Jed Rakoff

* Seriously? We’re still deporting gay people who are married? Are there really people who are still in favor of this policy? [Stop the Deportations]

* On the upside, these shoppers can now literally say they got somebody a gift over that man’s dead body. [Huffington Post]

* When did Jed Rakoff become so godlike? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Christmas gifts that you’ll only like if you are a lawyer and already have an iPad. [Constitutional Daily]

* Is your job more interesting than soap for your hair? [Ross's Law Marketing Blog]

* I like the suggestion, by Professor Frank Pasquale, that firms are pushing the “useless first-year” meme to maximize their profits. If true, we should see a bunch of talented first years opening their own shops in 3…2…1… [Balkinization]

Fortunately, you gave me so much paper. Otherwise, I would have had to watch a Mets game, which would have been a very painful process.

– the eminently quotable Judge Jed Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.), praising the thorough briefing by lawyers involved in the legal battle between the Bernard Madoff trustee, Irving Picard, and the owners of the New York Mets, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.

Not only am I dismissing your case — WITH PREJUDICE — but I am also referring you to the grievance committee, and will personally recommend that you are sanctioned. You lied to this Court, and that will not be countenanced. Now please leave my courtroom.

Judge Jed Rakoff, benchslapping (as reported by an ATL reader who witnessed Judge Rakoff in action for the first time, from the safety of the gallery).

It’s time for a brief postscript on one of this month’s juicier (and well-trafficked) stories: the dismissal of three women associates from litigation powerhouse Boies Schiller. We have a few additional tidbits that we can share with you.

But this is probably the last story we’ll be doing on this drama, since we don’t expect anything else to emerge. One piece of information we’ve received is that the associates were offered severance pay — “very generous” severance, in the words of one source — but had to release any claims against the firm in exchange. All three took the deal, including the expectant mother. So don’t expect any “Aaron Charney for pregnant women”-type lawsuits.

What other details can we reveal about the situation?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Boies Schiller Three: An Update”

Judge Jed Rakoff: A bank's nightmare?

Since Judge Denny Chin is moving on up to the Second Circuit, the S.D.N.Y. cases pending before him have to be redistributed. Lawyers for Bank of America, which has 15 civil shareholder lawsuits on Chin’s docket, sent the chief judge a letter requesting that the cases be reassigned using a lottery system. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Cleary Gottlieb, Davis Polk, and Wachtell Lipton all signed the letter.

Why did they need to send this special letter? Because they were scared of B of A landing again in the lap of Judge Jed Rakoff, says the Wall Street Journal:

Judge Rakoff disappointed bank executives last year when he rejected a $30 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had charged the bank with misleading shareholders about bonuses paid prior to the Merrill merger. The New York judge reluctantly approved a new $150 million agreement in February but called it “half-baked justice at best.”

One of the pending shareholder cases accuses the bank of failing to “disclose billions in Merrill losses before shareholders approved the deal in December 2008.”

Apparently, the lawyers debated whether or not to name Judge Rakoff in their letter, thus making it clear that he was the particular judge they hoped to avoid. They ultimately decided to name names.

They were successful in steering their cases clear of Rakoff, though the chief judge claims the letter wasn’t a factor in her decision to assign the cases to Judge Kevin Castel (aka the John Gotti judge). How did she decide?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Rakoff?”

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Supreme Court clerks continue to flood the NYT wedding pages this month, creating grim LEWW odds for mere-mortal Cornell grads and Skadden associates. Like Troy playing Florida or North Texas playing Alabama, these folks are welcome to suit up, but the only question is how bad their whuppin’ is going to hurt.
Here are your three finalist couples for the week:

1. Rebecca Mancuso and Andrew Brunswick
2. Erin Gustafson and David Curtiss
3. Kathleen Devine and David Newman

Evaluate these newlyweds, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 9.13: Devine Inspiration”

Marc Dreier small Mark Dreier Marc Drier Marc S Dreier LLP.jpgThe long (inter)national Marc Dreier nightmare is almost at an end. He’s been sentenced to 20 years for defrauding his clients and investors. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports:

Prosecutors had asked for a 145-year sentence, which harked back to the 150-year sentence U.S. District Judge Denny Chin readily handed down to Bernie Madoff, whose massive Ponzi scheme drained the bank accounts of countless investors. In both cases defense attorneys sought a fraction of that. Dreier’s attorney sought no more than 12-and-a-half years.

But Dreier drew U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who has been highly critical of the length of sentences under the federal sentencing guidelines, particularly in white collar crime cases.

Bernie Madoff gets 150 years, but Dreier only gets 20? Justice may be blind, but she’s certainly not deaf.
Breaking: Marc Dreier Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Is Marc Dreier Almost As Bad as Bernie Madoff?

Marc Dreier small Mark Dreier Marc Drier Marc S Dreier LLP.jpgThe federal government seems to think so, based on the sentence they’re seeking. We’re kind of proud that one of our own, a lawyer, can rank up there with one of the greatest swindlers of all time.
And what does Marc Dreier think he deserves? No more than 12 1/2 years, according to his sentencing memo. More details, including excerpts from Dreier’s seemingly heartfelt letter to Judge Rakoff, over at the WSJ Law Blog.
U.S. Seeks 145-Year Sentence for Lawyer in Fraud Case [City Room]
Sentencing Looming, Dreier Asks For No More than 12 1/2 Years [WSJ Law Blog]

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Gentleman, how emasculated would you feel if your future father-in-law shuttled your bride down the aisle, and then, instead of pecking her on the cheek and handing her over, actually turned around and performed the wedding ceremony? Talk about control issues. That’s exactly what this groom endured last Sunday, as he was married by his father-in-law, United States Federal District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
The Rakoff wedding didn’t make our final three. Neither did a couple of lesbian unions, a WGWAG, and several other worthy contenders. Here are the three who made the finals:

1. Devon Quasha and Jeffrey Thorn
2. Saralisa Brau and William Van Horne
3. Linda Cho and James Brennan

More about these impressive legal-eagle newlyweds, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 6.21: The Thorn-Nerds”

Brianne Gorod Justice Stephen Breyer Above the Law blog.jpgWe bring you an addendum to Monday’s post about the latest in Supreme Court clerk hiring. And we’re pleasantly surprised to see that we have this news before Wikipedia.
Recently hired to clerk for Justice Stephen G. Breyer in October Term 2008: Brianne Gorod, currently in the D.C. office of O’Melveny & Myers. Gorod is a 2005 Yale Law grad and a former clerk to the judicial tag team of Jed S. Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) and Robert A. Katzmann (2d Cir.).
Those who obsessively follows SCOTUS clerk hiring know that Judges Rakoff and Katzmann have jointly sent clerks to the Court before. But contrary to some rumors, they’re not always a “package deal” when it comes to hiring (although there is a significant degree of overlap among their current and former clerks).
Judge Katzmann prefers to hire individuals who have clerked on the district court (or have some other kind of post-law school work experience), so he regularly turns to Judge Rakoff, for whom he has a great deal of respect, as a source of clerkly talent. Judge Katzmann sometimes also helps promising applicants to his own chambers to secure interviews with Judge Rakoff. Conversely, Judge Rakoff also refers and sends clerks to Judge Katzmann, as well as to other Second Circuit judges, and he has also hired some clerks after Second Circuit clerkships. In short, both judges think it’s valuable for people to have both district and circuit clerkship experiences, and they try to help make that happen for their clerks. But they don’t hire 100 percent of their clerks jointly.
The current tally of OT 2008 SCOTUS clerks, with Brianne Gorod added, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: Justice Breyer’s Final Hire
(And a Digression on Judges Katzmann and Rakoff)”

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