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Michael Mukasey Chief Judge Michael B Mukasey SDNY Above the Law blog.jpgNo official announcement has been made (despite the claim of Wikipedia that “[o]n September 16, 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Mukasey to serve as the 81st Attorney General of the United States”). But numerous news outlets are reporting that President Bush has selected Michael B. Mukasey — currently a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in New Yorker, and former chief judge of the S.D.N.Y. — as his attorney general nominee, to replace Alberto Gonzales.
We’ll have more to say after an official announcement, which could come as early as tomorrow morning. In the meantime, read Judge Mukasey’s interesting, frequently cited Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, on the Jose Padilla case (which he handled in part).
If you have firsthand experience with Judge Mukasey — e.g., as a litigant who has appeared before him, or as one of his law clerks — please share your thoughts in the comments, or by email. Thanks.
Bush plans to pick Mukasey for A.G. []
Bush Settles on Mukasey to Replace Gonzales [Washington Post]
Bush Expected to Name Judge as Gonzales’s Successor [New York Times]
Judge Top Contender to Replace Gonzales: Aide [Reuters]
Bush Picks Mukasey as Attorney General [AP]
Sources: Retired judge may replace Gonzales [CNN]
Jose Padilla Makes Bad Law [Wall Street Journal]
Michael B. Mukasey [Wikipedia]

BarBri 2 bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgWe reminded you on Friday, but we fear our post got lost in the shuffle. If you’re part of the plaintiff class in the Bar/Bri class action — and since you’re reading ATL, you probably are — then the deadline for filing your proof of claim is this Monday, September 17. So if you want your $125 or so, you need to act now.
Is the settlement a good deal? We largely agree with this commenter:

That settlement is a disgrace. The plaintiff class was sold up the river…. But I’ll take the money and run.

Just like most of you (see poll results), we filed a claim, knowing that we’re being undercompensated. And knowing that we’re acting against the advice of The Legal Diva — a named plaintiff in the case who now opposes the settlement. From The Recorder:

Legal Diva Loredana Nesci Bar Bri Barbri Above the Law blog.jpgLoredana Nesci, a 2005 graduate of Quinnipiac College School of Law in Connecticut, said lead attorney Eliot Disner initially convinced her he’d built a strong case against BAR/BRI and would seek to break the company apart. “We were promised the moon and stars by Disner,” she said.

But Nesci said everything changed after Disner’s former firm — Los Angeles’ Van Etten Suzumoto & Becket — was acquired by McGuireWoods.

“After that merger, I think that McGuireWoods took Eliot, gagged him [and now] he’s in a basement in their firm, because I can’t find the guy,” said Nesci, now a practicing attorney based in Studio City.

It seems that the Legal Diva — er, Ms. Nesci — was right about Disner. Her “gagged in a basement” comment appeared in a February 2007 article. A few months later, in May 2007, Eliot Disner was fired by McGuireWoods (after he criticized the settlement).
Legal Diva 2 Loredana Nesci Bar Bri Barbri Above the Law blog.jpgFor more on her Diva-ness, check out her website, which is a real trip. Her bio describes her past work as a police officer for the LAPD, explains how she earned the title of “Legal Diva,” and boasts of how she was “quickly gaining notoriety for being a colorful and cunning attorney.” It also mentions that she “enjoys working with feral cats,” which sounds apropos for a Legal Diva. MEOW!
(See especially the super-cute testimonials from her clients, including Doug Smith, at right. We don’t want to know what types of matters she handled for him….)
Bar/BRI Class Action Litigation [official website]
The Legal Diva: Loredana Nesci [official website]
$49M Disappoints Some in Lawyers’ Class [The Recorder]
Earlier: A Friendly Reminder: The BAR/BRI Proof of Claim Deadline Is Monday!

yale law school.jpgAs promised, here’s an update on the recent, sudden passing of a first-year student at Yale Law School. From the Yale Daily News (which we alerted to the story):

A first-year Yale Law School student was found dead in his apartment Thursday night.

“From what we know at this point, we only have reason to believe he died of natural cases [sic],” Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh said in an address to the entire law school community Friday afternoon. “We need to draw on our sense of community.”

More details — although not many more, since right now so much is unknown — appear in Andrew Mangino’s article.
Our condolences go out to the family of this student and to the Yale Law School community.
Update (9/15, 2:30 PM): Additional information appears in this YDN article, as well as in this Facebook group.
Law student found dead in apartment [Yale Daily News]
Joseph Hanzich LAW ’10 found dead in apartment Thursday [Yale Daily News]
For Joey Hanzich, In Memory and Love [Facebook]
Earlier: Breaking: Yale Law School First-Year Found Dead
What’s Up At Yale Law School?

* Can a shoe infringe on copyright? [Fashionista]
* Maybe there IS such a thing as bad publicity. Business ain’t so hot for “TB Andy” right now. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Some Chemerinskygate updates. [TaxProf Blog; TaxProf Blog]
* Thinking of a career as a professional blogger? Read this first. [Career Journal]

oj simpson mug shot Above the Law no pun intended.jpgI was just trying to get back my own stuff. From Fox 5 (Las Vegas):

Authorities are still investigating whether a gun was used when O.J. Simpson and others entered a Las Vegas hotel room and, after a heated argument, walked off with sports memorabilia.

The incident was reported to police during a 9-1-1 call as an “armed robbery,” though Simpson claims no break in or crime was committed and he was simply retrieving his own possessions.

And then he drove off in a white Bronco.
Okay, not really — but the story is similarly bewildering. It seems O.J. was engaged in a bit of self-help, conducting a “sting” operation against collectors he believed were in possession of sports memorabilia that really belonged to him. But it’s not clear how the collectors came into possession of the memorabilia in the first place.
If you care about this story — we’re trying hard, but not really feeling it — the AP has more details here.
Theft Probe: Police Question O.J. Simpson, Search For Gun [Fox 5]
Simpson Named Suspect in Casino Break-In [Associated Press via Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Are you a Department of Justice employee? If so, why are you at your desk? Shouldn’t you be at the festivities in honor of Alberto Gonzales’s last day?

DOJ employees are invited to attend the Farewell Ceremony for Alberto R. Gonzales, 80th Attorney General of the United States. The ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m., on Friday, September 14, 2007, in the Great Hall. For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be aired on JusticeVision and Justice Television Network.

It won’t be as riveting as the Monica Goodling testimony. But then again, what is?
Update (5 PM): A tipster who was there writes: “Just came from the ‘Farewell Celabration.’ Condi, who led the standing ovations, and Chertoff were the only non-Justice ppl from the Administration. Neither spoke.”
Regina Schofield Regina B Schofield AAG Office of Justice Programs.jpgIn other DOJ departure news, Regina Schofield — the (non-attorney) Assistant Attorney General overseeing the Office of Justice Programs — recently announced her resignation, effective September 28.
More here from Wonkette, whose commenters described her as “kinda hot.” Our Justice Department sources concur, describing her as someone who “takes care of herself” and is always “perfectly coiffed.” She’s also reportedly on the quiet side, perhaps unusual for an AAG, which makes her seem “alternately shy or imperious.” (So she’s no Shanetta Cutlar, who’s 0 percent shy and 100 percent imperious.)
If you’re curious, Regina Schofield’s full resignation message appears after the jump.
Top DoJ Official Resigns V Quietly [Wonkette]
Today Is Gonzo’s Last Day At DOJ [WSJ Law Blog]
Gonzales Ready to Leave the Stage [Washington Post]
Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield Announces Departure [U.S. Department of Justice]
Remarks of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales Announcing His Resignation [U.S. Department of Justice]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Musical Chairs: Crickets Chirping at the DOJ”

Harvard Law School HLS seal logo.gifWe’re not very popular lately. You don’t like our freelance writing, you don’t like our photo selection, you don’t like our YLS coverage.
That’s fine; as longtime bloggers, we’re used to criticism. One of our favorite quotes is by Samuel Johnson: “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed.” As long as ATL’s traffic keeps climbing — which it has been consistently since launching a year ago, hitting a record high last month — we can deal with snarky and critical comments (each of which is another page view for us). If we can dish it, we can take it.
Anyway, if any of you are interested in how we do our job — which seems to be a lot of you, since apparently everyone has opinions about how ATL should be run — you might be interested in a recent interview we did, with Andrea Saenz of the Harvard Law Record.
Topics covered include Feldsuk, the Nixon Peabody song controversy, the clerkship application process, and general career advice. You can check it out here.
Above the Law Gets Down with the Record [Harvard Law Record]

We continue our series profiling the perks or fringe benefits of life at a large law firm. This one may be the breast one yet. From a (male) tipster:

A friend of mine ran across this Simpson Thatcher perk: “The Firm maintains a lactation room for new mothers in each of its New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices to facilitate their transition back to work.”

I have a hard time seeing candidates asking about it during interviews, so I thought I’d pass it along. I’m not a chauvinist or anything! I just have a childish sense of humor…

You’re not alone. We’d note that this perk may have broader appeal than our correspondent might think. See here.
Also, we’d suggest to STB that they regularly sweep their lactation rooms for spycams. Remember this guy?
Update: Jeez, some of you are oversensitive. With respect to the photo, here’s what happened. To avoid copyright issues — hello, Nixon Peabody! — we use pictures primarily from royalty-free, stock photography sites. People upload pics to these sites that they allow others to use for free.
Our favorite such website, to which we have contributed many photos of our own, is stock.xchng. For this post, we went to stock.xchng and ran a search for “breastfeed.” The pic we used was one of three images that came up. That’s all.
Flexible Working Arrangements [Simpson Thacher & Bartlett]
Male lactation [Wikipedia]

yale law school.jpgA first-year student at Yale Law School was found dead in his apartment last night.
You read it here first; the story is developing. More details to appear in this space; refresh your browser for the latest updates.
Update (12:40 PM): We just got off the phone with Bliss Bernarda in Yale’s Office of Public Affairs. She confirmed that a Yale Law School student has died but said the university does not have further comment at this time. We provided her with our contact information, and we will let you know if and when the school issues a statement.
Update (1:05 PM): We are hearing that the death may not have been violent (as some people appear to be assuming) — that he may have died of natural causes. But we don’t have confirmation or details.
Further updates appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Yale Law School First-Year Found Dead”

BarBri bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgAttention young lawyers. We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement:

If you purchased a bar review course from BAR/BRI anywhere in the United States anytime from August, 1997 through July 31, 2006 (the “Class”), you may be affected by a settlement of a class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California called Rodriguez, et. al v. West Publishing Corp., d/b/a BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, Inc., Case No. CV-05-3222 R (MCx).

Okay, you already knew about that — and we wrote about it before too. But here’s the important part: the deadline for filing a Proof of Claim is this coming Monday, September 17, 2007. So if you chucked that form into a big “to deal with later” pile, just like we did, you need to fish it out over the weekend.
More discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Friendly Reminder: The BAR/BRI Proof of Claim Deadline Is Monday!”

Burgess-Friedman2.jpgWho says lawyers aren’t romantic? In this month’s Couple of the Month voting, an adorable tale of enduring teenage love won convincingly over a SCOTUS clerk, a lesbian couple, and a United States Congressman.
Congratulations to newlyweds (and Redskins fans) Shauna Burgess and Jonathan Friedman as they enter their second decade of couple-hood!
August 2007 Couple of the Month LEWW Above the Law blog.jpg
Earlier: Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Couple of the Month for August

Harriet Miers money Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPG1. Back in May, Locke Liddell & Sapp, of Houston and Dallas, and Lord, Bissell & Brook, of Chicago, announced plans to merge. Those plans have now been finalized, and the merger will take effect on October 2.
Sadly, they didn’t take our advice about that unwieldy name: the new firm will be known as Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell. More details appear in the Texas Lawyer.
2. Some readers were impressed by the ability to earn $160,000 in Connecticut, by working in the Stamford office of Paul Hastings.
Guess it was too good to last. PH is closing its Stamford office effective December 3rd. We contacted the firm for comment, and they issued this statement:

“As transactions and cases become more sophisticated and global in scope, they require large teams of attorneys and deeper resources. We have decided to consolidate our New York and Stamford offices in order to better serve our client’s growing needs.”

Paul Hastings in Stamford, RIP.
Locke Liddell and Lord, Bissell Finalize Merger [Texas Lawyer]
Earlier: Law Firm Merger Mania: Locke Liddell + Lord Bissell

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