Yesterday’s Lawsuit of the Day — Jones v. Minkin, a $44 million lawsuit against yours truly, Above the Law publisher David Minkin, and Dead Horse Media (now known as Breaking Media) — has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, University of Miami law professor Donald Jones.
There was NO SETTLEMENT in this case. Above the Law has made no changes to our prior posts, and we have paid no money to Professor Jones. The case was dismissed by the plaintiff without anything from our side, except a letter from our lawyer.
UPDATE (3:35 PM): We have offered Professor Jones a guest post on Above the Law in which to provide his side of the story, about either the lawsuit or the underlying facts. We have offered to keep the comments on that post closed or open, depending on his preference. (And we would have done this in the first place, had he made such a request.)
For the first time in over three years of operation, Above the Law has been sued. We feel the lawsuit has no merit, but we will not comment further on this ongoing litigation. To access the pro se complaint, coverage by other news outlets and blogs, and ATL’s prior posts about Professor Donald Jones, click on the links collected after the jump.
Please note that we have closed comments on this post, out of respect for the judicial process. Thank you.
UPDATE: We will be continually updating this post with links to news and blogosphere coverage. We have already added new links from the ABA Journal, the WSJ Law Blog, and the Volokh Conspiracy, among other sources.
The fresh links will appear AFTER THE JUMP, so check them out there. Thanks.
There’s nothing scary about this Halloween edition of the Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. Our featured newlyweds include two Skadden associates, a SCOTUS clerk, and a famous heiress / model / entrepreneur.
Here are our fabulous finalist couples:
Law professors generally don’t earn as much as Biglaw partners. Legal academic salaries, while generally in the low six-figures, rarely go over, say, $400,000.
But some law profs own very, very nice homes. See, e.g. (in descending order by value):
Columbia professor Hans Smit ($30 million mansion — yup, that’s seven zeros);
Yale professor James Whitman ($5.7 million co-op);
NYU professor Cathy Sharkey ($5.2 million apartment);
“Feldsuk,” aka Harvard professors Jeannie Suk, who has a new book out that looks quite interesting, and Noah Feldman ($2.8 million mansion);
Columbia professor Edward Morrison ($2.6 million townhouse); and
Columbia professor Sarah Cleveland ($2.5 million townhouse).
Sometimes the professors get financial assistance for these purchases from the schools that employ them. But sometimes the professors buy them on their own, without any university help.
For example, as reported in the New York Observer, Daniel Fischel, former dean of the University of Chicago Law School, just picked up an $8.45 million Manhattan pied-à-terre. As breathlessly described by writer Max Abelson, the apartment features “custom electric shades, a steam shower, and a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator.”
The University of Virginia Law School, and legal academia more generally, have been rocked recently by a controversy involving a leading law professor and claims of anti-gay animus. William N. Eskridge Jr. — currently the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, where we had great good fortune of having him as a professor — testified last month before Congress in support of the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA). ENDA would prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace. In explaining the need for ENDA, Professor Eskridge made reference to his own career, testifying that “I was denied tenure at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985 based in part on my sexual orientation.” You can, and should, read his complete testimony here (opens as a Word document).
The controversy has, of course, reverberated throughout the blogosphere. See, e.g., the UVA Law Blog (including 40+ comments, many of them quite insightful); Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports (here and here); and The Faculty Lounge. The UVA Law Blog also reprints a Virginia Law Weekly article from January 1986 about the Eskridge tenure denial (which was strongly opposed by students; if you’ve been lucky enough to have Bill Eskridge as a teacher, this should not be a surprise).
We reached out to both Professor Eskridge and UVA Law School. We received written statements from Professor Eskridge and from Dean Paul G. Mahoney.
Their statements, plus a comprehensive collection of links, appear below.
When we first reported on Boston College Law professor Scott Fitzgibbon’s anti-gay marriage advertisement in Maine, we noted that the classes he taught were not germane to his views on gay marriage:
According to his bio, Professor Fitzgibbon teaches jurisprudence, corporations, securities regulation, and contracts. Are gay and lesbian BC Law students comfortable learning about these subjects from an anti-gay marriage professor?
In the Spring of 2008, a group of Boston College Law School students enrolled in Professor Scott T. Fitzgibbon’s “Marriage: Law and Theory” seminar formally approached Dean of Students Norah Wylie to express concern over Fitzgibbon’s allegedly improper conduct in class.
Can the law school claim that it is “welcoming” to gays and lesbians when it had an anti-gay marriage professor teaching its marriage and the law class?
Let’s look at the students’ complaints after the jump.
It’s too early to take nominations for this year’s law revue contest. But an early contender will surely be a video we received from students at Boston College Law School. It’s a spoof of BC law professor Scott Fitzgibbon’s anti-gay marriage commercial. Here’s the set-up, from the BC Student Bar Review (that’s a social organization, for 1Ls still wondering what happens outside of the library):
The next bar review will begin at 8pm this Thursday, October 1 at The Kells…. We can hear some of you already: “but guyssssss, The Kells is full of meatheads in Red Sox hats.” Well, we’ve got a news flash for you, Little Lord Fauntleroy: every bar in Boston is full of meatheads in Red Sox hats, and very few of them have dance floors as spirited or drinks as reasonably priced as The Kells. We find it to be a great place to blow off some steam, get weird on the dance floor, and accost your TA from LLRW and force him to do shots of Jameson with you.
However, as Dean Garvey reminded us in his memo, we must be respectful of those who disagree with us, no matter their beliefs. In the spirit of providing equal time, we have included a brief video message from the opposition:
The Kells is the kind of place that makes you want to bathe yourself in lye when you wake up the next morning afternoon. Here’s what the loyal opposition has to say:
After the jump, would the real Professor Fitzgibbon please stand up?
Yesterday, we talked about a Boston College Law professor, Scott Fitzgibbon, who went up to Maine to shoot an anti-gay-marriage commercial. John Garvey, Dean of Boston College Law, didn’t respond to us, but he did send around an email to the BC Law community. As many predicted, Dean Garvey defended Professor Fitzgibbon. Here is the pertinent part of Dean Garvey’s letter:
Professor Fitzgibbon, as a member of our faculty, is free to express his views. His public statements represent his own opinions, as the advertisement makes clear, and do not state any official position of Boston College Law School. We also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly. Many have done so while referring to themselves as BC Law professors. One of them has publicly led the fight to oppose the Solomon Amendment on the grounds that it is an affront to gay and lesbian students and prospective members of the U.S. military. Others have taken controversial positions on such subjects as abortion, euthanasia, and the treatment of detainees.
I believe that free expression is central to our mission as a law school committed to public discourse and the free exchange of ideas and opinions. We have faculty and students from many different backgrounds, and with many different points of view. It is our expectation that they will continue to engage in public discourse, and argue their positions with passion and civility, with the intellectual freedom that an academic institution affords to us all.
Dean Garvey is clearly right insofar as academic institutions must be grounded on the free exchange of thoughts and ideas, even when those ideas are controversial.
But as NYU Law Dean Richard Revesz found out, the gay marriage issue isn’t always as simple as a mere intellectual debate. If you believe that marriage is a basic civil right, then the issue can transcend the normal bounds of academic discourse.
Not surprisingly, Above the Law readers have some opinions on whether Dean Garvey is taking the correct stance here. We present Dean Garvery’s full letter and some of the best comments and emails, after the jump.
The gay marriage debate continues to rage in New England, and now a Boston College law professor wants to weigh in. The state of Maine has a ballot proposition about gay marriage this fall, and BC Law Professor Scott T. Fitzgibbon decided to shoot an anti-gay marriage ad.
Just to be clear, this is not a Dr. Li-ann Thio situation. Thio was invited to teach at NYU Law this fall and later declined the invitation under a hail of student protests. But Thio seemed to go out of her way to disparage gays and lesbians and the very practice of homosexual sex.
Fitzgibbon at least tries to stick to the legal issues surrounding the systematic denial of civil rights to gays and lesbians. After the jump, check out the ad for yourself.
Dear Members of the Classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012,
A little over five years ago I came to UCLA School of Law from the east coast to become dean of one of the greatest educational institutions in the world. From the moment I arrived I appreciated the strength and depth of our student culture. Indeed, you are part of the reason my five years as the dean of this school have been the happiest and most fulfilling years of my life. Thus, it is with mixed emotions that I announce today that I will be leaving the deanship at the end of the calendar year for a new challenge as dean of the University of Chicago Law School.
Why is he leaving so suddenly? Why was this decision made now instead of over the summer? University of Chicago Dean Saul Levmore announced he was stepping down back in February. Why the late trigger at UofC?
Dean Schill offers some additional information about his decision process — and the University of Chicago touts its new dean — after the jump.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!