Latest Stories

* 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, 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 []
Vick admits dog killing, conspiracy [CNN]

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati WSGR Above the Law blog.JPGHere’s a tale from the fall recruiting trenches, from a 2L at Columbia Law School:

I got my first rejection yesterday, from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. It was not through your typical form letter; it came via mass email.

And by “mass email,” I mean “the email address of everyone who got rejected is listed in the ‘to:’ field.”

CLASSY. Maybe WSGR wanted all the “rejects” to know each others’ identities, so they can from a support group?
To its credit, the firm realized that it screwed up:

They then left a voicemail apologizing and explaining that it was an “honest mistake,” and they hope it doesn’t affect my opinion of the firm. Personally, it doesn’t bother me — we all had lots of interviews, which lead to lots of rejections (and lots of callbacks).

But I can see why other people would be bothered by it, and I think the firm deserves some attention for (1) not putting in the effort to send actual rejection letters (this was even signed by “Attorney Recruiting Department”) and (2) not knowing the difference between “to:” and “bcc:.”

We concur. Hence this shout-out to Wilson Sonsini — and the reject-o-bots in its “Attorney Recruiting Department.”

meet an inmate Above the Law blog.jpgA relationship between a prisoner — falsely accused, natch — and a compassionate woman on the outside, crusading for his release. What could be more romantic?
Well, if the woman happens to be a court clerk, with responsibility for handling prisoner filings, the situation goes from romantic to problematic. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

A deputy clerk at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has been fired after striking up a romantic relationship with – and trying to help win the release of – a Washington man serving life in federal prison, court documents show.

Jane Cross, 57, came under scrutiny in June, after she filed a Washington State Bar Association complaint against Kurt Hermanns, an assistant U.S. attorney in Tacoma who handled the prosecution of William G. Moore on methamphetamine and other charges in the mid-1990s. She was placed on leave and subsequently fired last week.

In the immortal words of Def Leppard: Love bites.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Practice Pointers: Clerks, Don’t Date the Prisoners”

Nixon Peabody LLP horrible theme song Above the Law blog.jpgOur most recent post about Nixon Peabody — which has a song, but NOT a theme song — is about to scroll off the ATL front page. And we couldn’t allow that, now could we?
So here’s an update. A few brief points:
1. Some of you have described a fabulous video that accompanied “Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody.” Sadly, we’ve never seen this video. If you have a copy, please send it to us.
2. We received the song, from multiple sources, as an MP3 file. It was being widely disseminated by email (“FW: FW: FW:”). As far as we know, it was not sent to us by a disgruntled ex-Winner (contrary to the quasi-paranoid speculation of NP brass).
3. As of now, the song remains on YouTube. It has been viewed almost 14,000 times and garnered several accolades, including #26 – Most Viewed (Entertainment) and #11 – Most Linked (Entertainment).
4. In case the song gets yanked from YouTube, you can now access it directly on ATL, as an MP3 file. Just click here. Enjoy!
5. Some of you have inquired into the identities of the NP representatives with whom we spoke yesterday. These individuals expressly asked not to be identified by name (quelle surprise), and we agreed to that request. But we can tell you that they were in-house reps, not external PR people. One is a firm spokesperson, and one works on the business side of the firm. As far as we know, neither is a lawyer.
We haven’t heard more from the firm since yesterday afternoon’s phone call. If we do hear from them again, rest assured that we will let you know.
Everyone’s A Winner at Nixon Peabody (mp3 file)

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