This is what you see in the law firm world. Law firms try to keep up with Cravath, but it might not be financially prudent. You try to keep up with Cravath, and then two or three years later you go bankrupt.
– Dean Frank H. Wu of UC Hastings Law, discussing the legal profession’s (perhaps unhealthy) status obsession, in an interesting panel about diversity and federal clerkships at the annual education conference of the Association for Legal Career Professionals (aka NALP).
I think it’s important for lawyers on the other side of the political divide from Paul, who’s a very fine lawyer, to reaffirm what Paul wrote [in his resignation letter from King & Spalding]. Paul is entirely correct that our adversary system depends on vigorous advocates being willing to take on even very unpopular positions. Having undertaken to defend DOMA, he’s acting in the highest professional and ethical traditions in continuing to represent a client to whom he had committed in this very charged matter.
– Seth Waxman, former U.S. Solicitor General (under President Clinton) and current WilmerHale partner, commenting to Washingtonian magazine on the decision of fellow former S.G. Paul Clement to resign from King & Spalding and join Bancroft PLLC. At Bancroft, the D.C. boutique law firm founded by former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, Clement will continue to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives in its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
[A] lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible…. We hope [Paul] Clement loses, but we don’t begrudge him the assignment. Even a lawyer of his skills will find it hard to defend a discriminatory law like DOMA.
– a Los Angeles Times staff editorial, defending former Solicitor General Paul Clement and his law firm, King & Spalding, against criticism of their defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
[Lawyer Dennis] Gingold claims to have billed an astonishing 48,772 hours on this case—which works out to almost 9.5 hours a day, every day without a single day off, between November 4, 1995, and December 7, 2009. This includes a seven-year stretch where Mr. Gingold billed 28,230 hours—an average of eleven hours a day, every day seven days a week without a single day off.
As anyone who has had to keep billing records knows, it is rare for ten hours of billing to take only ten hours: there are bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, meal breaks, interruptions, and so forth. There are legendary accounts of tireless attorneys who forgo family and leisure; work on little sleep; and are able to regularly bill 3000 hours a year, but they are few and far between. Perhaps Mr. Gingold is one of these exceptional individuals, so far above average that he can routinely bill 4000 hours a year without loss of productivity or health, but this proposition merits scrutiny.
– Ted Frank, founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness, in a brief objecting to the proposed $3.4 billion, taxpayer-funded Cobell Indian trust settlement. The settlement includes a fee request in which solo practitioner Dennis Gingold claims to have billed over 28,000 hours in seven years — at his hourly rate of $925 an hour.
Elie was arrested on Friday in Las Vegas, married a former Playboy Playmate on Saturday, and is scheduled to appear in a federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday.
– an Am Law Daily report on Chad Elie, one of the people caught up in the federal government crackdown on
my massive Full Tilt bankroll they have no right to seize the online poker industry. (Gavel bang: commenters, who noticed the line in a story linked in Morning Docket.)
[T]he never-ending stream of futile petitions suggests that habeas corpus is a wasteful nuisance. By almost any measure, the use, and abuse, of habeas by convicted state prisoners is a failure, one that could corrode one of the most revered pillars of our legal system.
– Professors Joseph Hoffmann and Nancy King, in an interesting and persuasive New York Times op-ed piece, arguing that habeas review of state criminal cases should be limited to “capital cases and cases in which the prisoner can produce persuasive new evidence of his innocence.”
It’s always been a dream of mine to interrupt a Supreme Court justice.
– Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), a lawyer, after interrupting Justice Anthony Kennedy during Justice Kennedy’s testimony before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
I don’t know, just kind of laying on top of him. Not laying on top of him but straddling him. It was like a lap dance, you could say.
– a sophomore describing the “ethics symposium” hosted by Jack Rappaport, a business professor at Lasalle University. You can read more about Rappaport’s alleged activities over at Dealbreaker.
It’s actually worse than a bad mortgage…. You have to get rid of the future you wanted to pay off all the debt from the fancy school that was supposed to give you that future.
– Peter Thiel, the billionaire entrepreneur, encouraging kids to drop out of school rather than go deeper into debt for education.
[M]asturbation is a form of “sexual activity” in the ordinary-language sense of the term, which judges use on occasion just as laypersons do. Masturbation is also a “sexual act” in that sense, but not in the statutory sense.
– Judge Richard Posner, doing his best to take all the fun out of jerking off (via Josh Blackman).