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Brent Warren Yessin lawyer of the day.jpgThe Saturday night antics of two Florida lawyers have the makings of a great episode of the Jerry Springer show. Alleged sex in a bathroom, a girl-on-girl fighting match, and legal misrepresentation.

Lawyer-lobbyist Lawyer Aimee Marie Dias, 35, was at a swanky restaurant in Tampa on Saturday night. When she went to use the bathroom, she discovered a man and woman allegedly doing the Tampa tango. We don’t understand the sequence of events from this point, but apparently Dias threw a punch at the copulating duo. This led to a brawl between the women that spilled out into the restaurant with the ladies on “the floor rolling around exchanging punches, pushes,” according to the ABA Journal.

Labor and employment law attorney Brent Warren Yessin, 44, was waiting for the valet when police arrived. He decided to enter the fray, telling police he represented the parties involved. Though Dias and the rest denied this, Yessin was insistent. Apparently, very insistent:

[Yessin] was wrestled to the ground by four officers after he kept insisting that he represented one of the suspects and refused repeated requests to leave the restaurant, the Times reports.

Yessin was charged with obstructing an officer without violence, and apparently jailed for four hours until he posted $1,000 bail. Both Dias and Jacolow were initially arrested for battery, but agreed to drop the charges against each other.

A few lessons here: if you’re going to have sex in a public restroom, do it in a stall. If you walk in on public sex, don’t throw punches. If you’re waiting for valet, don’t try to pick up clients mid-brawl. If you live in Tampa, move away. Far, far away.

[Ed. note: Aimee Marie Dias has no relation to Aimee Marie Diaz whose profile we linked to originally.]

Best. Fracas. Ever. [The Legal Satyricon]

Female Lawyer in Fistfight, Male Lawyer Arrested in Wild Restaurant Scene [ABA Journal]

Report’s Topics: Bathroom Sex, Lawyer’s Arrest, Fight [Tampa Tribune]

On the Debevoise & Plimpton bonus post, one irate associate wrote:

Debevoise Plimpton LLP Above the Law blog.jpgDebevoise associates broke their backs this year on the Siemens case and covering for those who were on Siemens. Even though there was a slowdown in the 4th quarter, profits before then were “record-breaking” — i.e. MORE than the 25% boost Deb had last year. Last year PEP went from $1.81 million to a new high of $2.29 million. Partners are going to be bringing home this much or more this year. Understandably, next year’s bonus will decrease with the recession, but not sharing more equitably with associates now during the flush year when we flew around the globe at a moment’s notice, didn’t see our families for weeks, and worked all nighters in corners of the globe, is a huge slap in the face.

We wonder how this Debevoise drone felt after reading the long article on the Siemens bribery case published over the weekend in the New York Times (based on a joint report by ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization; “Frontline,” the PBS program; and the NYT):

Officials in the United States began investigating the [Siemens] case shortly after the raids became public. Knowing that it faced steep fines unless it cooperated, Siemens hired an American law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, to conduct an internal investigation and to work with federal investigators.

As German and American investigators worked together to develop leads, Debevoise and its partners dedicated more than 300 lawyers, forensic analysts and staff members to untangle thousands of payments across the globe, according to the court records. American investigators and the Debevoise lawyers conducted more than 1,700 interviews in 34 countries. They collected more than 100 million documents, creating special facilities in China and Germany to house records from that single investigation. Debevoise and an outside auditor racked up 1.5 million billable hours, according to court documents. Siemens has said that the internal inquiry and related restructurings have cost it more than $1 billion.

Readers, let’s treat this like a management consulting case study. How much will Debevoise’s profits per partner in 2008 be boosted by those 1.5 million billable hours and $1 billion in spending by Siemens? Your conjecture is welcome in the comments.

At Siemens, Bribery Was Just a Line Item [New York Times]

Venable logo.jpgVenable is generally not a market leader when it comes to associate bonuses or salary. In fact, they usually don’t announce their bonuses until January.

But today at 3:00 p.m. associates have been called in to discuss “the firm’s 2008 results and outlook for 2009.”

Kirkland had a meeting today to discuss the obvious, and maybe Venable is doing the same thing. But a tipster is at least slightly concerned about the need for today’s festivities:

Considering that we don’t usually hear anything about bonuses or salaries until January (and we’re definitely NOT market), it should be interesting to see what goes down at this meeting.

Our tipster is concerned because of Latham. So far, top firms haven’t followed Latham’s salary freeze lead. But some firms do seem to be hedging their bets and putting off decisions until January.

By the end of today, we should know where Venable stands.

Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Freeze Watch: Latham & Watkins


law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgThe big bonus / salary meeting at Kirkland & Ellis is still ongoing. But tipsters are now reporting that K&E is essentially designing its bonus scheme around the Cravath scale (subject to the Kirkland system of adjusting bonuses for hours and performance — “above class,” “with class,” “below class,” etc.).

We’ve also heard some good news: K&E plans to raise salaries on schedule.

While the bonus news is not terribly surprising, it’s still depressing to associates who felt that K&E had a strong year:

What’s maybe most upsetting is I was told specifically that [the Kirkland bonus grid] was based off the Cravath scale. Not that the firm was hurting. Not that the firm was being conservative. Not that the firm has a pessimistic outlook on 2009. Just that someone else was getting away with being cheap, and they wanted to do the same.

That’s a constant theme from associates working at firms that have followed Cravath. This year bonus payments seem much more tied to Cravath’s announcement, instead of a reflection on the strength of the firm’s year.

But maybe firms are just trying to hunker down for a rough 2009.

Update (11:53 AM): Check out some more reader reactions after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Kirkland & Ellis”

Thacher.jpgAs Thacher Proffitt prepares to shut down, the “how did this happen” reports can begin. AmLaw Daily notes that while other firms had banner years in 2007, Thacher was already struggling:

Thacher entered 2008 already struggling financially. The firm had suffered a dismal 2007, with gross revenue growing only 1.6 percent to $194.5 million and profits per partner dropping 22.1 percent to $1.02 million. The year to come didn’t treat the firm much better, especially come September, when several bank clients either collapsed or went into hasty mergers.

As we noted many times in these pages, a merger with King & Spalding had been the best hope for TPW to remain in business:

For months, Thacher had tried and failed to convince King & Spalding to acquire the firm outright. Discussions with the Atlanta-based firm to instead hire a chunk of its lawyers had plodded along for weeks. A deal to hire about 75 lawyers was close, but still not final, two sources at the firms say. With time running out for the 150-year-old firm, Thacher’s lawyers began talking to others, including Sonnenschein.

At least Sonnenschein was able to step in a save a lot of jobs. But after the jump, things are still pretty somber over at TPW today.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Anatomy of a Dissolution: Closing the Loop on Thacher Proffitt”

child learns adult games.jpg* This is one former Clintonite that Obama won’t tap for his cabinet. California lawyer Wade Rowland Sanders, a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy under Clinton, was netted in a child porn investigation, with a whopping 600 images on his computer. [CNN]

* There are many reasons to object to the U.S. taxpayers bailing out financial services companies, but this is the most creative by far. The Thomas More Law Center has filed suit against Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the Federal Reserve. The non-profit law firm that promotes conservative Christian values says Paulson & co. are promoting Shariah law by bailing out AIG. [Fox News]

* Those Brazilians really love their caipiriihinas with their cars. Party-loving Brazilians chafe under the country’s new “dry law.” Critics of the zero tolerance for drunk driving crackdown liken it to “terrorism,” calling it unconstitutional and authoritarian. [Washington Post]

* The FBI whistleblower in the Ted Stevens case is alleging wrongdoing by the prosecution. The former Alaskan senator’s attorneys request once again that the case be dismissed or a new trial held. [Politico]

* Maybe that angry Biglaw first year was right. Over fifty percent of the respondents in our (admittedly unscientific) survey reported hours hoarding is happening at their firms. [Vizu Poll Results]

* You heard it here (first!) yesterday. RIP Thacher Proffitt & Wood. [Bloomberg]

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgDechert has been the subject of a lot of bad news lately. The associates still at the firm will be pleased to know that they will be getting a market bonus for hanging on this long:

We are pleased to announce that we will be paying base bonuses for 2008 to associates in each of our U.S. offices as set forth below. The following base bonuses will be payable to those qualified associates in good standing at the time the bonuses are paid who have 1950 hours (billable, pro bono and nonbillable in accordance with past practices) in 2008.

Class of 2007: $17,500
Class of 2006: $20,000
Class of 2005: $22,500
Class of 2004: $25,000
Class of 2003: $27,500
Class of 2002: $30,000
Class of 2001: $32,500
Class of 2000: $32,500

For high billers, the payouts increase:

We will be paying additional bonuses for the associates receiving the base bonuses who have billed 2200 hours, 2350 and 2500 hours. We will pay $7500 for each level attained.

Stub first years will take home five grand and like it:

Associates in the Class of 2008 will receive $5,000 without regard to hours.

And there is even more good news:

We have determined that, despite the difficult outlook for 2009, we will progress salaries for associates consistent with past practice.

All the layoff news must be unsettling for the people working at Dechert. This bonus announcement will probably help morale.

Read the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Dechert Pays Market Rate, Plus $7,500 for Top Hours”

kirkland ellis logo.JPGKirkland & Ellis is perhaps the biggest bonus shoe left to drop. Will the firm follow Skadden as the firm’s prestige and profitability suggests? Or will Kirkland pull a Half-Skadden and settle down with the rest of the market?

We’ll know tomorrow. A firm-wide email just gave K&E New York associates a big reason to show up for work the day before Christmas Eve. John Desmarais is holding what we assume will be a very interesting meeting tomorrow:

Subject: Compensation NY Associates:

I’d like to have a brief meeting with you all tomorrow at 10 am on the 50th Floor (50G) to discuss salaries and bonuses for this year and next. At that time, also, I’ll say a few words about how the office and the firm are doing in the current economic climate.

jd

This could be good news: why would K&E have a full meeting only to do what Cravath and the rest of the market has already done?

Of course, this could be terrible news: why would they need to “discuss salaries” when raises should be perfunctory,at a financially secure institution?

More on Kirkland’s meeting after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Kirkland & Ellis Associates: Show Up To Work Tomorrow To Talk About Your Bonus”

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgAfter spending some quality time with Stephen Hawking and an abacus, we are now ready to report the bonus associates at Hogan & Hartson will be receiving this year.

For the firm’s offices in D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Northern Virginia the scale is as follows:

2002 and above – $7,500 to $37,500
2003-2005 – $7,500 to $25,500
2006-2007 – $7,500 to $20,000

The difference between a $7,500 bonus and a $37,500 bonus is huge, so we delved a little deeper into how Hogan comes up with the cream of the bonus crop. As you might expect, hours play a significant role. A tipster with a firm grasp of multivariable calculus (and, you know, basic arithmetic) explains:

Hogan actually has a fairly unique compensation scheme. there are two different salary tracks – one for associates who intend to bill 1800 hours and another for those who bill 1950 (at which level you make the market salaries). I think the 1800 track salaries are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15K less and are designed so that the firm can pay our low-billing regulatory associates less money – and as it turns out this year, a bunch of corporate associates too.

We crunch more numbers after the jump, and there’s 2009 Hogan salary update as well.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Hogan & Hartson Keeps D.C. Interesting”

My best friend's bong.jpgWe expect ATL friend Mark Herrmann at Drug and Device Law to weigh in on this matter fully and with much glee. But in the meantime, we wanted to alert the more botanical subset of our readership of some breaking news: if the cops surprise you, you don’t have to drink the bong water. At least not in Minnesota … unless of course you want to.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has decided:

Because the post-use by-product of a methamphetamine bong is created through drug use and not prepared for the purpose of drug use, sale, or manufacturing, the water contained in the post-use by-product is not a mixture as defined in § 152.01, subd. 9a.

That is very interesting news, but don’t tell the kids. Hilarity will ensue, trust me.

For instance, you might be able to get somebody to do this:

[A] police officer testified–at a contested omnibus hearing–that drug users who are indigent or who do not have a readily available source for drugs retain the water from a methamphetamine bong for future consumption either orally or by injection. The officer testified that he knew of drug users who had consumed bong water containing methamphetamine.

God I miss college.

Anyway, after the jump, if bong water is distinguishable from a controlled substance, what is it comparable to?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Water: The Uncontrollable Substance”

In a complaint filed in Connecticut, a patient claims that she wrote down the cure for cancer while being treated at Hartford Hospital. She says that she gave the cure to her doctor for more research, but now she wants that research to stop — at least until she is able to patent her life saving ideas.

Luckily, she still remembers her cure, and included the formula in her complaint:

Cure for Cancer CN.jpg

So, if you got a spare laboratory lying around, this could be a good weekend project.

The specific relief she is seeking after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Patient Claims ‘Cure for Cancer’ Stolen by Doctors”

Nixon.jpg

* The White House has raised the prospect of “pushing the cars into a managed bankruptcy as a solution to save the companies from financial collapse.” [The International Herald Tribune]

* The Iraqi journalist who threw the shoe at President George W. Bush will go on trial for insulting a foreign leader, which could get him up to two years in prison. Another case may be brought against the people who beat him after the incident. [The Associated Press]

* “Deep Throat” W. Mark Felt Sr., the second highest official in the FBI during Watergate, and the famous anonymous source who led journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein through the “crimes and coverups” of Richard Nixon died yesterday at 95. [The Washington Post]

* The 9th Circuit ruled that the U.S. courts might not be the appropriate place for Papua New Guinea citizens to sue British mining company Rio Tinto for inciting a “savage” ten- year civil war. [Courthouse News Service]

* A California jury acquitted surgeon Dr. Hootan Roozokh, who was accused of trying to accelerate an organ donor’s death. [The Los Angeles Times]

* Remember DC Judge Roy Pearson’s pants suit? The D.C. Court of Appeals rejected it yesterday…no surprise there. [The Associated Press]

* First there was the recession, then there were the bankruptcy’s, followed by the lay-offs, and now here are the scandals. The DOJ charged four people in an insider trading scheme incolving a Lehman broker.[CNN]

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