Judges don’t have enough fun. Overly concerned with “judicial decorum,” they don’t let down their hair very often. They try to hide the reality that, beneath their robes, they’re ordinary people just like the rest of us. Perhaps they fear that this truth might undermine their legitimacy.
But a pair of Illinois state court judges may have taken things too far in the “fun” department:
A judge driving with his boss was charged with drunken driving after a wreck that sent another motorist to the hospital, and the other judge was seen by an officer pouring out a can of beer, police said.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young, 58, was handcuffed and arrested and charged with drunken driving after the Sunday crash, about 20 miles from St. Louis. He refused a sobriety test, authorities said.
Another officer, Jeffrey Sheary, reported seeing Young’s passenger, Chief Judge Jan Fiss, 64, pour out an open beer can on the road and try to hide it in his coat.
If the allegations are true, who acted more stupidly? Judge Young, for driving under the influence, with a senior colleague as a passenger? Or Chief Judge Fiss, for getting into the car with an inebriated colleague, and then trying to empty his tinnie by the side of the road?
* Congrats to Troy Smith on winning the Heisman. As always, there’s a legal connection, which this time involves Ohio State, the Heisman, Archie Griffin, and Woody Hayes. [WSJ Law Blog]
* All Christmas trees have been removed from the Seattle airport, after a rabbi threatened to sue unless an eight-foot menorah was put up. [King5.com]
* Finally, Cedar Point is standing up for students’ rights, by lobbying the government for longer summer vacations. [Associated Press]
* Wish they all could be California… prisons? Unlikely. [New York Times]
* The Williams sisters are in court. No word yet on how they were served. [CNN]
From a recent NYT piece about mandatory retirement policies at law firms:
Unlike corporate America, which, for the most part, dropped mandatory retirement ages decades ago, many big law firm partnerships are keeping up the practice of pushing out older lawyers to make room for new blood.
In a survey last year of 46 law firms with 100 or more lawyers, about 57 percent of them reported a mandatory retirement age, ranging from 65 to 72….
The article focuses on A. Paul Victor, the former Weil Gotshal antitrust partner who recently moved to Dewey Ballantine, after hitting Weil’s mandatory retirement age of 68.
The story explores the pros and cons of having a mandatory retirement age — a legitimate and interesting policy question. But our primary reaction is summed up this by thesecommenters at the WSJ Law Blog:
“[I]f you’re pushing 70 and you really want to trudge in to the office every day there may be something wrong with you. Mr. Victor and others, really – spend some time living life while you still can.”
“By 65, these guys have made plenty of money and should find something else to do — legal or otherwise — to keep them busy. Go teach or provide pro bono services or get reacquainted with your family. Leave some room so that the young bucks can have their day in the sun, too.”
We’re away from the internet for a few hours — to attend a friend’s art opening, followed by drinks and dinner — and lo and behold, the first big bonus announcement comes in.
That’s what we get for stepping away from our computer on a Friday night. We had a feeling that today might be the day.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who brought the news to our attention. With apologies for the ridiculous and inexcusable delay — go ahead, rank on us, we deserve it — here’s the (real) Milbank Tweed bonus memo:
MEMORANDUM TO ASSOCIATES
In The Classes of 2006 – 1998
The Firm is very pleased to announce that we will again be paying special year-end bonuses this year to all associates in the classes of 2006 to 1998. Bonuses will be paid on or before January 16, 2007 to associates who are in good standing and actively employed with us on the date the bonuses are paid. Bonuses will be prorated to reflect 2006 start dates, part-time schedules and unpaid leaves of absence. Bonuses will range between $30,000 and $65,000 depending on class year as follows (and will be paid in local currency equivalents where appropriate at the then current exchange rate):
Class of 2006 – $30,000
Class of 2005 – $35,000
Class of 2004 – $40,000
Class of 2003 – $45,000
Class of 2002 – $50,000
Class of 2001 – $55,000
Class of 2000 – $60,000
Class of 1999 – $65,000
Class of 1998 – $65,000
The Firm sincerely thanks you for your many contributions and extends best wishes for a very happy and healthy holiday season.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The memorandum’s authenticity has been confirmed to us by multiple sources. Furthermore, Milbank chairman Mel Immergut even made on-the-record comments about the firm’s bonuses to the WSJ Law Blog.
So this is news you can take to the bank. Happy Holidays, Milbank Tweed associates! Milbank’s Bonus…The Real Deal [Infirmation/Greedy NY] Memorandum to Associates [AutoAdmit.com] Get Ready to Celebrate — Bonus News Is In [WSJ Law Blog] Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: The Milbank Memo Is Fake Associate Bonus Watch: The Milbank Memo Is REALLY Fake Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
We just got back from the very interesting discussion between Justice Stephen Breyer and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried, held at Georgetown Law School, and moderated by Professor Neal Katyal. We’ll post a full report — and photos — in the near future.
For now, though — we’re running out the door again — here’s our favorite part of the discussion.
Professor Katyal poses a hypothetical concerning whether, consistent with the First Amendment, a law could be passed forcing networks to replace entertainment shows like “Lost” with more civic-minded, educational fare, like vice-presidential debates. The example raises a tension between First Amendment freedom and Justice Breyer’s conception of the First Amendment’s purpose: promoting civic awareness and participation.
Professor Fried — who is a very dignified, elegant, and professorial older gentleman — starts to respond.
Professor Fried: “I watched Grey’s Anatomy for the first time last night, while flossing my teeth, in the other room. My wife doesn’t allow me to floss in the same room as her.”
[Laughter at this totally random domestic confession. The audience takes a moment to imagine Professor Fried in paisley pajamas, flossing his teeth, while his wife awaits his return in the bedroom.]
Professor Fried: “And I can assure you, the show is far more entertaining than any vice-presidential debate!”
Justice Breyer: “Gray’s Anatomy? I thought that was a medical text.”
Professor Fried: “You watch it, you’ll see that it ain’t!”
Unfortunately, the discussion quickly turns to campaign finance reform. We never learn whether Professor Fried favored “Dr. McDreamy” or “Dr. McVet” for Meredith Grey.
* Can an IP expert explain how it is legal for Blockbuster to use Netflix’s name in this promotion?
(And the promotion continues until December 24.) [PRNewswire - FirstCall via Yahoo! Finance]
* Chelsea Clinton’s boyfriend’s dad — putting a face to those Nigerian e-mail scams. [ABC News]
* I would feel safer opening up one of those “Cash Your Check Without ID” storefronts between an adult video store and a pawnshop than cashing someone else’s check. [Consumer Law and Policy]
* I, for one, would rather have the monkeys than the rats. But, and I quote the Delhi High Court: “If you can’t control the monkeys, what can you do?” [Red Orbit]
* It’s just law school, not re-education camp. But I feel kind of inspired — f**k corporate law, I’m reclaiming my dream of banishing styrofoam from the earth once and for all. [Concurring Opinions]
It’s only a matter of time before Justice Stephen Breyer takes out — or maybe grants himself? — a temporary restraining order against us. We are just following the poor man around.
We were present when Jeffrey Toobin interviewed Justice Breyer, at the New Yorker Festival. We caught SGB again on Tuesday night, when he debated Justice Scalia. And now we’re off to see him again, for the third time in as many months.
We’re heading across town to Georgetown Law, to attend A Conversation with Justice Breyer and Harvard Law Professor Fried. And we have high hopes for this star-studded extravaganza.
Justice Breyer’s intellectual sparring partner is Professor Charles Fried, one of the country’s leading conservative legal minds. In case you’re not familiar with his breathtaking resume, the highlights include service as the U.S. Solicitor General, from 1985 to 1989, and on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, from 1995 to 1999. Now he’s just slumming it, as the Beneficial Professor of Law of Harvard Law School.
(Great title! Better than being the Superfluous Professor of Law — which, sadly enough, is a title for which there is much competition.)
Oh, and the moderator is a star too: the phenomenally brilliant Professor Neal Katyal, a former law clerk to Justice Breyer, who successfully argued the historic case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld before the Supreme Court. Professor Katyal is one of the few young legal minds who can be mentioned in the same breath as Professor Noah Feldman — which is high praise.
In light of his celebrity — he even appeared on The Colbert Report, and was hilarious — we crowned Professor Katyal the Paris Hilton of Legal Academia. As we explained to the Paris Hilton of the Federal Judiciary, any comparison to Paris is meant only as a compliment. (Even Camille Paglia still likes her, despite the recent overexposure.)
We shall return. And we’ll bring you a full report of the exciting proceedings. Ciao! A Conversation with Justice Breyer and Harvard Law Professor Fried [Georgetown Law]
Hey, guess what? In our best impression of Howard Bashman, we’re going to tell you all about a recent lunch of ours.
On Tuesday, we had an absolutely delightful lunch with Benjamin Wittes. He’s an editorial writer for the Washington Post, specializing in legal affairs, and the author of a new book about the judicial confirmation process: Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times.
We recommend Confirmation Wars most highly. It’s tremendously well-researched, as well as fascinating and fun to read. (Even the footnotes are juicy.) It has the rigor of an academic book — it’s published in connection with the Hoover Institution at Stanford — but the readability of, well, a non-academic book. And it came out after the Roberts and Alito confirmations were concluded, so it’s informed by those recent experiences.
Wittes ably diagnoses the problems with the current judicial nomination and confirmation process, then offers up some solutions. And he’s commendably fair-minded and non-ideological in his assessment of a highly controversial subject. (To learn more about the substantive views expressed in the book, check out this article, from the Harvard Law Record.)
Starting in January, Wittes will be away from the Post. He’s going on a six-month book leave, to work on his next project: a book about the federal appeals court. We can’t wait to read it!
In case you’re wondering, we lunched at Georgia Brown’s, just down the street from the Post offices. We both had the soup special — black bean, if memory serves — and the fried chicken salad, which was scrumptious, even if not very healthy for a salad. And we gossiped incessantly about federal judges and judicial nominees. What a blast!!! Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times [Amazon.com] Confirmation Wars: Ben Wittes on How to Preserve Judicial Independence [Harvard Law Record]
We’re delighted that our scoop about Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh pushing Linda Greenhouse over Justice Samuel Alito for the YLS Award of Merit has been picked up so widely. It even made the pages of the Holy Trinity of the Right-of-Center Blawgosphere: Instapundit, Volokh Conspiracy (Jonathan Adler), and Althouse.
As noted, our transcript of the deliberations was fictionalized and satirical. But it is based upon what we’ve learned about the process by which Greenhouse was selected.
If you disbelieve our account in its entirety, allow us to share with you some supporting information. This isn’t the first time that Dean Koh has been accused of showing favoritism towards Linda Greenhouse. Consider the case of the Harry Blackmun papers.
Koh, a former law clerk to Justice Blackmun and advisor to his daughter Sally, played a major role in giving Linda Greenhouse exclusive, early access to Blackmun’s papers — much to the chagrin of other news organizations. As reported at the time by Tony Mauro:
Blackmun’s daughter Sally, the executor for the papers, said in an interview last week that Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, and Nina Totenberg, longtime Court correspondent for National Public Radio, have been given exclusive pre-release access to the papers for their respective media of print and broadcast journalism….
The Washington Post asked for early access before the exclusive arrangement was made, but was denied. Editors at the Post were described by one knowledgeable source outside the newspaper as “livid” over the favored treatment granted to the Times.
Executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. and Post attorney David Kendall of Williams & Connolly repeatedly sought reconsideration of the exclusive deal, without success, according to sources at the Post. The Post petitioned Sally Blackmun and Yale Law School professor Harold Koh, a former clerk to the justice and now an adviser to Blackmun.
A Post source says that Koh invited the newspaper to make a proposal for early access last July, but did not mention a deadline. According to the source, by the time the Post replied in September with a plan for non-exclusive early access, the decision had already been made to give the Times exclusive access.
Say it ain’t so! Dean Koh had already made up his mind, in favor of La Greenhouse? Quelle surprise!
For her part, Greenhouse says she began talking with Koh last July, but did not seek exclusivity. The offer to give the Times the only print media preview “fell in my lap,” she says….
Koh declined to comment on why Greenhouse and Totenberg were selected.
So what is the origin of Linda Greenhouse’s Svengali-like power over Harold Koh?
We have a theory. Check it out, along with a bunch of interesting links, after the jump.
Someofyou think that we list a bit too much to the right around here — that we rave about prominent legal conservatives, while mocking the liberals. We’ve heard your complaints.
For the record, we regularly pokefun at conservatives, while raving about liberals. In terms of garnering raves, as long as you’re a Supreme Court clerk, you’re generally golden.
But in a deliberate effort to be even more balanced, we’ll now provide you with an alternative viewpoint on Professor Viet Dinh, of Georgetown Law. Dinh is a leading legal conservative, a former Bush Administration official and Federalist Society celebrity, who has been previously praised in these pages (for his genius, connections, wealth, and svelteness, among other things).
Here is what one reader, who once interviewed for a job with Professor Dinh, had to say about him:
Upon meeting [Viet Dinh] and spending a few minutes with him, I graciously declined to have anything to do with the man. Please, please, don’t pump this guy up anymore.
I have been a card carrying member of the Federalist Society since my first year of law school. [Dinh] may be brilliant, but he is so consumed with his own greatness that he is abhorrent to be around. He name drops, interrupts, questions everything you say, and condescends to you. Also, he stutters profusely.
Sounds pretty bad, eh? But it gets worse:
For a man who hails from Vietnam and California, he should know that is offensive to wear cowboy boots, a Rolex, and a French-cuffed shirt, while wearing jeans.
The horror, the horror! As far as we’re concerned, that disastrous fashion combination should preclude Dinh from being Senate-confirmed to any post. Ever. Viet D. Dinh bio [Georgetown Law School] Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Viet Dinh (scroll down)
Once again, no news. But something might happen today, if the first mover tries to lowball the market. Friday afternoons are the optimal time for breaking bad news.
We never tire of saying this: As soon as you learn of a bonus announcement, even if completely uncorroborated, please email us. We will then go investigate.
This is true even if the bonus announcement is just something you see on a message board. We check the message boards regularly; but when it comes to big bonus news, the faster word gets out, the better. Don’t worry about sending us a duplicative message. We’d rather receive lots of emails with the same tip than be even half an hour late in reporting a key announcement.
In the meantime, as everyone frets, it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective. Earlier this week, we reminded you Biglaw associates that things could be worse. An in-house lawyer in the Midwest is overjoyed just to get a second microwave in his break room. So be grateful for your bonus, even if it’s not as large as you expected.
But if you don’t find that persuasive, let’s approach the issue from the other side: Why are you getting so worked up over your bonuses? They’re piddling!
If you want to talk about serious cash, consider what Wall Street CEOs are expected to receive as bonuses this year. Or if that’s too grandiose a comparison — after all, they’re CEOs of huge multinational corporations — check out the reported bonuses going to some four dozen Goldman Sachs employees.
We feel your pain. We wish we found finance fascinating too. Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of bonuses (scroll down)
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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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.
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