It’s time again for ATL readers’ creative juices to flow. We have a new legal-themed photo for a caption contest. As usual, we’ll provide the back story at the end of the contest so as not to influence or restrict your caption creativity.
Here’s the photo:
Same rules as always: Submit possible captions in the comments. We’ll choose our favorites — with preference given to those with a legal bent — and then let you vote for the best one.
(As an aside, the pile up reminded us of a photo from AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com. See The Pile On.)
Please submit your entry BY MIDNIGHT ON TUESDAY. Thanks!
On Sunday, the Boston Globe released its list of the Top 100 Place to Work in Massachusetts. Goodwin Procter placed #74. That’s interesting because last Thursday Goodwin laid off 55 people.
Nice timing on the Globe report. In a companion article titled “They look past the paycheck” the Globe highlights Goodwin:
Under the traditional apprenticeship system at law firms, new lawyers learn from partners who handpick associates they want for particular cases. …
A new approach matches the associate’s professional development goals with a partner’s needs, leaving associates less at the whim of partners and partners more assured of a good fit. Goodwin Procter has a site online where associates enter their availability and their interests, but it takes more than a grand schedule to make the program work. Staffing managers who are lawyers themselves make the match.
Wrong day for that story. Wrong day.
Goodwin wasn’t the only law firm on the list. Other firms after the jump.
* The National Law Journal has their annual headcount at the top 250 law firms. Law firms saw their biggest decline in the three decades that NLJ has been keeping track, with headcount falling by nearly 5%. [National Law Journal]
* The links of the Galleon insider trading ring. Ropes & Gray had some uncomfortable calls to make to clients Hilton, Avaya Inc., 3Com Corp. and Axcan Pharma Inc., thanks to Arthur Cutillo. [Bloomberg]
* Law firms may want to come up with a “dos and don’ts” list for clients with regard to insider trading. [New York Times]
* Scott Rothstein rose fast and will fall faster. More details on his wild life and wilder philanthropy. [St. Petersburg Times]
* Actor James Woods is suing a Rhode Island hospital over the death of his 49-year-old brother. [Fox News via AfterTheBeef]
* New Google Books settlement tonight. [Washington Post]
Over the weekend, the New York Times had an interesting article about compensation for Wall Street bankers. The article explained how, due to criticism from the public and from Congress, banks shifted employee comp away from cash and towards stocks and options. This shift was supposed to align pay with performance, averting an AIG situation of rewarding failure.
Now, thanks to the recovery in bank shares — fueled in part by generous government bailouts, and not necessarily the brilliant performance of bank employees — these stock and option grants are turning out to be super-lucrative. Here’s an interesting excerpt:
Goldman Sachs, for instance, sharply cut nearly all bonuses it paid last year but gave some executives more options than usual.
The company gave its general counsel, for example, 104,868 stock options and 14,117 shares in December, when the bank’s stock was around $78.
Now the bank’s shares have more than doubled in value, making that stock and option award worth nearly $12 million, according to Equilar, an executive compensation research firm in Redwood Shores, Calif.
Sullivan & Cromwell partners, eat your hearts out. Not only does Goldman GC Gregory Palm get to boss you around, he also makes more money than you do.
Way more. Get a hint of how much, after the jump.
It was pretty hard to miss this week’s big news: unemployment crashed through the 10% barrier, hitting 10.2% in October – the highest level since 1983 (and, of course, worse than predicted). Underemployment also hit record levels, with the number of self-reported disenfranchised and under-utilized people reaching 17.5%.
Republicans jumped on the numbers as a sign that Obama’s package has failed, and the White House countered that it has saved almost 700,000 jobs. But that claim doesn’t even come close to addressing the original estimates and is completely unmeasurable. Still, the administration is reconsidering ideas it had previously rejected, like a highway bill and a business tax credit for new hires, even as they ask for two versions of a budget: one with flat spending and another with a 5% cut.
Law firms got their place in the MSM sun this week, as Bloomberg used a former law-firm employee as an example of increased migration to areas perceived as having jobs:
Some people are pulling up stakes and moving to where they think the job prospects may be brighter. Beth Rubin, 41, lost her position as a receptionist at the law firm Goldstein Bershad & Fried, PC in Southfield, Michigan, in October. The resident of Ferndale, a Detroit suburb, is now selling her furniture and moving to Georgia. “I’m looking to get a job in Georgia, and I don’t know about the job market there, but I can tell you Michigan is horrible,” Rubin said in a telephone interview.
Of course, anything has to be better than Detroit.
More on the highs and lows in the legal sector, after the jump.
* Congratulations to Marc Randazza, ATL’s counsel in Jones v. Minkin, on another successful representation. [The Legal Satyricon]
* Speaking of free speech, is a college acting unconstitutionally by banning so-called “empty-holster protests”? [Courthouse News Service]
* Maryland bar exam results are out. Congrats to all who passed! [Maryland State Board of Law Examiners]
* In the wake of the Maine vote, is there such a thing as “Gay Apartheid”? [Transracial]
* Remember the Notre Dame 1L impersonator? He may be “weird and unethical,” but he didn’t break any laws. [WNDU]
* The ATL running group will be meeting tomorrow (Saturday) at 10 a.m., at the East River 6th Street track. All are welcome. [Above the Law]
Associates at Cleary Gottlieb may not be starting their weekends on a happy note. But for legal secretary Kathy Henry, the weekend is off to a very good start.
Judge vacates $1.26B ruling against PepsiCo
Earlier: Legal Secretary of the Day: Pepsi’s $1.26 Billion Mistake
We have confirmed the news of a Cravath bonus match with multiple sources at Cleary Gottlieb. One exchange went something like this:
ATL: Any good news today?
CGSH: No. Cravath news. Bonus FAIL.
So the 2009 bonus market is probably going to coalesce around the Cravath-level bonuses — unless S&C shows up and trumps CSM. Stay tuned.
The timing of the announcement is telling. Usually bad news is saved for Friday afternoons, so it gets lost in the pre-weekend shuffle. Did CGSH view its bonus numbers as potentially disappointing to the recipients?
Perhaps. In our reader poll on the Cravath bonuses, a majority of respondents said the CSM bonuses made them either “unhappy” or “very unhappy” (the most popular choice). Approximately 30 percent said the bonuses made them “neither happy nor unhappy.” Under 20 percent said the bonuses made them “happy” or “very happy.”
The Cleary memo and another READER POLL, after the jump.
As we mentioned earlier this week, Steve Sanders — a fourth-year associate at Mayer Brown, no relation to the 90210 character — argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
When we emailed him on Wednesday to set up an interview, we received this rather straightforward Out of Office message:
I’ll be traveling on client and professional business Monday, 11/2 through Saturday, 11/7. I will have access to email, but my response may be delayed. Thanks.
How modest! If we had been in Sanders’s shoes, we would have used this Out of Office auto-reply:
Oyez, bitchez!!! Today I’m arguing before the freakin’ Supreme Court of the United States.
But that’s not Steve Sanders’s style. He is dignified and professional, as we discovered when we caught up with him by phone after his argument.
Damian Bonazzoli is a senior staff attorney for the Massachusetts Appeals Court. According to the ABA Journal, he likely makes a five-figure salary. Apparently that wasn’t enough money for him. His entrepreneurial side business got him caught up in a journalist’s term-paper-trafficking sting operation.
Colman Herman wrote a piece for Commonwealth magazine exploring the “shadowy underworld” of college papers for purchase. The journalist went cruising on Craigslist for people advertising thesis-generating services. He e-mailed 66 people. Among the 62 respondents was Bonazzoli:
Damian Bonazzolli (sic), who promised a “quality grade” if he was hired to write the 20-page paper, responded to an initial inquiry by sending, unsolicited, his résumé. It indicated he is a senior staff attorney for the Massachusetts Appeals Court, a job that pays him $94,000 a year, according to state records. He wanted $300 to write the paper on physician-assisted suicide.
In an email exchange, Bonazzolli (sic) [FN1] said turning in a paper that he had written would not be illegal. “I am aware of no state or federal statute that prohibits such a practice. This is not the equivalent of, say, lying on a federal employment or tax form,” he said. “Could your school take disciplinary action? Of course. But that’s quite different from a criminal prosecution.”
We hope no law students have hired Bonazzoli to do legal analysis for them. His is not up to par when it comes to Massachusetts law.
As expected, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner easily won our October Couple of the Month poll. You can read all about Ivanka’s newlywed bliss here, here, and here (she’s already “gadding about the city ringless.”)
Now we plummet back to earth to turn the LEWW spotlight on more ordinary folk. This week’s contestant-couples:
Get the scoop on these newlyweds, after the jump.
We have reported on the proposed merger of Southern New England School of Law with the University of Massachusetts, which would bring the first public law school to the state. At the time, I wrote:
I mean no offense by this, but isn’t the Southern New England School of Law not a very good law school? There’s a reason the school isn’t accredited, right? I just don’t see how raising the profile of bad law schools is the right way to go.
Apparently, Southern New England School of Law took offense. The Boston Globe reports:
“My students and faculty have been maligned,” the school’s dean, Robert Ward, said during a recent tour of campus, a 75,000-square-foot three-story building next to an outlet mall in North Dartmouth.
Ward acknowledged his school has a way to go to meet national accreditation standards, but said it is far from the crumbling, financially destitute failure critics portray it to be.
He noted a retired appeals court judge — a Harvard Law graduate, no less — among his 13-member faculty.
Putting aside the question of whether or not Southern New England is a good school, can we get back to the question of whether Massachusetts needs a public law school?