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oj simpson mug shot Above the Law no pun intended.jpg* O.J. freshly squeezed by a second co-defendant. [AP via Athens Banner-Herald]
* Law professors get appointed to do everything. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Nevada holds off on an execution, waiting on SCOTUS. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Weiss pleads not guilty. [Jurist]
* iPoison. [PC World]

I Love New York 2 Tiffany Pollard Tiffany New York Pollard.JPGWe just caught the second half of I Love New York 2 (previously discussed here and here). Wow.
Even by the debased standards of reality television, the show couldn’t be any more trashy. We felt our IQ plummeting as the minutes passed. We won’t tune in next week, since we don’t have the points to spare.
And no, we’re not TV snobs. Our favorite shows include ANTM, Gossip Girl, and Desperate Housewives. We like good trash TV as much as, if not more than, the next guy (or girl). But it has to be quality trash, if that makes any sense. (As for defining quality trash, we cite Justice Stewart: we know it when we see it.)
But look, don’t take our word for it. From a commenter (one of the few to opine on the show itself, as opposed to affirmation action, the legal academy, and the plight of minorities in America):

Since I’m not arguing about race, HLS, Obama or any of these issues, my post probably doesn’t belong. But I was personally quite amused to [see] a Big Law associate on my secret vice: vh1 reality programming….

Though I would have to say, seeing as how law firms are in the business of questioning the “good judgment” of associates, I think exhibiting an interest in dating NEW YORK [a/k/a Tiffany Pollard] is clearly a poor example of judgment.

She’s crazy, looks like a [transsexual] with a cheap breast enhancement, and did I forget to mention CRAZY?

Frighteningly enough, the exact same description — “crazy, looks like a [transsexual] with a cheap breast enhancement, and did I forget to mention CRAZY” — also applies to Tiffany “New York” Pollard’s mother, Sister Patterson. While we harbor a weakness for strong, African-American women, we want them to look like women (and work at the Justice Department).
And what about the fate of the two legal eagles on the show — David Otunga, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Sidley Austin associate, and Juan McCullum, a 2L at Mississippi College of Law? As you can see from the show’s Wikipedia page, which has already been updated with the results of tonight’s episode, they’re both still in the running.
And Christopher Columbus Langdell is turning over in his grave.
I Love New York 2 [VH1 (official website)]
I Love New York 2 [Wikipedia]
Earlier: Sidley Hates on Old People, Reality TV Stars
He Feels Pretty, Oh So Pretty

* How much will various law-related search terms cost you on Google? Adam Liptak has collected some interesting examples: “Asbestos attorney” = $51.68, “Pro bono lawyer” = $2.89. [NYT via WSJ Law Blog]
* Another day, another Republican politician in a gay sex scandal. [Green Bay Press-Gazette]
* Not law-related, but interesting to those who follow the blogosphere: Vanessa Grigoriadis’s detailed profile of Gawker Media. [New York Magazine]
* Blawg Review #130, presented on two attorney/mediator law blogs — a Southern Hemisphere edition from New Zealand, and a Northern Hemisphere edition from the USA — recognizes Blog Action Day and International Conflict Resolution Day. [mediator blah... blah... and Online Guide to Mediation, via Blawg Review]

Beveridge Diamond PC environmental law Above the Law blog.jpgIn the latest issue of the Legal Times, Nathan Carlile has a somewhat salacious story about Beveridge & Diamond. Perhaps you haven’t heard of this D.C.-based environmental law boutique — which might be mistaken for a livestock brokerage, thanks to the sheep photos on their website. But a livestock brokerage probably has fewer hijinks:

[A] sordid story… has ensnared partners at 95-lawyer Beveridge & Diamond in allegations that include adultery and forgery. The dispute stems from a bitter divorce battle between firm partner John Guttmann and his wife, Nancy Lasater, a nonpracticing attorney who was previously co-chairwoman of the Law Practice Management Section of the D.C. Bar and a solo practitioner who often represented firms on ethics issues.

Some highlights and commentary, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Beveridge & Diamond: Affairs, Forgery, Car Chases, and Other Fun Stuff”

Adam Key Adam M Key Regent Law School Above the Law blog.jpgLast week, we brought you the tale of Adam Key, a heavily tattooed 2L fighting the powers that be at Regent University School of Law.
Now, here’s an update, from the Virginian-Pilot:

A Regent University law student who posted an unflattering photo of Regent President Pat Robertson on his Facebook page has been indefinitely suspended pending a psychiatric evaluation.

Adam M. Key was told by a dean in an e-mail Friday that he was concerned about Key’s “emotional well-being” and that several students have recently expressed concern about Key’s “interpersonal behavior.”

The students “have reported, among other things, that you said that you brought a gun on campus, which is a violation of University policy,” said the e-mail, signed by L.O. Natt Gantt, the law school’s associate dean for student affairs.

But Key — who, by the way, appears to have commented on our last post — says this is a bunch of b.s. completely untrue:

Key said he has never brought a gun on campus or told fellow students that he had. “I’ve never owned or carried a gun,” he said….

“This is an effort to discredit me by drawing attention draw away from” the free-speech issue, Key said Friday. “It’s insulting to imply that someone who has different opinions from the university is emotionally unstable.”

A little bit more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Regent Revisited: Tattooed Dude Suspended Pending Psychiatric Evaluation”

Heller Ehrman LLP Above the Law blog.JPGWe recently made passing reference to the staff layoffs at Heller Ehrman, which firm management claimed were made to enhance efficiency, and not due to slow business. But one of the affected employees begs to differ:

Don’t believe Heller Ehrman’s claims that the layoffs were not because of slowdowns. I was a paralegal who worked at Heller for [several] years. The past year has been the slowest in litigation we have ever experienced….

I enjoyed my job, and [found that Heller] was a great place to work. [But in] the past two years, the whole culture and the focus of the firm changed (or is in the process of changing).

Everyone’s billable rates were raised to such heights that competing for business became pretty distasteful to many of the shareholders. It’s not easy to justify $200 to $300 an hour for paralegals.

Are layoffs the flip-side of the associate pay raise coin? More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Heller Ehrman Layoffs: Don’t Believe the Spin?”

Shearman & Sterling logo Above the Law blog.jpgSometimes it takes a while. But we usually get results, eventually.
Back in July, we published a post entitled Clerkship Bonus Watch: What’s Up With Shearman? Today, at 12:32 p.m., this email went around at Shearman & Sterling:

At the last meeting of the Associates Committee in New York, the committee representatives noted that we had fallen behind some other firms who had adjusted clerkship bonuses in 2007. As we mentioned at the meeting, we assumed that the firm would promptly respond with a clerkship policy consistent with the market.

Accordingly, I am pleased to report that because the firm places great value on the experience a clerkship provides, it has raised bonuses to $50,000, paid to associates who join the firm after August 1, 2007 and who complete a one-year eligible clerkship. For two one-year clerkships or two-years of clerkship experience, the firm will pay $70,000. An additional bonus is paid to U.S. Supreme Court clerks.

For details, please refer to the firm’s website.

This is the first clerkship bonus news in a while (since Dechert). Have we missed any developments? If you know of clerkship bonus news that we haven’t previously covered — use the site search function or the archives to check — please email us. Thanks.
Earlier: Clerkship Bonus Watch: What’s Up With Shearman?

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgThat’s the debate currently raging in the Los Angeles office of Skadden. It was triggered by some exuberant, multicolored emails from a Gay Colleague, promoting the Skadden LA AIDS Walk team.
From the delicious (but sporadically updated) Skadden Insider:

[T]he e-mails weren’t well received by everyone because “they are pretty aggressive and unprofessional. Just the tone of voice, the five thousand colors, the naming of names of who contributed and who didn’t.”

Our source continued: “And of course, some ignorant fools are going around saying, “I don’t go around calling myself the ‘straight associate’! Anyway, it was pretty funny. It was a gay gay gay Friday.”

Check out the full post, which reprints the (literally) colorful email, over here.
And read about another instance of public shaming at Skadden, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Skadden Gays: Out and Proud, or Tacky and Loud?”

LEWW logo.jpgWe had a tough time picking our finalist couples this week, and LEWW will be the first to admit that we’re not totally certain we chose the right three. (We’re sure our commenters and e-mailers will let us know if we’ve dropped the ball.) Specifically, in addition to our three finalists, we considered these three couples, and if you work at Shearman, Simpson Thacher, Wachtell, Willkie, or Ropes & Gray, you might want to click on those links to read about your colleagues or their spawn.
But onward to this week’s finalists! Here they are:

1.) Nisa Leung and James Lin
2.) Beth Schonmuller and John Williams
3.) Virginia Boyd and J. B. Lockhart IV

More on these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 10.7.07: Sweet Virginia”

* Three-ring circus set up for Gitmo trials. [Los Angeles Times via How Appealing]
* Meanwhile, others at Gitmo may get new hearings. [New York Times]
* More ruminations on Genarlow Wilson; the Georgia Supreme Court is expected to rule soon. [Atlanta Journal-Constituion]
* House threatening to offend Turkishness. [New York Times]
* GlaxoSmithKline v. U.S. Patent Office. [WSJ Law Blog]

Monday mornings kinda suck. So here’s something to cheer you up and get your week started right. It’s a photograph, of higher quality than our last one, of a Sullivan & Cromwell bonsai tree:
bonsai 2 bonsai tree plant Sullivan Cromwell S&C Above the Law blog.jpg
Another S&C bonsai pic, in which the plant is artistically posed alongside additional booty sent by the firm to its offerees, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Monday Morning Pick Me Up: S&C Bonsai Porn”

Clarence Thomas book My Grandfather's Son Above the Law blog.jpgWelcome. If you’re at home, tune in to C-SPAN, which is rebroadcasting the recent book party for Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas’s eagerly anticipated memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, is now in bookstores — and topping the bestseller charts (to the relief of his publisher, HarperCollins, which reportedly paid him a $1.5 million advance).
7:05: The party is being held at the elegant, red-brick Capitol Hill home of radio host and syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams. Expected to attend: 250 guests, including six Supreme Court justices, Vice President Dick Cheney, and several U.S. senators.
Armstrong Williams is interviewed. He explains that the party has been in the works since June. An overwhelming turnout is expected; more people were turned away than allowed to attend.
7:08: Justice Thomas climbs the stairs. When he enters the kitchen — which is right at the top of the stairs, and thus (oddly) where everyone enters and exits — he’s greeted by hearty applause.
Various guests hug him. One guest gushes over his 60 Minutes appearance. CT explains that CBS News made no promises about the nature of its coverage. Interesting. Considering how flattering that segment was, and how uncritical Steve Kroft was in his questioning of Justice Thomas, one might have suspected that Brangelina-type stipulations were in place.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Liveblogging the Clarence Thomas Book Party”

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