Oy

The first day I took up my place behind the counter was the last day I practiced law.

Mark Russ Federman, a Georgetown Law graduate, commenting on his experience at his family business, Russ & Daughters, one of the last Jewish appetizing shops in New York. Federman is the author of a new book, Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built (affiliate link).

Happy New Year!

Tonight at sundown, the members of the tribe are going to party like it’s 5772 because it’s Rosh Hashanah. For the rest of you, that means that we’ll be celebrating the Jewish New Year. If you’re still confused, you can check out this handy-dandy Jew FAQ.

Anyway, tomorrow Jews around the world will be celebrating the holiday with apples in dipped in honey, cheeks squeezed by bubbies, kugel and challah being eaten, and more motherly nagging than can possibly be described in words. Most of us won’t be at work, if only because in some states the courts will be closed in observance of the holiday.

That’s why we found it strange that one law firm in Florida was pretty much demanding that a deposition take place tomorrow. This is one of the handful of holidays that most Jews celebrate, and here comes this law firm trying to ruin it like we’re actually going observe one of the 500 other holidays we have.

It’s a good thing we have judges to tell these goyim to stick it in their shofar and blow it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Benchslap of the Day: A Mensch with Some Chutzpah”

flowers 1-800-flowers Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s some follow-up on our Lawsuit of the Day, Greer v. 1-800-Flowers. Plaintiff Leroy Greer is suing the online florist for revealing to his wife that he had flowers delivered to his girlfriend — resulting in said wife divorcing his sorry ass.
Some readers who have seen the complaint offered these comments:

1. “I’ve never heard of these lawyers [Kennitra M. Foote & Associates]. They’re definitely not powerhouses of the Houston bar.”

2. In terms of damages, “the guy is asking for $1 million (it’s in the demand letter).”

3. “Please note on page 25 (the receipt) that the delivery “MUST INCLUDE… Cuddly Plush/ Stuffed Animal” (emphasis in original). The occasion for the flowers was “Love & Romance.”

Yup, that’s right. Take a look at the receipt for yourself (Exhibit D to Greer’s Complaint):
Leroy Greer 1 800 flowers complaint Exhibit D.jpg
Note the handwritten scrawl at the bottom of the receipt, presumably from Greer’s wife: “Be a man! If you got caught red handed then don’t still lie. Your tmobile has her number so why still lie.”
Interesting. Could this furnish a possible defense for 1-800-Flowers? If there was already ample evidence of Greer’s infidelity, can 1-800-Flowers really be blamed for his marriage unraveling?
Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: Greer v. 1-800-Flowers

flowers 1-800-flowers Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re a married man planning on sending flowers to your mistress, we have a tip for you: do NOT use 1-800-FLOWERS (as if you needed to be told).
Check out this interesting case, filed in the Southern District of Texas (Houston), and included in this morning’s Courthouse News Service (subscription):

Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc.
8/6/2007
H-07-2543
(Houston)

Breach of contract action in which the defendants agreed to keep the plaintiff’s order of flowers for his girlfriend private, with no record of the transaction mailed to him at his home or office.

Months later, the defendants sent a thank you card to the plaintiff’s home, and his wife called the defendants for proof of the purchase. The defendants faxed the plaintiff’s wife proof of his order of flowers for his girlfriend, which resulted in a divorce being filed.

Oh crap. In terms of tales of infidelity getting exposed, this one is definitely up there.
If plaintiff Leroy Greer prevails, what would be the appropriate measure of damages? Will 1-800-FLOWERS reimburse him for his divorce settlement, as a form of consequential damages?
And what about alimony — will they pick up the tab for that? Or can they just send his ex-wife a bouquet of carnations each month, for the rest of her life?
Update: More details about the lawsuit appear here.
Correction: Thanks, commenters. Scratch the reference to “alimony,” and replace it with “spousal support.”
Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com (subscription) [Courthouse News Service]

pants 2 Roy Pearson Judge Roy L Pearson Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGOver at the Washington Post’s Offbeat blog, Emil Steiner is liveblogging Pearson v. Custom Cleaners — aka “The Case of the $54 Million Pants.” Check it out by clicking here (and scrolling down — no, farther down).
Here’s Steiner’s account of the plaintiff’s testimony:

If I had $54 million in my pocket, I’d almost give it to Roy Pearson to end this thing. Pearson took the stand this afternoon in his trial against Custom Cleaners, and it wasn’t exactly spellbinding.

Pearson went into seemingly every minute detail of life: his history of community service, his weight gain as a middle-aged man, his financial woes and his painful divorce. Even the opposing defense counsel was rubbing his eyes and suppressing yawns.

But the judge let Pearson tell his story, taking occasional notes, always with a somewhat bemused expression on her face. I could almost see the thought bubble over her head: Take as much time as you need to orchestrate your circus. (Though if circuses were this slow, Barnum & Bailey would be out of business.)

Then, just before 3:30, Roy L. Pearson broke down, appeared to almost cry, and quickly requested a break. Would it be heartless to ask whether he had been bored to tears?

Jeez. Should we lay off Judge Pearson? Until now, he struck us as a raging asshole rather unsympathetic plaintiff. But now it sounds like he may have… issues.
Does Roy Pearson need $54 million? Or does he just need a good therapist — and the right combination of prescription drugs?
Pearson v. Custom Cleaners: The Plaintiff Testifies (and Breaks Down!) [Offbeat]
Offbeat Blog [Washington Post]

Boost Plus erections Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGForget about all that Vioxx litigation — this is far more troubling. From the AP:

A man has sued the maker of the health drink Boost Plus, claiming the vitamin-enriched beverage gave him an erection that would not subside and caused him to be hospitalized.

The lawsuit filed by Christopher Woods of New York said he bought the nutrition beverage made by the pharmaceutical company Novartis AG at a drugstore on June 5, 2004, and drank it.

Woods’ court papers say he woke up the next morning “with an erection that would not subside” and sought treatment that day for the condition, called severe priapism.

Okay, maybe Novartis needs to fine-tune the formula a bit. But clearly they are on to something.
Watch out, V1agra; Cia1is s0fttabs, your days are numbered. Boost Plus is hot on your tail!
Man Sues Health Drink Maker Over Erection [Associated Press via Fox News]
Boost Plus [official website]
(Gavel bang: commenter.)

We’ve previously brought you a number of video clips from various law school parody shows. E.g, Columbia; NYU; UVA.
But what about “the world’s premier center for legal education and research”? What can we expect from the parody show of the legendary Harvard Law School?
Someone emailed us this clip:

Our source proudly touted this clip as follows: “Harvard Law School takes it up a notch!!!” We say: It depends on what the meaning of “it” is.
But regardless of our quibbles with the number as a whole, we have nothing but praise for the scene-stealing songstress who appears at around 2:45. If that “JD/MRS degree” doesn’t work out for her, she should look into “American Idol.”
(If you liked this video clip, you’re in luck — more clips are available here. Knock yourself out!)
Harvard Law School Parody Love It (Harvard) [YouTube]
TheBendAndSnap’s Videos [YouTube]

Akin Gump 2 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld Deborah Jeane Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.JPGIn our recent post about an alleged D.C.-madam-in-training — a legal secretary at the powerhouse firm of Akin Gump, who allegedly serviced clients and worked the phones for Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the alleged D.C. madam — we asked you for more information about this hardworking and multitalented young woman.
We are still accepting your tips. We’ll kick things off with this info, from a source who knows the alleged junior madam:

First, she’s not a paralegal. She’s just a legal secretary.

This answers the question we raised yesterday about whether she might be a paralegal rather than a secretary. In one of her emails to Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the Akin Gump employee said it would be easy to balance her work for Palfrey with her “paralegal duties.”
Our tipster continues:

Second, she has the ‘tude in the office that she’s better than the rest. Most people don’t like her.

Third, in terms of her appearance, she has the typical Barbie look: blonde, shapely, busty.

Based on this description, we’re guessing that this individual worked for a high-powered partner at Akin Gump. In our experience, legal secretaries fall into two categories: the total hotties, and the total notties, with precious few in between. They’re straight out of either (1) the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue or (2) a bingo hall.
The top dogs — name partners, major rainmakers, etc. — got the hottie secretaries. Everyone else had to just cross their fingers. So if Palfrey’s right-hand-woman is blonde and busty, she probably had a powerful boss at the firm.
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The D.C. Madam’s Akin Gump Apprentice: She’s No Miss Popularity”

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld Deborah Jeane Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.JPG

On its official website, Akin Gump proudly bills itself as a “full-service” law firm. And it boasts: “Our growth has come by understanding client problems and solving them with a unique combination of… practical… skills.”
Truer words were never spoken. From ABC News:

A legal secretary at one of Washington’s most prominent and well-connected law firms, Akin Gump Strauss Houer & Feld LLP, has been suspended after telling her bosses she secretly worked at night for the escort service run by the so-called D.C. Madam, Jeane Palfrey.

The woman both serviced clients and, at times, helped to run the business, Palfrey told ABC News in an interview to be broadcast on “20/20″ Friday.

The firm said it would not make her name public.

But do YOU know the name of this enterprising employee, or anything else about her? If so, we’d love to hear from you, by email (subject line: “DC Madam”).
A few more comments, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Akin Gump: Truly A ‘Full-Service’ Law Firm”

Sullivan & Cromwell S&C Sully Above the Law.jpgWell before Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell was ever filed, the venerable law firm was dealing with some serious issues. As aptly summarized by New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, “Sullivan & Cromwell lost about 30 percent of its associates in 2004 and 2005. It might take more than a raise to fix that.”
From a fascinating rather interesting Wall Street Journal article by Peter Lattman (which we meant to write about yesterday, before we got swamped by all the pay raise news):

Faced with a surge in turnover of its associates, the prestigious law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has been putting on a charm offensive to hold onto junior lawyers.

The crash course in etiquette went into high gear at a partners meeting last February. To deal with low associate morale and high attrition, a confidential slide presentation reviewed by The Wall Street Journal urged partners to say things like “thank you” and “good work” to associates they supervise.

What else should partners do? “Return associates’ phone calls as quickly as you would a partner’s or client’s,” said one bullet. “Be sensitive to not canceling associates’ vacations,” said another.

Additional bullet-points made these helpful suggestions:

“Don’t tell gay associates that they like taking it up the ass (because they might be tops rather than bottoms).”

“Refrain from subjecting associates to profanity-laced tirades in which you tell them they should be fired.”

Guess Eric Krautheimer and Alexandra Korry missed that meeting.
Discussion continues after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sullivan & Cromwell: Because Charney v. S&C Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg”

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