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Well, Gibson Dunn, it’s come to this. You’ve made your associates so desperate and confused that they don’t know where the sun even rises anymore.

They want a spring bonus. They’ve read about spring bonuses at Latham and O’Melveny and think that they should be making as much as their colleagues at peer firms. Gibson Dunn may not like it, but their associates can read. They can read not just about the bonuses at peer firms, they can also read about Gibson Dunn’s record-setting profits for 2010.

And you know how it goes: “Record setting profits with below market bonuses makes Jack a dull boy.”

Well, now news is trickling out that Gibson will finally be getting into the spring bonus market. Except even if that’s true, it could be that GDC associates in California are left out in the cold. Some of our tipsters report that only New York associates will get a spring bonus.

I’ll pause so LAPD can go put on their riot gear…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Spring Bonuses At Gibson Dunn? Are They Happening? Only In New York? Is This Some Kind of Joke?”

Longtime readers of Above the Law will recall the colorful figure of Shanetta Cutlar. She was a high-powered Department of Justice lawyer who was known for her high-handed treatment of DOJ subordinates and colleagues.

(Read the blockquote in this post to get a sense of her antics, or read this juicy letter to former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, in which ex-Cutlar underling Ty Clevenger describes the “atmosphere of fear and paranoia” created by Shanetta.)

We haven’t covered Shanetta Cutlar since March 2010, when she stepped down from her post as chief of the Special Litigation Section (“SPL”). After she left SPL, she took a post in the Bureau of Justice Assistance, part of the Office of Justice Programs (“OJP”). This move was interpreted by some DOJ insiders as a form of exile for the controversial Cutlar.

We haven’t heard anything about her since her move to OJP — until now….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Shanetta Cutlar, Back in the News”

I’m on record as being somewhat uncomfortable with hate crimes legislation. I’m just not wild about the government punishing people for what’s in their thoughts. But I do see why society might want to make racial animus an aggravating factor in crimes.

It’s complicated, and that makes me think that prosecutors should show some flex when it comes to slapping a hate crime designation on top of a crime. But reasonable people will disagree, and I get that.

What I don’t get is how any rational human being could legitimately think that a small child is guilty of a “hate crime.” I don’t even see how a 6th grader — an 11-year-old kid — has the mens rea to commit a hate crime. Eleven-year-olds don’t commit hate crimes, they throw temper tantrums.

But New York City is going to try to stick a hate crime on a little kid from Staten Island…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hate Crime Laws Applied in Increasingly Stupid Ways”


Conceptual designs for a new building to house Pitt Law School.

I feel bad for Pittsburgh Law students. Just ten days ago, career services embarrassed them by offering students jobs putting fliers on parked cars. And now today, an out-of-control driver punched a hole into their law building.

Literally. Last night an SUV crashed into the Barco Law Building and punched a hole in the wall. Nobody was hurt during the accident, but we hear that nine people were injured during the ensuing stampede of Pitt law students trying to escape through the hole. (Just kidding — nobody was injured — the hole wasn’t nearly big enough for people to fit their non-dischargeable debts through.)

The crash was pretty epic — and there’s a photo. Check it out for yourself…

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Yale law professor Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, has received a great deal of criticism — and, to be fair, book royalties — since her controversial parenting memoir’s publication in January. Many observers criticized her harsh, so-called “Chinese” parenting style as excessive, even abusive.

You can criticize all you want, but you can’t argue with success. Above the Law has confirmed that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, the oldest daughter of Amy Chua and fellow YLS professor Jed Rubenfeld, received her Harvard acceptance earlier this week. Sophia has already made up her mind that Harvard is where she’ll attend college. (Can you blame her for wanting to trade New Haven for Cambridge?)

UPDATE: Please see the update added to the end of this post. Sophia hasn’t officially accepted her Harvard acceptance (as her Yale professor mom insisted to the Yale Daily News). She is also considering Yale.

Some readers of Amy Chua’s book wondered whether it was premature of her to “end a parenting story when one child is only 15,” in the words of Elizabeth Chang of the Washington Post. Well, now we know how the story ends — very, very happily. As I previously observed, speaking from my own personal experience, “to Asian parents, sending a child to a top college is the ultimate vindication.” And colleges don’t get more “top” than Harvard (which is #1 in the current U.S. News rankings; but even if it weren’t this year, it would still be #1 in the minds of many Asian parents). [FN1]

Of course, it shouldn’t be shocking that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, who’s now 18, got into Harvard….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tiger Mom Triumphant: Her Cub Got Into Harvard!”

Chris Webby

If you enjoy the fact that a company called PeerViews apparently claims ownership of the term “Small Law,” you’re going to love this latest piece of IP ridiculousness.

Rapper Chris Webby has sent a cease and desist order to the Webby Awards. He wants them to stop using the hashtag, #webby.

I’m pretty sure that trademarking hashtags is one of the prerequisites for the Rapture.

And yes, of course Chris Webby made a video about his legal complaint…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cease and Desist Letter of the Day: Who Owns Your Hashtag?”

* Obamacare is going to the elderly Eleventh Circuit. [CNN]

* The New York Times should probably look at the calendar before they get punked again. [Popehat]

* Is it just me, or does the new dean over at BC Law bear a striking resemblance to Cleveland Brown? [National Law Journal]

* Some say that the law is a higher calling, but this Ave Maria professor just one-upped lawyers everywhere. [Naples Daily News]

* The heir to the King of Beers is being sued for negligently supervising his model girlfriend’s well-balanced diet of oxys and coke. [Washington Post]

* Another thing we can’t post on Facebook: sweet hairdos. This kid loses points for the purple Jolly Ranchers, though – they’re gross. [Daily Mail]

* Charlie Sheen is being sued for $20M. His defense? “I don’t know who this person is.” Is anyone really surprised by that? [Toronto Sun]

* Obviously, the right time to go to Yale Law School was 1870. [New York Times]

* A Wiccan TSA guard denies casting spells at work – she’d rather “put a spell on the balls.” I bet Christine O’Donnell would love to assist. [New York Daily News]

There’s always something fun going on in the Ninth Circuit. Last week, the Court voted against rehearing en banc in United States v. Alvarez, a case raising the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act (a law that essentially criminalizes false claims of military heroism). A divided three-judge panel struck down the Act on First Amendment grounds, and the Ninth Circuit voted against reconsidering that decision en banc.

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain (disclosure: my former boss) wrote a spirited and persuasive dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc, on behalf of himself and six other judges. The dissenters argued that the Act passes constitutional muster and that the First Amendment does not protect knowingly false statements of fact (subject to certain exceptions not presented by the law). The position that the Stolen Valor Act is constitutional is shared by a number of prominent scholars, including First Amendment guru Eugene Volokh.

But this is far from an open-and-shut case (unlike many of the Ninth Circuit cases that generate dissents from denial of rehearing, which we’ve previously described as the “Bat Signal” flashed by right-of-center Ninth Circuit judges to the Supreme Court when the lefties run amok). On the other side of the Alvarez case was Chief Judge Alex Kozinski — Professor Volokh’s former boss, and a jurist who, like Judge O’Scannlain, is often vindicated by SCOTUS smackdowns of Ninth Circuit liberals.

(Digression: I don’t like it when two of my most favorite federal judges cross swords! It’s like watching a fight between My Two Dads. I’d much rather see the two of them join forces against the Emperor Palpatine and She Who Must Not Be Named.)

Chief Judge Kozinski wrote a rather colorful concurrence to the denial of rehearing en banc. Some hilarious highlights from it, plus a fun movie-related tidbit from His Honor, after the jump.

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Sotomayor rocks.

Kristine Sims (via ABA Journal).

If you want something versatile, buy a Swiss Army Knife.

Raise your hand if one of your reasons for going to law school was that somebody told you a law degree was “versatile” and that you can do a whole bunch of things with a J.D.

Keep your hand up if time and the recession have proven that “versatility” thing to be a complete load of BS.

Now extend one special finger if you blame somebody at your law school for filling your head with misleading platitudes about all the options you get when you go to law school.

If you are flipping the bird at thin air, maybe you should have gone to the University of Washington Law School School of Law. They at least give students subtle clues….

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* Ex-Marc Jacobs International CFO is suing the company for allegedly making him look at gay porn. Wait, you can sue people for that? [Fashionista]

* Monty, the Yale Law School Therapy Dog, is already being billed out to the max. How long before Monty develops a superiority complex and a coke habit? [NPR]

* Judge Judy was rushed to the hospital, but she’s okay. Phew, for a second I thought I was going to have to start watching Judge Joe Brown. [New York Post]

* The Bronx Zoo cobra has been recaptured. I thought the Dred Scott decision had been overturned, but apparently cobra wars have just begun. [Village Voice]

* Why would I need to drink a “Raging Bitch” when I could just go to Michigan and marry one? [Legal Blog Watch]

* Wisconsin Democrats don’t want to show up for work, Wisconsin Republicans don’t want to follow the law, and the state is basically a functional anarchy. Is @aaronrodgers12 waiting for a personal invitation to come fix this? Let’s go MVP, you don’t think we give out championship belts just for playing football do you? [WSJ Law Blog]

* The folks at Oyez have developed a new app to help you stay on top of the latest SCOTUS developments. Let’s just hope Scalia doesn’t try to use it while he’s driving. [PocketJustice / Oyez]

* The Above the Law jobs board has some new entries. We’re trying to do our part to help the UVA Law kids. [Above the Law]

In the first four parts of the Career Center “Tip of the Day” series, focused on how junior associates can become more indispensable to their law firms, we covered the importance of taking ownership of your work, becoming an expert in your field, developing effective management strategies, and the knowing the local rules of court and the judge’s chambers rules.

Today’s final tip focuses on developing relationships with clients….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How to Become an (Almost) Indispensable Junior Associate
(Part 5)”

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