New York Times

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgLast week, we exhorted candidates to step it up for the high wedding season, and this week’s couples really responded. In fact, they brought the fabulosity in such a big way that LEWW has spent some anguished nights picking the three most deserving entries for this column.
Consider this: Our three featured couples are all lawyer-lawyer matings in which the least prestigious JDs are the two from Harvard! In order to narrow our list, we had to eliminate a gorgeous Harvard-Columbia offering with Skadden overtones and a robust NYU-Stanford entry with a wonderful floral bouquet.
LEWW is just sick about passing over all these shiny credentials. Now we know what a dean of admissions at a top-10 law school feels like!
Here are the amazing couples who made the initial cut:

1. Sara Galvan and Luke Bronin

2. Emily Thacher-Renshaw and Christian Pistilli

3. Rebecca Charnas and Scott Grant

Also, back by popular demand: registry links!
More on this week’s couples, after the jump.

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Once again, the wedding pages were chock-full of lawyers last weekend. Without further ado (because LEWW has other things to post today), here are your candidates for Couple of the Week:

1. Jenny Huang and Roger Hong
2. Melissa Epstein and Jason Mills
3. Celeste Sharpe and Peter Brown

Continue reading about these couples, after the jump.

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Duke logo.jpg
The NYT’s public editor, Byron Calame, reviewed the paper’s coverage of the Duke lacrosse case yesterday, focusing on the review of the case that ran in the Times last August. Critics lambasted that piece for its uncritical reliance on a police officer’s memo written “from memory” four months after the witness interviews it described. (Among other things, that memo contradicted another officer’s contemporaneous notes on the accuser’s descriptions of her attackers — and substituted descriptions that miraculously matched the three indicted players.)
But all this has been hashed over elsewhere. We were most interested in Calame’s discussion of whether the Times has acted correctly by continuing to withhold the name of the accuser:

My first instinct was that The Times should strongly consider adopting a policy of naming false accusers. Then I decided that the mental health of the Duke accuser and the failure of Mr. Nifong to limit the harm she caused by doing his job responsibly combined to keep this case from being a good one on which to debate such a policy change. But I hope Times editors will soon consider holding a discussion, free of deadline pressure, about what purpose the tradition of not naming sexual assault victims serves when their accusations are proved to have no merit.

We don’t have a problem with decision of many news organizations to name the accuser once the players had been declared “innocent” by the NC Attorney General. That said, Calame makes a very good point: This was not the ideal time to create policy from scratch.

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgAs spring’s warm breezes waft away the winter chill, even stuffy legal-types are feeling the urge to merge. LEWW has been getting all kinds of STDs from lawyers lately (Save The Dates—sheesh, people!), and we’re exercising our clicking finger for the Great Place-Settings Mass Purchase of ’07.
Speaking of that, now that registration with Williams-Sonoma is a mandatory precondition for marriage in most states, this week we’re including links to our featured couples’ W-S registries. If you love them, buy them kitchen stuff!
There were lots of lawyers this week, but we’ve narrowed the field to our customary three couples:

1. Carey Alpert and Jared Spitalnick

2. Anne Robinson and Kevin Moriarty

3. Natalie Suhl and Colin Bernardino

More on our featured couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, April 15: The Love Bug”

Linda Greenhouse 5 New York Times Above the Law blog.JPGBecause she needs all the help she can get these days. Backlash and insurrection against New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, the long reigning queen of the Supreme Court press corps, continue to grow.
For years, the courts construed 40 U.S.C. 6134 — which forbids “loud, threatening, or abusive language in the Supreme Court Building” — as prohibiting criticism of Linda Greenhouse. As a result, nobody within the legal or media establishment dared breathe a harsh word about her. But now, after decades of dominance, La Greenhouse is slipping — and increasingly vulnerable to attack.
Fueled by the success of the bestselling, critically acclaimed Supreme Conflict, Jan Crawford Greenburg — ABC News’s young, talented, and utterly gorgeous Supreme Court correspondent — is challenging Greenhouse for the title of America’s top Supreme Court reporter. Last month, a threatened LG tried to mount a snarky counterattack. But rather than damaging Greenburg’s reputation, it merely caused SCOTUS insiders to marvel at Greenhouse’s pettiness.
And now Greenburg’s challenge to Greenhouse is emboldening others. Some dare to claim that the empress has no clothes. Take Adam J. White of Baker Botts, a former Sentelletubby and legal commentator. White had this to say about Linda Greenhouse, in an essay for the Weekly Standard:

The law takes the long view, and so do its chroniclers — none more so than Linda Greenhouse, New York Times reporter and unofficial doyenne of the Supreme Court press corps. But Greenhouse’s recent essay on Chief Justice Roberts exemplifies the risks of racing to write the second draft of history before the first: By attempting to turn a single case into a moment of historic importance, Greenhouse misdescribes the record of one chief justice and severely insults another.

OUCH — and there’s more. You can read the rest of the piece here.
0-for-2: Linda Greenhouse gets both Rehnquist and Roberts wrong [The Weekly Standard via How Appealing]

From the New York Times home page, as of 11:30 PM on Wednesday:
New York Times Kyle Sampson Alberto Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpg
Is this, like, a racial slur or something? Granted, it’s a buffalo-buffalo, not a water buffalo; but still…
The NYT subsequently fixed this photo screw-up (but not before an enterprising ATL reader took a screenshot). The Timesfolk replaced the buffalo-and-snowmobiles photo with a sinister-looking Kyle Sampson, accompanying Alberto Gonzales on an earlier visit to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sampson’s testimony begins at 10 AM today. We’re looking forward to it!
Former Key Aide Testifies Today on Gonzales’s Statements [New York Times]

All About Eve 2 Linda Greenhouse Jan Crawford Greenburg Jan Greenburg Jan Greenberg Jan Crawford Greenberg Above the Law.JPGWe have previously compared the fierce competition between Supreme Court correspondents Linda Greenhouse, of the New York Times, and Jan Crawford Greenburg, of the Chicago Tribune, to the rivalry between Margo Channing (Bette Davis) and Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) in All About Eve.
For decades, Linda Greenhouse has ruled the reportorial roost at the Supreme Court — just as Margo Channing reigned over the New York stage. But just as Channing came to be challenged by a young and attractive newcomer, Eve Harrington, Greenhouse now faces tough competition from Jan Crawford Greenburg.
Perhaps this comparison, much as we love it, must stop here. We don’t want to spoil All About Eve for those of you who haven’t seen it. But let’s just say that Margo doesn’t put up much of a fight when Eve moves into her turf.
Linda Greenhouse, in contrast, is NOT going gentle into that good night. She will NOT pass her tiara graciously to Jan Crawford Greenburg, like a Miss America ending her reign. Greenhouse has no intention of allowing Greenburg to ascend to the post of America’s Next Top Supreme Court Reporter — at least not without a (cat)fight.
How do we know this? Just read between the lines of this “Reporter’s Notebook” item by Greenhouse. It’s snarkily entitled “Alarmism in the Blogosphere” — “blogsophere” being synonymous with “unreliable and dubious rumor-mongering” — and in it, Linda G. goes out of her way to embarrass and even humiliate her younger colleague:

Jan Crawford Greenburg, an ABC News correspondent who covers the court, posted a startling item last week on her blog, Legalities. Under the heading “Faith and Frailty,” she wrote that the “real drama” of an argument concerning the Bush administration’s religion-based initiative came when the argument ended.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s delay in getting to her feet and leaving the bench, Ms. Greenburg wrote, seemed a sign of possible ill health and “made me think I’d better start pulling those possible retirement files together.”

The alarming item quickly made its way around the blogosphere, puzzling court insiders who know that Justice Ginsburg, 73, is in fine health and keeps to a schedule that would exhaust most people who are decades younger….

The explanation is, quite literally, pedestrian. According to her chambers, Justice Ginsburg had kicked off her shoes during the argument and could not find one of them.

OUCH. Jan Crawford Greenburg did some phenomenal reporting work for her fantastic new book on the Court, Supreme Conflict. But in a single breezy, casually tossed-off “Reporter’s Notebook” item, Greenhouse makes Greenburg look like a rank amateur.
We conduct a close reading of Greenhouse’s column, after the jump.

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H Rodgin Cohen 2 Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGRumor has it that Sullivan & Cromwell’s chairman, banking law god H. Rodgin Cohen, was “pretty angry” when he learned that the New York Times would be covering Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against S&C by a gay former associate, Aaron Charney.
(The NYT story was pretty even-handed. But it was surprisingly long and detailed, which Cohen probably didn’t like. We discussed it back in this post.)
If Rodge Cohen doesn’t like MSM coverage of lurid litigation involving his firm, then he’s probably less than pleased by all the news coverage of Sullivan & Cromwell v. Charney, S&C’s countersuit against its former M&A associate.
Today’s New York Law Journal has an article about the case. Most of it is familiar to ATL readers. What’s new is info about Charney’s legal team, which now includes the scrumptiously credentialed Laura Schnell: Dartmouth, Chicago Law, Jack Weinstein clerkship, Best Lawyers in America listing.
In addition, the New York Times’s widely read DealBook blog has a write-up of the suit. The DealBook post contains a shout-out to ATL. Thanks, NYT!
As some commenters have noted, one purpose of S&C’s countersuit was surely to get Aaron Charney to shut up. It appears to have succeeded, since Charney has been tight-lipped since last Thursday, when the suit was filed.
But the countersuit does mean that (1) S&C is “stooping to Charney’s level,” i.e., crossing swords with someone of lesser stature (no “Rose Garden” / “we will ignore you as if you were a gnat” strategy); and (2) opening itself up to more media coverage, to wit, coverage of its affirmative lawsuit.
We are coming up to New York on Thursday to watch the preliminary injunction hearing before Justice Bernard Fried of New York Supreme Court. And we don’t think we’ll be the only media (or quasi-media) types in attendance.
Bob Kolker, of New York Magazine, is writing a feature-length article about Charney; so we’d expect to see him there. Other top legal reporters we’ll be watching out for — we have no idea of whether they’re coming, though — include Peter Lattman and Nathan Koppel, of the Wall Street Journal; Anna Schneider-Mayerson, of the New York Observer; and Anthony Lin, of the New York Law Journal.
Update (4:35 PM): Prolific ATL commenter Lavi Soloway will be there.
If you’re at the hearing, feel free to come over and say hello. We look like this.
We also look forward to meeting the parties and their lawyers. We’ve emailed Aaron Charney to tell him that we’ll be there (although he hasn’t responded). And we’ve emailed Zach Fasman of Paul Hastings, who represents S&C, to put him on fashion-and-style notice:

I’m planning to attend the hearing on Thursday, so perhaps I’ll meet you then. Be sure to dress for success! I’ll definitely be writing about the sartorial choices of counsel at this red-carpet event.

Hope all is well!

Best,
David

Time to break out the Brioni, Zach. We better see visible hand-stitching on the lapels, bitch.
This is going to be great fun!!!
Update (4:20 PM): As noted by Lawzer, New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer also has a brief item on the S&C countersuit.
Law Firm Facing Gay-Bias Suit Fires Back [DealBook / New York Times]
Sullivan & Cromwell Sues Fired Associate [New York Law Journal]
Paper Trail Disturbed at Sullivan & Cromwell [Intelligencer / New York Magazine]
Taking Center Stage [Soloway]

what a jerk rudeness middle finger obscene gesture.jpgIn light of our non-stop coverage of (1) Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell and (2) the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar, we found the timing of this New York Times article — “Help, I’m Surrounded By Jerks” — to be rather uncanny. Not surprisingly, it’s currently the “Most E-mailed Article” on the NYT website.
Law schools figure prominently in the growing field of “jerk research”:

Next month the Career and Professional Development Center at Duke Law School will for the first time offer a workshop called Dealing With Conflict and Difficult People. In September the negotiation program in Harvard Law School’s executive education series will present a seminar called Dealing With Difficult People and Difficult Situations.

Who says law schools don’t prepare their students for the “real world”?
Of course, most law schools don’t need to offer “workshops” for dealing with pricks. Students learn these lessons through practice — by dealing with professors.
Disclaimer: Please do not interpret this post as our taking sides in either Charney v. S&C or Shanettagate. Consider this provocative quote from the article (emphases added): “[S]ome scholars say, the problem is not the difficult people themselves. IT IS YOU.”
Furthermore, reasonable minds can differ over who is the “jerk” in a particular situation. The article mentions “[t]he explosive boss” as one example of a jerk, but it also cites “the Complainer, the Whiner and the Sniper” as jerkly archetypes. So the S&C partners might argue that Aaron Charney is a “jerk,” or Shanetta Cutlar might label Ty Clevenger as a “jerk.”
Help, I’m Surrounded by Jerks [New York Times]

H Rodgin Cohen Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGThe 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).

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