Movies

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]

Heath Ledger Heath A Ledger Heathcliff Andrew Ledger death overdose suicide Above the Law blog.jpgWe wish we knew how to quit… finding legal angles to every story under the sun. One such story is the recent, tragic death of Heath Ledger, the celebrated young actor.
We’ve noted the news in passing. Now we offer more substantive, law-related discussion (beyond fleeting references to NYU law students who went from their seminars about Jesus to join the crowd of gawkers assembled outside Ledger’s apartment).
1. Rights to remains. Sometimes this can become an issue, as it did in the case of Anna Nicole Smith. Earlier this week, the Ohio Supreme Court heard a case about a law providing that body parts removed during an autopsy are classified as medical waste (which usually results in the incineration, rather than burial with the body).
It fortunately appears this won’t be an issue in Ledger’s case. Although additional blood and tissue testing still needs to be done, his family will be taking custody of his body, according to the NYT’s City Room blog.
2. Pending projects. Heath Ledger’s sudden passing raises issues with respect to projects he was involved with. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Of particular importance to Hollywood will be the future of Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which had very recently begun shooting. After dealing with the shock of losing Ledger to unfortunate circumstances, the film’s producers and lawyers will have to consult with their production lawyers and the insurance firm that indemnified the film to decide whether to recast, restage and/or rewrite the film to work around Ledger’s absence, or whether Ledger’s death presents an irresolvable barrier to completion of the film.

More analysis, including discussion of insurance recovery issues, over here.
3. Funeral protestors. Exact funeral plans for Heath Ledger are not yet known. But when it does happen, it could get ugly. A tipster raises a legal question:

Check out this story [about how members of the antigay Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest at Heath Ledger's funeral, because of his work in "Brokeback Mountain"].

Here’s my question. These [SOBs] are saying horrible, offensive, disgusting things. When does the fighting words doctrine come into play, and does the fighting words doctrine protect me if I punch out one of these bastards? Because I would really like to.

Feel free to opine in the comments.
Update: More about that Jesus seminar, from the WSJ Law Blog.
Heath Ledger’s Death Leaves Big Legal Question [THR, ESQ. / Hollywood Reporter]
Anti-Gay Church to Protest Ledger Funeral [ABC News]
What Are They Teaching at NYU Law These Days? [Traditional Notions]
Where Were You When? [Concurring Opinions]
The Passion of the Christ: The Trial of Jesus [NYU School of Law]

Hillary The Movie Above the Law blog.jpg* Actually, Judge Lamberth, calling a presidential candidate as “a European socialist” constitutes an endorsement — at least at most American law schools. [AP via WSJ Law Blog]

* News you can use: under the “Free File” program, opening tomorrow, the IRS and its private-sector partners will provide free tax preparation and electronic filing services to qualifying taxpayers (AGI of $54,000 or less — sorry, Biglaw denizens). [TaxProf Blog]

* The law school essay question: an unrecognized art form? [PrawfsBlawg]

* Practice pointer: don’t “recreate” correspondence to use as evidence in your case. Dramatic reenactments belong on television, not in court. [Feminist Law Professors]

* We just got called “the Matt Drudge of the legal world.” Our thanks to Neil Squillante for making our day. Now where did we put our animated siren GIF? [TechnoLawyer]

* So, it’s gonna be illegal now, which means the CIA can’t do it, right? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* New Jersey gets rid of the death penalty; now if they could just tackle that disgusting odor. [BBC]
* Prosecutors go 0-1-6 in Sears Tower trial. [CNN]
* Hey, look everybody! International law! They’ve got a court with judges and lawyers and stuff, and they even issue rulings! Just like it’s real! That’s cute. ICJ upholds treaty giving islands to Colombia. [Jurist]
* Hollywood writers take this strike thing up a notch. [AP via Reno Gazette-Journal]

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