On Fridays, we like to poll our readership on random subjects. Often these reader polls relate to matters of style and usage. Past polls have covered such important topics as favorite email sign-offs and whether to use “pleaded” or “pled” in legal writing.
Here’s today’s topic. It’s about what to call a version of a document in which changes from a prior version — or, more generally, divergences from a different version — are indicated on the face of the document (e.g., with strikethrough text showing deleted language, or double-underscored text showing added language).
From a curious tipster:
Is it “redline” or “blackline”? What is the difference, and why does my Asset Management group seem to use one, and M&A the other? Could this be the basis of an ATL usage survey?
FWIW, this Google Answers thread is the only online discussion I have found of this matter, and it is not especially responsive.
We’re curious as well. In the chambers in which we clerked, such documents were called “redlines.” But at the law firm for which we worked, most of our colleagues called them “blacklines.”
What’s your preference? Take the poll below, and opine in the comments.
* Time magazine will take one final appeal in the Indonesian defamation case that awarded former President Suharto over $100 million in damages. [New York Times]
* A third West Virginia Supreme Court justice refuses to recuse in the Massey Energy case. [Charleston Gazette via How Appealing]
* Duke lacrosse team players — not the indicted ones, but current and former players who claim the indictment of their three teammates caused them emotional distress and invaded their privacy — have filed a federal lawsuit against Duke, Durham, and various school and police officials. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Concerns over possible DOJ antitrust action loom over XM and Sirius share prices. [AP]
* And you thought a $160,000 starting salary was nice. Some doormen at Las Vegas clubs clear over $400,000 a year. [Las Vegas Review-Journal via Drudge]
Faced with a challenging job market, law school students are turning to the web. See, e.g., 3L for Hire.
And now they’re advertising on… craigslist? Well, if it’s good enough for law firms — at least the kind that require the ability to lift 25 pounds — it’s good enough for students, too.
From the Austin craigslist:
I am a second year law student seeking a summer opportunity with a DFW medium/small law firm. I attend Texas Wesleyan University and maintain a 3.22 GPA. I am a hard working, and dedicated individual. I wil be happy to provide my transcript and resume upon request.
Maybe this student should try posting in the “missed connections” section of craigslist? lawstudent4job – 25 – (austin).
Craigslist may work better for finding a personal relationship (or selling used furniture). Check out this ad:
Law Student seeks Cinderella – 25.
I am a 25 year old law student. 5′ 9″. 160 lbs. Blonde hair, blue eyes, from Kansas City. I am single, never been married, no children, and have a Bachelor of Science degree, a Masters of Arts degree, and am a first year law student. I am looking to meet a woman and take her to a formal event for my law school called “Barristers Ball” (Essentially a Law School Prom). Dinner, drinks, and dancing will be provided at no cost to you. I am just looking for a lovely lady to take to the event for “Arm-Candy.” Responses must include an “Actual” full body photo of yourself and you must be willing to meet sometime soon on the weekend for drinks. I do enjoy drinking and I smoke occasionally when I drink. If this bothers you…please do not respond. Please Note: The child in the photo is not mine (It is my Nephew)…
Tonight’s theme: presidential politics.
* John Edwards could end up being the next Attorney General. Ted Frank takes a tough look at one of Edwards’s most celebrated cases. [The American]
* Random factoid: “Obama’s vol. 104 is the least-cited volume of the Harvard Law Review in the last 20 years.” [Volokh Conspiracy (comment by LawStatMan) via TaxProf Blog]
* Speaking of Barack Obama, what cologne does he wear? [copyranter]
* Who’s hyping Huma? [Big Head DC]
As recently mentioned in these pages, the internal slogan of the post-merger Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell is “One Firm, One Future.”
Some firms, however, take the opposite view. We’ve just discovered a Southern California boutique whose motto might as well be “Two Firms for the Price of One.” Or maybe “Corporate Work and Plaintiffs’ Work: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together.” A tipster tells us:
My friend just interviewed at a place called Zuber & Taillieu in Los Angeles. You know, Olivier Taillieu — the guy who filed suit on behalf of the frat boys from Borat….
Ah yes, we do recall. Look back at this post. Engaging in Gallion & Spielvogel-esque self-promotion, Olivier Taillieu described himself as follows: “[Olivier clerked] for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, one of the most prestigious and sought-after clerkships in the country. Following his clerkships, he entered private practice as a litigator in the Intellectual Property and Technology Department in the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, one of the top 15 law firms in the country as ranked by revenue by The American Lawyer.”
Back to our source:
Well, get this. What that firm doesn’t announce on their “corporate” website is that they have an evil twin: a plaintiffs’ side alter ego, called ZT Personal Injury Law Group. Exact same attorneys, but this time, you can call them at 1-866-SUE-2-WIN. Pay particular attention to the language about penises and vaginas on the firm’s Child Molestation page.
It looks like this “O’Melveny spinoff” isn’t doing QUITE the same caliber work as they’d have you believe…
Indeed. We checked out that “Child Molestation Law” page, which features such lovely words as “vagina,” “rectum,” and “penile penetration” — not your standard law firm website fare. Here’s an excerpt:
If someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, contact one of our child molestation attorneys today to find out what ZT Personal Injury Law Group can do for you. We offer a FREE consultation, and we don’t get paid unless you win!
Since we’ll be speaking at the University of Chicago very soon, we thought it would be topical to share with you the interesting responses we received to our earlier request for stories about presidential candidate Barack Obama as a U. Chicago law prof.
The general consensus: he’s awesome, as beloved in the classroom as he is on the campaign trail. Several raves appeared in the comments, and we also received some via email. First, from Professor D. Daniel Sokol (who also blogs, at the Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog):
I had Obama as a prof when I was at the University of Chicago for a seminar on race and the law. His title of Senior Lecturer is one that only a few people hold– the others are Richard Posner, Frank Easterbrook and Diane Wood — all former Chicago full time faculty members now on the 7th Circuit.
Obama was an amazing professor and in many ways, I wish I could be as effective in the classroom as he was. He engaged students in the material and showed great skill at eliciting good student comments and managing class discussion. Obama also integrated in social science empirical literature into our discussions to better inform some of the normative discussions that we had. I thought he managed intellectual diversity very well, as we had a spectrum of students from libertarians and conservatives on one hand to radicals on the other.
Additional anecdotes, plus a digression on Obama’s views on the Second Amendment and gun control, after the jump.
Jerry Clement’s compensation memo is attached. Also attached is an email from Jerry announcing the departure of eight partners from LLBL’s Chicago office.
These eight partners left yesterday to join DLA. Some commenters inaccurately called these partners “old.” Four are under 45. Two other partners announced their departures on Friday (these two are not going to DLA). Together these ten partners purportedly generated roughly 9-10% of LB&B’s billable work in 2007.
Check out the memos, plus an account of the recent associates’ meeting, after the jump.
I would imagine these stats to be far less important to working moms than how permissive a firm is with flexible schedules. The maternity leave is a one time deal at the very beginning of the baby’s life, but the child will need the mom to be there for far longer.
Also, family friendly policies such as long maternity leave and flex schedules provide significant benefits to society in general. Firms too benefit in many ways.
Some of yesterday’s results suggest our tipster is right, but which policies really matter most to you? Let’s find out: Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.
Find out how law firms fare on childcare options after the jump.
We bring you two interesting updates on our friends at Kirkland & Ellis — one important, and one silly.
Let’s start with the trivial, and work our way up. First, from a tipster:
The balkanization of Kirkland & Ellis continues. Why should an “informal, visible network for attorneys to exchange ideas, provide support, and develop relationships” be based on race and/or sexual orientation? What’s next, separate cafeterias and drinking fountains?
A recent email from The Kirkland & Ellis LLP Diversity Committee reads:
On behalf of the Diversity Committee, I am proud to announce a new addition to our diversity programming, Diversity Networking Forums. The main purpose of the Diversity Networking Forums is to provide an informal, visible network for attorneys to exchange ideas, provide support, and develop relationships. There will be four Diversity Networking Forums:
Asian Diversity Networking Forum Black Diversity Networking Forum Hispanic/Latino Diversity Networking Forum GLBT Diversity Networking Forum
The Diversity Networking Forums are open to all Chicago Kirkland attorneys. If you are interested in becoming a part of any of these forums, please email Attorney Training and Development at [xxxx] by February 8 and indicate which forums you would like to join.
Note that the forums are “open to all.” We wonder if that language was added to avoid a psuedo-controversy like the one over K&E’s big gay party. We also wonder why you’d join one of these networking forums if you weren’t a member of the group in question. But see “fag hags” signing up for the LGBT group.
Okay, on to the second update. Perhaps in an effort to avoid an Aaron Charney debacle — or, on a smaller scale, a Schoenfeld v. Allen & Overy or a Morisseau v. DLA Piper — K&E has enacted a mandatory employment arbitration policy, applicable to all associates. From a tipster:
Kirkland just sent a memo to all of its associates, which they had to sign, reminding them that they were at will employees, and telling them they had to agree to arbitrate any employment dispute. Apparently a response to Charney-gate.
If you’re interested — perhaps you’re a labor and employment lawyer, or a Biglaw partner looking to foist such a policy on the associates at your own firm — check out the memo, after the jump.
A Shreveport judge’s excessive use of prescription drugs led her to disgrace the judiciary by missing work, falling asleep on the bench, and at times talking gibberish to convicts, the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in a 7-0 decision that permanently removed her from office.
LaLeshia Walker Alford, first elected to the Shreveport City Court in 1997, was removed from the Caddo Parish bench and ordered to reimburse the state $5,000 for the cost of the investigation that began six years ago.
We especially appreciated the article’s deadpan subhead: “Absences, gibberish on bench recounted.”
So how did this all get started?
Alford, a Tulane Law School graduate who was re-elected in 2002, fell under state investigation after an anonymous complaint May 27, 2002, accused her of missing work regularly, canceling court without any notice, and presiding on the bench impaired, inarticulate, and at times nodding off. At one point, Alford threw a 15-year-old boy into an adult lock-up after fuming over his poor report card….
Dozing off on the bench? No big deal. One well-regarded federal judge has his clerks bring him a pitcher of ice cubes and a glass while he’s on the bench, so he can chew on ice to stay awake.
But napping on the bench is just the tip of the iceberg for Judge Walker Alford. Check out some excerpts of her judicial gibberish, after the jump.
We’ve confirmed the news, which surfaced previously in the comments, about the pay raise announcement by Seyfarth Shaw. Here’s what one source told us:
The Chicago office had an all-associate meeting [yesterday]. First- and second-year associates will stay lockstep — $145K for first years, $155K for second years — while third- through eighth-years will get “market” base salary ranges. Not clear where anyone will fall in the ranges yet, since we don’t find out until the week of March 3.
The bonus pool remains the same as last year, which means no “extraordinary” bonuses. (But there seems to be room to reward top performers one way or another.)
The managing partner of the office made a crack about sending him anonymous questions by posting them “on Wikipedia,” so perhaps it’s time for a higher profile for you.
Additional information, including ranges for selected classes, after the jump.
* Supreme Court, in nearly unanimous decision (RBG dissent), protects medical device makers from lawsuits, finding suits preempted by FDA approval. [New York Times; Drug and Device Law; Riegel v. Medtronic (PDF)]
* NYT report links John McCain to a comely female lobbyist, Vicki Iseman (who bears a resemblance to his wife Cindy; see picture). [New York Times]
* Is this her Alamo? Clinton debates Obama in Texas tonight. [Houston Chronicle]
* Will Mel Weiss of Milberg Weiss cut a plea deal? [WSJ Law Blog]
* An update on the William & Mary firestorm that we covered earlier: prominent D.C. lawyer Robert Blair resigns from the W&M governing board. [Washington Post]
* Nicolas Cage in Face / Off with IRS. [TaxProf Blog]
* Former AIG CEO wins court victory over key document discovery. [DealBook / NYT]
* Online writer sues NYC over press passes. [New York Sun via Drudge]
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: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…