If you haven’t already done so, you can still vote in our poll asking you whether you support Aaron Charney or Sullivan & Cromwell in Charney v. S&C. Click here to vote in that poll (or to view the results if you’ve already voted).
After we posted Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell: The $15 Million Question, a number of you started to debate in the comments:
“5-10 mil seems like a fair sum to ask for in this matter.”
“I’d let partners say much more degrading things to me for $5M. I’d also allow myself to be left out of the summer mentoring program. ABP’s sandwiches are not bad at all. Esp. that chicken mozzarella one.”
“Does anyone have statistics on the average employment discrimination award in NYC? Include not just the cases that won millions, but also the cases we never hear about.”
“$15 million? Sheesh. I’d take it up the butt for $15 million, much less tolerate a few comments about bending over.”
We realize that what we’re about to do is completely unscientific and unreliable. We don’t know all the facts of the case. Nor do we have any data concerning the average size of employment discrimination awards in New York City (as one of you expressed an interest in seeing). So we don’t have any solid basis for comparisons.
But please, humor us; we’re curious. For what it’s worth — and we admit it may not be worth much — please take our latest poll:
For the second month in a row, ATL’s “Couple of the Month” contest was a total snoozefest. Once again, the winning couple prevailed with approximately 50 percent of the vote. Unlike certain past races, there was no exciting, eleventh-hour victory by an underdog.
There was a last minute surge by Sandee Brawarsky and Barry Lichtenberg. But they were unable to catch a certain Supreme Court clerk and her high-powered hubby:
Move over, Fire Island. See ya later, Provincetown. Rehoboth Beach, you’re all washed up.
The gay destination of choice for summer 2007? This may come as a surprise to you, but it’s 125 Broad Street, New York, New York — home of the estimable law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell (plus the ACLU’s LGBT Rights Project).
From Aaron Charney, the plaintiff in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell:
I am informed by numerous sources that David Braff (at right), on behalf of certain gay S&C partners, circulated a memorandum stating that such partners are pleased with the work environment at S&C.
What exactly makes Sullivan such a fabulous workplace for gays? Is it the subsidized gym? The proximity to S&C client Goldman Sachs, home to countless cute banker boys with seven-figure incomes? The complimentary cosmos served in the firm cafeteria?
If you have a copy of this memo, please send it our way, by email.
We’re looking forward to seeing it. But Charney seems less than impressed:
Braff’s memo directly misses the point. My complaint concerns the discrimination and retaliation perpetrated by S&C against me. S&C clearly has no defense against the allegations enumerated in my Complaint and instead seeks to muddy the waters by trying to divert people’s attention away from the issue at hand. S&C’s campaign of diversion is the latest example of S&C’s unwilling[ness] to enforce the firm office manual’s anti-discrimination policy and confirms why I was left with no choice but to pursue this legal matter.
Charney’s willingness to speak freely about the case — or to try it in the court of public opinion, as his critics claim — may explain why he seems to be winning the PR war, at least at the current time. In our reader poll, which is still ongoing, about two-thirds of respondents support him over S&C.
(But that is down somewhat from the 75 percent support that Charney enjoyed earlier in the afternoon. Could an anti-Aaron backlash be developing?) Update: One of you has posted what appears to be the gay partners’ memo in the comments. Thanks! Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)
As the Times of London noted, reactions of Above the Law commenters to Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell have been all over the map, “var[ying] from encouragement to contempt.” Some of you have hailed Charney as a hero, while others have attacked him vociferously (using terms we won’t repeat here).
But commenters aren’t necessarily representative of the larger readership. So we’d like to obtain a more accurate sampling of public opinion about this high-profile lawsuit. (If you need to read up on the case first, click here to access our past coverage.) Disclaimers: We are not social scientists. This poll is highly unscientific. The question is vague. Few of the facts about the case are known, and many are in dispute. Discovery has not yet commenced (and won’t start for a while).
But for what it’s worth, and based on what you currently know (or think you know), please take our reader poll:
We’ve named all the winners in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch for the month of December 2006. So now it’s time to vote for the December “Couple of the Month.”
We expect this to be a highly competitive contest. There were actually five wedding weekends in December, and in one of the weeks, we had a tie. So there are no fewer than six couples in competition, with similar overall scores (two 8.90s, two 8.75s, one 8.70, and one 8.37).
If you’d like to review the couples one more time, our original write-ups — with scores, links to their NYT wedding announcements, and photos (in some cases) — appear after the jump.
But if you’re ready to vote, here’s the poll:
Nothing could win you over. Not Judge Bruce Selya’s impressive vocabulary, Judge Juan Torruella’s magnificent yacht, Judge Kermit Lipez’s niceness and decency, nor Judge Sandra Lynch’s personal charm steely intellect.
In the end, you all turned into prestige whores. You succumbed to his fancy title of “Chief Judge,” as well as his strong track record as a feederjudge to the Supreme Court:
Earlier today, we bestowed the nickname of Noajeannie upon celebrity law professors Noah Feldman and Jeannie Suk — the Brangelina of the legal academy. But some of you backseat bloggers suggested other names for this overachieving couple, such as “Feldsuk” and “Jeannoah.”
We like “Noajeannie” for several reasons:
1. It scans exactly like “Brangelina.” Compare no-ah-JEAN-nie with bran-juh-LEE-nuh.
2. It puts his name before hers, since his star arguably shines slightly brighter than hers (although, quite obviously, both of them are amazing).
3. Celebrity nicknames tend to work best with first rather than last names. This is why “Bennifer” and “Brangelina” are superior to “Vaughniston.”
Nevertheless, we will adhere to the democratic process. Hence this poll:
One name we definitely don’t like: Sukfeld. It sounds like a pornographic version of “Seinfeld.”
(For the record, though, “Suk” is pronounced “sook” rather than “suck.” We happen to know this ’cause we went to school with Jeannie Suk’s similarly brilliant little sister, Julie Suk (now a law professor at Cardozo). Like her big sis, Julie Suk was a Marshall Scholar and a law clerk to Judge Harry Edwards (D.C. Cir.). But Julie Suk went to Harvard College and Yale Law School, whereas Jeannie Suk did the reverse: Yale College, Harvard Law School.)
P.S. Speaking of polls, if you haven’t done so already, cast your vote for your favorite First Circuit judge. We’ll close this poll tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern time. Thanks. Earlier: Lawyerly Lairs: It’s Still Good to be Noah and Jeannie
In reviewing our coverage of the federal judiciary, we noticed that we don’t give the First Circuit enough love. For those of you who haven’t memorized this map, the 1st Circuit includes four New England states and Puerto Rico.
Perhaps we don’t cover the First Circuit that much due to its small size. With spots for only six active judges, it’s the smallest of the thirteen U.S. courts of appeals. Or maybe we don’t write much about it because it’s a fairly collegial court — and we like to cover benchslappery.
Regardless of the reasons for it, we’d like to remedy this deficiency in our court coverage. As a first step towards that goal, we bring you this rather random reader poll:
We also invite you to send to us, by email, any good gossip or fun facts about the First Circuit and its members. Thanks! Update (12:15 PM): As pointed out by this comment, and confirmed in his FJC bio, Judge Bruce Selya took senior status a few days ago (this past Sunday).
We’ll leave Judge Selya in the poll, because many votes have already been cast, and removing him would screw up the results. But if Judge Selya gets the most votes, we’ll declare him the “honorary” winner, and name the runner-up as your favorite active First Circuit judge. U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website]
Before the holidays, we asked the Biglaw associates among you to tell us how you feel about your bonuses. (We’d use “boni,” since it sounds cooler, but we don’t think it’s a real word.)
We conducted a reader poll. The results, which we realize aren’t terribly exciting, are reproduced at right.
The most popular response, although not by an overwhelming margin, was “Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied.” The rest of the responses formed a bell-shaped curve around that general sentiment of “Eh” (but with slightly more votes on the dissatisfied rather than satisfied side).
What does this all mean? We think it shows that as far as the Greedy Partners are concerned, associate bonuses were “just right.” If they had been “too generous” — from the perspective of partners, that is — there would have been more satisfied responses, from pleasantly surprised associates. And if they had been “too stingy,” in a way threatening to firm morale, there would have been more dissatisfied responses.
Instead, associate sentiment in response to this year’s bonus levels fell right in the middle. This suggests that associate expectations were perfectly met — neither missed nor exceeded. So, as far as the firms are concerned, the 2006 bonuses weren’t so big as to eat into profits per partner, but just enough to keep the associate proletariat toiling away.
Are year-end bonuses the opium of the Biglaw masses? Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: How Does That Bonus Make You FEEL?
The week before a major holiday is usually pretty slow. And the Friday before the holiday weekend is usually dead — the perfect time for Mike Nifong to announce he’s dropping the rape charges against the Duke lacrosse team defendants.
Other highlights from the past week in legal news and ATL:
* Get to know this year’s Alito clerks!
* And help us get to know the current Breyer clerks.
* Dean Harold Koh’s Christmas gift to Yale Law School conservatives: newfound warmth and friendliness.
* Speaking of Yale Law School, YLS grad Yul Kwon just won Survivor. Congrats, Yul!
* Stuff you knew already: Supreme Court clerks are cooler than you. Lawyers have mediocre sex lives. Pro se litigants are insane.
* Last week dragged in a few more law firm bonus announcements, but nothing exciting. To skim the coverage, click here, then scroll down through the headlines.
* On the subject of bonuses, Biglaw associates: Please take our 2006 bonus poll (first announced here):
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
The proper hair styling product might just be the only thing standing between you and your dream job. And the best way to find what works for you is to try the best stuff on the market. Join Birchbox Man for $20 a month and you’ll get customized shipments of the best grooming and lifestyle gear on the market every month—everything from haircare and shaving supplies to style accessories and tech gadgets.
As the leading discovery commerce platform, Birchbox is redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop the best grooming and lifestyle products out there. It’s a full 360-degree process: try, learn, buy. Once you sign up and fill out your profile, head over to Birchbox Man’s online magazine to find article and video tutorials on how to get the most out your monthly box products. Pick up full-size versions of anything you like in the Birchbox Shop and earn points for every purchase.
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!