A very interesting exchange appeared in some recent comments about Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell.
We’re bringing the exchange up to the main page, for the benefit of those of you who can’t keep up with all the comments. Here it is:
I wonder if ANY work is getting done over [at Sullivan & Cromwell]. I bet people are just sitting around and gossiping all day.
Of course no work is getting done. We’re too busy concocting conspiracy theories about why certain highly-detailed comments to the WSJ law blog were pulled…(these posts were fairly specific in their criticisms of S&C and, in particular certain partners/wannabe underlings…
4:44 PM: We have an email into Peter Lattman [at right] about this. Also, please note that ATL has a general “no moderation” policy with respect to comments. So if the WSJ Law Blog posters would like to reproduce their comments here, they are welcome to do so.
(An exception to our “no moderation” policy: We pull comments that appear to be accidental duplicates — e.g., double- or triple-posted comments.)
This morning brings some fresh news coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. ABC News, for example, has this story.
Most of the piece consists of background info, which ATL readers are already familiar with. But there is some new material concerning S&C and gay attorneys in general:
[T]he firm has a good reputation among gay lawyers. Among the 25 top law firms in New York surveyed in 2003, Sullivan & Cromwell had the highest percentage of gay, lesbian and transgender partners — almost 7 percent, although it ranked much lower — at 17th — for associates, which constitutes 1.48 percent of the total.
“Sullivan Cromwell is far from prejudiced in any way,” says John Scheich, the first vice president of the Lesbian and Gay Law Association of New York, adding that the firm often buys a table at his group’s annual fundraising dinner dance. “I don’t know Aaron Charney or the details of his case, but if I had to line up on one side or the other, I would have to line up with David H. Braff [an openly gay partner at the firm] and Sullivan Cromwell.”
Watch out, Aaron. The gay legal mafiosos are circling their wagons. Tables at those gay fundraisers cost small fortunes — and S&C is calling in its chits.
Sullivan & Cromwell itself will probably be tight-lipped about the case, since it would be unseemly for such a white-shoe law firm to engage in an aggressive public relations effort. But they will surely work behind the scenes to get friendly gay leaders, such as John Scheich, to speak out in their defense. (Cf. Hillary Clinton’s media strategy, in which she doesn’t criticize enemies herself, leaving such dirty work to Howard Wolfson and other minions.)
The ABC article also contains some interesting info about the plight of gay lawyers in the profession more generally. Some excerpts, after the jump.
The lawsuit filed by an openly gay associate against his prestigious law firm, Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, has been picked up by the mainstream media — big-time.
We expect that, after this rash of articles, the MSM will move on from this story. Rest assured, dear reader, that ATL will not.
We intend to cover the crap out of this case. If you have any information whatsoever about Aaron Charney, Sullivan & Cromwell’s treatment of gay lawyers, or related subjects, please email us. No detail is too small to escape our interest. If you shared your apple juice with Aaron Charney in kindergarten, we want to hear about it.
Okay. We have carefully read this morning’s coverage of the lawsuit by the New York Times, the New York Law Journal, and the Times of London — so you don’t have to. We’ve located the highlights, the juiciest details, and the money quotes.
The most notable news, as reported in the NYT and the NYLJ, is that Charney has been barred from the Sullivan & Cromwell offices while an internal investigation is underway. Considering the weirdness and tension that would have resulted otherwise, both Charney and the S&C partners are probably happy about his absence.
Excerpts and links to the full articles, after the jump (i.e., click on the “Continue reading” link below).
Would you trust this man to write your biography?
If so, you might be waiting a long time. In fact, you might be DEAD before it’s finished (or even started). Professor Stephen Wermiel, of American University’s Washington College of Law, has been working on a biography of the late Justice William J.Brennan Jr. for some TWENTY YEARS. Professor Wermiel “began” the project back in 1987, when he covered the Supreme Court for the Wall Street Journal, and Justice Brennan was still on the SCOTUS.
More background, from the Legal Times:
Brennan, who retired from the Court in 1990 and died in 1997, picked Wermiel as his biographer and had hopes of reading the book in his lifetime.
Brennan’s son William Brennan III, who died in 2004, was openly critical of Wermiel’s delay. In a stinging New Yorker essay that quoted Brennan III before he died, legal writer Jeffrey Toobin said Wermiel was guilty of “dawdling” and lumped Wermiel together with Gerald Gunther and Andrew Kaufman, whose biographies of Learned Hand and Benjamin Cardozo, respectively, took more than 20 years to complete.
So is this delay a problem? Find out after the jump.
Bethany McLean, the Enron-busting Fortune reporter who co-wrote The Smartest Guys in the Room, is dating the man who put Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling away. The fetching, recently divorced McLean, who covered the trial, is now seeing the lead prosecutor in the case, Sean Berkowitz, an assistant U.S. attorney from Chicago. “They started dating after the trial concluded, and after Bethany’s coverage of Enron was complete,” a Time Inc. spokeswoman e-mailed in response to an inquiry to McLean.
None of her fellow Enron-trial reporters question McLean’s professionalism, but post-trial, the relationship did seem unusually chummy. One notes that McLean attended Berkowitz’s birthday party in Chicago, held ten days after the verdict, and she was considered to be notably sympathetic to the prosecution’s case.
If you question the characterization of their relationship as “unusually chummy,” then check out the photograph that appears after the jump.
How do you get bloggers to change out of their proverbial pajamas? One strategy: give them press credentials.
From the Media Bloggers Association (MBA):
The U.S. District Court in Washington, DC has agreed to provide the MBA with two press credentials at the upcoming Scooter Libby Trial.
I have been working with the folks at the federal judiciary through for over a year to create this opportunity. It has never been done before. Behind this may be many additional opportunities with the federal and state supreme courts so getting this one right opens up the door to many other cool things. Other institutions will surely be looking at this as well.
The event begins with jury selection on January 16th. The trial is expected to last 4-6 weeks so we will create a schedule for six weeks to allow us to get a good number of our member bloggers involved.
Sounds exciting, right? We’re total credential whores, so we certainly like the idea of bloggers in court, sitting side by side with all the real journalists. It’s so “legitimizing.”
But attending a trial is usually more exciting in theory than in practice. We’ve watched a fair number, both in court and on TV. And even in the most high-profile trials, the ratio of boring to interesting stuff is about 80-20 (if you’re lucky).
Finally, attending a trial might require actual reporting. UGH. Much better to stay at home, where we can nap whenever we feel like it, and remain a tick on the hide of the mainstream media. Federal Court Credentials Bloggers [Media Bloggers via Wonkette]
Our favorite movie of all time is All About Eve (1950). It’s the story of a brilliant but aging stage diva, Margo Channing (Bette Davis), and an aspiring actress, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Margo befriends Eve, taking the star-struck youngster under her wing. But then the exceedingly ambitious Eve starts to threaten her mentor’s reign as queen of the theater.
The small Supreme Court press corps can be compared to the clubby world of the theater. It’s populated by distinguished veterans, like Tony Mauro, and emerging younger talents, like Dahlia Lithwick. (Expressed in Broadway terms, Mauro and Lithwick could be compared to, respectively, Christopher Plummer and Sutton Foster.)
The stage has its great divas — e.g., Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera — and so does the SCOTUS press corps. Nina Totenberg is certainly one of them. But the undoubted queen of Supreme Court correspondents is Linda Greenhouse, of the New York Times.
Greenhouse has been covering the Court for almost three decades, since 1978. She enjoys unmatched access to the justices, especially those in the middle and left wings of the Court. Supreme Court justices are notoriously media-shy. But Linda Greenhouse can magically reach them on their cell phones, at any hour, and get them to spill their deepest and darkest secrets. If you want to know whether there was blood in a justice’s stool this morning, ask Linda G.
So here’s our question:
If Linda Greenhouse is the Margo Channing of Supreme Court reporters, does that make Jan Crawford Greenburg into Eve Harrington?
Just like Eve Harrington, Jan Crawford Greenburg of ABC News is a talented and attractive young woman, whose star is on the rise. In the past three months, she has scored coveted in-person interviews with almost half of the Supreme Court:
For all of you non-journalist types, please understand: these are MAJOR COUPS.
And there’s more. As Howard Bashman notes, later this month, Greenburg has a “top-secret” new book on the Court coming out. That book, Supreme Conflict, is being touted as drawing upon “unprecedented access to the Supreme Court justices and their inner circles.”
(Note to Greenburg’s book publicist: We’d love to get a reviewer’s copy, if you wouldn’t mind sending one our way.)
Call it Greenhouse v. Greenburg. Linda Greenhouse’s historic domination of Supreme Court coverage is under siege, as Jan Crawford Greenburg makes some serious inroads at One First Street. And we’re not the only ones who have taken notice. Check out Howard Bashman’s great interview with La Greenburg, posted just this morning, in which he accurately describes the trajectory of her career as “meteoric.”
We will surely piss off some people with this question, but we’ll ask it anyway:
Could Greenburg’s status as a hottie be contributing in any way, however small, to her journalistic success?
In All About Eve, you will recall, Eve Harrington uses her beauty and charm to seduce theatre critics, writers, and directors.*
Some of you might object: “This whole ‘All About Jan’ theory is ridiculous. Linda Greenhouse has been covering the Court since Jan Crawford Greenburg was in footsie pajamas. Do you really think LG is about to be supplanted as Empress by some upstart kid?”
We respond by quoting this exchange from All About Eve, between Margo Channing and her lover, Bill Sampson:
BILL: Darling, [to succeed in the theater,] you’ve got to keep your teeth sharp. All right. But you will not sharpen them on me — or on Eve…
MARGO: What about her teeth? What about her fangs?
Well, not in so many words. But in his interview last night with Jan Crawford Greenburg of ABC News — his first television appearance network television interview ever — Justice John Paul Stevens seemed healthy, lucid, and far from death’s door.
(Our apologies to the ConfirmThem crew. We hate to be the bearers of bad news.)
We did catch the interview last night. Twice, actually — we watched the excerpt on World News Tonight, then the full version on Nightline. You can access a video clip of an abridged version by clicking here.
Our thoughts on the interview:
1. Justice Stevens gets style points for the turquoise paisley bowtie. Paisley is a fashion cliche here in D.C.; but JPS wears it in a “I don’t care what you think” sort of way, which is great.
2. Negative style points for the brown plastic eyeglasses. Justice Stevens, you can do better. We know the Chief is always bitching about how little you guys get paid. But your most recent financial disclosure forms reveal that you’re a millionaire. You can afford wire-framed glasses.
3. Throughout the interview, Justice Stevens is articulate and alert. Yes, his head is permanently stuck in a slight rightward tilt. But that’s par for the course for old people. (JPS is 86 years old, turning 87 on April 20 of this year.)
4. Jan Crawford Greenburg is still a hottie. The reddish brown hair — is that its natural color? — is simply faboo. (Click here, then scroll down, for our exclusive photos of her.)
5. Justice Stevens reminisces about his late friend, President Gerald R. Ford, who appointed him to the Supreme Court. JPS describes Ford as “a fine lawyer” and ” the kind of person I would really like to have as a friend, because you like him right away.”
6. Greenburg asks whether President Ford was surprised by how Justice Stevens turned out as a SCOTUS jurist. Ford was a Republican, and JPS has turned out to be one of the Court’s most liberal members.
Justice Stevens: Ford may have been surprised by “some of my decisions.” But “over the years, I gather he was not unhappy with the results on the whole.”
7. Greenburg questions JPS further about his ideology and jurisprudence. She notes that President Ford’s attorney general, Edward Levi, described Justice Stevens as “a moderative conservative.” She asks the justice: How do you see yourself today?
Justice Stevens says that he sees himself as a “moderate conservative.” He adds: “I don’t think I’ve really changed. I think there has been a lot of change on the Court.”
8. The coup de grâce: near the end of the interview, Justice Stevens says: “I see myself as a conservative, to tell you the truth.”
Okay, maybe the old man is losing it — just a little bit. Update: Orin Kerr’s thoughts on point #8 appear here. Can Justice Stevens perhaps consider himself a “judicial conservative” (even if he’s not a political conservative)? Justice John Paul Stevens: The Silent Justice [ABC News (video)] Justice Appointed By Ford Remembers the Late President [ABC News] Is Justice Stevens a Judicial Conservative? [Volokh Conspiracy]
Here’s a delightful potpourri of fun and interesting links. We planned to write about these items in more depth, but just never got around to it. So now we’re just going to air them in these pages.
We’ve been saving them up for a while, so some are a bit dated (although some are new). They’re all well worth your time and interest. There are a lot of links here, so we’ve organized them by category. Legal Practice and Profession:
* This doesn’t seem right to us, at least not with respect to the biggest of the Biglaw firms. It’s not how Sullivan & Cromwell is going to lose Goldman Sachs as a client. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If you’re good at it, you can make tons of money as a plaintiffs’ lawyer — all while standing up for “the little guy.” So why doesn’t plaintiffs’ work attract more graduates of top law schools? We’re not the only folks asking this question. [Empirical Legal Studies]
* Also, we didn’t know that the plaintiffs’ bar had an elite club for the 100 top practitioners. Aren’t they supposed to be anti-elitist? [Inner Circle of Advocates via ELS Blog]
* The latest success story at JD Bliss: Canadian condo lawyer turned television star. And she’s a hottie, too. [JD Bliss Blog]
* More proof of the legal profession’s incestuous character. [WSJ Law Blog]
* We keep you updated on legal hottie developments. Now, check out some hot doctors. [Nasty, Brutish & Short] Legal Academia:
* We can’t say we’re surprised to hear about politics getting dragged into the law school accreditation process (which really ought to be too boring to be controversial). [Volokh Conspiracy via Instapundit]
* Are “young” law school professors too old? Or do we actually pay too much attention to youthful legal geniuses, a la Noah Feldman, Tim Wu, and Neal Katyal? [MoneyLaw; Concurring Opinions]
* We bet very few law professors live in this town. [Southern Appeal] Mainstream Media (MSM):
* Heh. We guessed that Jan Crawford Greenburg posed just two of the audience questions at last week’s Nino-Breyer Smackdown. But even that number may have been too generous. [Prettier Than Napoleon]
* Best name for a newspaper EVER. Finally, people who have a more awkward time at cocktail parties than we do. [Flower Mound Messenger via How Appealing] Blogs, Bloggers, Blogging:
* Don’t get us wrong: we love you, blog commenters. That said, some of you are nasty, crazy, or both. [Althouse]
* We’re warning you: DO NOT CLICK THROUGH THIS LINK. [QuizLaw]
* Thank you, Professor Althouse, for making us feel better for our rather idiosyncratic approach to selecting subjects to write about. [Althouse]
* Blog readers, make your voices heard. Who should take second place behind the Volokh Conspiracy? [How Appealing]
* Althouse: a juggernaut of the blawgosphere. Seven million visitors can’t be wrong! [Althouse]
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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