During the United States Supreme Court arguments over Obamacare, the nation got a rare treat: the chance to see (or at least hear) Paul Clement in action. Clement, a former U.S. Solicitor General and current partner at Bancroft PLLC, delivered a brilliant performance before the justices, a veritable master class in appellate advocacy. As Carter Phillips, a veteran SCOTUS litigator himself, told us here at Above the Law, Clement “did a spectacularly good job” and “was just on his game… over a much longer period of time than most of us are required to do it.”
But even Clement couldn’t save Section 3 of the highly problematic Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from going down to defeat in the First Circuit. Before a panel with a majority of Republican-appointed judges, in fact.
Let’s find out who was on the panel, whether there were any dissents, and what the court concluded….
* Over at the Justice Department, the bad-ass Shanetta Cutlar, Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division, takes no prisoners.
* Not even summer interns can escape her wrath.
* But hey, at least they get to go back to school. Full-time attorneys can escape only by leaving the Section — provided that Shanetta doesn’t get to them first.
* Speaking of job changes, meet your new White House counsel: Fred Fielding, of Wiley Rein & Fielding (who served as White House counsel under President Reagan).
* Next time you go out for pizza, leave the corporate lawyers at home.
* Pentagon official Charles Stimson doesn’t like how Guantanamo Bay detainees are getting pro bono representation from some of the country’s top law firms. Don’t they have better things to be doing with their pro bono time?
* Michael Nifong manages a Houdini-like escape from the debacle known as the Duke lacrosse team rape case.
* Celebrity law professors Noah Feldman and Jeannie Suk, whom you have just dubbed Feldsuk, have a really nice house.
* But not as nice as the $7 million mansion of patent lawyer Donald Stout (aerial view at right).
* Federal judicial nominees: Out with the old, in with the new.
* Chief Judge Michael Boudin (1st Cir.): You like him, you really like him.
* Maybe it’s because he’s such a big feeder judge. Interestingly enough, though, he has only placed one clerk so far at the Supreme Court for October Term 2007.*
(But Chief Judge Boudin feeds mostly to Justice Breyer and Justice Souter. The former isn’t finished hiring yet, and the latter hasn’t even started.)
Nothing could win you over. Not Judge Bruce Selya’s impressive vocabulary, Judge Juan Torruella’s magnificent yacht, Judge Kermit Lipez’s niceness and decency, nor Judge Sandra Lynch’s personal charm steely intellect.
In the end, you all turned into prestige whores. You succumbed to his fancy title of “Chief Judge,” as well as his strong track record as a feederjudge to the Supreme Court:
In reviewing our coverage of the federal judiciary, we noticed that we don’t give the First Circuit enough love. For those of you who haven’t memorized this map, the 1st Circuit includes four New England states and Puerto Rico.
Perhaps we don’t cover the First Circuit that much due to its small size. With spots for only six active judges, it’s the smallest of the thirteen U.S. courts of appeals. Or maybe we don’t write much about it because it’s a fairly collegial court — and we like to cover benchslappery.
Regardless of the reasons for it, we’d like to remedy this deficiency in our court coverage. As a first step towards that goal, we bring you this rather random reader poll:
We also invite you to send to us, by email, any good gossip or fun facts about the First Circuit and its members. Thanks! Update (12:15 PM): As pointed out by this comment, and confirmed in his FJC bio, Judge Bruce Selya took senior status a few days ago (this past Sunday).
We’ll leave Judge Selya in the poll, because many votes have already been cast, and removing him would screw up the results. But if Judge Selya gets the most votes, we’ll declare him the “honorary” winner, and name the runner-up as your favorite active First Circuit judge. U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website]
On the heels of the robust lawyer wedding market over October 21-22, last weekend delivered another bumper crop of attorney nuptials. We picked three couples to write about, per our standard procedure. But there were many others that would have been equally suitable for review.
Three of the wedding announcements that we almost wrote about illustrate an interesting trend: mentioning past employment positions. Typically this is done only if the former post is a big deal — e.g., a Supreme Court clerkship, an ambassadorship, etc. But in three announcements — Lucy Fowler and Travis Glasson, Liora Powers and Steven Spiess, and Robyn Sorid and Joshua Ufberg — past jobs of the bride were mentioned, despite not being exceptionally notable.
(Fowler, Powers, and Sorid were, respectively, former associates at Foley Hoag, Schulte Roth & Zabel, and Paul Weiss. These are all prestigious gigs; but none is on the level of a SCOTUS clerkship or an ambassadorship.)
Sorry for the digression; on to the business at hand. Here are the couples in contention this week:
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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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.
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