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It’s been a long, below-market salary road for DLA Piper associates. For over a year now, DLA has been screwing around with associate salaries. Yesterday the firm announced that it would be moving back to a $160K salary scale — at least in New York — by 2011. (If you know of other firms that are finally moving back to $160K, don’t forget to send us an email.)

It’s taken DLA a long time to get back here. Back in May 2009, DLA cut associates salaries by 20%. That was ten percent more than other firms were cutting, and after a time DLA restored ten percent of the initial 20% cut.

But DLA wasn’t done, and a couple of months later, DLA associate salaries were back on the chopping block…

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It’s not every day that a partner leaves the storied firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. But it’s not every day that a suitor with comparable prestige, wealth, and WASPiness comes calling. Dealbook reports:

Morgan Stanley said on Thursday that it has hired Francis P. Barron, a partner at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, as its chief legal officer. Mr. Barron will replace Gary G. Lynch, who will remain with Morgan Stanley as a vice chairman in London…. The hiring is the latest management shake-up under James P. Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s chief executive since the beginning of the year.

At Cravath, where he has worked for 32 years, Mr. Barron specialized in litigation, corporate matters and advising boards. Among his clients are financial firms like Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, UBS and Goldman Sachs, as well as General Electric.

Moving from a law firm to Wall Street isn’t uncommon. On New York magazine’s recent list of hottest Wall Street bachelors — co-authored by Bess Levin, of our sister site Dealbreaker, and Jessica Pressler — two out of the 15 “foxes of finance” have law degrees (one from Harvard and one from Seton Hall).

A move at this high a level, from a Cravath partnership to an investment bank, is less common. But such moves happen — and, interestingly enough, Frank Barron isn’t even the first ex-Cravath partner to wind up in a top position at Morgan Stanley….

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Aharon Barak wonders: Why do Senate Republicans hate me so much?

Yesterday morning, while I was shamelessly snooping scanning the bookshelves of my significant other, a handsome book caught my eye. The title, Purposive Interpretation in Law, wasn’t very sexy, but the author’s name grabbed my attention: AHARON BARAK.

Yes, the Aharon Barak — the man whose name has been constantly invoked this week, over the past three days of Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings. “The other white meat Barak,” not be confused with our president Barack (Hussein Obama). The bugaboo of the rule of law, in the eyes of Kagan critics. Quite possibly “the worst judge on the planet,” in the words of failed SCOTUS nominee Robert Bork.

As I picked up Barak’s book from the shelf, a chill ran up my spine. I felt myself in the presence of a judicial Voldemort. Should owning a book by Aharon Barak be grounds for breaking up with someone? Is it tantamount to owning a lovingly dog-eared copy of Mein Kampf?

I needed to educate myself. Just who is Aharon Barak?

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* It’s too bad that Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana can’t seal the slick as easily as he can his office’s oil-spill records. [New York Times]

* Rockin’ New York judge Matthew D’Emic is trying to decide what to rename his band. Possibilities: Rock-n-Robes, L.L. Cool Judge and The Electric Chairs. [Associated Press]

* Eric Holder is in Afghanistan to lecture President Karzai on corruption. [NPR]

* Scottie Pippen scores in his legal malpractice case against Pedersen & Houpt. [ABA Journal]

* Harvard is a good choice for wannabe spies. [New York Times]

* That was quick. Class action against Apple over the “defective” iPhone 4. [Courthouse News]

Elena Kagan: Yay, I'm done!

Elena Kagan slogged through her third day of hearings and last day of questioning. We liveblogged the proceedings (Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3) and we’re a bit tired of listening to senators talk. We prefer the sweet sounds of judges opining.

We’re surely not as tired of it as Lady Kaga, though. She noted that she has found the hearings to be “somewhat wearying.” But now she’s done. Senator Leahy told her she can put her feet up and relax after today, to which she responded, “I can’t come back?”

“If you’re that much of a glutton for punishment, you’re not qualified for the Supreme Court,” exclaimed Committee Chairman Leahy. Kagan did come across as eminently qualified, though; it’s fair to expect smooth sailing for her to the bench at One First Street.

Tomorrow, the senators will be grilling a lengthy list of witnesses, though we’re not planning on liveblogging now that the Divine Miss K is no longer on stage. She wore a navy blue blazer and pearls today (much more demure than her bright blue attire Monday). What pearls dropped from her lips? Our top five favorite quotes from day 3 of the hearings, after the jump.

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We need help and will threaten legal action to get it.

The legal world might be wrapped up in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, and the international community might be wrapped up in the World Cup. But there is one thing that is capturing the minds of many “average Americans”: at midnight Eastern time, NBA free agency starts. LeBron, D-Wade, and the face of major professional basketball will begin to change tonight — and I promise you most Americans care more about who is on their basketball team than who is on their Supreme Court.

Is there a legal angle to the free-agent frenzy that’s about to kick off? Not really, but let’s pretend that there is. A month ago, Dwyane Wade said that he and other top free agents would be “having a meeting” to discuss their options — and this made a lot of people wonder if such a meeting (and any decisions coming out of such a meeting) would be tantamount to collusion and a violation of the Sherman Act. From ESPN:

But make no mistake: When Wade talks about sitting down with LeBron James and Joe Johnson (and perhaps Chris Bosh) to discuss free agency and where each of them will wind up playing, he is absolutely suggesting that a tiny handful of elite players could conspire — that’s the familiar use of the word, not the legal — to determine the future direction of the league.

Will Wade and LeBron engage in illegal price-fixing? If they end up in New York together, will I care? Let’s talk free agency and the law….

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* Since K&L Gates’s Peter Kalis thinks law is a “contact sport,” you have to wonder kind of impact clients he is looking for out there in Pittsburgh. [Law and More]

* Excessive attorneys’ fees at Akin Gump and Ballard Spahr? Dude, it’s a recession; they gotta make money somehow. [Lawshucks]

* Things that happened in the legal blogosphere that did not involve Elena Kagan. [Infamy or Praise]

* Laugh-off between Kagan and Scalia. [Holy Hullabaloos]

* Statistics on lawyer timekeeping. [Adam Smith, Esq.]

* Superfund is still Constitutional. [Volokh Conspiracy]

As we’ve covered in these pages, a fair amount of talent has departed from White & Case in the past few months. The latest to leave: Kathleen Pakenham, a leading litigatrix in tax, who has moved over to Cooley as a partner.

Is this part of a larger trend? And will it continue?

“In under a year, White & Case has lost nearly 40 partners, most of whom have the largest books of business in the firm,” according to one source. “Many of the partner departures have been widely covered by the media — e.g., the 13 departures to Latham in London — but many more have been under the radar screen.”

We’ve received divergent opinions, however, on the extent and significance of the partner losses. Some say that many of the partners who left are not major names and have limited books of business, and that 40 is far too high for the number of departures in the past year. According to the Lawshucks Lateral Tracker, at least 28 attorneys have left W&C since October 2009, but we don’t know the number for the trailing 12 months.

Who are some of the other White & Case lawyers that have left for other firms? What are the broader implications of these departures? And what does the firm have to say about all of this?

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What will be the most fabulous summer associate event of 2010? We don’t know yet, but we are still accepting your nominations.

For those of you who will be in New York on July 12, we’d like to bring this fabulous event to your attention, hosted by Above the Law and the Practical Law Company. It will feature free food and drink (since summer associates won’t accept anything less). Here are the details:

Monday, July 12, 2010
6 PM – whenever
Amity Hall (80 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012)

The event is free, but space is limited, with priority given to summer associates and law students. Please RSVP by email, to

Thanks. We look forward to seeing you on the 12th!

Dean William Treanor

Yesterday, we brought you the news of Fordham Law School Dean William Treanor’s appointment as dean of Georgetown Law School, when we posted a message that went out to Georgetown law students at 4 p.m. We soon learned that we blindsided Fordham students and alumni with the news. They weren’t happy to get the “Surprise! Your dean is bouncing!” message from us, instead of from Fordham or from the dean himself.

One alum g-chatted us:

I can’t believe Treanor is leaving Fordham… All of my friends are shocked and now in the anger/betrayed phase.

Treanor was well-liked at Fordham, but his hasty departure left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of his former students. One commenter said:

Congratulations Georgetown you just earned a Dean who left Fordham Law without any sense of warning or notice to Fordham students after years of issuing statements of how Fordham is a “community” and a “home.” Oh! and how convenient after he was a strong cause for Fordham dropping in the rankings from 25 to the 30′s. Oh ya Bulldogs. That was a great steal.

Let this be a lesson to other deans who plan to jump to a higher-ranked ship. Make sure you send your farewell message before your new school sends out its welcome message.

Dean Treanor did send out an email to Fordhamites, but it was sent over two and a half hours after Georgetown kids got the giddy news, and two hours after our post went up. A two-hour delay may seem inconsequential to some, but in the world of instant news and communication, it’s unforgivable in the minds of some Fordham folk. Did he make up for the faux pas in the email?

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The kabuki theater intermission is over. We’re back for the afternoon session on Day 3 of the Elena Kagan Senate Confirmation Hearings.

Kash is liveblogging this afternoon and hoping the senators wrap up earlier than 7 p.m. today…
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While we recognize that some fortunetellers may make fraudulent statements, just as some lawyers or journalists may, we see nothing in the record to suggest that fortunetelling always involves fraudulent statements.

Judge Clayton Greene Jr., writing for the Maryland Court of Appeals in Nefedro v. Montgomery County, which struck down a ban on paid fortunetelling on First Amendment grounds.

(Gavel bang: ABA State and Local Government Law newsletter.)

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