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It’s been a couple of days since we’ve mentioned former Citibank banker Debrahlee Lorenzana. In fairness, I’ve been afraid to criticize her and risk alienating all of the women in the world.

Maybe her former lawyer is safer ground? A couple of days ago we mentioned that Lorenzana hired Gloria Allred. But yesterday news surfaced about the lawyer Lorenzana fired, Jack Tuckner. Dealbreaker claims that Debrahlee might have just fired the perfect man for her case:

Specifically, Lorenzana says that she was told not to wear pencil skirts or stilettos. And while Tuckner may be the creepiest lawyer of all time, it turns out he has deep knowledge of this sort of footwear (and the other accoutrement that might fill out the ensemble), and how its presence in the corporate world can only enhance business, such as when a stilleto is shoved up one’s ass.

Yeah, it turns out that Tuckner is no stranger to sexual harassment claims…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Debrahlee Lorenzana’s Former Lawyer a Creepy Dude?”

What part of "lifetime appointment" did you not understand?

* Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy is considering a proposal to recall retired Supreme Court Justices to sit on cases when a current Justice must recuse him or herself. [National Law Journal]

* Now comes the part where the lawyers try to convince 9/11 first responders to take the money. [Daily News]

* Richard Epstein on BP. [Wall Street Journal]

* If, as we mentioned yesterday, no-fault divorce does make it to New York State, it could mean an end to lying. [New York Times]

* Judge refuses to place a gag order on Rod Blagojevich. [ABA Journal]

* Obama’s Oval Office BP speech was aimed at a 10th grade level — and it was still too “professorial” for average Americans. That sound you hear is King George III laughing his ass off at Thomas Jefferson and his “educated” populace. [CNN]

BP: 'Make us!'

Obama: 'Plug the damn hole.'

Not many people are happy about the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — with the possible exceptions of (1) Elena Kagan, whose confirmation to the Supreme Court is all but guaranteed (since everyone’s too distracted to oppose her); (2) the lawyers who are getting work out of this disaster (as discussed below); and (3) whoever is behind the fake BP Twitter account, which currently has over 167,000 followers.

But today brings some news that might make some people a little less angry at BP. Even though the government probably couldn’t have forced the oil giant to set up a $20 billion fund to pay oil spill claims, for the reasons explained by Professor David Zaring, BP is setting up such a fund voluntarily. The New York Times reports:

The White House and BP agreed on Wednesday that the oil giant would create an independent $20 billion fund to pay claims arising from the worst oil spill in American history.

Bowing to pressure from the Obama administration, the company also said it would suspend paying dividends to its shareholders for the rest of the year and would compensate oil field workers for lost wages.

There are actually several legal angles to the BP drama. For example, who will administer this massive fund? And which firms are getting a piece of all the defense-side action?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A BP Potpourri: Legal Links and Updates”

* Oil isn’t the only thing Transocean is looking for offshore. [Going Concern]

* You can’t have sex with your clients. At least not when you lie to prison guards and tell them that an inmate is your client and she’s not and you have sex with her in the interview room. [Blogonaut]

* The “Mommy Track” derails many a would-be partner. [The Careerist]

* Since the paperless office never happened, maybe we can all get behind the officeless office? [Legal Blog Watch]

* Apparently Ted Olson drew applause for his closing during the Prop 8 trial. [San Jose Mercury News]

* I will not like this Justin Bieber, not with a lemur, not with a fever. I do not like this JB man. I do not like him, Sam-I-Am. [WSJ Law Blog]

Are you a bankruptcy attorney who needs to empathize more with your clients — e.g., by declaring bankruptcy yourself? Check out this job posting — which won’t be our Job of the Week anytime soon — courtesy of that gold mine of employment opportunities, Craigslist:

Bankruptcy Attorney Position (Dallas)

Small Consumer Bankruptcy firm in Dallas looking for new associate attorney. 50-60 Hours per week, with some travel to Fort Worth required. Salary: $40,000.

If “travel to Fort Worth” is required, you need to add another zero to that salary. This is not the kind of income that will help you pay off massive educational debt (non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, at least for now).

But wait, there’s more….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Paging All Bankruptcy Lawyers….”

Usually when we talk about the crushing price of legal education, we focus on law school administrations who are raising tuition even as the legal economy continues to falter. Occasionally, we look at prospective law students themselves — a group of people who are evidently too addled to act with rational self-interest. Always, the American Bar Association’s utter failure to regulate law schools on behalf of aspiring lawyers looms as the 800-pound gorilla that keeps taking a dump in the middle of the room.

Rarely, if ever, does the media turn its gaze towards law professors and their culpability in the epic scam of taking money from kids who don’t know any better and will never be able to pay off their debts. Most law professors don’t set tuition rates. They don’t determine the scope of loan forgiveness programs. They don’t mislead the world via U.S. News in order to pad employment stats. Hell, most of them aren’t even directly engaged in recruiting the next class of minnows that will keep the scam alive. All they do is teach, research, and take as much money as the market will offer.

But Washington University law professor Brian Tamanaha thinks that his professorial colleagues need to step up to the plate and start taking some responsibility for what is happening to law students — especially law students at low-ranked law schools. He says that professors can no longer turn a blind eye to the sadness of their students….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Professors: If You’re Not Part of the Solution Then You’re A Huge Freaking Problem”

Ed. note: This post is written by Will Meyerhofer, a Biglaw attorney turned psychotherapist, whom we profiled. A former Sullivan & Cromwell associate, he holds degrees from Harvard, NYU Law, and The Hunter College School of Social Work. He blogs at The People’s Therapist.

My patient was telling me about his new job.

On the face of things, there was nothing to complain about. He’d hated his old firm — a Biglaw institution that he called “soulless.” The new place, a New York City-based securities boutique, was different. The people were smart – practically cosmopolitan by comparison. And for the first time, he wasn’t being treated like a junior. They respected his judgment – no one was correcting his work.

I offered congratulations.

He looked thoughtful, and I asked what was wrong.

“This is going to sound crazy.”

“Crazy is my business. Try me.”

“I didn’t want to get this job. I was hoping the old place would fire me.”

“Okay. Why?”

“I wanted to be free.”

He’d gone so far in pursuit of his secret fantasy of getting fired that he’d planned a trip to India and investigated moving to Oregon, where an old friend lives. He had money saved up, and was ready to apply for unemployment and sell his apartment. It was all worked out. He was going to escape – to chase a dream of living near the mountains and surrounding himself with laid-back, creative people.

Now – by a stroke of luck – he was sitting in another big city law firm, earning a large salary, continuing with his career.

He had nothing to complain about – but he was crushed.

The problem was simple. He was going nowhere – or, at least, nowhere he wanted to be.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In-House Counseling: Go Climb a Mountain”

Those in favor of hunting down illegal immigrants who come to this country looking to better themselves will probably view this story as a victory. They’ll skip right past the part where we find out that the illegal immigrant in question came to this country when he was four. Instead they’ll accuse this guy of “taking” a spot that should have gone to a deserving American.

A spot at Harvard University…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harvard Student v. Border Patrol”

Our typical Lawyer of the Day is an attorney you’ve never heard of, from a firm you’ve never heard of. It’s highly unusual for LOTD honors to go to a pair of legal titans, two of the nation’s leading litigators: Ted Wells (pictured) and Marty Flumenbaum, the co-chair and former chair, respectively, of the celebrated litigation department at Paul Weiss.

It appears, however, that the honors are deserved. The New York Law Journal reports:

A New Jersey judge has sanctioned two firms, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler, for pursuing a “frivolous” and “ridiculous” legal claim on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman against his 85-year-old ex-father-in-law [Robert Cohen]….

Superior Court Judge Ellen L. Koblitz ruled that Perelman’s attorneys should have known that the claim was unsupportable. “No competent attorney could have missed the frivolous nature of this promise claim once the unhelpful testamentary documents were received,” Koblitz said in ordering the sanctions last Wednesday. “There was no legal or factual basis for the plaintiffs to proceed with their amended complaint given the evidence they had and the state of the law in New Jersey.”

Ouch — quite the stinging benchslap. The Garden State hasn’t seen such a slugging since the first season of Jersey Shore.

And other marquee names got dragged into this mess — a pair of high-powered lady lawyers, in fact….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyers of the Day: Ted Wells and Marty Flumenbaum?”

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpgThe results of the 2010 ATL Career Center Associate Satisfaction survey are in, and they are part of the all new Career Center, powered by Lateral Link. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting insider information shared by Career Center users.

Today, it’s all about the money — compensation. Tell us about the comp structure at your firm — click here to take our short survey.

  • This firm is known for its “entrepreneurial culture,” but is a follower when it comes to bonus amounts, with only a "few stars get[ting] . . . above-market" bonuses.
  • This "incredibly well managed law firm” has not jumped on the non-lockstep compensation bandwagon and still provides strictly lock-step salaries and bonuses.
  • This Texas-based firm has announced it will be moving to a hybrid-lockstep compensation system in 2010, but awarded "better-than-expected" bonuses in 2009.
  • This Washington, D.C.-based firm cut starting salaries to $135,000 in January 2010 but also unfroze previously frozen mid-and senior-level associate salaries.  
  • This firm unfroze salaries in January 2010, awarded year-end market bonuses, and made good on its earlier promise to repay lost 2009 salaries as additional year-end, make-whole bonuses.

Additional compensation highlights, which will interest readers who are either (1) researching firms to work for or (2) involved in setting comp at their own firms, appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Show Me The Money”

Toreador, En garde ... Et songe bien, oui, songe en combattant Qu'un oeil noir te regarde!

In America, nonperformance on a contract usually involves a failure to deliver goods or a failure to pay. In Mexico, apparently contract law covers a failure of courage. The ABA Journal reports:

Gored by a bull in a previous match several months ago, Mexican bullfighter Christian Hernandez lost his nerve and bolted from the ring ahead of a charging bull on Sunday, dropping his cape along the way…

But his escape from the charging animal left him vulnerable to legal action.

After his inglorious exit from the ring, Hernandez was arrested for breach of contract, jailed, and ordered to pay a fine.

And yes, there’s video…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bullfighter Arrested for Cowardice Breach of Contract”

Obama: 'Plug the damn hole.'

* Last night, in his first Oval Office address, Obama called for fast Senate action on proposed energy legislation and announced the appointment of a former Justice Department lawyer to overhaul the Minerals Management Service. [Washington Post]

* Attorneys general from 30 states are talking about launching a joint investigation into Google’s improper collection of private data from Wi-Fi networks. [Bits / New York Times]

* A pipe bomb is found on the SUV belonging to a white-supremacist lawyer currently facing federal charges of trying to kill his wife (the driver of the SUV on the day the bomb was discovered). [Spokane Spokesman-Review via ABA Journal]

* Lady Kaga plays well with others: 69 approximately 70 law school deans have endorsed Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. [Washington Post]

* No-fault divorce may soon be coming to New York. [New York Times]

* Lots of lawyers and law firms are trying to break into show business. [Am Law Daily]

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