Yesterday we broke the story of a strange situation concerning a Minnesota judicial race. Judge Thomas G. Armstrong (10th District Court 3), a 30-year veteran of the bench, filed to run for reelection last month. Unsurprisingly, the longtime judge was initially unopposed.
Hours before the filing deadline — which fell on Tuesday, June 1, at 5 p.m. — his law clerk, Dawn Hennessy, jumped into the race. Shortly thereafter, Judge Armstrong withdrew. This left his clerk running unopposed, with the filing deadline for other challengers elapsed.
Whispering in Minnesota legal circles ensued. Observers wondered: Did Judge Armstrong and Dawn Hennessy collude to place her on the bench? We started investigating the story yesterday, with phone calls and emails to both Judge Armstrong and Hennessy. A few hours after we started poking around, Hennessy withdrew from the race — leaving no contenders for the seat.
Since yesterday, there have been some developments — including the reopening of the race….
Over the last 24 hours, there have been some managing partner shake-ups at some notable large law firms. Let’s tackle the news in Vault order. First up: Baker & McKenzie.
The firm has gone international to find its next managing partner. The WSJ Law Blog reports:
[I]f anyone had any doubts about the firm’s commitment to its international presence, consider this: It recently elected São Paulo partner Eduardo Leite as the next chairman of the firm’s eight-person executive committee…
Leite represents the firm’s first Latin American chair. And we can’t think of any other U.S.-based law firm that’s picked someone based in Latin America to lead it.
Here at the Pls Hndle Thx factory located in my parents’ basement, we receive hundreds of emails a week begging us for advice. And by “hundreds of emails,” I mean two, one of which I’m pretty confident Elie writes and sends from secret email accounts because he knows that my health insurance doesn’t cover mental health benefits and doesn’t want me to feel like a complete failure.
Anyway, each week, the two emails that we receive inevitably ask the same old questions: Should I apply to law school? Should I drop out of law school? Will I be fired? Help, I’ve been fired, now what?
The best advice I can give you people is simply this: learn to read. We’ve answered all your FAQs before. But if you don’t remember what we said and/or don’t feel like scrolling back through the archive, here are the Pls Hndle Thx FAQs along with our sage advice….
Earlier this week, we ran an open thread how people are doing on their hours. We also had a survey asking people to tell us how many hours they are on track for. We received strong reader participation in the poll, but there was a flaw in the survey. According to commenters:
elie. you need to leave an option to “view results” w/o checking. Law students and others will be interested in this, but will have to choose a selection to view results….
Well, I assumed that law students would just wait until the today’s follow up post since I clearly stated I would do one:
I just checked the category that includes 0 hours to view the results, so the stats are skewed. FAIL!!!
Have you ever heard of a little thing called patience? Can we please act like adults?
GOD. Fine. I screwed up. Sorry for expecting readers to exhibit a modicum of restraint and not click on a poll to which they didn’t have an answer.
With the caveat that the numbers for the “less than 1600″ category are skewed by people who couldn’t wait two days for the follow up, the results of the survey appear below…
The men went downstairs to the first floor, where [public defender Henry] Hams allegedly lashed out at the prosecutor outside a snack shop, authorities said.
At some point, Hams got on top of the victim and was choking him with both hands around his neck, Patterson said. When two sheriff’s deputies tried to pull Hams off the victim, Hams continued choking him with one hand and attempted to resist the deputy’s efforts with his other hand, Patterson said.
Choking a prosecutor with one hand, while resisting a deputy with the other? Impressive! Welcome to Cook County.
So, where did Henry Hams get his gift for brawling? And who’s representing him in the criminal case he’s facing?
In this post, we will revisit our predictions and compare them to the outcomes. We will use our standard measures to explain how confident we were of our decisions, and how accurate our forecasts were.
The New York State Senate yesterday passed its version of the Nanny Law. If signed by Governor Paterson, the law would require employers to give domestic workers paid vacation and sick days, as well as 14 days notice before termination. The benefits would apply to legal and illegal immigrants.
Essentially, it would require people to treat domestic employees like employees instead of serfs.
It sounds like a wonderful law. It sounds like the right thing to do. It sounds … utterly unenforceable. On True/Slant, Claudia Deutsch points out:
Sure, it sounds compassionate and embracing to say that anyone, legal or not, should have a right to recourse if they are being exploited. But how exactly does an illegal immigrant sue an employer without outing himself/herself? I can see a worst-case scenario if this passes, whereby people who currently employ citizens and legals might actively seek illegals, just to avoid the cost and paperwork.
Enforcing this law will be somebody else’s problem. But for the Biglaw families out there, the real question is whether this law will cause unnecessary problems in a market that already seems to work pretty efficiently….
* The papers of Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom Elena Kagan clerked, may offer the left some reassurance on Kagan’s liberal bona fides. [CBS News]
* Meanwhile, a USA Today/Gallup poll finds that public support for confirming Kagan is a little on the low side compared to that of other recent nominees (except for Harriet Miers). [Gallup via Drudge Report]
* Jonathan Bristol, a partner (or former partner?) at Winston & Strawn, did legal work for Kenneth Starr — no, not thatKenneth Starr, but the financial advisor to celebrity clients who now faces federal fraud charges. [Am Law Daily]
* Joran van der Sloot, a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway on Aruba, is now in custody in Chile; he’s the prime suspect in the murder of young Peruvian woman. [Associated Press]
Ed. note: If you don’t access Above the Law through an RSS reader, or if you don’t even know what an RSS reader is, feel free to ignore this post.
To those of you who have been clamoring for a restoration of ATL’s full RSS feed, your pleas have not fallen on deaf ears. We’ve decided to bring back our non-truncated RSS feed. For more on why we experimented with an abridged RSS feed and why we’re restoring the full feed, see this post by our CEO here at Breaking Media, Jonah Bloom.
Of course, accessing ATL through an RSS reader isn’t the only way to enjoy the site. You can sign up for our email newsletter — which we’re going to be revamping and expanding in the next few weeks, by the way. You can also follow us on Twitter, where an automated feed of our stories is mixed in with handcrafted tweets (signed individually by your editors — “DL” for Lat, “EM” for Elie, and “KH” for Kash).
To our RSS subscribers, thanks for bearing with us during this trial period. We hope you enjoy the restoration of the full feed.
* In case there was any doubt, here’s photographic proof that Jerry O’Connell’s new show “The Defenders” is at least in part based on some crazy lawyers in Vegas. [Wild Wild Law]
* If you require the services of Lat’s parents, make sure you ask for the ATL discount. [Bergen Record]
* University of San Diego Law dean steps down, but boy he’s happy about how well the school is doing in the U.S. News rankings — err, not that law deans are totally obsessed with those rankings or anything. [USD School of Law]
* How awesome would it be to wrestle the judge presiding over your case? [Bad Lawyer]
* Is there something about being deferred that makes law graduates unable to read between the lines? [Law and More]
* There’s no crying in baseball. But it did get a little dusty in here when Armando “Nothing but class” Galarraga handed the lineup card to umpire Jim “This is what personal responsibility looks like” Joyce. [MLB.com]
Based on the approximately ten billion emails we’ve received about this into firstname.lastname@example.org in the last few hours, it seems a lot of you already know that the “Star Wars kid” has decided to attend law school. We think the first Kamino-like flood of emails linked to the story on TechCrunch:
It was eight years ago that Ghyslain Raza slashed his way into our hearts with his Star Wars Kid video. Sadly, Raza suffered from severe bullying and abuse for his video and eventually ended up in a psychiatric ward for children…
He and his family sued the kids who leaked the video for $250,000, settled, and that seemed to be the end of it. Now, however, Ghyslain just became the president of the Patrimoine Trois-Rivières, a heritage society dedicated to conserving his hometown in Quebec. He’s also working on law degree at McGill in Montreal.
The ABA might remain silent when it comes to stopping law schools from taking financial advantage of law students. They might pass rules that allow legal work to flow freely overseas, damaging the livelihoods of lawyers back home. But when it comes to Congress potentially stepping in to regulate lawyers, the organization finds its voice and gets to work.
The ABA Journal reports that the ABA is spearheading an effort to get practicing lawyers excluded from the increased regulation contemplated in the financial reform bill which is now in reconciliation:
The spate of recession-induced financial help scams loomed large in the push for national consumer protection, and competing House and Senate bills now headed for conference committee both specifically target for regulation anyone involved in offering a “consumer financial product or service.”
But the House version has an exemption for lawyers engaged in the practice of law as well as employees directly supervised by them, or in matters incidental to the practice and within the scope of attorney-client relationship. The Senate version does not. In the Senate version, for example, simply holding a trust account would bring a lawyer under the eyes of federal regulators.
Almost a year ago, I noted that it would be very bad if the general public decided to hold lawyers to the same level of scrutiny as bankers in response to the global economic crisis. But screw the public; it should go without saying that lawyers don’t need the federal government on their backs…
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!