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We run ATL on a shoestring budget, so we can’t exactly afford to send reporters across the country. Taking the train up to New York, to cover a hearing in L’Affaire Charney, is already a big deal for us.
So we’re delighted when tipsters give us eyewitness reports on breaking news. Today we had a correspondent in the courtroom when the jury returned with its verdict in the stock options backdating prosecution of Gregory Reyes, the former CEO of Brocade Communications.
Our source filed this report:

Gregory Reyes Greg Reyes Brocade Communications Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgJury verdict: Guilty on all counts. Not really a scoop, since it’s all over the media. But we were there and wanted to share.

Courtroom was two rows of press, armed with laptops and blackberries, and three rows of N.D. Cal. externs, armed with nothing else to do during the last week of their externships. And miscellaneous district court clerks, hangers-on, and family.

Reyes’s family was sobbing when the deputy read off the verdict. It was pretty rough. Then a couple of jurors broke out in tears too. Can’t say I envy them.

Or, for that matter, Gregory Reyes. The former member of the Forbes 400 — which he first appeared on at age 37, with a net worth of $1 billion — is presumably headed for federal prison.
Update: ATL’s San Francisco correspondent had this to add:

Judge Breyer [Charles R. Breyer, li'l brother of Justice Breyer] gave the defense one week to file a motion for new trial, partly because he wants to be able to rule on it while the case is fresh in his mind, but also because he’s confident that both sides will be able to staff it on that schedule, or something to that effect. I love it when judges basically tell big firms, “You’ve got enough manpower to throw at this.”

Sentencing is set for November 21. Reyes gets to remain free until then.

Jury Finds Brocade Ex-CEO Guilty on Backdating Charges [WSJ Law Blog]
Ex-Brocade Chief Convicted in Backdating Case [Associated Press]

Sally Hemings horse filly Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgNews of an amusing appellate decision, from that leading source of legal news, ESPN:

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a filly can’t be named “Sally Hemings” after Thomas Jefferson’s most famous slave and reputed lover.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that the Jockey Club can legally bar horse owner Garrett Redmond from naming his 4-year-old horse after Hemings.

We can understand the Sixth Circuit’s reluctance to allow anyone to “ride Sally Hemings.” Thomas Jefferson already tried that, and his historical reputation will never be the same.
But the court’s decision was grounded in law as well as good taste:

Judge Alice Batchelder, writing for the three-judge panel, said Redmond has other options that may be approved by the Jockey Club, which forbids horse owners from using names of famous or notorious people without special permission.

No “famous or notorious” people? So much for Redmond’s fallback option, “Wanda Sykes.”
Did being denied this name of choice have an adverse effect on the horse’s performance? Quite possibly:

The horse, now known as “Awaiting Justice,” ran at Churchill Downs on July 1 and at Ellis Park in Henderson on July 25. She did not finish in the top 3 in either race.

A little more discussion, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Sixth Circuit Horses Around With Literary References”

Haynes and Boone haynesboone associate salary Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSeveral of you have drawn our attention to this news, from the Texas Lawyer:

Today, Haynes and Boone partners plan to tell the Dallas-based firm’s Texas associates their salary scale will increase, retroactive to Aug. 1, to the new market rate of $160,000 for first-year associates.

Haynes and Boone partner Terry Conner says the new salaries for second- and third-year associates will be $170,000; $180,000 for fourth-years; $190,000 for fifth-years; $200,000 for sixth-years; $205,000 for seventh-years; and $210,000 for eighth-year associates.

The firm plans to increase its associates’ bonuses and alter the basis on which those year-end packages are calculated.

Specifically, Conner says, Haynes and Boone will offer bonuses of as much as $5,000 to first-year associates and as much as $70,000 to eighth-year associates. As in the past Haynes and Boone management will require associate classes, as a group, to achieve certain billable-hour totals for bonuses to be distributed.

More details appear in the full article, by Miriam Rozen. It’s not clear if there will be a memo, but if there is, please send it to us by email. Thanks.
Haynes and Boone Latest to Hike Associate Salaries in Texas [Texas Lawyer]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGSome Boston salary news, from a helpful tipster:

1. Goulston & Storrs: Raised to 160K. See here. I think that leaves Nutter, McClennan & Fish, Sullivan & Worcester, and Nixon Peabody as the only major Boston shops that have not raised to 160K. (Heck, even Day Pitney raised a little.)

2. Nixon Peabody: They should change some of the information on their website. Go here, navigate to the summer associate program, and click on the “compensation” tab. The salary box states that “Salaries reflect the geographic markets in which our offices are located.” To be more accurate, there should be an “Except for Boston, San Francisco, and Washington” at the start of the sentence.

Just thought you should know.

And we just thought our readers should know. We thank our correspondent for this information.

She's Having A Baby Maternity Leave Paternity Leave Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgDespite all the Biglaw bitching from unhappy associates, it’s generally agreed that the perks of law firm life are pretty sweet.
We continue our series of posts on the fringe benefits of Biglaw. From a reader:

How about a post on (paid) maternity/paternity leave and part-time schedule policies?

We already did a post on part-time policies. But we’re happy to dedicate this post to discussion of maternity and paternity leave policies.
This idea was seconded by another reader (albeit with reservations):

Eventually you may want to get into maternity/paternity leave policies, but I think the comments on that one may be a little out of control.

We’re guessing this reader was alluding to past commenter infighting, on the subject of parenting responsibilities and high-powered legal careers. See, e.g., the child care post and the part-time status post.
Vigorous debate is great. But this time around, please try to keep things civil. Thanks.

As we’ve mentioned before, each week we’ll be highlighting an exciting job opportunity available through Lateral Link, ATL’s career partner.
Here’s the latest offering:

Employer: Vertis Communications

Position: Corporate Counsel

Position Description: Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, Vertis Communications provides marketing services from conception through design, production, and distribution for more than 2,000 clients, including grocery stores, retail chains, newspapers, and ad agencies.

The company is seeking a broad-based corporate transactional attorney with experience reviewing, negotiating, drafting and editing non-standard customer contracts, vendor agreements, bank finance transactions, lending agreements, finance documents, and nondisclosure agreements.

More details, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Job of the Week”

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAt large law firms around the country, summer associate programs are nearing their end. But we still have a decent supply of summer associate stories. If you can add to our cache, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
This latest SA tale is, like that of Aquagirl or Jonas Blank, something of a classic. As a result, most of you have probably heard it already. But for those of you who haven’t, here it is:
1. Superhero name: The IncrediPaul(Hastings) Hulk
2. Special power: Ability to transform from a mild-mannered South Asian fellow into a raging, belligerent a**hole — with the aid of just a few drinks.
3. Summered: Paul Hastings, Los Angeles, summer 2006.
4. Claim to fame: This narrative is a bit lengthy — but it’s worth it. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “X-Summers: The IncrediPaul Hulk”

Midwest Midwestern United States Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOur fall recruiting open threads continue to generate a decent amount of comment traffic. Yesterday’s clean-up post for the Northeast generated over 80 comments. So we’ll keep on going.
Here’s a representative email (echoed also in the comments to various posts):

What are the odds of you doing a Job Search post for the Midwest next?

As a displaced Midwesterner, I’m quite curious to see how some of the big non-Chicago-headquartered firms have reacted to the salary increases.

So here you go: an open thread to talk about law firms and legal markets in THE MIDWEST (excluding Chicago, which we previously covered).
If you’d like to talk about legal employers in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Milwaukee, St. Louis, or any of the big cities in Ohio, here’s your chance. The comments section is wide open. Thanks.

* The White House takes the offensive on warrantless wiretapping the terrorist surveillance program, which has now been blessed by Congress. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Jeri Thompson, wife of presidential possibility Fred Thompson: hottie, yes; lawyer, no. [WSJ Law Blog]
* An editorialist expresses surprise that John Edwards can turn his famed charm on and off at will, and concludes that “John Edwards, Man of The People, is a phony.” Or maybe he’s just an ex-trial lawyer. [The State (S.C.) via Drudge Report]
* Judge George Daniels (S.D.N.Y.) — who, by the way, has been dubbed the “unchallenged king of delayed decisions” — tosses out a lawsuit filed against Paul Weiss. [New York Law Journal via]
* But another prominent law firm with “Weiss” in its name, Milberg Weiss, fails to win dismissal of all criminal charges against it. [Los Angeles Times]

King Spalding LLP logo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgGood times for associates at King & Spalding in Atlanta. They get kidnapped, but they’re released unharmed. And now they get pay raises!
We’ve confirmed the rumor from yesterday afternoon that King & Spalding has raised starting salaries for first-year associates. Here’s the email:

We are pleased to announce that, effective January 1, 2008, the salary for first-year, partner-track associates in the Atlanta office will be $145,000. We are continuing to evaluate compensation for other partner-track associates in Atlanta and will communicate with you further as additional decisions are made. We appreciate all that you do for the firm and for our clients.

From a source at K&S: “Much speculation that the only possible reason for delay regarding other years is that the firm is going to top A&B.”
K&S just announced [Greedy South / Infirmation]
Earlier: King & Spalding Attorney Kidnapped!

These days it seems every other post on ATL is about summer associates. But if you haven’t tired of the topic — and maybe you haven’t, since many of you are summers yourselves — then check out a recent webcast we did, for ABC News, on the summer associate phenomenon:
David Lat 1 ABC News Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
Summer Associate: Best Legal Gig? [ABC News: Law & Justice Unit]

* Bored at work? Look up the campaign contributions of that partner you work for. [Fundrace 2008 / Huffington Post]
* We generally find personalized cell phone ringtones to be pretty annoying. But if you’re going to have one, it might as well be legal-themed, right? [The Billable Hour]
* Law bloggers, stand up and be counted. Here’s the updated law blogger census. [Concurring Opinions]
* Speaking of law blogging, here’s the latest installment of Blawg Review. [Blawg Review]

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