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Edwards Angell Palmer Dodge Above the Law Legal Blog.JPGWe have confirmed the rumor of layoffs last week at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. Here is what we know:

1. Layoffs did take place at EAPD last week. The number of associates who were laid off was “less than ten,” according to management.

2. Management gave assurances that there will be no more terminations (although they also stated that they could have made deeper cuts than they actually did).

3. The firm posted the following on the intranet, and sent associates a link to the posting: “Although the firm grew in 2007, we did not grow as much as our staffing grew… As a result, today we undertook the very difficult process of eliminating a small number of attorney and staff positions. The decision to let go personnel was very difficult, but necessary given the changes in the economy over the past several months. We believe that these steps ensure that we will remain a strong, successful firm.

(Our source observes: “I’m not sure why they would post it on a website other than to make it difficult to forward.”)

4. Management downplayed the impact of partner John Hooper’s departure.

5. Most people do not know the individuals terminated and the departments affected, although litigation is rumored to have taken the brunt of it.

Here is, by our count, the list of firms that have openly acknowledged layoffs or “layoff-esque” personnel moves (e.g., buyouts of the “leave or you’ll probably be laid off” variety): Cadwalader, Clifford Chance, Dechert, Edwards Angell, McKee Nelson, and Thacher Proffitt.
If we’re missing a firm, please email us. Please include some documentation of the firm acknowledging the layoff or other personnel action, internal or external (e.g., an email from firm management, a link to a news article, etc.). Thanks.
Update: Confirmation and additional information from
Earlier: What’s Going on at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge?
Edwards Angell UK escapes layoffs [The Lawyer]

elena kagan 1.gifUnder the leadership of the beloved Elena Kagan, Harvard Law School continues to raid other schools for law professor talent. Word on the street is that another big hire is in the works. This past weekend, Dean Kagan crowed about her coup before a group of admitted students, saying it would be announced later this week.
We checked for news and gossip over at Leiter’s Law School Reports, the definitive source for information about senior-level appointments in legal academia, but didn’t see anything. Any guesses as to who will be snatched by HLS next?
In addition to the Harvard name (and endowment), Dean Kagan has other weapons in her arsenal for doing battle in the recruitment wars. She wooed Feldsuk with a million-dollar mansion, and Cass Sunstein with a million-dollar bab[e]. What fabulous prizes will Kagan bestow upon her latest hire?
Feel free to speculate and opine in the comments, or by email. Thanks.

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]

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