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Miami courthouse David W Dyer federal courthouse Above the Law blog.jpgAs noted yesterday, we’re smack in the middle of clerkship hiring season. Perhaps some of you are applying to judges based in Miami. Clerking in a tropical paradise — what’s not to like?
Possibly deadly toxic mold, that’s what. From an article by Julie Kay in the Daily Business Review (via SDFLA Blog):

Two studies performed at the historic David W. Dyer federal courthouse in downtown Miami show there are significant mold and air safety issues at one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest courthouses and suggest parts of the building are beyond repair.

The studies… were commissioned by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida after U.S. Magistrate Judge Ted Klein became ill and died last year of a mysterious respiratory illness, and his fellow magistrate judges raised concerns about the building’s environment.

Additional discussion appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Public Service Announcement: Avoid the David W. Dyer Federal Courthouse”

* Mandated calorie watching is struck down. [AP; New York Times]
* Mortgage lenders’ ads may violate FCC FTC rules. [MSNBC]
* Former Philippine prez gets 40-year prison sentence. [New York Times]
* China agrees to prohibit lead paint in children’s toys… [AP via MSNBC]
* Tennessee uses the chair for first time since 1960. [CNN]

hillary clinton is magnificent.jpgCheck out this interesting data about the campaign contributions of Yale faculty and staff, over at Instapundit. It prompted Glenn Reynolds to ask: “Why don’t the Yale Law faculty like Hillary?”
Good question. And here’s another: Even if the Yale Law faculty don’t like this distinguished YLS alumna, why don’t they at least send their (hopefully non-tainted) money her way? Don’t they want her to remember them when she’s President Clinton, looking to fill high-ranking Justice Department posts or spots on the federal bench? As the old saying goes, “Scratch a Yale law professor (or graduate) and you’ll find an aspiring federal judge.”
(The information originally appeared in this excellent Yale Daily News article by Andrew Mangino — who, by the way, helped us out with the reporting for this piece on law firm economics and culture.)
Yale’s Diversity Problem [Instapundit]
Profs donate heavily to Dems [Yale Daily News]

* More lawyers — no, not Nixon Peabody — have a bone to pick with YouTube. [Michael Geist]
* UK study: “Workers who spend time on sites such as Facebook could be costing firms over £130m a day.” [BBC via Dealbreaker]
* Speaking of Facebook, here’s some advice that’s so obvious, yet so frequently ignored: “[I]f you don’t want a hiring partner to see it, it probably shouldn’t be up on the web.” [PrawfsBlawg]
Update: As noted by a commenter, the first comment to the PrawfsBlawg post is pretty great.
* New Yorkers, take note: Could Wall Street Woes Sink NYC Real Estate? [DealBreaker]
* Blawg Review #125 is up. [Real Lawyers Have Blogs via Blawg Review]
* Have a question you’re dying to ask Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court? Here’s your chance. [SCOTUSblog]

laptop computer coffee newspaper Abovethelaw Above the Law.jpgSeveral readers drew our attention to this fascinating article from our local free weekly, the Washington City Paper:

Wanted: Gullible Lawyers
By Arin Greenwood

I was hired over e-mail. A boss I never met promised me $14,000 a month. How could I fall for that?

Two tipsters have done an especially good job teeing it up, so we’ll just quote from their plugs:

“Have you read this? Very entertaining story about a lot of people who got scammed on craigslist, a sizable portion of which were lawyers. Most interesting is the author’s take on what the goal of the scam was.”

“This is so interesting! Even if you don’t write about it (which you should: any story that includes a hapless and pathetic Columbia law grad, an Indian lesbian, Rupert Murdoch, and 15 lawyers embroiled in a scam de l’amour deserves the full treatment from ATL, no?), you just must read this! Delicious!”

We concur. It’s a bit long, but a wild (and worthwhile) story. Check it out here.

Wanted: Gullible Lawyers [Washington City Paper]
the fake job.. turned into a real article [Arin Greenwood]

dinner fancy restaurant Above the Law blog.jpgOur series on the perks or fringe benefits of large law firm life has become somewhat sporadic, partly because we’ve covered so many of the biggies. To review our past posts, click here, and scroll down.
Today’s perk: prizes for big billers. If you really kill yourself during a particular month, racking up 250 or 300 hours on some monster deal or litigation, do you get rewarded for it? Of course you might see your crazy hours reflected in your year-end bonus check. But might you get some other, non-monetary benefit? (And we’re not counting being able to show up after 10 on the morning after an all-nighter.)
We don’t know if this policy still exists, but a source sent us this interesting information:

When I was at Clifford Chance (f/k/a Rogers & Wells), a legacy Rogers & Wells program was that if you billed 250 in a month, the firm covered dinner for you and a guest (spouse, date, friend, etc…) with no questions asked. It was an amazing program. Historically, the Firm had no limit, but assumed associates would “just exercise the judgment expected of them.”

It worked for years until a few “exceptions” decided to add very, very expensive bottles of wine to their orders. I think eventually the limit was set at $500. I know more than a handful of “superstars” tanked their careers by “not exercising the judgment expected of them” and submitting dinner bills for several thousands of dollars.

Anyone know if Clifford Chance still has this special dinner benefit?
We also hear that at WilmerHale, “super-super high billers” get vacation vouchers. Can anyone confirm and/or provide more details?
Update/Correction: Or maybe the WilmerHale workaholics get gift cards? See this comment.
Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks!

law clerk judicial clerkship Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s September, which means that it’s clerkship application season. According to the law clerk hiring plan — which some judges follow, and some judges don’t — today’s the first day federal judges can call to set up clerkship interviews with current law students.
You can find out where various courts and judges are in the hiring process over at the Clerkship Notification Blog. But they may be having some issues, according to one tipster:

[T]he Clerkship Notification Blog appears to have no posts on it today at all. People on XOXO are saying that the clerkship blog started moderating comments just yesterday, meaning that no comment shows up until the blog owners approve it first. See here and here.

Kind of defeats the whole point of getting information out there quickly, doesn’t it? What the hell are they thinking over there?

Update: As noted by a commenter, it seems the situation is now resolved.
Also, check out this interesting post at The Yin Blog. Then take our poll:


Comment issues resolved [Clerkship Notification Blog]
Clerkship interviews and women’s attire [The Yin Blog]
Judges Behaving Badly: The Clerkship Edition [WSJ Law Blog]

Deborah Jeane Palfrey 2 Debra Jean Palfrey DC Madam Above the Law blog.jpgThe Hostess with the Mostest (Hos), alleged D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, continues to make news. First, she’s advancing an interesting new defense. From Big Head DC:

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the accused “DC Madam,” filed a memo with DC’s U.S. District Court today, detailing her plans to move forward with a “Honey Pot” defense, under the representation of lawyer Montgomery Blair Sibley.

The memo alleges that “the United States Government has been directly or indirectly benefiting from the operation of her service by monitoring her customers and is thus equitably barred from prosecuting her,” according to Sibley.

And government officials were “benefiting from the operation of her service” in other ways, too.
Speaking of which, here’s more bad news for Sen. David Vitter. From the AP:

A former New Orleans prostitute who says she had an affair with Sen. David Vitter has passed a lie-detector test and will provide details of the four-month relationship at a press conference Tuesday, according to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Wendy Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis, says she had a sexual relationship with Vitter, R-La., in 1999, when he was a state legislator.

Sounds juicy. Stay tuned.
“DC Madam” Files “Honey Pot” Defense; Names New High-Ranking Govt. Official Who Used Escort Service [Big Head DC]
Flynt Unveiling More Vitter Claims [AP via WTOP]

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGYesterday we posted an open thread on law firms that screw over no-offer lots of their summer associates. This post is about the flip-side: firms that dole out summer associate bonuses.
This topic has been raised by two tipsters, in two different contexts. First, this tipster reports on two firms that pay bonuses to summer associates, regardless of whether you previously summered with them:

I’m just starting to get offers, as callbacks are rolling along. I have offers from Baker Botts and Fulbright & Jaworski, both in Dallas — and both are offering a week’s pay ($3077 and $2700, respectively) as a bonus! Baker pays out on the start date, and Fulbright pays if you spend the first half with them.

And from a second source, news of bonuses paid to 1L summers who return to the same firm:

I received an offer to come back for a second summer at Foley & Lardner… with a catch: If I come back for the whole summer, and do not split or spend time anywhere else, I receive a $5,000 bonus. The bonus pays out when I accept this fall, not next summer. I have no idea if all the offices do this, but I should add that I am not at all in a major market.

Interesting. Are you aware of other firms that either (1) pay bonuses to summer associates or (2) pay bonuses to 1L summer associates who return for a second summer (and don’t split)? Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks.
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: No-Offer Factories

George J Terwilliger III George Terwilliger Attorney General Above the Law blog.jpgYesterday we opined that Judge Laurence H. Silberman would get the Attorney General nomination. Now we take that back.
After our post, a knowledgeable source informed us that Laurence Silberman isn’t interested in the job. A second source, who confirmed Judge Silberman’s lack of interest, added that he might be tougher to confirm that one might expect for a longtime federal judge. See here.
Then we came across this great analysis of the AG situation, by the ever-fabulous Jan Crawford Greenburg. She writes, over at her blog, Legalities:

The White House could announce as early as Wednesday its nominee to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson has emerged as a leading candidate—despite initial concerns in the administration that he could face a tough confirmation hearing, according to sources close to the process.

Olson, a highly regarded Washington D.C. lawyer, has broad support inside the administration because of his deep experience in the Justice Department in two different presidential administrations. In addition to serving as solicitor general during President Bush’s first term, Olson headed the Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan Administration.

This is consistent with what just went up at the Drudge Report:

FLASH: Ted Olson becomes frontrunner for Attorney General, top sources tell DRUDGE REPORT; announcement could be imminent… Developing…

But we’re not so sure. Remember when Edith Brown Clement looked like the frontrunner for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice O’Connor? This White House likes surprises.
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Will Be the Next AG? We’re Betting On Terwilliger”

* 9/11 Anniversary coverage. [CNN; New York Times]
* Congress, the rated R version. [CNN Poli. Tic.]
* Americans Break the Law to Visit Cuba. [MSNBC]
* UNH backup QB accused of murder. [SI]
* San Diego archdiocese reaches settlement in abuse cases. [Local News]

Jeffrey Toobin The Nine Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.jpgWe’ve been writing a fair amount about Jeffrey Toobin’s exciting new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. Its scheduled publication date is September 18, but we’ve gotten our grubby paws on a copy. We’ll have more to say after we’ve read it.
In the meantime, check out this great report from ABC News, which highlights some of the book’s juiciest parts. It mentions the business about a crying Justice Souter, which is already old news, but it also has these tidbits:

* The decision to rush the swearing-in of Justice Clarence Thomas spared the controversial nominee the publication of more embarrassing personal revelations than Anita Hill’s notorious testimony. That same day, three Washington Post reporters were set to write a story about Thomas’ extensive taste for pornography, including accounts from eyewitnesses such as the manager of his local video store. “But since Thomas had been sworn in, the Post decided not to pursue the issue and dropped the story.”

* Former Chief Justice Warren Burger, an Anglophile who collected antiques and fine wines, was so vain that “he placed a large cushion on his center seat on the bench, so he would appear taller than his colleagues.”

* Rehnquist was not impressed with Bill Clinton and his wife. When told that the newly elected president was thinking of nominating Hillary as attorney general, the chief justice quipped, “They say Caligula appointed his horse counsel [consul?] of Rome.”

Plus there’s a great story about the justices trying to get to the Court during a snowstorm — lawlessness and hilarity ensue — and some gossip about Justice Souter’s love life. Read the full article here.
Meanwhile, in other Jeffrey Toobin news, he’s conducting an awesome event later this month at the New Yorker Festival. It’s a conversation about the future of the Supreme Court, featuring two of our favorite members of the Elect: Rachel Brand (OT 2002 / Kennedy) from the right, and Neal Katyal (OT 1996 / Breyer) from the left.
We wouldn’t miss it for the world. If you’d like to attend, ticket information is available here. Tickets to Festival events go on sale at 12 noon E.T. on September 15th, at ticketmaster.com — and they tend to go fast. So mark your calendars!
Under the Robes: Secrets of the Supreme Court [ABC News]
Rachel Brand, Neal Katyal, and Jeffrey Toobin: The Future of the Supreme Court [New Yorker Festival]

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