When Heller Ehrman dissolved in late September, associates and employees were informed via a firm-wide email.
Since then, Heller management has had email communication with employees, but (to our knowledge) they have not revealed their official dissolution plan.
We got our hands on the 43-page operating document. In addition to a detailed discussion of the firm’s balance sheet, the plan lists the firm’s priorities during the dissolution. One priority is to preserve and protect the firm’s assets “for the benefit of, first, the creditors, … and thereafter the Shareholders of the firm and the former Shareholders of the firm.”
The full dissolution plan can be downloaded below. Check it out and see what interesting nuggets you find.
We’ve discussed the terrible market for 3Ls, but one D.C.-area law student is taking matters into her own hands. From the source of all that is wonderful, the Craigslist personals:
Are you a lonely lawyer? – 24
Maybe we can do something about that. I’m an ambitious 3L at a good school, and I’d really like to land a job at a terrific firm. Unfortunately, my grades and the job market aren’t the best. Ideally, I would like to meet a cute hiring partner for “networking.” I’m sexy, petite, and very fun to be with. If you’re interested, please tell me a bit about yourself. I’d be happy to exchange pics.
Why are you looking to score a lawyer-man on craigslist? ATL would be happy to post your pictures. And we know that hiring partners and recruiting coordinators read the site regularly.
Still, we admire your willingness to do “what it takes” to secure a job in this difficult market. Sexy, petite, networking is actually great training for your eventual life as a Biglaw associate.
Out of work 3Ls take note: there is always more than one way to get a job.
Many people have interviewing horror stories. But few people actually bother to send a letter to the offending firm.
One Georgetown University Law Center student did just that. After her interview with Harris Beach, the student sent a letter to James Spitz, CEO of Harris Beach:
I was looking forward to the interview until Mr. Frederick Fern and Ms. Judi Abbott Curry entered the conference room. This was the worst and most unprofessional interview that I have ever been on. Not only did Mr. Fern insult me by repeatedly stating that “the only reason” I had received the interview was because my “mom or somebody” had “called in a favor,” he then suggested that I was lazy because I did not have a job yet. “What have you been doing since July?” he kept exclaiming.
I didn’t even know how to respond. When I finally responded, he proceeded to read a document or tap on the table with his pen while I spoke. It was awful.
Harris Beach’s firm motto is “Lawyers you’ll swear by, not at.” It is worth noting that our own personal experiences with Harris Beach attorneys have been positive and professional. But perhaps these particular attorneys could have used a little more tact when dealing with a student trying to navigate these uncertain employment waters.
[Ed. Note: We apologize for the late start to the day. Obviously, we were suffering from some technical difficulties. However the "blackout" conditions gave us an opportunity to reflect on the strength and support of our readers. We appreciate all of the support and encourage you to keep pushing us to stay on top of our game. To the readers, commenters, and even the haters: thank you. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.]
* Swing states may have violated federal law in their purging of the eligible voter rolls. Advantage: Obama. [New York Times]
* Cases on abortion are no less contentious in Europe. The European Court of Human Rights may take on Ireland’s abortion laws. Or it may not. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]
* The bigamy-loving Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — not to be confused with the non-fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., Mormons) — claims the attorneys general of Utah and Arizona are trying to “destroy” it. [Courthouse News Service]
* Judge throws out key prosecution evidence in the corruption trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. [Politico]
If any Heller Ehrman attorneys were hoping that a major firm would sweep in and hire a whole bunch of Hellerites, the Dissolution Committee is warning you not to hold your breath. The Recorder reports:
On Tuesday, Peter Benvenutti, the chairman of the dissolution committee now controlling the firm, confirmed whispers that Baker & McKenzie and Winston & Strawn, both one-time merger candidates, had withdrawn proposals to pick up large groups of lawyers and their expensive real estate. While Benvenutti would not say whether deals on this scale are being discussed with any other firms, he did say there’s interest in taking over certain of the firm’s leases, and “we expect to have clarity in a day or two.”
At this point, why would Baker or Winston Strawn take on expensive lawyers when they can just sit back and cherry pick the superstars they want? We haven’t heard any story of a Heller rainmaker saying “If I come, these 30 people are coming with me.”
Charlotte Feeney sued L’Oreal Inc. because she accidentally dyed her hair dark-brown instead of blonde. She claims that L’Oreal mislabeled the box of hair-dye, while L’Oreal presumably used the “she’s an idiot” defense.
Freeney claimed to have suffered real damages. She said that being a brunette ruined her social life:
She says she suffered headaches and anxiety, missed the attention that blondes receive and had to stay home and wear hats most of the time.
It’s unclear what color the rug is, but Freeney claims the dark dye did irreparable damage to her curtains. She says that she can never go back to being a blonde again and now has to take anti-depressants.
We suggest that Freeney lay off the zoloft and open herself to the wonderful life of being a brunette. Armed with her new hair color — and nights and weekends uncluttered with the pressure of companionship or sex — Freeney can do all sorts of things. She will no longer be hated by other women, and she can begin the hard work of learning how to read confusing box labels at the local Duane Reade.
A Connecticut judge dismissed Freeney’s lawsuit, he said:
The plaintiff submitted no facts, no opinions and no standards to substantiate either of the allegations.
Should she decide to appeal, she might want to add the need for “facts and opinions” as further evidence of suffering because of her follicle deformity.
Freeney’s lawyer, David Laudano, said that he hadn’t even read the judge’s decision. Via internal monologue, Laudano added “Jeez. I wish this average looking woman would stop pestering me about her ‘cases’ and ‘options.’ I’m so bored. I want to work with new and exciting clients.”
Ha ha ha ha … oh hi Charlotte. Sure you look great. No, I’m not ignoring you. Hey, what are you doing with my pet rabbit? Stop. STOP OH DEAR GOD STOP!!!
Jerry Seinfeld is stuck in a bit of a legal mess (and it’s not the first time). He and his wife have been sued by cookbook author Missy Chase Lapine, who claims that Jessica Seinfeld plagiarized her recipes for the best-selling Deceptively Delicious Cookbook. Deceptive, indeed.
Then Jerry went on David Letterman and made jokes about Ms. Lapine, comparing her “to ‘wackos’ who had stalked Letterman. Seinfeld added that the ‘hysterical’ Lapine was a ‘three-name woman’ and ‘if you read history, many of the three-name people do become assassins.'” So then Lapine hit him with a slander lawsuit. It’s a Seinfeld episode gone horribly, horribly wrong. Kind of like the last, really unfunny episode of the series, which also took place in a courtroom.
Now, Jerry is seeking summary judgment claiming that “his remarks were consistent with a ‘recurring theme’ of his comedy and not slanderous.” Here’s an excerpt from the motion from Smoking Gun:
So his defense is along the lines of, “Have you seen that one episode of Seinfeld?” Seinfeld references usually work among friends, but will they do the trick in the Southern District of New York?
When a law school dean threatens a massive invasion of privacy, something stinks.
The Assistant Dean of Students at University of Minnesota Law School is Erin Keyes. You might remember her for her 3rd place performance in our Law School Dean Hotties Contest.
But having a pretty face doesn’t prevent Keyes from getting dirty when the job requires. Yesterday she sent around a school-wide email:
We have had several recent reports about a strong, offensive odor emanating from a small section of the Law School’s locker room. If you believe you may have left a lunch or other item behind, we ask that you remove it immediately. Starting at 3 PM today, staff from the Law School’s Facilities office will begin opening lockers to find and remove the source of the odor.
We appreciate your cooperation, and in the future, ask all students to ensure that no perishable food items are left in lockers.
We’ll get back to dirty smelly puns in a second.
But UMN Law students should take immediate action. Take your drugs out of your locker NOW. 3:00 p.m. will be upon you soon and if one of you leaves the crystal meth (or whatever they are doing in the upper Midwest these days) in your locker, you will be mocked. You’ll be mocked on ATL, in court, and later when somebody who knows your story buys coffee from you.
End of PSA announcement.
Back to the smell (if there is such a thing) after the jump.
Back in February, our ATL / Lateral Link survey on politics in the workplace found that 74% of you were discussing politics in the workplace, but less than 3% of you felt any need to conform to a particular political view.
At the time, 20% of respondents said that their fellow associates had tried to convince them to vote for someone, and about 15% said that an associate had asked them to contribute to a campaign.
But those were the days of Hillary and Huckabee.
Now that we’re down to John McCain and That One, what do office politics look like today? Is there more pressure to attend events? Vote a certain way? Make a contribution?
Let’s find out.
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.
I work for two partners at my firm – a senior one and a junior one. The senior partner routinely assigns me less urgent work, but he expects his projects to be handled immediately. The junior partner assigns me more urgent deal work, which also must be done immediately. Both partners hound me to attend to their projects, and if I do the senior partner’s work before the junior partner’s, the senior partner is pissed off, and vice versa. I’ve sent an email asking them how I should prioritize the projects, and neither has responded. I feel like I’m screwed either way. What would you recommend I do?
Rock and a Hard Place
Dear Rock and a Hard Place –
Advances in sheep cloning give associates hope that they will soon be able to be in two places at once, double bill and send themselves for coffee. Alas, that glorious day is not yet upon us. For now, you have to pick one of the projects, tackle it first and piss a partner off. Thus the question becomes, which partner is it better to enrage?
Most people would probably tell you to do the senior partner’s project first, because while his work may be less pressing, he has more clout at partner meetings and owns two Ferraris. Prioritizing memoranda to files may keep the senior partner momentarily happy, but in doing so you’ll look like a slacker to the rest of the deal team. And when purchase agreements go out the door with brackets around Section 9.2.1 stating “pending IP review,” you’ll look like an asshat in front of the client.
Believe it or not, you were not primarily hired to preserve your own job, but rather to advise firm clients. The senior partner may have more hiring/firing power over you than the junior partner, but it’s your duty to convey to the senior partner that the deal team, the junior partner and the client cumulatively outweigh him, even if he is obese. Telling him “not right now” won’t be easy, but it’s nothing that his wife and lady friend haven’t done before.
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: