We’re on a roll today in the correspondence department here at ATL. This morning we brought you an email message from Professor Tim Wu, aka “Genius Wu,” young superstar of the legal academy.
And this afternoon, we proudly present this cyber-missive, typed by Article III fingers:
From: Judge Morris Arnold [email address redacted] Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 3:28 PM To: AboveTheLaw Tips Subject: AboveTheLaw Tip
Thank you so very much for the good wishes. I am on the mend and expect to be back up to full speed in very short order.
M. S. Arnold
First, we’re delighted to hear that Judge Arnold is doing so well. Second, we’re delighted that he wrote to us. How awesome is that?
After we put down our inhaler — we started hyperventilating from excitement! — we emailed Judge Arnold to check if it would be okay for us to post his message. And he graciously agreed. Thanks, Judge Arnold! Earlier: Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to Judge Morris Arnold
The weekend of November 18-19 was a strong one for lawyer weddings (even if not as strong as November 11-12). Once again, we had to make cuts in deciding whom to write about. Here are the three couples on today’s docket:
Morris S. Arnold of Little Rock was hospitalized Wednesday night in St. Louis, where he is a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, after having a heart attack. Arnold, 65, officially took senior status less than a month ago. That designation reduces his caseload while he continues to serve on the court that hears appeals from federal courts in seven states including Arkansas.
U.S. Circuit Clerk Michael Gans said Thursday from the court’s St. Louis office that Arnold went to the hospital on his own after returning to his hotel at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and experiencing pains in his chest and arm that kept him from falling asleep.
Arnold had the heart attack while at the hospital, and doctors then surgically implanted a stent, Gans said.
We’re advised that the heart attack was minor and that Judge Arnold — known to some by his nickname, “Buzz” — is doing well. We wish this distinguished jurist, revered by the bench and bar and adored by his former clerks, a fast and full recovery. Little Rock Appellate Judge in St. Louis Hospital [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]
From Biglaw to business:
* Another Wachtell Lipton partner is leaving the firm. Corporate partner Mitchell Presser recently left to join Fox Paine. We now hear that WLRK real estate partner Michael Benner may be leaving to become general counsel at real estate giant Tishman Speyer. New Partners:
* Dorsey & Whitney: Banking lawyer Mark Jutsen. Lateral Moves:
* Speaking of Dorsey & Whitney, they’re closing their San Francisco office. Ten IP lawyers from that office are joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
* With the Brown Raysman-Thelen Reid & Priest merger about to become official, two entertainment and IP lawyers are leaving Brown Raysman’s L.A. office. Partner Brian Pass and associate Kevin Straw are joining the Century City office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. NY Lawyers On the Move [NYLawyer.com] As Firm’s Outpost Sinks, 10 IP Attorneys Jump Ship [NYLawyer.com] Firms’ Merger Spurs More Exits [NYLawyer.com]
Here’s a good appetite suppressant: Ginsburg in the Nude?*
As it turns out, the article has nothing to do with Ruth Bader Ginsburg sans robe. It’s about a copyright / misappropriation case, decided by the Ninth Circuit, that is now the subject of a certiorari petition before the Supreme Court.
Usually cert petitions emanating from the Ninth Circuit get put in a special “Summary Reversal” bin at One First Street. But that might not happen in this case. The opinion isn’t a Judge Reinhardt special, but a unanimous decision by a conservative judge, Jay S. Bybee (most well-known for his controversial pre-robesecent writing, namely, the so-called Bybee Memo).
Also, the song at issue is by Jennifer Lopez. And any lawsuit that would interfere with the dissemination of J. Lo’s music should be immediately dismissed.
* This isn’t the first time someone has thought about Ruthie in the nude. We know that Jon Stewart has. And so has, presumably, Martin Ginsburg. Ginsburg in the Nude? [Townhall.com via How Appealing] Laws v. Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. [Ninth Circuit] Circuit Breaker: The High Court vs. Death Penalty Foolishness [Washington Post]
The NYU Law School hotties contest that we mentioned yesterday is still underway. The polls will close at 11:59 PM on November 30.
Alas, the Geocities voting site — which a commenter claimed was operational earlier today — appears to have gone down again. So we’re unable to see what all the fuss is about.
We did enjoy this exchange about the hotness of NYU law school students over at Gawker:
Gigi: From my experience: Stringy-looking over-achievers, Borderline Aspergers, Awkward footwear, Douche-y attitudes, Most hideous college sweatshirts ever. Lame.
dorkattack: We may be dorky, douche-y, and dowdy. But every day when I walk to class in my practical shoes, outdated jeans, and enormous backpack, I pass through a herd of undergrads in ass-gripping tights, gold lame’ belts, and fuck-me heels talking about last night’s coke-fueled threesome and how they are finding acting lessons to be so incredibly intellectually stimulating. Honestly, I’d rather hang out with people who can’t dress, are awkwardly argumentative, and can’t stop talking about Scalia. NYU law: Holla!
Hey kids, guess what? It’s almost December. Christmas is only a few weeks away; the end of the year is within sight. And we all know what that means: Associate Bonuses!!!
Welcome to Associate Bonus Watch. In this recurring ATL feature, we’ll keep you updated on the latest news and rumor about bonuses for law firm associates.
Here’s the latest speculation, from the Wall Street Journal:
Bonus season for New York City-based associates at big firms usually begins in early December, and there is more intrigue than usual this year, because of the possibility that firms will scale back associates’ bonuses after having raised their base salaries earlier this year.
In New York — the nation’s largest and most lucrative market, thanks to Wall Street business — bonuses for associates often have little to do with either a firm’s overall financial performance or the individuals’ productivity. Rather, many firms match the competition’s bonuses, regardless of whether firms have had similarly good years….
Asks a partner at one New York firm: “What top-tier firm wants to go to Harvard Law School and be the one that pays $5,000 or $10,000 less” in bonuses?
Exactly. And here at Above the Law, we’re happy to reinforce that market pressure, by broadcasting on the internet what different law firms are doling out as bonuses. Who’s naughty, and who’s nice? Check in at ATL to find out.
We aspire to cover breaking bonus news more thoroughly than the mainstream media or even the legal press. We were, after all, the first outlet to break the news of Wachtell Lipton’s midyear bonuses, back in September. We have a good-sized network of Biglaw moles, whom we turn to for tips and for fact-checking. (Yes, we do check facts — sometimes.)
But we need your help to do the very best job possible. As soon as you hear of any news or rumor about year-end bonuses for associates, please contact us ASAP, by email (tips AT abovethelaw DOT com, subject line: “Associate Bonus Watch”). Thanks! Jury’s Still Out on Wall Street Law Bonuses [Wall Street Journal]
Although we mentioned it inpassing, we didn’t give adequate attention to Anna Schneider-Mayerson’s delightful profile of Tim Wu when it appeared earlier this month in the New York Observer. (It was discussed on several otherprominentblogs.)
Now we have an excuse to double back and correct the error: We’ve received an email from the good professor! Here it is (reprinted with permission):
Hi this isn’t exactly a tip — I just read your entry for above the law and the FedSoc conference, and wanted to say sorry I couldn’t meet you at the Net Neutrality panel…. It turned out I had the wrong date and it conflicted with my Thursday copyright class, so I couldn’t come….
I hope to run into you in person one of these days.
Wow! When we received this email, we giggled girlishly with excitement. First, Professor Wu is brilliant. As noted in the profile, he was nicknamed “the Genius Wu” by no less an authority than Judge Richard Posner, who knows genius when he sees it (e.g., when he looks in the mirror).
Second, Professor Wu is quite handsome (see photo). How many other Columbia Law School professors have earned themselves a music video tribute (“Ain’t No Other Man But Wu”) from their students?
(Our only grooming suggestion to Professor Wu: Have those eyebrows thinned. We go to someone very good for ours, but she’s probably not convenient for you given that you’re in New York.)
Finally, we were glad to learn why Professor Wu missed the Federalist Society panel: he misread his calendar. It’s nice to know that a member of the Elect — and not just any old Supreme Court clerk, but one who has been called “indefatigable” and “a valuable man in chambers” by his former boss, Justice Breyer — makes scheduling mistakes. How utterly charming! Wu-Hoo! Nutty Professor Is Voice of a Generation [New York Observer] Tim Wu, Voice of a Generation [Volokh Conspiracy] George Clooney’s Got Nothing On Tim Wu [WSJ Law Blog] “I Heart Wu” [YouTube]
* The DOJ’s IG, its equivalent of the GAO, will investigate the NSA’s warrantless issuance of acronyms. [Law.com]
* Disecting the Chief Justice’s humor… lawyer style. [WSJ Law Blog]
* No name-calling: Court strikes down President’s power to designate terror groups. [MSNBC]
* Back in the Dogg pound: this time charges include “having a false compartment in a vehicle.” [CNN]
for this thought-provoking article — “Lawyers Debate Why Blacks Lag at Major Firms,” by Adam Liptak, one of our favorite legal affairs writers — to hit the New York Times “Most E-mailed Articles” list?
(Our prediction: By the close of business tomorrow, November 29, it will be in the top 10.) Update: It happened even faster than we expected. The article cracked the top 10 by 9:35 AM.
We may blog about it more later. At the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, we attended a spirited panel discussion on law firm hiring practices and diversity, featuring Professor Richard Sander (at right). So minority lawyers and the world of Biglaw is a subject that’s been on our mind lately.
In the meantime, feel free to opine in the comments. Lawyers Debate Why Blacks Lag at Major Firms [New York Times]
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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