So far, our Lawyers of the Month have been a motley crew. Dying helps. So does being incredibly stupid.
But this month we have a lawyer who won our Lawyer of the Month competition just for his old-fashioned practice of the law. Yep, in a month where we had naked people and dead people, an actual legal person won the competition….
Okay, we were really late with the May Lawyer of the Month reader poll. But that was in part because the May candidates were quite dull.
There is nothing dull about the June Lawyer of the Month candidates. I count two candidates who would be runaway winners if they didn’t have to face each other, and two other candidates that would be darkhorse choices to win in any other month.
The scandalous allegations about the June candidates put the sizzle in summer. And no, I don’t know why I wrote that sentence as if I were writing ad copy for Applebee’s…
* You’d think the following would go without saying, but the kids these days need it spelled out, so here goes: If you are Facebook friends with a hostage taker, DO NOT send him status updates alerting him to SWAT team movements during a standoff. [Legal Blog Watch]
* Maurizio Levi-Minzi, hiring partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, says that the firm is looking for people who are passionate about something, not necessarily the law. I can, like, vouch for that and stuff. [The Careerist]
* Unlike that Stanford guy, Walter Olson eschews sensational headlines, even though editors can sometimes overrule him. Oh, but as a blogger, I’m required to write this blurb this way: Walter Olson, establishment lapdog, defends the evil Wal-Mart and other enemies of galactic peace. [Overlawyered]
Dear Mark Cuban: after you finish telling Fay Vincent where to stick his outdated and nonsensical opinions on what makes a good owner, please buy the New York Mets. We need you. Now that the Boss is dead, New York sports needs you. Lord knows, you wouldn’t have been stupid/unethical enough to be taken in by Bernie Madoff.
And we now know that if you did get in any sort of legal trouble, you are willing to hire the best lawyers around.
That’s right folks, today Mark Cuban’s lawyers showed themselves to have all of the chutzpah of the Mavericks’ owner himself. They filed a motion to dismiss a longstanding case against Cuban by Ross Perot Jr. Apparently, Junior owns a 5% stake in the Mavericks and has accused Cuban of being “reckless” in his leadership of the team.
Reckless in his leadership of the newly crowned NBA champions, that is.
In any event, Cuban’s lawyers decided to graphically dispute that point in a court document….
I’d love for Mark Cuban to own my basketball team. He’s a self-made billionaire who focuses on the fans and (for all the bluster) leaves the basketball decisions to basketball people. Compare that to current Knicks Owner James Dolan — a man living off of his daddy’s success, who thinks he’s smarter than he really is, who has run the once-proud Knicks franchise into the ground, and who may be in romantic love with Isiah Thomas. You’d take Cuban any day of the week over little Jimmy.
You’d probably take Cuban as a client as well. Stephen Best, the Dewey & LeBoeuf attorney currently representing Cuban in his SEC insider trading case, seems to be happy with his client. And we haven’t even seen his legal fees.
But if you are one of Cuban’s adversaries, it must be brutal. To paraphrase Rory Breaker, if the milk’s sour, Mark Cuban ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it. NBA referees know that. And SEC attorneys are about to learn the same lesson…
We previously covered the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against Mark Cuban. Today brings some good news on that front for the billionaire businessman. From Mark Cuban’s brother, lawyer / blogger Brian Cuban:
Chief Judge Sidney Fitzwater said in a 35-page ruling released Friday that the SEC had failed to prove that Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, “undertook a duty of non-use of information required to establish liability under the misappropriation theory of insider trading.”
As the SEC has 30 days to amend the complaint, further comment by me would be inappropriate until the deadline has passed.
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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.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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