Merck

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGThis item, from yesterday’s WSJ Law Blog, caught our eye:

As the 11th Vioxx trial got underway yesterday in federal court in New Orleans, Merck disclosed in an SEC filing that it’s giving its general counsel Kenneth Frazier a raise and a promotion, effective Nov. 1. The GC who will forever be associated with the Vioxx litigation and the company’s decision to try and battle one case at a time will now have a base salary of $780,000, a plummy 13% jump up from his former base pay of $689,000.

Last year, with cash, bonus and stock, Frazier reportedly took home $1.64 million. In other big pharma GC salaries, Pfizer general counsel Jeff Kindler, promoted to CEO earlier this year, was ranked 18th and earned $1.9 million last year. Robert Armitage, in-house counsel at Eli Lilly ranked 51st and earned $1.17 million.

Serving as a general counsel to Big Pharma: Nice work if you can get it.

This brings us to our next theme for Skaddenfreude, ATL’s ongoing survey of salaries within the legal profession. We’d like to turn our attention to the incomes of in-house lawyers.

If you’re employed as in-house counsel for some corporation, we’d like to learn how much you earn. We will then share it with our readers, as a public service to them — but keeping you and your employer anonymous, as always. We’re especially interested in lawyers below the general counsel level — e.g., associate, assistant, or deputy general counsels — whose salaries are not already matters of public record.

So please, in-house lawyers, help us out. Send us your salary information, by email (subject line: “Skaddenfreude”). Examples of “anonymized” entries, and guidelines for submitting your salary info to ATL, appear here. Thanks!

Drinks on Mr. Frazier? [WSJ Law Blog]

Earlier: Skaddenfreude: Totally Gauche Ogling of Other Lawyers’ Incomes
Prior editions of Skaddenfreude (scroll down)

gay marriage couple ballroom dancing.jpg* New Jersey couples anxiously await word on whether they will have the legal right to be as miserable as everyone else. [Newark Star-Ledger via How Appealing; New York Times]
* 23,999 problems, but an overweight smoker ain’t one of ‘em. [WSJ Law Blog]
* People are dying for you to catch me. [CNN]
* No, thanks; we can drown in this political riptide well enough on our own. [AP via Online Athens]
* Why start now? [AP via Yahoo! News]

* Bill Childs disses AEI’s parties. He just doesn’t appreciate a good formal gala. [TortsProf Blog]
* FAA regulations: comply with weirded-out flight attendant at all times, no matter how irrational she is. [Prettier Than Napoleon]
* Apple claims right to word “podcast”; next: all soundwaves between 4500 and 6000 MHz. [Overlawyered]
* Blogs can be used against you in court. Duh. [Boston Globe via Elefant]
* Soon to be issued to all incoming associates. [The Billable Hour]
* The first judicial citation to CuteOverload.com. [Volokh]
* Two new books attack string theory; class action lawsuit against Stephen Hawking’s “Brief History of Time” inevitable. [New Yorker]
* “I keep forgetting how women are disadvantaged by having to write a research agenda, but I am sure they have to be. Somehow. Always disadvantaged.” [Kate Litvak comment on PrawfsBlawg]
* Dom Deluise is not only still alive, but can legally sue his litigious ex-daughter-in-law’s lawyer. [Overlawyered]
* Weird Al Yankovic also alive, has aspirations of Jeremy Blachman-dom. [Overlawyered]
* Some might call it clever marketing of E. coli lawsuits, but I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it. [Wall Street Journal]
* It’s not too late to download my law review article, and move me higher on the dowload rankings. [SSRN]
* Protest demands recognition of zombie legal rights: “What do we want?” “BRAINS!” “When do we want it?” “BRAINS!” [Boing Boing]
* Upcoming deadline #1: The statute of limitations for suing Merck over Vioxx expires for many many putative plaintiffs today. Court clerks will be busy as attorneys forum shop. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Upcoming deadline #2: The Days of Awe end Sunday, and Yom Kippur starts Sunday night. Stephen Colbert offers a toll-free number, 1-888-OOPS-JEW, if you wish to atone to him. The recorded disclaimer alone (and Colbert’s addendum afterwards) makes it worth it, but you get what you pay for. [News From Me]
* It has nothing to do with the law, but how can we avoid mentioning this important press release on Kazakh-Uzbek relations? [Borat.tv]


blackberry crackberry.jpg* A juror in the Vioxx case that resulted in a $32 million verdict against Merck took interest-free loans from the plaintiff in the case. Hmm… [Associated Press]
* Another dispatch from ConflictsLand: McKesson wants Duane Morris disqualified from representing two Georgia residents against a McKesson sub. [Fulton County Daily Report]
* We were only joking when we said that a class action by Blackberry addicts was “only a matter of time.” It’s getting less funny by the minute. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Who knew that Weil Gotshal lawyers were so attractive? That was supposed to be the niche of Davis Polk (nicknamed “House of the Hotties” by our law school class). Hey, how big is Weil’s ERISA department? [New York Times]

conrad black.jpg* In the legal and regulatory crackdown on business corruption and white-collar crime, “lawyers serving fraud-ridden companies have emerged relatively unscathed,” reports the Washington Post. Chalk it up to professional courtesy. [Washington Post]
* Lord Conrad Black (at right), former media mogul, has had his worldwide assets frozen by a Canadian court. But don’t feel too sorry for him — he still gets an allowance of $20,000 a month. (Is that U.S. dollars, or Canadian?) [BBC News; Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
* Judge Eldon E. Fallon (E.D. La.) upheld the jury verdict finding Merck liable in a recent Vioxx case, but ruled that a new trial must be held on damages because the $50 million compensatory damage award — not a punitive damages award — was “grossly excessive.” Seems like the right decision to us. After all, the guy survived (and isn’t a pro basketball player). [Associated Press via DealBreaker]
* Two former Brocade Communications executives, charged in the options backdating scandal, have pleaded not guilty. [Bloomberg News]
* A federal bankruptcy judge ruled that Dorsey & Whitney breached fiduciary duties of client loyalty — and ordered the firm to cough up almost $900,000 in fees.
[Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune]