In today’s Morning Docket, we mentioned the recent benchslap administered to Sidley Austin by Judge Diane Cannon (pictured), an Illinois state court judge. Lynne Marek of the NLJ reports:
A court hearing on Tuesday in Chicago at which former Northwestern University journalism students planned to fight a subpoena for their records and grades turned into a judicial lambasting of their Sidley Austin lawyers.
It started when Judge Diane Gordon Cannon of the Cook County Circuit Court called the lawyers, partner Richard O’Brien and associate Linda Friedlieb, to the bench before prosecutors from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office had even arrived. She asked who had written the brief she was holding. O’Brien and Friedlieb responded that they had submitted the reply supporting the motion to quash the subpoena.
Judge Cannon was, suffice it to say, not happy about the Sidley Austin brief.
Her Honor’s complaints — plus discussion of whether they were justified, and a reader poll — after the jump.
Ed. note: Welcome to “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here.
You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook. You can also read more about her at www.notesfromthebreadline.net.
I hope this message finds you rested, relaxed, gainfully employed, or nursing your recession hangover with a fabulously expensive steak affixed to your forehead (or some combination thereof).
As you know, I have enjoyed your company here in the breadline for many (many) months. We have shared laughter, tears, the thrill of victory (assuming, arguendo, that ‘victory’ is defined as ‘avoiding non-flip-flop footwear’), and the agony of defeat, in its many and varied forms. Now, however, the time has come for an Interregnum from the Breadline. After today, Notes from the Breadline will be on hiatus, at least for a little while.
As a preliminary matter, I will address your (unposed) questions seriatim. No: I did not find a job. No: I did not get “laid off” from Above the Law. No: I am not taking a break so that “I can spend more time with my family” (or my cats), and no: there is no damning sex tape involving Partner Emeritus, Douche Patrol, Frat Stud, Fraternity Lothario, Glass Cock, Jack Bauer, Guest, or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sometimes, dear readers, a hiatus is just a hiatus.
You know how much we love rankings around these parts. But apparently there is a list of law firm rankings out there that actually matters. The National Law Journal reports:
An Association of Corporate Counsel law firm rating system unveiled last month has triggered a lot of interest from the association’s in-house lawyer members, who have submitted 1,500 firm reviews. Lawyers at firms are less enthused. …
Since the ACC initiated its “value index” last month, its members have shared their opinions about the performances of 500 law firms. The ACC has used the mainly anonymous input to rank firms on a five-point scale.
Unfortunately, there is one humongous catch:
The evaluations and ratings are viewable only by ACC members.
Why, Association of Corporate Counsel? Why? Why produce a juicy new list of clients actually rating the quality of legal services they receive, and then keep it private? We all want to know what you think.
Sorry. “All” is probably a little bit strong. Law firm managers don’t seem to like this list very much.
* Judge Diane Cannon — no relation to actress Dyan Cannon (who played a judge on Ally McBeal) — benchslaps Sidley Austin for its brief in the high-profile case involving Northwestern University journalism students fighting a subpoena for their records and grades. [National Law Journal]
* Speaking of journalistic freedom, was prior restraint applied to a high school newspaper — by Justice Kennedy? [New York Times]
* Meet John Galligan, the lawyer who will be representing the accused Fort Hood shooter. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Another prominent notorious gunman — John Allen Muhammad, aka the “DC sniper” — has been executed. [Washington Post]
* Professor John Yoo appeals a ruling allowing a suit against him to proceed to the Ninth Circuit (which might not be the friendliest court for Yoo, but we’ll see). [How Appealing]
* “L is for Lawyers… And That’s Good Enough for Them”: Zach Lowe interviews two of the lawyers behind the success of Sesame Street. [Am Law Daily]
* Judge Charles Sifton (E.D.N.Y.), RIP. [New York Times]
I have criticized U.S. News for caring about the number of books available in a law school library. I’ve criticized the Thomas Cooley law school rankings for caring about the size of a law school library.
Clearly, I don’t know what a law school library should be used for. But students at UC Davis do.
* Looking for Christmas gift items already? How about Supreme Court justice baseball cards? [National Law Journal]
* Or hedge-fund billionaire playing cards? [Dealbreaker]
* Professor Michael Risch on yesterday’s Bilski argument in the Supreme Court. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Professor Ann Althouse on L’Affaire Prejean. [Althouse]
* Deloitte helps keep lawyers in business. [Going Concern]
With most associates just trying to avoid joining the growing ranks of unemployed attorneys, partnership prospects might seem like part of a distant and unfathomable future. But in what might be a surprise to associates who have been laid off or suffered salary cuts, many law firms are making a healthy number of new partners. The National Law Journal reports that the overall number of partners nationwide in 2009 is actually higher than in 2008.
If you are a mid-level associate in Los Angeles and you really want the inside scoop on how to grab that brass ring, come to the Career Center Professional Development panel on November 17, hosted by Lateral Link and Proskauer Rose, for a discussion on long-term career planning, partnership prospects and in-house careers. Panelists include Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, Mike Woronoff of Proskauer, and Vivian Yang, GC at Citysearch. Attendees will receive 1.25 CLE credit hours. Click here to learn more or to register.
Oh no. Is it really time to crank up the salary freeze watch again? I thought that the big question this winter would be whether firms that froze salaries last year would be unfreezing pay for 2010. And whether or not the raises were a “true up” raise that put people up to where they would have been absent last year’s freeze.
Instead, could we be looking at a winter where firms that did not freeze last year decide to freeze this year? A tipster reports on some disturbing news coming out of Covington & Burling:
Covington just announced salary freeze for all offices but NY; NY TBD. All-associates meeting.
Above the Law reached out to spokespeople at Covington. Read the firm’s statement after the jump.
We have another episode in the saga of Deidre Dare, one of our favorite laid-off lawyers. She was an attorney in Allen & Overy’s Russia office until she penned typed a salacious online novel about her expat adventures, which featured lots of drinking, sex, drugs, donkeys, and dwarves. After the firm let her go, she sued.
Dare’s still in Moscow, where she writes an often controversial column for the Moscow News called sExpat. The latest reveals that Deidre likes it rough:
Anyone who has spent even five minutes in bed with me knows that I have a strong proclivity for S&M. My experience in the area ranges from the mild (spanking) to the extreme (ball gags, golden showers and the like), according to how much experience my partner has and what he or she likes.
The column goes on to praise Russia’s abusive men. Dare writes: “If you’re hanging out with real men and you’re a little slutty, you’re going to get hit. Period.” Roll On Friday photoshops A&O’s chairman into being a “real man” here.
Ed. note: We at Above The Law do not condone physical violence against women. We do, however, condone violence against the commenter ShaFeef.
In a previous column, Dare said money was tight and suggested that prostitution might be a way out of her money woes. That might have led to more hitting than even Deidre likes. Luckily, she’s come up with a different way to make money. She’s written another book. Its title, fittingly, is SLUT.
Katten Muchin is using every tool in the box when it comes to figuring out what to do with its incoming associates. If there is a plan for dealing with soon-to-be first years that has been discussed on Above the Law, Katten is using it.
A tipster reports that Katten has broken up its first year class into three groups:
Katten Muchin Rosenman rescinded several offers to 2008 summer associates today. From what I’ve heard about 1/3 were rescinded, 1/3 were re-deferred to October, and 1/3 will start in February as scheduled.
Essentially, Katten just turned itself into Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross: “As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”
Let’s talk some more about the third prize after the jump.
So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.
Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.
You have been rejected.
The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.
No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.
First: You come to the party. Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014. Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.
We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!
We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
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