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Chicago Sears Tower Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTwo items pertaining to associate pay raises in Chicago:

1. LeBoeuf Lamb just announced that its Chicago office will be on the $160K pay scale. The firm’s presence in the Windy City isn’t huge, but the move does confirm that the market rate for Chi-town really is $160K. Memo after the jump.

2. Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal: To the commenter who keeps on asking if this memo is confirmed, the answer is yes. A source at the firm has verified it for us.

But you didn’t need us to tell you that. Just pick up the June 5 issue of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription):

Although a law firm chairman says double pay hikes for associates in 2007 harm those associates, more major law firms in Chicago have jumped on the bandwagon to raise starting pay to $160,000.

“My strong view is this is not good for associates at all,” said Elliott I. Portnoy of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP.

Portnoy compared the new pay raises to a poker game. Some of the nation’s top firms “up the ante” on pay “and want to see who stays in the game.”

Nevertheless, Portnoy announced Tuesday that Sonnenschein will raise the salary for first-year associates to $160,000 in its Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., offices.

It’s not as vociferous as Sandman’s Rant, but at least we get to call it Portnoy’s Complaint.
The LeBoeuf Lamb and Sonnenschein memos appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: More Chicago News”

Is this case proof that you shouldn’t do your own taxes? Even if you’re a tax lawyer, who previously worked for the IRS?
(Also, we like the detail that the petitioner wife operated a business known as “Nature’s Touch.” And no, it was not a massage parlor.)
Tax Court: Attorney In IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel Underreported Income and Overstated Deductions [TaxProf Blog]
LeBloch v. Commissioner [U.S. Tax Court]

Ohio Cleveland Columbus Cincinnati Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGAfter our recent swing through the south, including Atlanta and Charlotte, we now head back to the midwest. ATL readers, it’s time to say hi to Ohio!
Today we turn our attention to the Buckeye State. We cover Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, in one fell swoop.
Please discuss associate salaries in these legal markets, as well as any other issues of interest, in the comments to this post. Thanks.
Related: Open threads focused on Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Jersey, Phoenix, Atlanta, Charlotte.

AutoAdmit xoxohth Anthony Ciolli Above the Law blog.JPGAnthony Ciolli, the former Chief Education Director of the website, and various posters on that message board have been sued. A civil action has been filed against them in federal district court in Connecticut.
The claims made against defendants are as follows: copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 501; appropriation of another’s name or likeness; unreasonable publicity given to another’s life; publicity that places another in a false light before the public; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and defamation.
For more details, check out this thread at There was some debate over at AutoAdmit concerning the authenticity of the posting. But we emailed David Rosen, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case, and he confirmed:

We did post something giving notice of a lawsuit. I’m not available for comment for the moment. You can check with Dorothy McLaughlin at Keker & Van Nest — they are lead counsel.

We have contacted Dorothy McLaughlin Sachs and will let you know when we hear back from her.
Our speculation is that the “Doe I” and “Doe II” plaintiffs are two of the individuals interviewed in this Washington Post article about AutoAdmit. The individual attacked on who figures most prominently in the Post article is a female Yale Law School student. Plaintiffs’ counsel, David Rosen, is an alumnus of Yale Law School who also teaches at YLS.
This is a developing story. We’ll bring you more information as soon as we have it. If someone might be able to send us a copy of the summons and complaint, we’d be most grateful. Thanks.
Update: The WSJ Law Blog has a detailed post, including lots of additional information, over here.
For those of you who are curious, the full text of the posting appears after the jump.
(Gavel bang: commenters.)
Notice of lawsuit pending vs. certain AutoAdmit posters [ / Xoxohth]
Students File Suit Against AutoAdmit Director, Others [WSJ Law Blog]
Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web [Washington Post]
David N. Rosen bio [Yale Law School]
David Rosen & Associates [Best Lawyers in America]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Has AutoAdmit Been Pwn3d?”

Sopranos small The Sopranos New Jersey Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSunday night’s open thread on the series finale of The Sopranos — which had a legal connection, since a law firm expressed an interesting in hiring Meadow Soprano at a starting salary of $170K — drew many interesting comments.
There were tons of interesting theories bandied about concerning the ending of the show. Some of these theories are addressed in an interesting article in the Newark Star-Ledger, based on an interview with Sopranos creator David Chase.
For those of you who (1) follow the show and (2) don’t mind spoilers, there’s more discussion — plus a reader poll — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Sopranos: More on the Finale (and a Reader Poll)”

* Really, Baker, you’re gonna appeal? Listen, let it go. Nobody wants this guy in jail. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* Who will patrol the guardsmen? [New York Times]
* Senate seven votes shy on expressing no confidence in Gonzales. [Jurist]
* Rum and coke at a Bears game? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Five unanimous opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court. [SCOTUSblog via How Appealing]

toilet paper tp tissue Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIn our experience, the toilet paper in courthouse buildings isn’t worth stealing. It’s a far cry from Charmin.
But we’ve never been to central Iowa, where apparently courthouse visitors enjoy two-ply plushness. From the AP:

Police blame a woman named Butts for stealing toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and while they’re chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

“She’s facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper,” Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Suzanne Marie Butts. “See, I can’t say it with a straight face.”

Why does such a minor offense carry such a severe punishment?

The fifth-degree theft charge, a misdemeanor, normally carries a sentence of less than a year in jail. But Butts could face more time if convicted under the state’s habitual offender law because she has prior theft convictions.

Three wipes and she’s out.
Butts Charged With Stealing Toilet Paper [Associated Press]

* Wow, talk about passive-aggressive behavior. (The husband, not the wife.) [Island Packet]
* The FTC may be good at many things, but creative punny language is not one of them. [Truth on the Market]
* Sexual harassment: once a dog, always a dog. [Reuters / Oddly Enough]
* I blame the same wiring responsible for guys’ breasts-as-stimuli reaction for the double take on that guy with the Che Guevara neck tatt. Reflex trumps judgment. [Agoraphilia]

lollipop oral sex fellatio Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgDefendant Genarlow Wilson, who served two years behind bars for having consensual oral sex with another teen, has been ordered released from prison. Wilson’s habeas corpus petition was granted, despite defense counsel being named “B.J. Bernstein.”
(If former President Bill Clinton were asked if Monica’s ministrations were worth it — the impeachment, the ignominy, the imperilment of his presidency — what would he say?)
Judge Throws Out Sentence in Teen Sex Case [New York Times]
Judge Frees Teen Imprisoned for Consensual Oral Sex
[Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Drudge Report]

Wilbur Mathesius Judge Bill Mathesius Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThere aren’t many two-time winners of ATL’s Judge of the Day award. The members of that distinguished group are true pieces of work — jurists like Judge James M. Brooks and Judge Elizabeth Halverson.
But we think that Judge Wilbur Mathesius, of Mercer County, New Jersey, richly deserves membership in the club. If you question this conclusion, just click here, to read what one tipster described as “a judicial hissy fit, with great footnotes.”
Some background. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently disciplined Judge Mathesius, suspending him from the bench for 30 days, and directing him to “reflect on his position of authority and the manner in which he exercises that position of authority.” So Judge Mathesius did just that:

I removed to a remote and undisclosed location to encourage contemplation and reflection. To provide further catalyst to my reflective capacities, I subsisted on a Zen macrobiotic vegetarian diet, an occasional leaf or two of organic radicchio and Evian water, foraging as best I could for native fruits and nuts. The occasional tuna sushi was like gold. I report herewith the product of that reflection…

That’s just the beginning. Check out the whole thing by clicking here.
In the words of a second source: “Shhhh, listen, that’s the sound of his judicial career going down the toilet.”
The Full Mathesius [New Jersey Lawyer]
Judge’s critique pounds system [Trenton Times]
Judge’s Words Cost Him A Suspension Of 30 Days [New York Times (TimesSelect)]
Earlier: Judges of the Day: Wilbur Mathesius and James Brooks

Townsend Townsend Crew LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe keeper of the California LIST OF SHAME needs to remove Townsend and Townsend and Crew. As pointed out by another commenter, the firm has raised to the $160K pay scale.
We’ve confirmed the raise with sources at the firm. We also have a copy of the memo.
Townsend has raised its the minimum billable hour requirement to 1900 hours annually. The memo also contains an interesting discussion of the possibility of a two-track system, with respect to hours and compensation. The firm explains that it considered, but ultimately rejected, such a structure.
You can check out the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Townsend Goes To Town”

Charlotte North Carolina Charlotte NC Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWhat did we learn from the comments on last week’s open thread about Atlanta? We learned that the next market you want to talk about is… Charlotte!
In all of the bitching about ATL — the depressed starting salaries, the compression, the higher-than-expected cost of living, the crappy weather — CLT was frequently cited as a southern legal market where associates aren’t quite as screwed arguably get a better deal. New York and California snobs may scoff, but Charlotte is the 20th largest city in the United States. It has a robust legal market, thanks to its status as a major financial center, with tons of financial and insurance company clients.
Depending upon where you work in the Charlotte market, you can live like royalty. Check out this message from a tipster:

I am an associate at Cadwalader, but in the Charlotte office. [Earlier this year], we received a memo stating that we were going to be paid NYC salaries, but that the increase was going to be in three steps. The first two steps were set forth in a memo (which was protected against forwarding, printing, replying… hell I even thought it would explode a la Inspector Gadget if I stared too long).

[The upshot is] that first-years at CWT – CLT will be paid $145,000, plus a NYC bonus. Market here is about $117,500, with nominal ($5k or so) bonus.

A starting salary of $145K, down in Charlotte, North Carolina? It sounds too good to be true. But it’s confirmed by the Cadwalader – Charlotte NALP form.
No wonder our tipster is so pleased:

I know the board is very NY centric, so this has likely flown under the radar. But it’s exciting here in Charlotte! I’m off to buy a yacht — or maybe just pay down my student debt.

Update: We shouldn’t have omitted this portion of our tipster’s email, concerning the so-called “third step”:

We have not been directly notified that we will be on the $160K pay scale starting January 2008, but the partner I work for has stated that it is his understanding that we will be paid just that. That would make us paid $50K more than market in base salary, $80K more than market counting bonus… and that’s just as a first-year.

But what about other shops in The Queen City? How much do they pay? And will that be going up anytime soon?
Feel free to discuss in the comments. Thanks.

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