* I sense a lucrative products liability niche practice area. [CNN]
* Both New Yorks sue Vioxx. [Jurist]
* ACLU takes a wide stance in favor of Larry Craig. [CNN]
* California can’t sue the car companies for breaking the planet. [New York Times]
* Lerach to plead guilty in Milberg Weiss case. [WSJ Law Blog]
* I sense a lucrative products liability niche practice area. [CNN]
Time for another installment of Lawyerly Lairs, in which we follow the high-end real estate purchases of high-profile attorneys. Today’s subject is Allen Grubman, the hotshot entertainment lawyer with oodles of celebrity clients, who has become a celebrity in his own right.
From the New York Observer:
[The Grubmans] paid $3.07 million for a condo and two storage rooms at 200 Chambers Street, a glitzy new development in Tribeca.
Their new plush place has 2,201 square feet, not including those two storage spaces. Mr. Grubman can drive down in his 1961 Jaguar convertible, a gift from his wife.
The monster Park Avenue music lawyer, whose clients include Springsteen and U2, plus Martha Stewart and Barbara Walters, might have heard about the place from his wife, Corcoran Group power broker Deborah Grubman.
Sounds pretty faboo, right? Well, not so fast….
* Don’t try doing #2 at the Larry Craig airport bathroom, unless you want tourists photographing your ankles in a “wide stance.” [BBC via Althouse; Idaho Statesman via Drudge]
* Did President Bush pick Michael Mukasey as his AG nominee to avoid a “bruising, potentially embarrassing fight” with the Democrats? Or is that analysis “way too facile”? [NYObserver.com; Marc Ambinder]
* Can New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick deduct his $500,000 fine? [TaxProf Blog via WSJ Law Blog]
* Blawg Review #126 is now available — with a heavy emphasis on business and the law (subjects of great interest to many of you). [Small Business Trends via Blawg Review]
- Alberto Gonzales, Crime, Department of Justice, Kids, Lawyer of the Day, Perverts, Sex, Sex Scandals, Technology
During his tenure as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales made it a policy priority to “keep our children safe” from creeps on the internets.
As it turns out, at least one alleged creep worked for the DOJ:
A U.S. Justice Department official has been arrested on suspicion of traveling to Detroit over the weekend to have sex with a minor.
John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday afternoon.
An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police.
And it gets worse:
The detective, acting as the child’s mother, allegedly arranged a sexual encounter between Atchison and her 5-year-old daughter, police said….
The undercover detective expressed concern about physical injury to the 5-year-old girl as a result of the sexual activity. Detectives said Atchison responded, ” I am always gentle and loving; not to worry, no damage ever, no rough stuff ever. I only like it soft and nice.”
If convicted and sentenced to prison, Mr. Atchison can try that line out on his new friends behind bars. But whether they’ll give it to him “soft and nice” is open to question.
Federal Prosecutor Arrested In Child Sex Sting [ClickOnDetroit.com]
Has Quinn Emanuel’s unorthodox approach to the callback process ruffled some feathers? Maybe. Why does the firm brass keep on sending out emails about it?
Last Thursday, firm founder John Quinn sent out this email. Then, on Friday, name partner Bill Urquhart chimed in:
From: “A William Urquhart”
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 10:38:28 -0700
We have received several questions about the recruiting weekend at Deer Valley. Here are some answers.
Question: Who is attending the weekend?
Answer: There will be approximately 20 lawyers from the firm–both associates and partners. There will be lawyers from all the firm’s four offices.. There will be law students from Texas, Chicago, Harvard and Yale. All of them will have received call backs. As you know, the vast majority of those students invited back to our offices receive offers. If the on campus interview processes operates as intended, this number should be close to 100% because nobody should be invited back unless they meet our minimum objective standards. They should also have met our more subjective standards.
Question: How did you choose these schools?
Answer: These were the schools whose interviews were late in the recruiting season. If this experiment is successful, we may decide to have two such events next year–one in late September for the students of the schools which schedule interviews early (e.g. Columbia, Stanford, U Va, NYU, etc.).
More discussion, after the jump.
An associate at an LA law firm sent us the following language, found in the governing law/disputes section of a software license agreement:
“This agreement is governed solely and exclusively by the principles written in the Holy Bible. All disputes must be mediated by a mediator nominated by the Institute of Christian Conciliation under the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation.”
Our source asks “Have you ever seen this before? How are disputes resolved? If you don’t pay the other side what you owe, are you going to hell?”
If only you had gone to Regent Law School.
- Duke Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Politics, Vicious Infighting, Weirdness
This email message, from Professor Erwin Chemerinsky to Duke law school faculty and students, went out ten minutes ago.
Also, here’s some coverage from the Los Angeles Times.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Erwin Chemerinsky”
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 13:07:53 -0400
It is with excitement and sadness that I am writing to tell you that I have accepted the position to be the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. After meeting with Chancellor Michael Drake at length this weekend, I accepted his renewed offer. He provided me the greatest possible assurance of academic freedom for the dean and all faculty.
It has been one of the strangest and most difficult weeks of my life. I cannot possibly express my thanks for all of the support that I received from the law school’s faculty, administrators, and students. I am sad to be leaving this wonderful supportive community, though excited about the new challenges ahead.
Chemerinsky to return as UC Irvine law dean [Los Angeles Times]
We heard about this first from a tipster with an offer. But it’s confirmed by the firm website of Winston & Strawn:
Winston & Strawn associates who join the firm from judicial clerkships receive a clerkship bonus. Currently, the bonus paid to U.S. Court of Appeals and District Court clerks is $50,000. U.S. Supreme Court clerks receive a clerkship bonus that is competitive with the bonuses paid by other large national firms.
There’s no longer any doubt that $50K is the going rate for clerkship bonuses. But we will keep covering the subject, even if it’s not super-exciting, to encourage the firms that have yet to match to ante up.
Are you aware of clerkship bonus news that we haven’t previously reported? If so, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus Watch”). Thanks.
Judicial Clerks at Winston: Compensation & Benefits [Winston & Strawn]
- Books, Carter Phillips, Celebrities, Dahlia Lithwick, Erwin Chemerinsky, Eyes of the Law, Jeffrey Rosen, John Yoo, Law Schools
Okay, so the folks over at TMZ.com don’t chase them around yet. But here at ATL, we adore legal celebrities — and invite you to send in your encounters with them, for our Eyes of the Law sightings column.
Last Friday, for lovers of legal boldface names from the left or the right, William & Mary School of Law was the place to be:
William and Mary Law School (and the College) had a series of speakers of today, all wedged into a very tight schedule. They included:
At noon, former Dean of UC Irvine School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to his talk, so I can’t say whether he talked about the controversy.
At 1 PM, UC Berkley professor (and evil incarnate if you believe some blogs) John Yoo spoke. Yoo said in his introduction that he was being “wedged in” between “the former Dean of UC Irvine” and Stuart Taylor, who was speaking at 2 on his book on the Duke rape case, “Until Proven Innocent.”
We also had a panel on Saturday on “Judicial Modesty,” which included such leading lights as Dahlia Lithwick, Michael McConnell, Carter Phillips and Jeffrey Rosen. See here (PDF).
Quite the weekend for legal geeks! (Er. You know. If I was one of them).
Although this tipster wasn’t at the Chemerinsky talk, other ATL readers were. Check out this video, posted on the blog of the W&M chapter of the American Constitution Society. Isn’t Chemerinsky adorable?
Additional discussion of the Erwin Chemerinsky and John Yoo appearances, after the jump.
- Cars, Crime, Department of Justice, Labor / Employment, Michael Mukasey, Morning Docket, O.J. Simpson, Racism
- Books, Jan Crawford Greenburg, Jeffrey Toobin, Media and Journalism, Nina Totenberg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin’s exciting new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, is being released tomorrow. But it’s already provoking some interesting discussion in the blogosphere. See, e.g., this post by Professor Rick Garnett (esp. the comments).
And it’s garnering some favorable reviews. The dean of the Supreme Court press corps, Nina Totenberg of NPR, has given The Nine her blessing.
How does The Nine compare to other recent books about the Supreme Court? Here is Totes’s take:
Jeffrey Rosen’s book about famous court personalities and rivalries is an interesting history packed into a professorial thesis. [A] biography of Justice Clarence Thomas by the Washington Post’s Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher is a credible, but limited, look at the justice. In addition, Thomas himself was paid a reported $1 million to write a book that is slated to come out this fall.
If you’re interested in the Supreme Court as an institution and as a collection of personalities, though, Toobin’s is the book to read.
Hey Nina, what about the book by that rather attractive lady reporter?
Supreme Conflict, by ABC’s Jan Crawford Greenburg, contains a fair amount of good conservative gossip about the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, but it lacks the balance, substance, and context of Toobin’s book.
Ouch. Jan, remember all those nice things you had to say about Nina? Care to take any of them back?
Toobin’s ‘The Nine’ Reveals Politics of High Court [NPR]
“The Nine” [PrawfsBlawg]
Earlier: In Defense of Nina: Jan Crawford Greenburg
Are you wondering what’s going on in the case of Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell? You’re not alone.
We went to check the case’s status on the electronic docket, but couldn’t find the case by party name or by index number (Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: 100625/2007; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP v. Charney: 600333/2007). This caused us to wonder: Has the litigation been settled?
Apparently not. Sources close to the case tell us that it hasn’t been settled and that there was a court hearing not too long ago. We don’t have more details, but if we get them, we’ll pass them along.
So what can we tell you?
1. S&C Man of Mystery Gera Grinberg — perhaps the critical witness in this case, who left the firm under mysterious circumstances — had his birthday last month. A reader pointed us to his attorney registration information on the New York courts website.
This tipster also noted that Grinberg’s attorney registration status was recently updated, but does not list an employer. This suggests he has not yet found new employment since leaving 125 Broad Street. Does anyone know where he might be?
2. Could the Charney case be affecting S&C’s recruiting this year? Possibly. We reprint an interesting tip, suggesting that it’s affecting the firm’s reputation, after the jump.
Do you have any inside info on the latest developments in the Charney case? If so, please drop us a line. Thanks.