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Michael Vick middle finger Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe plea hearing for the embattled star quarterback took place this morning. One of Michael Vick’s lawyers, Billy Martin, spoke to reporters on the courthouse steps. He stated that “this matter is concluded until December 10th, when Judge Hudson will sentence Michael Vick according to the plea agreement.” He also announced that Vick will make a statement of his own at 11:30 AM today.
At the hearing, Judge Henry Hudson told Michael Vick something along these lines: “You know you’re taking your chances here. I’m not bound by the recommendations [of the parties].”
A correct statement of the law, especially after Booker? Yes. A smart thing for a judge to do at a plea hearing, to prevent the defendant from later claiming he was blindsided? Sure.
But, reading the tea leaves a bit, we’d hazard a guess that Judge Hudson might give Vick significantly more than the 12 or so months that the parties will recommend (per the plea agreement). Stay tuned.
(We’d guess that the parties will recommend a year and a day, which will make Vick eligible for certain “good time” credits applicable only to sentences over a year.)

Alberto Gonzales resignation steps down Attorney General Alberto R Gonzales Above the Law blog.JPGWow, that was short. We were prepared to liveblog the Alberto Gonzales resignation announcement, but it was over before it began.
We didn’t time it, but it probably didn’t run over two minutes. Here’s what we jotted down:

AGAG seems a little choked up.

[Update: Pete Williams of NBC had the exact opposite reaction; he saw Gonzales as unemotional.]

Begins with shout-out to wife and son.

Resignation effective September 17.

“I have lived the American Dream.”

Says that his worst days as Attorney General have been better than his father’s best days.

[Well that's true. At least the DOJ has running water.]

“Thank you and God bless America.”

As Gonzales walks away from the podium, reporters call out, “Why are you leaving?” But he just keeps on walking.
Earlier: Breaking: Alberto Gonzales Has Resigned as Attorney General!

one atlantic center 1201 west peachtree street atlanta alston bird Above the Law blog.jpgThere’s a lot going on this morning, including the resignation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general and the Michael Vick plea hearing. But none of this will prevent fall recruiting from going forward, full speed ahead. So let’s continue with our open threads on Vault 100 law firms.
Here are the Biglaw shops to talk about this morning. Two of them — Alston & Bird and Bingham & McCutchen — are, along with Nixon Peabody, on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.

61. Alston & Bird LLP (5.742)
62. Heller Ehrman LLP (5.690)
63. Vinson & Elkins LLP (5.676)
64. Bingham McCutchen LLP (5.641)
65. Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (5.635)

As you may recall, we wrote about Bingham McCutchen recently. Our post triggered some additional tips, which appear after the jump.
Please discuss these five firms in the comments. Thanks.
The Vault Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Earlier: Vault 1-5; Vault 6-10; Vault 11-15; Vault 16-20; Vault 21-25; Vault 26-30; Vault 31-35; Vault 36-40; Vault 41-45; Vault 46-50; Vault 51-55; Vault 56-60

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Vault 61-65″

* Alberto Gonzales is out as AG. (as noted earlier). [New York Times]
* Democratic prez hopeful Senator Dodd’s office burglarized. [CNN Political Ticker]
* Senator Mitchell getting names in MLB steroid probe? [ESPN]
* Caddy shacks DUI, lost in translation. [CNN]
* Don’t worry, Mel Gibson’s keeping up with probation. [MSNBC]
* Barbie Bandit pleads guilty. [CNN]

Alberto Gonzales 3 Attorney General Alberto R Gonzales Alberto Gonzalez Above the Law blog.jpgIn addition to a story on the Nixon Peabody song controversy — which we’ll do a full post on later, so save your comments until then — the New York Times has this big scoop:

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.

Any thoughts on a successor?
Update: We liveblogged the (extremely short) press conference by Alberto Gonzales announcing his resignation. See here.
Gonzales Resigns as Attorney General [New York Times]

Please see the short parody video posted below. Is this a casebook-ready example of “fair use,” or what?
To ChurchHatesTucker, who produced the video: You are a genius and a god.
(Please note that we had no hand in making this video. ChurchHatesTucker acted sua sponte, after reading this Techdirt story.)
Update: Blawg Review, quoting from Nixon Peabody’s own Copyright & Internet Law Glossary, explains why the video is fair use over here.

Re. Nixon Peabody [YouTube]

LEWW logo.jpgWe apologize for the tardiness of this edition of LEWW. We’ve been in the thick of a real estate transaction and various related matters, and we haven’t been able to devote our usual amount of attention and energy to wedding criticism. But fear not — the nuptial machine grinds on, and we have three impressive couples to examine this week:

1. Catherine Holahan and Christopher Murphy
2. Susan Green and Adam Greene
3. Melanie Forbes and Jason Goins

More about our featured couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 8.19.07: Greener Pastures”

* A rave review for Saira Rao’s Chambermaid. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
* How could we NOT link to a post entitled “Do Faculty Have a Constitutional Right to Sleep With Their Students?” [TaxProf Blog]
* A very interesting installment of The Glenn and Helen Show, in which they speak with Professor Richard Epstein about drugs and health care. [Instapundit]

Nixon Peabody LLP horrible theme song Above the Law blog.jpgSadly, the humorless crew over at Nixon Peabody has had their fabulous law firm song — which, mind you, is NOT a theme song — pulled from YouTube. See here.
Even if it’s gone from YouTube, you can still access “Everyone’s A Winner” as a plain-vanilla MP3 file. Just click here. We incorporate by reference all of our prior commentary on the song.
This memorable tune will also live on in the blogosphere. Numerous fine websites and blogs picked up on the story of the Nixon Peabody song controversy. Here are a few links:
1. Law Firms, the Blogosphere, and Unexpected Attention [Volokh Conspiracy (Orin Kerr)]
2. That ridiculous Nixon Peabody “theme song” was for real [Daily Intelligencer / New York Magazine]
3. Wow. Big law is so lame. With a capital “L” [Legal Antics (Nicole Black)]
4. Nixon Peabody Throws Fantastic Tantrum: Threatens Blogger Over Leaked Song [Keeping Up With Jonas]
5. Blogger contends posting silly leaked law firm song is fair use [ZDNet (Denise Howell)]
6. Everyone’s a Winner (or, Friday Music Blog) [PrawfsBlawg (Liz Glazer)]
7. Sorry, but no one involved is a winner [IPTAblog (Andrew Raff)]
8. Best/Worst Law Firm Song. Ever. [the (non)billable hour (Matt Homann)]
9. OMG…The Worst Song Ever [Two Guitar Heroes and a Cat]
10. Everyone Is A Winner At Nixon Peabody [The Dish Daily]
11. Nobody Is Above the Law [Galley Slaves (Jonathan Last)]
If you know of a link that’s missing, feel free to email us, and we can add it. Thanks!
Update: Additional links:
12. Sure, your firm just gave you a $25k raise, but do you have a theme song? [Sophistic Miltonian Serbonian Blog]
13. Law Firm Going Crazy to Keep Its Corporate Song Off the Internet [The Startup Lawyer]
14. Law Firm Freaks Out That Ridiculous Corporate Song Leaked Out To Blogs [Techdirt]
15. Re. Nixon Peabody [YouTube (ChurchHatesTucker)]
Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody (mp3 file)
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Nixon Peabody (scroll down)

People in the offices of both Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb have been gossiping about a possible merger between their firms.
Here’s some circumstantial evidence in support of the rumors. If you go to Whois.Net and enter the domain name DeweyLeBoeuf.com, you get this info:
Dewey Ballantine 2  LeBoeuf Lamb Greene MacRae Above the Law blog.jpg
We have a call and an email in to Michael Groll. We’ll let you know if and when we hear back from him.
Update: Might this be a practical joke, as one commenter suggests? Quite possibly. That’s why we’ve reached out to Mr. Groll for comment.
Further Update (4:45 PM): No, this is the real deal. About an hour after our post went up, the WSJ Law Blog chimed in with this write-up: “LeBoeuf Lamb and Dewey Ballantine are in merger talks, with an announcement of a deal expected as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the situation.”
Further Further Update (8/25/07): The New York Times has an article on the merger talks here.
More discussion, plus links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Merger Mania: Dewey LeBoeuf? (You Heard It Here First)”

Cristal Champagne small Louis Roederer Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWhen we aren’t busy antagonizing law firms on the internet, we write freelance pieces for print publications. In the past few months, we’ve written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, and Washingtonian magazine.
We have another article, in the current issue of Washingtonian, about summer associate programs here in Washington, DC. Much of it will be familiar to regular ATL readers, since we cover SA programs extensively here. But if you’d like to check it out, you can do so by clicking here.
Wooing Newbies with Ferraris and Cristal [Washingtonian]

The plea agreement (PDF) for star quarterback Michael Vick has been filed in federal court. In the statement of facts (PDF) accompanying the agreement, Vick admits involvement in the dogfighting conspiracy (including funding it), but declines to admit a number of other allegations. According to ESPN, Vick claims that he “did not place side bets and did not receive proceeds from purses from the fights.”
Here’s what the agreement provides with respect to sentencing:
Michael Vick plea agreement Above the Law blog.jpg
Assuming zero criminal history, an adjusted offense level of 13 gives you an imprisonment range of 12 to 18 months. Of course, and as noted in the agreement, the sentencing judge is not bound by the guidelines (thanks to Booker).
What’s next in procedural terms, from CNN:

Vick, 27, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, where he is expected to plead guilty before a judge. The judge in the case will have the final say over the plea agreement.

Presiding over Vick’s case is Judge Henry Hudson, a Bush II appointee to the bench and a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (under Bush I). He has an impressive resume, but we don’t know much about him personally. We welcome your thoughts on Judge Hudson in the comments.
Vick files plea agreement admitting to dogfighting [ESPN.com]
Vick admits dog killing, conspiracy [CNN]

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