A City solicitor who swapped the boardroom for the boxing ring is to make her professional debut. Laura Saperstein, 36, from Tottenham, North London, was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer with Freshfields, earning £75,000 a year. Three years ago she left to train full-time and won the British lightweight amateur title. Her bout, against a Swedish opponent at Tooting Leisure Centre, will be on November 18.
We’re guessing that Ms. Saperstein is enjoying her new career, in which she’s already encountered significant success. But perhaps she misses her old job, or at least the paycheck of her old job, this time of year.
Her former employer, the Magic Circle firm of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, just announced bonuses for its New York and D.C. “fee earners.” The memo appears after the jump.
* From the unintended consequences file: “[R]ecent ousters on Wall Street are likely to result in even higher pay for management. The risks of running a bank or a brokerage are greater now than they have been at any time in the past—risks of prosecution, lawsuits, and ouster—and the top managers will demand to be compensated for those risks.” [DealBreaker]
* Seventy-nine-year-old nun pleads no contest to sex abuse charges. Blogonaut observes: “my high school buddy claimed to have been traumatized for life by once seeing a nun naked.” [New York Times; Blogonaut]
* Law firm office as prison: not just a metaphor. [AP via Boston.com]
* Unless the food has made quantum leaps in the past few years, we don’t understand why undergrads are clamoring for access to the YLS cafeteria. We ate hummus wraps for lunch for three years. [Yale Daily News]
* Details about our CLS appearance next week. [Columbia Law School Federalist Society]
In our earlier post about the recusal motion filed by one Robert Seitz — a Florida pro se litigant seeking recusal of Judge Mary Barzee Flores, claiming that he once received a pre-judicial BJ from Her Honor — we noted that his claims were mere allegations.
We expressly disclaimed any independent knowledge of his claims. We were simply passing along allegations made in a publicly filed court document — which, by the way, has circulated widely via email. (It was forwarded to us by maybe half a dozen different tipsters.)
Now we bring you Judge Barzee Flores’s side of the story. From an omnibus order filed in the case, denying Seitz’s motion to recuse:
Two major law firms with origins outside New York, Sidley Austin and Covington & Burling, have announced special bonuses for their NYC associates. What bonuses they will pay to their non-New York associates is not yet clear. But we’re guessing that, at the end of the day, the New York associates will take home considerably more pay than their counterparts outside Gotham.
In the comments, debate has raged over whether or not it’s appropriate to pay bigger bonuses to New York associates. The trash talking can be fun to read. But we’d like a more systematic assessment of public opinion.
Please take our reader poll about bonuses. It’s rather unscientific, and it makes no assumptions about billable hours, cost of living, etc. That’s okay; interpret the question in whatever way you wish. We’re just trying to get a very rough sense of reader opinion. (We might run more specific polls later.)
Here’s the poll:
… [F]ewer than 800 hundred lawyers took part yesterday in the two Pakistan solidarity rallies. Sadly, I do not believe it was because no one knew (did Musharaff jam everyone’s Blackberries and cellphones?) or because the protests were “splintered.” Everyone just had higher priorities at lunchtime on a lovely autumn day in Manhattan. Seems to me, curiosity alone should have ensured more than a triple-digit body count.
Will D.C-area lawyers, and those congregating from around the country to the Nation’s Capital, make a better show of solidarity today around the U.S. Supreme Court at Noon today?
We reiterate what we observed yesterday: “When it comes to generating ATL material, the University of Miami School of Law tops the rankings.”
It appears that the undergraduate school at UM also sees its fair share of shenanigans. Check out this motion to recuse (PDF), which has been making the rounds by email. It involves one UM alumnus seeking the recusal of a former college classmate, now on the state bench.
Pro se plaintiff Robert Seitz asks Judge Mary Barzee Flores (at right), of Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit, to recuse herself from hearing his case. The grounds for recusal are, er, interesting. Here’s what he alleges (alleges — we’ve undertaken no independent investigation of his claims):
From an ATL reader going through the law firm recruiting process right now:
I’ve enjoyed reading about various law firm recruitingsnafus on Above the Law over the last few months. I just never thought I would be lucky enough to encounter one of my own.
I recently came home to an unusually thick envelope from Arnold & Porter (DC). Inside there was a typical ethnicity request form (to be mailed back to them for recordkeeping), a return envelope, and finally, much to my surprise — a refrigerator warranty!
Yep, that’s right. While other firms are busy sending recruits bonsai trees, iPods, and designer cookies, Arnold & Porter sends its rejects their appliance warranties.
Our tipster sent along a scanned copy of the warranty registration form:
Statutory interpretation is fun! Check out this wacky fact pattern, perfect fodder for a criminal law final exam, from Court TV News (via Blogonaut):
In a 5-0 ruling, the [South Dakota Supreme Court] overturned the conviction of Michael James Plenty Horse for indecent exposure because he didn’t attempt to arouse others when he tried to have sex with the mannequin in a dark, closed room at a YMCA in Sioux Falls, S.D.
On Nov. 14, 2005, Plenty Horse, then 19, went to the YMCA’s Alumni Room, which housed memorabilia and photos of local high school students, including a mannequin wearing a band uniform, on the second floor of the building.
Once inside the empty room, he closed the door, turned off the lights, took the mannequin over to a desk and began trying to have sex with it, according to court documents.
A security guard opened the closed door, turned on the lights and saw Plenty Horse on top of the partially undressed mannequin, his pants down and a wadded piece of paper in his hand, court documents said.
Plenty Horse immediately rolled off the mannequin and began adjusting his pants when he saw the security guard, according to the ruling. When questioned by police, he said he had not seen his girlfriend in a year.
Grounds for a temporary insanity defense? Wisely, his lawyers took a different approach:
Plenty Horse’s attorney argued throughout the legal fight that, while what the young man did with the mannequin would likely offend people, he did not “flash” his genitals “in hopes of being observed, thereby gratifying himself sexually.”
The defense succeeded in getting him off:
“Nothing establishes that his conduct was done with the specific intent to generate sexual arousal or gratification by the act of publicly exposing, displaying or offer to the public view, his genitals,” the ruling said. “Therefore, the defendant’s act, lewd though it may have been, does not fall within the purview of the indecent exposure statute.”
It’s good to be an associate at Covington & Burling these days.
There’s the cleaned-up Wikipedia entry. There are, for New York associates, spiffy new offices in the Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building. One Covington associate describes the new digs as “spectacular,” with views of the Statue of Liberty, George Washington Bridge, and Empire State Building. “They are a bit cold and impersonal, but we are a law firm, after all.”
Also for New York associates: special bonuses. Check out the Covington (New York) bonus memo, after the jump.
* Mysore to doc review! [The Times of India]
* We’ve got a J.D., yes we do! We’ve got a J.D., how ’bout you? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Apparently Bush doesn’t plan on letting Congress spend any more money for the rest of his term. [CNN]
* Ingredients: High fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, hair. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Former McGuireWoods legal secretary’s wrongful termination trial begins in Baltimore. [Maryland Daily Record]
* Judith Regan, former book publisher and Bernie Kerik paramour, files $100 million lawsuit against HarperCollins and News Corp. [New York Times]
Sorry, we were out drinking (more than we should). That’s why we didn’t immediately post the bonus memo for Sidley Austin (New York).
Now we’re back — and tipsy. Fortunately, posting a bonus memo is not like operating heavy machinery.
The email announcing New York bonuses was forwarded to Sidley associates outside of New York, with this intro:
For your information, please find the message below to New York associates announcing a special bonus being provided in New York. As noted, the special New York bonuses are in addition to year-end bonuses, which will be the subject of a Firm-wide announcement in the coming days and which we expect will generally follow the pattern of prior years. We appreciate and value the work of all our associates.
But the work of non-NYC associates, not so much. Not surprisingly, Sidley associates outside of New York are not happy campers:
“Chicago morale should be wonderful after this…”
“Management committee forwarded the email to all other offices — how considerate.”
“Note that the Management Committee sent the bonus memo to the NY office only, and it took them an hour before they realized they’d better circulate it to all associates (so we don’t learn about it from you first). There’s going to be significant grumbling in DC, Chicago and LA about the yawning chasm between the bonuses we’ll likely get compared to the apparent total bonuses in NY.”
For the curious among you, the full Sidley Austin memo appears after the jump.
As we mentioned earlier, we don’t watch How I Met Your Mother. But maybe we should start, since lately it has been very topical for lawyers and law students.
From a devoted reader of ATL and watcher of HIMYM:
No snarky write-up of last night’s episode? Marshall anxiously awaiting his bar results figures prominently. He loses his password, so he can’t log into the NY bar site. Meanwhile, Doogie Howser (as he will forever be named in my mind) concocts an elaborate scheme to hack into the site to get his results — and shows Marshall a dog pooping on a baby, instead.
As an aside, Marshall graduated from Columbia Law School, my alma mater, so I’m feeling particularly sentimental about the show.
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 protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.