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Mitt Romney Governor Mitt Romney Above the Law blog.jpgFormer Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — a proud graduate of Harvard Law School, and the Sullivan & Cromwell of presidential candidates — is suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. See links below.
Today is shaping up to be a bad day for HLS grads in Massachusetts state government.
GOP sources: Romney to suspend campaign [CNN]
Romney to Quit Race [The Page / Time.com]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWe previously reported on bonuses in the New York office of Winston & Strawn. Now it’s Washington’s turn:

Winston & Strawn’s DC associates recently received their bonuses. Associates received individualized bonus memos, so there is nothing that can be posted (this has been firm policy for years).

Bonuses were up significantly over previous years, and every associate seemed to be very happy with what they received. The general feeling is that the firm stepped up to the plate and is committed to paying market bonuses.

We do have one data point to pass along. One source (whose class year we won’t reveal) received a bonus that was higher than the NYC market year-end bonus, but lower than the NYC market-plus-special bonus, for someone of their seniority. Pretty good (although this person did bill north of 2400 hours).
Speaking of Winston & Strawn in D.C., we hear that a very interesting meeting took place on Monday morning, concerning controversial remarks made by managing partner Tom Mills to the Wall Street Journal. We’re working on a post. If you can enlighten us about what transpired, please drop us a line. Thanks.

Carl McGee Carl Stanley McGee Governor Deval Patrick Above the Law blog.jpgThe day is still young, but we already have our Lawyer of the Day — and we doubt that anyone we hear about later today can steal this honor away from him. Via the Boston Globe:

A top official in the [Gov. Deval] Patrick administration has been placed on unpaid leave because he was arrested in Florida and charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male in a steam room at a $500-a-night Gulf Coast resort.

Carl Stanley McGee, 38, assistant secretary for policy and planning, is scheduled to be arraigned next week for sexual battery in Lee County, Fla…. According to police reports, McGee was arrested Dec. 28 and accused of performing oral sex on the 15-year-old, who was a guest at The Gasparilla Inn & Club, a 95-year-old hotel and championship golf course in Boca Grande.

As they like to say up in Massachusetts, “Thar he blows.”

McGee, a former Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law School graduate, was previously a corporate lawyer at the law firm WilmerHale. He was instrumental in the movement seeking to defeat efforts to overturn legalization of same-sex marriage, serving as director of the civic and business outreach efforts of the advocacy group MassEquality.

A year after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in May 2004, McGee’s wedding to John Finley IV was highlighted in the “Vows” section of The New York Times….

Known for his shock of platinum hair, McGee was named one of The Boston Globe’s 25 most stylish Bostonians in November. In the article, he described his style as “traditional, but it’s also subversive and ironic.”

“Traditional,” but “subversive.” Sort of like married men engaging in steam-room hook-ups?
Good thing Carl McGee isn’t running for office. We’re reminded of the famous quotation by former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, who once boasted that he couldn’t lose an upcoming election unless he was “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.”
Update: Just a reminder that these are obviously mere allegations. Sources mentioned in the Globe article said they “were stunned by the news of McGee’s arrest and said they do not believe the charges.” One colleague of McGee told the paper, “I know it didn’t happen.”
Further Update: Best comment thus far, from an observant, Spanish-speaking reader: “He was arrested for blowing a 15 year old in… huhuhuh… Boca Grande…”
Key aide to Patrick accused of sex assault [Boston Globe]
John Finley IV and Stan McGee [New York Times]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgWe were surprised by the strong, almost vitriolic commenter response to our recent post about Dechert LLP. The firm announced that it was reducing bonus amounts for associates who failed to enter their time in timely fashion.
We weren’t the only ones who were taken aback by reader reaction. From a source at the firm:

[See this memo] concerning Dechert’s bonuses, which increased substantially from the prior year. It looks like some of the criticism in the comments to [your recent] post are a little overzealous.

I don’t know how any associates are claiming that they were surprised by the announcement regarding time entry. The firm has been gradually tightening its policies on this over the last year, and there has been ample notice that there would eventually be a little financial pain for people who didn’t get with the program.

In light of the abuse we’ve been taking in the comments, it would be great if you could do a post pointing out the increase in bonuses from last year.

We’re happy to. Check out said memo, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Dechert Sweetens Bonus Pot By 40 Percent Over Last Year”

Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model 100 Top Law Reviews Above the Law blog.jpgMark your calendars for February 20, the season premiere of America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 10. Exciting!
Meanwhile, National Jurist has issued a list of America’s top law reviews. To review the 100 law reviews in rank order, click here, then scroll down.
We’re pleased to see the Yale Law Journal, in whose offices we once toiled (Book Reviews Editor, Volume 108), tied for first place with the Harvard Law Review. And if the HLR keeps on publishing stuff like this, maybe the YLJ won’t have to share the top spot next year.
The Top 100 Law Reviews [TaxProf Blog]

Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model 100 Top Law Reviews Above the Law blog.jpgMark your calendars for February 20, the season premiere of America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 10. Exciting!
Meanwhile, National Jurist has issued a list of America’s top law reviews. To review the 100 law reviews in rank order, click here, then scroll down.
We’re pleased to see the Yale Law Journal, in whose offices we once toiled (Book Reviews Editor, Volume 108), tied for first place with the Harvard Law Review. And if the HLR keeps on publishing stuff like this, maybe the YLJ won’t have to share the top spot next year.
The Top 100 Law Reviews [TaxProf Blog]

Akhil Amar Professor Akhil Reed Amar Above the Law blog.jpg[Ed. note: As we recently mentioned, we're looking for someone to write Morning Docket, on an alternating-week schedule. To those of you who have already applied, thanks for your interest; we'll review the applications and pick a writer this weekend. If you'd like to apply, there's still time -- just follow the application instructions contained in this post (but please note that the gig now comes with pay -- a modest monthly stipend). Thanks.]
* It seems to get worse by the day. The CIA apparently destroyed interrogation tapes while a federal judge was still looking for information about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. [New York Times]
* So what exactly are the federal government’s policies on border searches? Two groups sue to find out. [Washington Post]
* We like funny legal ads. But state regulators are not amused. [Wall Street Journal via How Appealing]
* Kibbles ‘n bits ‘n indictments. Two Chinese companies and an American importer are indicted in connection with tainted pet food. [New York Times]
* Professor Akhil Amar (our former con law prof; pictured) will be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in the administration of… Mike Gravel! Amar: “I’m not quitting my day job.” [Yale Daily News via How Appealing]
* The latest legal woes of Dickie Scruggs and friends. [WSJ Law Blog]

Debevoise Plimpton LLP Above the Law blog.jpgThe law firms and lawyers that come across the best in these pages are those that don’t take ATL too seriously. This site is a good-natured legal tabloid, and the best way to react to it is with a smile or a laugh — not a meltdown or a witch hunt.
This is something that Debevoise & Plimpton understands:

At the annual firm dinner, held last night at the Pierre Hotel, a firm video was presented. It’s the associates’ chance to put together a send-up of the firm, somewhat in “Law Revue” fashion. The centerpiece of this year’s film was “Good Morning, Debevoise”, to the tune of “Good Morning, Baltimore” (from “Hairspray: the Musical”). Also notable was the “preview” for “Investigation,” scenes from an internal investigation frighteningly similar to one Debevoise is currently undertaking in Germany.

Thought you’d like to know that in the video, there was a reference to ATL reporting on associate benefits. E.g., helicopter rides home from work to outer boroughs. The partnership caves, then has to cut costs elsewhere. Very funny.

Sounds delightful. Any chance of that video making it on to YouTube? Showing that it has a sense of humor can only help a firm in the recruiting process (although Debevoise already does very well for itself).

Supremes The Supremes Above the Law blog.jpgBaby, baby… where did our love your brain go? From Ms. JD:

County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone called three black female lawyers “the Supremes” in court. He also advised a defendant to get “an experienced male attorney.”

Generously, Boone has recused himself from further cases tried by the three lawyers.

Maryland judge calls trio of black female lawyers ‘the Supremes,’ recommends client get a male lawyer [Ms. JD]
Judge Reprimanded for Racial Remarks [AP]

email e-mail small message microsoft outlook Above the Law.JPGBut it didn’t result in a front-page New York Times story on the Zyprexa settlement talks. Apparently reporter Alex Berenson had independent knowledge of the settlement negotiations, and this knowledge was the basis for his story. Details over at Drug and Device Law.
In our brief and breezy post, we never claimed that the email error triggered the NYT story. But we did link to other sources that mistakenly suggested this. So if you read the original post, be sure to read this correction / clarification.
Update: Actually, the correction may itself require correction (or at least clarification). See here.
It Wasn’t Pepper’s Fault! Berenson Confirms [Drug and Device Law]
Earlier: ATL Practice Pointer: When Emailing Super-Sensitive Settlement Information, Double Check the Recipient List

Chris Hook Christopher Hook DOJ Pride gay Above the Law blog.jpgNot everyone likes Attorney General Michael Mukasey. At Boston College Law School, students are protesting Dean John Garvey’s decision to invite Attorney General Mukasey to deliver the school’s 2008 Commencement address. See here (Facebook group: “Waterboarding IS Torture”), here, and here.
Why are liberals so unhappy about Mukasey? We’d expect the AG to receive a warmer reception, in light of this happy news, which made the pages of the Washington Post:

Five years after a gay advocacy group was told that it could no longer use the e-mail, bulletin boards and meeting rooms at the Justice Department, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey has reversed that decision and issued a revised equal-employment-opportunity policy barring discrimination against any group.

Mukasey informed leaders of DOJ Pride last week that the department would give it the same rights as all other DOJ employee organizations, said the group’s president, Chris Hook. In a statement, Mukasey said the department will “foster an environment in which diversity is valued, understood and sought” and maintain “an environment that’s free of discrimination.”

Writes a Department of Justice source:

Finally — now I can celebrate “Pride on Ice” anytime I want! Michael Mukasey gets two snaps in a circle for this decision!

In another sign of libertinism running rampant in the halls of justice, Lady Justice’s magnificent metal breastses are no longer covered up, as they were during the repressive Ashcroft regime (during which female DOJ lawyers had to wear burqas to court). But the credit for the breast-baring belongs to Alberto Gonzales.
Attorney General Mukasey Reverses Anti-Gay Policy at Justice Dept [Towleroad: A Site With Homosexual Tendencies]
Attorney General Reverses Curbs On Gay Group at Justice Department [Washington Post]
Boston College Law School Community Members Protests Mukasey [ACS Blog]
Mukasey Invitation Prompts the Question: “What has BC Law become?” [Eagleionline]

Peter Hafer public defender Doug Crickmer Above the Law blog.jpgSometimes it really sucks to be a public defender. From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

A defendant unhappy with his court-appointed attorney punched the lawyer as they stood before a judge Monday.

Peter Hafer, 30, of Cynthiana, assaulted his attorney Doug Crickmer while Crickmer was speaking before Judge Rob Johnson in Scott County Circuit Court.

As if the lousy pay and overwhelming caseloads weren’t bad enough.

Court Bailiff Jim Traylor said Hafer hit Crickmer three or four times in the face and stomach, sending the attorney to a hospital for treatment. Traylor said Hafer would likely face charges, but none had been filed yesterday afternoon.

Attorneys will surely line up to defend Hafer in that case.
Check out the video clip via this article. The assault takes place around the 7:10 mark — it’s some pretty crazy s**t. As the Herald-Leader caption dryly notes, “A punch to the jaw occurs at 7:06 on the counter, followed by moaning from the victim (off-camera).”
Client Decks Counsel, Gets New Lawyer [ABA Journal]
Defendant assaults his attorney [Lexington Herald-Leader]

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