As you can see from the time of our first post of the day, we’ve been in front of our computer for about twelve hours. Our eyes hurt. And we’re hungry.
We need to stand up. Maybe we’ll be really daring and leave our apartment.
Hence this open comment thread. Some of the biggest Biglaws — Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss — have already announced their bonuses. But if Skadden comes along and blows the top off the bonus market while we’re gone, please post it in the comments (along with a link to your source).
We’ll follow up when we return. Thanks.
P.S. We realize this is unlikely. First, Skadden will probably do what everybody else has done, and match the market bonuses (as set last week by Milbank). Second, based on the buzz over at Greedy NY, it seems that a Skadden announcement will probably come tomorrow.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
- Admin, Biglaw, Blogging, Bonuses, Cravath, Milbank Tweed, Money, Paul Weiss, Skadden Arps, Sullivan & Cromwell
As you can see from the time of our first post of the day, we’ve been in front of our computer for about twelve hours. Our eyes hurt. And we’re hungry.
We’ve been so obsessed with law firm bonus developments that we missed the happy news earlier this week about Courtney Love, one of our most favorite celebrities.
At long last, Love’s legal troubles are behind her. From the music news website liveDaily:
A judge terminated Courtney Love’s probation and dismissed three misdemeanor charges against the singer Monday (12/11), ruling that Love had successfully battled her substance-abuse problems.
Love, 42, sobbed as Los Angeles Superior Court judge Rand Rubin pronounced the ruling that effectively wiped her legal slate clean, according to an Associated Press report.
“Thank you for not taking me into custody,” Love reportedly said in court. “Thank you for giving me an opportunity. You’ve been a good, fair judge. Sorry for crying.”
After the hearing, her lawyer, Howard Weitzman, made this statement:
“Courtney stepped up to the plate, turned her life around and is on the road to releasing her new record and hopefully getting hired to act in films. I’m happy I could help.”
Right now we’re feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Wonderful news, just in time for the holidays. Congratulations to both Courtney Love, for getting her life and career back on track, and Howard Weitzman, for obtaining such an excellent result for his client.
(Will Weitzman be able to do the same for Nicole Richie? We shall see…)
P.S. We’re not being saracastic in describing Love as one of our favorite celebrities. Her tabloid exploits have led people to overlook the fact that she’s a phenomenally talented singer and actress. Just listen to Celebrity Skin, one of our favorite albums, and Live Through This, which Rolling Stone and Time have both declared to be one of the greatest albums ever (and correctly so).
And don’t forget Love’s remarkable star turn as Althea Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe). It would be great to see her return to acting.
Judge ends Courtney Love’s probation, charges dropped [liveDaily]
Courtney Gets a “Hole” Lotta Love in Court [TMZ.com]
- Antonin Scalia, Art, Celebrities, Federal Judges, Intellectual Property, Law Schools, Money, Movies, Non-Sequiturs, Rap, Romance and Dating, Trademarks
* This is beautiful and noble. Painting with your butt — or, rather, using your butt as a type of giant rubber stamp — not so much. [Richmond Times Dispatch]
* Not all law students are holed up in the library 24/7, but it’s clear that cramming has taken a lot out of Legal Bachelor’s game. [Chicks Dig Law Students]
* Hmmm. I actually agree with Scalia here. (Well, if you are the inspiration for a Christmas season movie starring Will Smith, you could raise a kid on nothing but love and hope.) [Crime & Federalism]
* Your words-of-the-day: racewalker, Hooman, and the universal favorite, law school gunner. And to think I’ve been out of law school for only a few years. [Urban Dictionary]
* We should remind Evel Knievel that Jesus didn’t sue. And while we’re on the subject, why do I know who Evel Knievel is? [Likelihood of Confusion]
The latest news is that Morrison & Foerster’s New York office has matched the market bonuses. We’ve checked with our MoFo sources, and this is accurate.
So consider it CONFIRMED. Specific numbers, after the jump.
Earlier today, a reader made this comment:
“Why don’t you just call up all the firms now, instead of waiting for the rumors to appear one by one, so we can get this over with?”
Not a bad idea, given the “Chinese water torture” aspect to tracking bonuses. The only rub is that not all firms have necessarily decided on what they’ll be paying — at least in theory. Rumor is that the Cravath memo wasn’t issued until after the Cravath partnership met. So it’s (theoretically) possible that some firm might pay out above-market bonuses.
But as a practical matter, yes, it’s true: Everybody is probably just going to match market.
In light of all the parallel conduct, maybe there’s an antitrust issue here. But whether you can even get discovery on it depends upon the ruling in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, currently pending in the Supreme Court.
Is “Associate Bonus Watch” less suspenseful than a Hitchcock film? Yes. Is the bonus-tracking game effectively over? Pretty much.
But ABW has been great for our traffic. And who knows, maybe there will be a surprise or two. So we’ll keep following the “news,” even if it consists of every other firm falling into line, until all the top Biglaw shops have announced.
- Asians, Eumi Choi, Federal Government, Litigatrix, U.S. Attorneys Offices, Vicious Infighting, You Go Girl
We enjoy reading your comments. Well, some of them. See, e.g., here, here, and here.
But some we find rather mystifying. Like this comment on How Yummy Is Eumi?, our profile of high-powered federal prosecutor Eumi Choi, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California (San Francisco).
Commenter “Barbara” wrote:
This post, like the SF Weekly article it references, was planted by a group of disgruntled (and racist) former and current AUSAs who constitute the best-coordinated insurgency outside of Iraq. They are a group of uppity Caucasians hell-bent on controlling the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They hate Eumi because she is Asian — and ergo, is not one of them.
Note how this posting focuses on Eumi’s race. Many of the insurgents’ private talk about Eumi is also borderline racist — e.g., referring her as “Dragon Lady.” Interestingly, these insurgent AUSAs who now whine about having to “follow directions” were themselves the most autocratic dictators around during the Shapiro/Mueller administration, when THEY were in power.
Even more interesting is how very little anyone discusses the impoverished morals of the insurgent AUSAs. Four of them had affairs with other AUSAs while married to other people. One of the harshest critics of Eumi and Kevin Ryan left his pregnant wife for another AUSA. Everyone is so fascinated by the fact of a powerful Asian female being under attack that nobody — least of all the legal press, which is incapable of anything other than acting as a mouthpiece for the disgruntled — has paid any heed to the fact that the Caucasian stonethrowers are themselves living in brittle glass houses.
We don’t understand this commenter’s ire towards our post. We praised Eumi Choi as a “tough, smart, no-nonsense” prosecutor, as well as a “strong Asian woman.” We also described her as “fabulous” and “yummy.” What part of that was unclear?
(Also, for the record, we’re Asian ourselves — and were raised by a mom who’s a lot like Eumi Choi. So we obviously have no problems with powerful Asian females or Asian lawyers in positions of power.)
Despite our issues with this comment, we did enjoy the dirt it dished out — especially the allegations of extramarital affairs galore. The U.S.A.O. for the N.D. Cal. sounds as incestuous, fractious, and trashily dysfunctional as “Melrose Place.”
If you have more juicy gossip about the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco — concerning Eumi Choi, her adversaries, or the battles going on between them — please do share with us.
(Hint to people who want to buy us a Christmas gift: the first season of “Melrose Place” is now out on DVD.)
Earlier: How Yummy Is Eumi?
- Akin Gump, Dewey Ballantine, Dewy Orifice, DLA Piper, Drinker Biddle & Reath, Eliot Spitzer, Kramer Levin, Laurence Tribe, McDermott Will & Emery, Milberg Weiss, Musical Chairs, New Jersey, State Judges, Thomas Goldstein, White House Counsel, White-Collar Crime, WilmerHale
It has been a while since our last round-up of notable moves within the legal profession. So there’s a lot to report today:
Law Firm to… Prison?
* Former Milberg Weiss name partner Steven Schulman resigned from the firm to pursue “new ventures.” The most important of these “ventures” will surely be fighting federal charges of making illegal payments to plaintiffs in past cases.
Law Firms to In-House:
* Securities lawyer Stephen Cutler is leaving his partnership at WilmerHale to become general counsel of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the banking giant. From a tipster who works in securities law: “This is a big deal.”
Colleagues of Cutler described the JP Morgan gig to the WSJ Law Blog as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. Translation: Who wouldn’t want to make mid- instead of low-seven-figures?
* Another WilmerHale departure: J. Kevin McCarthy is taking over as top lawyer of the Cowen Group, an investment bank.
Government to Private Sector:
* Former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz joins the Princeton office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, as of counsel. She stepped down from the New Jersey Supreme Court in October, after reaching the mandatory retirement age.
* David Nocenti, current counsel to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, will become counsel to the governor effective January 1.
* Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, the renowned constitutional scholar and SCOTUS litigator, is entering into a consulting arrangement with Akin Gump.
Akin Gump is developing a Supreme Court practice. Earlier this year, they added young SCOTUS superstar Tom Goldstein to their line-up.
* Securities-enforcement lawyer Chuck Davidow, to Paul Weiss (DC), from WilmerHale.
Another loss for WilmerHale — on top of the previously reported departure of Paul Eckert for the White House Counsel’s Office.
Why are so many partners leaving WilmerHale? A Hillary Clinton administration is still two years away.
* IP lawyer Joseph Gioconda, to DLA Piper (New York), from Kirkland & Ellis.
* Corporate lawyer Eric Lerner, to Kramer Levin, from Katten Muchin Rosenman.
* Tax lawyer Thomas Giegerich, to McDermott Will & Emery (NY), from Dewey Ballantine (about to merge with Orrick to form Dewy Orifice).
* Bryan Cave: Eleven new partners. Names here.
Due to the sheer number of links today, we’ve placed them after the jump.
No, we’re not talking about that time on “The OC” when Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) shared a girl-on-girl kiss with Alex (Olivia Wilde). Rather, we’re referring to a civil rights case currently pending before Judge James Selna, in the Central District of California.
From the L.A. Times (via How Appealing):
Two high schoolers are caught kissing on campus.
Ordinarily, such an incident would garner little attention. But for Charlene Nguon, a smattering of kisses and hugs stolen after school and in between classes led to detention, suspensions, a transfer and a lawsuit.
The reason? That’s what a federal judge in Santa Ana will soon decide.
Nguon says it’s because she was kissing a girl. Ben Wolf, who was then principal of Garden Grove’s Santiago High School, says that’s not the case at all. He insists the problem was that, regardless of whether it was a girl or boy, Nguon continued the kissing despite repeated warnings to knock it off.
And that’s just the tip of this salaciously sapphic iceberg.
Check out the rest, after the jump.
Many of you, especially those of you about to deposit Biglaw bonus checks, will update your résumés at the start of the new year. It’s a common time to jump to a new job, or to start looking for one. In the first few weeks of 2007, expect departure memos to go around like the flu.
But what do you want to do next? Fellow law geeks, your attention please. The man with good taste in chocolate has two positions open in Texas’s Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
OSG regularly handles high-profile, politically sensitive cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. Most recently, it successfully defended the Texas redistricting plan, defended the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas capitol grounds, and resisted efforts by the International Court of Justice to order reconsideration of U.S. death penalty jurisprudence.
It also regularly participates as amicus in cases in which the State has an interest. Since 2003, OSG has filed over 50 Supreme Court briefs. And, for three years running now, in 2003, 2004, and 2005, the Texas SG’s office has won the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) award for Best Supreme Court Brief.
More details about this exciting opportunity, after the jump.
We have it on very, very good authority that Sullivan & Cromwell has issued associate bonuses that match the market. So consider the rumor from earlier today to be verified.
The only caveat from our source: at the most senior levels, the S&C bonuses do not “top out,” like those at Cravath. As explained by this Greedy NY post:
[A]t S&C there can be a high degree of variability at the highest associate levels, particularly (from what I’ve heard) for those who are told, “you didn’t make it this year, but we hope you’ll stick around and try again.”
But this is just a footnote, relevant only to the most senior of associates. The upshot is that S&C has matched.
So the fat lady has probably sung. At this point, it’s unlikely that anyone will go above market. If any firm was going to top the market, S&C was a good candidate. From a different Sullivan source, who opined yesterday:
I highly doubt we’ll be doubling [as ridiculously rumored by Ritalin Edge]. But I think the general feeling (despite our salary raise) is that there will be mutiny if they match last year’s bonuses. This is especially true given Goldman’s record year and our record M&A year.
Mutiny? Sullivan & Cromwell associates, sharpen those pitchforks. It’s time to storm the barricades at 125 Broad Street.
Update: Actually, nix that. The S&C folk are perfectly pleased with their holiday haul:
I think everyone is happy with our bonuses. Any grumblings I heard a few months ago about how great our year is have been replaced with elation at how big our bonuses are.
Boring boilerplate from the S&C bonus memo(s), after the jump.
- Blogging, Books, Charles Fried, Constitutional Law, Free Speech, Gay Marriage, Neal Katyal, Politics, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court
This is a continuation of our prior post about an event we recently attended at Georgetown Law School, “On Liberty: A conversation between Justice Stephen Breyer and Professor Charles Fried.” For more background about the event, click here.
For the conclusion to our write-up, keep on reading. We bring you a “true confession” from Justice Breyer, as well as Professor Fried’s interesting views on gay marriage.
(Before returning to Harvard Law School, Professor Fried was a justice on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the state’s highest court. But he was back in academia when they decided the gay marriage case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.)
Our coverage continues, after the jump.
The latest word on the street (per Greedy NY): Sullivan & Cromwell has matched the market with respect to associate bonuses. We are investigating.
Update (10:54 AM): We’ve left messages with S&C’s spokesperson and with H. Rodgin Cohen, the firm chairman. We’ll let you know when we hear back from them.
Update (12:14 PM): Consider this CONFIRMED. More details, plus the boilerplate of the bonus memo(s), are available here.
S&C Matched [Infirmation / Greedy NY]
* On second thought… do not pass “Go,” do not collect 200 (million) dollars. [Associated Press; Washington Post]
* Cindy Sheehan, anti-war mother extraordinaire, has been convicted of trespassing at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. There might have been nobody home, though. [MSNBC]
* Sen. John McCain takes a stand against online smut (and solidifies his social conservative street cred while he’s at it). [CNET via Drudge Report]
* Texas may allow blind hunting. That’s not a joke. [MSNBC]
* Violence against judges: not just an American problem. [Associated Press]