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]
We believe the Greenberg Traurig memo was posted, multiple times, in the comments. But just to make it official, here’s the (verified) memorandum:
To our New York associates:
We are pleased to announce that our New York office will be increasing associate compensation retroactive to January 1, 2007.
The new standard salary range will start at $160,000 for the class of 2006 (and for new associates arriving with the 2007 incoming class) and increase for each subsequent class through the class of 1999 and beyond. Each associate will be advised of her or his salary by the end of this week.
As you know, at Greenberg Traurig, the timing and opportunity for making shareholder and having a long term home, as well as our unique cultural environment, are more favorable to our associates than is the case at other large New York firms. While these facts are themselves of high value for forward-thinking individuals, we also desire to fairly compensate all of our people along the way based on all conditions.
We have always been committed to providing our associates a unique opportunity to be a real part of an organization based on change, and which will be at the forefront of our profession as we move into a bright future together. At the same time, we believe in a strong, merit-based compensation system at all levels of our firm, and we believe that total compensation, including year-end bonuses which will be determined at the end of 2007, should reflect your contributions. Providing for increased base salaries at this time allows our associates to feel highly rewarded while still retaining these important features of our culture.
From government to academia:
* The brilliant Michelle Boardman is returning to teach at George Mason University School of Law. Professor Boardman had been on leave, serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. From government to private practice:
* Sue Ellen Wooldridge, assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources, resigned from the Justice Department earlier this week, stating that she plans to return to the private sector.
(Interestingly enough, her alleged beau, J. Steven Griles — a former deputy secretary of the interior, who Interior Department sources say has been dating Wooldridge — has been notified that he’s a target in the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation.)
* Bankruptcy Chief Judge Melanie Cyganowski (E.D.N.Y.) is resigning to become chair of the bankruptcy litigation practice of Greenberg Traurig (NY). From private practice to government:
* Steven M. Cohen, a partner at Cooley Godward Kronish, has been selected by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as his new chief of staff. Lateral moves:
* White-collar defense lawyers John Moscow and Jack Blum, to Baker Hostetler (NY), from New York boutique Rosner Moscow & Napierala. Moscow and Blum are gurus of the law of money laundering.
* Litigators Michael Armstrong, Paul Rooney, and William Purcell, to the newly opened New York office of Howrey. They come from, respectively, Cooley Godward Kronish, solo practice, and K&L Gates.
* Five litigators, to the new Houston office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, from litigation boutique Edwards, Burns & Krider. Names here.
* Intellectual property litigator Richard Pettus, to King & Spalding (NY), from McDermott, Will & Emery (NY).
* Corporate lawyer Michael Nissim, to Vedder Price (NY), from McDermott, Will & Emery (NY).
Links after the jump.
Lawyers are often criticized for lacking an entrepreneurial spirit. They say that risk-taking visionaries end up as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, while risk-averse weenies end up as their general counsels.
But this view of lawyers isn’t universally true. Some lawyers are willing to take a business opportunity when they see it.
Exhibit A: ATL’s Lawyer of the Day, Jay Gordon. From the New York Law Journal (via TaxProf Blog):
The former chairman of the tax practice at Greenberg Traurig has resigned from the bar for taking over $1.2 million in kickbacks on tax shelters he recommended to wealthy clients.
The incident is the latest ethical embarrassment for 1,600-lawyer Greenberg Traurig. Though largely not itself accused of wrongdoing, the Miami-based firm has recently dealt with the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff and has also seen some partners accused of self-dealing and other questionable conduct.
Between 1999 and 2002, Jay I. Gordon steered a number of clients, including real estate tycoon and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Peter S. Kalikow, to tax shelter sponsors who in turn directly paid Gordon more than $675,000 in “referral fees.”
In addition to the major move reported this morning, a few other legal professional developments worth noting: New Partners:
* Chadbourne & Parke: Corporate lawyers Frank Vellucci and Ayse Yüksel (both in New York, but Yüksel also works in London).
* McCarter & English: Corporate lawyer Lance Friedler, securities and white-collar criminal litigator William Moran, and products liability lawyer Thomas Smith (all in the New York office). Lateral Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Rick Frimmer, to Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps (San Diego), from Greenberg Traurig. NY Lawyers Making Partner [NYLawyer.com]
A number of big-ticket moves to report today. The most notable involve government lawyers: Government to Private Sector:
* Debra Wong Yang, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California (Los Angeles), has resigned from the USAO. She’s headed to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, as a partner (duh). Ka-ching!
Yang will work out of the firm’s L.A. office. She will co-chair its Crisis-Management Group, along with former Solictor General Theodore Olson and another former federal prosecutor, Randy Mastro. At Main Justice:
* Jonathan Cohn (OT 2000/Thomas) is now the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Appellate. He was previously the DAAG overseeing the Office of Immigration Litigation (and will continue to discharge that duty until a successor is found).
At right: Jonathan Cohn and his wife, Rachel Brand (OT 2002/Kennedy), the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. Although his portfolio has changed (and we’d say for the better), he doesn’t have to get new business cards, since he’s still a DAAG. Out the Door:
* Casualties of the stock options backdating scandal: Stuart Nichols, former general counsel of KLA-Tencor, and David Lubben, former general counsel of UnitedHealth. Lateral Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Arthur Hull Hayes III, to Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, from Dewey Ballantine.
* Technology, media, and telecom lawyer Carole Aciman, to Greenberg Traurig, from Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
* King & Spalding: The intellectual property practice acquires five new lawyers: Kenneth Sonnenfeld (NY) and John Harbin, Tony Askew, Steve Schaetzel, and Jim Johnson (in Atlanta). They came from Morgan & Finnegan (Sonnenfeld), Powell Goldstein (Harbin), and Kilpatrick Stockton (Askew, Schaetzel and Johnson). And Another One Gone, And Another One Gone… [WSJ Law Blog] L.A. U.S. Attorney Debra Yang Resigns; Will Join Gibson Dunn [WSJ Law Blog] NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com] More NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
Supreme Court Scions:
* Janet Rehnquist, daughter of the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, is leaving Venable to start her own health care law practice. She will be based out of the Washington offices of Arent Fox.
Rehnquist previously served as Inspector General of the Health and Human Services Department, before she resigned amid controversy. It was rumored that Chief Justice Rehnquist was upset over how his daughter’s departure from HHS was handled.
Janet Rehnquist isn’t the only SCOTUS spawn with a successful legal career. Her brother, James Rehnquist, is a litigation partner at Goodwin Procter and a former federal prosecutor. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg, is a law professor at Columbia. And one of Justice Antonin Scalia’s sons, Eugene Scalia, is a partner at high-powered Gibson Dunn, a former Solicitor of the Department of Labor — and an ERISA hottie. Damage Control:
* Jon Hoak, former general counsel to NCR, joins HP as its chief ethics and compliance officer. Lateral Moves:
* Hedge fund lawyer Bruce Kahne, to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, from Seward & Kissel.
* Corporate and securities lawyer Daniel Raglan, to Greenberg Traurig, from Sullivan & Cromwell (where he was an associate).
* Public finance lawyers Pauline Schneider and Darrin Glymph, to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (DC), from Hunton & Williams. (Schneider, a former D.C. bar president, comes in as a partner; Glymph joins as counsel.) NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com] Supreme Daughter Hangs Out Her Own Shingle and More DC Lawyers On the Move [NYLawyer.com] H-P Hires Former NCR General Counsel As Chief Ethics Officer [WSJ Law Blog]
* Antitrust lawyer A. Paul Victor, to Dewey Ballantine (litigation department), from Weil Gotshal.
Per the Antitrust Review: “Part of the reason for leaving Weil after 38 years is that he is about to reach Weil’s mandatory retirement age of 68.”
* Structured products and derivatives lawyer Joseph Suh, to Schulte Roth & Zabel, from McDermott, Will & Emery. Government to Private Sector:
* Agostino Cangemi, former GC and deputy commissioner for New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, to Greenberg Traurig (governmental affairs). A Random Walk Down the Blogosphere [Antitrust Review] Dewey Ballantine Adds A. Paul Victor as Antitrust Partner [Dewey Ballantine (PDF)] Firms Adding NY Partners [NYLawyer.com]
* Tax litigators B. John Williams, Jr. and Alan Swirski, to Skadden Arps (DC), from Shearman & Sterling (DC).
The WSJ Law Blog refers to the two men as “Tax Litigation Studs.” First: What do these guys look like? Second: Is using the word “stud” conduct unbecoming an MSM blog? (Just kidding, Peter.)
* Geroge Sullivan, to Greenberg Traurig (NY), from Morgan Stanley (where he headed litigation at the firm’s retail brokerage and investment management arm). Government to Private Sector:
* Mark Feldman, to BDO Seidman’s litigation and fraud investigation practice, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (where he headed the office’s organized crime and racketeering section for over 10 years). Shearman Tax Litigation Studs Decamp to Skadden [WSJ Law Blog] Morgan Stanley Litigation Chief to Join Firm in NY [NYLawyer.com] Organized Crime Prosecutor Joins BDO Seidman [NYLawyer.com]
* Global trade lawyers Duane Layton, Sydney Mintzer and Jeffrey Lowe, to Mayer Brown, from Miller & Chevalier.
* Bankruptcy lawyer Stephen Gallagher, to Venable LLP, from LeClair Ryan PC.
* Intellectual property litigator Daniel McCloskey, to Greenberg Traurig (of counsel), from Dechert. Internal Promotions:
* Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal: Kara Baysinger has been named lateral acquisition partner.
(When we read this item, we scratched our head and thought, “Lateral acquisition partner — huh?” The firm’s press release explains: “Baysinger, who joined the firm eight years ago, will lead a lateral hiring program designed to help Sonnenschein achieve its aggressive growth targets.”) Sharing a Class-Action Fee at Akin Gump [Washington Post] Left-Coast Lawyers On the Move [NYLawyer.com] Sonnenschein Creates Two New Management Roles [Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal]
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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 email@example.com 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.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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