* You KNOW you were thinking of “White Castle” as a substitute building name. [WSJ Law Blog; DealBreaker]
* Lawbeat is a new blog that “watches the journalists who watch the law.” Because, you know, not every legal news outlet can be as scrupulous as ATL. [Lawbeat via How Appealing]
* My “authentic self” is that of a party-whore with a Scarlett Johansson rack. But I am forced to “cover” the girls (figuratively and literally) in the workplace, and last night, Partner X made me stay at work until the wee hours — when he knew my sort should be out gallivanting in the Meatpacking District. Were my civil rights assaulted? [Black Feminism]
* Greatest Donatella Versace impersonator ever, Maya Rudolph, and director Paul Anderson are suing over bedbugs infesting their Soho loft. And who knew that Maya Rudolph’s baby daddy is the dude who once dated Fiona Apple? [Associated Press via NYLawyer.com]
* In preparation for Election Day, HBO just premiered
- Election Law, Feminism, Media and Journalism, Non-Sequiturs, Old People, Politics, Racism, Real Estate, Television, White-Collar Crime
* You KNOW you were thinking of “White Castle” as a substitute building name. [WSJ Law Blog; DealBreaker]
Late last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave the gays a big gift. In Lewis v. Harris, the court held that New Jersey must provide same-sex couples with “the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”*
Well, maybe the gays can return the favor — by giving makeovers to all seven justices, and by taking some high-quality photographs of the court.**
Because THIS has got to be one of the most craptacular judicial portraits ever:
In the words of our tipster:
Check out the brand new “portrait” of the NJ Supremes. First, it looks like it was taken with a camera phone. Second, is it just me, or does Chief Justice Zazzali look like he wants to strangle the photographer?
Yes, he does. And if our portrait ended up looking this awful, we’d want to strangle the photographer too.
If you think that we’ve distorted the photo in any way, click here, and view the original. It arguably looks even worse than our screencap — it’s bigger, which highlights the poor image quality. The picture is fuzzy and unfocused; the colors are washed-out; and the composition is terrible. In short, it’s a photographic disaster. Dreadful!
* Speaking of the ruling in Lewis v. Harris, the New Jersey and Seton Hall chapters of the Federalist Society are sponsoring what should be a very interesting panel discussion on the decision. It’s taking place at Seton Hall Law School this Monday, November 6, at 5:30 PM. If you might be interested in attending, details are available here (PDF).
** Some of the most celebrated contemporary photographers have been gays or lesbians. E.g., Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Annie Liebovitz (maybe — her relationship with Susan Sontag was ambiguous).
If the New Jersey Supreme Court can’t find a top gay or lesbian photographer to take their portrait, we recommend Ann Althouse. She takes beautiful photographs! See, e.g.., here and here.
(Granted, these are landscapes; we don’t know whether Professor Althouse excels at portraiture. But at least she can take pictures that are clear and crisp — unlike this court “portrait.”)
Official Portrait: Supreme Court of New Jersey [official website]
Earlier: BREAKING: New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Gay Unions
- Alex Kozinski, Copyright, Eyes of the Law, Hotties, Intellectual Property, Law Professors, Law Schools
Two hotties for the price of one: Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, the #1 Superhottie of the Federal Judiciary; and our super-cute correspondent, Justin, a student at the DePaul University College of Law.
West Coast folk, don’t say we neglect you here at Above the Law. Earlier today, we wrote about some Ninth Circuit benchslappery. And now we bring you a delicious judicial sightation, of an Article III celebrity from sun-kissed California: Judge Alex Kozinski, the hottest federal judge in all the land.
Earlier this week, Judge Kozinski visited DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, where he was a guest lecturer in Professor Roberta Kwall’s Copyright/Trademark class. One of the students in that class, Justin (pictured above), provided us with a witty and insightful report about the proceedings.
Justin describes how Judge Kozinski conducted the class (brilliantly), mentions the jurist’s weakness for a certain carbonated beverage, and provides the backstory behind the photograph above. It’s a fun and interesting read, not to be missed.
Check out Justin’s full write-up, after the jump. You won’t be sorry!
- Aquagirl, Arnold & Porter, Biglaw, Cleary Gottlieb, Exercise, Nude Dancing, Summer Associates, You Go Girl
Yesterday we told you the tale of Aquagirl — the
Clearly Goatlips Cleary Gottlieb summer associate who stripped down to her underwear and dove into the Hudson River. At a summer associate event. At night. At Chelsea Piers. Seriously.
In the comments, some of you updated us on Aquagirl’s fate. Now we’re happy to bring you this very detailed report:
I worked with [Aquagirl] at Arnold & Porter this summer. On our first day as summers, we were taken to lunch at a nearby restaurant. We were seated at round tables, with at least one partner and one associate at every table. During the lunch, one of the partners asked each of the summers to tell her something funny that had happened to us while we were working at a previous job.
After a few people told their silly, harmless stories, [Aquagirl] was up. She announced to all of us that she was the girl at Cleary that everyone had talked about last summer. She said she hoped no one would hold it against her, and that she could have a fresh start.
Um, talk about uncomfortable situation? I mean, what do you say to that?
What do you say to that? How about “You go, girl!” In a single evening, Aquagirl transformed herself from some random summer associate into a mini-celebrity of the legal profession. And instead of trying to conceal her scandalousness, she OWNED it. Magnificent!!!
One of yesterday’s commenters stated that Arnold & Porter “didn’t realize her Hudson-jumping proclivities.” But our correspondent begs to differ:
[T]he people who interviewed her at Arnold & Porter DID know about what happened to [Aquagirl] at Cleary, and decided to hire her anyway. (Although summer gossip was that she wasn’t allowed to participate in alcohol-related afterhours activities; it may very well be that she did not attend events because she was at bar review class.)
I was told that all the summers at A&P got an offer to come back, but she hasn’t responded to our email chain about her plans for next year (she’s clerking now).
Anyway, we’re glad to hear that everything worked out for Aquagirl. Fitzgerald — F. Scott, not Patrick J. — famously observed that “there are no second acts in American lives.” But, based on Aquagirl’s post-scandal success — an offer from Arnold & Porter, a prestigious federal appellate court clerkship — it seems there ARE second acts in American law.
Earlier: The Cautionary Tale of Aquagirl
Yesterday we declared the final winning couple in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch for October 2006. So you know what that means: time for you to vote on which couple deserves to be crowned Above the Law’s October 2006 Couple of the Month.
If you need to refresh your memory about these different couples, our prior write-ups — with scores, links to their original NYT wedding announcements, and photos (in some cases) — appear after the jump.
But if you’re ready to cast your ballot, perhaps because you’re a friend of one these couples, here’s the poll:
|Create Free Polls|
To review the competitors once more, check out their profiles, after the jump.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt (left), perhaps the most prominent liberal appeals court judge in the country, is buddies with his conservative colleague on the Ninth Circuit, Judge Alex Kozinski (right). But we suspect that Judge Reinhardt feels less warmly towards Judge Jay S. Bybee (far right).
You can always count on the Ninth Circuit for a good old-fashioned judicial smackfest. And this latest one is very, very good.
Stepping into the ring are two of the Ninth Circuit’s most high-profile judges. On the left: Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the court’s liberal lion, who has been trading benchslaps with conservatives for decades. On the right: Judge Jay Bybee, one of the court’s newer (and more conservative) members. Luckily for him, Judge Bybee was confirmed to his life-tenured post shortly before eruption of the controversy over the 2002 Bush administration “torture memo” (which he signed).
From an article by Justin Scheck of The Recorder:
In March of 2005, Reinhardt and Bybee found themselves on a three-judge panel — together with Senior Judge Procter Hug Jr. — that heard the case of Roger Smith. Smith claimed that his guilty plea in the murder of Emmet Konzelman was no good since his supposed accomplice Jacob Edmonds — who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and testified against Smith — later recanted his testimony.
In his majority opinion, Reinhardt wrote that even though Smith had not exhausted his state claims, a rarely used exception should allow his case to move forward in federal court.
Par for the Reinhardt course. How did Bybee respond?
“I disagree with nearly every word the majority has written, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’ My profound disagreement is not limited to the facts, but runs throughout the majority opinion.”
Gee, Judge Bybee, tell us how you really feel!
And there’s more. Check out the rest, after the jump.
The Interview Horror Stories just keep on coming — and we love ‘em. So if you have one to share, please send it to us, by email.
Our latest tale concerns an interviewer who was, er, less than welcoming:
I had an interview [for a summer associate position] at a large, downtown DC law firm that specializes in financial services…. After my first tepid interview with the hiring partner, who talked a lot about “initiative” and “drive” and “adding value,” I was propelled into the office of one of the senior associates.
The associate let out a big sigh and rolled her eyes when I was introduced. Then, once the door was shut, she proceeded to give me the most hostile interview of my life, sneering at my journal membership and involvement in campus activities.
After shredding my résumé to bits, she gave me a halfhearted pitch for the firm, unenthusiastically listing benefits such as an in-house gym and “humane” billing hour requirements. As proof that the firm supposedly valued “work-life balance,” she mentioned that she was going on vacation the next day.
I didn’t particularly care about her vacation plans. But, trying to be polite, I said, “How nice. Where are you going?”
She reacted as though I had just asked for her Social Security number, credit score, and blood type. She shot me a suspicious glare, and backed her chair away a foot or so.
“Why do you need to know that?”
“I don’t know,” I said, confused. “I was just asking.”
“Well I’m just going with my husband somewhere, OK?”
The rest of the interview was spent in stilted, desultory talk about practice areas. After rotating through two more bland interviews (though thankfully not as bad as that one), I was out on the street, grateful to be free and horrified at what life must be like in that office.
It’s odd that our correspondent was interviewed by such an unpleasant person. The law firms tend to pick their most charming and attractive lawyers to handle recruiting interviews. They shield you from the crazies and the meanies until you arrive as a permanent associate — when there’s no turning back…
Thankfully, our story has a happy ending:
The next day I wrote the firm a letter asking them to remove me from consideration. I’ve since accepted an offer from a firm where the employees react normally to polite questions.
Earlier: Prior Interview Horror Stories (scroll down)
And aficionados of direct-to-video movies rejoice. UPI reports:
Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes will avoid any time in jail on tax fraud charges as part of a recent settlement with the Internal Revenue Service.
The 44-year-old star of the “Blade” film trilogy had been wanted in connection with his attempt to claim $12 million in tax refunds in 1996 and 1997, but worked out a deal that helped him avoid jail while setting up a payment plan, Daily Variety said.
So if you were hoping to hear about Snipes demonstrating his martial arts abilities on Bernie Ebbers, Jeff Skilling, and Walter Forbes, we’re sorry to disappoint you.
(But Snipes getting off without a prison sentence shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Or at least it doesn’t to Ted Frank, who predicted as much last month.)
Snipes Avoids Jail Time with IRS Settlement [UPI]
Snipes Settles with IRS [Variety]
Snipes Settles Tax Fraud Charges, Will Avoid Jail Time [TaxProf Blog]
Earlier: White Men Can’t Jump — But They Can Nab You for Tax Evasion
One of New Jersey’s oldest and largest firms, Pitney Hardin, is merging with Connecticut’s biggest, Day, Berry & Howard, to create a 395-lawyer power with branches ranging from Boston to Washington, D.C.
The new firm, to be known as Day Pitney, will come into being at year end.
The amalgamation reflects both firms’ need to compete in a market that is becoming increasingly regional, in which practices restricted to individual states can no longer thrive. It mirrors similar moves by McCarter & English, which has joined with practices in Hartford and Boston.
One of you wasn’t so sure Above the Law would deign to cover this:
It’s not really so newsworthy for your site, because New Jersey and Connecticut firms can never really be Big Firms, no matter how many people they stick in their New York offices, and even if they hold hands together to become a larger firm. But as an alum of one of the two firms, I was moved and figured you should know.
But we HAVE written about the merger, because we DO care (and we hail from the Garden State). We’re just a little late, that’s all — the news broke on Wednesday.
To atone for our tardiness, we pass along an insider’s detailed analysis of the Day Berry/Pitney Hardin merger. Check it out, after the jump.
A company that shut down its Web site because it was overwhelmed by millions of people looking for YouTube has sued the online video-sharing portal.
Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corp. said the cost of hosting its Web site — utube.com — has grown significantly in the last two months. “We’ve had to move our site five times in an effort to stay ahead of the youtube.com visitors,” said Ralph Girkins, Universal Tube’s president.
The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, asks that YouTube Inc. stop using the youtube.com or pay Universal Tube’s cost for creating a new domain. It did not specify damages.
So Universal Tube, seller of used tube-making machines, expects YouTube, about to be acquired by Google for $1.65 billion, to relinquish one of the most well-trafficked web addresses on the internet? We don’t think so. They would much rather pay Universal Tube the $8.99 it would cost to register a new domain name at GoDaddy.com.
We haven’t read the complaint, and we profess no expertise in this area of law. But the lawsuit strikes us as… odd. What’s the cause of action here? It doesn’t seem like a conventional trademark or cybersquatting case, since presumably (1) YouTube has a valid trademark in YouTube, and (2) it properly occupies the domain name YouTube.com. If you’re familiar with this case, please enlighten us, in the comments or by email.
Update: Check out this enlightening comment, which addresses some of our questions.
One more thing. Why doesn’t Universal Tube make lemonade out of these cyber-lemons? Again from the AP:
The confusion took off a couple of months ago, [company president Ralph] Girkins said. The company, with just 17 employees, got 68 million hits on its site in August, making it one of the most popular manufacturing Web sites.
Sixty-eight million hits a month? People would KILL for traffic like that. Why not slap up a few paid third-party advertisements on UTube.com, to monetize some of that monster traffic, and use the ad revenues to beef up your capacity? Or cover UTube.com almost entirely with ads, move the operations of Universal Tube to an entirely separate website, and put up a prominent link on UTube.com referring confused customers to your new site?
Ohio Company Utube.com Sues YouTube [Associated Press via WSJ Law Blog]
* If it’s about avoiding an intimidating environment, there should be a “No Hot People” rule. What’s wrong with grunting if it doesn’t involve intermittent moaning? [Althouse (prior ATL post here)]
* Professor Le comments on a recent Northwestern University study of different ethnic groups’ views of affirmative action. Sometimes things are black and white. Or Asian and Hispanic. More or less. [C.N. Le: The Man, the Myth, the Blog]
* My advice for post-exam conferences if you’ve bombed the exam: Wear something tight, or learn to cry on cue. (No hate-mail, please… this is gender-neutral advice. And a joke.) [PrawfsBlawg]
* Disclaimer: Rape is never funny. But here, it provides the context for the all-too-frequent absurdity of classroom dialogue and the unfortunate extension of said absurdity into the real world legal system. [Quizlaw]
* It’s not like she mooned the President. Geez. [AP via MSNBC]