Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi

Ed. note: Natasha Lydon is a new writer who will be helping out around Above the Law. She graduated from NYU Law School and spent years at a Vault top 50 law firm. She’ll be writing posts and working on some long-term projects. Also she’ll occasionally stop Elie from murdering the English language.

While most of us have been busy watching the worst championship game in history, scandal continues to brew over in that other college sport. Investigators recently issued their official report cataloging all of the alleged wrongdoing that has gone down in relation to the Fiesta Bowl, one of college football’s most prestigious bowl games. If you have a weekend to spare, you can read the public version of the Final Report here.

The Fiesta Bowl commissioned an initial investigation in early 2009 after rumors of campaign contribution improprieties first surfaced. This investigation was conducted by Grant Woods, a former Arizona Attorney General, who offered the Fiesta Bowl the oral conclusion that he had found “no credible evidence” of wrongdoing.

After The Arizona Republic went public with the rumors and people started to suspect that Woods’ investigation was improper (more on this later), the State of Arizona initiated a more serious investigation. Two Fiesta Bowl representatives teamed up with a former Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court to choose an appropriate investigator. The winner was the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.

After five months of investigating, the firm issued a 276-page tome that reads like an issue spotting nightmare…

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robins.gifHi all, this is Billy Merck once again (for those regulars out there who already hate know me, check out the link anyway, ’cause the site’s been revamped), mostly filling in for today and tomorrow, though Lat is probably going to poke his head in a time or two.
We’re going to be continuing Non-Top-Tier Law School Week, but first this morning we have a bit of biglaw advertising. Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP want you to know that they’re real trial lawyers who, you know, like, actually go to trial and stuff. The creative way that their advertising agency came up with to express that idea follows the jump.

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Timothy Block Timothy M Block Robins Kaplan Miller Ciresi Abovethelaw Above the Law.jpgInitiative. Creativity. Zealous advocacy on behalf of the client.
All qualities demonstrated by Robins Kaplan partner Timothy Block, who is ATL’s Lawyer of the Day.
Update: The story is getting attention not just in the legal world, but in the tech world, too.
Best Buy Attorney Falsified E-Mails [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
Firm’s Mea Culpa Adds Twist to Class Action Against Best Buy [The Recorder]
Timothy M. Block bio [Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi via Google Cache]
Best Buy lawyer admits to altering documents in racketeering case [Engadget]

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGLet the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin. The AmLaw 100 rankings — The American Lawyer’s closely watched, annual listing of the hundred largest law firms in the United States, ranked by revenue — are now available.
We’ll have more to say on the rankings later. Their release is a big story, deserving of multiple posts. They’re like the U.S. News and World Report law school rankings, but for the world of Biglaw, and they can be viewed from many different angles. Although the firms are ranked by revenue, the rankings are accompanied by other juicy data — including information about profits per partner.
For the time being, here’s the “money quote,” quite literally, from the WSJ Law Blog:

Wiley Rein broke the record for the highest profits per partner ever recorded by the magazine — $4.4 million. Why? The Washington, D.C., law firm represented patent-holding company NTP in its nearly five-year legal battle with RIM, and earned more than $200 million in fees from the case. It received approximately one-third of the $612.5 million settlement that RIM agreed to pay NTP to avert a potential court-ordered BlackBerry shutdown. The firm also shortened its name from Wiley Rein & Fielding after Fred Fielding left the firm to become White House counsel.

So New York’s Wachtell Lipton, which has sat atop the profits-per-partner rankings for many years, has been displaced. Interestingly enough, though, Wiley Rein didn’t beat Wachtell by THAT much, considering the massive contingency fee it received from the RIM-BlackBerry settlement. Wiley Rein had PPP of $4,435,000; Wachtell Lipton had PPP of $3,975,000.
(And if you look at the chart for Compensation — All Partners (subscription), WLRK still comes out on top, with $3.975 million per partner. Wiley Rein has a two-tier partnership, so its Compensation Per Partner figure, which reflects compensation paid to non-equity as well as equity partners, is only — only! — $2.7 million.)
The Wiley Rein windfall reminds of when Robins Kaplan got that huge, one-time payout for its tobacco-related work. In the AmLaw 100 rankings for 2000, based on 1999 revenue and profit figures, the Minneapolis-based firm boasted profits per partner of over $3 million — beating Cravath and all the other New York shops that year, except for Wachtell.
Do you have any juicy, AmLaw 100-related gossip? Tales of shameless attempts to manipulate the rankings? Stories about unhappy partners ranting over their firm’s placement over this morning’s coffee? Please send ‘em our way.
A table and links, after the jump.

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