Lunacy

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver Hedges associate salary Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIn case you’re wondering what happened to the litigation support guy at Quinn Emanuel, who sent around an office-wide email reprimanding an associate for allegedly rude treatment, here’s an update:

The lit support guy got his walking papers almost immediately. The litigation associate to whom he directed the email was baffled by the entire event.

Apparently, he just told the guy that there was a mistake and that it needed to be fixed ASAP. Knowing this associate pretty well, I say it’s pretty inconceivable that he would treat someone like a “dog,” or even unprofessionally.

So maybe the associate didn’t do anything wrong, and the litigation support guy was just a bit unhinged — a beleaguered support staff member, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Cf. The Patton Boggs librarian.
Since the litigation support guy got fired over his email, we hope he derived a lot of satisfaction from sending it.
Earlier: ATL Practice Pointers: Be Nice to the Support Staff

Paulina Bandy lolcat Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSpeaking for ourselves, we’d think that accepting advice on the bar exam from anonymous strangers over the internet is like getting on the express train to Bandyland.
But some of you disagree. Here are two requests we’ve received recently:

“I am currently one of the thousands of students frantically studying for the bar exam. One of the things that help me keep calm is hearing about the bar exam studying strategies of others and their stories about the exam itself. Would you, perhaps, consider doing such a post?”

“Can you post a string for help with the NY bar specifically? Especially Essay help or NY Multiple choice.”

We’re accommodating people here at Above the Law. So here you go: an open thread for sharing bar exam tips and stories (which have already started surfacing on other recent posts).
To everyone taking the bar next week: Good luck, from your friends at ATL!

Paulina Brady bar exam well endowed Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTry, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, and try again. And maybe the 14th time will be the charm!
For those of you freaking out over the bar exam next week, chillax. You will probably pass. If you don’t pass this time, surely you’ll pass the next time. Or the time after that.
You’ll be just fine — as long as your name isn’t “Paulina Bandy.” From the Orange County Register:

Paulina Bandy couldn’t fail the state bar exam again. Not after she failed 13 times before.

Some people complain that we’re elitist. So we apologize for asking: What the hell is UP with this woman?
(Is Paulina Bandy the child of a prominent politician? They seem to be jinxed when it comes to the bar exam.)
If you feel sorry for non-top-tier law school graduates who can’t land good jobs, just think — things could be worse. Much worse:

Paulina Bandy couldn’t fail the state bar exam again. Not after she had spent tens of thousands to attend law school. Not after she put her husband Jon Gomez through the ringer for so many years. Not after the debt she piled up forced her family to move into a 365-square-foot home.

Anywhere outside the island of Manhattan, that’s simply unacceptable.
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Bar Exam: If At First You Don’t Succeed…”


Roy Pearson Judge Roy L Pearson Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog.jpgAdministrative Law Judge Roy Pearson is still pressing (harhar) his $54 million lawsuit over a pair of pants. From the Washington Post’s Marc Fisher:

Despite a clear finding by D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff that Pearson’s case against Custom Cleaners had no merit and that the cleaners’ possible misplacing of a pair of Pearson’s pants was not worth a penny to the plaintiff, Pearson is back.

He wrote to defense lawyer Christopher Manning this week to let the Chung family know that Pearson plans to file today a motion arguing that Bartnoff failed to address Pearson’s legal claims and asking the judge to reverse her verdict in the case.

If you can stomach it, read the rest after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back to the Cleaners”

Madonna at Supreme Court SCOTUS Aisha Goodison Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIn addition to handing down some big opinions, yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a number of cases. As noted by SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston, the Court denied certiorari in a significant antitrust case, as well as a pair of test cases raising constitutional issues in the immigration context.
But the most important cert denial was surely Aisha v. Madonna, No. 06-1389. A blurb about this battle of the mono-monikered musicians, from a reader:

Why nothing about this crazy diva? Her case is discussed by Marty Lederman over at SCOTUSblog.

Aisha Goodison seems right up your alley. She’s more than a little nutty, “strong,” fearless, and with a bad attitude. (Gotta love the pictures of Madonna and Gwen Stefani on her website).

I glanced over her cert petition and she’s pro se. Does that mean she wrote her own complaint? If not, who is helping her out? Just how crazy is she?

Plenty crazy. More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Aisha v. Madonna”

pants 2 Roy Pearson Judge Roy L Pearson Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGOver at the Washington Post’s Offbeat blog, Emil Steiner is liveblogging Pearson v. Custom Cleaners — aka “The Case of the $54 Million Pants.” Check it out by clicking here (and scrolling down — no, farther down).
Here’s Steiner’s account of the plaintiff’s testimony:

If I had $54 million in my pocket, I’d almost give it to Roy Pearson to end this thing. Pearson took the stand this afternoon in his trial against Custom Cleaners, and it wasn’t exactly spellbinding.

Pearson went into seemingly every minute detail of life: his history of community service, his weight gain as a middle-aged man, his financial woes and his painful divorce. Even the opposing defense counsel was rubbing his eyes and suppressing yawns.

But the judge let Pearson tell his story, taking occasional notes, always with a somewhat bemused expression on her face. I could almost see the thought bubble over her head: Take as much time as you need to orchestrate your circus. (Though if circuses were this slow, Barnum & Bailey would be out of business.)

Then, just before 3:30, Roy L. Pearson broke down, appeared to almost cry, and quickly requested a break. Would it be heartless to ask whether he had been bored to tears?

Jeez. Should we lay off Judge Pearson? Until now, he struck us as a raging asshole rather unsympathetic plaintiff. But now it sounds like he may have… issues.
Does Roy Pearson need $54 million? Or does he just need a good therapist — and the right combination of prescription drugs?
Pearson v. Custom Cleaners: The Plaintiff Testifies (and Breaks Down!) [Offbeat]
Offbeat Blog [Washington Post]

* When the backdrops for crazy shootings tend to be God-forsaken backwaters (or suburbs), it’s reassuring to know that New York City is still home to plenty of wackjobs. [Gawker; Village Voice; Braunstein recap here]
* I love it when a guy makes good on the “You can’t make me!” threat. [QuizLaw; The Smoking Gun]
* Silly little lawsuits do not suit hip hop. Bring back the thuggery, I say. [All HipHop News]
* The CHiPs guys would never do this, but things are different down South. [Chicago Sun-Times]
* He’s short, a biter and, in all likelihood, soon to be single–single line, girls. [CNN]

Stroock Stroock Lavan LLP Above the Law blog.JPGApparently something weird is going on over in the New York office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. Something really weird.
A source at another firm advised us:

Something has happened at Stroock. Rumors floating around that an associate flipped his s**t and emailed all personnel with something odd. I can’t find out more than that.

Use your powers. Find the answer.

After invoking said “powers,” we learned a bit more — and got our filthy paws on the email.
Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What the Stroock Is Going On?”

* When I was in college, plagiarism was something special we saved for papers. But kids have told me that in an age of blogs and other electronic content, original thought is so very quaint. [Ivygate Blog]
* Blonde Justice loves them crazy folks. [Blonde Justice]
* I think I was totally brainwashed into liking The Daily Show; at the height of its popularity, I thought, man that is a funny show, even though I had seen maybe five minutes across a few episodes. [PrawfsBlawg]
* No jello or mud was involved… [Local6.com]
* …or he would have been on the scene. I know he’s probably had something up the butt before, but I keep forgetting if this guy has ever been in prison. [WJHG.com]

smiley face with bomb Above the Law blog.gifThe Cravath partner who uses Scotch tape to Biore herself during a deposition. The Sullivan & Cromwell partner who allegedly tells a gay associate to “bend over” and pick up a document. The partner that you’re probably working for right now, who makes one insane demand after another.
What is UP with these people? How can they be so clueless? Why are they completely unable to appreciate how their words and actions will be received?
One theory about why powerful partners act the way they do can be gleaned from this NYT op-ed, by Richard Conniff, author of The Natural History of the Rich. Conniff suggests, in a nutshell, that power turns people into inconsiderate a**holes. Here’s an excerpt:

Researchers led by the psychologist Dacher Keltner took groups of three ordinary volunteers and randomly put one of them in charge. Each trio had a half-hour to work through a boring social survey. Then a researcher came in and left a plateful of precisely five cookies. Care to guess which volunteer typically grabbed an extra cookie? The volunteer who had randomly been assigned the power role was also more likely to eat it with his mouth open, spew crumbs on partners and get cookie detritus on his face and on the table….

The researchers went on to theorize that getting power causes people to focus so keenly on the potential rewards, like money, sex, public acclaim or an extra chocolate-chip cookie — not necessarily in that order, or frankly, any order at all, but preferably all at once — that they become oblivious to the people around them.

Are you one of those associates who does whatever a partner asks of you, quickly and without complaint, no matter how unreasonable? You may be part of the problem:

[T]he people around them may abet this process, since they are often subordinates intent on keeping the boss happy. So for the boss, it starts to look like a world in which the traffic lights are always green (and damn the pedestrians). Professor Keltner and his fellow researchers describe it as an instance of “approach/inhibition theory” in action: As power increases, it fires up the behavioral approach system and shuts down behavioral inhibition.

So next time a certain partner asks you to coordinate an armada of town cars to ferry deal documents to her at home, “Just Say No.” You’re standing up not just for yourself, but for generations of unborn associates.
(Okay, this advice would probably get you fired. But wouldn’t it be satisfying to tell her off? It might almost be worth losing your job to say to her, “I graduated from a top law school. I got offers from every top firm I applied to. Do I look like a Dial-A-Car dispatcher?”)
The Rich Are More Oblivious Than You and Me [New York Times]

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