When last we checked in on Debrahlee Lorenzana (pictured), she was switching lawyers to bring on a fellow media hog, Gloria Allred (recently the subject of a lengthy NYT profile). Over the weekend, Lorenzana filed her first papers under Allred’s stewardship.
Apparently we need to make a call to Geneva or something, and have them check out Citibank. FoxNY reports:
A tearful Debrahlee “Debbie” Lorenzana read a prepared statement Monday morning explaining why she is a victim of sex discrimination.
Lorenzana and her attorney, Gloria Allred, are asking for a human rights investigation. She claims she was fired from her job as a business banker job at Citibank after complaining that male colleagues called good looks distracting.
In other breaking news regarding workplace human rights violations, when I walked in today, I’m almost positive that a Breaking Media colleague thought “Whoa, that’s a big dude.” Nothing was said, but I saw it in her eyes. Can somebody text me the number for The Hague?
Virginia is for lovers (of video games). A judge in Wise, Virginia was so enamored of the shooting game Halo that he may have crossed ethical lines to play it.
The not-so Wise judge struck up a friendship with a defendant he’d previously sent to jail. Their gaming relationship came to light when Judge Joseph Carico got into a car accident while driving his Halo partner/courtroom visitor home after a night of shooting people up. From the Bristol Herald Courier:
The game of choice that night, said passenger Jeremy Hubbard, was the popular first-person shoot-’em-up Halo 3 on the X-Box 360 gaming platform.
The two also played some sports games on the Nintendo Wii platform, which Hubbard, 28, said is the judge’s preferred gaming system.
Carico may have quick reflexes in virtual reality but hit a tree when a real deer sprinted in front of his car while driving Hubbard home at one in the morning on a Saturday night. (At least, he wasn’t playing until the wee hours on a school night like some other judges we know.)
Hubbard and Carico first met due to Hubbard’s legal troubles — he’s previously been found guilty of felony shoplifting and heroin possession. Carico has now stepped down from the bench and area lawyers believe it’s because of the November car accident and gaming revelation. But c’mon, what’s the problem with a judge playing video games with a convicted felon?
People are always telling laid off or unemployed lawyer to “hang out a shingle” and start their own firm. They say this like it is comparatively easy for young lawyers to just go out there and drum up enough business to support themselves. It’s not, but some people are at least trying.
Today, the Washington Post profiles (gavel bang: ABA Journal) a group of lawyers that aren’t just trying to start their own firm, they’re also trying to kill the billable hour while they do it:
When clients call Washington attorney Sue Wang, the clock doesn’t start ticking.
Phone calls aren’t billed in six-minute intervals and each hour of work won’t cost several hundred dollars.
Wang and the four other lawyers in Clarity Law Group aim to reconfigure the billable-hour business model at law firms that she said tends to shut out small and start-up companies with shallow pockets.
Yeah, yeah, nobody likes the billable hour — Clarity Law Group purportedly has a “timeshare” business model. Does this mean that potential clients will get a free meal while the lawyers lock them in a room and try to sell themselves?
Despite the depressing efforts of Marin County and Michigan Law School, there is a leading indicator that could portend good news for Biglaw lawyers. Wall Street is hiring bankers again. Bloomberg reports:
Firms are adding jobs for the first time in two years, rebuilding businesses cut during the financial crisis and offering guaranteed payouts to lure top bankers. In New York, 6,800 financial-industry positions were added from the end of February through May, the largest three-month increase since 2008, according to the New York State Department of Labor.
If bankers are being hired, they will (a) want to make deals, and (b) screw those deals up. Both realities should make opportunities for lawyers…
Today was the last day of the Supreme Court term (and also the last day on the Court for Justice John Paul Stevens). The SCOTUS handed down four blockbuster opinions — on the same day that the confirmation hearings of Elena Kagan are starting. Coincidence?
In alphabetical order, the four cases are (click on each case name to access the ScotusWiki page):
Bilski v. Kappos (patent law): “Whether a ‘process’ must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or transform a particular article into a different state or thing (‘machine-or-transformation’ test), to be eligible for patenting….”
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (First Amendment right of association): “Whether a public university law school may deny school funding and other benefits to a religious student organization because the group requires its officers and voting members to agree with its core religious viewpoints.”
Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (separation of powers): “Whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is consistent with separation-of-powers principles — as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is in turn overseen by the President — or contrary to the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, as the PCAOB members are appointed by the SEC.”
McDonald v. City of Chicago (guns / Second Amendment incorporation): the applicability of the Second Amendment to state and local governments.
How were these cases resolved? Find out, after the jump.
Who the f*** wears a shirt like this to court, we asked via Twitter on Friday. The resounding response: someone who wants to get out of jury duty.
An alternate juror, Nneka Eneorj, 19, who appears not to be familiar with Kanye West, found an easy way to get herself kicked off a police brutality trial in New York. From the New York Post:
“WHO THE F— IS KANYE WEST?” the shirt read, the offending obscenity resting just above the wood veneer rail of the jury box. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber ordered the other jurors out of the courtroom — directing Eneorj to stand before his bench.
“Do you think it’s appropriate to wear a shirt that says ‘f—’ on it in my courtroom?” the judge asked, anger in his voice.
When Eneorj started to protest about having a sweater on — not that it covered the front of the shirt — the judge cut her off, demanding, “You’re excused.”
We have not yet had the pleasure to serve on a jury. While we would relish the front row seating for a trial, we understand that others are not as eager to sit in judgment of their fellow citizens.
* Wasn’t Guantanamo Bay supposed to be closed by now? I could have sworn the guy who said he would close it won the presidential election. [New York Times]
* How many Republicans do you think will end up voting for Kagan’s confirmation? Let’s set the over/under at seven — since that’s how many Republicans supported her for Solicitor General. [National Law Journal]
* Unlike Republicans, one expects civil rights leaders will eventually get in line. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
Ed. note: Law Shucks focuses on life in, and after, BigLaw, including by tracking layoffs, bonuses, and laterals. Above the Law is pleased to bring you this weekly column, which analyzes news at the world’s top law firms.
One of the many interesting features of BigLaw is the comings and goings of its denizens. Whether it’s looking for the bigger, better deal, jumping off a sinking ship, or departing for the greener pastures of inhouse or government life, every move has a story.
There has been plenty of speculation recently about which firm is wrapped up in an Inspector General investigation of the firm’s practice of hiring former SEC lawyers, who then turn around and advocate for clients at the agency they just left. The Senate Finance Committee is none too happy about the "revolving door," claiming that in at least one instance, the SEC was unduly lenient because of the firm’s close ties with the commission. Usually lateral hires aren’t contentious (examples like Jeremy Pitcock notwithstanding), so this could put a damper on hiring some of the most-coveted free agents.
So which law firm or lawyer(s) might be facing Senate scrutiny?
Martin Ginsburg — a leading tax lawyer and law professor, and the husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — passed away earlier today. He was 78. According to a statement released by the Court, he passed away at home, from complications of metastatic cancer.
Marty Ginsburg was known in Supreme Court circles as Justice Ginsburg’s secret weapon. Justice Ginsburg herself can sometimes be shy, awkward, and introverted, but her husband was gregarious, charming, and a great entertainer. He was a talented chef and would perform the culinary honors at dinners for Supreme Court justices and their spouses. He would also cook for RBG’s clerks each Term.
He was widely noted for his great sense of humor….
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