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Cadwalader Wickersham Taft new logo CWT AboveTheLaw blog.jpgFormer Cadwalader chairman Bob Link is being left off of the firm’s 2009 management committee. The news was told to the partnership during a meeting today. Link himself confirmed the news to AmLaw Daily:

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s former chairman and current managing partner Robert Link Jr. was not included on a recommended slate of candidates for the firm’s management committee given to partners today, a source at Cadwalader says.

The slate, recommended by the management committee, will not be acted on for another few weeks, the source says. Link, reached by phone, confirmed his name was not on the list.

“It really is part of our normal succession,” Link says. “It’s not something I’ve been part of planning for.”

Charlotte managing partner Jim Carroll is also out of the 2009 management loop.

The Lawyer, which first broke the news of Link’s ouster on Monday, reports that Cadwalader’s future is still very much up in the air:

But Link’s removal from power is far from the end of the story. Cadwalader has been reeling for months. Collapsed core markets, major lawyer layoffs and now a palace revolt, 2008 will go down as arguably the worst in Cadwalader’s 216-year history.

Inevitably, questions have been raised about the long-term future of the firm. How things play out later this week may offer some clues as to its shape, whatever that may be.

But one parting shot from CWT to the associates they laid off, after the jump.

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DLA Piper logo Above the Law blog.jpgThe economy is in the toilet and law firms are scrambling to adjust. Usually this means “firing associates,” but DLA Piper has done something really interesting and brought changes to the partnership instead of firing associates:

Some 275 “income” partners who don’t have an ownership stake will be invited to join the ranks of 300 equity partners, provided each makes a capital contribution that could range up to $150,000, according to legal industry sources.

Look, for all we know associate layoffs could be right around the corner at DLA or any other Biglaw firm. But almost doubling the number of equity partners means that profits per partner will be squarely in the hands of each individual partner to generate business.

Legal industry recruiter John Cashman of Major Lindsey & Africa LLC says DLA’s move is unprecedented and likely to turn up the heat on attorneys to bring in clients — a crucial factor in partner compensation.

“It’s very clear to their (junior-level lawyers) it’s either up or out: We want business generators or worker bees. They want to send that message,” Mr. Cashman says.

Real cost savings for DLA after the jump.

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Spitzer's bane at beach.jpg* The ABA Journal bans a commenter and she immediately starts her own blog. I ban a commenter and he immediately sends me emails suggesting that I have an inappropriate relationship with my mother, but the grammar is perfect. Banned ATL commenters 1, banned ABA commenters 0. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Wow. I expect this from partners, but apparently clients also think that associates are fatted sacks of meat that are only good when they’ve been sliced, grilled, and served with a nice chianti. And that was before Skadden announced bonuses. [What About Clients?]

* Woman thinks women should stop acting like girls. [Law and More]

* Apple wins. ( /nods in silent deference.) [Legal Pad]

* Spitzer! Hooker! Talking! [Gawker]

Jack without medication.jpgLook, I’m the last person on Earth to criticize somebody for getting out of the law firm life and following a dream. But I’m a little worried that “Jack,” who writes the blog Adventures in Voluntary Simplicity, might have lost a little bit of his grip on reality. I spent most of the morning reading Jack’s missives. It’s a bit like reading a Walt Whitman poem that’s been printed with letters cut out from various magazines.

But, despite his apparent madness, Jack is still gainfully employed as an attorney (he doesn’t say where). Law firm employment is of course something that Jack intends to discontinue. He’s got a whole plan he wants to execute so that he can leave his job by the end of 2009:

There is nothing inherently wrong with my job as a lawyer. In fact, for several years, I really felt that it was interesting and intellectually challenging. On the other hand, coming into work was a wonderful way to play adult and pretend that I knew all the answers that really mattered. Putting on expensive suits, traveling all over the world, representing important clients, knowing the location of expensive restaurants, etc…were all just a way for me to tie additional knots in an ever-expanding invisible chain of hopeless materialism. …

And then I started getting…well…bored. The mind-numbing effects of sitting in front of a computer for 12, 13, 14 hours a day 6, sometimes 7 days a week making very rich people even more rich definitely caught up with me. …

So here I am. Making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in a job that infuriates me and gets me no closer to fulfilling my potential.

Okay Jack. I’m with you buddy.

But the plan gets weird after the jump.

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animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report.GIFWe expected this. Skadden has announced that they will discontinue the “special” bonuses from last year. Instead, they’ll be giving out the 2006/2007 standard package. From the memo, sent out by executive partner Bob Sheehan:

[W]e will pay the year-end discretionary bonus at the same levels by class seniority which associates received in 2007 and 2006. However, we do not think it is appropriate to repeat the “special” supplemental bonus that was instituted last year. That bonus reflected a strong and growing economy that contributed to a record level of profitability.

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgThe Firm has historically paid its associates at the “top of the market” in their respective local markets. While we do not know what other firms will do this year with regard to paying a supplemental bonus, we believe that our bonuses this year should be limited to the year-end discretionary bonus. What we will do in the future years, will, of course, depend on business conditions at the time and competitive compensation.

You will receive a memo early in December discussing your individual bonus. We appreciate the efforts you have all put in this year. You have contributed enormously to the success that we have achieved.

That should pretty much set the market.

The 2007 bonuses weren’t bad. And Skadden isn’t laying people off. It’ll be pretty hard to complain if this is where the market ends up.

And, not for nothing, it shows good form by Skadden for telling people what to expect before the holiday season starts. That winter vacation to the Dominican Republic can now proceed full speed ahead.

Read the full memo after the jump.

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mayer brown logo.JPGA tipster reported a rumor today that we’ve heard a couple of times over the past week and a half:

Word on the street is that Mayer Brown had big layoffs today.

The problem is, that was the word on the street yesterday. And Tuesday. And last week the word on the street was that Mayer Brown associates would be on the street by Friday.

We’ve spent a lot of time sleeping on the street. At this point, we haven’t yet talked to one associate who has actually been laid off from Mayer Brown. Still, there’s an awful lot of chatter out there.

Mayer Brown weighs in, after the jump.

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Gibson Dunn.gifThe homepage of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher asks: “What makes Gibson unlike any other firm?” One of our tipsters offers one possibility: Gibson summer associates have moonlight careers.

Found it funny that the model on the front page of this support site for adult websites is also the model on the Gibson Dunn career site (go to Hiring, then Law Student).

Tough Market, j/k.

We find it funny that you are on the support site page for adult websites, tipster. The support page links to such delightful sites as “Arab Street Hookers,” “Human Toilet Bowls,” and “The Amputee.”

We’ve gone back and forth between the Gibson and Porn Support site photos, and there is a strong resemblance. What do you think?

Gibson Dunn XXX same model.jpg

lolmoney.JPGWe’ve received over a thousand responses to last Monday’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on bonuses, and so far we’ve talked about when bonuses were and will (or won’t) be paid and how your billable hours look this year.

Today, we get down to the hardest numbers of all: what do you think you’ll actually get paid?

2007 was a very good year for bonuses, with over 90% of respondents (not counting stub years) reporting a bonus even though only 70% made 2000 hours.

Roughly half of you reported bonuses of at least $45,000. About 15% of you made $70,000 or more, and 7% of you claim to have broken six figures.

This year, well . . . not quite so much.

Details after the jump, so nervous T-10 1L can take a moment to prepare himself.

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eHarmony same sex settlement.JPGThe state of New Jersey has reached a settlement with the popular online dating website, eHarmony. Under the settlement, eHarmony agrees to provide its proprietary online matching service to same sex singles.

In return, the state of New Jersey will not pursue a civil rights action against eHarmony that the state would surely win:

The company also agrees to ensure that same-sex users are matched via the same or equivalent technology as that used for heterosexual match-seekers, agrees to charge same-sex users the same fees, and agrees to offer the same service quality and terms of service as heterosexuals.

Unless somebody wants to argue that eHarmony is a religious institution, I think the law is pretty clear on this one.

More information about the settlement after the jump.

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bed bugs bobrowsky.JPGA law student at Case Western Reserve is suing an upscale Cleveland apartment building because bedbugs drove him from 2 units in the building.

Gnats drove him from a 3rd unit before he learned the definition of “insanity” and moved into another building:

In his lawsuit, Joshua Bobrowsky said the blood-sucking vermin in three Reserve Square apartments left him with painful welts and months of psychological and emotional distress. He seeks $142,000 in damages.

Apparently, Cleveland’s bug population is stepping it up a notch:

Robert Friedman, a lawyer for the apartment owners, the K&D Group, said the allegations are being investigated. …

“I represent a number of apartment owners around the Greater Cleveland area, and I can tell you that bedbugs seem to be a recurring issue,” Friedman said. “Certain tenants bring them in and they seem to get around. Unless the management is informed immediately, they can become a problem.”

Yeah, LeBron is totally staying in Cleveland when his contract is up.

More information about law student Bobrowsky after the jump.

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[Ed Note: Do you have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com]

pls hndle copy 2.jpgDear ATL,

As a 3L, coasting through his last year of school, I find the occasional moment to partake in a bit of “relaxation” by way of an unmentioned illegal plant.

I’m wondering though, other than a question about this on the Bar application, would I be subject to any type of drug testing for the bar or at my post-bar big law firm? Do firms ever drug test their employees?

– Panama Red.

Dear Panama Red,

If you show up to work with bags of White Castle or pester secretaries with questions about where your car’s at, firms may demand a drug test (based on boilerplate paperwork you fill out at the outset of your job permitting them to do so), and they can fire you without cause anyway. But as far as I know, no law firms routinely test associates for drugs, and neither does any bar-related process.

However, firms do prohibit associates from moonlighting or engaging in activities that would be detrimental to the business or reputation of the firm. Practically speaking this means you’ll have to get off Phish tour (editor’s note: they’re not reuniting, give up the ship) and turn in that ridiculous shell necklace from Hollister. The hemp one, too. God, this is embarrassing.

Since it would have only taken a Google search for you to have answered your own question, I’ll take your email as a cry for help and give you some actual advice. You need to lay off the weed and focus on passing the bar and keeping your job. Also, I see you didn’t get the memo about how everybody switched over to coke. Um, yeah. AWKWARD.

Your friend,

Marin

After the jump, Marin passes the blunt to Elie, who’s wearing a “Take Me Drunk I’m Home” t-shirt.

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wrestler.jpg

* Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who lost his bid for re-election on Tuesday, says he will not seek pardon from President Bush. [CNN.com]

* MJ says he is too sick to fly to testify at High Court in London in a breach of contract case. His opponent in the case, the son of the King of Bahrain, doesn’t buy it and says Jackson can be “bandaged up.” [BBC News]

* A Chicago federal court introduced a preliminary injunction that will put pressure on unionized pilots not to engage in the “sick outs” that led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights last summer. [Chicago Tribune]

* Clients choose boutique firms to sue big banks like UBS because the “Magic Circle” law firms won’t accept cases that could hurt the banks they represent. [Bloomberg.com]

* Wrestling gives you STD’s! Three wrestlers are suing York College of Pennsylvania coaches for letting players wrestle with active lesions. “Herpes simplex 1 is sometimes called herpes gladitorium because it is spread in athletics contests.” [Courthouse News Service]

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