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springer.jpgThis just in, from a Northwestern Law tipster (who emailed us using his wireless device):

As I predicted, Jerry knocked the ball out of the park. Only standing ovation at NUs commencement…

Whole audience stood. Haters should STFU.

If you were there, please share your review of Jerry Springer’s remarks, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Jerry Springer to be Commencement Speaker at Northwestern Law School

Jeremy Anderson.jpgSeveral loyal ATL readers (and Bachelorette watchers?) tipped us off to a lawyer being among the 25 bachelors competing on the ABC reality TV show this season.
The eligible bachelor is 30-year-old Texan Jeremy Anderson. ABC cites his profession as “real estate attorney.” He’s a December 2007 grad of SMU Dedman School of Law.
Speaking of layoffs at Hunton & Williams, our tipster says Anderson (who summered there in 2007) was let go from their Dallas office when he went on the show:

A first-year Dallas associate (who took the February 2008 bar) was placed on probation by Hunton Williams after asking for a leave of absence to do The Bachelorette. The firm is apparently waiting for the season to air before making a final decision, although they obviously plan to fire him. Who has the gall to ask for a leave of absence during their first year, especially to do a reality TV show? But assuming it’s a legitimate reason to request time off, is Hunton’s reaction reasonable and fair?

His name is Jeremy Anderson… There’s a rumor that he makes it to the final three. His bio was taken off Hunton’s website.

When we called Hunton about the layoff rumors in Charlotte, we also asked about Anderson. The only comment we got from their spokesperson was, “On a personal note, I love the show.”
We appreciate your sending this along, ATL readers. As one of you predicts, we will “enjoy covering Jeremy . . . and his abs.”

Veteran Supreme Court litigator Thomas Goldstein, who founded Goldstein & Howe (and SCOTUSblog) before taking the helm of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice, has a lot to crow about. He’s one of the country’s most celebrated appellate advocates, with 18 SCOTUS arguments under his belt.
But he hasn’t let success go to his head. Instead, he’s prepared this funny, charming, and self-effacing video advertisement. Check it out (via SCOTUSblog):

Tom Goldstein: Hire me for your Supreme Court case [YouTube]
Tom Goldstein Wants To Be Your Lawyer [SCOTUSblog]

Hunton Williams law firm.jpgWe wonder if law firms think of our Nationwide Layoff Watch feature like the Eye of Sauron, from Lord of the Rings. If so, “The Eye” has come to rest on Charlotte.
We hear rumors that Hunton & Williams is laying off associates down in CLT. From a tipster:

Hunton & Williams in Charlotte is conducting layoffs, including first-years [from the class of 2007]. The first-years may work until June 30, but then they must leave the office; however, they will have access to email and phone and pay until December 31.

Pay through December 31? Seems odd. It would amount to six months of severance, even though “market-rate” severance in recent law-firm layoffs hovers around three months. Is Hunton raising the bar?
In addition, we hear that two incoming H&W first-years in Charlotte had their offers rescinded. If true, it’s not surprising; other firms have previously rescinded offers to CLT associates. See, e.g., Sonnenschein.
Layoff talk centered on Hunton’s Charlotte has also surfaced at Infirmation / Greedy South, here and here. Back in January, there were rumors of firings in Atlanta (labor and employment).
We contacted Hunton & Williams. Their comment: “We don’t comment on rumors.” C’mon, really? What do you comment on, then?
If you have any more information on the H&W situation, please send us an e-mail (with Hunton & Williams in the subject line). Thanks.
Update: No layoffs — yet — according to managing partner Walfrido Martinez, who spoke to Am Law Daily. But he acknowledged that the firm is “redeploying” an unspecified number of asset securitization lawyers in Charlotte to other practice areas: “Option number one is always redeployment. If redeployment does not work, we will talk about transition arrangements.”

Shinyung Oh Paul Hastings.jpgIf you’re tired of reading about Shinyung Oh, the former Paul Hastings associate who sent a now-famous farewell email, fear not. The story is on its last legs.
We just wanted to tie up a loose end. Earlier this week, we wondered about whether she was still at Paul Hastings. Here’s the answer, courtesy of Shinyung Oh herself:

I’m no longer with Paul Hastings. Because I didn’t sign the release, my termination was effective as of sometime last week. If I had signed the release, I would have technically stayed on (on an inactive basis) until the end of July.

We wish Shinyung the best of luck in her future endeavors.
We also contacted the firm for comment; they had none. (An aside: Contrary to what some folks apparently think, we welcome hearing from the law firms that we write about. We often reach out to them for comment, especially on sensitive items, but they should also feel free to contact us sua sponte.)
One final thing. In the comments on our various Paul Hastings posts, there was occasionally a “piling on” quality, with lots of commenters lambasting PH (and some attacking Shinyung Oh as well).
But the comments are not necessarily representative of the ATL readership at large. Please take our two quick polls. Feel free to take whatever considerations you want into account when casting your vote (i.e., the polls aren’t based solely on the recent controversy).

A 16-year-old girl posted a cry for help on YouTube two weeks ago. She was allegedly drugged and raped by a 23-year-old man. In the video, she does not name the rapist, but instead focuses on her disappointment that the Florida state attorney’s office refused to prosecute the case.
CNN picked up on the story this week. Their take is that young people are using social networking sites to talk about sexual assault. From a legal perspective, we think using YouTube as a forum to criticize the justice system is the more interesting aspect. CNN touches on that as well:

But counselors said survivors are going to look wherever they can to find help and comfort, particularly when they don’t get it through the court system.

Fewer than 5 percent of reported cases in Florida make it to a prosecutor’s office, Dritt said. Whether because of lack of forensic evidence or because many are he said/she said accounts, rape cases can be very difficult to try.

“What you hear from every rape crisis center from Pensacola to Key West is that there are hardly ever any prosecutions,” she said. “Most sexual violence is acquaintance rape, and unfortunately, a lot of juries still think that if a victim had a relationship with their attacker, then they cannot be raped by that person.”

According to CNN, the case was dropped because the victim and the accused had an ongoing sexual relationship and the prosecutor concluded that their sex was consensual. Jezebel points out that the victim was just 15 at the time, and unable to give consent according to Florida law. We wonder how this will play out for Lawson Lamar, the state attorney for this district.
Teen alleging rape turns to YouTube [CNN]
Teenage Rape Victim Turns To YouTube For Help [Jezebel]
A 16 year old rape victim needs help [YouTube]

Job of the Week

Job of the Week Lateral Link ATL logo.gifToday’s Job of the Week is a unique opportunity for a senior corporate attorney looking to make partner in New York. Although the market may be slowing down, Lateral Link is successfully assisting hundreds of attorneys with their job searches. All attorneys that Lateral Link places in law firm positions (like the one below) will be entitled to a $10,000 guaranteed signing bonus.
Position: Senior Securities Attorney
Location: New York, NY
Job Code: #8997
Description: Prominent boutique law firm with prestigious investment banking and hedge fund clients seeks a senior securities associate or counsel to work directly with their large hedge fund and investment bank clients, to provide securities law advice relating to their investments in public securities and secondarily to resale of private securities. This position is not focused on securities offerings but instead involves designing and implementing an entire disclosure regime. This is a partnership-track position for a candidate who shows s/he is capable.
For more information about the requirements for this and other positions, please visit Lateral Link.
Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)

Some of you may be wondering why Laura Leigh Reifinger is no longer a contestant in the “Naked Poll” being sponsored by Time Out New York.

Here is a statement we received from Ms. Reifinger (who, for the record, is an incoming law student at Fordham; she hasn’t even started there yet):

I would like to send a sincere apology to friends, family, colleagues and members of the Fordham community who have been offended by this poll and would like to confirm that I have officially withdrawn from the contest.

What started as a silly dare has garnered more attention than I ever thought it would. There are no nude photos of myself, online or elsewhere, nor did I ever intend for there to be. I had no expectations of winning in a pool of 25+ contestants, nor did I plan to actually go through with the shoot if I had won. It was purely the thrill of participating in such a contest and trying to get out the last bit of “wild child” in me while I’m still a student, before facing the reality of “becoming a grown-up.”

This just happened to be the wake up call I needed to make me realize that I should already be acting like an adult and that, even though I never posed for nude photographs, this sort of behavior is unacceptable.

It was a stupid thing to do and I take full responsibility for it. I can only hope that those close to me whom I have offended will forgive me for my serious lapse in judgment.

Personally we think it’s ridiculous that she even feels the need to apologize. Laura Reifinger did nothing wrong by entering herself in the contest. And because she withdrew, she won’t end up posing nude in TONY’s pages.

But even if she had been photographed in the buff, what would have been wrong with that? Posing naked in a magazine is neither criminal nor unethical (provided it’s not kiddie porn). Appearing nude would not have precluded her from being admitted to the New York bar. See, e.g., Regina Usvjat.

So why did Laura Reifinger — who, as noted, isn’t even in law school yet — feel the need to take herself out of the running in the “Naked Poll”? Is the legal profession so conservative, stuffy and Puritanical that even future lawyers-in-training can’t bare their bodies if they please?

Look, people: the world is a changin’. In our nation’s largest state, men can now marry men, and women can now marry women. Freedom is the order of the day. So why get your proverbial panties in a wad because a beautiful young woman wants to pose naked in a magazine?

Update: “[O]ur nation’s largest state” is a reference to California, which is the largest state by population. What would be the relevance of land area in a sentence focused on the ability of gay people to marry each other? Given such a reference, population is the relevant metric. And are there even gays in Alaska?

Earlier: This Law Student Wants To Strip For You

* Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano convicted on 76 out of 77 counts, including wiretapping, racketeering, and wire fraud. [AP; New York Times]
* Federal indictment in the MySpace suicide case. [CNN]
* American Red Cross vanquishes Johnson & Johnson in trademark dispute. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Polar bears listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. [Washington Post via WSJ Law Blog]
* Yesterday’s gay marriage ruling by the California Supreme Court returns the issue to center stage in national politics. [New York Times]
* Speaking of which — Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are getting married! [AP]

Affirmed race horse racehorse.JPGRecently we’ve been thinking about law-related names for racehorses. The subject came up when we were reading about how Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby winner, might win the Triple Crown and join the company of Affirmed (pictured) — the last winner of the Triple Crown, in 1978.
Hearing about a racing horse named “Affirmed” led us to start thinking about other legally-themed horse names. A few ideas:
— “Reversed” (or “Reversed and Remanded”)
We liked how it played off of “Affirmed.” But it’s “probably not the kind of message you want to send to the oddsmakers,” said a friend.
— “Cert Denied”
Kinda badass, no? We’ll put it down as a possibility.
— “GVR”
Suggested by another friend, to continue on the Supreme Court disposition theme. “GVR” stands for “Grant, Vacate, and Remand” — which can, depending on the circumstances, be something of a benchslap. But maybe it’s too technical, appreciated only by SCOTUS junkies?
— “Desuetude”
Nominated by a third friend (in the midst of studying for law-school finals). It’s erudite, but a bit short on sex appeal.
Have an idea for a law-related racehorse name, à la Affirmed? If so, feel free to leave it in the comments. If we get enough nominations, maybe we’ll hold a contest. Also, feel free to weigh in on the names previously mentioned, if you strong feelings about any of them.
Update: Please make sure that your nomination complies with these naming rules (posted by a helpful commenter).
Further Update: Okay, we’ve reached the 400-comment mark on this post, so we’re closing the thread. Poll to follow shortly.
More about racehorses and the law, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legally-Themed Racehorse Names? Your Nominations, Please”

Norman Schoenfeld Allen Overy LLP Above the Law blog.jpgToday is Friday, so this news is timely. Some of you may recall the case of Schoenfeld v. Allen & Overy. Norman Schoenfeld, an observant Jewish lawyer who once worked in A&O’s New York office, sued the elite “Magic Circle” law firm, alleging that it discriminated and retaliated against him as a result of his observing the Sabbath.
For counsel, Schoenfeld retained Anne C. Vladeck, the superstar plaintiffs-side employment lawyer who successfully represented Anucha Browne Sanders in her sexual harassment case against Isiah Thomas and MSG. After Vladeck and Sanders won at trial, the parties settled the case — including all appeals — for a cool $11.5 million.
Back to the Schoenfeld case. Sources close to the case inform us that the parties have resolved the case, and it will be formally closed in the near future. It hasn’t been dismissed yet, as you can see when you check the S.D.N.Y. docket (1:07-cv-11431-HB), where the last entry is the pretrial scheduling order. But the parties have an agreement in principle to settle, and it will be papered up soon.
We reached Todd Girshon of Jackson Lewis, counsel to Allen & Overy, by phone. He offered a “no comment” (although we detected a faint hint of amusement in his voice as he said it). We’ve left telephone and email messages for Anne Vladeck, counsel to Norman Schoenfeld. We haven’t heard back from her yet, but we’ll let you know if and when we do.
We must confess that, although we’re happy to see the parties resolve their differences, we’re sad that we won’t get to write more about this case. As you may recall, when the story first broke, we thought that it might turn into “the Jewish version of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell.” It looks like that won’t be happening. No tales of “bending over,” boiled hard drives, or boasts of representing Nazis — just a quiet settlement. What began with a bang has ended with a whimper.
In other Allen & Overy news, the New York office has a new managing partner. Congratulations to Kevin O’Shea, who assumed leadership of the New York office effective May 1. Presumably he’s glad to have this lawsuit behind the firm as he takes the reins at A&O – NY.
Update: The firm has confirmed news of the imminent settlement. See here.
Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: The Jewish Version of Charney v. S&C?
Schoenfeld v. Allen & Oy-vey-ry: We’ve Got Close to Bupkis
Schoenfeld v. Allen & Oy-vey-ry: A&O’s Answer

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