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judge_lippencott.jpgThis county judge in Ohio is being honored with ATL Judge of the Day for her creative sentencing. Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott sentenced a local man to… gasp, the horror, the horror… Beethoven!

From the Associated Press:

Andrew Vactor was facing a $150 fine for playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo in July. But a judge offered to reduce that to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin.

Vactor, 24, lasted only about 15 minutes, a probation officer said.

Vactor may not have been a fan of the classical tunes, but Nas appreciates Für Elise along with you, Judge Fornof-Lippencott.

Despite the classical sentence, she’s not too terribly high-brow. According to her bio, Judge Bach-inator is a farmer and participates in “West-Liberty Salem High School Mock Trials.” And Men’s News Daily reports that she has sentenced other offenders to episodes of Oprah and Dr. Phil. Now that’s harsh!

Judge sentences rap fan to Bach, Beethoven [Associated Press]

Rap music fan sentenced to Beethoven, pays fine instead [Men's News Daily]

“Non-essential” Heller Ehrman people, it’s time to pack it up:

Heller Ehrman LLP Above the Law blog.JPGIt is with a great deal of regret that we write to inform you that we will not be able to pay you for work performed after today, Friday October 10 and, as a result, that your employment with the firm will be terminated today. We also expect that we will need to inform other employees over the following two weeks that we are unable to pay them any further and will need to terminate their employment. We do expect that we will be able to continue to pay some people for a longer period of time. Regular paychecks will be provided today but because of the volume of final paychecks we will need to prepare, it may take a few days to get your final paycheck to you. We know this is important to you but please be assured your colleagues in the Payroll Department will be working as hard and as quickly as they can to get you your paycheck.

These actions have been forced upon us by the two banks — Citibank and Bank of America — that control our ability to make any payments. Generally, they have refused to pay employees who we cannot convince them are necessary (as they define it) for the wind down efforts. We understand how upsetting this news is. You should continue your activities to serve clients, including, where applicable, to bill your time. Time billing and client service are two of the criteria the banks are examining in our continuing negotiations with them to maintain an orderly transition.

We want to thank you for your professionalism and forbearance to date and ask you to continue to proceed with the same degree of professionalism you have demonstrated during your valuable service to the firm and to its clients.

The Dissolution Committee

The rest of the bad news, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Anatomy of a Dissolution: So Much For 60 Days WARNing”

gilbert randolph soon to be old logo.JPGGilbert Randolph has added Jerry Oshinsky to their partnership ranks. The firm will change its name to “Gilbert Oshinsky” to highlight this new acquisition. Firm chairman Scott Gilbert announced the new hire via a firm-wide email:

I have a number of exciting announcements.

First, I am extraordinarily pleased to tell you that Jerry Oshinsky will be joining the firm, likely as early as next week. A number of us were Jerry’s colleagues at Dickstein Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky; indeed, it was the prospect of combining our respective practices that ultimately led me to leave Covington & Burling after 18 years and join Dickstein in the first place. Jerry is simply THE preeminent litigator and advisor in insurance law, and we certainly now can say that there rarely has been a coverage decision or settlement of any significance in the United States that did not directly involve Jerry or other of our firm lawyers. Of course, as anyone who knows Jerry can readily attest, he also is a tremendous human being, in every sense of the word. As his friend of 30 years and an ardent admirer, I just could not be more pleased and excited that Jerry has chosen to begin this new, and yet to be the most satisfying and successful, chapter of his storied career with us.

Second, as soon as Jerry is able to join the partnership, the firm will be changing its name to Gilbert Oshinsky LLP. This name best reflects our new, or in some cases reestablished, relationship with Jerry, as well as the merger of our two substantial practices. And yes, on several levels, we henceforth will be known as the GO to firm.

“GO to firm.” Nice touch.

The email went on to say that GO would be opening a Los Angeles office and that Oshinsky would be operating out of that new facility.

But the email does not mention Jerry C. Randolph, co-founder of the firm. Is there a limitation on the number of “Jerrys” allowed as name partners? Does he sleep with the fishes? Were they so excited about the “GO to” stuff that Randolph’s name became a marketing causality?

Dickstein Shapiro responds (sort of) after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Gilbert Randolph To Add Jerry Oshinsky
Dickstein Shapiro, ‘Morin & Oshinsky’ To Change Stationery”

gay marriage skadden.jpgConnecticut homosexuals now have the same right to get married — and eventually lose half of their stuff — as heterosexuals:

The Supreme Court released its historic ruling at 11:30 a.m. Citing the equal protection clause of the state constitution, the justices ruled that civil unions were discriminatory and that the state’s “understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection.”

Writing for the 4-3 majority, Justice Palmer wrote:

Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice, to decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.

Homosexuals were held to be a quasi-suspect class.

Now we go to the ballots. On election day Connecticut voters will have an opportunity to convene a state constitutional convention that could result in a ban on gay marriage.

Any inappropriate, firm-wide emails sent by partners staking out political positions should be sent here.

Update (Lat, J., concurring): In the comments, some of you have complained about our use of “homosexual” as a noun (instead of a more P.C. formulation like “gay men and lesbians”). Obviously we are not biased against gay people around here. Rather, our use of “homosexual” was intended to be ironic and amusingly archaic. Thanks.

High Court Grants Gay Marriage Rights [Hartford Courant]

Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health (PDF)

Earlier: Orrick’s Internal Battle Over Proposition 8

Skadden Partner Walks Into the Lion’s Den Society

lebanon israel food fight.JPGIn a sign of immense progress towards the peaceful resolution of differences in the Middle East, the Industrialists Association of Lebanon is contemplating filing an international lawsuit against Israel for violating a food copyright:

The Lebanese claim is that Israel markets original Lebanese food like tabouleh, kubbeh, hummus, falafel and fattoush which the Lebanese considered their trademarks prior to the establishment of the Jewish state.

I’m no Talmudic scholar, but I’d imagine the original copyright holder is He who is called I Am.

Shockingly, the Lebanese Industrialists might have precedent on their side:

France, Denmark and Germany asserted that Greece cannot have a monopoly over the production of [feta] cheese. Greece managed to prove in international institutions that it is the cheese’s “originator” and won the case.

Until that point, the three prosecuting countries produced 12,000 tons of cheese a year.

The court ruled that from then on, other countries could not use the name “feta”, as this cheese is “largely associated with Greece’s history and has been produced under this name for 6,000 years.”

Thus, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs decided to grant Greece the sole right to produce and market the cheese under that name.

And you wonder why the international community cannot react rationally to the current financial crisis.

An international legal battle between Lebanon and Israel over hummus is still so much better than the usual conflict resolution between those two countries. Yay progress.

Lebanon: Israel stole our falafel [Ynet News]

illinois college of law.jpgLast month, we told you about the Wolverine scholars program. The program allows students with a 3.8 GPA at Michigan to bypass the LSAT when applying to Michigan Law School.

Apparently those exacting standards were too draconian for Illinois College of Law. They are now offering an Early Admission Program for Illinois college students that also allows them to bypass the LSAT:

The biggest differences between the two programs involve GPA and additional requirements. Applicants to the University of Michigan will require a 3.8 GPA, while applicants to the University of Illinois will need at least a 3.0 GPA.

However, the University of Michigan will not have separate additional requirements, while the University of Illinois will require additional essays and interviews.

Instant analysis after the jump.

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don't bother earning money.JPGThe latest analysis of Obama’s and McCain’s tax plans show that both candidates will likely raise the marginal tax rate paid by most Americans:

Senator Obama’s tax plan includes a number of proposals for new or expanded tax benefits that are generally targeted to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. Many of these additions to the “skyline” change taxpayers’ effective marginal tax rates in important ways, lowering or raising them, sometimes significantly. …

Senator McCain’s tax plan also affects marginal rates, but for very different reasons. His tax plan includes only two individual tax proposals and only his health tax credit has a material effect on effective marginal tax rates.

For those of you who slept through Tax, the marginal tax rate is the tax you pay on your last dollar of income. A high marginal tax rate (generally) represents a direct disincentive to making more money.

The marginal tax rate will increase to 50% under Obama’s plan, 40% under McCain’s plan. For the visually inclined, TaxProf Blog has charts that show the effects of both plans — thankfully based on double income homes.

Does anybody still believe anything they hear? After the jump.

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public relations agency PR firm microphone.jpg* A federal judge orders Syria to pay $400 million to the families of American military contractors killed in Iraq. [Associated Press]

* If you like podcasts, these are ten of the “can’t miss” legal ones. [Law Technology News]

* National Security Agency officers may have used relaxed eavesdropping rules to listen in on soldiers’ phone sex. [Washington Post]

* The Ohio State Supreme Court has ruled that an inmate is thin enough to execute. [CNN]

* An art gallery is suing an ex-Enron guy for extortion. And it sounds like shareholders should have a bone to pick with him as well. [Bloomberg]

* Cyrus Sanai strikes again. [National Law Journal]

mountain laurel Penn.JPGCongratulations to the 82% of the 1500+ applicants who learned that they passed the Pennsylvania bar exam yesterday. Way to get in just before the American economy careens off a cliff.

For our readers out west, we also congratulate Colorado exam takers.

Good luck, from ATL.

The Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners

Colorado Board of Law Examiners

escape from the market crisis.JPG* O’Melveny & Myers has added a new securitization partner. Funny, I thought those guys were all dead. [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]

* Is going to law school better than working? In this economy? I have to think that cash money is better than debt. [The Shark]

* If you’re in need of CLE credits, and if you’ll be in D.C. on October 29, this star-studded event on legal reform may interest you. [Institute for Legal Reform / U.S. Chamber of Commerce]

* Marc Edleman, late of ATL, begs the Court to clarify the fair use of player statistics in fantasy sports. Obviously that LaDainian Tomlinson pick is not going as he had hoped. [Overlawyered]

* U.S. News has sent around its surveys as they start compiling next year’s rankings. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Yes. The markets are at the point where we should start hoarding water and ammunition. Just don’t forget the medical supplies. Snake Plissken always seems to forget the medical supplies. [Dealbreaker]

Not Hiring sign.jpg[Ed. note: Once again, we apologize for our technical difficulties.]

As everybody is starting to realize, fall recruiting is not going as well as it has in the past. In Part I of our recruiting roundup, we told you which markets are making it tough on summer associate applicants. Today, we’ll talk about law schools.

If you had to pick one clear loser during this year’s recruitment process, it would have to be Harvard Law School:

Basically, life is not particularly good for Harvard 2Ls these days: 1) OCI Call Backs have all been doled out to other (earlier) schools’ students; and 2) the H-P-LP-F system leaves current Harvard 2L’s at a disadvantage (in terms of misery) to their younger classmates.

Difficulty + Harvard = Open mockery from everyone else:

Dear Harvard students,

We had earlier OCI programs and took your jobs. Sorry.

Sincerely,

State school students with multiple v5 and v10 callbacks

Interviews didn’t start at HLS until September 18th, and it’s pretty clear that the late start has hurt applicants. Remember how differently the economy looked just one month ago. On September 12th (before Lehman was thrown down with the sodomites), the Dow closed at 11,421. By September 17th, the Dow was down to 10,609. And right now you need an electron microscope to read the DJIA (9,220 as of 12:30 EDT).

Update: DJIA closed at 8,579 today.

Tomorrow is the last day for HLS OCI. It’s a bad time to have bad timing.

HLS’s response and stories from other schools, after the jump.

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Jeremy Anderson.jpgWhere do lawyers turned reality TV contestants go? After their television careers, they take different paths.

Some return to their law firms. E.g., Charlie Herschel (Survivor / Weil Gotshal); Denise Gitsham (The Bachelor / K&L Gates); and Stacy Rotner (The Apprentice / Sidley). Some stay in the world of entertainment. E.g., David Otunga (engaged to Oscar-winning songstress Jennifer Hudson); Yul Kwon (Survivor winner, who then worked for CNN as a special correspondent).

And some have ups and downs. Remember Jeremy Anderson, the hottie from Hunton & Williams who competed for DeAnna Pappas’s hand on the latest season of The Bachelorette? Shortly after the show ended, his life wasn’t so glamorous. From a Texas tipster:

Jeremy, the runner-up from the Bachelorette, is working as a contract attorney upstairs at my firm [McKool Smith in Dallas]. Looks like Hunton Williams didn’t invite him back to the firm after the show ended. I heard about it because a bunch of the secretaries were going to the doc review floor to go check him out. I personally wasn’t about to make my way up there to stare at the guy.

Other indignities inflicted upon poor Jeremy (from a different reader, in mid-September):

I was at lunch today at Jason’s Deli in downtown Dallas with all of the other downtown workers. Well, all of a sudden, a familiar face walked in for a take-out order: Jeremy from the Bachelorette. My, how the mighty have fallen. From national TV to getting his own lunch.

And that wasn’t the end of it. Get this: Jeremy Anderson has been doing catalog modeling for JCPenney. And not just regular JC Penney, but the JC Penney outlet store.

(No joke — we have photographic proof. The photos show that Jeremy, whose magnificent shirtless torso was featured prominently on The Bachelorette, has gained weight since leaving the show.)

But our hero’s tale has a happy ending. Read more, and check out the pictures — including the J.C. Penney catalog images — after the jump.

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