Happy New Year, dear readers of ATL! We hope that you had an enjoyable and restful holiday season; we know we did.
Now we’re back, after a pleasant holiday hiatus. Did you miss us?
We’re looking forward to another fun year of dishing legal gossip, as well as chronicling associate pay raises and partner profits (God willing). We’re still in the process of catching up on email and legal news, so please bear with us. If you have a juicy tip to share, please do email us.
Here are some of our ATL-related New Year’s resolutions:
1. Wake up earlier. (When you work from home, it’s easy to oversleep.)
2. Respond more promptly to emails that require a response.
3. Stop feeling guilty about not being able to respond to every last email (because, given the volume of email we receive around here, it’s not possible to respond individually to each and every message — for which we apologize).
The Legal Eagle Wedding Watch is kicking off 2008 with a few leftovers from 2007. But we think you’ll agree that these offerings are worth savoring. These couples have got a little bit of everything: brains, looks, athletic ability, and (something that never goes stale) lots and lots of money.
Here are the contenders:
* Dahlia Lithwick lists the Bush Administration’s 10 dumbest legal arguments of 2007. Number 3 is “Alberto Gonzales.” [Slate]
* Law student/beauty queen charged with kidnapping and torturing ex-boyfriend. [Fox News]
* Murdered Bronco cornerback’s family and teammates await arrests. [MSNBC]
* Banished words list once cited by AZ Supreme Court justice includes “surge,” “organic,” and “it is what it is.” [CNN]
* Rodriguez surprised by WVU lawsuit after bolting for Michigan before contract expiration. [ESPN]
* Rest in peace, Benazir Bhutto; God knows you weren’t able to live in it. [CNN]
* That seems like a pretty good starting point for liability against the zoo. [BBC]
* We don’t know if you know Tom Goldstein, but he’s a pretty big deal. [SCOTUSBlog]
* If he could only apply all of that genius to acquiring some money to actually make a mortgage payment… [WSJ Law Blog]
* NRA defends the rights of hurricane victims to shoot at the National Guard keep guns. [AP via How Appealing]
* French “aid” workers sentenced to eight years of hard labor in Chad “orphan” case. [Jurist]
* Apparently if you’re a rapper you can show up at court when you damn well please. [Athens Banner-Herald]
* If you feel guilty about it, at least you can take comfort in the fact that you’ve helped set up an appeal. [CNN]
* Would a holiday search be unreasonable? [Findlaw via How Appealing]
* Is the DOJ passing up a chance to crack down on plaintiff’s lawyers? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Nothing but a G string. [CNN]
* Toby Keith puts his boot in the defendant’s ass in the form of a $2.8 million verdict for his family in a suit over the wrongful death of his father. [AP via Asbury Park Press]
We hope that you’re having a wonderful holiday season and are getting some well-deserved rest — as are we.
As was the case last year, we’ll be on a reduced publication schedule between now and the new year. We’ll return to a normal schedule on Wednesday, January 2, 2008.
To those of you who celebrate it, Merry Christmas! And a happy new year to all.
* Top legal stories of 2007. [CNN]
* Stop complaining, civil libertarians. Things could be much worse. [New York Times]
* A leadership vacuum at the Department of Justice. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* And don’t look to recess appointments to address the problem. [Washington Post]
* A different kind of “pole tax,” which will divert five dollar bills from g-strings to g-coffers. But does it violate the First Amendment? [AP; TaxProf Blog]
* Union members: You’ve Got Mail. Oh wait, you don’t — at least not of the union-related kind. [New York Times]
* Adam Liptak asks whether a “Judicial Hellhole” is in the eye of the beholder. Also, a quote from Dickie Scruggs that maybe he wishes he could take back. [New York Times via WSJ Law Blog]
Let’s send you into the holiday weekend with some associate bonus news. Here are some law firm bonus announcements that haven’t been previously covered in these pages.
(Firms that previously announced their bonuses, but are being sneaky about the exact amounts and/or the percentage of associates getting them, will be addressed separately. This post is for completely new announcements.)
Some of this news is incomplete. If you can provide more details, please email us. Thanks.
1. Akin Gump (New York): Year-end bonuses, and special bonuses to “those associates and counsel who have performed in accordance with the Firm’s expectations regarding productivity, quality of work and Firm citizenship.” Plus “discretionary merit bonuses” to associates and counsel “who performed in a truly exceptional manner.”
One source at the firm characterizes it as follows:
Full match in NY, with extra bonuses in certain cases (generally to billers over 2400). There has never been an hours requirement, so if past practice is any indicator, anyone not being fired will get it.
Full memo, after the jump.
2. Akin Gump (outside New York): Each associate is allowed to make the case to the firm for a big bonus. A source tells us that this practice of asking associates to write up memos to justify their bonuses started a few years ago. “I wonder how this plays into the current bonus climate, or if anyone else has to do this.”
3. Hogan & Hartson (outside New York): The 2007 bonus memo appears after the jump.
4. Hogan & Hartson (New York): We’ve confirmed the fact that Hogan announced bonuses in New York. It was described to us as a market match. But we haven’t seen a memo or the fine print of the announcement, so we can’t confirm that. Update: The bonus memo for Hogan & Hartson’s New York office appears after the jump.
5. Vinson & Elkins (New York): “V&E matched the New York market bonus (including this year’s special bonus) for its New York associates, to be paid on January 15, 2008. No memo yet, a voicemail.”
6. Sheppard Mullin: Details after the jump.
The late Pope John Paul II was an expert skier. Even after he became Pope, and into his 60′s, the Holy Father would slip away from the Vatican for secret ski trips.
So, although we’d like them removed from all interstate highways, we have no problem with oldies on the slopes. This, however, is more troubling:
A 60-year-old man is taking an 8-year-old boy and his dad to court, claiming the boy caused a ski-slope collision that left the older man with a shoulder injury. David J. Pfahler of Allentown, Pa., sued in federal court in Denver, claiming Scott Swimm, then 7, was skiing fast and recklessly when they collided in January, the Vail Daily reported Thursday.
Looks like Pfahler is making a federal case of it (literally). He claims — quite conveniently, for diversity jurisdiction purposes — losses in excess of $75,000.
Scott’s father, Robb Swimm, said that he saw the crash and that Scott was skiing slowly and in control. “It wasn’t a violent collision or anything; Scott just kind of tapped his ski boots,” he said this week.
Scott’s mother, Susan Swimm, said her son weighs 48 pounds and couldn’t have been going more than 10 mph. “Who in the world sues a child?” she said.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.