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Jeremy Pitcock Jeremy S Pitcock Morgan Finnegan Above the Law blog.jpgSome of you may recall the strange tale of Jeremy Pitcock, a successful IP litigator in New York. As we previously reported, he recently left Kasowitz Benson, where he headed the intellectual property practice, for Morgan & Finnegan. That’s par for the course, in this age of increased lateral partner movement. The weird part was that Kasowitz issued a statement, apparently in response to Morgan’s trying to tout Pitcock’s move as a hiring coup, in which Kasowitz said they fired Pitcock for “extremely inappropriate personal conduct.”
The plot thickens. A source informed us that Jeremy Pitcock is no longer at Morgan & Finnegan, which we have confirmed. His bio is no longer on the firm website, which has also been scrubbed of the press release touting his hire. If you try emailing him at his Morgan & Finnegan email address, which is the one provided in his LinkedIn profile, as we did, your message will bounce back to you.
We tried calling Jeremy Pitcock at the Morgan & Finnegan phone number listed in his profile. The nervous-sounding woman who answered the phone told us that he’s no longer with the firm, that she didn’t have forwarding information for him, and that his last day in the office was “last week.”
Did Morgan & Finnegan get rid of Pitcock after investigating the alleged “inappropriate personal conduct”? One source said it would be surprising. First, Pitcock is a superstar IP lawyer. Rumor has it that “when he left Simpson, he had a $6 million book of business, as a 6th or 7th year associate. He decided he wanted to be a partner [immediately, rather than waiting a few years,] and Kasowitz took him up on that.”
Second, some claim Morgan & Finnegan has a reputation for tolerating a certain degree of inappropriate personal conduct. One source tells us that “they aren’t known for being friendly to women — or in some cases, they’re known for being too friendly. There were partners who asked female associates on dates repeatedly and others who referred to female associates as ‘pretty young girls.’ Still others simply refused to work with women.”
We contacted the firm’s spokesperson to inquire about Pitcock’s departure; she wasn’t in, so we left a message. We haven’t heard back from her yet, but if we do, we’ll let you know.
If you have the 411, feel free to email us. Thanks.
Update (2:30 PM): We just heard back from the Morgan & Finnegan spokesperson. She stated that the firm generally does not comment on internal firm matters.
Update (6/6/08): Jeremy Pitcock has filed a $90 million defamation lawsuit against Kasowitz Benson. See here.
Earlier: Musical Chairs: Kasowitz Attributes IP Head’s Departure to ‘Extremely Inappropriate Personal Conduct’

Bingham McCutchen bear baby ad advertisement Above the Law blog.jpgThis blog has posted several entries over the last few months, and even this morning, about law firms updating their parental leave policies. That’s a great trend in the industry, but there’s probably not an associate pirate out there who doesn’t still get at least a call a week from associates who want to go part-time, but just don’t feel comfortable asking their firms.
So today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey explores both the substance and the accessibility of your firm’s policies.
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here, here, here, and here for the results.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this survey.

Blank Rome LLP Counselors at Law Above the Law Blog.jpgThis isn’t super-exciting news, since the key point — an increase in starting salaries — was previously announced.
But in case you’re interested, the pay raise (and bonus) memo of Blank Rome — which announced an increase in first-year associate salaries last fall, but said it was still “reviewing the compensation levels for all Associates to make appropriate incremental increases based on class year” — appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise (and Associate Bonus) Watch: Blank Rome”


Lateral Link Laterallink Above the Law blog.jpgCongratulations to our good friends over at Lateral Link, ATL’s career partner. They just got a great write-up in the Wall Street Journal, which identifies them as a Web 3.0 recruiting trendsetter. Reporter Sarah Needleman writes:

What’s so different: Lateral Link generally limits access to its job postings to graduates of top-tier law schools with a minimum of two years of work experience. About 5,000 applicants have been approved to date. Unlike most job sites, Lateral Link’s recruiters get in direct contact with members who apply for the positions it lists. Another distinction: Lateral Link pays a $10,000 bonus to members who land positions at law firms, though not corporations.

“Through our Web-based platform, we’re able to operate much more efficiently than a traditional recruiting firm, and therefore are able to pass along our cost savings to the job hunter,” says T.J. Duane, a principal at Lateral Link, which was founded by three Harvard Law School graduates. The reward is also consistent with the referral bonus that many law firms pay associates, he adds.

You can read the rest of the piece, which also includes testimonials from happy lawyers who landed jobs (and multiple job offers) after working with Lateral Link, by clicking here.
Members Only: LateralLink.com [Wall Street Journal]

associate bonus watch 2007 law firm Above the Law blog.jpgThe season for bonus news is mostly over, but not just yet. Yesterday brought news from Bingham McCutchen:

Bingham has started delivering bonus news. In all offices except New York, it looks to be something like the Latham scale you posted about a few weeks ago. Higher scale in NYC, but not sure how much. Don’t have too much information yet – it is communicated individually in annual reviews.

If it’s similar to the Latham scale, then people should be pretty happy (since the LW folks generally were). If you’re at Bingham, feel free to provide some data points in the comments.

A summary of what was paid out will be sent out to everyone in a few weeks. As in past years, you have to hit 2000 hours. Higher amounts at 2150 and every 100 hours after that. Policy for next year is being raised to 2100, but more non-billable type stuff is now able to be included towards the 2100.

We have a copy of that policy, which you can access by clicking here (PDF). One source described it to us as “convoluted,” and the memo setting forth the policy certainly is lengthy (12 pages, counting tables). But look on the bright side: at this level of detail, where they even talk about how your hours get adjusted if you have jury duty or take bereavement leave, at least there’s total transparency (unlike at some firms).
Bingham McCutchen — Associate and Counsel Hours and Bonus Policy [PDF]

Covington Burling LLP logo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGIn these grim economic times, don’t hold your breath waiting for news of associate pay raises or record-breaking bonuses. Everyone is tightening their belts, and that includes law firms (and their clients).
But what about enhanced parental leave? That they can do.
The latest Biglaw shop to raise “primary caregiver leave” to the “market” rate of 18 weeks is Covington & Burling. Memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Biglaw Perk Watch: Covington & Burling to 18 Weeks”

* U.S. to seek death penalty for some Gitmo detainees. [CNN]
* DOJ announces arrests of individuals accused of selling secrets to China. [New York Times]
* Europe may require fingerprints at borders. [Washington Post]
* Reggie Bush to be deposed in lawsuit alleging he took money from promoters in college. [ESPN]
* Panic! at the cell phone. Blackberry service disrupted across continent last night. [MSNBC]

Blackberry Crackberry Blackberries baby Above the Law blog.JPGHere’s some news that must have had many lawyers tearing out their hair (or what’s left of it). From the AP:

A major service outage afflicted users of the popular, addictive BlackBerry smart phones across the United States and Canada on Monday. Officials with AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless said BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. told them customers of all wireless carriers were affected….

Garth Turner, a member of the Canadian Parliament, said during a caucus meeting that the incident — the second widespread disruption in 10 months — was having a big impact.

“Everyone’s in crisis because they’re all picking away at their BlackBerrys and nothing’s happening,” Turner said. “It’s almost like cutting the phone cables or a total collapse in telegraph lines a century ago. It just isolates people in a way that’s quite phenomenal.”

When the Canadian Parliament grinds to a halt, you know the situation is grave.
So how were you affected by the BlackBerry outage? Were you forced to stay in the office due to an inability to receive wireless email? Did a crucial email message fall through the cracks? Did you suffer from delirium tremens, a well-known symptom of CrackBerry withdrawal?
Feel free to vent, in the comments.
BlackBerry Service Out in N. America [Associated Press]
RIM reports “critical” BlackBerry outage [Reuters]

* Musical Chairs: Law School Edition. See which (if any) of your favorite law professors, or friends of yours who are now law profs, are lateraling for greener pastures. [The Faculty Lounge via Concurring Opinions]
* We’re no longer sure what the real deal is in L’Affaire Berenson. But we’re no longer sure we care. [Starkman & Associates]
* Do you heart Huckabee Girl? We don’t blame you; she looks like Angelina Jolie. [YouTube via Superdeluxe.com]
* Blawg Review #146, hosted by the Invent Blog — which is quite apropos, since today is National Inventor’s Day. [Invent Blog via Blawg Review]
* Speaking of Blawg Review, will we soon learn the identity of its anonymous editor? [Legal Blog Watch]

Infamous plaintiffs lawyer Bill Lerach just got sentenced for his role in the Milberg Weiss kickback scheme. He got the highest sentence possible under the plea agreement, which was also the sentence sought by the government: 24 months imprisonment. For more, see links below.
Random resemblance of the day: Bill Lerach and Ricky Gervais’s character-within-a-character on “Extras.” Compare this (photo accompanying story) with this (short video clip, “Are You Having a Laugh?”).
Lerach Gets Maximum Term [The Recorder via Law.com]
Breaking News: Bill Lerach Gets Two Years in Prison [WSJ Law Blog]
Are You Having A Laugh? [YouTube]

Norman Schoenfeld Allen Overy LLP Above the Law blog.jpgThe Magic Circle law firm of Allen & Overy, defendant in Schoenfeld v. Allen & Overy, has just filed its Answer (PDF). They’re hoping to make Norman Schoenfeld’s claims disappear. Schoenfeld, an observant Jewish lawyer who once worked at the firm, alleges that A&O discriminated and retaliated against him as a result of his observing the Sabbath.
We contacted the firm for comment. Here is their statement:

Allen & Overy denies all allegations of discrimination. This person’s employment was terminated based solely on performance within his orientation period, a trial period of time mandated for all employees. He also failed to disclose to Allen & Overy the fact of his previous employment at another law firm.

Our firm has a strict written policy prohibiting any form of discrimination, and we provide all new employees and partners training in both diversity awareness and harassment prevention. Over the past several years, we have also instituted live diversity training for all of our existing attorneys and managers. We will vigorously defend our proud reputation of diversity and inclusion and are confident of a positive outcome for Allen & Overy with respect to these allegations.

More discussion, including interesting information from tipsters, after the jump.
Update (5/9/08): The case is settling. See here.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Schoenfeld v. Allen & Oy-vey-ry: A&O’s Answer
(Plus more about Mark Wojciechowski)”

Ally McBeal Calista Flockhart micromini skirt miniskirt Above the Law blog.jpgAlthough many tipsters emailed us about it, we never wrote about this buzz-generating Wall Street Journal article, reporting on how many older lawyers are displeased by the overly informal, even sloppy attire of their younger colleagues. We didn’t write about it earlier because we felt preempted: the piece received lots of online attention, from such widely read outlets as the ABA Journal and the WSJ Law Blog, where it generated heavy comment traffic.
But now we have a new angle on it. Focus on these portions of Christina Binkley’s WSJ article:

[Winston & Strawn D.C. managing partner Thomas Mills] says he is partial to well-fitted Brioni suits for himself. He notes that the going rate for new associates in New York, Los Angeles and Washington is $160,000 a year — enough to buy suits while paying down school loans. Yet all too often, associates show up at work in jeans — attire that he doesn’t condone “unless it’s moving day.”

Winston & Strawn brought in a personal shopper from a local department store last year to address associates on how to shop and dress for work. Mr. Mills says that when some associates do make an effort to dress up, they seem to base their look on Hollywood. “You get the TV-woman lawyer look with skirts 12 inches above the knee and very tight blouses,” he says. “They have trouble sitting and getting into taxis.”

burka burqa burkha burqha.jpgThese remarks apparently didn’t go over too well back at Winston:

W&S DC office’s managing partner comes off as a total a**. His comments re: his custom suits are one thing. But his comments re: the way women in the office dress have created a stir….

People are seriously pissed, particularly the women. Man comes off as a total pig…. Read the article, you’ll see why.

This is prime ATL material. Firm has called impromptu associates meeting for 9:30 Monday, no topic given. But the guess is it is damage control.

The guess was correct. More about the meeting, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Time for Winston Women To Go Burqa Shopping?”

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