Poor James Sandman. He’s a partner at Arnold & Porter, one of Washington’s most prestigious law firms, and he’s president of the DC Bar. But ever since he wrote that mean article complaining about associate pay raises, nobody will sit next to him at parties….
(Okay, we jest. The seats next to Jim Sandman were subsequently filled. In fact, he was at our table — and we found him to be a most agreeable dinner companion. There were some associates sitting near him, and Mr. Sandman made no attempt to steal food from their mouths.)
Earlier this week, we attended — and served as the emcee for — the annual benefit dinner of the Asian Pacific American Bar Assocation Educational Fund (AEF).
It was a wonderful event (and not just ’cause we won two Supreme Court bobbleheads in the silent auction). It featured inspiring speeches from Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, executive director of Boat People SOS, and Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii. It was tons of fun. And it raised money for AEF’s charitable and educational activities, including its public service fellowships for law students.
Of course we took lots of pictures. Check out the first batch — more will follow later — after the jump.
- Aaron Charney, Biglaw, Gallion & Spielvogel, Gandolfo "Vince" DiBlasi, Gay, Gera Grinberg, Sullivan & Cromwell
We’ve reviewed the excerpts from the Aaron Charney deposition that were attached to Charney’s court filings from yesterday. We’ve culled out some highlights, so you can review them for yourself and reach your own conclusions.
(We realize, of course, that this is just Aaron Charney’s side of the story. But at this point, in the absence of deposition testimony from Gera Grinberg or any S&C lawyers, it’s all we’ve got. Obviously you should read it with the caveat that Charney isn’t exactly a disinterested witness.)
For starters, here’s Charney’s testimony about the alleged “we’ve represented the Nazis” comment by Sullivan & Cromwell partner Gandolfo “Vince” DiBlasi:
Additional juicy excerpts, after the jump.
Here’s an open thread to discuss compensation developments at intellectual property firms. We’ll kick off the discussion with this tip:
Morgan & Finnegan (following competitors Dickstein, Fitzpatrick Cella, Kenyon & Kenyon, and Fish & Richardson) is now at $160,000/year effective April 1. Most of the associates are in the New York office, so I’m not sure how this affects DC.
This year’s summer class is making more then 25% more than last year’s summer class. (The firm didn’t go to $135K for regular associates until the middle of last summer, and they didn’t adjust summer associate salaries.)
We don’t want to leave the IP folks out of all the fun. Please gossip away in the comments!
Earlier: Prior news about associate pay raises (scroll down)
We may have something new and juicy to report in the near future. But we can’t say anything just yet — and must proceed with caution with this item.
The potential story concerns the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Washington, DC. Thomas DiBiase, also known as Tad DiBiase, is (or possibly was) an assistant U.S. attorney in the office. He served (and may still serve) as Director of Professional Development for the office, as well as Deputy Chief of the Homicide Section. He has been described to us as a tremendously talented lawyer, with a bright future and excellent political connections.
Anyway, we are hearing some, er, interesting things about him. We’ve placed some phone calls and sent out some emails, but they have been unreturned so far. We tried contacting Channing Phillips, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; a lawyer we were told is representing Mr. DiBiase; and Mr. DiBiase himself. Nobody got back to us (but we note our efforts for the record).
When we sent a message to Thomas DiBiase’s DOJ email address, we received this Out of Office AutoReply:
I will be out of the office until further notice. I will not be checking my email. Please call Glenn Kirschner at 514-xxxx regarding any homicide matters.
So we must turn to you, our readers. If you have some interesting information to share with us about Mr. DiBiase, please email us (subject line: “Tad DiBiase”). Thanks.
* And you think Angelina’s babies will have issues. [New York Daily News; New York Post]
* Why no one dress coded the cut-off denim shorts/Uggs combination at my Southern California high school in the early 90s is beyond me. [New York Times]
* This is not remotely law-minded, but I just know some member is going to sue Harvard for fostering a religiously hostile environment that inevitably leads to that great equalizer that is college sex. Even the co-founder admits he “slipped
in up” once before. [BreitBart]
* It’s only okay to use a woman’s pregnancy against her when you’re dumping her ass for another woman. [ACS Blog]
We received the following email from the offices of Michael Kennedy, one of Aaron Charney’s lawyers, with a request to transmit it to ATL readers:
The Law Offices of Michael Kennedy have been contacted by individuals with first hand knowledge about the allegations set forth in the matter Aaron Brett Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Apparently, some witnesses have been apprehensive about coming forward with information.
If you have witnessed any of the events or observed the atmosphere of intolerance, harassment, or retaliation described in that complaint, then we would like to hear from you too. We may be contacted at our office, 212-935-4500, or at CHARNEYINVESTIGATION at GMAIL.COM.
Please note that the posting of this email should not be interpreted as our siding with Aaron Charney in this litigation. We are simply functioning as a clearinghouse for information about the case.
As ATL readers know, we post emails from our correspondents all the time. For example, we previously posted journalist Robert Kolker’s request for information about Charney v. S&C. And if Sullivan & Cromwell or the firm’s outside counsel, Paul Hastings, were to make a similar request of us, we would happily comply.
As reported last month by The BLT and Roll Call (subscription), Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and his wife, Martha Alito, are selling their million-dollar New Jersey home. Here’s the listing.
But if you were hoping to purchase a piece of history, you’re probably out of luck. The judicial manse appears to be under contract.
That won’t stop us, however, from engaging in a little ogling. Here’s what the listing originally looked like, before the photographs were removed:
More about this supremely appealing residence, after the jump.
Do we pay too much attention to appearances here at ATL? Maybe. Who else would sponsor a U.S. Attorneys hotties contest?
But at least we’re honest about our superficiality — unlike jurors in criminal cases. From the Evening Standard (London):
Good looks could help guilty defendants dodge justice, researchers have said….
[A recent study showed] that attractive suspects were more likely to be acquitted, despite there being no extra evidence in their favour.
Sandie Taylor, the psychologist who conducted the study, said: “We set out to consider the influence of physical attractiveness and ethnicity of a defendant depicted in a photograph on mock jurors’ decisions of verdict, extent of guilt and sentencing….”
“Attractive defendants are, it seems, rated less harshly than homely defendants, so perhaps justice isn’t blind after all.”
The study showed that while the jurors were swayed by attractiveness, they did not let race cloud their judgment. Black and white suspects were treated equally. When black suspects were convicted, however, they were given longer sentences.
“It is interesting that being an unattractive black defendant only had an impact on sentencing and not on a juror’s verdict of guilt,” Dr Taylor told the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in York.
Upshot: If Naomi Campbell beats up another housekeeper and is tried before a jury, she’s getting acquitted.
Ugly defendants ‘more likely to be found guilty than attractive ones’ [Evening Standard via Drudge Report]
We’re heading off for a lunch meeting. So we won’t be at our computer when former senator (and trial lawyer extraordinaire) John Edwards holds his noon press conference.
The Edwards campaign hasn’t disclosed what the announcement will be. But according to Ben Smith of The Politico, Edwards “is suspending his campaign for President, and may drop out completely, because his wife has suffered a recurrence of the cancer that sickened her in 2004, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Please use this open thread to discuss anything interesting that happens while we’re gone, including the Edwards announcement. We also hope Alberto Gonzales doesn’t step down as Attorney General while we’re away.
(Actually, maybe AG Gonzales will survive the U.S. Attorney firestorm. It seems that in the past day or two, the departure buzz has quieted slightly. Should Alberto Gonzales be upgraded from critical to stable condition?)
Update: Whoops! Even the MSM gets things wrong sometimes. Ben Smith’s mea culpa appears here.
Edwards to Suspend Campaign [The Politico]
Getting It Wrong [The Politico]
As some of you may have noticed, we have fallen hopelessly behind in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. We’re over a month behind. We were hoping to catch up, but we’ve now reached the point where we must admit defeat.
(Do any of you hoard newspapers or magazines that you tell yourself you’ll read “eventually”? And then the pile just gets bigger and bigger, until you finally have to admit that it’s not happening, and take them all down to recycling? We’ve reached that point with LEWW.)
So here’s the thing. As one of you suggested in a comment, we’re putting Legal Eagle Wedding Watch on hiatus. It probably won’t be permanent, but it will likely last at least until the summer months, when lawyer weddings (and weddings generally) go into full swing.
But here’s one possibility we’ll leave open. If we can find a writer who would be willing to take over authorship of LEWW from us, then we will gladly hand over the column to him or her, starting now.
If you might be interested in writing Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, please email us (subject line: “LEWW Application”). Please tell us a little bit about yourself and explain why you’d be the ideal writer for this column. You can write under your own name or a pseudonym. And if you have ideas for taking the column in a different direction, changing the scoring system, etc., that’s fine too — we’d love to hear them. Thanks!
Earlier this week, we wrote about Sullivan & Cromwell’s new $50,000 clerkship bonus. We have confirmed this news with multiple sources, so you can take it to the bank.
This message about the S&C clerkship bonus bump included an amusing digression:
“You may be interested to know that S&C just called its incoming associates who are clerking to inform them of the 50K bonus. Since I accepted my offer from them, I have never once heard a peep from them about salary.”
“But they did send me a Christmas basket. Which turned out to be pretty pathetic, consisting of a soda pop, a tin of caramel corn, a Hershey bar, and a dvd of The Paper Chase.”
“I’m still puzzling over the last one. Maybe they’re trying to insinuate that firm life isn’t much worse than law school?”
So which S&C partner is the Professor Kingsfield of 125 Broad Street?
Earlier: Skaddenfreude: Sullivan & Cromwell’s Clerkship Bonus