The 10th Circuit had an ugly case on its hands last week. While all psychotherapy seems mildly sadistic, this case is especially bad.
Per Wikipedia, psychotherapy is supposed to “increase an individual’s sense of well-being and reduce subjective discomforting experience.” A Kansas couple running a home for the mentally ill had a slightly different approach. It involved a stun gun and mutual shaving of private parts.
[T]he Kaufmans forced residents to “perform sexually explicit acts and farm labor in the nude while maintaining that these acts constituted legitimate psychotherapy for the residents’ mental illnesses. Moreover, the Kaufmans billed Medicare and the residents’ families for the therapy.”
Investigators seized videotapes showing the schizophrenic residents masturbating and posing nude at Kaufman’s direction. “Eventually,” the 10th Circuit noted,”the Kaufman House developed rules that required some of the residents to be nude when engaging in certain activities–for example participating in group therapy sessions, eating dinner, and watching television.”
It’s like a twisted version of Green Acres. Psychotherapists Arlan and Linda Kaufman were convicted in November 2006 for “forced labor and holding clients in involuntary servitude.”
They appealed because the judge in the trial ordered them to avoid eye contact with the former clients who testified against them. The Kaufmans claimed this violated their constitutional right to confront their accusers.
The 10th Circuit “acknowledged the Kaufmans had ‘considerable support’ for their argument, but ultimately concluded their substantial rights were not violated.” They’ll be heading to prison for 30 years. On the upside, maybe they’ll discover some new psychotherapy techniques to add to their repertoire.
Amidst all the depressing talk of layoffs and cold offers, here’s a little mergers and aquisitions news to brighten your Monday: Even in a bad economy, the wedding machine grinds on. In fact, we’ve noticed a slight uptick in the number of registries at Neiman Marcus. So how bad can things be, really?
* Okay, restaurant workers are suing their employers. Do you hear that Biglaw associates? I want everybody to stand up, go to the window, and scream … (Oh who am I kidding? If we try to blackmail them, they’ll just push us out a higher window.) [Midtown Lunch]
* Could Randy Moss become a SCOTUS justice? It depends on which one you are talking about. [Holy Hullabaloos]
Here’s some (more terrible) news that we don’t want to get passed over just because it’s late on a Friday.
We are hearing reports that a number of associates will be laid off from Greenberg Traurig today. As we understand it, the layoffs are focused in the New York office and are being conducted right now. They hope to be finished before the close of business today.
The firm declined to respond to an immediate request for comment, but our tipsters report that the Real Estate practice group is going to be hit the hardest. The numbers are too varied from our sources to be able to confirm how many associates are being let go today.
In terms of severance, tipsters have confirmed that the laid off associates will receive a two month package.
The new firm motto of Greenberg is: “We’re Built for Change.” We hope the same can be said of their former real estate associates.
Thacher Proffitt and Wood has declined to comment on the latest reports coming out of their New York office, but we now have multiple tipsters that are reporting on layoffs in TPW’s structured finance practice group.
Today’s cuts appear to be directed at staff. Paralegals were informed throughout the day of management’s decisions.
Another tipster reported that attorney layoffs are expected to follow soon. They were expected by the end of the day, but as of this writing that does not appear to have happened.
These rumors bring together two forces most ATL readers are already aware of: the complete lack of structured finance work, and the difficult state of affairs over at TPW.
The knives have been out for TPW for months. Over the summer, they had to tamp down dissolution rumors. Then a potential merger with King & Spalding fell through. At the end of October, TPW abandoned its outpost in White Plains, NY.
Update (12/11/2008): Actually, as of this date, TPW and KS are still in talks (but not for a complete merger; KS may pick up roughly half of TPW’s lawyers).
Here’s our best attempt to tie up a few loose ends on the strange saga of Columbia’s Career Services’ Dean, Ellen Wayne.
Many CLS students were, frankly, pissed to hear of Dean Wayne’s departure via ATL. This
was sent to the entire law student body earlier this week:
As you may know, speculation has circulated the law school and the Internet regarding changes at Career Services. Your student representatives are aware of the situation and have been meeting with administrators throughout the day. In these meetings, we have stressed the importance of providing students with as timely and accurate information as events allow.
We anticipate more information will be provided as soon as practicable. In the meantime, we ask for your patience. Career Services is in full operation; 1L resume reviews will continue and the LL.M. job fair will take place early next year. It is unfortunate that many of us learned of this situation from sources other than the law school administration. Please know that we are aware of the situation, have been strenuously advocating on your behalf, and will strive to provide additional information as appropriate.
The Student Senate
Apparently, “as soon as practicable” turned out to be Friday. But we’re not sure the following message contained the details that most CLS students were looking for:
From: Ed Moroni.
Dean of Career Services Ellen Wayne has resigned from her position after 14 years of dedicated service to the Columbia Law School. During this time the Office of Career Services delivered very high rates of job placement for our students – often 100 percent – in addition to advisement and placement services in support of our alumni. Over her long tenure, Dean
Wayne assisted and counseled literally thousands of students and graduates of the Law School. Among her many accomplishments, she also initiated a full-service program and multi-law-school job fair for LL.M. students, and enhanced and professionalized the EIP recruitment event for J.D. candidates.
We thank her for her service and wish her well in all of her future endeavors.
To ensure a smooth transition while we search for a permanent replacement, former director of career services Natasha Patel has agreed to serve as Acting Dean of Career Services. Natasha will return to Columbia on December 8, 2008. The Career Services Office remains in full operation. Students and others should contact the appropriate person as listed in the
following directory, http://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/career_services/staff, who will
continue to provide services and programming for our students.
Associate Dean for Administration and Finance
Columbia Law School
So, we still don’t officially know whether Dean Wayne left voluntarily or was asked to leave, or any of the reasons for her departure.
A tipster puts an interesting spin on the situation after the jump.
The legal community is still buzzing with reaction to the news of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s layoffs of 40 attorneys — while White & Case sacrifices blood and treasure to the altar of “good timing.”
We don’t want to pile onto Orrick, we know a lot of good people that work there. But Ralph Baxter’s interview with the AmLaw Daily today is … a little weird.
Yesterday, we noted that Orrick’s layoffs come a month after they acquired a bunch of Heller Ehrman partners. Baxter addressed that issue specifically with AmLaw … depending on your definition of “addressed”:
What do you say to people who will look at your decision to hire 27 former Heller attorneys in early October, a month before this decision?
You take these two facts together (the Heller hirings and the layoffs), and you get a focused picture of Orrick. We’re bullish about the future, bullish about the role of lawyers in global finance, and we are boldly taking action to diversify Orrick’s practice. All of the Heller lawyers who joined us were in practice areas that are litigation-oriented. Compared with the layoffs, it’s apples and oranges. They are mostly partners, and they bring business with them.
Allow me to translate:
You see, there are these things called Apples. And man, let me tell you, Apples are the future. But unfortunately, there are these other things called Oranges, and Oranges are so obsolete, so yesterday. Really, IN THE FUTURE, the only thing Oranges will be good for is Juice. So we said, screw it man, let’s make some Juice. Let’s make some now! Because the future is now. Apples and Pulp bro’. Don’t sleep.
Other highlights from Baxter’s interview after the jump.
We have been engaged in a long-term review of our cost structure and due to improvements and efficiencies with our technology and processes, we determined that lower staffing levels are appropriate.
Meeting and exceeding our clients’ needs remains our top priority. We, like other law firms and businesses, continually strive to best position the firm. We felt it necessary to take proactive measures to align our talent with our client needs
We understand that 50 staffers were laid off: 25 from the Boston office, and 25 across all other EAPD offices. The firm said that no associates were laid off as part of this long-term review.
The firm could not provide us with information about the severance package offered to staff.
* Felons can join the Army but not the New York police force. But New York State Supreme Court Judge Henry Kron wants to change that rule for Afghanistan war veteran, Osvaldo Hernandez, who served a year on Rikers Island for gun possession before joining the Army. [New York Times]
* Former O’Melveny & Myers partner Ron Klain (a.k.a. Kevin Spacey in Recount) is Joe Biden’s pick for chief of staff. [Politico]
* Woman suing Kansas City Chief running back Larry Johnson (not Grandmama). After she rejected his advances, he allegedly spit his drink in her face, threatened her life, and ordered his bodyguards to administer a beatdown. [Courthouse News Service]
* New North Carolina senator is not a sore winner. Senator-elect Kay Hagan drops her suit against Senator-not-for-long Elizabeth Dole. Hagan had sued for defamation after Dole ran a TV ad accusing her of being “godless.” [CNN]
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The 2014-2015 law school year is now in full swing. 1Ls are grappling with the strange new world of the Socratic Method and briefing cases. 2Ls are hoping to score some sort of job out of the fall interviewing season. And 3Ls are wondering just what the heck they’re even doing on campus. If, in fact, they are even on campus at all. ATL’s law school experts have designed this challenge to help determine how much you know about the realities of the 3L experience.