If the photos of this week’s contestants look a little stiff, please understand that it’s because the NYT didn’t run pictures of any lawyer weddings this week, forcing us to Photoshop them from the attorneys’ firm bios. You’re welcome. And Happy Thanksgiving!
Here are this week’s Legal Eagle Wedding Watch finalists:
This story sounds like something written by Dr. Seuss, esquire. The city of Louisville, Ky., had planned to incorporate Seussian characters into its annual Christmas display this year. But the plans have been scrapped after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from DLA Piper’s Barbara Orr, who represents Seuss Enterprises.
The city had planned to use “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as part of its theme for the annual Light Up Louisville holiday celebration. The display called for an area called “LouWhoVille,” complete with costumed characters from the Dr. Seuss classic such as Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch…
The letter demanded the city and the Louisville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau halt any use of the characters for the Christmas display and agree not to use the characters in the future without permission. It threatened legal action if the city and tourism bureau did not comply.
The city is complying and renaming the display Lou-ville. “It appears these lawyers’ hearts are two sizes too small,” Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson told the AP.
We say shame on Abramson for perpetuating small-hearted lawyer stereotypes, especially given that he’s a Georgetown Law grad.
I haven’t seen anybody commenting about this but I know for a fact I’m not the only one. I was recently laid off by my firm in a stealth layoff. Of course they said it was my “performance,” but that is complete bulls*** because they’ve never complained about me before and I made my hours this year. A bunch of other attorneys were also laid off at the same time – all “performance based.” I am terrified that I won’t be able to get a job anywhere, because no place is hiring and no place is going to hire an attorney who was fired for (false) reasons. What should I do?
Fired and Scared
Dear Fired and Scared,
Pack a suitcase. Walk toward the nearest window. Open the window. Jump out.
Just kidding. Don’t do that. Seriously.
Your first order of business should be to call up people at your old firm and secure professional references. If you really did good work, that shouldn’t be a problem. If a prospective firm asks you what happened, tell them the truth: that your termination was part of a bunch of allegedly performance-based layoffs, and that you cannot speak for anybody else who got fired, but that the circumstances surrounding your departure were puzzling at best and that you are happy to provide PLENTY of references and other confirmation that you did solid work and met your hours. Finally, if you’re anything like me, sob softly in the shower.
I feel your pain – yours is an unenviable situation and if in fact your firm was using a bogus review as a scapegoat to save face or be cheap, that is deplorable. Listen up, firms: IT IS NOT OK TO SABOTAGE ASSOCIATE CAREERS JUST TO CLAIM THAT YOUR FIRM DOESN’T “DO” LAYOFFS OR TO SAVE MONEY ON SEVERANCE PACKAGES. While firms might think that they can get away with it now, we’ll see what God thinks about all this, because FYI he’s watching. And so is Santa.
* They can’t marry, but gays can finally have kids in Florida. Circuit Judge Cindy S. Lederman overturns Florida’s 31-year-old law banning child adoption by gays. [CNN]
* The family of murdered D.C. lawyer Robert Wone sues the men in the house where he died. Arent Fox partner Joe Price and two others are the target of the $20 million wrongful death suit. [Legal Times]
* Jury nears decision on computer fraud charges against Lori Drew, the cyberbully MySpace mom. [Wired]
* Before U.S. AG Mukasey collapsed at the Federalist Society event, he had a heckler. Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders has owned up to yelling, “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!” while Mukasey discussed anti-terrorism policy. [The Olympian]
* Did you know that there was a Proposition 9 in California? With all these voter referendums, could somebody please explain again why California even bothers to have a state legislature? [Johnny California]
* A clients caring (about bonuses) roundup. [f/k/a]
* There’s an argument that law firms should double the bonuses from what were given last year. It’s not a good argument. But hey, until some firm steps up to stop the bleeding (please save us S&C) I choose to grasp at the elusive straw. [Law and More]
* How nerdy do you have to be to refer to lawyers as “non-nerdy?” I mean, at that point are you rolling at 1d10 to see if you can “score” with that woman at the bar? [Topless Robot]
According to Connecticut DUI lawyer James O. Ruane, I can’t breathe as well as white people. Based on this “analysis” Ruane has determined that the breathalyzer is a racist device.
Really. I’m not making that up. Ruane represents a black man who got busted for drunk driving:
A breath analysis administered at state police Troop G in Bridgeport found Brown had a blood-alcohol content of 0.188. The legal limit is 0.08.
In a motion filed Tuesday in Superior Court, Ruane asked a judge to suppress his client’s breathalyzer test results, contending the device used by the state police, and most other local police departments, the Intoxilyzer 5000, discriminates against blacks. Brown is an African-American.
I’m all for zealous defense of your clients, but I don’t see why you have to insult thinking people of all colors to make that defense. But Ruane argued:
[T]he lung capacity of a black man is 3 percent smaller than a white man and, therefore, black men’s test results vary from the sobriety standard set by the device.
He said Dr. Michael Hlastala, a lung physiologist at the University of Washington, examined research of other lung physiologists and, based on his studies, has determined the Intoxilyzer 5000 does not effectively test the blood-alcohol content of black men.
“He looked at all the research and came up with the bigger picture and found the common thread,” he said.
Mmm … blanket generalizations about an entire people. I wonder what Michael Jordan’s lung capacity is as compared to Alan Dershowitz?
Former Capitol Hill staffer/sex blogger/author/bankrupt babe Jessica Cutler has taken a husband. According to the Washington Post:
Jessica Cutler, 30, the Hill aide turned “Washingtonienne” sex blogger turned author, to Manhattan lawyer Charles Rubio, 28. … The couple plan to wed at New York City Hall on an early December weekday, followed by a happy-hour reception. (Not pregnant, in case you’re wondering.) How’d they meet? “Randomly in a bar,” Cutler told us. “I wish I had a more romantic story to tell you!”
Isn’t that always the way? You write stories about the exciting escapades of others while you yourself marry a lawyer you met in a bar. Yawn.
Timothy Pohl, part of Skadden’s ruling class, sounds confident that his firm is in the running:
Pohl says Skadden has historically done work for former Chrylser owner Daimler, which sold 80 percent of Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 for $7.4 billion. Skadden also does work for Ford, says Pohl, adding that the firm has yet to be contacted by either automaker.
“I’m not convinced that any [of the Big Three] are hiring advisers yet,” Pohl says. “But between us, Kirkland, and Weil, I’d say that the three of us have the largest [bankruptcy and restructuring] groups with a big falloff after that.”
Obviously both Skadden and Kirkland have the chops to handle the work, but isn’t the real question “Why not Weil?”
It’s uncertain whether a potential Big Three bankruptcy might present a similar problem for Weil–and how the firm would manage to juggle its Lehman, Lenox, and other client obligations in the event of such a resource-draining retention. That’s especially true given that it’s unclear whether a potential Big Three filing would proceed on a liquidation track (a la Lehman) or as an infinitely more complicated corporate restructuring.
At some point, Weil has to run out of bankruptcy lawyers. Right?
Is there a pattern developing in Pittsburgh? A few weeks ago we reported that K&L Gates laid off a number of staff. Today, Gina Passarella of the Legal Intelligencer reports that another Pittsburgh powerhouse, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, laid off between 15 and 25 support staffers.
Buchanan Ingersoll CEO Thomas L. VanKirk confirmed the cuts. But in a move that makes a mockery of the English language, VanKirk refused to call the layoffs, “layoffs.” Instead:
VanKirk said that the cuts were not layoffs, but that the positions were being eliminated in order for the firm to get more in line with its goal of a 3-1 lawyer-to-secretary ratio.
Here are some links for Mr. VanKirk, provided free of charge:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.
If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks. We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates) and also helping existing offices there fill openings.
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
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.
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● 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!