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UVA lw school building.JPGChen Chih-chung was kicked out of UVA Law before he could start his 1L year for missing the school’s orientation meeting.

At least that is UVA’s official response.

No ordinary 1L would be kicked out of school for missing one meeting — but Chen is no ordinary 1L. As Virginia Law Weekly reports:

[Chen] is the son of Taiwan’s former President, Chen Shui-bian, who served from 2000 to 2008. After leaving office in May, he was indicted for his alleged role in a large-scale embezzlement and money laundering scheme.

The younger Chen missed the Law School’s orientation when he flew home to cooperate with an inquiry into whether he played a role in the alleged criminal enterprise. Chen Chih-chung has since been added as a defendant in the investigation.

The family denies any wrongdoing.

Why Chen missed the mixer, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Taiwanese 1L Has Serious Daddy Issues”

randy yellow hat.jpg[Ed Note: Yesterday we learned that Hope's partner pal, Randy, was taking testosterone pills to treat his "lactating man-boobs." Today we learn about the downside of hormonal supplements.]

“Testosterone pills? Like, how many do you have to take?”

“Well, right now three. One with every meal.”

I wanted to end this conversation and finish the bloody filing so I could go out and get wasted.

“Well, I hope it helps and you feel better soon!” I gathered my papers and stared at my laptop.

“Well, my chest isn’t hurting as much, but there’s this other problem.”

Good Lord.


“Well…” Randy leaned forward and whispered, “I can’t stop thinking about sex. I’m like obsessed with it. I can’t do my work. It’s all I think about — I feel like I’ve turned into a teenage boy again.”

Okay, this is weird. Really weird. And, weird is what I sought to escape. I found myself longing for the hairy armpits, unbuckled trousers, and pool parties back at Pants Down.

“I mean… I can’t even go to lunch in public without staring at every girl that walks by.”

This proved to be true. I later witnessed this at a lunch with some summer associates. Each time a remotely attractive girl walked by, his neck moved more rapidly than the ducks I fed stale bread to at our lake house. Clearly he was hungry — and not shy.

“Well, I really think you need to talk to your doctor about this. Maybe they can lower the medication.”

“Well, he has lowered it. Still. All I think about its sex! Even my wife is sick of me — I want it like three times a day.” My mind flashed back to the photo of the blond trophy wife on his desk. Please. She probably doesn’t even want to do it with him three times a year.

“I’m really sorry about your problem. But, I do have to get this filing done in an hour.”

I get him out of my office — and fast. I mean, what does he want me to do here? Service him? Well, he can try the self-service island. I wanted to tell him to go whack off and leave me alone.

Hope tries to finish the task at hand, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Curious Case Of Randy (Part 2)”

Starline Hollywood Tour.jpgFive women embarked on Starline’s Haunted Hollywood Tour, expecting to hear celebrity tales of sex, drugs, and depravity. But it sounds like they inadvertently signed up for an immersion tour, with a guide who was drunk, high, and verbally and sexually abusive. Now they’re suing.

From Courthouse News Service:

Five women say their host on a Starline Tours of Hollywood sexually pawed them while drunk or on drugs, called them “ni***rs” and “bitches,” urinated in a man’s front yard, lay down in the street with his shirt off, sexually attacked one woman while the other four yelled at him to stop, and assaulted them.

Maybe they should have been tipped off when their guide showed up in a “run-down, smoking Cadillac.” They claim they thought the car and depraved behavior were all part of the Halloween theme of the tour. Until the guy started to sexually assault one of them.

TMZ [PDF] got its hands on the complaint [PDF]. We’ve posted some choice excerpts after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Is Sexual Assault Supposed to be Part of the Tour?”

omgnoob.jpgIn today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we turn our attention to first-year associates.

Last month, we reported that a lot of practicing attorneys don’t really like summer associates:

The number of practicing attorneys who said “Summer associates, hate ‘em” narrowly beat the number of practicing attorneys who said “Summer associates, love ‘em,” by a margin of 25.06% to 24.82%. And while that edge may not be statistically significant, it still has to sting a little.

Among lawyers who had been practicing for more than two years, the gap widened considerably, to 30% vs. 22%.

And in Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Miami, associates of all ages hated summer associates most of all, to the tune of at least 40%.

But now the summer associates of yesteryear are arriving at law firms around the country (unless their start dates have been delayed). How will they be received?

Will they be welcome colleagues, greeted as liberators from document production?

Or, now that their days of free lunch are behind them, will they consume precious billable hours and leave older associates hungry for work?

Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this Associate Life Survey.

wall street bull backside.jpgWe have extensively covered the law firms shaking and baking thanks to the market collapse over the past few weeks. But the M&A and bankruptcy lawyers are only half of the clusterf&^%. Which litigators will get work as old Wall Street business models die spectacular deaths?

LegalTimes reports that O’Mel­veny & Myers is set up to have a huge litigation year:

[L]itigators at O’Mel­veny & Myers must be doing cartwheels in the hallways. Since Bank of America–a loyal client of O’Mel­veny’s litigation department–took over Countrywide earlier this year, O’Melveny has already begun to pick up extra work generated by the beleaguered mortgage company. With Merrill about to become part of Bank of America, O’Melveny might just be the best bet for out-of-work securities litigators looking for someplace to send their résumés.

More litigious winners after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Meltdown Roundup For Litigators”

pls hndle copy 2.jpg[Ed Note: Pls Hndle Thx is a new weekly advice column in which ATL tackles your toughest law firm problems and provides you with debatable advice. Got a question? Send it here, and we'll pick the best ones for future posts].


My secretary is an idiot. She means well but can’t do basic things like collate, input edits correctly or cover for me when I leave the office early. She’s in her late 40s and a single mom, and while she tries hard, she really sucks. The secretary supervisor has been pestering me to review her because that’s how they determine pay levels, but I know if I’m honest in my review she’ll get penalized and potentially be fired. What should I do?

Secretary Purgatory

Dear Secretary Purgatory,

Take heart: the good news is that your secretary doesn’t have to be a law firm charity case. The bad news is that you have to implement the following three step system before you give your damning review:

1. Um, try talking to her. If you’d like your secretary to edit more carefully, simply snatch the offending documents from her hands and snarl, “Next time can you try not making 10,000 mistakes so that I don’t have to do everything myself? Great, thanks.” Or, just casually mention that she is doing a horrendous job and needs to shape up or else.

2. Set traps in order to determine whether any improvement in your secretary’s work is real or a false positive. For instance, you might ask her if she sent that fax that you specifically asked her to send. If she replies in the affirmative, triumphantly reveal that there IS no such fax and that she’s a filthy liar. Proceed immediately to Step 4. If she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, grudgingly admit that you were testing her but that you’re nevertheless onto her dirty tricks.

3. Regale her with stories about assistants who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, like Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire. Renee risked it all for her boss, you should mention ominously as you sit on the edge of her desk. Does she want to be a Renee? Don’t wait for her answer – walk toward your office and when you reach the doorway, pause, turn back and say, “I don’t know… I just don’t know.”

4. If you’ve implemented Steps 1-3 and your secretary still shows no signs of progress, give her an honest review. Frankly, if you suck at your job, the partnership won’t hesitate to give YOU a bad review (unless you work at Davis Polk, in which case you won’t be told anything until you’re fired). The hallowed pyramid structure of law firms can only be maintained if shit rolls down hill. Just as senior associates must throw you under the bus when you screw up, so too must you throw your underlings under the bus so that we may preserve this cycle of abuse for our children and our children’s children.

Your friend,


See Elie’s response after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx:
Help! My Secretary’s an Idiot

superman warren buffett.jpg* Can Warren Buffett save Wall Street? [New York Times]

* Everyone’s scrambling to get involved in cleaning up the financial industry meltdown. Even the F.B.I. [Los Angeles Times]

* Warning to travelers in Muslim countries: Please refrain from having sex on the beach. [Reuters]

* “Dude, FGM is not cool.” Okay, maybe that’s not a direct quote… Attorney General Michael Mukasey rebukes the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals in an asylum case. [Washington Post]

* Former ABA president Alfred Carlton, Jr. ruminates on what the bailout means for law firms. More jobs, more work. Yay! [The American Lawyer]

* Ex-Judge Donald “Penis Pump” Thompson is out of prison but has been disbarred. [Tulsa World]

* Judge says Dan Rather can go ahead and sue the heck out of CBS. [Austin Business Journal]

Carlos Spinelli Noseda Carlos J Spinelli Noseda Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law blog.jpgBack in July, we were the first to wonder about the mysterious departure from Sullivan & Cromwell of Carlos Spinelli-Noseda, a rising star at the über-prestigious (and profitable) law firm. Some commenters viewed our interest in his departure as unseemly, prying, or reflecting bias against S&C.

We don’t mean to gloat — okay, maybe just a little — but we’ve been vindicated by recent revelations. From a report by Anthony Lin in the New York Law Journal:

A former Sullivan & Cromwell partner has resigned from the bar for billing his clients and firm more than $500,000 in fraudulent travel and entertainment expenses.

Carlos J. Spinelli-Noseda, a banking and finance specialist who joined Sullivan & Cromwell straight out of Harvard Law School in 1994 and became a partner in 2003, was facing a disciplinary investigation over a pattern of improper billing dating from roughly July 1998 to February 2008.

In a June 3 affidavit of resignation he submitted to the disciplinary committee of the First Department, Mr. Spinelli-Noseda admitted he could not successfully defend himself against charges of professional misconduct. Such resignations are frequently tendered when further proceedings are almost certain to lead to disbarment.

Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Former Sullivan & Cromwell Partner Resigns for Defrauding Clients and the Firm (to the tune of $500K)”

Florida Law School.jpg* Can you enforce a relationship exclusivity contract? And what kind of loser couple would sign such a contract? [Overlawyered]

* Florida Law Review just discovered audio recordings. Next up for the tastefully named “FlaLaw Online,” the editors tackle the mysterious telephone that doubles as a phonograph. [How Appealing]

* I wish somebody would have told me, back when I was a 1L, that three years later my law school would actually expect me to pay them money. In lieu of that, I suppose these three suggestions for 1Ls are pretty good. [Ms. J.D.]

* A woman was ordered to stop having children as a condition of her probation. No, it’s not Sarah Palin. [Volokh Conspiracy]

law firm merger small.jpgHere is yet another rumor — somewhat better sourced than the Thacher Proffitt / King & Spalding rumor, but a rumor nonetheless — about a possible law firm merger.

Word on the street is that Seyfarth Shaw is seeking a merger partner. This should not come as a shock, since Seyfarth has been stumbling a bit due to the downturn. As previously reported, the firm has pushed back start dates and trimmed its lawyer ranks.

The Seyfarth partnership recently returned from its retreat, where strategic opportunities were discussed. The scuttlebutt is that the firm is in “serious” merger talks with another firm of roughly equal size. Upon information and belief, that firm is Squire Sanders.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP logo AboveTheLaw Above the Law legal blog.jpgBoth firms hover around the 800-attorney mark. The product of their merger — nicknamed “S4″ by one tipster, standing for either “Seyfarth Shaw Squire Sanders” or “Squire Sanders Seyfarth Shaw” — would be a 1600-lawyer behemoth. The combination would give Seyfarth a coveted foothold in Bratislava.

squire snaders staff attorney offers.gifAssociate meetings were held in all Seyfarth Shaw offices earlier this afternoon. Associates were briefed on the retreat and told about ongoing merger talks with another firm. Details are scarce; the confidential nature of the merger talks was stressed to the associates “about a dozen times.”

Whether these talks will bear fruit is anyone’s guess. Lately law-firm merger talks have been falling at a high rate.

We’ll keep you posted. If you have any info to share, please email us. Thanks.

no_poop.jpgWe like the occasional poo-poo joke here at ATL, but we’re torn between amusement and disgust in the case of Cornell Tyler, 37, who is being tried for murder in Markham Courthouse in Illinois. His actions give new meaning to Freud’s anal-sadistic phase.

Tyler used sandwich bags from lunch to create excrement bombs on Thursday. He tried to use them on Circuit Judge Kathleen Panozzo, but her deputies took the hit. From the Chicago Tribune:

“The judge said, ‘Is your name Cornell Tyler?’ ” [Assistant State Atty. Ted] Lagerwall said. “He said, ‘My name is Self Destruction, but you can call me Smitty–well, I mean [expletive].’”

Tyler then quickly reached down the front of his pants and pulled out the baggie but the deputies beside him pounced on him.

“In that scuffle, he did throw the excrement toward the front of the courtroom,” Mateck said. “The judge was not injured, but unfortunately our deputies were . . . adversely affected.”

Poor deputies. The courtroom had to be cleared because it “stunk to high heavens.”

It seems likely that Tyler’s nickname will change from “Self Destruction” to “No More Fiber For Me.”

Defendant tosses excrement at Markham Courthouse judge [Chicago Tribune]

associate cover.jpgRemember that scene in Ferris Bueller where Ferris’s mom is home a little early and gently opens the door to his room? With the pulleys and the mannequin and the sound system Ferris is able to convince his mom that he is in his bed comfortably sleeping.

With a little ingenuity Perfect Plush could give associates the necessary cover for the long lunch. According to the company, this plush doll already has many of the skills of a successful associate:

He’s at your firm. He’s the guy who walks around late at night to make sure he’s the last one there, and will do the same an hour later if someone else is still working. He sends unimportant emails at 1 a.m., just to let everyone (especially the partners) know he’s still billing. He will corner the summer associates and tell them a war story about his latest deposition (even though he has only taken four in his six year career). He will be sure to let everyone know just how many hours he billed last month and where he stands for the year.

If it comes with a fake-laugh track, we’re pretty sure partners won’t know the difference.

Perfect Plush

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