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Michael Diaz, Jr. leans innocent?

Michael Diaz, Jr. has a high profile in Miami. These days, the University of Miami Law grad’s name tends to crop up in the business pages, but in the late 80s, he worked on a series of highly-publicized homicide cases as a prosecutor in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. In 1990, he started his own international litigation shop, Diaz Reus & Targ, LLP. Business Week recently profiled him for his representation of Ponzi victims and big game asset hunting.

He’s a man with a reputation and serious weight (more of it is seen in this Business Week photo than in his firm photo), so he wasn’t pleased when someone honked and yelled at him in a grocery store parking lot. According to the South Florida Business Journal, Diaz was a passenger in a white Lexus that was blocking the entrance to a parking garage. James Bracco, 30, began honking at the Lexus and then tried driving around it, while yelling at the people in the Lexus. Diaz allegedly got out of the Lexus, opened the door of the offending car, punched the offending driver in the face (knocking some teeth loose), and then punched the offending driver’s girlfriend in the chest several times.

Since this is Florida, this, of course, took place at a Publix.

Sounds like someone has been watching too many Miami Vice reruns. Not cool, dude…

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Back in November, Goodwin Procter laid off 55 people: 21 of them associate attorneys. You’ll remember that the laid-off employees took the news particularly hard. In February of 2009 — in the teeth of the recession — Goodwin Procter laid off 74 people: 38 of those victims were associates.

But enough about sad old 2009, let’s get to sunny 2010. Things are looking up for Goodwin, and the firm is looking to add people again. There’s just one catch. A tipster reports:

Goodwin has hired recruiters to headhunt attorneys to fill the positions of the 2nd and 3rd year associates laid off last February and as recently as November. Rumor has it that they have formed an entire committee to handle the search even though several of the February layoff victims remain unemployed and almost all of the November attorneys.

Where’s the love, Goodwin? From the job posting, it looks like your recently laid off associates could be exactly what you are looking for…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Goodwin Procter is Hiring: People Goodwin Laid Off Are Pissed”

The final match of our March Madness was not quite as thrilling as the Duke-Butler game. DC pulled away from San Francisco at the very beginning, when voting started on Monday afternoon. We were amused to see that lawyers in SoCal contributed to DC’s early momentum (pictured at right).

DC finished strong, defeating San Fran 61-39. So now it’s official: Congratulations, Washingtonians. You are in the best place in America to be a lawyer. Go to One First Street and do a victory lap around the Supreme Court.

This was how D.C. made it to the top. It wasn’t an easy path, though D.C. made it look like it was:

Here at ATL headquarters, Elie, Lat, Kash, and David Minkin (our publisher, of ATL litigation fame) filled out brackets, with a $40 pool. Curious who won?

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Over the past few weeks we’ve lightly touched on the fight between Maryland State Legislators and Maryland Law School. To bring you up to speed: the Perdue Chicken corporation was annoyed by a lawsuit filed with the aid of Maryland’s Environmental Law Clinic. So, like all good corporations, the bigwigs at Perdue reached into their back pocket and unleashed the Maryland State Senate upon the University. The spineless state politicians ostensibly did what they were told and threatened to withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars from the University unless various conditions were met, including disclosure of privileged information.

I guess it’s nice to know that the American oligarchy is still going strong.

But thankfully, the story doesn’t end there. After weeks of intense public pressure, it appears that the Maryland legislators backed down…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Maryland State and Perdue v. Maryland Law and Reason: An Uneasy Compromise”

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgOur recent Career Center survey asked about how the economy has affected the practice area choices of associates and law students.  A large majority – 80% – of law firm respondents indicated that they have not had to work outside their chosen practice area to meet their hours.

Of the 20% of law firm respondents who have had to work in practice areas other than their own, more than two-thirds of them have picked up litigation work and almost half of them have billed hours to bankruptcy matters.  Almost half of law student respondents indicated that their practice area choices have been affected by market conditions, with litigation the new top choice among law students.

Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link for more on which firms are leaders in the practice areas you are interested in.

Full survey results, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Practice Area Survey Results”

Ed. note: This post is written by Will Meyerhofer, a Biglaw attorney turned psychotherapist, whom we profiled. A former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.

It seems like the cruelest thing they could say to you, but according to lawyers I work with as a therapist, they say it all the time:

Maybe you’re not cut out for this place.

There are variations, of course. There’s the old favorite:

Maybe you’re not cut out for this work.

Or – to put the knife in and twist it:

Maybe you’re not cut out to be a lawyer.

You’ve taken the LSAT, applied to law school, borrowed the budget of a small African nation, sat through endless lectures and countless exams, passed the atrocious trivia contest known as the bar, and now you’re in a big, powerful law firm – sinking like a stone.

And they’re letting you know it’s not a fluke, either – it’s you.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In-House Counseling: Maybe You’re Not Cut Out For This Place”

As you know, we’re big fans of University of Michigan law students. From time to time, the students there commit acts of douchebaggery that are very funny. But who knew extreme toolishness extended to adults practicing in Michigan who didn’t even go to UM Law School?

A Michigan area lawyer wanted to get a vanity license plate for his Corvette. Really, I could end the story right there. A vanity license plate on a ‘Vette is prima facie evidence of being a dick.

But our Michigan man took it one step further…

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* Constance McMillen won her court battle to go to prom in Mississippi with her girlfriend. In response, parents in Fulton, Mississippi sent Constance an invitation to a fake prom, and held the real one in secret. [Gawker]

* Patricia Cohen — ex-wife of SAC billionaire Steve Cohen — now wants a slice of the company. [Dealbreaker]

* New Manhattan D.A., Cy Vance, has ordered no plea deals for the hooligans that went “wilding” in midtown over Easter weekend. [NY Daily News]

* … Did I say hooligans? I meant idiot hooligans who posted their criminal activities on Twitter. [NY Post]

* Qualcomm attorneys cleared of sanctions. [ABA Journal]

* Plaintiffs attorneys are pumped up about the $16.4 million civil penalty against Toyota. [National Law Journal]

Gucci 'sacks' in-house lawyer, Jonathan Moss

Gucci wants g’s for the use of its big G. Gucci sued Guess Inc. in 2009 for trademark infringement, for allegedly selling knock-offs of its designs and for using the interlocking “GG” pattern.

Guess may be the company making knock-offs, but Gucci’s the company with fake lawyers. Gucci recently fired in-house lawyer Jonathan Moss because he had been working for the company since 2002 with a lapsed license. Gucci revealed this on Friday in a motion requesting that his inactive status not invalidate attorney-client privilege.

From Women’s Wear Daily:

According to court documents filed Friday, Gucci America Inc. terminated Jonathan Moss on March 1. Gucci said it discovered in January that Moss’ status with the California bar had been inactive for the whole of his seven-year run as legal counsel with the firm. Guess has sought access to Moss’ communications regarding a trademark infringement lawsuit Gucci brought against it in U.S. District Court in Manhattan last year. Gucci’s disclosure came in a memo backing a motion that the attorney-client privilege should still apply to his involvement in the case.

So why did Moss let his license lapse? Apparently, he wasn’t making enough money in-house to keep his status active…

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* So how did Judge of the Day Shirley Strickland Saffold get outed anyway? Well, it started with some hurtful anonymous comments. [On the Media]

* Wait a minute, you’re saying that playing football could cause head injuries that lead to dementia? But the game looks so peaceful. Why weren’t we informed of this? [WSJ Law Blog]

* Why would you pay extra money in rent for a man to hold the door open and spy on you every time you enter or exit your building? [True/Slant]

* Virginia declares April to be “Confederate History Month.” That’s a great thing. It’s about time Virginians learned that they actually lost the Civil War. [Huffington Post]

* Let’s say you aced the job interview. What’s the best way to follow up? [Law.com]

* The Brennan Center for Justice has a very good legal book review website going. Hey, it’s not like the Times Book Review has the space to give these books the coverage they deserve. [Brennan Center for Justice: Just Books]

* Lat, Elie, and Kash want to drink with you. Don’t forget to sign up for our summer kick-off party. [Above the Law]

We're victims... of this firm's advertising

Personal injury law firms do not tend to have the classiest advertising campaigns. But Greenstein & Milbauer has taken the art of terrible law firm advertising to new heights. Or new lows.

The firm has an official rap (sample lyrics: “have a neck broke from an accident you didn’t provoke?”) and its mascot is a squirrel that looks mildly mentally impaired.

In its commercial, the firm’s squirrel channels Geico’s Gecko, with a little Speedy Gonzalez-style ethnic diversity thrown in…

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Earlier this year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Kelley Drye & Warren for stripping aging partners of equity in the firm.

Here at ATL, we have mixed feelings about the elderly. In an ATL debate over mandatory retirement policies at law firms, Elie endorsed kicking old partners to the curb, while I objected to age discrimination policies. The EEOC also sees age bias in mandatory retirement.

Five years ago, Sidley Austin paid $27.5 million to settle a EEOC complaint on behalf of 32 de-equitized partners. But it looks like Kelley Drye will resist settling, and is not afraid to rough up the ‘decrepit’ New York partner, Eugene D’Ablemont, who wants to keep raking in the big bucks…

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