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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.


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.

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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.

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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”


* 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]

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgSources at Sullivan & Cromwell confirm that the firm is going to pay (deep breath) the New York market rate on 2008 associate bonuses.

We haven’t gotten our hands on an actual memo yet, but our sources are unhappy enough that we believe it to be true. From one S&C associate: “Either the firm is in piss poor shape & Rodge [Cohen] is a liar or we are lemmings and do what Cravath does. Bonus = total BS. People are PISSED.”

Half-Skadden wins. Partners win. Cravath defenders win.

NYC associates lose. Manhattan real estate brokers lose (again). Top billers lose.

Update (6:20 PM): Am Law Daily reports that the firm promised supplemental bonuses in the spring — this time for all classes, not just senior associates — depending on market conditions:

[The S&C] memos also said the firm intends to issue all associates another check in April. The spring distribution, or supplemental bonus, will be based on the firm’s overall financial performance. The firm also issued supplemental bonuses last year, though the circumstances were somewhat different since it was the height of the dealmaking boom.

This past April, S&C’s supplemental bonus was paltry. We reported:

[W]e have confirmed with sources at the firm that S&C paid out its special “senior associate bonuses” last week. We don’t know the numbers for all years, but word on the street is that current fifth-years received around $2,500.

So maybe, if everything goes right, a senior S&C associate will get a little more of a bonus than a first year at Skadden.

So that’s positive, right?

Update (8:02 PM): After the jump, read the full version of S&C’s bonus memo.

BREAKING: Sullivan & Cromwell Bonuses Cut, But No Freeze on Pay [AmLaw Daily]

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of associate bonuses

Associate Bonus Watch: Sullivan & Cromwell’s Super-Special Bonuses

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: S&C Announces Half-Skadden Bonuses (But May Pay More Come Spring)”

Jack Bauer v Cravath.jpg* I wonder what Jack Bauer would say about pardoning John Walker Lindh. If only we had a commenter that could channel Bauer and share his thoughts with us … [Legal Pad]

* If you are thinking about going down to D.C. for the inauguration, you should listen to Kash’s sage guidance. [WYNC]

* At that inauguration, Rick Warren will be giving the invocation. What a savvy bi-partisan move to reach out to potentially disgruntled evangelicals! (Mr. Kennedy, Obama’s the guy right? We’re still absolutely sure about this right? Because … oh why yes, I’d love some more Kool-Aid). [Althouse]

* Here’s the Miley Cyrus/Lanier Law Firm party wrap. [Tex Parte Blog]

* With all the unemployed lawyers out there it seems appropriate to point out some legal research tools that you don’t need a westlaw account to access. [E-Justice Blog]

law firm associate bonus watch 2008 biglaw bonuses.jpgIndividualized memos have been issued to Skadden Arps associates to inform them of their 2008 bonuses and 2009 base salaries. The Skadden base salaries reflect the customary annual pay raises — sorry, Lathamites.

Because Skadden’s announced bonuses this year are so much higher than the Cravath-established market level, folks at other firms have wondered: Are the Skadden bonuses for real?

The short answer: yes. To quote the famous Seinfeld episode, “they’re real — and they’re spectacular.”

We’ve surveyed Skadden associates from a variety of class years, from 2008 through 2001. The scale we’ve pieced together looks like this (i.e., like last year’s year-end or regular bonus schedule, but without the “special” bonus amounts):

Class of 2008 — $35,000 (prorated)
Class of 2007 — $35,000
Class of 2006 — $40,000
Class of 2005 — $45,000
Class of 2004 — $50,000
Class of 2003 — $55,000
Class of 2002 — $60,000
Class of 2001 — $65,000

The bonus schedule is, of course, subject to the 1600-hour minimum. That’s not an onerous burden, and pro bono hours count towards the minimum, in unlimited amounts. If you fall short of the 1600-hour minimum, you may still be eligible for a 50 percent bonus — aka a “half-Skadden” bonus.

After the rest of the New York market settled around the Cravath bonus levels, some wondered: Do the Skadden partners feel like chumps?

Find out, after the jump.

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California firm Grodsky & Olecki likes to have fun with its annual end-of-the-year holiday card. The firm likes them so much that it keeps cards dating back to 2003 archived on its site. In recent years, the firm has humorously touched on the Writers Guild strike, red state-blue state divide, and malfunctioning voting machines. Suffice to say, the firm has a quirky sense of humor.

This year’s card is edgy, and certainly less cloying than Cadwalader’s. Here’s the gloomy front of the card:

Bear Stearns stock certificate holiday card.jpg

Shouldn’t J.P. Morgan’s name really be on that certificate, c/o the American taxpayer? And do we actually want to be reminded of bail-outs in holiday cards this season? To lift your spirits again, check out name partner Allen Grodsky doing a yoga headstand pose on his bio page.

And check out the festive (at least in coloration) backside of the card, after the jump.

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fighting gator pit of swamp death.jpgLawyer fight! The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that competition for clients is heating up in the bayou:

Two attorneys competing for clients, prestige and a bounty of legal fees opened a hearing at Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Monday with a schoolyard brawl that shocked the buttoned-up crowd and ended with one led away in handcuffs on charges of contempt.

The best thing about lawyer fights are the clever euphemisms that the combatants use to explain just how badly they got their asses kicked. Remember this Louisiana throw down between attorneys who were also in-laws?

“I said, ‘You just bought yourself a ticket to a bar (association) complaint.’ He grabbed me by the neck and started swinging me back and forth. .¤.¤. He hurt me substantially. I became woozy and fell.”

This time, both battling attorneys (Madro Bandaries and J. Robert Ates) offered competing explanations as to how they were so easily and quickly defeated.

The case of Glass Joe versus Captain Inaction continues after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ragin’ Cajun Courtroom Fracas”

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