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David Otunga Sidley Austin I Love New York Above the Law blog.jpgLaw firms love free publicity. Especially law firms that have been in the news for having to pay $27.5 million to settle age discrimination claims by former partners.
Or maybe not:

David Otunga, a 2006 graduate of Harvard Law School and former associate at Sidley Austin, appeared in the first episode of I Love New York 2 on VH1 last night.

In case you’re not familiar with the show, here’s a synopsis:

“Tiffany “New York” Pollard is jumping back into the dating pool to find the man of her dreams. A fresh crop of twenty men are brought together to compete for her heart and this time the selection process has a twist….some of the chosen contestants vying for New York’s heart have been hand-picked by online users and some have been chosen by Tiffany’s outspoken mother, Sister Patterson.”

Back to our tipster:

[Otunga] was brought in as one of three or four “Mama’s Boys” (potential suitors selected by New York’s mother) and nicknamed “Punk.” He told New York that he was perfect for her, since he was an HLS grad and a lawyer at “one of the top law firms in the world.”

Unfortunately, that law firm — Sidley Austin — didn’t appreciate his appearance on the show, and the firm recently “suggested” to him that it may be in his best interest to pursue his “acting career” instead of his legal career. He’s no longer on the firm’s webpage.

More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sidley Hates on Old People, Reality TV Stars”

bonsai tree S&C Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law blog.jpgThink of law firm recruiting as a war. America’s top law firms are engaged in a battle to the death, vying for the best young legal minds in the country. And in this war, Sullivan & Cromwell is bringing out the heavy artillery.
Sources report that S&C is sending its offerees… BONSAI TREES!!!
We asked one bonsai tree recipient to speculate on what S&C is trying to say with these gifts:

There’s no message with them (other than a “Compliments of Sullivan & Cromwell” card). Bonsai trees live a long time. Perhaps they want us to grow old with the firm?

Or maybe to “bend over” like a bonsai?
Another theory: “[M]aybe it is a test to see if we can keep them alive by the time the summer rolls around.”
Interesting. Perhaps the firm can give a special prize to the S&C summer associate with the best bonsai tree at the start of the program?
More about S&C’s odd horticultural booty, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sullivan & Cromwell to 190K Bonsai Trees!”

* Oregon teacher sues for right to bring gun to school. [MSNBC]
* Banks scarier than criminals? [Red Tape Chronicles]
* Marion Jones returns gold medals. [ESPN]
* Hillary spars with questioner over interpretation of Senate’s Iran resolution language. [CNN PoliTic]

In case you haven’t noticed, we aren’t publishing today (even though many of you, except for the government workers among you, are probably at work). For more explanation, see this post, over at our big sibling site.
Happy Columbus Day! We’ll see you tomorrow.
Happy Columbus Day! [DealBreaker]

* Where’s tort reform when you need it? [KMBC-TV]
* Duke players sue. [New York Times]
* Record companies 1, Illegal downloaders 0 (and by 1 we mean $220,000) [Jurist]
* Saudis embrace the idea of judicial activism the rule of law. [BBC]
* Hey PETA: Leave Michael Vick alone! [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Prosecutors don’t take getting caught as a predator well; first there was the guy that Dateline made kill himself in Texas, and now this guy. [ClickOn Detroit]
Update: We posted Non-Sequiturs kinda early, and these links subsequently came to our attention:
* TexasBarTube. [Legal Blog Watch]
* They like us! They really like us! [Blawg Review]
Ok, we’re off to drink beer and watch baseball, which means we’re done for the weekend (thank God, right?). You guys get Lat back next week.

Warmest congratulations to our friends Junko Ozao and Jason Choy, whose lovely wedding was written up in this week’s Vows column. Jason is an associate at Kirkland & Ellis, but Junko is a normal person, and that shortcoming cost them a spot in this week’s Legal Eagle Wedding Watch. The news will likely ruin their three-week honeymoon, but such are the ruthless decisions our readers expect LEWW to make.
Here are the six finalists (all lawyers):

1.) Amanda Trivax and Brian Burnovski
2.) Anna Skotko and Ben Vonwiller
3.) Amy Tovar and Benjamin Horwich

More about these legal eagles, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 9.30.07: Shall We Dance?”

Ok, here’s the final non-top-tier law graduate of the day:
Name: Leon Panetta
Law School: Santa Clara University
Current Position: Co-Director of The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute of Public Policy, and frequent talking head
Why He’s Our Winner: Former Congressman and White House Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton
And this winner reminds us of an honorable mention, which follows the jump.
Leon Panetta bio [Wikipedia]
The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Co-Non-Top-Tier Law Graduate of the Day”

Here is the latest Job of the Week, courtesy of ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. To refresh your recollection:

“Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement.”

Company: Fortune 500 Tech Company
Title: Corporate Counsel, Real Estate
Location: Mountain View, CA
Description: This Fortune 500 Tech Company is seeking a Corporate Counsel, Real Estate, to focus on transactions related to expanding or constructing data centers and other facilities. Specific responsibilities include the following: draft, review and negotiate PSA’s, easements and land-use rights; and review, modify and negotiate construction agreements.
The position requires 7-10 years of experience handling complex and strategic real estate transactions on a global basis, specifically with commercial leases, real-property acquisitions
and sales, and construction agreements.
To apply for this position, please visit

Calvin Broadus, a/k/a Snoop Dogg.
Because the caption of the case lacked that all-important a/k/a, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Helen I. Bendix didn’t realize with whom she was dealing:

A judge hearing a lawsuit brought by Snoop Dogg against his former record label said Thursday she didn’t realize it involved the famous rapper because court papers refer to him by his real name, Calvin Broadus.

But once she peeped out the manuscript, she saw that it was a must that Broadus drop some gangsta s**t.
Snoop has his mind on the $2 million he says his label Priority Records owes him under a 1998 agreement, and he has the $950,000 advance promised after recording “The Last Meal” on his mind. He also claims the label didn’t consult with him before releasing his greatest hits CD (cover pictured at right).
Now that she knows who Broadus is, Bendix finds the case “very interesting” (the ladies can’t resist Snoop).
Judge to Snoop Dogg: Who Is Calvin Broadus? [CNN]

Ok, so strictly speaking it’s not a lawsuit. It’s an arbitration hearing before a special master pursuant to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Falcons are seeking to recoup $22 million already paid to Vick in signing bonuses. The Falcons claim that, since Vick knew at the time that he signed the contract and received the bonuses that he was running a dogfighting operation and should have known that that could cause him to not be able to play, he has forfeited the bonuses. The NFL Players Association says once bonuses are paid, there’s no forfeiture, period.
They seem to be almost right. Under the new CBA approved last year, forfeiture of signing bonuses are allowed for only one reason (quoted here from Section 9 (a) of Article XIV of the CBA):

Section 9. Limitations on Salary Forfeitures:
(a) No forfeitures of signing bonuses shall be permitted, except that players and Clubs may agree: (i)
to proportionate forfeitures of a signing bonus if a player voluntarily retires or willfully withholds his
services from one or more regular season games; and/or (ii) that if a player willfully takes action that has
the effect of substantially undermining his ability to fully participate and contribute in either preseason
training camp or the regular season (including by willfully withholding his services in either preseason
training camp or during the regular season or willfully missing one or more games), the player may forfeit
the greater of: (a) 25% of the prorated portion of his signing bonus for the applicable League Year for the
first time such conduct occurs after the beginning of training camp until the end of the season for his Club,
and the remaining 75% prorated portion of his signing bonus for the applicable year for the second time
such conduct occurs during that period that year; or (b) the proportionate amount of his signing bonus
allocation for each week missed (1/17th for each regular season week or game missed).

What do you sports lawyers out there think? Do Vick’s actions constitute willful action that “has the effect of substantially undermining his ability to fully participate and contribute in either preseason training camp or the regular season”? He willfully ran the dogfighting operation, and as a result he has been suspended. Seems to me that the Falcons have a pretty good case.
Special Master Stephen B. Burbank (definitely a top-tier guy; Harvard (twice) and current Penn Law faculty) heard the case yesterday.
Stephen B. Burbank bio [Penn Law]
Falcons Seek $22M From Suspended Vick [KNBC]

We received the following suggestion:

You’ve been profiling a lot of these grads who go into Mega-Corporate Law- how about something different, like, say Government Service?

Great idea! We even like your two candidates, so we’re going to give the award to one of them right now, and then there will be a co-winner this afternoon.
This morning’s winner:
Name: Frances Fragos Townsend
Law School: University of San Diego
Current Position: Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
Why She’s Our Winner: Moving from a Tier 2 up through the prosecutorial ranks to become Bush’s Homeland Security advisor. Plus, look at that face!
Frances Fragos Townsend bio [The White House]

A standoff between police and a gunman holed up in an Alexandria, Louisiana law office ended this morning with the police shooting and killing the man. During the standoff he shot five people, two of which died. From the New York Times:

Roy identified one of the dead as Joey Giordano, son of attorney Camille Giordano, who was shot but not killed. The other person killed was Marty Fields, a postal worker who was delivering mail to the law firm when he walked in on the shootings, Roy said.

The (Alexandria) Town Talk newspaper reported that Camille Giordano, bloodied and in boxer shorts, emerged from the building after police arrived and was taken to a hospital. A call to a hospital spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

The Rapides Regional Medical Center identified the other victims as Sam Giordano, an attorney, and Andrea Fletcher Price, the law firm’s secretary.

Sam Giordano, 49, was in serious condition, and Price, 27, was in fair condition, said Courtney Michiels, a hospital spokeswoman.

The law firm involved is The Law Offices of Giordano & Giordano. The motive is unclear, but if this is another case of a disgruntled client taking it out on his attorneys, it is the continuation of a disturbing trend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those killed.
Police Shoot Man at Louisiana Office [New York Times]
Camille Giordano [LSBA Member Directory]
Sam Giordano [LSBA Member Directory]

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