Kenneth Starr

How can you be a happy lawyer?

* Is concern for “privacy” simply a justification for censorship on the internet? Some thoughts from a lawyer for Google. [Peter Fleischer: Privacy...? via Kashmir Hill / Forbes]

* What’s the secret to lawyer happiness? And no, it doesn’t involve illegal drugs or porn stars (Charlie Sheen isn’t a lawyer). [Slaw via Legal Blog Watch]

* Want to start your own law blog? Read this interesting interview with BL1Y (a regular in the ATL comments section). [Lawyerist]

* Superstar criminal defense lawyer John Dowd, the Akin Gump partner who successfully got Monica Goodling (among many other clients) out of legal trouble, offered a rousing defense of Raj Rajaratnam today. [Dealbreaker]

Jonathan Bristol

* Ex-Winston & Strawn partner Jonathan Bristol, former counsel to money manager / fraudster Kenneth Starr, has reached a plea agreement with S.D.N.Y. prosecutors. [New York Law Journal via Summary Judgments]

* Elsewhere in Ken Starr news, it seems that some celebs are getting hit with IRS tax liens as a result of their ties to him. [TaxProf Blog]

* Congratulations to a 3L at Harvard Law School, Nneka Ukpai, who trounced the prosecution at trial and won an acquittal for her client. [Yolanda Young / On Being a Black Lawyer]

* Congratulations to a 3L at NYU Law and future S.D.N.Y. law clerk, Eli Northrup, who belongs to a hip-hop band called Pants Velour — which has, in the words of our tipster, “captured the magic of Charlie Sheen as only music can.” [YouTube]

* This week, A Round Tuit includes a nice round-up of opinions on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Westboro Baptist Church case (Snyder v. Phelps). [Infamy or Praise]

'Judge Tacha, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.'

Here’s a new mini-trend: federal judges leaving the bench to lead law schools.

In 2007, David F. Levi stepped down as chief judge of the Eastern District of California, to assume the deanship of Duke Law School.

Today, Pepperdine University School of Law announced that Judge Deanell Reece Tacha — who has served on the Tenth Circuit for over 25 years, including a term as chief judge (2001-2007) — will be the school’s new dean, effective June 1.

Judge Tacha follows in the footsteps of another federal judge: former D.C. Circuit Judge Ken Starr, of Whitewater / Monica Lewinsky fame. Judge Starr served as Pepperdine Law’s dean until he left last year for the presidency of Baylor University.

How are students reacting to news of Judge Tacha’s appointment?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Judge Tacha To Take Over as Dean of Pepperdine Law”

It’s clear that Winston & Strawn isn’t happy about all the publicity it’s getting over Jonathan Bristol, the Winston partner — or former partner? — who has gotten entangled with Kenneth Starr

In case you haven’t been following the case of Kenneth Starr — not the one who brought us the delectable Starr Report, but the one who managed money for celebrity clients and now stands accused of a $30 million investment fraud — Jonathan Bristol did legal work for Starr. Bristol is referred to in the criminal complaint as “Associate-4″ — not as catchy as “Client No. 9,” but it’ll do.

Since the Starr story broke, Winston has refused to comment on the case or to clarify Bristol’s current status at the firm. On the latter subject, there are conflicting reports:

Bristol is a Winston & Strawn partner who arrived at the firm from the now-defunct Thelen. Bristol is not charged with any crime and faces no civil charges. But he appears to be gone from Winston, though firm higher-ups and a spokesman will not comment publicly on Bristol’s status. Two sources familiar with the matter say Bristol is indeed gone from Winston, though one source close to the case insists that Winston did not terminate Bristol.

Regardless of whether he’s still connected to the firm, Jonathan Bristol is definitely gone from the Winston website. As in really, truly gone.

Last week, Winston removed Bristol’s bio from the firm website. But that’s not all. Winston went to the trouble of taking the November 2008 press release touting Jonathan Bristol’s arrival at the firm (along with several other Thelen lawyers), revising it to omit any mention of Bristol, and then putting it back on the firm website….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Winston & Strawn Tries To Rewrite History By Editing Out a Problematic Partner”

Kenneth Starr Kenneth W Starr Ken Starr Ken W Starr Ken Star Whitewater Monica Lewinsky Pepperdine Law School.jpgWe heart Kenneth Starr. Aside from his platinum-plated résumé — Supreme Court clerkship, D.C. Circuit judgeship, service as Solicitor General — Starr brought us the most entertaining political scandal ever: the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Don’t you long for a return to the pre-9/11, pre-Iraq / Afghanistan War, pre-Great Recession days, when our nation’s greatest worry was whether a White House intern was s’ing some d in the Oval Office? Sigh….
Sorry, we got lost in nostalgia for a moment. Back to the present. Today brings big news about our beloved Ken Starr. He’s leaving Pepperdine University School of Law, where he has served as dean since 2004, for a new and even more distinguished post.
So, where’s he going?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Ken Starr Stepping Down as Pepperdine Law Dean”

camp law firm retreat Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOur series of open threads on the workplace perks provided by large law firms continues. How could it not? The fringe benefits of Biglaw are seemingly unlimited.
Today’s reader request:

Another perk post option: a thread exploring BigLaw firm retreats, and other company-sponsored social events.

We like this idea. We’ve heard of firms holding lavish retreats, both for summer associates and full-time lawyers, in some delightful destinations. In many cases, lawyers can bring their spouses, turning the retreat into a paid mini-vacation.
By way of example, Hogan & Hartson has a retreat for its summer associates at a resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In recent years, Kirkland & Ellis has held a firm retreat for its full-time lawyers at the luxurious Hotel Hershey. Who wouldn’t want to hit the Chocolate Spa, for a “Couples Cocoa Massage” with Pepperdine Law Dean (and K&E Of Counsel) Ken Starr?
In the comments, please describe your fabulous firm retreat, in all of the mouthwatering, travel-porn detail you can muster. Thanks.

hillary clinton is magnificent.jpgWith the 2008 presidential campaign dominating the airwaves, despite being over a year away, everyone is talking about politics (and watching awesome, politically-themed music videos). Here’s a question that a law student posed to us:

Are there differences between the politics of firms, roughly distinguishing between liberal and conservative, or are they all pretty much the same? How can a student figure out the political leanings of a particular firm?

The only source of information I’ve found so far is to research donations to presidential candidates.

Interesting. We’d say that many firms, especially in New York, are “pretty much the same” — money knows no political distinctions. But here in D.C., it’s more common for firms to lean one way or the other.
One way to figure out a firm’s political valence is to look into the former government service of its lawyers (especially high-powered partners). This method would suggest to you that WilmerHale, home of the diva-licious Jamie Gorelick, is left of center, while Gibson Dunn, home of Ted Olson, is right of center.
As our correspondent notes, campaign contributions also shed light on the political leanings of a law firm. On that subject, Lindsay Fortado of Bloomberg News has this interesting article. Here’s something that surprised us:

Lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm that’s home to Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr and Bush administration official Jay Lefkowitz, have given more to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign than to all of the top Republican candidates combined.

Kirkland, based in Chicago, is one of several corporate law firms that traditionally backed Republicans where lawyers are turning to Democratic candidates….

With respect to K&E, though, we’d guess that this varies from office to office. The Washington outpost of Kirkland, which is stocked with tons of former Scalia and Thomas clerks, is probably not funneling massive cash to La Hillary.
Which way does your firm lean? Please discuss in the comments. Thanks.
Kenneth Starr’s Law Firm Gives More Money to Clinton [Bloomberg]

* Coke sues film makers for showing Jesus drinking a Coke and saying, “My God, what a testimonial.” [BLT]
* Dean Ken Starr visits HLS for a reenactment of Dred Scott arguments. [
* Howard K. Stern hires Lin Wood in Anna Nicole Smith case. [CNN]
* AG Gonzales avoids e-mail altogether… Should you? [ABA Journal]
* Or just get a secret e-mail server. [Wonkette]

On the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, after his oral argument in Morse v. Frederick, Dean Kenneth W. Starr has an epiphany. He realizes why he decided to take on this case, pro bono.
It’s because his client, petitioner Deborah Morse — a curvaceous, dark-haired beauty — reminded him of a young woman he once loved, many years ago…
Bong Hits 15.JPG

This morning we posted the first half of our photographs from our recent trip to the Supreme Court. The rest of the pictures appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Hits 4 ATL: A Photo Essay (Part 2)”

Bong Hits 1.JPG
The U.S. Supreme Court building at One First Street, on the morning of Monday, March 19. Like rock star groupies, SCOTUS fans camped out overnight for a chance to breathe the same air as the nine robed ones.
As we previously explained, we didn’t make it in to see the argument in Morse v. Frederick, aka the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case, before the Supreme Court on Monday. But our trip wasn’t a complete waste, since we did get some video footage (here, here, here, and here).
Oh wait — you HATED our videos. Well, at least give us credit for mixing things up a little around here. Every now and then, we like to try new things, to keep ATL from getting hidebound. Not every experiment works; but that’s why they call them experiments.
Anyway, hopefully you’ll like our still photography more. We’re post them in two batches. The first set of pictures, of Dean Kenneth Starr and two colleagues, appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Hits 4 ATL: A Photo Essay (Part 1)”

Kenneth W Starr Kenneth Starr Ken Starr Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday, while waiting in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court, we saw a tall gentleman and two younger associates walking down the street. His black hat was pulled far down, but there was something familiar about the eyes, the glasses….
Then it came to us: It’s Kenneth Starr! We’re huge fans of Ken Starr, because of his leading role in one of the greatest political and personal dramas of all time: the Monica Lewinsky story.
We whipped out our camera and started running after Dean Starr and his two young companions (presumably associates from Kirkland & Ellis). We caught up to him, and this exchange ensued (our remarks were pretty silly, but we were giddy with excitement and not thinking clearly):

“Excuse me — are you a litigator?”


“Um, are you litigating in the Supreme Court today?”


“Are you Mr. Starr?” (We realized later we probably should have addressed him as Dean Starr or Judge Starr.)


“Hi. My name is David Lat. It’s nice to meet you!”

“It’s nice to meet you, David.”

(We extended our hand, but he left his hand firmly stuffed in his pocket, as he kept walking. We continued to snap photo after photo of him and his associates, telling him, “Don’t mind me!”)

Then we trotted ahead to intercept him again, as he came around the bend to go in the Maryland Avenue entrance. We started talking more photos of him. He greeted us, with dry amusement:

Starr: “Why, hello again!”

ATL: “This is what passes for paparazzi at the Supreme Court!”

After the argument was finished, Ken Starr exited the Court by proceeding down the front steps. We saw him coming and intercepted him again. This exchange ensued:

(By saying “I’ll see you over here,” Dean Starr was referring to the gaggle of microphones set up on the front plaza of the Court, where he proceeded to give some remarks for the news media.)
Ken Starr, outside the U.S. Supreme Court [YouTube]

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