Going Concern:
[A] judge in Seattle has allowed a revised lawsuit to proceed that lists “Washington Mutual officers and directors, underwriters, and the auditing firm Deloitte & Touche” as defendants.
The revised lawsuit was trimmed down to a “concise” 267 pages from the original 388 that the judge described as “verbose” and “disorganized”.
“Verbose” and “disorganized” would also describe many lawyers we know. On the defense side, though, it’s an all-star cast. From Am Law Litigation Daily:
The lineup for the defendants includes Simpson Thacher & Bartlett attorneys Barry Ostrager and Rob Pfister for former WaMu officers; Ronald Berenstain of Perkins Coie for former WaMu outside directors; Barry Kaplan of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for former WaMu CEO Kerry Killinger; Peter Wald of Latham & Watkins for Deloitte; and Jonathan Dickey of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for the underwriters.
If the power to tax is the power to destroy, then shouldn’t we at least try taxing stupidity? They’re thinking about doing it in France. From Going Concern:
Our frog eating friends have decided that they will start taxing people for their stupidity:
“The French Foreign Ministry is proposing a very narrow law requiring citizens foolish enough to wander into international danger zones, regardless of public warnings, to pay at least part of the cost of their own rescue.”
If you wander up a silly mountain and get stuck, it is civilized to have somebody go and try to find you even it was your own damn fault. But that doesn’t mean society should have to foot the entire bill for your weekend warrior shenanigans. Right?
Click on the link below to read — and comment on — the full post. The Solution to All Our Fiscal Problems [Going Concern]
Frank DiPascali, the former CFO — chief fraudulent officer? — for Ponzi schemer extraordinaire Bernard Madoff, pleaded guilty today to a variety of charges, including securities fraud, falsifying records, and international money laundering.
Read more and comment over at Going Concern. Guilty Madoff CFO Update [Going Concern]
And accountants, and investment bankers. Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) has introduced legislation that, if passed, would make it easier for investors to sue law firms, accountants and investment banks involved in perpetrating fraud. The law would effectively overrule Supreme Court precedent placing limits upon suits against parties with indirect involvement in fraud.
Read more — and comment — over at Going Concern (link below). Arlen Specter Not Pandering to the Bean Counter Vote [Going Concern]
The newest member of the Breaking Media family, the accounting-focused Going Concern, seems to be venturing onto ATL turf today.
Multiple stories on the Going Concern front page are law-related. These are just excerpts or summaries; click on the links to read more (and comment).
1. UK Court Decides it Will Leave the Major Lawsuits to the Americans
“Big 4 firms dodge a bullet in the UK as the highest court dismissed a negligence lawsuit against an accounting firm that failed to detect a fraud that brought down a trading company.”
2. UBS and IRS Probably Have a Deal, No Toblerones Involved
“UBS is going to name names, albeit not all of them, bringing us to ever so close to the bitter end of the whole IRS/UBS standoff.”
3. Ex-BDO Partner Won’t Be on His Boat after Plea Deal
“[Former partners of accounting firm BDO Seidman] that were involved with the firm’s tax shelters are continuing to drop like flies. This time, Mark Bloom, a hedge fund manager and former BDO partner that worked in Tax Solutions group, pleaded guilty to several charges.”
4. California Overtime Lawsuits Update
Ah, California lawyers…. If only you were accountants, you might be entitled to some back pay for overtime. The issue will be decided by the worker-friendly Ninth Circuit at some point in the future.
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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