Movies

Oscar.JPG“The winners never thank their lawyers,” said AmLaw Daily recently in an interview with James Cameron’s attorneys. But some lawyers did get love at the Oscars this year, as noted by Business Insider:

If you paid close attention to last night’s Oscar ceremony, amid the tears and triumphs, a couple of lawyers got their thanks.

If you paid close attention, we’re sorry — because you probably noticed Kristen Stewart hawking up something during her speech, and how scary Judd Nelson looked during the John Hughes montage. Overall, the show was painful to watch.
We stuck around long enough to see Best Supporting Actress Mo’Nique give her lawyer, Ricky Anderson, a nod. But when dancers came out on the stage to “interpret” Sherlock Holmes, we turned off the TV in disgust. Thus, we missed out on Jeff Bridges thanking his power lawyer, Bob Wallerstein.
Let’s take a closer look at these two celebrated attorneys.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Shout-Outs at the Oscars”

We’ve already mentioned the recent arrest of acclaimed film director Roman Polanski (pictured at right, with uber-hottie Adrien Brody). But it’s a slow news day controversial, so we’d like to give you a chance to discuss it in more depth.

Over at the WSJ Law Blog, Ashby Jones has a nice write-up. He explains the background:

The Oscar-winning film director was arrested on Sunday in Zurich on a 31-year-old warrant issued in the U.S. for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski was arrested, at the request of the United States, as he jetted into Switzerland to collect an award for his life’s work.

Local police arrested Polanski at the airport upon his arrival in Zurich, where he was to receive a lifetime-achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival. Polanski was jailed pending a decision on whether to extradite him to the U.S., according to the Swiss Justice Ministry….

Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978 after he pleaded guilty to having had sexual intercourse with girl — the allegation was that he gave the girl alcohol and part of a quaalude before raping her. Since then, he has lived in France, where he was born. French authorities refused to extradite him to the U.S., claiming that his crime didn’t fall under those covered by treaties between the two countries.

According to ABC News, which obtained comment from Polanski’s French lawyer, the director plans to fight extradition.
Should the authorities keep pursuing Polanski? Some pros and cons, plus a reader poll, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Roman Polanski Prosecution: Keep On Keeping On, or Drop It Like It’s Hot?”

Justice Antonin Scalia headshot.jpgThose law students at Fordham University have a new tidbit to add to their dossier on SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia. He made an appearance last night at the Friendship Heights Village Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to talk about his book, “Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.”
Politico reports that he gave out some pieces of advice, namely:

  • “Don’t beat a dead horse.”
  • “Be brief. And when your time expires, shut up and sit down.”
  • Avoid acronyms in brief writing and oral arguments.
  • Lawyers should study a judge’s background and likes and dislikes before they appear in court. “At the very least, these details will humanize the judge before you, so that you will be arguing to a human being instead of a chair.”

That last bit of advice can be taken too far, of course. Nino was annoyed when he found out about Fordham Law’s background research on him earlier this year.
Justice Scalia was willing to add to the files, though, revealing his favorite legal movie. What is it?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Hates Acronyms, Loves Marisa Tomei”

Hogan Hartson Sex and the City.jpgOver at AmLaw Daily, Zach Lowe has revealed that Hogan & Hartson will be playing the part of Mr. Big’s office in Sex and the City 2, due out next year:

The atrium on the 25th floor of Hogan’s offices at 875 Third Ave. will be transformed into Mr. Big’s on-screen office, according to an internal memo that found its way to our in-box. (We have no idea what Mr. Big does for a living, but we know he’s played by the dreamy Chris Noth.)

Lowe, we’re flattered you’ve adopted the royal ATL “we.” We’re not sure what Big does for a living either, but we know he’s not a lawyer, which is perhaps why he has an atrium-sized office.
The Sex and the City crew will be at Hogan’s office on Sept. 2, but an internal memo — which we invite tipsters to send for posting — indicates that friends, family, and random Chris Noth-stalkers shouldn’t try to drop in. We wonder if they would make an exception for Justice Scalia, who may or may not be a SATC fan.
The internal memo says that Hogan employees might get to meet the stars and might get autographs, but it’s not guaranteed. And the memo reminds partners that on the day of the filming, their star wattage will be dimmed:

A few partners will also have to clean up their offices “so your boxes are not in the movie!” the memo says.

We talked to Hogan managing partner Warren Gorrell. He says he works on the 24th floor. “I’m not one of the partners with a messy office,” he told us. Gorrell’s take on Hogan’s Sex and the City 2 star turn, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sex and the City 2 at Hogan & Hartson”

Craigslist.jpgYou wouldn’t think it would be hard to find a group of unemployed Chicago lawyers these days. There are a lot of them lying around. But can they overcome the collective action problem to join together for an epic bender? Let’s turn to Craigslist to find out.
Here’s the text from an ad that went up earlier this week:

Looking for Desperate Lawyer! (Chicago Metro)
Seeking desperate lawyers to form drinking club. Job duties include drinking with the thousands of other out of work/can’t get a job/fresh from passing the bar grads like self who lack the connections/money necessary to find even minimal legal employment. Must be fluent in Scotch-Whiskey, Irish-Whiskey, Smithwicks, Bass, Harp, and any other sophisticated blue-collar drink. Occassional duties of blacking out from excess alcohol will be called upon as needed.
People who dig criminal defense and wasted hundreds on Lexis/Westlaw for their overpriced Illinois books will be given extra consideration.
Interested applicants may respond to the email listed above for further consideration.
Matt/David
www.myspace.com/mattdavidfilms

Oooh, they have a website. Let’s check out the virtual backstory after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Calling All Drunken, Unemployed, Chicago Lawyers”

hugh grant sarah jessica parker kirkland.jpgTipsters tell us that Kirkland & Ellis will have a starring role in an upcoming Hugh Grant film called “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” We haven’t heard about the Morgans, but the Internet Movie Database tells us it’s a comedy from the director who brought us the brilliant Music & Lyrics, Two Weeks Notice, and both Miss Congeniality and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous. So, we’re guessing this will be another movie that’s fantastic… if you’re trapped on a plane for 13 hours.

The film, which pairs Grant with Sarah Jessica Parker, is shooting this week at Kirkland’s New York office in midtown Manhattan. Says a Kirkland associate:

Sarah Jessica Parker will be at the offices of Kirkland & Ellis [today] in NY for the filming. They have put up fake firm names in the lobby and reception in preparation for the movie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Grant and Parker play “an estranged high-powered New York couple who witness a murder and are placed in a witness-protection program in a small Wyoming town.” We’re guessing that one of them is a high-powered corporate attorney or that the film has them heading to Kirkland to talk about divorce matters. We hope it’s the former. We like it when “working in law” and “high-powered” are used synonymously.

Kirkland’s certainly not the first Biglaw New York office to make a big picture appearance. Cadwalader appeared in a Cameron Diaz movie, Dewey (and DPW?) were in Michael Clayton, and Natalie Portman and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were employed by Kramer Levin in the fall.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? [IMDB]

Elisabeth Moss assists ‘Morgans’ film [Hollywood Reporter]

Kramer Levin Natalie Portman Dean Morgan.jpgKramer Levin is going to be a film star. The New York office received notice yesterday that a movie shooting will start there next week.

From: Tortorella, Nicholas J.

Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:39 AM

To: All NY

Subject: Movie Shoot at KL

The firm has consented to permit several scenes from “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits” to be filmed in our space. The movie features Natalie Portman, Lisa Kudrow and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Filming is scheduled to begin next week and will take place in 29C – 29L – the north corridor of 30 and office 3027. I know this will present some inconvenience, but we thought that it would add a bit of excitement and fun in an otherwise challenging time. I ask your patience and no, they don’t require any extras, stunt people, walk-on’s or real lawyers!! Filming will take place primarily on Wednesday and Thursday of next week but there will be some activity as early as tomorrow. They chose our space because it conveyed the image of a big, powerful, successful NYC law firm (in spite of our recent plumbing issues). The film will be released next year and the firm will be mentioned in the credits.

In the novel-based film, Natalie Portman will play an aspiring lawyer who “thought she knew what she wanted when she went after the sexy, married senior partner,” Jeffrey Dean Morgan (aka Denny Duquette from Grey’s Anatomy). No plumbing issues for the firm partner: Portman’s character gets pregnant.

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits [Internet Movie Database]

avatar Sophist ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by SOPHIST, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Sophist's avatar (at right).]
Thanks to all who participated in rounds one and two of the Lionel Hutz Invitational. Today we crown the most unrealistic fictional attorney of the past 18 years (subject to other completely arbitrary disclaimers and conditions, stated and imaginary).
The finalists share one thing in common; they represent clients far dumber than they.
Congratulations to readers’ choice winner LeBron James. He played LeBron James on brain steroids in the popular commercial, entitled “I’m pretty sure we can get idiots to purchase water with food-coloring in it if we call it Super-Water.”
Vote in the final poll after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lionel Hutz Invitational: Bonfire of Horrors”

avatar Sophist ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by SOPHIST, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Sophist's avatar (at right).]
Why does my television constantly tell me that being an attorney is: glamorous, “fun,” and yet so easy that any idiot can do it? I caught a preview for TNT’s new lawyer show, Raising the Bar, and, after my seizure, I realized that dramatic license has gone too far.

So, with a nod to the Coolest Law Firm bracket, I bring you the “Lionel Hutz Invitational.” Which of the following characters has done the most to mislead our friends and family about the true nature of our profession? Let’s keep it to characters created after 1990, so the kids can play along.Today, I’ll start with the quarterfinals, I’ll update the progress on Thursday, and on Friday we’ll vote on the finalists. But I sense how much ATL readers love to write in candidates, so please comment on the fictional donkeys that didn’t make my cut (I cannot watch Eli Stone or Shark). Perhaps I will run my own “shadow poll” based on the most popular write-in choices.

See the field after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Which Legal Fiction Makes Your Life Worse?”

Tilda Swinton Karen Crowder Ally McBeal Calista Flockhart.jpgThat’s the title of our latest column for the New York Observer, which reflects upon recent television and film portrayals of women litigators.
It touches upon some of the same themes highlighted in Amy Kolz’s excellent American Lawyer article from last year, but it’s more focused on fictional female litigators, as opposed to real-life ones. Here’s how it starts:

Whatever happened to Ally McBeal? If recent movies and television shows are any guide, the life of a female lawyer has gotten a lot less pleasant since the carefree, charmingly neurotic days of dancing babies and bathroom kisses. But today’s portrayals may be more accurate, and certainly more critically acclaimed.

Last January, Glenn Close won a Golden Globe for her compelling performance as Patty Hewes, a fearsome and wildly successful plaintiff’s lawyer, on the addictive TV show Damages. The following month, Tilda Swinton snagged an Oscar for stepping into the pumps of Karen Crowder, a hard-charging in-house litigator, in Michael Clayton.

In March, Julianna Margulies (of ER) returned to television as aggressive defense lawyer Elizabeth Canterbury, the title character of Canterbury’s Law. Even Katey Sagal, who embodied the famously vulgar Peggy Bundy on Married With Children, reincarnated herself this year as Marci Klein, the sleek, powerful, and ruthless founding partner of the law firm on Eli Stone.

You can read the full column over here.
Farewell, Ally McBeal; Enter the Litigatrix [New York Observer]

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