What? You’re still here? Shouldn’t you be at the beach right now, enjoying what remains of the summer? Or maybe at a barbecue (goat head sold separately)?
For those of you who are still stuck in front of computers, let’s face it: you’re not getting any work done today. So you might as well sit around and gossip online about law firms, as we finish up our series of open threads on Vault 100 law firms.
Here are this morning’s subjects:
* Nifong pleads not guilty to contempt. [CNN]
* Debarge beats his woman to the Rhythm of the Night. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Texas just keeps on killing people didn’t kill this one (our bad; we saw Texas and execution and assumed). [New York Times]
* Can’t get enough funny Larry Craig stuff? Here you go! [YouTube]
* Does every affirmative action have an equal and opposite reaction? [WSJ Law Blog]
Ted Olson seems like a solid, non-controversial choice. Terwilliger would definitely be the most fun name to have as AG. Senator Hatch is an interesting choice, but I’m not sure he’s interested. We took a class from Thompson in Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Procedure at UGA Law, and we liked him well enough. Clement is a logical choice I suppose as the current acting AG.
Here’s hoping that it is one of these guys, and not one of the crazy names being thrown around on Monday, like Michael Chertoff. Let’s try to go with somebody with a history of, I dunno….competence.
Last week we wondered whether conditions in the stock and credit markets might lead to layoffs or affect bonuses. The situation has continued to deteriorate, particularly in the credit market. Now others are starting to join us in the rampant speculation about layoffs.
From the NYT’s DealBook:
The current turmoil in the credit market has some law firm leaders predicting future layoffs of associates, according to The Legal Intelligencer.
Those who would be most likely to receive pink slips are those working in what have been the most lucrative practice groups over the last four years or so — structured finance, real estate and corporate mergers and acquisitions.
“Future layoffs are a realistic possibility, and they would come in the areas of corporate finance and real estate,” Duane Morris’s chairman, Sheldon Bonovitz, told The Intelligencer. “This is by reason of the turmoil in the debt markets, which has made finance of many transactions in the pipeline problematic or not feasible.”
So, what do you think — are layoffs coming?
More discussion after the jump.
We’re into the high eighties of the Vault 100 law firms. But even if there may be 85 firms ranked ahead of these next five firms, don’t forget that they are still incredibly prestigious and profitable places to work.
Here are the firms to chat about this afternoon:
The American Tort Reform Association has posted Weird Al’s “I’ll Sue Ya” on its Web site, suggesting that the tune be “adopted as a theme song by America’s personal injury lawyers.”
“It’s been awhile since I’ve personally kept up with Weird Al’s work, but it’s nice to know he hasn’t lost his genius,” ATRA director of communications Darren McKinney said.
“Like all good comedy, Weird Al builds on a foundation of truth,” he added.
The Phil Spector trial is almost at its end, but Spector has nevertheless just added a lawyer to his legal team: San Francisco attorney Dennis Riordan.
Riordan comes on as Bruce Cutler departs, though presiding Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler took pains to clarify that Riordan is not replacing Cutler as lead counsel for Spector:
“I think that was a little bit of hyperbole,” Fidler said when asked by the prosecution if there was a new chief defense counsel.
“Mr. Rosen is the chief counsel, the one we rely on as I understand it,” Fidler said of attorney Roger Rosen, who effectively became leader of the defense while Cutler was often absent for several weeks to tape a TV judge show.
“Mr. Riordan is here to work on jury instructions,” Fidler said. He said Riordan would be considered a member of the defense team while assisting with jury instructions.
Riordan, asked if that was his understanding, replied: “As far as I know, ‘chief’ refers to a Native American. I am not chief counsel.”
Yeah, I guess it does, in that it’s a racist, derogatory term for a Native American. Could he not have settled for a simple “Yes, your Honor”? Jeez.
At any rate, since Riordan is known as an appellate lawyer, we suspect he’s ultimately there for more than the jury instructions.
As stated above, Cutler left because Spector wasn’t too happy with him missing so much of the trial, which he was apparently doing to film a TV judge show. Which will be better, his or Larry Seidlin’s?
This week marked the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The news has been full of reports about the status of the affected areas, particularly New Orleans, two years later. Most of them have not been good; here are a few examples:
“Bitterness lingers 2 years after Katrina” [AP via Yahoo!]
“Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast Struggling 2 years later” [CNN]
“Hope, skepticism mark Katrina anniversary” [USA Today]
But this is a legal blog, and so we want to know specifically about the state of the legal community in New Orleans two years post-Katrina. Immediately following the hurricane, the New Orleans legal system was “devastated.” Has it recovered?
We’d like to hear from associates in New Orleans about their current experiences. Are the courts up and running? What is the backlog like? What about associate pay; is it back to normal?
And this has little to do with biglaw, but when is New Orleans going to get a handle on the murder situation?
Share your perspectives on the state of the New Orleans legal community in the comments.
In the earliest version of yesterday’s open thread dedicated to discussing Vault 100 law firms, we put up the wrong firms at first. Sorry about that.
So now is the time to talk about Howrey (which was the subject of some brief discussion yesterday, before we corrected the post). Here are this morning’s five firms (with Vault prestige scores in parentheses):
It’s Billy Merck again, your favorite person to shoot spitballs at fill-in for Lat, who’s got a full day away from the blogosphere today.
We start today with some stray Larry Craig news.
First, we certainly don’t mean to imply anything about the deceased chief justice, but there is a creepy resemblance here.
Next, Craig has been forced out of his committee assignments [New York Times], and some of his fellow Republican Senators are calling for his resignation altogether [New York Times].
Finally, we have a couple of takes on the actual criminality, or not, of Craig’s airport restroom activities. The WSJ Law Blog talks with Minnesota law prof Barry Feld about, among other things, whether the sting was entrapment and whether Craig can undo his plea (likely no and no, Feld concludes). And coming to us from LawBeat via the Legal Blog Watch, Mark Obbie wants to know about the kind of evidence usually used to demonstrate criminal intent in these kinds of cases.
Personally, we’re still kind of hung up on the “wide stance” defense. We’ve never heard anyone talk about a wide stance outside of the context of batting in baseball or the line in football. And how wide does a stance have to get before it becomes probable cause? We guess exiting the boundaries of your own stall and making contact with someone else’s foot are good indicators.
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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 six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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