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Sound of Music Julie Andrews Above the Law blog.jpgSeveral tipsters wrote us about the upcoming firm retreat of Quinn Emanuel — or the “2008 Firm Hike,” as it’s officially called. It’s taking place from July 9–13, over in… SWITZERLAND!!!
From one incoming QE summer:

I’m summering at Quinn, and I just found out that the annual firm hike is going to be in Interlaken, Switzerland. It’s a four-day trip, capped by a 25 km hike in the alps. Summer associate perk watch?

We asked this individual if they’re excited about the hike:

Hell yes. Forget ballgames and cooking classes, this is a serious trip. I chose Quinn because of the work hard-play hard mentality and outdoors-y vibe, but this is taking it to another level. It is rough that it’s such a short trip, but I’d guess that a bunch of full-time employees will extend it by a few days.

More discussion — some pro- and anti-hike sentiment, from full-time QE lawyers, plus comment from John Quinn himself (in an email with capitalization!!!) — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Hills Are Alive / With the Sound of… Quinn Emanuel?”

Richard Posner Richard A Posner Above the Law Legal Blog.jpgWe’ve been on the law school speaking circuit lately. At the start of this month, we served as keynote speaker of the Mid-Atlantic APALSA Conference, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School (conference description here, photos here). Next month, we’ll be speaking at Stanford Law School, about how the web is changing the legal profession.
Last week we were at the University of Chicago, for this event:

Richard Posner and David Lat: “Judges as Public Figures”

Last week, the University of Chicago’s chapter of the Federalist Society hosted a panel discussion on “Judges as Public Figures” with Judge Richard Posner and David Lat, author of two popular legal blogs, Above the Law and Underneath Their Robes.

David Lat’s relationship with Judge Posner began when he was the anonymous author of Underneath Their Robes, a blog supposedly written by a young and prestige-obsessed female lawyer. Judge Posner was the first to unmask “Article Three Groupie” (the anonymous author’s pseudonym) as being male. The discussion was moderated by Professor Lior Strahilevitz, and a recording is available here (mp3).

It was an honor and a pleasure to serve on a panel with Judge Posner and Professor Strahilevitz. The standing-room-only crowd was engaged and enthusiastic — and apparently entertained, based on the frequent outbursts of laughter.
You can access the podcast by clicking here (mp3). Thanks again to the University of Chicago Federalist Society for inviting us to participate in such a delightful event.
Podcast: Richard Posner and David Lat on “Judges as Public Figures” [University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog]
Emerging Asia: Shedding New Light on the Legal Landscape [University of Pennsylvania Law School]
How the Web Is Changing the Legal Profession [Stanford Law School]

John McCain Senator John McCain Above the Law blog.jpgAlthough many believe he was carried down to earth by a choir of angels, the taxalicious Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii. So he doesn’t face the same sticky question about presidential eligibility that John McCain confronts. From the New York Times:

The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming.

Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office.

To address the question, the McCain camp hired the best legal talent money can buy:

But given mounting interest, the campaign recently asked Theodore B. Olson, a former solicitor general now advising Mr. McCain, to prepare a detailed legal analysis. “I don’t have much doubt about it,” said Mr. Olson, who added, though, that he still needed to finish his research.

So, what do you think? Take our reader poll. We realize you probably haven’t researched the issue. But not having completed his research — i.e., “my recent SCOTUS-clerk associate is still surfing Westlaw” — didn’t stop Ted Olson from having an opinion.
One ATL tipster had this quick take: “SCOTUS seems kinda gray, but going by the Insular Cases…it ain’t lookin’ good. Maybe an open thread for people to comment and discuss?”


McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out [New York Times]
Does John McCain Have a Birthplace Problem? [WSJ Law Blog]

Monica Goodling small 2 Michael Krempasky Above the Law blog.JPGMake that a Post-script — a shout-out in the Washington Post, for both the happy couple and ATL. From the WaPo’s delicious Reliable Source column (which has new details about the Goodling/Krempasky engagement, including their ages and the story of their courtship):

Engaged: Monica Goodling, 34, the former Alberto Gonzales adviser, to Michael Krempasky, 33, a top PR guy at Edelman and founding blogger with RedState.com.

The betrothal of the Pennsylvania natives (first reported by the legal blog AboveTheLaw.com) proves that even a congressional subpoena can have a happy ending: The two dated just after college, then lost touch for a decade — until he saw her name last spring in the front-page stories about the controversial firings of several U.S. attorneys, and called to wish her well. He surprised her with a Valentine’s Day proposal at the same restaurant where they spent V-Day 12 years ago; no date set.

It’s a quintessential D.C. romance: congressional testimony leading to a love connection!
Additional commentary appears at Wonkette, TPM Muckraker, and Jezebel (among others).
Love, Etc. [The Reliable Source / Washington Post]
Earlier: Breaking: Monica Goodling Is Engaged!

  • 28 Feb 2008 at 11:00 AM
  • Uncategorized

Biglaw Perk Watch: Skadden to 18 Weeks

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher Flom Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgWe don’t think that we’ll post every single announcement about new and improved parental leave policies, since Justin Bernold is already tracking them through this handy-dandy table. But we will let you know about the big ones.
Today’s announcement qualifies. The latest firm to move to the new benchmark of 18 weeks paid maternity leave is one of the biggest of the big: Skadden. When all those Skadden hotties become Skadden mommies, they’ll be able to enjoy 50 percent more time with their kids than before (the old policy was 12 weeks).
Announcement, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Skadden to 18 Weeks”

Linda Greenhouse 6 New York Times Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe already discussed this news yesterday. But in our earlier post, we promised to let you know if and when Linda Greenhouse got back to us — and she kindly did, sending the following message to ATL about her rumored departure as the New York Times’s Supreme Court correspondent:

As you may know – the Times put a newsroom-wide buyout package on the table last week, in an effort to shrink the staff by 100. For someone of my seniority (40 years) the terms are very attractive, and I’ve told my bureau chief that I plan to take it. I was planning to retire in a few years, and giving up this package would have basically meant working for free – which seemed foolish, much as I love my job. I plan to keep writing about the court in various forums.

(I should note that this is not official, because the buyout window is open until March 5, after which the Times will respond to the individual volunteers – so my response to you is based on the assumption that my acceptance of their offer will in turn be accepted.)

Greenhouse also confirmed her move to the Associated Press (via WSJ Law Blog).
During her 30 years covering the Court for the Times, Linda Greenhouse has sometimes been controversial. See here, here, and here, for perhaps the most recent controversy.
It cannot be denied, however, that Greenhouse has tremendous knowledge of the Supreme Court’s history and inner workings, as well as unparalleled access to the justices themselves. Few journalists are such superstars that their comings and goings are covered by the AP.
Greenhouse leaves big shoes to fill, and it will be interesting to see how her successor fares. How much of her clout was the institutional clout of the New York Times, and how much of it was Greenhouse qua Greenhouse? We’ll find out soon enough.
Feel free to speculate about replacements for the legendary Linda Greenhouse, in the comments.
NYT’s Greenhouse Takes Buyout Offer [Associated Press via WSJ Law Blog]
Public and Private Lives, Intersecting [New York Times]
Lay Off Linda [Slate]
Far From Sober [National Review Online]
Earlier: Is the Margo Channing of One First Street Taking Her Final Bow?

Last year, we asked you whether work was busy at your firms, and only about half of you said yes. Patent attorneys were particularly busy nationwide (and remain quite popular), while associates in real estate and structured finance were pretty slow in many markets.
In today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we dig a little deeper into which practice areas are hot (or not) at your firm.
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this survey.

Keyontyli Goffney Taleon Goffney gay porn stars burglary Above the Law blog.jpg* Relatives of murdered girls may sue D.C. [Washington Post]
* Humane Society files suit against USDA over recalled beef. [MSNBC]
* Pay raises hurting PPP? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Two hapless robbers walk into a biker bar… [CNN]
* … while two crafty robbers rob a robber jeweler… [MSNBC]
* … and a not-so-ambiguously-gay porn duo (pictured) gets arrested for rooftop burglaries. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Cadwalader Wickersham Taft CWT Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid blog.JPGCynics might say the firm is rearranging the proverbial deck chairs, but these leadership changes strike us as prudent. From a report by Anthony Lin in the New York Law Journal:

As it wrestles with an ongoing slump in its core capital markets practice, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has shaken up its top management team.

The New York-based law firm announced today that Robert O. Link, its longtime chairman and managing partner, would relinquish the position of chairman to W. Christopher White, effective March 1. Mr. Link will continue to serve as Cadwalader’s managing partner and remain a member of the firm’s six-partner management committee.

The firm minimizes the import of the change:

[Management committee member (and Cameron Diaz pal) Gregory] Markel said the elevation of Mr. White was “not in any way a criticism of Bob.” He said the firm would regard Messrs. White and Link as a team, with neither reporting to the other.

Additional discussion, which will probably interest only die-hard CWT groupies, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cadwalader to Its Chairman: You Are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.”

mold a beautiful mold abstract art Above the Law blog.jpg* A link in honor of everyone taking the bar exam today: the true story of someone who was told he failed the New York bar exam, in the wake of Laptopgate, but appealed the failure and prevailed. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]
* A “do-it-yourself” approach to filing dates? Nice try. [Utah District Court Electronic Filing System Blog (wow -- there truly are blogs about everything)]
* Whatever you do, stay out of that nasty basement. [Southern District of Florida Blog]
* Worst job ever? [QuizLaw]
* A neat little Democratic delegate calculator. It shows, for example, that even if Barack Obama wins all remaining contests with 60 percent of the vote, he would still need significant superdelegate support to win the nomination. [Slate]

Barack Obama Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.jpg[Ed. note: Yesterday's guest post about how Barack Obama's tax plan might affect Biglaw associates, authored by Ted Frank, generated a record number of comments on ATL: 564 (and counting). It also generated lots of reaction throughout the blogosphere (links collected below). So we thought we'd invite Ted to do a follow-up.]
Here it is. Ted wrote it in response to the following reader email, which makes many of the arguments that surfaced in the 564+ comments. From an Obama defender:

I’m sorry, but you are losing your credibility by posting this false propaganda on Obama. Look at Obama’s website. It clearly states, “Asked About Raising the Cap, Obama said, ‘You Might Have the Equivalent of a Doughnut Hole’–NOT That He Would Completely Remove the Cap.” Obama “has stated in various venues that ‘his inclination… has been for a ‘donut’ where the uncapping would take place above some threshold income level — probably around $200,000 or $250,000′ his economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said in an email. A donut would protect a certain portion of income (e.g., between $100,000 and $200,000) from the payroll tax and could be phased in over decades.”

In addition, that “$34,000 paycut” in the post title is misleading. Even if all your assumptions were correct (which they weren’t), the after tax pay cut under Obama is < $20,000. I love your site, but please correct this ridiculous false article before you lose all credibility.

And now, without further ado, Ted Frank.
* * * * * * * * * *
First, as I show in the spreadsheet, a $20,000 tax increase is the equivalent of a $34,000 before-tax paycut for a New York City resident, which would have the same after-tax effect. The $34,000 figure is accurate: that’s just math. The Obama tax plan would have the same effect on a NYC fifth-year associate being paid market as a $34,000 paycut.
Obama has never said he will have a doughnut-hole, only that his SS tax could include a doughnut-hole. When Hillary Clinton attacked Obama at the November 15 Nevada debate for wanting to eliminate the cap, Obama didn’t say that the attack was incorrect; he defended the policy because eliminating the cap would only affect what he called the “upper class.” The press has accurately reported that Obama has also proposed eliminating the cap; even Obama’s own website links to a thinktank’s analysis of the benefits of a cap elimination.
It would be really easy for Obama to promise to include a “doughnut-hole” or to not eliminate the SS-tax cap. He certainly hasn’t been afraid to promise drastically expensive programs of new spending or even tax giveaways to large swaths of the population who aren’t paying much tax now.
But when it comes to Social Security, Obama is suddenly vague; when he does discuss details, it is to cite examples (e.g., Warren Buffett) that could not be accomplished without eliminating the cap entirely. And the only reason a politician acts that way is because he supports the more drastic, politically unpopular plan, but doesn’t want to get tagged with it before the election, and will say after the election “I only said I would ‘consider’ a doughnut-hole.”
How Barack Obama’s Tax Plan Will Affect You [Microsoft Excel file]
Additional discussion and links, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “NY to… 147K? More About Barack Obama’s Tax Plan
(Or: Time to make the donuts?)”

Here’s a photo of lawyers affected by the south Florida blackout, from the Miami Herald:
Greenberg Traurig lawyers blackout Miami Above the Law Blog.jpg
Here’s the actual caption:

Lawyers, from the left, Alan Lash, Justin Fienberg, and Alex Mendez, not lawyer, working on a project at Greenberg Traurig, on 27th floor of 1221 Brickell, went to lunch and found the building out of power.

ATL readers, we think you can do better. We welcome your suggested alternative captions, in the comments. Assuming sufficient response, we’ll take our favorites, incorporate them into a poll, and hold a caption contest. Thanks.
Update (2/29/08, 10 AM): New entries for the caption contest are no longer being accepted. We are reviewing the current submissions and will post a poll next week. Thanks.
Update (3/3/08): You can vote on the nominees over here.

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