Latest Stories

post it flags post it notes Above the Law blog.jpg* Is it okay for a law professor to exclude white students from her review sessions? [Blackprof via PrawfsBlawg]
* Speaking of law profs, students like ‘em hot. And we needed a research paper to tell us this? [TaxProf Blog]
* A utilitarian analysis of the question we raised on Valentine’s Day: Should lawyers date other lawyers? [Law and Letters]
* More on last month’s “pleaded” vs. “pled” debate. We feel vindicated in preferring “pleaded.” [SW Virginia Law Blog; Indiana Law Blog]
* Professor Dan Solove, author of The Future of Reputation, photographed in a pensive state for Money Magazine. [Concurring Opinions]
* Some ruminations on the use of Post-it-brand tape-flags in document review. We can relate, but we’re dating ourselves — isn’t most doc review done on computers these days? [PrawfsBlawg]
* A cycling-inspired Blawg Review (#147, for those of you who are counting). [Rush on Business via Blawg Review]

clock.gifWe received about 600 responses to last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey on leave and part-time arrangements. One reader made a very interesting suggestion in the comments:

Justin – how about you keep a list of where law firms are on parental leave? Sort of like the list Lat kept going showing who was being delinquent on raising salaries. Those lists made a big influence at some firms that were reluctant to give associate salary raises – a list like this could likewise make a world of difference in parental benefits.

I like this idea a lot, and while I won’t be calling it a “list of shame,” I’ll be keeping a running table of maternity leave policies, starting later this week. If you’d like to make sure your firm’s info is accurate, please take the survey (which will stay open for a while) or send us a tip.
In the meantime, let’s focus on a slightly different data point from the survey. In addition to questions about leave, which we’ll talk about later this week, we asked whether you would be interested in working fewer hours for less pay if your employer gave you the option. See the results after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Survey Results: Less Billing, Tastes Great?”

mount rushmore mt rushmore presidents day AboveTheLaw Above the Law blog.jpgHappy Presidents’ Day! In honor of the executive branch, unitary or not, ATL will be on a reduced publication schedule today.
* Where’s the beef? Not on your grocery shelves, thankfully, as the USDA orders the largest meat recall in its history. [Washington Post]
* Obama woos Edwards. [AP]
* “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantánamo Bay,” plus other representations of Gitmo in popular culture. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* It’s getting hot in here: Pending legislation would require climate change to be taught in California public schools. [San Jose Mercury News via Drudge]
* Municipalities mull ordinances to limit where sex offenders hang out. [New York Times]
* More recusals in the Massey Energy case. Is there anyone left in West Virginia who can hear this case? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Turnout low and tensions high as Pakistan goes to the polls. [New York Times]
* Happy independence day — in Kosovo. [Washington Post]


Chicago skyline river Above the Law blog.jpgGreetings from the great — but frigid — city of Chicago. We’re hanging out with friends and doing some sightseeing, but the main reason for our visit is this event, taking place on Thursday (and open to the public):

Judges As Public Figures
Thursday, February 21, 2008, 4:15 PM
University of Chicago Law School, Room II

Judge Richard Posner
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

David Lat
Above the Law
Underneath Their Robes

Professor Lior Strahilevitz
University of Chicago Law School

While in Chi-town, we will also be meeting readers at an ATL “Happy Hour,” similar to the event we held in Miami last year. It will take place on Wednesday, February 20, sometime after work (time and place to be determined).
Update: The Chicago “Happy Hour” will take place on Wednesday, February 20, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Miller’s Pub (134 S. Wabash). Hope to see you there!
Schedule of Events [University of Chicago Law School Federalist Society]

* A clever parody of the Clemens hearing. [PrawfsBlawg]

* They have a talent for bench-slappery down in Texas. [Sophistic Miltonian Serbonian Blog; Supreme Court of Texas Blog]

* T-T-T-Trouble for TTT schools? [ABA Journal]

* Lawyer of the Day: White & Case associate Tabber Benedict, fixed up by the matchmaking cabbie. [ABC News]

* One more free legal research site (to add to the ones mentioned yesterday). [AltLaw]

UPDATE: We don’t like having to explain ourselves like this; it’s rather inelegant. But after reading some of the comments, we thought a brief clarification might be in order.

This commenter is right — our use of the term “TTT” is tongue-in-cheek. We intend no disrespect to any particular law schools (or their students or faculty members). Thanks.

University of Alabama School of Law Above the Law blog.jpgSweet home Alabama. It’s the home of law schools that have given us great stories in the past.
A fairly recent story, involving a student at the University of Alabama School of Law who got into a silverware spat with his roommate, was on the lighter side. But our latest tale from UA is more serious — especially in the wake of yesterday’s tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s Going on at Alabama Law?”

Robert Somma Bankruptcy Judge Robert Somma Above the Law blog.jpgThere are reasons to read the New Hampshire Union Leader even after primary season is over. Check out this great article:

A Boston-based federal judge wore a black cocktail dress, fish-net stockings and high heels when police arrested him for drunk driving after he rear-ended a pickup truck last week, sources said.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Somma, 63, struck a plea deal with the city Wednesday in which he pleaded no contest to a first-offense misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge in Manchester District Court. In exchange, the judge agreed to pay $600 in fines and penalties and a 12-month license suspension….

The arresting officer made no mention of the judge’s attire in the written report police provided to the media other than to note the judge “had a difficult time locating his license in his purse.”

Two sources confirmed Somma was wearing a cocktail dress, women’s hose and high heels when his Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan struck a pickup truck stopped at a red light on Elm Street about 11:29 p.m. on Feb. 6.

Whatever floats your boat, Your Honor. Judge not lest ye be judged.
Arrested judge wore dress, women’s hosiery [New Hampshire Union Leader]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGAs real as it may seem, it was only in your dreams. From the WSJ Law Blog:

We called around to firms to find out whether associate salaries, called economically-irrational in some quarters, have finally (or, at least, for now) hit a ceiling. The answer seems to be yes.

“We’re not going to do anything,” said Orrick spokeman Allan Whitescarver, noting that law firms compete for talent with investment banks and consulting firms. “Times aren’t good for them either,” said Whitescarver. “We’re going to sit tight and keep the salaries capped.”…

Other firms, including WilmerHale and Milbank, also told the Law Blog that, for now, first-year salaries will stay at $160,000.

If some firms, with their gloomy predictions for 2008, were hoping to jawbone down associate salary expectations, it seems they have succeeded.
Big-Law Associates Facing 2008 Salary Cap [WSJ Law Blog]

Mayer Brown LLP logo Above the Law AboveTheLaw blog.jpgThese announcements aren’t the most exciting things to read (or report on). But we’ve spoken to a number of associates and law students, especially women, who follow them closely. So we’ll continue posting them (and they’re easy to skip over anyway).
The latest law firm to improve its parental leave policy is Mayer Brown. Check out their memo, issued earlier today, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Mayer Brown Matches 18 Weeks”

A Barry Bonds Blooper

Barry Bonds 2 home run record baseball indicted Above the Law blog.JPGNot by the home run king, but by the prosecutors pursuing him. From ESPN:

Federal prosecutors mistakenly filed court papers Thursday that incorrectly stated that Barry Bonds failed a steroids test in November of 2001 — one month after breaking the single-season home run mark.

U.S. attorney spokesman Josh Eaton now says that the reference in Thursday’s government court filing regarding Bonds testing positive was actually referring to a November 2000 test that was previously disclosed in the indictment of Bonds and had already been reported.

Our source observes, “considering how widely reported this was — all over the national media, including CNN-style blanket coverage from ESPNews — during a week when the spotlight is on steroids in baseball already (the Clemens congressional hearings), it had to have been awfully embarrassing for the department.”
Based on this post and this one, today is shaping up as Filing F**k-Up Day at ATL.
U.S. filing typo spurs erroneous Bonds drug report [ESPN]

Job of the Week

Here’s the latest Job of the Week from ATL’s career partner, Lateral Link. Because Lateral Link does no cold-calling and is more efficient than traditional recruiting firms, successful candidates receive $10,000 upon placement.
Position: Assistant General Counsel – Capital Markets
Location: Washington DC
Description: This alternative asset management company is seeking an attorney to serve as an internal counsel in the legal department. The attorney will participate in the negotiation and review of financing documentation, including offering materials, credit agreements, sale or purchase agreements, inter-creditor agreements, security documents and servicing agreements and facilitate the closing of such transactions. Responsibilities include:
· Finance/Capital Markets: Represent the Company and its affiliates as borrowers or issuers in various types of financings, including warehouse and other syndicated credit facilities, CLO/CDO transactions, and public and private offerings of debt and equity.
· Corporate and Securities Law: Provide advice and counsel on a variety of corporate and regulatory matters, including traditional corporate law and corporate governance matters, securities law compliance and SEC reporting.
· Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to, drafting amendments and waivers to loan agreements and confidentiality agreements.
Skills Requirements:
• 3rd to 5th year associate at major national law firm.
• Outstanding academic credentials with a J.D. from a respected law school.
• Experience in Capital Markets or Corporate Finance practice area required; general corporate and securities law experience a plus.
• A skilled team-oriented attorney, willing to perform all transaction related tasks from due diligence to drafting, negotiating and closing.
• Ability to work in fast-paced deal environment.
• Business oriented, practical and bottom-line approach to decision making (versus overlawyering and academic). Maturity and practical thinking necessary.
• Generally flexible with working hours
Company Description: This company, both directly and through its global asset management business, is an investor in management and employee buyouts, private equity buyouts, and early stage and mature private and public companies. The company provides senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations and securitizations. The company and its affiliates invest from $5 million to $800 million per company in North America and $5 million to $500 million per company in Europe.
For more information, see job # 6439 on Lateral Link.
Earlier: Prior Job of the Week listings (scroll down)

Sony Playstation Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a possible answer. From the Daily Business Review:

In unauthorized court order generated by a law clerk in a case before Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno resulted in the suspension of shipments of older generation PlayStation consoles through Miami for three months.

The errant preliminary injunction dated last Oct. 24 granted more than Sony was requesting and contained typographical errors and apparent contradictions. It was withdrawn this month.

The order effectively stopped the defendants from moving Sony consoles and accessories through the Port of Miami for export to Latin America but also instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to “hold and preserve any and all goods bearing the PlayStation trademarks” at the port.

Customs agents applied the order to all companies importing PlayStation goods through the Port of Miami.

As for the law clerk in question, the DBR article identifies him:

According to numerous sources in the legal community, the law clerk who handled the order is Matthew Bohrer, son of prominent media lawyer Sanford Bohrer. Matthew Bohrer, whose clerkship is scheduled to end soon, is still listed as one of Moreno’s clerks on the Web site for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Bohrer did not return calls for comment before deadline. His father, a Miami partner with Holland & Knight in Miami who has represented the Review and other news media on First Amendment and other legal matters, had no comment.

More details, including excerpts from the rather odd order, over here.
The Judiciary: Unauthorized court order halts PlayStation shipments [Daily Business Review]

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