Or even in chambers, for that matter. But open court is worse. From a tipster:
In a bankruptcy case here in the Southern District of Florida, William P. Smith — a partner at McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago), and the head of its bankruptcy department — actually told a judge she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.”
Literally. In open court. Amazing.
Don’t believe us? Check out the transcript:
In fairness to Bill Smith, please note that he let fly this insult “with respect.” Nice touch, counsel.
Alas, Judge Isicoff didn’t take kindly to a lawyer questioning the completeness of her “Happy Meal.”
Find out how she responded, after the jump.
Sorry, we have nothing new to report concerning either associate pay raises or clerkship bonuses. The best we can offer is yet another non-announcement announcement (like these two).
Today’s email, which actually made the rounds earlier in the week, comes from McDermott Will & Emery:
As you are probably aware, over the last two weeks there have been a number of developments in various of our markets in the US with respect to associate salaries. It is very clear, for example that the market in California has increased to a level of $160,000 for first year associates with commensurate increases in more senior classes.
The Firm intends to continue our practice of paying competitive compensation in all of our markets. Rather than taking action on a serial basis, we are continuing to monitor the relevant developments and plan to make a final decision by May 30 with retroactive effect back to May 1.
Thank you for your patience in the interim.
Dawna Butala for Donald A. Goldman, Esq. McDermott Will & Emery LLP
One source’s gloss on this: “A likely bump for the california offices, but looking grim for Chicago, Boston and D.C.”
We have to step away from the computer for a little while. Please discuss compensation issues, and post the text of any new announcements, in the comments. Thanks.
Some notable moves within the legal profession: Government to Private Sector:
* Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, to LeBoeuf Lamb in DC. Last November, Steele lost his bid to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
* Michele Hirshman, who served as Eliot Spitzer’s top deputy at the Attorney General’s office before he became Governor, is joining Paul Weiss, as a litigation partner. Described by the New York Times as “very smart, very tough and rather short,” she sounds perfectly diva-licious. Lateral Moves:
* Antitrust superstar Charles “Rick” Rule, to Cadwalader, from Fried Frank. This truly IS like musical chairs: Cadwalader, Rule’s new home, recently lost its antitrust group to Skadden.
* Celebrated criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell — who did an excellent job defending Hamlet against murder charges — is moving from Chadbourne & Parke to McDermott Will & Emery.
* Mark Holscher and Jeffrey Sinek are joining the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis. They’re coming from O’Melveny & Myers and Thelen Reid, respectively. From the Law Blog:
Holscher and Sinek are best friends. They were roommates when they served as federal prosecutors in Los Angeles. Holscher, 44, served as an assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989-1995; Sinek, 46, served from 1989 to 1994. Sinek was the best man at Holscher’s wedding; Holscher was a groomsman in Sinek’s. Both graduated from Boalt Hall law school. Holscher told the Law Blog they’ve always wanted to work together.
This will probably be our last salary-related post of the day, so you can treat it as the end-of-day open thread. We’ll post any memos we receive later today sometime tomorrow morning (unless they’re extraordinary for some reason).
Here’s a good short item about D.C. pay developments, by Nate Carlile of the Legal Times. According to Carlile, the firms that have raised to $145,000 for first-year in Washington are as follows:
1. Akin Gump
2. Arnold & Porter
3. Covington & Burling
4. Gibson Dunn
5. Hogan & Hartson
6. Latham & Watkins
7. O’Melveny & Myers
8. Patton Boggs
9. Sidley Austin
10. Steptoe & Johnson
After the jump, confirmed pay raise announcements from Bingham McCutchen and McDermott Will & Emery.
From government to academia:
* The brilliant Michelle Boardman is returning to teach at George Mason University School of Law. Professor Boardman had been on leave, serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. From government to private practice:
* Sue Ellen Wooldridge, assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources, resigned from the Justice Department earlier this week, stating that she plans to return to the private sector.
(Interestingly enough, her alleged beau, J. Steven Griles — a former deputy secretary of the interior, who Interior Department sources say has been dating Wooldridge — has been notified that he’s a target in the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation.)
* Bankruptcy Chief Judge Melanie Cyganowski (E.D.N.Y.) is resigning to become chair of the bankruptcy litigation practice of Greenberg Traurig (NY). From private practice to government:
* Steven M. Cohen, a partner at Cooley Godward Kronish, has been selected by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as his new chief of staff. Lateral moves:
* White-collar defense lawyers John Moscow and Jack Blum, to Baker Hostetler (NY), from New York boutique Rosner Moscow & Napierala. Moscow and Blum are gurus of the law of money laundering.
* Litigators Michael Armstrong, Paul Rooney, and William Purcell, to the newly opened New York office of Howrey. They come from, respectively, Cooley Godward Kronish, solo practice, and K&L Gates.
* Five litigators, to the new Houston office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, from litigation boutique Edwards, Burns & Krider. Names here.
* Intellectual property litigator Richard Pettus, to King & Spalding (NY), from McDermott, Will & Emery (NY).
* Corporate lawyer Michael Nissim, to Vedder Price (NY), from McDermott, Will & Emery (NY).
Links after the jump.
Nothing huge today, like yesterday’s news about Harriet Miers’s departure; but a few interesting moves. The two most noteworthy ones involve transitions between the public and private sectors: From politics to private practice:
* Asa Hutchinson has rejoined Venable’s Washington office. Hutchinson — a former Undersecretary of Homeland Security, Republican congressman, and chief of the DEA — left the firm in March 2006, to run (unsuccessfully) for Arkansas governor. From private sector to government:
* New York’s brand-new Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, snags another former federal prosecutor for his “dream team.” Henry Greenberg is leaving the Albany office of Greenberg Traurig to serve as Cuomo’s counsel.
Law firm news, after the jump.
It has been a while since our last round-up of notable moves within the legal profession. So there’s a lot to report today: Law Firm to… Prison?
* Former Milberg Weiss name partner Steven Schulman resigned from the firm to pursue “new ventures.” The most important of these “ventures” will surely be fighting federal charges of making illegal payments to plaintiffs in past cases. Law Firms to In-House:
* Securities lawyer Stephen Cutler is leaving his partnership at WilmerHale to become general counsel of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the banking giant. From a tipster who works in securities law: “This is a big deal.”
Colleagues of Cutler described the JP Morgan gig to the WSJ Law Blog as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. Translation: Who wouldn’t want to make mid- instead of low-seven-figures?
* Another WilmerHale departure: J. Kevin McCarthy is taking over as top lawyer of the Cowen Group, an investment bank. Government to Private Sector:
* Former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz joins the Princeton office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, as of counsel. She stepped down from the New Jersey Supreme Court in October, after reaching the mandatory retirement age. Government Promotion:
* David Nocenti, current counsel to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, will become counsel to the governor effective January 1. Academia-Biglaw Alliance:
* Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, the renowned constitutional scholar and SCOTUS litigator, is entering into a consulting arrangement with Akin Gump.
Akin Gump is developing a Supreme Court practice. Earlier this year, they added young SCOTUS superstar Tom Goldstein to their line-up. Lateral Moves:
* Securities-enforcement lawyer Chuck Davidow, to Paul Weiss (DC), from WilmerHale.
Another loss for WilmerHale — on top of the previously reported departure of Paul Eckert for the White House Counsel’s Office.
Why are so many partners leaving WilmerHale? A Hillary Clinton administration is still two years away.
* IP lawyer Joseph Gioconda, to DLA Piper (New York), from Kirkland & Ellis.
* Corporate lawyer Eric Lerner, to Kramer Levin, from Katten Muchin Rosenman.
* Tax lawyer Thomas Giegerich, to McDermott Will & Emery (NY), from Dewey Ballantine (about to merge with Orrick to form Dewy Orifice). New Partners:
* Bryan Cave: Eleven new partners. Names here.
Due to the sheer number of links today, we’ve placed them after the jump.
Here are a few of the most notable moves within the legal profession: Reunited and It Feels So Good:
* Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has returned to the New York office of McDermott, Will & Emery. This year, Weld unsuccessfully ran for the chance to get trounced by Eliot Spitzer the Republican nomination for governor of New York.
* Intellectual property lawyer Brian O’Shaughnessy is back at Buchanan Ingersoll — after Womble Carlyle crowed loudly about scooping him up. Nate Carlile of the Legal Times has the story:
O’Shaughnessy started at Womble the day after Halloween, never spent a moment there practicing law, and was gone before the end of the week. (Actually, it appears he cleared out at about the same time Womble was touting his hire.)
* Antitrust lawyer A. Paul Victor, to Dewey Ballantine (litigation department), from Weil Gotshal.
Per the Antitrust Review: “Part of the reason for leaving Weil after 38 years is that he is about to reach Weil’s mandatory retirement age of 68.”
* Structured products and derivatives lawyer Joseph Suh, to Schulte Roth & Zabel, from McDermott, Will & Emery. Government to Private Sector:
* Agostino Cangemi, former GC and deputy commissioner for New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, to Greenberg Traurig (governmental affairs). A Random Walk Down the Blogosphere [Antitrust Review] Dewey Ballantine Adds A. Paul Victor as Antitrust Partner [Dewey Ballantine (PDF)] Firms Adding NY Partners [NYLawyer.com]
Gossip aficionados love it when disgruntled ex-employees talk trash about their former workplaces. Today’s victim: McDermott Will & Emery, a firm that has experienced significant revenue and profit growth over the past few years. According to a lengthy expose in The American Lawyer, however, some of that success has been driven by good old-fashioned tightwaditude:
[McDermott has a] miserly attitude, say a dozen former partners, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. Sources say that McDermott’s financial success masks a culture marked by antagonism, where existing partners and clients are pushed out to make room for new ones, and where a lack of cohesion stymies efforts to build practices. They also note the departures, since 2005, of firm leaders in M&A, private equity, intellectual property, and restructuring.
Now for the good stuff — examples of MWE’s cheapness:
[F]ormer partners swap stories about the firm’s stinginess the way kids swap baseball cards: Instead of getting a decorating allowance for their office, they had to buy their own desks. Instead of the firm budgeting enough for a holiday party, partners in many offices got a bill each December for the upcoming festivities. They also had to pay their own expenses when they visited clients.
We’ve excerpted the juiciest bits, so you don’t have to read the whole long article. Continued cattiness, after the jump.
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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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