Old People

Senator Kennedy.jpgSenator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) passed away shortly before midnight on Tuesday, while at home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. He was 77. From CNN:

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” a family statement said. “We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice.”

Kennedy, nicknamed “Ted,” was the younger brother of slain President John F. Kennedy and New York Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was gunned down while seeking the White House in 1968. However, his own presidential aspirations were hobbled by the controversy around a 1969 auto accident that left a young woman dead, and a 1980 primary challenge to then-President Jimmy Carter that ended in defeat.

Senator Kennedy was a lawyer. He graduated in 1959 from the University of Virginia School of Law (where he won a moot court competition), became a member of the Massachusetts bar, and served as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County from 1961 to 1962. But he was more known for his long and distinguished political career than for his legal one.
Update: Over at True/Slant, Elie asks: “Could a 30 year old Edward Kennedy get elected to the Senate today? Would he have survived the scandals of his youth to become entrenched in the U.S. Senate?”
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy dead [CNN]
Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77 [ABC News]
Senator Edward Kennedy, 77, dies [Reuters via Drudge]

Gen Y lawyer.JPGNow that the new Vault rankings are out, it seems appropriate to reflect on the common refrain from senior lawyers about their colleagues under 30. Last Friday, Idealawg kicked off another round Gen Y bashing. The issue this time was whether Gen Y’s supposed obsession with work-life balance was harming client services.
Here are the last two of four pointed questions posed on Idealawg:

As I said above, one thing that troubles me deeply in this ongoing discussion about the generations is the important matter of client service. In the millennial cries for work-life balance, I seldom hear the client mentioned. (I have posted about this absence before.) Third question: Has there been a shift in what is considered the lawyer’s responsibility for client service?
Work-life balance (could someone come up with another phrase? this one’s getting very old) and client service are not either/or. Both can, often do, and most often should co-exist. Both are important. But both do not seem to hold the same weight in the hearts of at least some millennials. Last question: Why then did they become members of a service profession?

I think I can answer both of these questions:
* Answer to question 3: No.
* Answer to question 4: Money.
Cool? Okay, my turn to ask some questions.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Old People Attack Gen Y’s Work Ethic, Again.”

Schiff Hardin logo.JPGEarlier today, we wrote about Schiff Hardin sending a mass e-mail to its retired partners letting them know that they were being moved to temporary offices during a renovation of the firm’s Chicago office. The e-mail read as if the partners were not getting their own offices upon their return and were being asked to cut back their time at the office.

Schiff got in touch with us this afternoon with an update. Despite the language in the e-mail, in fact, all special partners will be getting their own offices when renovations are complete, according to Schiff’s spokesman. They just won’t be in the same offices as before. There will be no change in the partners’ status with the firm, he added.

Schiff’s spokesman could not explain why the e-mail read like a dismissal letter.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Partners Emeriti at Schiff Hardin?

Schiff Hardin logo.JPGWe’ve noticed in comment threads that many of you would like frequent commenter Partner Emeritus to retire. But he’s a persistent one. Perhaps frustrated readers should take a page from the book of Schiff Hardin.

The 400-attorney firm found an interesting way to get rid of its partners emeriti in the firm’s Chicago office. It will move its “special partners” to temporary offices while its main building is being renovated, and then not move them back.

UPDATE: It appears there was a misunderstanding. A clarification from the firm appears here.

The firm notified its retired partners, referred to as “special partners,” on Sunday. And not in a very nice way. They got the message via mass e-mail:

Dear Special Partners,

As you know, we are about embark upon the renovation of our space in Chicago. We will move to temporary space two floors at a time and then return to our improved floors. We will use this opportunity to reshuffle offices

Some of you have volunteered to move offices when we return to the renovated space. I have not, however, had an opportunity to speak with all of you about this topic. With one exception, you will not be returning to your present office.

The mass e-mail that Schiff Hardin’s (not-so special?) partners emeriti got, plus a clarification from the firm, after the jump.

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Michael Mukasey small Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgLast night, Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed while addressing the Federalist Society. Some feared the AG had suffered a stroke.

Today brings good news about his condition. This morning we reported (see the 10 AM update): “The AG is fine and will be released from the hospital later today. No word yet on what the diagnosis was. He will be taking a few days off.”

A few days off? Scratch that. He’s heading back into work, perhaps as you read this. Here’s the message he just sent to all Justice Department employees (via the BLT):

As you may have heard, I collapsed briefly last night at the conclusion of a speech. All tests at the hospital have come back with good results, and I feel fine. Accordingly, I plan to report to the Department this afternoon and to continue doing the work I swore to do last November and which it has been an honor to do with you ever since.

Thank you for your good wishes and your good work. It has been and remains an honor to serve with you.

We’re glad to hear that Attorney General Mukasey — widely respected among DOJ lawyers, especially compared to Alberto Gonzales, whose job performance even conservative lawyers won’t defend — is doing well and back on the job.

Feeling Fine After Collapse, Mukasey Returns to Work [ABA Journal]

Mukasey Says He’s Ready for Work Again [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

Earlier: Breaking: Attorney General Mukasey Collapses at Federalist Society Dinner

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgIt has been a while since our last Eyes of the Law legal celebrity sighting, so here’s a fun one for your consideration. A D.C. tipster tells us:

We saw Sandra Day O’Connor in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibit on Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. She had on the same red sweater she can be seen wearing in photos dating from the late ’90′s hanging on the wall at Georgetown. I guess the retired justice pension package isn’t as generous as I thought. Or she just really likes that sweater.

SOC was accompanied by two women in their late 20′s or early 30′s… possibly granddaughters, possibly ex-clerks. We didn’t detect any particular resemblance — neither was wearing a red sweater that looked as though it might have been knitted or handed down from grandma.

Old people and museums: perfect together. Please pass the Bengay.

Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities [Smithsonian American Art Museum]

Since yesterday, when the big Eliot Spitzer news broke, we’ve been on a bad-behavior kick here at ATL. So let’s keep going down that path. A tipster sent us a juicy story, with this intro:

This is wild. And by wild, I mean INSANE… He’s 61. She’s 25. He likes booze, cocaine, and turtlenecks.

How’s that for a teaser? From the Albuquerque Journal (subscription):

John Brennan Judge John Brennan New Mexico Above the Law blog.jpgPolice drew their guns and broke open a door to get former District Court Judge John Brennan to stop choking his 25-year-old girlfriend, according to Albuquerque police reports released Monday.

According to the reports, Brennan, 61, appeared to be extremely intoxicated, denied that he attacked the woman and was wearing only a mock turtleneck and gray underwear when confronted by officers.

Brennan was arrested on charges of domestic violence, kidnapping and aggravated battery against a household member in connection with the Sunday incident. He made his first appearance in Metropolitan Court on Monday.

Well, good for him for having a girlfriend young enough to be his granddaughter (at least in our nation’s more rural areas).
More details — and yes, once again, allegations of prostitute involvement — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ex-Judge of the Day: John Brennan”

* “T.Owes.” [ESPN]
* Rebates to $500? [CNN]
* AG Mukasey won’t label waterboarding. [MSNBC]
* Sen. McCain wins Florida, Rudy to bow out. [New York Times; Washington Post]
* Federal inquiry into stolen artifacts expands. [New York Times]
* Margaret Truman, only child of President Truman and author of mysteries set at the Supreme Court and the FBI, RIP. [AP]

kid ski skier skis skiing old man sued lawsuit legal action Above the Law blog.jpgThe late Pope John Paul II was an expert skier. Even after he became Pope, and into his 60′s, the Holy Father would slip away from the Vatican for secret ski trips.
So, although we’d like them removed from all interstate highways, we have no problem with oldies on the slopes. This, however, is more troubling:

A 60-year-old man is taking an 8-year-old boy and his dad to court, claiming the boy caused a ski-slope collision that left the older man with a shoulder injury. David J. Pfahler of Allentown, Pa., sued in federal court in Denver, claiming Scott Swimm, then 7, was skiing fast and recklessly when they collided in January, the Vail Daily reported Thursday.

Looks like Pfahler is making a federal case of it (literally). He claims — quite conveniently, for diversity jurisdiction purposes — losses in excess of $75,000.

Scott’s father, Robb Swimm, said that he saw the crash and that Scott was skiing slowly and in control. “It wasn’t a violent collision or anything; Scott just kind of tapped his ski boots,” he said this week.

piggy bank Above the Law blog.jpgScott’s mother, Susan Swimm, said her son weighs 48 pounds and couldn’t have been going more than 10 mph. “Who in the world sues a child?” she said.

Scott: How much do you have in your piggy bank? Pfahler is nearing retirement age — and Social Security doesn’t cover many ski trips.
Man, 60, sues boy, 8, over ski collision [Associated Press]

Ira Robinson Judge Ira Robinson fights off mugger Above the Law blog.jpgCompared to their colleagues in the trial court, appellate judges have a reputation for being delicate, academic creatures, with less in the way of “street smarts.” But don’t lump New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson in that group.

From the Albuquerque Journal (subscription):

New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Ira Robinson expected the worst Tuesday night when he fell to the ground as he tried to fight off a man lunging at him with a knife.

“I really thought the son of a gun was gonna stab me when I was down,” he said.

So how did it all unfold?

Robinson, 65, said in an interview Wednesday that the ski-mask-wearing assailant demanded valuables from him and two cousins visiting from San Diego as they walked to their car parked near La Fonda about 10 p.m.

But Robinson refused the robber’s demands:

“He said ‘Give me your money, (expletive)!’ I said, ‘I’m not gonna give you a damn thing!”’

Nice. But we do wish the judge had invoked his judicial office. Maybe he could have held his assailant in contempt?

A little more, after the jump.

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