Larry Sonsini

Boalt Hall UC Berkeley Law School Above the Law blog.jpgAs we mentioned last week, U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law hired a brand consulting firm to come up with a new name for the school. The effort ended somewhat anticlimactically. Boalt paid $25,000 to Marshall Strategy Inc., which came up with this brilliant new moniker: “UC Berkeley School of Law.”
Oh well. But since we already took the time to read through hundreds of suggested new names for Boalt Hall, we’re going to conduct this reader poll anyway.
Cast your vote, after the jump.

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100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGWe don’t have memos, but we can confirm associate pay raises at two large law firms:

(1) D.C. powerhouse Wiley Rein & Fielding, former home of the new White House counsel, Fred Fielding; and

(2) Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, home of Silicon Valley legal god Larry Sonsini (although a god who, in the past year or so, has shown signs of being fallible).

More details, plus your comments, after the jump.

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* Justice Scalia on judicial paychecks. [Associated Press]
And meanwhile…
* “It was just a matter of time before well-heeled business and other interests would expand their influence-peddling efforts, and begin pouring large amounts of money into previously sleepy judicial campaigns.” [TimesSelect (pass-through link) via How Appealing]
* No more melting coins for the value of the metals. [ABC]
* Natalee Holloway’s family files wrongful death suit in Aruba. [MSNBC]
* “Accuser in Duke lacrosse case about to give birth.” [SI.com]
* HP board terminates advisory relationship with Silicon Valley superlawyer Larry Sonsini. [New York Times via Dealbreaker; WSJ Law Blog]


viet dinh.jpgRemember Professor Viet Dinh? If not, here’s what we previously wrote about him:

Dinh represents venture capitalist god Thomas Perkins, in Perkins’s (rather tense) dealings with HP’s board and lawyers [concerning the HP spying controversy].

Dinh, for those of you visiting from other planets, is one of the highest-flying legal eagles in the country. He’s a former high-ranking official at the Justice Department, current professor at Georgetown Law, and former Supreme Court clerk (to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor).

The American Lawyer recently published an interesting article about the HP controversy and the troubles it has caused for Larry Sonsini, one of Silicon Valley’s top lawyers. We haven’t had the chance to read it closely; but one of you highlighted this little tidbit:

Over a Washington, D.C., lunch in which Dinh quickly downed three glasses of wine, three orders of oysters and a seafood gumbo, the former government lawyer recalled he was startled when [Thomas] Perkins first told him about the leaks investigation.

Well! It seems that the super-cuddly professor has quite an appetite.
Perhaps Professor Dinh is still haunted by his childhood as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam? Relax, Viet — everything is all right. You are a millionaire, and you don’t need to worry about where your next meal is coming from. (And if you run out of food late one night, you can always eat the prestige of that SCOTUS clerkship.)
Our question to Professor Dinh: Given your voracious appetite, how do you stay so slim?
Where Will the Troubles End for Sonsini and HP? [The American Lawyer]
Hewlett-Packard Lawyer Dinh Gives Washington the ‘Viet-Spin’ [New York Observer]
Earlier: Viet Dinh: Still As Cuddly As Ever

burka burqa burkha burqha.jpg* An investigation by the Justice Department Inspector General reveals that the Bureau of Prisons doesn’t have enough staff to monitor communications of imprisoned terrorists with the outside world, including mail and phone calls. [Washington Post]
(And what about Instant Messenger? “What ya wearing?” “A burka.” “Love to slip it off you…”)
* The Supreme Court kicks off October Term 2005 — and J. Lo is in the house. José Antonio López’s appeal raises the question of what constitutes a “felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act” (which the Court has grappled with before, and surely will again). [New York Times; Los Angeles Times; Washington Post]
* That wacky Ninth Circuit ruling from earlier this year, holding that arresting the homeless for sleeping on streets and sidewalks constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment,” may be coming home back to the shelter to roost. It could jeopardize Los Angeles’s attempted crackdown on homeless encampments. [Los Angeles Times]
* Larry Sonsini’s reputation has been tarnished by his involvement in the HP and options backdating scandals. But he’s got all his life to live, he’s got all his love to give; he will survive… [WSJ Law Blog]
* Ex-Comverse Technology CEO Kobi Alexander, wanted back in the United States on options backdating charges, is granted bail by a Namibian court, over U.S. objections. Those starstruck Namibians! Ever since Brangelina, they’re suckers for the rich and (in)famous. [Associated Press]

hp logo revised.gifWe are guilty of dereliction of duty. We’ve neglected to write about the Hewlett-Packard leak investigation scandal, now unfolding in all of its glory before Congress. (Yes, that Congress: a body that knows all about unethical behavior, illegal conduct, and mind-blowing stupidity.)
We’ve been avoiding this scandal for two main reasons. First, it’s a story that Peter Lattman and the WSJ Law Blog have really owned from the get-go. In fact, today Lattman is hanging out in Washington — our usual base of operations — to cover the House committee hearings on Capitol Hill. (Guess we’ve traded places; we’re up here in New York, a few blocks away from Lattman’s office.)
Second, L’Affaire HP has been such a total s**t show — from the very start, but somehow managing to get worse each day — that blogging about it presents no challenge. There’s very little opportunity for us to add value. Reading wire reports about the scandal is already pretty mortifying (and entertaining). Do you really need a side order of obnoxious commentary when the entree itself is so rich?
But HP is the big news story of the day. It’s one that our big brother is covering extensively. And we’ve received a bunch of emails asking for our thoughts on it. So fine, we will write about the HP spying scandal.
Actually, guess what? We just did. Fancy that!
DealBreaker’s HP coverage
WSJ Law Blog’s HP coverage
House Pursues Inquiry as H.P. Counsel Quits [New York Times]

stephen breyer justice.jpg* The Judicial Conference of the United States, the policy-making body for the federal judiciary (but not the SCOTUS), has announced measures to improve the judiciary’s self-policing and public accountability. They include required installation of “conflict checking” software — get with it, Your Honors, that’s long overdue — and enhanced disclosure concerning judicial junkets. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Speaking of judicial naughtiness, a commission headed by Justice Stephen G. Breyer has concluded that the Ninth Circuit mishandled its investigation of Judge Manuel Real — who is now facing an impeachment inquiry. [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* The latest news in L’Affaire HP: Lawyers all around! HP general counsel Ann Baskins has retained white-collar specialist Cristina Arguedas, and Larry Sonsini has retained Michael Madigan, of Akin Gump. [The Recorder; WSJ Law Blog]
* Trying to come up with legislation to govern interrogation and treatment of terror suspects: Still a big ol’ mess. Wake us up when something’s actually accomplished. [Washington Post; New York Times]

larry w sonsini.jpg* More back-and-forth between the Bush Administration and Congress concerning rules to govern the interrogation of terror suspects. The White House sent Congress a revised proposal last night; a deal could be reached by the end of this week. [Washington Post]
* More developments in the HP leak investigation scandal. The most interesting: even Larry Sonsini (at right), HP’s lead outside lawyer, was pretexted as part of the probe. Heh. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Former Enron exec David Delainey is sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. [Houston Chronicle via WSJ Law Blog]
* Freelance video journalist and blogger Josh Wolf, who refused to comply with a grand jury subpoena seeking his footage of a political protest, is headed back to jail. [Associated Press]
* Judge Manuel Real (C.D. Cal.) will testify before Congress in response to GOP efforts to impeach him. (Judge Real, by the way, is quite a character; we’ll probably have more to say about this later.) [Daily Journal via How Appealing]

clarence thomas justice.gif* Larry Sonsini reminds us of why we should use the phone, and NOT email, if we’re going to do something sketchy. Also, his spelling and typing skills aren’t perfect. (But by the standards of Biglaw partners of his generation, he’s in the 95th percentile — assuming he typed this all himself.) [WSJ Law Blog]
* Justice Thomas is already hiring clerks for October Term 2008. Congratulations to Patrick Strawbridge, CT’s latest hire (as far as we know; if you know more, please do share). [Prettier Than Napoleon]
* We agree with Michael Dimino: “The more frivolous the complaints, the better the job.” But redweld cuts still hurt like hell. [PrawfsBlawg]
* The indefatigable Ann Althouse doesn’t sleep with her laptop. We’re surprised! [Althouse]
* Going through a Wendy’s drive-thru while naked can get you arrested. You didn’t know that, did you? [Concurring Opinions]
* Raffi Melkonian isn’t quite as down on clerking as we originally suggested. [Crescat Sententia]