Romance and Dating

Hamptons mansion shingle style cottage.jpgMy friend Anna is a summer wife.
You see, her “summer” husband, Abraham, does what all high-powered law firm partners do each summer: he dispatches his wife to the summer home in the Hamptons or Shelter Island or Martha’s Vineyard.
This allows Biglaw partners to supper in the city with the single senior (or summer) associates. I mean, these guys can’t be alone at dinnertime. They have to supper with someone, so why not with an associate who is close by or, better yet, in the same office?
One night, after I meet Abraham, I ask him about his family in exile, and how he is adjusting to their absence from his day- to-day life. He says: “Well, it’s better for the kids to be out there in the summer…. They have the beach, their grandparents are there….”
Blah. Blah. Blah. We’re in the midst of a global warming crisis; we’re all supposed to be wearing SPF 45, even when just driving in our cars. Do the kids really need that much sun and sea? And is it really benefiting them if their father is absent from their lives most days of the week? Or is this arrangement really better for you, Abraham?
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Summer Wives (Part 1 of 2)”

avatar Marin ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by MARIN, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Marin's avatar (at right).]
Ever wonder what happened to Kory McFarren, the (literally) crappy boyfriend who stood by for a month while his girlfriend, Pam Babcock, grew overly attached to a toilet seat? The AP reported yesterday that McFarren was sentenced to six months probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of mistreatment of a dependent adult.

But don’t break out the party hats just yet.

Kory McFarren toilet seat boyfriend.jpg

Also Tuesday, McFarren was sentenced to six months in jail for an unrelated charge of lewd and lascivious behavior for exposing himself to a teenage neighbor in March.

Apparently while Babcock convalesced in the hospital, McFarren sought solace by staring out his window. And masturbating.

“This has been going on for a long period of time,” the neighbor said. “While we were using our pool or hot tub, he would stand in his window and watch and play with himself. It has become much worse lately.”

The resourceful neighbors tried to block McFarren’s view by piling logs in front of the pool. But “[a]s winter wore on, the wood pile shrank,” presumably leading to the expansion of McFarren’s own wood pile.

In a cruel twist of fate, he has ended up exactly where Babcock did — in the can.

Boyfriend of woman stuck to toilet gets probation [AP]
Boyfriend arrested in new crime [The Hays Daily News]

Jeremy Anderson.jpgSeveral loyal ATL readers (and Bachelorette watchers?) tipped us off to a lawyer being among the 25 bachelors competing on the ABC reality TV show this season.
The eligible bachelor is 30-year-old Texan Jeremy Anderson. ABC cites his profession as “real estate attorney.” He’s a December 2007 grad of SMU Dedman School of Law.
Speaking of layoffs at Hunton & Williams, our tipster says Anderson (who summered there in 2007) was let go from their Dallas office when he went on the show:

A first-year Dallas associate (who took the February 2008 bar) was placed on probation by Hunton Williams after asking for a leave of absence to do The Bachelorette. The firm is apparently waiting for the season to air before making a final decision, although they obviously plan to fire him. Who has the gall to ask for a leave of absence during their first year, especially to do a reality TV show? But assuming it’s a legitimate reason to request time off, is Hunton’s reaction reasonable and fair?

His name is Jeremy Anderson… There’s a rumor that he makes it to the final three. His bio was taken off Hunton’s website.

When we called Hunton about the layoff rumors in Charlotte, we also asked about Anderson. The only comment we got from their spokesperson was, “On a personal note, I love the show.”
We appreciate your sending this along, ATL readers. As one of you predicts, we will “enjoy covering Jeremy . . . and his abs.”


Foreign Policy magazine Top 100 public intellectuals.jpgIn the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine, you’ll find their list of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals. The list appears here (and you can vote for your top five). Bios of the honorees — and we must confess, some of these names didn’t ring a bell — appear here.

The public intellectuals explicitly identified on the list as lawyers, judges, or legal scholars are (in alphabetical order):

Aitzaz Ahsan, president of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association, and a leader in the Pakistan People’s Party;

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate;

– Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig; and

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, who wrote the book on public intellectuals.

And here are two other honorees with legal links:

– University of Chicago law professor and philosopher Martha Nussbaum; and

– journalist, Harvard Law School graduate, and Kennedy School of Government professor Samantha Power.

Cass Sunstein Martha Nussbaum Samantha Power Above the Law blog.jpgWhat do Professors Nussbaum and Power share in common? Cass Sunstein, as you may recall.

Professor Nussbaum is a former flame of Professor Sunstein, while Professor Power is his current main squeeze. Rumor has it that his move to Harvard Law School from his longtime academic home, the University of Chicago Law School, was prompted by a desire to be closer to the center of power — Samantha Power, that is.

In their paper Six Degrees of Cass Sunstein: Collaboration Networks in Legal Scholarship, Professors Paul Edelman and Tracey George declared Cass Sunstein to be the “Kevin Bacon” of the law. But it looks like his influence extends beyond the narrow world of legal academia, into the World of Ideas, writ large.

In sum, two percent of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals are former or current lovers of Cass Sunstein. This should provide consolation for Cass, who didn’t make the list himself.

Professor Sunstein, you are the man.

The Top 100 Public Intellectuals [Foreign Policy]

The Top 100 Public Intellectuals: Bios [Foreign Policy]

Six Degrees of Cass Sunstein: Collaboration Networks in Legal Scholarship [SSRN / Green Bag]

Earlier: The Real Reason Cass Sunstein’s Going to Harvard? He’s Got the Power

The legal connection to this story is tenuous, but not non-existent. Criminal charges could be filed. And maybe there’s a products liability case against the toilet manufacturer.
Anyway, it’s such a great story — and no, it’s not from The Onion — that we’re going to link to it. From the AP:

toilet seat 1 toilet bowl woman stuck to toilet Above the Law blog.JPGA 35-year-old woman who apparently spent two years in her boyfriend’s bathroom in Ness City had become stuck to the toilet seat, authorities said Wednesday.

“She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body. It is hard to imagine. … I still have a hard time imagining it myself,” Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said in a telephone interview, adding that it appeared her body fat had grown attached to the seat.

Authorities planned to present their report to the county attorney later Wednesday to see if any charges should be filed against her 36-year-old boyfriend, Whipple said.

The boyfriend called police on Feb. 27 to report that “there was something wrong with his girlfriend,” Whipple said, adding he never explained why it took him two years to call.

Is this woman a lawyer by any chance? Stick a Concordance-equipped computer in front of her, and let the doc review begin. She’ll bill 3000 hours without breaking a sweat.
So, who has the movie rights? If they can make a feature film about a guy who took up residence at JFK Airport, surely they can do something with this amazing tale. Casting suggestions?
Sheriff: Woman sat on boyfriend’s toilet for 2 years [Associated Press]

02138 magazine Harvard alumni Above the Law blog.jpgAs Wonkette points out, disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Spitzer, graced the cover of 02138 magazine as a top “Power Couple.”
02138, in case you’re not elite enough to be familiar with it, describes itself as “the lifestyle magazine for Harvard influentials.” Yes, it’s just as d-baggish dreadful as it sounds.
Also fawningly profiled in that very same issue: Professors Martha Nussbaum and Cass Sunstein. Alas, they’re no longer together, as we reported here.
Moral of the story: if 02138 invites you and your significant other to be profiled as a Harvard “power couple,” just say no.
Spitzer and Wife Used To Be Harvard’s Favorite ‘Power Couple’ [Wonkette]

We’re offline right now, speaking at Stanford Law School. We’ll be back shortly (and pick up where we left off with the Eliot Spitzer scandal).
In the meantime, check out this funny post by Marc Randazza, about some dubious proposed legislation in Massachusetts that could criminalize certain types of pick-up lines.
Pickup Line Quagmire in Massachusetts [The Legal Satyricon]

Samantha Power 2 Cass Sunstein Kennedy School of Government Above the Law blog.JPGWe greatly enjoyed our recent visit to the University of Chicago Law School. The U. Chicago students were very welcoming and made us feel right at home, even inviting us to their law school musical — which, by the way, was delightful.
(We added many of them as friends on Facebook before we were mysteriously banned from the site, without notice or explanation. So if you no longer see us on FB, it’s not because we “de-friended” you, but because our account was disabled.)
A few Chicago students, however, had a bone to pick with us. They objected to this ATL post, which cast the recently announced departure of Professor Cass Sunstein — prominent scholar, beloved teacher, and possible Supreme Court nominee under President Obama — as a hiring coup by Harvard Law School, a triumph by HLS over Chicago. They emphasized that Professor Sunstein’s leaving the Windy City for Cambridge was prompted by personal rather than professional reasons.
Professor Sunstein said as much his farewell email (emphasis added; in fact, all emphases added throughout this post, unless otherwise indicated):

I’m writing to say that I’ve just accepted an appointment at Harvard Law School. It is an understatement to say that I don’t take this step easily or lightly. As most of you know, I’ve been reflecting on this question for several years. I finally decided, for personal reasons, that I need a change.

Since he’s a prominent Obama supporter — as well an adviser to the campaign, but more on that later, since it ties into our tale — it’s not surprising that Professor Sunstein is All About Change.
The law school’s popular leader, Dean Saul Levmore, also stressed the personal component to Professor Sunstein’s move. As he told the University of Chicago’s student newspaper, the Maroon:

“I’m sort of embarrassed that [the story] said that the University of Chicago couldn’t be reached for comment,” Levmore said. “It looks like we didn’t want to talk, but the truth is that this decision [to leave Chicago for Harvard] was based on personal reasons and I respect that privacy. The media will find out about them soon enough.

With a comment like this, Dean Levmore was basically begging us to go digging. So dig we did.
Martha Nussbaum Cass Sunstein Above the Law blog.jpgLet’s see, Cass Sunstein’s “personal reasons” for leaving U. Chicago… hold on a sec. Isn’t Professor Sunstein part of legal academia’s most fabulous power couple, together with that renowned philosopher queen, Professor Martha Nussbaum? And didn’t Professor Nussbaum just turn down a Harvard offer?
That was then; this is now. What we learned in our investigation is consistent with this ATL comment, as well as this (subsequently removed) Wikipedia edit.
It appears that Professor Sunstein may be part of a new “power couple” — in the most literal sense. Rumor has it that he’s romantically involved with Professor Samantha Power — a beautiful, brainy professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who is roughly 15 years his junior. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner who has also been profiled in Men’s Vogue (see glamorous photo, at the top of this post). What’s not to like?
Update: More about Samantha Power here (from a college classmate who tried to hit on her, without success, and just ended arguing politics with her).
Now, please don’t give us full credit (or blame) for bringing to light the Sunstein-Power relationship. When we attended the Chicago Law School musical last weekend, Samantha Power got a shout-out near the end of the show, when the Cass Sunstein character announced his departure for Harvard. So the rumor of her romance with Professor Sunstein is already widely known throughout the U. Chicago community (and beyond); it’s no state secret. It is already known to hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
We reached out to all three members of this Mensalicious love triangle, which seems to come straight out of a Saul Bellow novel. Find out what we learned — two of them had no comment, but one of them did — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Real Reason Cass Sunstein’s Going to Harvard? He’s Got the Power”

* A clever parody of the Clemens hearing. [PrawfsBlawg]

* They have a talent for bench-slappery down in Texas. [Sophistic Miltonian Serbonian Blog; Supreme Court of Texas Blog]

* T-T-T-Trouble for TTT schools? [ABA Journal]

* Lawyer of the Day: White & Case associate Tabber Benedict, fixed up by the matchmaking cabbie. [ABC News]

* One more free legal research site (to add to the ones mentioned yesterday). [AltLaw]

UPDATE: We don’t like having to explain ourselves like this; it’s rather inelegant. But after reading some of the comments, we thought a brief clarification might be in order.

This commenter is right — our use of the term “TTT” is tongue-in-cheek. We intend no disrespect to any particular law schools (or their students or faculty members). Thanks.

Valentine's Day love hearts Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re still in a Valentine’s Day state of mind, so we thought we’d toss out a poll question to the ATL readership: Should lawyers date other lawyers?
The obvious answer is, “it depends” — on the two (or more?) individuals involved, the nature of their relationship, the surrounding circumstances, etc. But that’s boring. So let’s consider the question in the abstract, and in more absolute terms.
There are obvious pros and cons to lawyer-on-lawyer love. On the plus side, it’s nice to be with someone who can understand your work, including its many frustrations. When you tell that horror story over dinner about opposing counsel’s speaking objections at your deposition, your partner might actually understand.
(Also on the plus side: If you’re both at law firms on the $160K scale, together you take home a very nice chunk of change.)
But the sheer amount of lawyer shop-talk may also be the most obvious minus of legal-eagle romance. Wouldn’t it be nice to escape from the law world every now and then, instead of curling up with it at night? Wouldn’t dating a non-lawyer add some welcome diversity to your life?
Of course, as a practical matter, some lawyers have little choice but to date a fellow lawyer (or paralegal, hehe). If you bill 2500 hours a year, having a personal life is tough — unless that person works down the hall. In fact, due to the rise of workplace romances, the idea of the “love contract” has developed. As explained by Alston & Bird partner Ashley Brightwell over at the WSJ Law Blog, a love contract is “a tool that employers use to protect themselves when an office romance goes sour. It’s a document that confirms that a relationship is voluntary and informs the parties of the company’s sexual harassment policies. It sets out a procedure if, at any point, the relationship goes south.”
Anyway, enough thinking about what might go wrong. Let’s think about the possibilities — for lawyer love! Please take our poll — and discuss attorney-on-attorney action, in the comments. Thanks.


Office Romances & The Law: a Q&A With Ashley Brightwell [WSJ Law Blog]

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