Last week we brought you news of Stephen Dunne, the would-be Massachusetts lawyer who’s suing the state Board of Bar Examiners, claiming that he failed the bar exam because one of the questions violated his First Amendment rights by requiring him to approve of gay marriage.
As was noted here in Non Sequiturs yesterday, another blog reported that Dunne has amended his complaint to reduce damages claim from $9,750,000.00 to $9.75. Dunne told the Boston Herald:
“[t]he lawsuit is not about money … It’s about equity and justice, and I wanted to be very clear about that.”
I plan on hiring America’s #1 Law Firm to help me win this case. Justice is expensive in America, but with your support it can be realized. Litigation expenses, expert witnesses, court costs and legal fees associated with legal research are only a sampling of the costs that must be paid to guarantee victory and protect the faith of the Founding Fathers of this beautiful Country. I humbly solicit your support and will gladly offer an accounting of the funds received by a Tax Attorney/CPA. The majority of donations will be utilized exclusively to fund the incredible expenses of this Federal Lawsuit. This case is about the protection and defense of Christianity.
Stay tuned for word on which lucky shop Dunne considers to be “America’s #1 Law Firm.”
Our old professors continue to churn out best-selling fiction. First it was Stephen Carter, our contracts professor, who stunned the publishing world — and the YLS faculty — with a $4 million advance for his first thriller, The Emperor of Ocean Park.
Then our con law professor, Jed Rubenfeld, came out with a novel of his own, the creepy psychological thriller The Interpretation of Murder. (Above the Law did a post on the Rubenfeld book here.)
Now Stephen Carter is back with his second novel, New England White.
The New York Times gives it an approving review and offers us a taste of the plot:
The whiteness that appalls in Stephen L. Carter’s stylishly written new novel, “New England White,” is only partly the snow, which sifts through the “Gothic sprawl” of the university campus in “grimy, dilapidated” Elm Harbor in the late fall of 2003. In a coy author’s note we are assured that Elm Harbor is “not a thinly disguised New Haven,” so the unnamed university is presumably not a thinly disguised Yale, where Carter — author of a previous best-selling thriller, “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” as well as highly regarded books on the pitfalls of affirmative action and the proper place of religion in public life — has taught in the law school since 1982.
For Lemaster Carlyle, president of the university, the “heart of whiteness” is the creepy bedroom community of Tyler’s Landing, population 3,000, of whom five families, including the Carlyles, happen to be black. In the Landing, as it is called, Lemaster and his wife, Julia, a deputy dean of the divinity school, live in an ostentatious house with their two daughters, Vanessa (“16 going on 50”) and Jeannie, and “a smelly feline mutt” named Rainbow Coalition. Lemaster’s college roommate, now president of the United States (“the big president”) and up for re-election, sometimes calls to chat. To their envious neighbors on Hunter’s Meadow Road, “where the houses stood continents apart,” the Carlyles seem to have it all. But those “invisible spheres” Melville mentioned are about to crack the veneer of their seemingly perfect lives.
Sounds intriguing. We enjoyed The Emperor of Ocean Park until the end, which we didn’t think lived up to the suspense Carter masterfully built up throughout the rest of the book (Note to Professor Carter: We’re giving you more feedback here than you gave us on that contracts exam).
We have heard from the subjects of a couple of today’s posts, and would like to post a couple of clarifications based on what they told us.
First, a source from Davis Polk wants to make it very clear that the marriage bonuses are not “bonuses” per se, but are instead gifts from the partnership, which always happen to be in the exact amount of $500.
Second, we stated in the Mayer Brown post that the firm had not commented on the examiner’s report in the Refco case. We made that statement based on the fact that two online sources reporting on the case had reported that Mayer Brown had not commented at that time. The statement was not based on any specific request for comment from ATL. However, we now have received an official statement from Mayer Brown, and it is posted in its entirety after the jump. Earlier: Does It Pay to Be Married In Biglaw? Court-Appointed Examiner Blows The Whistle on Mayer Brown In Refco Case
We previously had an open thread on London salaries, when Weil and Cleary went to 180 and Latham went to 190. Now TheLawyer.com reports that Paul Hastings has raised to £90k, or roughly $180k, in its London offices.
So we’ll ask again: does this make London more attractive than New York? Will the London raises create any additional upward pressure on salaries in New York? Let us know if this changes anything, in the comments.
We have been pointed to an opinion from the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in a sexual harassment case filed against the subject our earlier post, Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, back in 1999. (See Lewis et. al. v. McDade, 54 F.Supp.2d 1332 (1999)). The descriptions of the allegedly harassing behavior in the opinion are classic. Here a few choice samples:
Defendant McDade would tell a woman employee to walk down the hall so that he could watch her walk from behind.
On occasion, he made comments about Plaintiff Lewis’ legs and that her dress was a “turn-on.”
Defendant McDade also shot rubber bands at the breasts and buttocks of the female employees.
Defendant McDade lifted the suit jacket of Plaintiff Gerstenberger and looked and pointed at her buttocks.
On an occasion when a man was being prosecuted who had obtained a penile implant, Defendant McDade carried the implant around the office proclaiming he was larger than the implant.
For those too lazy to look up the citation, there are more samples after the jump.
As an aside, we also found this funny:
[As an initial matter, the Court denies Defendant McDade's Motion to Exceed Page Limit. Defendant McDade has had three prior opportunities to brief the issues in the motion for summary judgment. Defendant filed a brief of 50 pages in support of the motion for summary judgment [84-1], a brief of 25 pages in reply to Plaintiffs’ responsive brief [92-1], and a brief of 22 pages in support of his objections to the Report and Recommendation [109-1]. Defendant McDade now requests permission to file a 67 page brief in response to Plaintiffs’ objections to the Report and Recommendation [115-1]. A review of the proposed brief shows that substantial portions of it are simply restatements of arguments presented in prior briefs. It is the filing of briefs such as the one submitted by Defendant McDade which the Local Rule is intended to prevent. Therefore, Defendant McDade’s Motion to Exceed Page Limit [116-1] is DENIED. The Court will not consider the brief for purposes of this Order.
This can’t help the whole equity partner situation at Mayer Brown.
A court-appointed examiner in the Refco bankruptcy case has there are grounds to sue Mayer Brown for malpractice in the case. Ernst & Young and Weil might be on the hook too, but these are “close calls” according to the examiner (with the obvious implication that with Mayer Brown it is not a close call). This from a Reuters article on the report from the examiner, Joshua Hochberg:
Hochberg filed his report with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan. His recommendations could provide grounds for lawsuits by Refco creditors, many of whom received only a fraction of the amounts they claimed they were owed.
Hochberg is a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in Washington, D.C. specializing in white-collar crime. He used to head the fraud unit of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Earlier we covered Harriet Miers impending date with destiny in the form of the House Judiciary Committee. Well, it looks like Miers needed some more time to polish up on her French.
From the report from AP via the Reno Gazette-Journal on the hearing that went down sans Miers:
A House panel cleared the way Thursday for contempt proceedings against former White House counsel Harriet Miers after she obeyed President Bush and skipped a hearing on the firings of federal prosecutors.
Addressing the empty chair where Miers had been subpoenaed to testify, Rep. Linda Sanchez ruled out of order Bush’s executive privilege claim that his former advisers are immune from being summoned before Congress.
The contempt issue would go next to the full Judiciary Committee, and ultimately to the entire House.
You at least have to admire Miers for going all the way in following Bush’s order, instead of the I’m-testifying-but-not-really tapdance that Sara Taylor attempted yesterday.
Kevin A. Gliwa, a shareholder in real estate practice at Otten Johnson, does not take his job seriously. At least not the part of it where he drafts his official bio for the Otten Johnson website. Either that, or he’s experienced one of the most interesting human lives ever. From the bio:
Kevin, a Shareholder practicing in Otten Johnson’s real estate group, was raised by penguins following a childhood boating accident.
He received his law degree from Boston University, which he attended on a full football scholarship through an administrative error.
He lectures frequently to his children on a variety of subjects. He enjoys swimming and fishing, despite the painful memories.
We are not the first to take note of Gliwa’s odd bio, and so he has preemptively addressed what he calls “bemused inquiries” regarding it:
To limit future inquiry, here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions:
(a) Emperor, not King.
(b) Yes it was cold, but I had a sweater.
This should silence all of those critics out there claiming that penquins aren’t fit to be parents.
A rather odd rumor recently came across our desk that Davis Polk hands out marriage bonuses of $500. That’s right, $500 for being married (and if you’re married to someone at Davis Polk, you each get $500, according to the rumor).
We hadn’t heard of this at Davis Polk or anywhere else previously, so we decided to float it to some Davis Polk sources. Here’s what they had to say:
Source 1: We do get a $500 marriage bonus… I got mine last year.
Source 2: I know that people got them in the past, but I am under the impression that this benefit no longer exists.
I think the most accurate characterization of it is that the benefit “once existed but may no longer exist.”
Source 1 (upon being told about Source 2′s claim that the benefit no longer exists): It definitely still exists. You have to ask for it, though.
So, can any Davis Polk folks out there tell us if this benefit still exists? Are any other firms doing this?
Then you need some of this gear from the “Pundits” series from Illegal Briefs. Available, among other things, are mugs, mousepads, shirts and boxer shorts with the logo to the right imprinted. Also included in the series is Howard Bashman, Eugene Volokh, Dahlia LIthwick, and others.
So if you’ve got a unshakeable crush (or man-crush?) on Lat, pick up some of this Lat Schwag at www.illegalbriefs.com.
Billy Merck here, once again filling in for Lat while he squeezes out some more vacation before the summer gets away from us. We’ll be here today and Laurie Lin will be here tomorrow; Lat’s back next week.
We start today with an update on a case from Georgia with which you’re all probably at least a little familiar. We reported earlier here on the case of Genarlow Wilson, the Georgia man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 years old. The Georgia statute under which he was convicted has since been amended to make the same offense a misdemeanor, but the change was not made retroactive to Wilson’s case.
On June 11, Wilson’s habeas corpus petition was granted on the basis that the 10-year sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment; as a result Wilson’s offense was changed to a misdemeanor, he was given credit for the more than two years already served in jail, and he would no longer have to register as a sex offender. Attorney General Thurbert Baker has appealed this decision, drawing criticism from many who question the need to keep Wilson in jail any longer than he has already been there.
Which leads us to the new part of the story. Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, who prosecuted the case against Wilson, has been there every step of the way to ensure not only that Wilson went to jail, but that he stayed there. When the state legislature considered bills last year and this year that would have amended the statute again to make it apply retroactively to Wilson’s case, McDade was there lobbying against the bills.
And evidently, as part of his efforts, McDade has made available to legislators and seemingly anyone else who wanted one copies of the videtape of the sexual encounter that got Wilson convicted. Many in Georgia have begun to question why McDade has been so free with the distribution of the tape, particularly since the distribution, receipt, and possession of it appears to violate Georgia and federal law.
More on McDade’s Nifong-like behavior after the jump.
Related: Attorney general: Wilson ruling could free molesters [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] Wilson’s legal tactics challenged[Atlanta Journal-Constitution] Judge says no bond for Genarlow Wilson, cancels hearing[Fulton County Daily Report] Sharpton embraces relatives at rally for Gernarlow Wilson[Atlanta Journal-Constitution] State Supreme Court moves up Genarlow Wilson hearing[Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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