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After a 16-year-long fight, Valentino has prevailed in litigation with Florence Fashions over the use of the Valentino trademark. Read an interesting interview with Valentino’s lawyer, Anne Sterba, and comment — over at our sister site, Fashionista.

Valentino Wins 16-Year Trademark Case; Valentino’s Lawyer Explains the Ruling [Fashionista]

The internet is on fire today. The purported contract between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and random New York resident Paul Ceglia has hit the worldwide web. We’ve written about Ceglia’s claims to 84% of Facebook before. But now that people have actually seen the document, everybody wants to talk about it.

I even ended up on Fox Business News, sharing my analysis of the Facebook contract.

As most lawyers know, just because you have a signed contract doesn’t necessarily mean you have anything. What was the bargain? Was there a meeting of the minds? Contracts aren’t always clear about what the parties are actually agreeing to.

This one, allegedly signed by Zuckerberg when he was a college sophomore, has lots of room for interpretation…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Facebook Lawsuit: Everybody Calm Down and Remember Your 1L Contracts Class”

A photo for those missing the bonobos today

* How long before the anonymous lawyer behind Ask a Korean! is outed? We think it’ll be faster than you can say dolsot bibimbap. [City Room/New York Times]

* MBE mash-up to entertain bar studiers. [YouTube]

* More exam-inspired music, but this will entertain and educate. [YouTube]

* If you got a gene in a bottle, you gotta rub it the right way. Congress is trying to decide how to regulate genetic testing. [Genomics Law Report]

* Law blogs influence scholars but not judges. [Concurring Opinions]

* If you’re the legal expert on cyberbullying, you can expect this to happen at some point. [Gawker]

* How do you turn blog posts into clients? [Lawyerist]

* The dirty DoD. [Boston Globe]


On-campus interviewing for 2011 summer associate positions is getting underway, or about to get underway, at many law schools. And this OCI process will give us some insight into what different firms are up to and how they are doing.

The OCI schedules can shed light on several questions. Which firms are ramping up hiring — even to the extent of interviewing 3Ls — and which firms are canceling their summer associate programs? Within a firm, which offices are growing their summer programs, and which offices are shrinking them?

If you have news about a 2011 summer program cancellation, please email us.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Which Firms Aren’t Having 2011 Summer Associate Programs?”

An ATL reader studying for the bar at Georgetown Law sent along this photo yesterday. This person’s performance anxiety seems to apply to both the bar exam and the bathroom…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest: Stalling?”

Alyson Kirleis

There’s a serious gender-based wage gap in the legal profession. Female partners make $66K less than male partners on average. If you’re a female partner who has thought about tackling that gap with a lawsuit, you may be interested in the case of Alyson J. Kirleis.

Kirleis, a shareholder at Dickie McCamey in Pennsylvania, has been pursuing a sexual discrimination suit against her firm for the last four years. From the Legal Intelligencer (via The Careerist):

In the suit, Kirleis accused Dickie McCamey of paying female lawyers less than males and alleged she was told by a male partner that a woman with children should relinquish her partnership and work only part-time.

Kirleis, who has worked at the firm since 1988, also claimed she was told by another male partner that the role of women lawyers was to prepare lawsuits for trials that would be handled by male lawyers. The suit also included allegations that Kirleis has suffered retaliation since her suit was filed, and that Dickie McCamey’s annual Christmas party is effectively closed to women “because of the sexually explicit nature of the entertainment including skits, songs, pornographic materials and props.”

The Legal Intelligencer pointed out that her suit could have broken new legal ground, establishing that “some law firm partners are not equal to their fellow partners and ought to be allowed to pursue employment discrimination claims such as suing for equal pay.”

But the Third Circuit wasn’t on board…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Female Partner’s Discrimination Case”

The prior reports of additional payments to some associates at Hogan Lovells, designed to reward these associates for making their billable-hours targets, were accurate — at least with respect to the New York office. And it turns out that these payments constitute what in ATL-speak we call “true-up payments” — i.e., payments designed to give associates the pay they would have received had a salary freeze never occurred and they had received the customary annual raise for seniority.

This may sound confusing, but it’s really not. Let’s take a look at the memo from Hogan Lovells….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Salary Thaw: Hogan Lovells Loves Its Associates”

Earlier this week, we told you to look out for a former Clifford Chance associate — Georgetown Law grad James Weir — on the upcoming recession-inspired edition of “The Apprentice.” We lamented that Donald Trump was providing work to only one unemployed lawyer.

Shortly thereafter, we found out that the Donald had in fact been more gracious than that to the legal profession. He has given work to at least two down-and-out legal eagles. A tipster wrote:

Saw your post about the former Clifford Chance attorney who was cast for this upcoming season of the Apprentice and wanted to let you know there is also a recent Brooklyn Law grad named Mahsa Saiedi-Azcuy on the show. She graduated in 2009 and was actually hired by the Brooklyn DA, uncertain as to her current employment status though.

We look forward to this match-up: Woman vs. Man. Brooklyn Law vs. Georgetown Law. DA’s Office vs. Biglaw.

Plus, Saiedi-Azcuy is hot…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Another Legal Eagle on the Upcoming ‘Laid-off’ Edition of ‘The Apprentice’”

“The People’s Court” is not a court, body, agency, public servant or other person authorized by law to conduct a proceeding and to administer the oath or cause it to be administered… [T]he statements made on the show have no more probative force than the words of an actor reading from a script in a play.

–Brooklyn judge Francois A. Rivera, in an opinion dismissing testimony given in Judge Marilyn Milian’s courtroom.

(Gavel bang: Yale Law & Technology.)

I’ve been critical of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) in the past, but you have to give them credit for at least one thing: they have been tirelessly trying to make people understand that most lawyers do not make $160,000 a year straight out of law school.

In fact, NALP has been at the forefront of educating prospective lawyers on the dangers of focusing on “average” starting salaries. The average is meaningless. The median is just slightly more helpful, and NALP has been begging people to pay attention to the bimodal salary distribution curve that tells the true story of how much lawyers are likely to get paid.

And the bimodal curve is only useful if you are actually lucky enough to secure full-time employment. If you have to work part-time, God help you…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NALP Gives More Information on Expected Lawyer Salary”

The real utility of the Vault law firm rankings isn’t the opportunity they give to prestige whores who want to lord their status over others. The rankings — conveniently released just before the start of on-campus recruiting — allow law students to get an inside peek at the firms that will soon be coming to campus to vie for their attentions. The firms know a lot about you, but what do you really know about the firms? The Vault rankings are an opportunity to close the informational gap.

Okay, sure, I ripped that opening from something somebody probably wrote in 2005. In a recession economy, law students are probably more concerned with which firms won’t abort their legal careers, instead of which firms have the best cookies.

But still, the rankings give us an opportunity to discuss each firm. And readers of Above the Law are always full of opinions when it comes to the best Biglaw firms.

So sit back, register your Disqus account, and join us as we romp through the Vault 100. We’ll start at the very top — because prestige whoring doesn’t have to be useful in order to be fun…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Threads: Vault 1 – 10 (2011)”

Shirley Sherrod = tl;dr

HELP WANTED: We are looking for a writer to take over Morning Docket duties from the three of us. To learn more and apply, please see this post (a prior solicitation for MD writer applications). The only difference is that now the post comes with a modest monthly stipend.

* What can we learn from the Shirley Sherrod ridiculousness? [Associated Press]

* Charlie Rangel will face a public trial on various tax and ethics violations. [CNN]

* Immediate fallout from financial reform. [Law.com]

* New York State wants some money from Merrill Lynch and BoA. [Courthouse News Service]

* Indian law schools are on the cutting edge of transgendered self-identification. [ABA Journal]

* Americans are getting dumber relative to the rest of the world. [New York Times]

* Darth Vader has been reduced to common thievery. [NY Daily News]

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