Latest Stories

Clifford Chance LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSadly, we’ll probably never learn whether former Clifford Chance partner Michael Bryceland was asked to “bend over” (a la Aaron Charney). Unlike Sullivan & Cromwell, CC settled the case quietly, for an undisclosed amount.
Of course, if you have any details, please feel free to send them to us by email (subject line: “Clifford Chance”). Thanks.
Revealed: CC pays out in sexual orientation claim []

Marian Shelton Bronx Family Court Judge Marian Shelton Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLast week we described the Honorable Marian Shelton, of Bronx Family Court, as “a true judicial diva.” Here’s more about her, from the New York Post:

A Bronx judge had a court clerk’s wife handcuffed and tossed in a cell for contempt – because she whispered “a**hole” after her husband was kept late at work, a state panel has charged.

Family Court Judge Marian Shelton screamed at the woman, “He’ll leave when he’s finished his work, not when you tell him!” before ordering court officers to take her to a holding cell for the weekend….

Pretty awesome. Should we be surprised to learn that Judge Shelton’s wedding was presided over by another colorful and cantankerous New Yorker, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani?
Interesting enough, Judge Shelton is being eyed for elevation — but not to an appellate court. Details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Marian Shelton: A Judge Judy in Waiting?”

X Men small X Summers X Summer Associates Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgCan you wear white after Labor Day? Or drink a gin and tonic? Or tell a summer associate story?
August is almost over, and our series of SA stories is winding to a close. If you have an anecdote to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
1. Superhero name: Loose Lips
2. Special power(s): Ability to broadcast his sexual misadventures from coast to coast — in the pre-internet age.
3. Summered: A Los Angeles Biglaw firm, summer 1988. (As we’ve said before, we’re happy to post old stories; this is a “greatest hits” compilation.)
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:

“Two summers from top-10 east coast schools, one female, one male, were working at the main office of an LA Biglaw firm. The firm had just installed an elaborate door-locking system. When the office door was locked, a red ‘Do Not Disturb’ light appeared outside the office. An unlocked office, door closed or open, had a green light.”

“Late in the day, after the support staff had left, these two associates slipped into the office of one of them. (They had private or semi-private offices.) After they closed (but didn’t lock) the door, the female associate began pleasuring the male associate.”

“A senior associate, seeing the green light, walked into the office — and got an eyeful.”

Learn the fate of our star-crossed lovers hook-up participants, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “X-Summers: Loose Lips Sink Ships Offers”

John Plough Ohio Portage County Judge John Plough Above the Law blog.jpgWe alluded to this briefly last week (item #3). But since a number of you have emailed us about it, let’s take a second look.
Judge John Plough, of Portage County, Ohio, is our hands-down Judge of the Day. From the Law & Justice Unit of ABC News:

Portage County Judge John Plough had assistant public defender Brian Jones arrested for contempt of court last week after Jones refused to begin a misdemeanor assault trial because he said he was unprepared. Jones was assigned to the case one day earlier….

Plough’s ruling prompted an outcry from defense lawyers, both in Ohio and across the country. Carmen Hernandez, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said in a statement that defense lawyers have an ethical obligation not to start trial if they are not prepared.

“Asking a lawyer to go to trial without preparation is like asking a doctor to perform surgery before diagnosing the patient,” she said.

Well, look on the bright side. At least the defendant’s speedy trial right is being vindicated!
Judge Has Unprepared Lawyer Arrested [ABC News]

Ropes Gray LLP One International Place Above the Law legal blog.jpgWe think this latest Vault 100 law firm thread will be a good one. Here are the five firms now on the table for discussion (in Vault 100 order, with prestige scores in parentheses):

26. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (6.648)
27. Hogan & Hartson LLP (6.622)
28. Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP (6.615)
29. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (6.588)
30. Ropes & Gray LLP (6.566)

We expect (formerly bedbug-infested) Cadwalader to generate a fair amount of discussion, since we hear associate morale over there ain’t so hot. Consider this comment, from the morning’s open thread on happy hours:

At my anonymous law firm they pour water in a trough and hang a feed bag in a conference room daily, they then ring a bell and let us know we have 2 minutes to eat and drink before we must get back to work … Man, I love working at Cadwalader… Oops.

And we also expect interesting stuff about Mayer Brown. From a tipster:

Would you consider running a piece on the troubles at Mayer Brown? You’ve already reported on their partners being fired/leaving, the Refco mess, and their unhappy associates. I think some open speculation on where their firm is going would be very enjoyable at this point.

So have at ‘em, in the comments. Thanks.
The Vault Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Earlier: Vault 1-5; Vault 6-10; Vault 11-15; Vault 16-20; Vault 21-25

George Ryan Illinois Governor George H Ryan Above the Law blog.jpgSince the tireless Howard Bashman is in transit, we’ll temporarily assume his role as super-timely provider of appellate litigation news.
This just in: A divided Seventh Circuit panel has affirmed the criminal convictions of former Illinois Governor George H. Ryan and his associate, Lawrence Warner. The majority opinion is by Judge Diane Wood (who is a judicial hottie); the dissent is by Judge Michael Kanne (who is reportedly not fat).
This is especially bad news for Winston & Strawn. As some of you may recall, the firm reportedly blew $20 million on defending Governor Ryan, on a pro bono basis.
United States v. Ryan [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit]

happy hour law firm happy hour Above the Law blog.jpgMany of the hours that Biglaw attorneys are familiar with are of the billable (and unhappy) variety. But some firms try to make up for the misery by plying their employees with alcohol. Welcome to the latest perk to be discussed in these pages: happy hours. [FN1]
A few questions, from an associate-to-be:

This fall I’ll be starting at a firm that advertises the fact that it has regular happy hours. Do these things actually occur? Does anyone go to them? Will I look like a boring schmo if I don’t attend?

We know of a number of firms that have happy hours (although we’re missing some of the specifics). For example, Cahill Gordon in New York is said to have monthly happy hours. Here in Washington, DC, Kirkland & Ellis has happy hours at Old Ebbitt Grill. At least during the summer, Arnold & Porter has a weekly happy hour each Friday, on the premises — they have an on-site bar set up in one of their conference or reception rooms.
Does your firm sponsor a “happy hour”-type gathering? Will this associate “look like a boring schmo” if he skips out on them? Please opine in the comments.
[FN1] We previously had an open thread about firm retreats and “other company-sponsored social events,” but in the ensuing discussion, only one comment mentioned happy hours.

* Biglaw gets all Facebook. [LexBlog]
* The Bush Administration is just bound and determined to keep children from having health insurance. [New York Times]
* Another arrest in Newark shootings. [CNN]
* Competition for Westlaw and Lexis? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Saddam aides to face trial. [BBC]

Morrison Foerster 425 Market Street San Francisco Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, folks, you know what to do. Here are the next five law firms up for discussion (in Vault 100 order, with prestige scores in parentheses):

21. Arnold & Porter LLP (7.012)
22. Jones Day (6.932)
23. Morrison & Foerster LLP (6.898)
24. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy (6.752)
25. Clifford Chance LLP (6.747)

The virgin territory of the comments is yearning for your touch.
The Vault Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Earlier: Vault 1-5; Vault 6-10; Vault 11-15; Vault 16-20

Linklaters LLP Magic Circle Above the Law blog.jpgIt’s fall recruiting season, and rumors are flying about every law firm under the sun. Here’s something from the ATL mailbag about Linklaters:

I’m going through [the on-campus interview program at my law school] and each day I kept hearing the same thing. Apparently Linklaters’s summer associates had such a terrible time the last few months that many of them have not yet accepted their offers.

Despite the salary, they are going through EIW hoping to get hired by someone else, because they
hated being at Link. Can you confirm this?

We hadn’t heard about this. We do know that morale in the Stockholm office of Linklaters is pretty high (in an “I’ll have what he’s having” kind of way).
Anyway, we contacted the firm for comment. Josh Berick, Co-Hiring Partner in New York, had this to say:

In 2007, Linklaters had its largest and strongest summer associate class ever. The firm is thriving, and many of our summer associates have been able to work on some of the largest cross-border transactions of the year.

It is anticipated that all of our summer associates will receive offers to join us, once the program is concluded. Linklaters traditionally has had a very high acceptance rate, and we are confident that the vast majority of our 2007 summer associates will accept their offers.

As always, we welcome any tips by email (subject line: “Linklaters”). Thanks.

Wachtell Lipton Rosen Katz WLRK Above the Law blog.jpgOver on AutoAdmit (via Concurring Opinions), folks have been talking about Wikiscanner. This neat application allows you to see recent edits to Wikipedia and who made them, in terms of the editor’s IP address (which often reveals their employer).

As Professor Dave Hoffman notes at Concurring Opinions, law firm lawyers seem to love playing with Wikipedia. A tipster is more specific:

Apparently members of Vault 15 law firms have been making, umm, questionable edits to wikipedia. For example:

– Vandalizing Ann Coulter’s page
– Shameless self-promotion
– Editing articles on BDSM (WTF?)
– Hiding links to Skull and Bones
– Taking shots at Noam Chomsky
– Taking shots at other firms

Eric Turkewitz, over at the NY Personal Injury Law Blog, zeroes in on edits made from computers at Wachtell Lipton (where we once worked). He accuses the firm of “duplicity,” since someone at WLRK is making (flattering) edits to the firm’s page, even though the firm claims it doesn’t engage in advertising or marketing.

But what if the edits were made not by Wachtell firm management, but by a mere associate? Would that be as problematic? Should Wachtell, or any other law firm, prohibit firm employees from touching up firm write-ups in Wikipedia (at least from law firm computers)?

With respect to the Wachtell Wikipedia edits, we have some interesting speculation. Check it out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Wachtell and Wikipedia: Not So Perfect Together?”

Michael Vick middle finger Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWoof woof! This just in, from Fox News (via AFP via Drudge):

The lead attorney for pro football star Michael Vick said Monday that the Atlanta Falcons quarterback will plead guilty to dogfighting and related charges and will “accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made.”

Billy Martin, heading up Vick’s legal team, issued the following statement:

“After consulting with his family over the weekend. Michael Vick ask that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with Federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him. Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of Guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologizes again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.”

Especially all the poor pooches, God rest their doggie souls.
But wait — are we sure about this?

The statement apparently took federal officials by surprise.

Jim Rybicki, a spokesman for U.S. States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg, said he had not heard of an agreement in the Vick case, and that he was trying to reach prosecutors.

We’ll keep you posted.
Update: This looks solid; CNN has this report. Apparently a status conference is taking place this afternoon.
Vick Attorney Says Star Quarterback Will Plead Guilty in Dogfighting Case [Fox News]
Vick agrees to plea deal, prison possible [CNN]

Page 1541 of 17701...153715381539154015411542154315441545...1770