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In last week’s ATL / Lateral Link surveys, we asked you whether you would want to work in a different city, whether, knowing what you know now, you would still want to work where you do, and where, if you could go to any other firm, you would choose to go.
We received 1,189 responses to last Monday’s survey on whether you would want to work in a different city. A whopping 88% of respondents said they would consider moving to a new city to practice. Sixty-eight percent cited a better lifestyle as a reason to move, while 45% would move for more money. Thirty-eight percent of respondents would move for a better practice, and 35% would be willing to move to be closer to friends or family. Only thirteen or fourteen percent, however, would move to be closer to a spouse or significant other, suggesting that most respondents are either single or willing to be.
Responses: Would you consider moving to a new city to practice?
would you move.jpg
Where would you go? The Bay Area was the most popular destination, chosen by twelve percent of respondents. Another nine percent chose London. Eight percent would move to either the Pacific Northwest or Washington, DC. Six percent chose LA, Texas or Chicago. Five percent chose Boston, New York or Atlanta. Less than four percent would move to Paris, Hong Kong or Dubai to practice, and only a handful would consider Tokyo, Beijing, Moscow, or Frankfurt. Quite a few people wrote in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Denver, Miami, and San Diego as their preferred destinations, putting them in about the same range as Tokyo.
Can you get there without updating your resume? Maybe not. Only a third of respondents thought their current firm would allow them to change offices. A quarter said no, and the rest weren’t sure.
Our ATL / Lateral Link surveys about whether, knowing what you know now, you would still want to work where you do, and where, if you could go to any other firm, you would choose to go are both still open, but you can sneak a peek at the results so far after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Survey Results: Have Resume, Will Travel.”

gun.jpgThe Supreme Court gets to enjoy the media spotlight this week as it dives into the always contentious Second Amendment. An article in Sunday’s Washington Post has a good breakdown of the issues at stake:

The nine justices, none of whom has ever ruled directly on the amendment’s meaning, will consider a part of the Bill of Rights that has existed without a definitive interpretation for more than 200 years.

“This may be one of the only cases in our lifetime when the Supreme Court is going to be interpreting the meaning of an important provision of the Constitution unencumbered by precedent,” said Randy E. Barnett, a constitutional scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center. “And that’s why there’s so much discussion on the original meaning of the Second Amendment.”

Facing the highest firearm murder rate among the States, the District of Columbia passed a law in 1976 virtually banning the possession of handguns. As a sidenote: The District also changed the name of its basketball team from the questionably violent “Bullets” to the “Wizards” in 1997.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the ban last year, and now SCOTUS has got to get up in it. In a Wall Street Journal column this month, Laurence Tribe revealed that he will do a little happy dance if the Court decides narrowly. Moderation…yawn…

Using a case about national legislative power over gun-toting in the capital city as a vehicle for deciding how far Congress or the state of California can go in regulating guns in Los Angeles would be a silly stretch.

Chief Justice John Roberts, ever since his days as a judge on the court of appeals, has virtually defined judicial modesty by opining that if it is not necessary for the court to decide an issue, then it is necessary for the court not to decide that issue. For this reason, and for the further reason that the scholarship on the reach of the Second Amendment and its implementation is still in its infancy, the court should take the smallest feasible step in resolving the case before it.

Issuing a narrow decision would disappoint partisans on both sides and leave many questions unresolved. But to do anything else would ill-suit a court that flies the flag of judicial restraint.

Supreme Court vs. the Second Amendment may be as exciting as a Duke vs. UNC basketball game. People are camping out overnight to watch the argument tomorrow! A tipster on location reports that there are already 14 people in line, the first one having arrived at 5:30 a.m.
Of course, no decision’s expected until the end of the term in June. While we wait, we’ll keep challenging people in bars to name all the Supreme Court Justices. And watch Charlton Heston movies.
D.C.’s Gun Ban Gets Day in Court [The Washington Post]
Sanity and the Second Amendment [Laurence Tribe in the Wall Street Journal]
Laurence Tribe to High Court: Restrain Yourself [Wall Street Journal Law Blog]

bedbug bed bug Cravath Swaine Moore LLP Above the Law blog.jpgHiring partners and recruiting coordinators at Wachtell and S&C, it’s time to break out the champagne:


Yes, that’s right. The Worldwide Plaza headquarters of Cravath, Swaine & Moore — perhaps the country’s most prestigious law firm, and one of its most profitable — has some unwelcome visitors. And no, 2L interview season ended months ago.
Here’s what we’ve learned, from multiple sources at CSM:

Cravath Swaine Moore LLP Above the Law blog.JPG1. An email was sent around Cravath last week about the presence of bed bugs at the firm.
2. A few bedbugs were found on two floors, the 21st floor and the 41st floor, which are being fumigated.
3. Two employees had bedbugs in their apartments and told the firm, which caused the firm to investigate.
4. The 21st floor is a paralegal / administration floor, but the 41st floor is a litigation floor — which means that one of the two employees may be a lawyer.
6. Both of the employees are still with the firm (i.e., they have not been fired, like the poor soul at Cadwalader who, rumor has it, got canned after self-reporting).
7. The email about the bed bug problem was protected against forwarding or copying.

Apparently Cravath and Cadwalader have something in common other than the Bear Stearns deal. [FN1]
As you may recall, in June 2007, Cadwalader reported a bedbug problem. A few months later, they announced lawyer layoffs.
Are associate layoffs like bedbugs? Will they start off at relatively less prestigious firms — we say “relatively,” since Cadwalader is still plenty prestigious (#26 on the Vault 100) — and move all the way to the top of the list? Will Rodge Cohen and Ed Herlihy be scratching themselves furiously as they negotiate the next big bank merger?
Words of wisdom to incoming Cravath summer associates: go to as many events as you can, and spend as little time as possible at the Death Star. May the force be with you.
We contacted Cravath, which declined comment through a spokesperson. If you have anything to add on the situation, please feel free to email us. Thanks.
[FN1] The bedbug email went around Cravath before the JP Morgan Chase / Bear Stearns deal was initiated. So there would be no merit to a conspiracy theory that Cadwalader gave the cooties to Cravath by sneaking them into a box shipment destined for Worldwide Plaza.
Earlier: Breaking: Cadwalader Overrun By Bed Bugs!!!

plane.jpgWe have another Lawsuit of the Day involving the perils of sleeping, from the Star-Telegram’s airline blog.

A 21-year-old Harris County woman filed a $200,000 lawsuit against American Airlines alleging employees on a flight to Los Angeles from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport failed to protect her while she slept from another passenger who masturbated to her and ejaculated in her hair, according to a lawsuit she filed last week in Tarrant County.

Anyone who’s seen the movie Red Eye knows flight attendants are oblivious to women being terrorized by strange men on planes.
Here are the traumatizing details:

The woman slept most of the flight, but awoke about 20 minutes before landing when the pilot announced the plane was on descent into Los Angeles. When the woman opened her eyes, she saw that an unknown man had moved into the seat next to her and was staring at her as he masturbated, the suit states.

The woman turned toward the window in embarrassment and in an act of nervousness began to run her fingers through her hair where she noticed “a substantial amount of an extremely sticky substance in her hair,” the suit states.

We are tempted to remark on possible new definitions of red eye flight had she not turned away, but we think one tipster who sent this story along said it best:

This sounds like a sticky situation…

Woman files lawsuit against AMR because passenger next to her masturbated while she slept [Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Sky Talk via Drudge]
Woman Sues American Airlines Over Masturbating Passenger [Consumerist]

* Stocks plummet around the world, in wake of deal by JP Morgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns on the cheap. [New York Times]
Update: If you’re interested in learning which lawyers and law firms slaved away over the weekend on the Bear Stearns deal, see here.
* Fed takes action to fight crisis, but may be too late — economy is f**ked (which everyone already knew). [Washington Post; New York Times]
* Lawyer for whore lectures media on ethics. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Missed connection” between plaintiffs and appellate victory: Seventh Circuit rules Craigslist not liable for discriminatory ads. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Pro se defendant successfully defends himself — in a murder trial. No, not Jonathan Lee Riches. [Washington Post]
* Defendant doctors prevail in John Ritter malpractice suit. [CNN]
* Ruling expected today in Paul McCartney / Heather Mills divorce case. [AP]
* A compensation overview for in-house lawyers. [WSJ Law Blog]
Update: Thanks for the reminder. Professor Jeffrey Rosen’s NYT magazine cover story, a long and detailed survey of the Roberts Court’s business law jurisprudence, is available here.

Hicks.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by Friday's guest blogger, Kashmir Hill, who will be writing more for these pages going forward.]
We are starting off the week reverential when it comes to Judge of the Day. Virginia Circuit Court Judge Gary Hicks is dedicated to cracking down on crime in and out of the courtroom. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

When 70-year-old Susanne Thompson bled to death on the streets of Richmond in October, Hicks helped chase down her alleged assailant.

Here are the details on how Hicks trains for marathons AND fights crime:

On the crisp morning of Oct. 27, Hicks was running west on Broad Street with friends, 7 miles into a training run for a marathon two weeks away.
Suddenly across the street, Hicks and other runners saw a man bent over Thompson’s body. She had been walking her dog, a common sight in the Fan District, where she was a beloved figure. Johnny Hughes, now awaiting trial in Thompson’s death, was starting to get away.
Hicks chased him down and hung close. “I see it as sort of a duty. There are choices.”
He darted into Broad Street traffic with another good Samaritan, stopped it and created a wall of metal that Hughes could not negotiate. A squad car got caught in the blockade, and the officer jumped out with his gun drawn.

Hicks_Magneto.jpgI am a little confused by the action sequence involving the traffic. But creating a wall of metal is awesome. It’s like Hicks is Magneto from X-men… but not a villain.
Our tipster writes:

Hicks is no joke. He’s as a much a badass on the bench as he is on the street.

We are pondering who is more badass: Gary Hicks or mugger-fighting Judge of the Day alumnus Ira Robinson.
Judge lives his life ready to be judged [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Frank Easterbrook bong pot pipe Judge Frank H Easterbrook Above the Law.JPG* Could Eliot Spitzer lose his law license? “Legal experts say such an outcome is unlikely, but not inconceivable.” [City Room / New York Times]
* Meanwhile, for New York state law geeks, a question: In the event of a tie in the state senate, will Joseph L. Bruno — as Republican majority leader, and as acting lieutenant governor (starting Monday) — be able to vote twice? [City Room / New York Times]
* Misadventures in lawyer advertising. Maybe they can all go work for The Daily Show? [Connecticut Law Tribune]
* Judge Frank Easterbrook thinks that sometimes a bong is just a bong. [How Appealing]
* “Tales of a Law Professor Lateral Nothing”: A look at “the mysterious world of the law professor lateral hiring market,” by Professor Paul Secunda. [SSRN]
* Speaking of law profs…. Law Professor of the Day? He also logged in to and gave himself a chili pepper. [TaxProf Blog]
Hillary Clinton lolcat monster Above the Law blog.jpg* Celebrity professor Cass Sunstein has warm words for his buddy Barack Obama — even though Barack didn’t stand by Cass’s lady friend, Samantha Power, during “Monstergate.” [Chicago Tribune]
* Speaking of Her Monstrosity, Susan Lehman asks: Is Hillary Clinton’s corporate law background hurting her candidacy? [American Lawyer]
* “Dickie Scruggs: Now that he’s been accused of pleaded guilty to bribery, there are questions about how he achieved so much.” [ABA Journal]

533590_boy_meets_girl.jpgLadies, if you want to make partner, consider Dorsey & Whitney. The Project for Attorney Retention has just released a report (PDF) on the number of women among this year’s new partners at 77 firms.
Props to Dorsey & Whitney and Ropes and Gray. Here’s why:

At a dozen firms, 50% or more of the new partners were women: Dorsey & Whitney (10 of 15 new partners are female, for 71%), Ropes & Gray (7 of 10 new partners are female, for 70%), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (4 of 6 new partners are female, for 67%), Blackwell Sanders (8 of 12 new partners are female, for 67%), Cravath, Swaine & Moore (2 of 3 new partners are female, for 67%), Crowell & Moring (4 of 7 new partners are female, for 57%), DLA Piper (15 of 28 new partners are female, for 54%), Reed Smith (14 of 26 new partners are female, for 54%), Arnold & Porter (2 of 4 new partners are female, for 50%), Cadwalader (1 of 2 new partners is female, for 50%), Shearman & Sterling (3 of 6 new partners are female, for 50%), and Womble Carlyle (4 of 8 new partners are female, for 50%).

Women made up less than half of the new partners at the other 65 firms surveyed.
Some firms are in serious gender equality hot water. Here’s the list of shame:

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein did not make a single female partner (0 of 8 new partners were female). For others, only one or two women lawyers were awarded the brass ring: Orrick (1 of 13 new partners is female, for 8%), Proskauer Rose (1 of 11 new partners is female, for 9%), Nixon Peabody (1 of 11 new partners is female, for 9%), Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (1 of 11 new partners is female, for 9%), Baker & Daniels (1 of 9 new partners is female, for 11%), Vinson & Elkins (1 of 9 new partners is female, for 11%), Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge (1 of 9 new partners is female), Akin Gump (2 of 15 new partners are female, for 13%), Milbank (1 of 8 new partners is female, for 13%), White & Case (1 of 7 new partners is female, for 14%), and Gibson Dunn (2 of 13 new partners are female, for 15%).

Three firms have had nearly all-dude partner classes for four years running: Akin Gump, Fried Frank, and Vinson & Elkins. For those of you flirting with a career move from lawyering to screenplay-writing, think: Charlize Theron fighting her way to partnership at Fried Frank, à la North Country.
Law Firms’ New Partners Still Mostly Male: New Partner Classes 2005-2008 [Project for Attorney Retention]

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGThanks to everyone who responded to our open call for Supreme Court clerk hiring news. We now know the identities of Justice David H. Souter’s four law clerks for October Term 2008:

1. Erin Delaney (NYU 2007 / Guido-maniac)
2. Michael Gerber (Yale 2005 / Leval)
3. Warren Postman, (Harvard 2007 / W. Fletcher)
4. Noah Purcell (Harvard 2007 / Tatel Tot)

Congratulations to all. And if someone could put their names into Wikipedia, now that their hiring has been confirmed, that would be most appreciated.
We’re still missing those last two Alito clerks. Are they playing a game of hide and seek with us? If you can give us a hint as to who they are — or, better yet, name, rank, and feeder judge clerkship — please email us.
Updated lists of the OT 2008 and OT 2009 SCOTUS clerks, with the DHS clerks added, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: D-H-S is D-O-N-E”

896217_too_tired.jpgA tipster sent us word of this ridiculous lawsuit from Connecticut.
When we used to sleep in class, we did so sitting up. Laying your head on the desk invites trouble:

Danbury officials have been notified they are being sued by a student who was awakened in class by a teacher who made a loud noise. Documents filed with the Town Clerk, a prelude to a lawsuit, claim that a sleeping student suffered hearing damage when his teacher woke him up by slamming her hand down on the boy’s desk in December.

Attorney Alan Barry says 15-year-old Vinicios Robacher suffered pain and “very severe injuries to his left eardrum” when teacher Melissa Nadeau abruptly slammed the palm of her hand on his desk on Dec. 4.

We welcome slamming and loud noises here at ATL.
Update: Since it’s my first day, I appreciate your pointing out places where I can steal good material. We did not realize that Overlawyered also posted on this here.
Conn. Student Sues After Being Awakened [Rocky Mount Telegram]

  • 14 Mar 2008 at 1:30 PM
  • Uncategorized

Fox in the Henhouse at DLA Piper

DLA Piper logo Above the Law blog.jpgIf the economy keeps getting worse — check out today’s stock market meltdown and Bear Stearns debacle, discussed over at Dealbreaker — law firms will need to replace the dried-up revenue streams from transactional practice. And this time around, it looks like the usual countercyclical practices — e.g., litigation, bankruptcy — aren’t picking up the slack.
Fortunately, there’s a growing cottage industry for Biglaw: renting out offices to film and television production companies. This message recently went out to everyone in the Washington office of DLA Piper:

Subject: Fox Pilot Shoot This Weekend

Please be advised that Fox Television Network will be filming a TV pilot shoot on Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in our office space. They have been authorized to take photographs and shoot scenes of the interior and/or exterior of the building.

The areas to be filmed, include office locations 6050 and 6052, the hallway outside these 2 offices, the atrium, 7 Red, and the dining area of the cafe. 7 White will be used to store equipment and other items needed during the shoot.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.



And, no, they don’t need any “extras” :)

Sorry, DLA Pipers. Your best shot at fame is still reality television.
We’ve walked past the DLA Piper offices here in D.C. many a time — they’re very well-located, in the delightful Penn Quarter neighborhood — and we’ve been impressed. The building is sleek, ultra-modern, and so well-lit that you can practically see the titles of the books on the shelves (yes, we’ve tried). It’s not hard to imagine a movie or TV show being filmed on the premises.
But we have to ask: Fox? Is this damaging the DLA brand? Consider the following hierarchy of law firms and the productions they’ve hosted:

Oscar-winning feature film, starring George Clooney: Dewey Ballantine (with shared credit to Davis Polk).

Feature film, starring Cameron Diaz: Cadwalader.

Fox TV pilot: DLA Piper.

Well, hey, it could be worse. E.g., Skinemax.
Update: A DLA Piper source confirmed the accuracy of, and asked us to highlight, this comment:

DLA Piper’s Baltimore office was a filming location for Syriana. Also an Oscar-winning feature film starring George Clooney.

So please don’t associate DLA Piper exclusively with the folks responsible for making Paula Abdul a household name once again. Thanks.
DLA Piper moves to new office space in Washington D.C.’s Penn Quarter [DLA Piper]

server.jpgApparently, being the district attorney for the smallest county in Texas leaves one with a lot of free time. This Texan lawyer is on trial for building a tricked-out server using government funds. From The Dallas Morning News:

A computer that Rockwall County District Attorney Ray Sumrow says he built as a backup server for his office contained documents related to eBay sales, personal e-mails and a cheat sheet for a computer game, an FBI computer expert testified Monday morning.

I am guessing the computer game was Scrabulous and the cheat sheet was full of all the possible two letter words.
At least Sunrow has a plan B career option as a computer engineer:

The computer – equipped with two hard drives, seven fans, high-end video and audio cards, a wireless Internet connection and cables that glow under ultraviolet light – is designed for playing video games, prosecutors say.

Alan Timberlake, assistant director of information technology for Rockwall County, called the computer “gimmicky” and more suited to a college dorm room than an office.

We like the way Penny Arcade’s cartoon representation catches the ultraviolet light.
Update: We didn’t see their post before putting up ours, but as one of you notes, QuizLaw also has a post here.
Rockwall County: At trial, prosecutors allege office funds bought computer [Dallas Morning News]
The Case Of Texas vs. KryoLord [Penny Arcade]
Pwning n00bs on the county’s dime: priceless [QuizLaw]

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