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It’s good to be gay at Google — or a “Gaygler,” as they call themselves. And not just because the company sometimes has a float in the San Francisco Pride parade.

The New York Times recently reported:

[Last] Thursday, Google [began] covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay. The increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the year.

“It’s a fairly cutting edge thing to do,” said Todd A. Solomon, a partner in the employee benefits department of McDermott Will & Emery, a law firm in Chicago, and author of “Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide.”

Why do gay and lesbian employees pay more in taxes to begin with?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Google’s Gay Gross-Up”

* In its review of the 2009/2010 term of the Supreme Court, the New York Times editorial board gives it a thumbs down. [New York Times]

* Illinois woman files a RICO complaint against Jersey Shore for organized criminal activity to promote profits. [Courthouse News Service; Asbury Park Press]

* The Ninth Circuit will not abort a whistleblower suit against Planned Parenthood for birth control over-billing. [Catholic News Agency]

* Troy Davis, the Georgia death row inmate granted a hearing by the Supreme Court to prove his innocence to a federal judge, is swimming in uncharted legal waters. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

* 1Ls rush in at UMass Law. [Boston Globe]

* A case of possible voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party is causing discord at the DOJ. [Fox News]

Ed. note: Your Above the Law editors are still celebrating their freedom today. We will get back to our regular publishing schedule on Tuesday, July 6.

* The paper of political record gives Elena Kagan a thumbs up. [The Washington Post]

* States try to figure out what to do about cyberbullies. (And what kind of middle schooler has a Blackberry Tour?) [New York Times]

* An Oregon attorney got way too friendly with opposing counsel at an anniversary party. [Oregonian]

* The rise of the contract attorney. [The Legal Intelligencer]

* Joran van der Sloot sues the lawyer who represented him during his confession to Peruvian police. [Associated Press]

* Fourth of July eating contest sends Japanese champ to jail. [Associated Press]

Earlier this week, we solicited funny captions for this photo (a great image for the July 4th weekend, given all the American flags):

You responded with around 70 comments. This was a smaller-than-usual number of nominees, but they were of high quality. There were about 25 or so that we saw as worthy contenders. Alas, to make the contest workable, we winnowed the entries down to a shortlist of eight.

Check them out and vote — warning: some crude / juvenile humor ahead (if you can’t handle it, stop reading now) — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: Who Wants A Hug?”

* A moving eyewitness account of the last day of the Supreme Court’s October Term 2009, by Mike Sacks of First One @ One First. [ABA Journal]

* Summer associates, please tell us about the fun things your firm is doing with you, for you, or to you. [Above the Law]

* The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel is disappointed in the grades that its senators earned from Professor Elie. [Proof and Hearsay / Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel]

* Solo practitioners are afraid of becoming the Lewis & Clark Law School of the U.S. News rankings. [Smallfirmville]

* They’ve got a whole different definition of expert testimony in Vietnam. [MSNBC]

* Social media networking tips for lawyers: “Consider calling instead.” [New York Law Journal]

* “There’s always a place for cute shoes in the courtroom.” [Flashionista]

* “The primary misconception about ex-lawyers is that we remember any law.” [The Ex-Lawyers Club]

It has been a while since we last wrote about Gerald Ung, the Temple Law student who was arrested in January for shooting Edward “Eddie” DiDonato Jr. (a former college lacrosse star who also has a legal connection — his father is a partner at Fox Rothschild, the prominent Philadelphia firm). Today we have two updates.

First, a reader alerted us to some updates in the criminal case against Ung, who faces five charges, including attempted murder. According to the docket, it appears that a scheduling took place last week, on June 24, and a trial date was set.

The trial date: February 7, 2011. Wondered our reader: “Huh? Do they usually wait that long for an attempted murder trial?”

We have some thoughts on this, plus an update on Eddie DiDonato….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Update on the Temple Law Shooter: Trial Date Set
And the victim, Eddie DiDonato, continues to recover.

The Wisconsin State Supreme Court

There’s a simple rule in Wisconsin regarding judicial elections. You can’t make a campaign ad that knowingly misrepresents your opponent. While you’d imagine that reasonable people might disagree about what constitutes misrepresentation, one expects that judges wouldn’t really get anywhere close to the line.

But not so in the election between Justice Michael Gableman and Louis Butler. Gabelman made a controversial ad and won the election, and then all hell broke loose. People argued he violated judicial codes of conduct, it went to the State Supreme Court, Gabelman had to recuse himself, and then the court split 3 -3 and issued two different decisions. So, you know, all the trappings of anarchy.

Of course race is involved. Because people don’t generally lose their minds and start acting like idiots in this country unless race is involved somehow…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Wisconsin Supreme Court Devolves Into Anarchy”

A little over a year ago, law firms came up with a unique plan to deal with the problem of too many associates and not enough work to go around: the deferral. It did not apply just to incoming associates; it was also offered up to those already at the firm who were open to a year-long sabbatical.

We know that many of you decided (or had to) seek out work in the public sector. But when the mainstream media picked up on the fact that law firms were paying their employees to go away from a year, they focused on those doing fun things, like the Skadden Sidebar associate planning a trip around the world. How many other deferred dreamers have taken the opportunity to do something offbeat?

Or something about beats. Rap Genius, a website that analyzes rap lyrics (called ingenious by Nick Antosca of the Huffington Post for its breakdown of Empire State of Mind), is the creation of a DL Pursuer. The site is now nine months old, and Mahbod Moghadam (Stanford Law ’08) is hoping it’s his escape out of law. Which would be a good thing, since Dewey & LeBeouf is having a hard time reabsorbing its DL Pursuits associates.

Moghadam is quite a character: he sent us a bizarre photo involving a carrot, he’s the ex-boyfriend of Victoria of Downtown Girls, and he convinced two Yale friends to quit their jobs (at Google and D. E. Shaw) to work with him on Rap Genius. What kind of Jedi mind tricks is this guy using?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A ‘Genius’ Use of Deferral Time”

Shearman & Sterling is setting off some fireworks at the start of this Fourth of July weekend. It sent out a memo this morning to its deferred associates from 2009. (Remember them? They got $65,000 last year if they volunteered to go away until September 2010.)

The deferred associates expected a letter two months ago telling them about their practice groups and start dates, as well as $15,000 salary advance checks starting on June 15th. Those dates passed with no information or money. Today, the firm finally contacted them.

It has announced the start dates for these folks and they’re not in 2010. A Shearman tipster sent along the memo noting:

Here is the text from the just received memo that is f***ing me over… I am so pissed that I can’t really talk about it right now.

So what’s the deal?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Shearman & Sterling Belatedly Sets Start Dates for Deferred Class of 2009″

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to


I wasn’t going to send this in to ATL until I saw a post that informed me that some other schools will actually pay employers to try out their students post-graduation. Here at Northwestern U, graduates lacking jobs get insulting offers of $10/hr “for as many as ten hours” per week working for professors, which I presume is being done only an effort to avoid sinking NU’s post-graduation employment percentage. I don’t have a job…but should I take this $10/hr gig?

Fries With That

Dear Fries With That,

During the year and one month I was unemployed, I had rent to pay, a dog that required $120 haircuts called “The Trojan,” and a host of other expenses (waxing, highlights, youth serums, Lexapro, alcohol, etc) necessary to maintain my fierce looks and fresh personality….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: Too Good for $10?”

Working as a lawyer for the government is regarded by many as the life raft for riding out the recession. But thanks to shrinking budgets, attorneys in the public sector are also losing their jobs.

Yesterday the Bronx District Attorney, Robert T. Johnson, issued a letter announcing a layoff of 12 assistant district attorneys in his office, scheduled to take effect by the end of this month. The prosecutors who are losing their jobs have already been notified. Johnson blamed the New York City financial plan, which significantly reduces the office’s funding for the fiscal years of 2011, which started yesterday, and 2012.

The cuts were not unexpected, since Johnson had laid the groundwork for layoffs in a letter back in May. In that letter, first reported by the New York Daily News, Johnson predicted that he might have to lay off as many as 45 ADAs. So the cut of 12 ADAs could be seen as “good news,” since it’s smaller than some expected. (In his letter yesterday, Johnson said that he was able to avoid larger cuts thanks in part to some cost-saving measures in the office.)

But Robert Johnson announced another piece of news at the same time, which a number of veteran prosecutors found strange and upsetting….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: A Dozen Down at the Bronx DA’s Office”

It’s become clear that many college graduates make their decision to go to law school based on apathy, a critical misunderstanding of the legal market, and shocking hubris. As we’ve said many times, the decision to go to law school has become disassociated from the expected value of going to law school.

Prospective law students are flocking to law schools in droves. What’s going on at Duke Law School right now is just the latest evidence. Here’s part of a letter Duke Law sent out to people on its waitlist:

Since our tuition deposit deadline at the end of April, the class has been completely full. Although a few people have requested deferrals or otherwise changed their plans for the fall, we have not yet been able to make any additional offers of admission.

When the reigning champion of our douchiest law school competition is getting inundated with applications, you can see why law schools are quite comfortable charging more and more tuition…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Duke Law Waitlist Proves There’s No End in Sight To Lawyer Oversupply Problem”

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