Robert Kolker

This is a continuation of our prior post, Brokeback Lawfirm: The New York Magazine Piece (Part 1), which discussed the first half of Robert Kolker’s New York magazine article about Aaron Charney.
Our discussion picks up on page three (web pagination) of Kolker’s piece. At the top of that page is this fabulous graphic, entitled “Notes on a Scandal”:
Sullivan Cromwell Notes on a Scandal Aaron Charney Above the Law.jpg
It’s arguably a little derivative of an earlier New York Observer graphic (discussed here). But the textual elements are new, and some of the featured individuals are different.
The illustrations are amusing. They’re perhaps the most “pro-Charney” part of the whole article, since they’re so unflattering to the S&C lawyers, who are drawn to resemble animals. H. Rodgin Cohen looks like a frog, and Alexandra Korry looks like a chimp.
Our further thoughts on the article appear after the jump.

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Aaron Charney Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Ted Partin headshot.JPGWe’ve now finished reading Robert Kolker’s interesting and highly detailed New York Magazine article about Aaron Charney (a piece that we’ve been anticipating for weeks). And we do have a few thoughts on it — besides admiration for Ted Partin’s elegant, black-and-white headshot of a trim-but-borderline-emaciated Aaron Charney, at right.
On the whole, the piece is well-researched and thoughtful. It doesn’t contain THAT much new information for people who have been following this case as slavishly as most ATL readers have. But it’s well-written and engaging, a good read.
Also, it’s commendably balanced. In your reactions to it, some have you attacked it as pro-S&C, while others have criticized it as pro-Charney. This strikes us as evidence of the article’s evenhanded nature. You can view it as either pro-S&C or pro-Charney, depending upon your point of view and what you choose to focus on within the piece.
More detailed thoughts, after the jump.

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The New York Magazine piece about Aaron Charney, which we have been eagerly awaiting, is finally out. The article, by Robert Kolker, looks long and juicy (hehe). We haven’t read it yet, but we’re about to. You can check it out for yourself by clicking here.
In the meantime, check out this quasi-artsy, black-and-white, dramatically lit photograph of Aaron Charney. It was taken by Ted Partin. The caption reads: “Aaron Charney at home.”
Aaron Charney Aaron B Charney on bed Above the Law.jpg
So THIS is what Aaron Charney’s bedroom looks like. But where are the omnipresent pictures of his mom and dad?
It’s a strangely seductive picture, isn’t it? Aaron’s bedsheets look inviting — they’re practically crying out, “Roll around in us!” They look very high-end; we’d be surprised by a sub-400 thread count.
Do you remember our reader poll — still open, actually — entitled What Should Aaron Charney Do Next? One of the choices was “Pose nude for Playgirl,” but it has received only 9 percent of the vote thus far. In light of this vaguely racy photo, we respectfully suggest that the figure should be higher.
We’ll have more to say about Bob Kolker’s article after we’ve had the chance to read it. Check back soon.
Update: More thoughts on the article appear here and here.
The Gay Flannel Suit [New York Magazine]
Earlier: ATL Reader Poll: What Should Aaron Charney Do Next?

New York Supreme Court 2 60 Centre Street 60 Center Street Above the Law.jpg

Here is the first set of our photographs from yesterday’s hearing in New York Supreme Court in the lawsuit(s) between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell (litigation nickname still to be determined).
We’ve taken a page from the Lavi Soloway playbook: these photos are thumbnail images. If you click on the thumbail, you’ll be able to see a larger version of the picture, in all of its glory.
More photographs, after the jump.

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H Rodgin Cohen 2 Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGRumor has it that Sullivan & Cromwell’s chairman, banking law god H. Rodgin Cohen, was “pretty angry” when he learned that the New York Times would be covering Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against S&C by a gay former associate, Aaron Charney.
(The NYT story was pretty even-handed. But it was surprisingly long and detailed, which Cohen probably didn’t like. We discussed it back in this post.)
If Rodge Cohen doesn’t like MSM coverage of lurid litigation involving his firm, then he’s probably less than pleased by all the news coverage of Sullivan & Cromwell v. Charney, S&C’s countersuit against its former M&A associate.
Today’s New York Law Journal has an article about the case. Most of it is familiar to ATL readers. What’s new is info about Charney’s legal team, which now includes the scrumptiously credentialed Laura Schnell: Dartmouth, Chicago Law, Jack Weinstein clerkship, Best Lawyers in America listing.
In addition, the New York Times’s widely read DealBook blog has a write-up of the suit. The DealBook post contains a shout-out to ATL. Thanks, NYT!
As some commenters have noted, one purpose of S&C’s countersuit was surely to get Aaron Charney to shut up. It appears to have succeeded, since Charney has been tight-lipped since last Thursday, when the suit was filed.
But the countersuit does mean that (1) S&C is “stooping to Charney’s level,” i.e., crossing swords with someone of lesser stature (no “Rose Garden” / “we will ignore you as if you were a gnat” strategy); and (2) opening itself up to more media coverage, to wit, coverage of its affirmative lawsuit.
We are coming up to New York on Thursday to watch the preliminary injunction hearing before Justice Bernard Fried of New York Supreme Court. And we don’t think we’ll be the only media (or quasi-media) types in attendance.
Bob Kolker, of New York Magazine, is writing a feature-length article about Charney; so we’d expect to see him there. Other top legal reporters we’ll be watching out for — we have no idea of whether they’re coming, though — include Peter Lattman and Nathan Koppel, of the Wall Street Journal; Anna Schneider-Mayerson, of the New York Observer; and Anthony Lin, of the New York Law Journal.
Update (4:35 PM): Prolific ATL commenter Lavi Soloway will be there.
If you’re at the hearing, feel free to come over and say hello. We look like this.
We also look forward to meeting the parties and their lawyers. We’ve emailed Aaron Charney to tell him that we’ll be there (although he hasn’t responded). And we’ve emailed Zach Fasman of Paul Hastings, who represents S&C, to put him on fashion-and-style notice:

I’m planning to attend the hearing on Thursday, so perhaps I’ll meet you then. Be sure to dress for success! I’ll definitely be writing about the sartorial choices of counsel at this red-carpet event.

Hope all is well!


Time to break out the Brioni, Zach. We better see visible hand-stitching on the lapels, bitch.
This is going to be great fun!!!
Update (4:20 PM): As noted by Lawzer, New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer also has a brief item on the S&C countersuit.
Law Firm Facing Gay-Bias Suit Fires Back [DealBook / New York Times]
Sullivan & Cromwell Sues Fired Associate [New York Law Journal]
Paper Trail Disturbed at Sullivan & Cromwell [Intelligencer / New York Magazine]
Taking Center Stage [Soloway]

Aaron Charney 3 Aaron Charney Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Above the Law Aaron Charney Aaron Charney Sullivan Cromwell.JPGIf so, then the MSM would like to speak with you. Here’s an email from Robert Kolker, of New York magazine (which we reprint with his permission):

I’m a journalist working quickly on a long-form magazine feature story about Aaron Charney. Part of the story would benefit from some insight from people who know him, either now or even remember him back during law school – but there’s no need for this insight to be on the record. I’d appreciate a chance to talk on the phone about Aaron – again, confidentially.

I can assure everyone of the utmost discretion and fairness. They can call me at 212-508-0811, or email me, and I’ll be happy to give them more information.

Many thanks,

Bob Kolker
(212) 508-0811
robert_kolker AT newyorkmag DOT com

A long-form magazine piece on Aaron Charney? We can hardly wait! If you know Aaron Charney firsthand, we beg you to contact Mr. Kolker, so he can have the benefit of your insight.
In addition, we’d love to hear from you ourselves. We’ve heard from a few people who know Aaron personally, but we’d welcome more.
After the jump, we reprint comments from two law school classmates of Aaron.

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