* Paul G. Kirk is America’s interim, new filibuster busting Senator. [New York Times]
* Apparently, Kirsten Dunst isn’t the most powerful witness. Why didn’t her lawyers just give her a script? [New York Post]
* McKool Smith expands its New York office space. [Am Law Daily]
* A New York lawyer received a glowing recommendation in the Daily News. “[Joseph] Tacopina is the kind of lawyer who makes you want to get into trouble so he can defend you.” Long live trial lawyers. [Daily News]
* I learned a new word: Superfetation. It means “I don’t know when to stop procreating.” [Trans World News]
* If you are a pilot and you are stalking somebody, isn’t it natural that you’d do it from your plane? [CNN]
* Paul G. Kirk is America’s interim, new filibuster busting Senator. [New York Times]
In February of this year, Senator Jim Bunning predicted that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be dead in nine months from pancreatic cancer. It was a horrible and tasteless prediction, for which Senator Bunning apologized.
But might he be right? Here’s the latest news about Justice Ginsburg’s health. From the Associated Press:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday after becoming ill in her office at the court following treatment for an iron deficiency.
The 76-year-old justice, who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in February, was taken to Washington Hospital Center at 7:45 p.m. EDT as a precaution, a statement from the court said.
- Feminism, Gay, Gender, Labor / Employment, Lawsuit of the Day, Lesbians, Oral Sex / Blow Jobs, Sex, Sexual Harassment, Women's Issues
Here at Above the Law, we’ve reviewed a lot of employment discrimination complaints over the years. But this one is special.
The firm (like it matters):
Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson.
Why you care:
Do I have your attention? Click after the jump for more details, plus Maron Marvel’s response.
* David Lat, Tony Mauro, and Matt Welch discuss how the new media covers the law. [Legal Blog Watch]
* The 25 “most dangerous” colleges in America. Yes, of course Yale is on this list! [Tax Prof Blog]
* Muammar Gaddafi has some thoughts on international law. [Miss Trials]
* Ladies, “flaunting your curves” does get you noticed. I’m not sure if that is a good thing. [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* Complicated laws v. Simple laws. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* A Red Sox fan was allowed to temporarily leave jail to see a Red Sox game. This bears repeating: post the second, 2007 championship, there is no difference between Sox fans and Yankee fans. None. You’ve become what you beheld and your children will never know the joy of rooting for an underdog. [Yahoo]
Dorsey & Whitney’s managing partner, Marianne D. Short, was making the rounds in the Minneapolis office yesterday, talking to associates there about the future of the firm.
That future might be one without lockstep compensation. A source reports:
[T]he firm [suggested] it was restructuring our compensation. They did not give us any specific details. But, it seems likely that this will result in another large pay cut for associates. While hazy on the details, Dorsey management indicated that the restructuring will be something like this: we will be given a base pay rate which will be below market (whatever that means these days, but regardless, likely well below what we are currently making after our 10% pay cut), which will be supplemented by a ‘bonus’ if we make our hours to bring compensation up to market.
Alright, slow down. While it does appear that Short broached the subject with associates in Dorsey’s Minneapolis office, it appears that there are still a lot of evaluations and reviews that will have to take place at Dorsey before any final decision is made. It is premature to speculate about what kind of new base salary the firm might offer.
But it does look like the firm is considering a new system. We have statements from the firm and more from our tipsters, after the jump.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is fighting back thanks to Maryland’s “Linda Tripp Law.”
For those of you that have been living under a rock, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute to dupe ACORN employees. The two shot hidden camera footage that showed two (former) ACORN employees giving tax advice on how to run a brothel to the unsavory couple.
ACORN and their former workers are suing O’Keefe, Giles, and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart – who posted the video on his website — under Maryland’s wiretapping laws. The law states that both parties must consent to an audio recording, and was used to indict Linda Tripp during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.
ACORN is seeking a lot of money in this lawsuit. Hey, now that Congress has cut off their funding the money has to come from somewhere. The AP reports:
The lawsuit claims the video damaged ACORN’s reputation and asks for injunctions barring its further broadcast or distribution. It seeks $2 million in compensatory damages — $1 million for ACORN and $500,000 for each of the two former employees — as well as $1 million in punitive damages from each of the three defendants.
As one tipster put it:
I read the basis for the law suit and vomited a little in my mouth.
It’s not that O’Keefe and Giles have clean hands here, but the “optics” of this lawsuit are pretty bad for ACORN. Let’s look at this in more detail after the jump.
We have done a lot of reporting on firms that have deferred their incoming class, and then extended the deferral period. At some firms, it has been an indefinite deferral extension.
So give Arent Fox a little bit of credit. Instead of continuing to string the class of 2009 along, the firm has cried “no más” and just revoked offers to several of its incoming associates.
Arent Fox has confirmed to Above the Law that it has decided to revoke offers to some 2009 graduates who have not yet started at the firm. The firm is giving them $20,000 for the inconvenience of believing they had already successfully secured post-graduate employment.
Maybe Arent Fox read Morning Docket today. We linked to a story in the Atlantic that asked why firms were doing deferrals instead of revoking offers outright.
There has been much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments by would-be Arent Fox first years on Facebook this morning. But we think this comment on a status update captures the general feeling:
I just sent them an envelope with powder in it. Don’t worry, I wore a ski mask when I walked to the mailbox so they can’t trace me.
Please, Arent Fox friends, do not blow your $20K on terrorist activities. Instead stock up on Ramen and a buy a good sleeping bag. It’s going to be a long winter.
UPDATE: We assume the Facebook commenter was joking. Clearly. The wearing a ski mask to the mailbox line is clear parody.
FURTHER UPDATE: Arent Fox Chairman Marc Fleischaker shared some numbers with the BLT:
In all, Fleischaker said, about 12 incoming associates were affected. Washington, which has the firm’s largest office, had “about eight,” New York had “between two and three,” and Los Angeles had one, Fleischaker said. The news was first reported on Above the Law.
Read Arent Fox’s full statement after the jump.
If you’re looking for options beyond Biglaw, we’re here to help. We continue our series of open threads covering small law firms focused on different practice areas. To see the fields we’ve covered so far, click here and scroll down.
We’ve received encouraging feedback from readers — and suggestions. Like this one:
I really like the small firm series you’re running, and I’m hoping you can make the next post about real estate law. I know there are lots of high-end boutiques specializing in commercial real estate out there, and I’m curious about what kind of hours they work and what kind of money the junior to midlevel associates make.
My current practice area involves long and very unpredictable hours, but I’m pretty junior, so I can still switch into another area. Real estate is at the top of my “escape options” list because I’ve heard that, even at larger firms, real estate involves less stress and fewer hours than litigation or corporate.
Is this true? Is real estate really free of “fire drills”?
Readers, can you provide information for our correspondent? If you can, please contribute to this open thread about REAL ESTATE LAW.
Some half-baked musings to start the conversation, after the jump.
We received over 1300 responses to last week’s Career Center survey on how lawyers feel about their careers in light of the recession. Despite economists’ encouraging words about the light at the end of the tunnel, respondents across the country remain deeply concerned for themselves and the legal industry as a whole. Although the economy has pulled out of its tailspin, recovering financial institutions and businesses are no longer generating the same level of legal work they once did, making it extremely difficult for major corporate law firms to stage their own comebacks. With business stagnating, several major law firms have gone out of business , and waves of layoffs have left thousands of big firm attorneys without jobs and countless others thinking they could be cut next. Check out the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for more on which firms are starting to recover from the downturn and which firms continue to struggle.
Check out the survey results, after the jump.
Did you apply to DePaul College of Law? Ever? If you ever thought you wanted to attend DePaul — regardless of whether you decided to go somewhere else or are now a practicing attorney — the school has received your application!
Yesterday, hundreds of former DePaul applicants, many of whom are now out of school, received the following email:
We have received the electronic submission of your application for admission to DePaul University College of Law. We have requested your Law School Credential Assembly Service (LSDAS) report from the Law School Admission Council. Please note that we will not begin to review applications until mid-November. At that time, we will notify you if we have any questions or require any additional information to complete your application. At that time, we also will notify you by email when your application is complete and ready for review by our Admission Committee. Once your application is complete, you can expect to receive a decision from the Admission Committee within 2-3 weeks of the completion date.
Thank you for your application to DePaul University College of Law.
Some of the people who received this email were five years removed from sending out law school applications.
Obviously, a major glitch occurred at DePaul. But how did DePaul even have accurate email addresses for so many students that never went to the school? Seriously, just how long does DePaul keep your personal information?
The school responds after the jump.
Ed. note: Welcome to the latest installment of “Notes from the Breadline,” a column by a laid-off lawyer in New York. Prior columns are collected here. You can reach Roxana St. Thomas by email (at firstname.lastname@example.org), follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook.
One time, early in my stint in the breadline, I interviewed for a position at a New York non-profit organization. The interview, with members of the organization’s steering committee, was held at the plush offices of a Wall Street law firm – a setting so genteel, so prim, that I immediately felt underdressed despite my perfectly respectable interview suit and conservative heels. All the women who passed through the reception area were wearing knee-length skirt suits and pantyhose; the men looked as though they had come from a photo shoot for Brooks Brothers. The walls were hung with portraits of stately, gray-haired firm elders, hunting scenes, and graceful horses who, I suspected, had pedigrees much more distinguished than my own. I was reading a tattered copy of the previous week’s New Yorker while I waited, and I remember feeling sheepishly self-conscious — both because I hadn’t gotten through a lengthy article about Iceland’s post-financial crash identity, and because I wasn’t reading something … weightier, like The Economist, or the Harvard Business Review.
How, you ask, did I have time to read, reflect, and observe a cross-section of the firm’s personnel? Well, friends: when you spend 45 minutes perched on an uncomfortable settee, waiting for your name to be called, there is little else to do. Eventually, of course, I did make it into the conference room where the interview was being held; once there, I was greeted by five lawyers, all of whom were talking at once. To each other. In fact, I found myself wondering, at various junctures, whether they were aware that I had joined them. One lawyer asked me a complicated question and then (without skipping a beat) answered his ringing cell phone and had a lengthy conversation. I tried to shift focus seamlessly by turning to address the others, but two of them were BlackBerrying while another listened to voicemail messages. When I finally stood up to say my goodbyes, they told me that they were impressed with my qualifications and hoped that I could come back to meet with the members of the steering committee who had been unable to make it to the interview that day. “That would be great!” I said enthusiastically. Perhaps, I mused, given the general level of attentiveness I had observed, they were hoping to organize a flag football scrimmage, and simply needed a few more people to work with (as well as a captive audience, or a referee).
As a new arrival to the breadline, this experience left me with a few thoughts. Among them were, “Are interviews always this suck-ass, or was this a freakish anomaly?” and “Is there a sliver lining in all of this?” Like a convoluted legal argument, the answer to the latter of these questions resolves the first inquiry as well. As I have discovered in the intervening months, there is not a single “silver lining” in all of this, but many, including: freedom from the oppressive sartorial conventions of the workplace, the luxury of dropping by Lat’s office for a mid-day drink from the coffee fountain, and the (admittedly mixed) blessing of life in a lower tax bracket. These perks, however, pale in comparison to one, particularly luminous reward, which I consider the most spangly of all silver linings.
And what might that be?
* Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit has turned Keynesian. [New Republic via Blackbook Legal]
* ‘Law & Order’ will tie ‘Gunsmoke’ this year for longest-running prime-time drama on television, but Dick Wolf is annoyed to have to move aside for Jay Leno. [Los Angeles Times]
* What’s the point of law firm deferrals? Written with lots of “expert sources” in the form of Daniel Indiviglio’s lawyer and law student friends. [Atlantic]
* Did you hear? The worst of the recession is over for law firms! [Law Society Gazette via ABA Journal]
* ACORN has filed a $2 million lawsuit against two conservative activists who secretly filmed its employees giving a pimp tax advice. ACORN says the video violates Maryland’s Wiretap Law. That’s nuts! [Courthouse News Service]
* There’s a deep bench at Harvard Law to fill Kennedy’s Senate seat. [ABA Journal]