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* This thing was filmed in a county adjacent to ours. [Augusta Chronicle]
* Good riddance Gitmo. [NYT]
* Six Flags has a lawsuit in their future. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Don’t like oversight? Eliminate it. [CNN]

Ok, one last plug for ATL in the Funniest Law Blog Contest. For those of you who followed the link earlier, you will have noticed that the gap between us and Phila Lawyer has narrowed, although it is still quite wide.
Luckily for us, there are now prizes for second and third places: three signed copies of Chambermaid(we failed to mention the signed part earlier) for second, and two signed copies of Martha Kimes’ Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Nuerotic Law Student. It appears that this prize will go to Quizlaw, who incidentally has declared shenanigans on Phila Lawyer’s commanding lead (we agree with you Quizlaw, except for the part declaring shenanigans on us being in second; ok, that part’s right too we suppose).
The voting ends Monday, so you still have the weekend to try to get Lat some Billable Hour bling.

  • 22 Jun 2007 at 2:45 PM

Friday Afternoon Humor

For your enjoyment on a slow-news-day-summer-Friday afternoon, here’s a hilarious bit from Muffie Benson-Perella at our sibling site

Ask Muffie: Cause and Effect
Muffie Benson-Perella (muffie AT is an Associate in the Investment Banking Division of a “Bulge Bracket” bank. She holds a B.A. in French and Art from Vassar College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Her regular column “Heard in the Suite” is a probing (and, ahem, fictional) weekly look into the secret lives and behind the velvet curtains of the investment banking world.
Dear Muffie:
I am considering going to law school in order to be a “deal lawyer” but I am worried because I hear there is a lot of discussion of “cause and effect” in law school. These are concepts that are foreign to me. Can you help with a female perspective on “cause and effect” and how it impacts the banking profession?
Betsy “Boom-Boom” Baylor
Dear Boom-Boom:
The best way for me to teach you is by example, so I am including some real-life cause and effect examples from investment banks that involve a legal element.
Example #1: Email from work account
—–Original Message—–
From: [email protected]
Sent: May 20, 2007 4:35 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: test
hey – iwas wondering if you knew anything that could help me pass a saliva/mouth swab test? i think I’m pretty screwed.
From: [email protected] (Director of Human Resources)
Sent: May 20, 2007 7:36 PM
Required: Associate; Cindy Reardon (Vice President, Human Resources); Robert Moss (Office of the General Counsel); Richard Fossbath (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division)
When: May 21, 2007 8:00 AM-8:30 AM
Location: Conference Room A, Human Resources, 35th Floor
Accept | Tentative | Decline | Calendar…
Example #2: AIM conversation from work wireless
12:50:43 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hi beth!
12:50:51 PM ohheyitsbeth: hello
12:50:57 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hey, what are you wearing?
12:51:12 PM ohheyitsbeth: may i ask who i’m speaking to
12:51:23 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Sure, if you tell me what you’re wearing.
12:52:08 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Are you wearing ripped jeans?
12:52:49 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: If not, I’ll rip them for ya!
12:53:04 PM ohheyitsbeth: hah
12:53:07 PM ohheyitsbeth: uh
12:54:11 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: That’s hot, by the way. I’m in the bathroom, and I’m hard.
12:54:24 PM ohheyitsbeth: where do you work
12:54:36 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Prestigious Investment Bank, duh.
12:54:44 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Wanna cyber?
12:54:58 PM ohheyitsbeth: you are in the bathroom at PIB? my IM’s are monitored by carney
12:55:05 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Yeah! So?
12:55:15 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: The IT guy here gets off on it!
12:55:16 PM ohheyitsbeth: so that would be uncomfortable
12:55:24 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: You bet it will, I’m HUGE!
12:57:31 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hello?
12:59:32 PM AllNgtLngBanker045: Hello?
From: [email protected] (Director of Human Resources)
Sent: June 3, 2007 7:36 PM
Required: Associate; Cindy Reardon (Vice President, Human Resources); Robert Moss (Office of the General Counsel); Richard Fossbath (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division); Craig Ballows (Information Technology)
When: June 4, 2007 8:00 AM-8:30 AM
Location: Conference Room A, Human Resources, 35th Floor
Accept | Tentative | Decline | Calendar…
Example #3: Conference Call
-bew beep-
Announcer: “Now attending… Associate.”
-bew beep-
Announcer: “Now attending… Associate 2.”
Associate 2: “Hey, anyone on?”
Associate: “Hey man, it’s Associate.”
Associate 2: “Anyone else on?”
Associate: “Not yet I don’t think.”
Associate 2: “Man, what happened to you last night?”
Associate: “Oh fuck, after you left we went to Tina’s with all that blow I had.”
Associate 2: “No way! That chick is smoking too!”
Associate: “She was smoking it alright, trust me.”
Associate 2: “What time did you get home?”
Associate: “Fuck that, we did blow all night. I haven’t slept yet?”
Associate 2: “Aren’t you supposed to be finishing the deck for Bob “The Castrator” Lindgom?”
Associate: “Lindgom? Are you kidding? His reputation is all bullshit. I’ve snuck half-assed work by that guy for months. He doesn’t care at all. Seriously. He loves me. He couldn’t find his own ass with GPS coordinates, but whatever, I’m almost done with this rotation anyhow which is so bonus because, have you seen his daughter? Todd met her in NA so you know she likes the blow. I got her number from Lindgom’s datebook. I’m totally gonna tap that hot ass.”
-beep bew-
Announcer: “Now departing… Bob Lindgom.”
From: [email protected] (Director of Human Resources)
Sent: June 9, 2007 3:36 PM
Required: Associate; Cindy Reardon (Vice President, Human Resources); Robert Moss (Office of the General Counsel); Richard Fossbath (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division); Bob Lindgom (Managing Director, Investment Banking Division)
When: June 9, 2007 5:00 PM-5:30 PM
Location: Conference Room A, Human Resources, 35th Floor
Accept | Tentative | Decline | Calendar…

Related: The original post on DealBreaker

Four women who worked for a private cosmetics contractor, Makeup Art Cosmetics, in a Belk department store in our hometown of Athens, Georgia have each won six-figure verdicts this week after being watched undressing by security guards using a hidden camera in the stockroom of the store.

Store managers installed a hidden camera in a stockroom in 2005, catching the women on tape while they changed clothes before and after shifts.
Lawyers for Belk argued that it installed the camera to catch thieves and said the employees should have known it was there.

[Fulton County Daily Report]
Perhaps. But perhaps you should have told them?

The employees suffered from sleeplessness, anxiety and paranoia due to the invasion of privacy, one of their attorneys, Jay Lewis, said during his closing argument Thursday.
He asked the Superior Court jury for “seven figure” actual and punitive damages for each of the plaintiffs.

But apparently the jury only found the security guards six-figures-worth of creepy.

Judicial Reports thinks they might. From the article:

As the State Legislature slouched toward adjournment late Thursday with no breakthrough on the issue of pay raises for judges, an infuriated judiciary began to contemplate an escalation in the salary wars.
For many that might mean new or expanded litigation. Some are even whispering “strike.”

New York judges haven’t had a raise in 9 years, and they’re getting pretty pissed about it:

“Judges don’t need to hire lobbyists or public relations people, we need to hire an FBI hostage negotiator,” said Montgomery County Family Court Judge Philip V. Cortese in an interview — distilling the judges’ collective belief that the Legislature essentially held salary negotiations captive to other legislative priorities.

Of course, there are some slight problems with a judicial strike, such as the fact that they can’t legally do it:

Just like the transit workers, judges are explicitly prohibited from striking under New York’s labyrinthine Taylor Law — a statute governing labor organizing of state public servants.
According to Jerome Lefkowitz, chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board, the law treats judges as “management” whose members are not allowed to unionize. At the same time, it prohibits them from striking.
In other words, judges have even fewer options than transit workers or other public employees. “The law says that managerial employees are excluded from the Taylor Law, except Part 210 which says: ‘Thou shalt not strike,’ ” Lefkowitz explained.
In the stern language of that section, no judge can “cause, instigate, or condone a strike.”

So one judge suggested they all just get really lazy instead:

“Another idea is to review all papers submitted very carefully for any errors — typos, misspellings, matters left out — particularly orders and decrees. No handwritten corrections or having your own secretary retype to fix them up. Return them to attorney for correction, and return them again until they are totally correct. Particularly for any firms with legislators in them.”

That sounds very mature, and bound to work.

Chambermaid 2 Saira Rao Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
James Gimmelman at PrawfsBlawg is none too impressed with Saira Rao’s roman a clef Chambermaid. From his review:

The book is an abomination, one of the worst novels I have ever read, both artistically and morally. The affected style, which runs the gamut from “cutesy” to “bench memo,” would be forgivable if the substance weren’t so dreadful.

Don’t hold back, James. Tell us what you really think.
He accuses Rao of making much ado about nothing:

But as the novel progresses, something odd happens. The character assassination against Judge Friedman becomes just too much. Raj’s life is pretty good, all things considered. Her hours aren’t particularly bad as clerkship hours go, the work itself is interesting enough, and while she may or may not get that dream job with the ACLU, even she acknowledges that it would be a rare accomplishment to land it. Her family loves and supports her; she always has at least one good friend nearby; she’s never threatened with any serious corruption of her values. Nor, beyond living in a slightly skeevy neighborhood, does she ever risk forfeiting her educational, economic, and social privilege. The indignities of life in Friedman’s chambers come to seem like just so much white noise, nothing one couldn’t endure for a year with a half-grin and a lot of shrugs. Which, actually, is more or less what Raj does.

We haven’t read it yet (maybe Lat will give us one of the three copies he’s gonna get for finishing in second place in the Funniest Law Blog contest; more on that later today), but we understand Lat is looking to do a review of his own (see earlier discussion of that here), so it will be interesting to get his take. Lat, of course, has unique experience in exposing the inner workings of a judge’s office.

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGGood news for clerks with offers from Debevoise & Plimpton: the bonus is no longer flat. Debevoise is joining the $70K Club for two-year clerks.
The announcement email appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Clerkship Bonus Watch: Debevoise Joins the $70K Club”

To wrap up the week, we stay in the West and move up the coast to Portland, Oregon. Portland is the nation’s 23rd largest city, and probably the greenest one. We hear the quality of life is pretty good, but what about the money?
This comes from a February New York Times article:

Holland & Knight’s new associates are paid between $93,000, the rate in Portland, Ore., and $160,000 , the rate in New York.

Is this representative of where Portland’s at generally? Discuss Portland associate salaries and other issues of interest in the comments.

* Tax evaders enclosed in hilltop compound…seriously. [CNN]
* McNulty tweaks, defends prior testimony. [NYT]
* Congress to scrutinize Cheney’s treatment of classified docs? [MSNBC]
* When Skadden gives you lemonade, drink Skadden’s lemonade. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Extra slanty. [The Onion]
* Have you seen this lake? [CNN]
* Crazy murder trial in Nevada. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Shuttle landing postponed; will be made up as part of doubleheader later in the year. [New York Times]

Perkins Coie LLP Above the Law blog.jpgPerkins Coie is raising to market in California, with a catch. To get the raise, associates must 1) be “on pace” of 1900 hours; and 2) have “no outstanding timesheet penalties.”
The memo’s after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “National Pay Raise Watch: Perkins Coie to $160k in California”

In his dissent today from a order denying rehearing en banc in the case of United States v. Ziegler, Kozinski basically calls the rest of the panel morons, or at least hack magicians. The best part is this paragraph:

By plucking consent out of its judicial top hat, when neither
party has argued it and the district court made no findings to
support it, the panel gives the unfortunate impression that it
is seeking to vindicate a result it has reached on other (nowrepudiated) grounds.
It is not our business to reach particular
results, nor may we jiggle the rules of procedure to achieve
an outcome we prefer. Our responsibility is to apply the law
in an objective and impartial manner, and let the chips fall
where they may. Here, the government lost the one issue on
which it chose to make its stand—Ziegler’s expectation of
privacy in his own office. At that point it was our responsibility
to reverse the district court and vacate the defendant’s sentence.
Appellate review is not a magic wand and we
undermine public confidence in the judicial process when we
make it look like it is.

But he basically rips the panel a new one throughout the dissent.
Access the entire opinion here.

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