With respect to our continuing coverage of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section, some of you have asked to hear Shanetta Cutlar’s side of the story.
For the record, we have tried to reach out to Ms. Cutlar. Unfortunately, the various email addresses that we tried to contact her at — Shanetta.Cutlar@usdoj.gov, Shanetta.Brown.Cutlar@usdoj.gov — didn’t work. (And we are too scared of her to pick up the telephone.) Update: One of you sent us a different email address for Shanetta Cutlar, and this address apparently worked. See here.
So, in the hope that Shanetta Cutlar or someone she knows will read this post, we’d like to publish this open letter to her:
Dear Ms. Cutlar:
Greetings. My name is David Lat, and I am the editor of Above the Law (www.abovethelaw.com), an online legal tabloid.
As someone who deeply admires strong and successful women, I am a huge fan of yours. Congratulations on your IACP Civil Rights Award!
We have previously written about you here at Above the Law. Although it is not as prestigious as the IACP award, you are a two-time winner of our “DOJ Diva of the Day” Award:
I was just writing to mention that if you would like to respond to any of our coverage, please do not hesitate to contact me. We would be happy to publish any statement you might wish to make. In addition, if you might like to send us a photograph of yourself that we could use when writing about you, we would be most grateful.
Thank you for your time and kind consideration. Hope all is well in the Special Litigation Section!
We have a lunch to attend, so we’ll be gone for a little while. We’ve arranged for items to be posted in our absence, though, so please visit early and often.
While we’re gone, please feel free to share your thoughts on Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, in the comments. We’ve been finding your comments highly informative and entertaining.
We especially welcome comments about Sullivan & Cromwell partner Alexandra Korry (at right). If the allegations about her from the Charney Complaint and ATL reader comments are even halfway true, we have the HUGEST CRUSH…
Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Later! Alexandra D. Korry [Sullivan & Cromwell] Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)
In case you’re wondering, the motion to reschedule a trial to accommodate football fans, which we wrote about yesterday, has been granted.
Here is the signed order. Note, however, that the trial must be completed by Friday, February 2 — the Friday before the Super Bowl.
Back by populardemand: your favorite litigatrix, Shanetta Y. Cutlar, who rules over the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section with an iron fist (and a ruler).
From yet another refugee former line attorney– yes, there are tons of them — who worked under Cutlar in the Special Litigation Section (“SPL”):
Shanetta Cutlar boasts about her “open door policy.” It works great — it took me three whole days to get granted an audience with her to tell her I was leaving. Same with [another lawyer who left the Section].
SPL employees are not permitted to speak with Shanetta, other than the enthusiastic “hello” in the hallways, without an appointment. When you meet with her, she has Tammie Gregg, her Principal Deputy, present to take notes for her.
Overall, everyone — except [xxxx] — is terrified by her. She has literally ruined people’s careers, for NO GOOD REASON. One lawyer says that whenever her swipe card fails to work in the morning, the first thing that runs through her head, is, “Oh my God, did Shanetta fire me?”
There is no real practice of law in the Special Litigation Section. You are not treated like an attorney and a trusted professional, but like a naughty kindergartener, who makes typos and knows nothing. You are guilty and cannot prove yourself innocent.
The advice I was given for how to survive at SPL: “Pretend you’ve been attacked by a bear, and play dead.”
Lots of great reader comments concerning Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. It’s getting hard to keep track of them.
If we get the chance, we may put together a “Best of” or “Top 10″ list for comments (as one of you suggested). This comment thread, appended to yesterday’s post about Aaron Charney’s interview on Canadian television, is especially interesting.
If you’re having a slow Friday, and if you haven’t already done so, we urge you to read the entire Complaint (PDF). We have no background in this area of law, so we won’t opine on the merits of Charney’s case. But his complaint seems fairly well-written, at least by pro se standards, and it’s full of fun gossip about S&C.
As a legal matter, as well as a matter of professional development — i.e., not burning every last one of your bridges, including those to your mentors and allies — it may have been unwise for Charney to lard his complaint with so much (arguably gratuitous) scuttlebutt. But as connoisseurs of Biglaw gossip, we’re grateful to him for dishing all that dirt about S&C.
For now, we’d like to share with you this amusing message from a reader, about specific allegations from the Charney Complaint:
Not being included in the Mentor Program. That HAD to be the breaking point. See paragraphs 60-61 (“Pagnani’s Mentor List did not include Plaintiff”).
Oh the horror. If there is one bright ray of sunshine in a young associate’s life, it’s the opportunity to take summers out for a $200 lunch once a week. How can any third year get out of bed knowing that they’ll be eating an $6 sandwich from Au Bon Pain, while everyone else is out at a mentor-mentee lunch?
We’ve been running the same still photo of Aaron Charney, the plaintiff in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, over and over again. You’re probably sick and tired of seeing his mug (appealing though it may be).
But now we have more to offer you. If you’d like to see and hear an animated Aaron Charney, to make your own judgment of his credibility, you’re in luck.
Aaron Charney has given an on-air interview to Report on Business Television, Canada’s leading business news television channel. The segment was titled “Aaron and Goliath.” Check it out here (around the 44th minute of the broadcast).
It’s quite interesting. And, of course, they go into the subject of anti-Canadian animus.
We’d like to hear your thoughts on the video. Please place them in the comments. Thanks.
* Another high-profile discrimination case, but this time in the world of haute cuisine. Daniel Boulud’s defense? He’s an immigrant himself — we bet the whole “Freedom Fries” anti-French sentiment really hurt. [New York Times]
* A gentleman should not be required to excuse himself for European civility. [AP via Lowering the Bar]
* I have never smoked pot. As long as people dating me or coming to my stand-up gigs are high, the banter will undoubtedly seem witty and the jokes uproarious, and I’d rather be lucid enough to savor such fleeting moments. [TalkLeft]
* My mom once gave me cash to use on an SAT-prep course. I secretly used it on a Gucci dress. But I still got into my first choice college and had 75 hours of free time to, like, hang out at the mall. There’s an analogy in there somewhere. [Denver Post via Mirror of Justice]
* Families blame MySpace for enabling teenage irrationality, sexual perversion and poor parenting. They long for the days they could just plunk their kids in front of the TV without consequence. [Associated Press]
* So you think MTV doesn’t respect its audience? Well, it has just acquired RateMyProfessors, so I guess it’s assuming someone in that demographic actually cares about school and their future and stuff. [TaxProf Blog]
We’re stepping away from the computer for a bit. We are attending this exciting event, a dinner and movie screening with Justice Stephen G. Breyer, sponsored by The Week.
Some posts, including Non-Sequiturs, will appear while we’re gone. But if some exciting news breaks and we’re slow to cover it, it’s because we’re spending quality time with SGB.
Finally, while we’re making administrative announcements, we’re planning to close our December 2006 Couple of the Month poll tomorrow, January 19, at 1 PM (Eastern time). You can cast your vote here.
The second poll we’re running, concerning which side you support in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, we will keep open for a while (at least through the weekend). You can vote in that poll by clicking here. The Third Man [IMDb]
After we posted the press release recognizing the Sullivan & Cromwell and Kaye Scholer lawyers who worked on the recent Onex / Kodak Health Group transaction, one of you pointed out:
Respectfully, you missed the lede in the Kodak post. Read Exhibit C to the Charney Complaint (PDF) re: Kodak’s complaints regarding fees and overstaffing. Then look at the attorney list for Kodak and compare the slim list for the other side.
S&C put out its major league press, earning how much in fees??? I’ll leave it to you to parse the Exhibit C memo. Have at it!
Point well-taken. The announcement mentions just five Kaye Scholer lawyers, versus almost thirty S&C lawyers, who worked on the deal.
In fairness to Sullivan, the Kaye Scholer part of the announcement names only partners, not associates (presumably omitted from the list). But it is true that a staggering number of S&C lawyers worked on this transaction — some 28 lawyers, about a third of them partners, from six different countries. Basically, everybody and their cousin-in-law worked on this deal.
Not surprisingly, Kodak squealed about the bill. For your reference, here’s Exhibit C to the Charney Complaint:
Partner Stephen Kotran notes that griping about the bill is “par for the course” for Kodak.
But Kodak might be wondering: Is overstaffing “par for the course” for Sullivan & Cromwell?
(Okay, that last line was gratuitously snarky. For all we know, Kodak was just delighted with the quality and cost of S&C’s legal representation. Heck, maybe we’ll drop Kodak a line and see if they have any comment. We’ll keep you posted.) Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)
We’re not really that up on sports. There’s a reason we’ve delegated the provision of fantasy football advice to B Clerker.
Despite our ignorance of athletic pursuits, several readers have emailed us copies of this rather unusual motion. So, for your amusement, here it is:
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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