Latest Stories

Scarlet Pumpkin Sign.jpgTrue story: when I was 8-years-old living on Long Island I went trick-or-treating with my friends without adult supervision. On the way home, my bag full of goodies, I got jumped by a group of older kids. My “friends” were busy running away while I tried to “reason” with the bullies. Sensing the these boys were not going to listen to rational arguments I took my faux briefcase (I was going as Ted Kennedy) and knocked one of the bullies right on the temple. Unfortunately, they were many and I was 8. No candy for me that Halloween.

Since then, I’ve always considered it amazingly stupid for parents to let their kids gambol through the night unattended. It’s a pagan holiday and bad stuff can happen.

If more parents followed this basic safety tip, the sign to the right would not be necessary. Our friend at f/k/a explains:

[It's] the sign that sex offenders must display at their homes in Maryland this Halloween. According to the Times, the bright orange pumpkin is the symbol sex offenders “are required to post on their doors with a warning, in capital letters, to trick-or-treaters: ‘No candy at this residence’.” In addition to posting the sign, the offenders must stay at home, turn off outside lights and not answer the door. Some states prohibit sex offenders from decorating the outside of their homes. But, Maryland is mandating this colorful and “attractive” Halloween decoration.

I’m sure many people can appreciate the practicality of not having your kids sidle up to a convicted sex offender’s house on All Hallows Eve. But should people who have ostensibly “paid their debt” to society be forced to decorate their house because some idiot child might come around begging for food?

More analysis after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Scarlet Pumpkin”

  • 17 Oct 2008 at 10:20 AM
  • Uncategorized

K&L Gates to Nickels and Dimes

KL Gates logo.JPGJust yesterday we told you about K&L Gates’s seemingly strong position despite this depressing economy. We even included a quote from firm chairman Peter Kalis crowing about his firm:

We have no debt — no long-term debt, no short-term debt — and therefore have a balance sheet that allows us to grow aggressively into a downturn

If that is all true, why would the firm go cheap on the small stuff? One tipster reports:

Last week, the firm switched to cheaper bathroom supplies. The TP’s flakier than a box of Kelloggs. The paper towels dissolve on touch; you’ll know a K&L Gates lawyer by the paper-mache hands. I won’t even mention “the stink.” Smart associates bring chewing gum.

Is there any way to reconcile “top flight law firm” with “unsanitary working conditions?”

After the jump other “perks” K&L Gates is taking away.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “K&L Gates to Nickels and Dimes”

1081067_dumbbell.jpg* Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias speaks out against the DOJ’s ACORN probe. [Talking Points Memo]

* Judges in China refuse to take lawsuits over tainted milk. [Associated Press]

* They may cause rashes. And brain cancer. But we still love them. [Reuters]

* Grand jury investigations for Lehman, in New York and New Jersey. [CNN Money]

* Pfizer settles its painkiller suits for $894 million. [Wall Street Journal (subscription)]

* 24 Hour Fitness hates poor people. [Courthouse News Service]

* David Lat was in Charlottesville this week talking to UVA law students about job hunting. He advised going off the beaten track. [Virginia Law]

Heller Ehrman LLP Above the Law blog.JPGAnother week, another Heller Ehrman action that is out of step with their original dissolution plan.

This time it looks like even “essential” Heller employees and associates are being terminated at the end of this week.

After the jump, read the full Heller Dissolution Committee Letter. And notice how similar it is to the last one.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “So Much For 60 Days WARNing: Part II”

john_mccain.jpg* Joe the Plumber actually owes over a thousand dollars in back taxes. The McCain campaign really needs to hire a professional vetter. [TaxProf Blog]

* Should bar passage really be a factor in rating law schools? [Prawfs Blawg]

* Class action about faulty breasts falls low. [Point of Law]

* Bracewell & Giuliani promise no layoffs. Great. But if they rescind term limits in New York City, don’t you think Giuliani will run against Bloomberg in the first pro-choice, anti-gun Republican death match? [Tex Parte Blog]

Sonnenschein Nath Rosenthal Above the Law blog.jpgA spokesperson for Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has confirmed that there were layoffs at the firm yesterday.

The spokesperson said that 25 attorneys were laid off. The firm said they waited until they could personally notify all of the attorneys before they went public with the information.

The firm was not able to confirm how many additional staff members were also cut. Yesterday we reported that there could be as many as 60 total layoffs. The firm spokesperson said that they were waiting until they’re able to inform all affected staff members.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: The Sun Is Not Shining At Sonnenschein

Palin Vogue.JPGA Kansas City woman has sued Sarah Palin, John McCain, and other members of the McCain-Palin campaign in Federal Court. She alleges the Republican ticket has caused her “terror of the heart” over the safety of Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.

According to the complaint:

Plaintiff Mary Kay Green, pro se, suffered profound despair at the assassinations of her beloved leaders President John. F. Kennedy and U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy and her hero the Reverend Martin Luther King, and suffers terror of the heart, anxiety and grave fear for the life of Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Barack Obama, and her candidate for President, due to the reckless, intentional and irresponsible speeches, ads and conduct of Governor Sarah Palin, Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John McCain and his campaign manager Richard “Rick” Davis to which she has been subjected to here in Kansas City, Missouri, and which are beyond “shouting fire in a public theater.

One blogger gives us some backstory on Ms. Mary Kay Green:

According to her personal web site, when not standing up to bullies, Mary Kay Green is “an attorney who — from her senior year in law school — has handled civil rights cases.” She is also the author of several books, including the soon to be released Sundance and Cherokee Moon: A Book about Robert Redford, Movies, Miracles, and Mania, and the appropriately titled Women of Courage. which chronicles the struggles of such women as Joan of Arc, Carrie Nation, and Rosa Parks.

But is this really necessary? I thought Obama was bulletproof. Check out the complaint below.

Mary Kay Green v. McCain-Palin.pdf

Lawsuit says supporter fears for Obama’s life [Kansas City Star]

A Woman Of Courage [Social Services for Feral Children]

us news rankings compromised.jpgWhile we have been focusing on associate layoffs, law schools continue to ruin the U.S. News Law School Rankings.

Yesterday we learned that Alabama Law School is offering people $20 worth of iTunes cash to simply apply to Alabama. How does this impact that U.S. News rankings? Because the magazine counts acceptance rate as part of its methodology. The more students you turn away, the better your school looks.

Meanwhile, TaxProf Blog reports on a dangerous precedent being set at Baylor University. Baylor is now paying students to retake the SAT. This strategy could also be used to game the LSAT now that the ABA requires schools to report the highest LSAT score students receive. We know how “competitive” those Baylor kids are but getting an improved test score through cash incentives after you’ve already matriculated looks a lot like cheating.

We have also extensively covered the raft of silly programs that obviate the need for the LSAT altogether, so long as the student hits a desired GPA benchmark.

Putting it all together after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Smokey, This Isn’t ‘Nam … There Are Rules.”

good news bad news.jpgIt’s been a dark week on ATL. Layoff news has been pouring in: 21 attorneys cut at Katten, up to 60 at Sonnenschein, and 20 at Clifford Chance.

To prevent you from jumping out your windows, we’re revisiting a Wall Street Journal article from earlier this month on the silver lining for law firms during the economic crisis.

Firms with relatively strong balance sheets are hiring lawyers from competitors that are hurting from the dropoff in mergers, debt offerings and other staples of the legal business. Leaders of these firms figure that being bigger and more geographically diverse will help them weather downturns in particular market sectors and capitalize on complex business opportunities that require a variety of specialties. In most cases, they’re even giving the new hires raises.

Did you hear that, despondent ones? Raises!

Many firms have been feasting on the remains of Heller Ehrman (R.I.P.). Heller partners and attorneys have been snatched up by Hogan & Hartson; Orrick; Sheppard Mullin; Arnold & Porter; Covington & Burling; Jones Day; and Cooley Godward Kronish. Other firms have been poaching partners from struggling Thelen.

Some firms are buying on the cheap, while others are giving new attention to more resilient practice groups:

K&L Gates LLP has acquired medium-size firms in Texas and North Carolina this year and hired 45 partners from other firms. “We have no debt — no long-term debt, no short-term debt — and therefore have a balance sheet that allows us to grow aggressively into a downturn,” says Peter Kalis, chairman of the 1,700-lawyer firm…

But many law firms believe that they have no choice but to expand specialties, such as restructuring, intellectual property, securities litigation and antitrust, that are generally believed to remain steady — or even pick up — during down cycles. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York laid off 131 lawyers — nearly 20% of its staff — earlier this year because of the implosion in the mortgage-backed securities market, a key practice area for the firm. But it has hired lawyers in other practice areas, including financial restructuring.

Chins up.

Some Law Firms Hire in Slump [Wall Street Journal]

As Heller is sliced and diced, many associates are out in the cold [National Law Journal]

Earlier: ATL Layoff Coverage

fred baron.jpgMany people know Fred Baron as “The King of the Toxic Torts.” He, along with long time friend Sen. John Edwards, made a lot of money as plaintiff attorneys.

But his story now has nothing to do with the plaintiff’s bar. Fred Baron is in the final stage multiple myeloma, a kind of bone marrow cancer. His son believes that Baron’s only chance is the experimental drug Tysabri, but the company that manufactures the drug will not give it to him.

The WSJ Law Blog obtained this comment from Biogen, the makers of Tysabri:

We heard back from Naomi Aoki, a spokeswoman for Biogen. “The FDA notified us yesterday afternoon that they’re going to be working directly with the Mayo Clinic to address this situation,” she told the Law Blog. Aoki went on to explain that the Biogen drug, Tysabri, was approved for multiple sclerosis in 2004. But then Biogen, according to Aoki, voluntarily withdrew Tysabri from the market because it had caused a brain infection, known as PML, in three patients.

An internet campaign has sprung up on many legal blogs and throughout many law firms, spearheaded by Baron’s son Andrew. Lance Armstrong; Bill and Hillary Clinton; John Kerry; Edward Kennedy; and John Edwards have all added their voice. We’d like to do so as well.

Good luck Mr. Baron.

Update: Biogen has found a “legal basis” for giving Fred Baron Tysabri.

Read Andrew Baron’s message after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Fight To Save Fred Baron”

Thelen LLP new logo.jpgIf there are Thelen associates that are not actively trying to get another job, if there are “incoming” Thelen first years who are waiting for “concrete answers” from the firm: this is your last warning. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just remember that your closest exit might be behind you.

This morning the Recorder sounded the latest alarm bell:

While Thelen is looking for firms willing to pick up various pieces, a core group may choose to stick together, and Thelen partners are meeting on a weekly basis to discuss their options, said the partner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Nixon Peabody merger is off. All the white knights Pollyanna sees on the horizon are actually scavengers looking to pick up useful pieces.

More alarmist rhetoric and mixed metaphors after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Thelen Associates:
English M*therF%$#*r Do You Speak It?”

[Ed Note: Do you have a question for next week? Send it in to]

pls hndle copy 2.jpgATL,

I am a newly minted federal law clerk stuck in a small city where I don’t know anyone. The 12 hour work days I have been recently putting in have made meeting new people rather difficult. During a recent jury selection, I noticed a rather attractive member of the jury venire. Said juror’s questionnaire just happened to be at the top of the stack on my desk. A quick glance showed that the potential juror was: single, my age, and lived nearby. The questionnaire also contained both a phone number and email address. So my question is, can I take the number off the questionnaire and give the juror a call?

Confused in Chambers

Dear Confused in Chambers,

I (luckily) don’t have access to Westlaw/Lexis anymore, so I can’t see if there are any ethical guidelines governing your predicament, but last time I checked, ignorance of the law was a pretty solid excuse. Personally, I can tell you that every unattached woman I know rolls up to ABA CLEs, Legal Aid Society fundraisers and jury duty with one intention, and one intention only: BAG A MAN. The law might “require” “jury service” but the nowhere is it written that makeup and Spanx are mandatory. If girlfriend was looking good enough for you to notice, she probably didn’t roll out of bed looking that way. The lady’s on the prowl, so take the hint and start looking for places with dim lighting.

That being said, I can see how it might be HIGHLY ALARMING for a woman to receive an email from a court official stating that while she thought was performing her civic duty, little did she know that another, more dastardly kind of “venire” was going on (elbow-elbow-wink-wink). You’d have to use the old “I never do this, but” line and carefully explain that her incredible beauty was so overpowering that you were compelled to subvert the mantle of your authority, use privileged information for personal purposes and put your job on the line just to see if maybe she wanted to grab a drink or get tapas. Her reaction to your email – flattery or restraining order – will mostly depend on whether she found YOU attractive. So if you’re a fat slob, you might want to think twice.

Some of the greatest love stories of our time are the product of ethically dubious liaisons. John McCain left his newly-crippled wife who had tirelessly sought his release as a POW and cared for their three children for Cindy’s money. And relationships with associates are practically a requirement for equity partnership at firms. Given your schedule, this juror might be your last chance to meet someone in real life and not Second Life. Worst case scenario, even if she files for a restraining order, you already have an in at the court.

Your friend,


Elie’s response after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx:
The Other Voire Dire”

Page 1390 of 18011...138613871388138913901391139213931394...1801