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Rachel Paulose Rachel K Paulose Rachel Kunjummen Paulose Above the Law blog.jpgMany tipsters have written in to ask us why we haven’t written about a certain delicious DOJ diva: U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose (D. Minn.), who has just been reassigned to Main Justice. From the New York Times:

The embattled United States attorney in Minnesota announced today that she would be stepping down to go work at the Justice Department in Washington on legal policy issues.

The announcement by the prosecutor, Rachel K. Paulose, 34, came in the wake of reports of new staff turmoil in her office, with at least one senior lawyer resigning from his management post in Minneapolis on Friday in a protest over her leadership. Three other managers gave up their administrative jobs in a similar protest in April.

Her resignation message appears here.
Some of you claim that we overuse the term “diva.” But diva is as diva does:

In an unusual public statement on a conservative blog last week, Ms. Paulose suggested that she was a victim of “McCarthyite hysteria that permits the anonymous smearing of any public servant who is now, or ever may have been, a member of the Federalist Society, a person or faith and/or a conservative (especially a young, conservative woman of color).”

For more evidence of diva-hood, see Eric Blank:

Paulose alienated most of the office staff with a leadership style that was described as insulting, an inability to listen respectfully to opinions that ran contrary to her own. Recently, she has been under investigation by two federal agencies for a series of alleged misdeeds, mostly involving the way she treated the staff but also her alleged improper handling of classified national security materials. She was also the subject of a very negative job review, based substantially on her management style.

One tipster writes, referring back to the controversy over her allegedly extravagant investiture as U.S. Attorney: “A diva reassigned. Will she have a coronation when she gets back to DC?”
Lots of links and more discussion, including disclosure about our prior interactions with Ms. Paulose, after the jump.

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In terms of feeding his current crop of clerks to the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Judge Michael Boudin (1st Cir.) is batting 1.000. We received this tip from multiple sources, but here’s the most interesting iteration:

Moshe Spinowitz (HLS ’06/Boudin) has been hired by Justice Scalia for October 2008. Spinowitz, or Spino, as he’s known, was originally hired by Judge Luttig before he left the bench.

Moshe Spinowitz Antonin Scalia clerk hottie Above the Law blog.jpgAh, that makes more sense. Boudin —> Scalia is not a typical path. And with the addition of Spinowitz, half of the Scalia chambers for OT 2008 will have hailed from Boudinville.
(Justice Scalia previously hired Spinowitz’s co-clerk, Yaakov Roth. But with all due respect to Chief Judge Boudin, he may not deserve much credit for feeding Roth. When you’re the rara avis of an HLS summa, you can clerk on the Bergen County traffic court and still make it to One First Street.)
Another interesting factoid, considering Justice Scalia’s weakness for Catholic kids as clerks:

Spinowitz is the second orthodox Jew Justice Scalia has hired this term (the other being Yaakov Roth). I guess the moral of the story is: If you’re an orthodox Jew, try to clerk for Judge Boudin!

If his photograph (at right) is even vaguely accurate, and if he’s 5’11″ or taller, the handsome Spinowitz has a promising career as a male model. But in the meantime, we’re sure that he’ll enjoy being a SCOTUS clerk. Congrats, Moshe!
The current tally of OT 2008 Supreme Court clerks, with Mr. Spinowitz added, appears after the jump.

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* Detained AP photographer in Iraq finally accused of something. [CNN]
* Court-ordered test reveals sex scandal in Georgia megachurch. [MSNBC]
* Saudi attorney, disbarred for talking to media, seeks reinstatement to represent sentenced rape victim. [
* Khmer Rouge defendant appears in court 28 years later. [New York Times]
* Presidential candidates’ ties to lawyers. [WSJ Law Blog]

California Bar Exam Golden Gate Bridge Above the Law blog.jpgAs many of you have pointed out to us, New York wasn’t the only state to release bar exam results last week. Another big state weighed in: California.
Several of you, accusing us of East Coast bias, have asked us why we haven’t put up a post for discussion of the California bar exam. We don’t really know what there is to discuss. After all, as far as we know, there were no massive technological screw-ups, a la Laptopgate in New York.
Also, Kathleen Holtz did not follow in the footsteps of Paulina Bandy. The 18-year-old law school graduate passed the big test, on her first try.
But prove us wrong. Maybe there is something interesting to say about the CA bar exam. The comments are your playground.
18-Year-Old Kathleen Holtz Passes the California Bar [WSJ Law Blog]

James Sandman James J Sandman Jim Sandman Above the Law Blog.jpgRemember James Sandman? Oh no, you don’t? Well, surely you remember the Arnold & Porter partner’s infamous essay, The High Price of Escalating Associate Salaries, which he wrote while president of the D.C. bar.

Jim Sandman’s article, dishing out harsh criticism of law firm associate pay raises, did not endear him to ATL readers. In a near comments clusterf**k, he was condemned as the greediest of greedy Biglaw partners (along with other epithets not fit for printing here).

Well, maybe Sandman has gotten a bad rap. After all, he was public-spirited enough to serve as president of the D.C. bar. When we met him at this party, one of many charitable functions he attends, he didn’t have horns growing out of his head.

And now we hear that he’s leaving his lucrative partnership, to toil in the considerably less profitable precincts of the D.C. public school system. He’s accepted a position as General Counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools, and he’ll also be a member of Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s senior leadership team to the DC School Board.

Read the A&P memo announcing Sandman’s departure, from firm chairman Thomas Milch, after the jump.

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A photo op with two of the nation’s most distinguished jurists: Ninth Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Alex Kozinski!
(Judge Reinhardt seemed a bit skittish about the taking of this picture, but Judge Kozinski’s enthuasism was infectious. Or maybe it was just hard for Judge Reinhardt to say no to the incoming Chief Judge of the court.)
Federalist Society gala 3.jpg

syringe lethal injection death penalty Above the Law legal tabloid.jpg[Although legal in nature, this story is not typical ATL fare -- it's a bit too, well, substantive. But we suspect that some of you will have strong opinions on it. So we're tossing it out for discussion, in the hopes of inspiring a comment clusterf**k.]
Does the death penalty serve as an effective deterrent to murder? Up until now, we’ve generally subscribed to the liberal view that its deterrence value is questionable. But a fascinating article by one of our favorite legal reporters, Yale Law grad Adam Liptak — who writes for the New York Times, no conservative hack publication — raises some interesting questions:

For the first time in a generation, the question of whether the death penalty deters murders has captured the attention of scholars in law and economics, setting off an intense new debate about one of the central justifications for capital punishment.

According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, 3 to 18 murders are prevented.

The effect is most pronounced, according to some studies, in Texas and other states that execute condemned inmates relatively often and relatively quickly.

Check out this quote:

“I personally am opposed to the death penalty,” said H. Naci Mocan, an economist at Louisiana State University and an author of a study finding that each execution saves five lives. “But my research shows that there is a deterrent effect.”

More after the jump.

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American Lawyer summer associate survey Above the Law blog.jpgThe American Lawyer just announced the results of its 2007 summer associate survey. Interestingly enough, the highest-scoring firms weren’t necessarily the biggest firms with the most lavish programs. From Paul Jaskunas’s article:

Small is beautiful, at least in the eyes of 2007′s summer associates. While respondents to our Summer Associates Survey liked big firms, they liked life at small to midsize firms even better. Students craved juicy assignments, friendly offices, and lots of attention, and the firms that best satisfied these needs tended to be medium-sized shops with relatively small summer programs.

Of the top 20 firms, only four had summer programs with more than 100 clerks, while nine hired 30 or fewer summer associates. Students most commonly cited firm reputation as a factor influencing their clerkship decision, but that doesn’t mean that the behemoths of the legal world always have the upper hand in winning over law students.

“They go out of their way to make you feel like a part of the family from day one,” wrote an enthused summer at first-ranked Nutter McClennen & Fish, which had only 11 clerks…. One of the 17 summer associates at second-ranked Fox Rothschild called it “a big firm where you can live a small-firm lifestyle.”

And a full-length firm photo, too!
Based on the proliferation of reader comments on today’s Morning Docket, where we linked to the survey in passing, it’s clear that many of you are dying to discuss the rankings. So here’s an open thread for that purpose. Have at it!
Size Does Matter [American Lawyer Student Edition]
National Rankings: Summer Associate Survey 2007 [American Lawyer Student Edition]
Results By City: Summer Associate Survey 2007 [American Lawyer Student Edition]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgNo, not law firm associates — associates at investment banks. In the absence of more law firm bonus news, let’s talk about your friends and classmates on Wall Street, who are still making way more money than you (assuming they haven’t been laid off; hey, bigger risk, bigger reward).
From Bloomberg News:

Shareholders in the securities industry are having their worst year since 2002, losing $74 billion of their equity. That won’t prevent Wall Street from paying record bonuses, totaling almost $38 billion.

That money, split among about 186,000 workers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos., equates to an average of $201,500 per person, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The five biggest U.S. securities firms paid $36 billion to employees last year.

Discussion continues, after the jump.

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Speaking of the Federalist Society, the Columbia Law School chapter has invited us to speak. We’ll be doing an event there tomorrow. It will be a pretty casual Q-and-A, less formal than last year’s appearance.
Here are the details:

Tuesday, November 20, 12:25 PM

A Q-and-A with David Lat, Editor of Above the Law

Columbia Law School
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 107
435 West 116th St. (at Amsterdam Avenue)

It’s free and open to the public. So if you’re a CLS student or otherwise in the area, please feel free to stop by. Thanks.

Federalist Society gala 2.jpg
At the Federalist Society festivities: Ryan Bounds, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy; Deputy Associate Attorney General John O’Quinn; and Susanna Dokupil, Assistant Solicitor General for the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.
Last week, the Federalist Society celebrated its 25th anniversary, with a black-tie gala at Union Station. The official ATL report, by Laurie Lin, is available here; the account of the Washington Post appears here (via the WSJ Law Blog).
Since we were there also, we figured we might as well add our two cents. Some random tidbits about the evening, along with a few more photos, after the jump.

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associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgPeople who practice intellectual property law tend to be really, really smart. This is a good thing, since you’d have to be a genius to understand the new associate pay plan just announced by Fish & Richardson.
Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But we just couldn’t bother reading a document as long and complex as the Fish & Richardson memo, at least this early in the day; the caffeine from our morning coffee is still working its way through our system.
Fortunately, our sources offered some explanation:

“Attached is the new Fish & Richardson compensation plan. The basically cut salraries by taking around 20k of salary away from each year and then giving it back when you make 2000 hours. Pretty sh**ty for patent prosecutors. Everyone is pretty pissed off about this.”

“I am pissed. Not only are they effectively taking 10k from my pocket because I always bill over 2000 hours, but we don’t get the target bonus or the special bonus. In short, someone from my year will make at least $80,000 more at another firm for hitting 2000 hours.”

To see what’s causing such bitterness, check out the memo, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Fish & Richardson Screws Associates Announces New Compensation Plan
(And Open Thread for Discussion of Bonuses at IP Shops)”

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