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Moving in-house really is the golden ticket. Better hours, great pay, and you get to bitch around law firm partners and their associate underlings whenever you want. The only thing separating in-house counsel from the good life seems to be that they have to regularly slough into a stuffy corporate office everyday.

Well, one general counsel isn’t going to let the great indoors ruin his awesome job. The ABA Journal reports:

[Richard Russeth], an avid collector of books about tree house architecture, is taking on his own endeavor: building a sophisticated tree-office nestled 20-feet high in a grove of 50 to 90-feet tall pine trees near his home in Evergreen, Colo.

Did James Cameron put him up to this? Is this guy going to start communicating in Na’vi?

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CHECK YOU EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND. That appears to be the lesson learned by the New York office of litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel.

A source at QE recently sent us an email with this dramatic subject heading: “A rapist among us.. Quinn Emanuel.” Here’s the allegation:

[Earlier this month] our Records Manager, [name redacted - hereinafter "Got-a-Record Manager"], was fired. He’s been employed at Quinn for over 2 years. Termination Reason: He was a convicted rapist. He’s been convicted since 1987. He was charged with sodomy and first degree rape. I shudder to think that we had a rapist among us and the firm who claims to do background check on employees did not even catch this. An employee did a simple Google search on him and came up with it…. How did the firm miss this?

The tipster provided links to Got-a-Record Manager’s (1) LinkedIn profile, showing his employment at Quinn Emanuel as a “Records Manager,” and (2) a sex offender profile on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, containing Got-a-Record Manager’s name and photo. If you enter Got-a-Record Manager’s (uncommon) name into Google, the first result in his sex offender registration and the third result is his LinkedIn profile.

How did this come up? According to our source, “People just like to Google others for fun, and this time someone got a surprise.” Indeed.

Was Got-a-Record’s criminal record “a surprise” to the powers-that-be at QE? We reached out to the firm for comment….

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If Boston College Law Dean John Garvey was a J.R.R. Tolkien character, he’d be about to shadow fax in his letter of resignation to the BC administration. Eagleionline reports:

John H. Garvey, Dean of Boston College Law School, will be named the new President of Catholic University of America tomorrow…

The Catholic University of America (CUA), is the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See, CUA states that it “is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church.”

Regular ATL readers know that Dean Garvey has defended the Catholic interpretation of Jesus Christ before…

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Stripping might not be the oldest profession, but it is certainly a lucrative one. It’s a low impact way for some women to make a little extra money — and it’s legal. But how many women have availed themselves of this sensual revenue enhancement? If the New York Post is to be believed, strippers are all around us! And they’d like to keep their secret identities, well, secret:

Nearly two dozen current and former dancers for Rick’s Cabaret — including moms of school-age children — filed court papers yesterday seeking to block lawyers from contacting them about a pending class-action employment suit against the Midtown jiggle joint.

No word on whether the strippers are also seeking an injunction to place a gag order on Texas alum Vince Young

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Robert Skinner of Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray partner Rob Skinner was named a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation in 2009. They were surely impressed by his securities work on behalf of financial services clients. But Skinner may be a future star in musical theater, too.

That’s our prediction after watching a YouTube video from “Rob Skinner’s Midlife Crisis Cabaret,” a one-man show Skinner put on last month in honor of his 40th birthday. An attendee tells us:

Rob is a well-loved, youngish partner at Ropes, known for his being a bit over the top. After he turned 40, he wrote and arranged a one-man show, then rented out his local theater in Winchester, MA and performed it last month for friends, family, and a fair number of co-workers (plying us with drinks for a good while before hand). Not in any way a firm-sponsored event, although a fair number of partners were in attendance.

We discovered that partners are just as capable as associates of making fun of law firm life. Skinner did a Kermit-inspired number about lawyer TV shows. “The partners on TV shows are like Machiavelli. They own everything but their souls,” he sings. “They win their cases and have lunch with Satan, who joins them for 18 holes.”

We caught up with Skinner by email. Check out his hilarious video and an interview with this non-Satanic partner, after the jump.

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* Plaintiffs law firms get Google search savvy in advertising their services. This is such an ad. [Wall Street Journal]

* More of Gloria Allred’s twisted feminism? She’s taking Debrahlee Lorenzana‘s case. [CBS News]

* John Yoo is urging the Ninth Circuit to dismiss the lawsuit against him. [Associated Press]

* Divorce attorney stabbed twelve times by her client’s angry husband. [ABA Journal]

* Is Congress getting serious about monitoring do-it-yourself genetic testing? [Genomics Law Report]

* UC Irvine law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky endorses one-year suspension for the university’s Muslim student group after it disrupted a speech by the Israeli ambassador. [Los Angeles Times]

Former Akin Gump partner Ken Mehlman — a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School, just like Obama, but more known for his work in politics, also like Obama — has purchased a fabulous new Manhattan apartment. Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is settling in Chelsea, which has raised some eyebrows.

So how much did he pay for his place? And what does it look like?

Let’s take a peek….

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So you’ve been laid off. What do you do? There are so many options: sulk; cry; send out résumés; try to sell your degree; spend time in the Above the Law comments section, complaining about your deadbeat firm…

Or you could take your 2009 Porsche Cayman S on a road trip across America. That’s what a laid-off sixth-year associate did when she got canned by her prestigious AmLaw 20 firm. The associate from an East Coast office is keeping her identity under wraps, so we’ll call her Porschia.

The “double ivy league educated corporate lawyer” started a blog about her adventures, called Driving with Gusto, which has beautiful photos of spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties.

While the Porsche is a manual, we wouldn’t say she drives stick. Porschia is a lesbian, and so there are many fun tales of hot girl-on-girl action from across the fruited plains…

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* Different ways your Biglaw colleagues will try to destroy you. [TechnoLawyer]

* Debrahlee Lorenzana gets another lawyer. Hey, we know she’ll do whatever she can to augment her case. [American Banking & Marketing News]

* UC Irvine bans Muslim student union. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* How do you humanize violent defendants? [Underdog]

* For those who have been following the World Cup, it looks like South African fans will not have western standards of noise pollution unfairly imposed on them and their wonderful vuvuzelas. [AP]

* The best thing I can say about Quincy, Massachusetts is that it’s not Worcester, Massachusetts. That, and Quincy used to have some badass cliff quarry diving — which is the jumping off point for this week’s Blawg Review. [HealthBlawg via Blawg Review]

Now that both partnerships have voted, the merger between Sonnenschein and Denton Wilde is a done deal. But the ride between now and the effective merger date of September 30th could still be bumpy.

The first bump is coming from Thacher Proffitt & Wood. As TPW was dissolving, Sonnenschein scooped up 100 lawyers from Thacher Proffitt. The partners involved received significant compensation packages.

According to The Lawyer, those well-compensated partners are now thinking of leaving Sonnenschein, before the merger…

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A few weeks ago, we reported on how Dewey & LeBoeuf was being less than enthusiastic in welcoming back to the firm some participants in DL Pursuits, its year-long sabbatical program.

Dewey might not be alone in treating its returnees in this way. Simpson Thacher — widely regarded as having invented the public interest fellowship as an innovative way of dealing with the downturn, and praised for doing so — appears to be taking a similar approach. A source reports:

Simpson, creator of the public interest year, is reneging on its “guaranteed return” promise. Multiple corporate and satellite office associates who indicated interest in the return option were told either that there might not be capacity, or just outright that there isn’t a place for them. From the firm that “invented” and still spins this program as public service, that’s disappointing.

The number of public interest fellows who aren’t being invited back to the firm is not known. We don’t believe it’s a huge number — somewhere in the single digits. (If you have information, please email us.)

We reached out to Simpson for comment. The firm has a somewhat different characterization of what’s going on here….

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Back in February 2009, Latham & Watkins laid off 440 people. They weren’t the first firm to lay people off, they weren’t the last, and you can even argue that they didn’t even lay off the most associates in percentage terms.

But somehow Latham has taken a bigger public relations hit because of its layoffs than any other firm. The firm fell ten spots in last year’s Vault rankings. It’s been referenced in New York Times movie reviews in connection with lawyer layoffs. Hell, people turned Latham into a verb, and not a nice verb.

Now, the latest ignominy. The verb “Lathamed” isn’t just in Urban Dictionary; it’s in the Latham & Watkins firm description in the Chambers guide:

In 2008 gross revenue slipped to $2 billion and profits per equity partner were down by 21 percent, according to 2009 Am Law data. The initial response was a number of performance-related layoffs which was followed, in February 2009, by the laying off of another 190 associates and 250 support staff members. Such was the severity of the cuts that the expression “to be Lathamed” (which, by its most polite definition, means “to be laid off”) was coined.

How did it come to this for Latham?

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