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We agree with the Networks that the indecency policy is impermissibly vague. The first problem arises in the FCC’s determination as to which words or expressions are patently offensive. For instance, while the FCC concluded that “bullshit” in a “NYPD Blue” episode was patently offensive, it concluded that “dick” and “dickhead” were not. Other expletives such as “pissed off,” up yours,” “kiss my ass,” and “wiping his ass” were also not found to be patently offensive.

– Judge Rosemary S. Pooler, in a Second Circuit opinion in a case remanded by the Supreme Court. The Second Circuit struck down an FCC obscenity rule for being unconstitutionally vague and violating the First Amendment.

The meteoric rise of Facebook has tended to inspire lawsuits by those who claim to have collaborated with Mark Zuckerberg in the site’s creation. The latest to make a claim on the 500-million-member site is a wood chipper man in New York. We don’t understand how Paul D. Ceglia went from writing code to producing wood pellets, but so be it.

In his lawsuit (via Gawker), he claims to have made a contract with Zuckerberg in 2003 to help design “The Face Book” for $1,000 plus 50% of the site’s revenue, with an added 1% per day until the site was launched. This sounds like the stupidest (and most typo-ridden) contract ever — Zuckerberg went to Harvard and this guy chops wood, so we’re skeptical (though we do know the Ivy League doesn’t teach common sense).

The Guardian reports that Facebook has “dismissed the case as ‘frivolous’ and ‘outlandish’, said it will fight it vigorously and pointed out that a lawsuit over a contract broken in 2003 is ‘almost certainly barred’ by the statute of limitation.”

The judge in Allegheny County Supreme Court is taking the claim very seriously though. Judge Thomas Brown has frozen Facebook’s assets while the case is pending…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Facebook Wants to De-Friend State Court”

The founders of this Oman-based law firm obviously haven’t seen American Pie:

Law Firm Fail [Fail Blog]

Last year, in our douchiest law school competition, Duke Law was crowned as the douchiest law school in the land. But we might have to run the contest again based on the new information we have about UVA Law.

On the law school’s website, the school is posting summer associate stories from UVA students who were able to secure SA positions. The one posted yesterday is so full of sweetness I developed adult-onset diabetes before I finished the post. It’s 565 words from a rising 2L at UVA about the (apparently glorious) opportunities available at Arent Fox. Yes, that’s the same Arent Fox that revoked offers to several members of its incoming associate class this past September. I think we can safely say that the idyllic summer experience at the firm isn’t at all like the nightmarish reality of getting your career aborted before it starts.

But such weighty issues are of no concern to this UVA student. You’ve got to check out her report.

Warning: you are about to enter a trippy world of lollipops and rainbows, so proceed with caution….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “UVA Law Stakes Claim to Become the Douchiest Law School of All Time”

We are updating the Career Center and want to know what you think of your summer program.  Are the attorneys at your firm screamers or camp counselors? Are you eating at 5-star restaurants, or splitting meals from the Dollar Menu at McDonalds? Are you working on the next mega-merger, or picking up a partner’s dry cleaning?

Let us know about your firm and its summer associate program by taking the short but substantive Lateral Link Summer Associate Survey. The survey should only take you five minutes and is completely anonymous. Gloat about your experiences or warn law students about the real summer associate life. Your responses will give future summer associates the "I-wish-I-knew-those-answers-before-I-joined" information about the firm that isn’t on the recruiting brochures.

Click here to start the survey.

After you complete the survey, feel free to visit the Career Center and review what the current associates at the nation’s top firms think about their experience.

A couple of days ago, a survey came out showing that the wage gap between male and female partners is still very large. The National Law Journal put it this way:

It’s no secret that women earn less than their male colleagues at law firms. The National Association of Women Lawyers concluded last year that female equity partners make an average $66,000 less a year than male equivalents.

This news was met with a tremendous yawn.

Amazing. We’re living in a world where women who rise to the top of their profession still suffer a ridiculous income gap, and nobody seems to care very much. Even my ATL co-editor Kashmir Hill said: “Women get paid less than men. D’uh.” So much for righteous indignation. The suffragettes must be thrilled…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Wage Gap Persists Among Female Partners: Where’s the Outrage?”

Hippocrate “Cheecho” Mertsaris: Does he have a weakness for judicial buttocks?

In a few weeks, an interesting trial will be getting underway in Queens Criminal Court here in New York. The underlying incident should provide fodder for either a Lawyer of the Day or a Judge of the Day — but it’s not clear which.

The episode giving rise to the criminal charges was reported back in May by the New York Daily News:

A disabled lawyer accused of touching the rear end of a Taxi and Limousine Commission judge is blaming it on his cerebral palsy. Queens prosecutors have charged Hippocrate Mertsaris, 35, with sexual abuse and sexual harassment for allegedly grabbing the woman’s inner thigh and buttocks during a meeting in her Kew Gardens offices.

Mertsaris’ lawyer, Wyatt Gibbons, admits his client touched the woman but denies it was sexual. “He whacked her in the butt but it wasn’t sexual abuse,” Gibbons said. “He has spastic movements.”

Let’s dig a little deeper….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day, or Judge of the Day? We Report, You Decide.”

It’s not every day that we see a Biglaw associate on the cover of a celebrity gossip magazine. So we were a bit shocked when a tipster sent along the scanned image (right) of last week’s In Touch magazine, with this message:

The guy identified as “Ali’s new guy” in this week’s Intouch weekly (and pictured on the cover) is a Skadden associate — and I think a fairly well-regarded one at that.

Ali, of course, is the current star of The Bachelorette. Background from our resident celeb gossip expert Marin:

This season stars Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, an unemployed 25-year-old who quit her job at Facebook and moved back in with her parents to be on the show. Fans of the series will recall that Ali was a castoff from last season’s Bachelor, where she endeared herself to fans by wearing low-cut dresses, crying frequently, and vaguely resembling a poor man’s Reese Witherspoon as seen in dim light through cataracts. Anyhow, she’s back this season and more determined than ever to find love with one of 25 white bachelors, not including the one Hispanic dude, Roberto.

The Skadden Arps associate is not one of the two lawyers who was competing for her hand on the show. So this story would ruin the season, if true. Who is this associate?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Skadden Associate Graces The Cover of In Touch Magazine Thanks to Rumored Relationship with The Bachelorette”

The heady days of the “mutual assured destruction” approach to associate compensation by Biglaw firms are behind us. But some associates would still like to see how they are doing in comparison to their colleagues at other firms. A tipster recently wrote us:

Can you do a post requesting commenters to post grade schedules a la greedyassociates back in the day showing salary per year. This would make comparisons easier. I’ll start:

Sheppard Mullin
1st year 145K
2nd 160
3rd 170
4th 185
5th 210
6th 225
then it gets vague with a range from 240-265K.

Some of this information is available in the firm profiles on the Above the Law Career Center. But as good greedy Sheppard-ite must know, comparing salaries is much more complicated these days due to some firms instituting merit-based compensation models.

WilmerHale is one of those firms. Yesterday, Wilmer released its projected salary structure for 2011. We’ll see if it’s a merit-based market leader…

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* Debt collection is big business for law firms, and a big annoyance for court systems. [New York Times]

* Former Florida Senator Mel Martinez’s tenure at DLA Piper was fairly brief. [Dealbook/New York Times]

* More law lessons for Lindsay Lohan, from the professor whose law review article she twee-quoted. [ABA Journal]

* John Stamos will now forever be “creepy Uncle” Jesse. [NBC News]

* Blago lawyers want a trial delay. [ABC 7]

* The attorney thorn in the DOJ’s side. [Post and Courier]

Mel Gibson. (In background is his career going up in flames.)

Sorry, Braveheart fans. You can no longer name this movie as your favorite of all time without making women around you shudder in disgust — thanks to the off-screen actions of the film’s barbaric leading man.

Mel Gibson used to be a perfect man crush: squeaky clean Hollywood blockbusting-star, with a big family and serious passion. But now his major hits tend to be for gossip websites reporting on his misdeeds, first with his anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for drunken driving in 2006 (later expunged from his record), then with the end of his 28-year marriage amid accusations of adultery, and now with the alleged battery of and abusive phone calls to his current Russian-musician girlfriend/baby mama.

Gibson usually plays an affable and inspiring good guy in films. But in real-life phone calls to his girlfriend — check out recordings #1 and #2 (with added death threats and heavy panting!) — it sounds like he’s auditioning for a horror movie, using his mouth as a lethal weapon. Here’s a censored version of one of the calls (so you can listen with your kids), from the AP:

Gibson’s girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, taped the calls after Gibson allegedly punched her in the face and broke a few teeth — all while she was holding their love child. California is a two-party consent state when it comes to taping conversations, with $2,500 fines and jail time for those that break the wiretapping law.

Could Grigorieva get in trouble for recording Mad Mel?

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* Now that Sonia from the Block is on the Court, she should be able to make a little bit of scratch with her memoirs. [New York Times]

* Is your Biglaw job ruining your Sunday even on Sundays you don’t have to go into the office? If so, it might be time to find yourself a new job. [TechnoLawyer]

* David Boies explains how to intimidate homophobes. [The Atlantic]

* Great, the last thing we need is a bunch of CPA’s — people who already have perfectly fine careers — going to law school and contributing to the massive oversupply of lawyers. [Going Concern]

* Just how much talent do you need in order to be able to get away with rape? [Jane Genova]

* A Blawg Review devoted to the Id. [Lawyerist via Blawg Review]

* In other legal wrap-up news, who knew the blawgosphere was so very much like a carnival? [Compliance Building]

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