Law Firm Names

Managhan Kortum Managhan Law Firm Above the Law blog.jpgA fantastic and hilarious email, announcing a name change for a Montana law firm, has been making the rounds. We’d like to reprint it here, but we’ll refrain for now. Instead, read the email and commentary on it here and here.
We have no reason to question the authenticity of the email (which apparently went out to the entire membership of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association). But we haven’t verified it definitively either. And we’d like to give William Managhan and Santana Kortum-Managhan the chance to comment, given the salacious nature of the material. How do they fill about all the roomers?
Accordingly, we have phone calls and emails in to the Managhan Law Firm (whose typo-laden website still identifies it as the “Managhan & Kortum-Managhan Law Firm”). We will let you know if and when we hear back from them.
Update (7 PM): We have been communicating with Bobbi Bonnington via email. We hope to have more information for you soon.
A comedic tidbit…courtesy of Montana [The Amateur Law Professor]
Firm Name Change [The Legal Scoop]

People in the offices of both Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb have been gossiping about a possible merger between their firms.
Here’s some circumstantial evidence in support of the rumors. If you go to Whois.Net and enter the domain name, you get this info:
Dewey Ballantine 2  LeBoeuf Lamb Greene MacRae Above the Law blog.jpg
We have a call and an email in to Michael Groll. We’ll let you know if and when we hear back from him.
Update: Might this be a practical joke, as one commenter suggests? Quite possibly. That’s why we’ve reached out to Mr. Groll for comment.
Further Update (4:45 PM): No, this is the real deal. About an hour after our post went up, the WSJ Law Blog chimed in with this write-up: “LeBoeuf Lamb and Dewey Ballantine are in merger talks, with an announcement of a deal expected as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the situation.”
Further Further Update (8/25/07): The New York Times has an article on the merger talks here.
More discussion, plus links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Merger Mania: Dewey LeBoeuf? (You Heard It Here First)”

* Even in Berkeley, it’s a little bit about the money. And by a little bit, I mean a lot. If you want to be a PD in spite of higher student loans, just apply for a Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship. The OC may be off the air, but some indie law kid is bound to follow up with another pop-culture inspired tie-in. [Nuts & Boalts; Los Angeles Times]
* Smallish firms where named partners are actually still alive and employed should think about adopting a generic boy band-esque name (Menudo LLP?) to avoid the awkwardness that ensues after a member is unceremoniously kicked out (or hits puberty). [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]
* Let us take back toddler cuteness! I do question visible make-up and the whole Vogue Bambini aesthetic on the under-5 set, but aren’t you glad that unlike real life, that little girl’s bikini top isn’t totally off-center? [eitb24 via Drudge Report]
* This is not a joke (à la SNL fake commercials/Games Magazines fake ads of yesteryear). [Feminist Law Professors]

* If it’s not in the URL, get rid of it. []
* Pedophiles are upset to learn that the 12-year-old they’ve been “violating” is actually 29. Another example of how TV and movies featuring twenty-something actors as smooth-faced teenagers warps reality. [AP via MSN]
* It’s Roe v. Wade’s 34th anniversary. The pro… [Feministing]
* …and the con. [La Shawn Barber’s Corner]

charles stimson charles d stimson.jpg* Oh good, Cully says pro bono is ok again. [Washington Post; Washington Post (letter to the editor) via WSJ Law Blog]
* “Two things made Christopher Willever’s drunken burglary of a Tobacco Hut even worse as he crawled across the store floor — a lousy belt and his camera-loving backside.” [MSNBC]
* U.S. Attorneys’ increasing rate of attrition. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog (departures generally); WSJ Law Blog (Kevin Ryan)]
* Tennessee is tennetaxin’ illegal drugs. [Time]
* Time for new business cards and letterhead over at Wiley Rein & Fielding [Legal Times]
* The mystery raised here has been answered. Richard Posner isn’t the only federal government official who likes to blog. [Opinion Juris]
* Gay Sullivan & Cromwell partner David Braff, to the New York Times: “I’ve been openly gay since I arrived at this firm in 1984. There’s absolutely no atmosphere of hostility toward gay people here.”
[New York Times via DealBook]
* The fight over whether Judge Stephen S. Trott’s seat on the Ninth Circuit belongs to Idaho or California has been resolved — for now. [How Appealing]

Gray's Anatomy Grey's Anatomy.jpg* Is CBS attempting to redress any previous restraints on free speech? You know more than a few submissions will feature wardrobe malfunctions. [CBS]
* Because the long-standing Dewey Cheatem & Howe joke is not fair to Dewey Ballantine, which is already feeling like the pathetic, STD-ridden dumpee that it is. [Concurring Opinions]
* The next logical step is for the publishers of Gray’s Anatomy to sue ABC — and for the next edition of said text to feature the United Colors of Benetton cast on its cover. [FN1] [The Agitator]
[FN1] It has come to my attention that a lot of lawyers and those who love them don’t have time for even must-see TV. So please note that the ubiquitous Postal Service single is featured on the Grey’s
Anatomy soundtrack
. See how that works?

richard lieb.jpgIn our post last month about the merger of Cooley Godward and Kronish Lieb, we wondered aloud: And What About Mr. Lieb? His name was unceremoniously dumped from the moniker of the new entity, which will be known as “Cooley Godward Kronish.” Ouch.

Readers have subsequently informed us of what Richard Lieb is up to these days. He can be found alive and well, teaching a full load in the Bankruptcy LLM program at St. John’s University School of Law. He also still maintains an office at the firm, where he’s a retired partner (of counsel).

It seems that the academic life agrees with Lieb, at least according to one correspondent:

[H]e puts a lot of time and attention into his courses and, based on his reputation from many years of practice, has successfully enticed numerous”‘name” bankruptcy lawyers professors and judges to come and speak to his classes. As far as I know, St. John’s is the only LLM program in bankruptcy anywhere, and Mr. Lieb still has a remarkable command of legal principles and reported case law at his fingertips.

Glad to hear it. We hope to still have command of our bowels at age 76, to say nothing of “legal principles and reported case law.”

But still, the question remains: How does Mr. Lieb feel about having his name axed post-merger? According to time-honored law firming naming principles, one would expect the post-merger entity to be called either “Cooley Kronish” (a la “WilmerHale”) or “Cooley Godward Kronish Lieb” (a la “Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman”).

Our suggestion: Just call the firm “Suri Cruise LLP.” Publicity avalanche — and massive Google traffic — guaranteed!
(That would be almost as good a firm name as our reigning favorite: Saxena White.)

Earlier: And What About Mr. Lieb?
Richard Lieb [Kronish Lieb]
Richard Lieb bio [Martindale-Hubbell]

names.gif“Small is beautiful.” That seems to be the trend with cell phones, digital cameras — and, of course, law firm names:

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has officially shortened its name to DLA Piper.

One of the world’s largest law firms with 3,100 lawyers, DLA Piper is the culmination of a series of mergers, beginning with the 1999 combination between Baltimore’s Piper & Marbury and Chicago’s Rudnick & Wolfe. At the beginning of last year, the firm then known as Piper Rudnick officially merged with both Palo Alto, Calif.-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich and British legal giant DLA, which had 1,800 lawyers.

The firm said it had always planned to shorten the name after a transitional period.

Here’s our question: Why stop there? Why not just call the firm “DLA,” “DL,” or just plain “D”? Law firms have become huge businesses; they might as well sound like them — like GM, GE, IBM, etc.
This is only the latest example of a law firm streamlining its moniker by chopping off unnecessary or unwieldy partner surnames. Some years ago, the venerable “Dechert, Price & Rhoads” turned into “Dechert” — a sign that it had arrived, like “Madonna” or “Cher.” And “Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn” became “Proskauer Rose.” (What prompted that change? Was it to avoid any negative associations with subway shooter Bernhard Goetz?)
Sometimes firms change their names not to make them shorter, but just to avoid being the butt of jokes by opposing counsel. Take one of New Jersey’s largest law firms, Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger, & Vecchione. It used to be “Crummy, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger, & Vecchione.” But when former Third Circuit Chief Judge John J. Gibbons (re)joined the firm, they quickly dumped “Crummy” and replaced it with “Gibbons.”
W can hardly blame for that. But we still feel bad for poor Andrew Crummy.
Two Across, Eight Letters: Firm Its Shortens Name [New York Law Journal]

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