We continue our series of posts about summer associate misadventures. If you have an anecdote you’d be willing to share, please check out the submission guidelines, and then email us.
We’re continuing with our theme of summer associates as superheroes. Move over, X-Men; make way for the X-Summers!!!
1. Superhero name: The Nekkid Sleeper
2. Special power: Drunken, semi-nude slumbering.
3. Summered: Baker & Hostetler, Cleveland, summer 2001
4. Claim to fame: From a Midwestern tipster:
“After a Saturday-night firm event, followed by a non-firm-sponsored night of drinking, The Nekkid Sleeper found himself stranded downtown without a car. It was after the rapid (light rail line) shut down for the evening, and he didn’t have enough money for a cab, so he decided he’d crash in his office at the firm.”
“One problem: That summer, the firm didn’t have enough office space for all the summers, so every other week, the summers would have to rotate offices. This particular week, The Nekkid Sleeper’s office was a cube in the firm’s library. The Nekkid Sleeper stumbled up to the firm library, found a sofa, and passed out in a drunken haze. It was hot and humid, so he unconsciously (or so he claimed) removed his shirt sometime in the middle of the night.”
“All was well until 6 a.m. Sunday, when a female partner who had a big upcoming trial wandered into the firm library to get a book — and saw what she thought was a half-nude hobo, sprawled out on the firm’s nice sofa….”
5. What happened next: “Rumor was that the incident happened about a week before the mid-summer reviews were to take place, and he got a stern lecture about inappropriate behavior… Word on the street was that he got an offer, but took a clerkship and then never returned to the firm.”
(The usual rules apply. Please don’t name the Nekkid Sleeper or speculate about his identity. Thanks.) Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of summer associates (scroll down)
Hey kids, guess what? It IS possible to get fired from your cushy summer associate gig!
You need to try hard — really hard. It’s even harder than passing the bar exam.
But it’s not impossible. This summer has already claimed at least one victim. Multiple sources advise that a summer associate in the Chicago office of Katten Muchin Rosenman was recently canned.
Read the dirty details, after the jump.
* We say: Ignorance is bliss. [Althouse]
* The Genarlow Wilson case: let’s go to the videotape! Oh wait… [Concurring Opinions]
* If you’re going to drop the d-word, at least spell it correctly. [PrawfsBlawg]
* Every time an unlawful, creepy houseboat is sunsetted out of existence, a little piece of America dies. [Never Yet Melted via Overlawyered]
* Is Quiznos about to get burned? [Akron Beacon Journal]
* Someday sex-change operations may be tax-deductible. (Can we take a deduction for blogging as a woman?) [MSNBC]
Late last week, Bill Mears of CNN wrote a helpful round-up of the best benchslaps from the Supreme Court’s most recent Term. It starts off:
One Supreme Court justice says his fellow conservatives are “too dismissive” of government efforts to ensure racial diversity in schools. Another more liberal member says those on the right did “serious violence” to a high school student’s free speech rights. And one conservative slams another for “faux judicial restraint.”
We have a ruling in the HappyMealGate case (prior coverage here, here, and here of Wiliam P. Smith, the McDermott Will & Emery partner who told Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff that she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal”). And it’s surprisingly lenient.
Judge Isicoff basically gave Smith a stern talking to:
“There is no jurisdiction in the U.S. — including the district where Mr. Smith regularly practices — where the expression and tone Mr. Smith used on May 7 would fall in the bounds of acceptable behavior,” a solemn Isicoff said from the bench in front of a packed courtroom.
and ordered him to take an online professionalism course administered by the Florida Bar.
Smith brought McDermott chairman Harvey Freishtat with him to beg and plead for mercy from Isicoff. Apparently it worked.
Isicoff said she accepted the apologies of both Smith and McDermott Will & Emery chairman Harvey Freishtat, the head of the Chicago-based, 1,000-lawyer firm, who also appeared in front of her to beg her pardon.
Looks like the fry guy got off relatively easy, and we’ve all learned something: don’t stoop to middle-school insults while arguing in front of a federal judge, especially if you’re appearing pro hac vice.
Regular ATL readers know that the venerable Harvard Law Review is something of a shark tank. See here, here, and here.
So maybe the rough-and-tumble world of Gannett House is where Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), a former HLR president, learned how to campaign. From the NYT:
Shortly after the Clinton campaign released the financial information [about a blind trust], the campaign of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, circulated to news organizations — on what it demanded be a not-for-attribution-basis — a scathing analysis. It called Mrs. Clinton “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)” in its headline.
The document referred to the investment in India and Mrs. Clinton’s fund-raising efforts among Indian-Americans. The analysis also highlighted the acceptance by Mr. Clinton of $300,000 in speech fees from Cisco, a company the Obama campaign said has moved American jobs to India.
“D-Punjab”? Not very politically correct of the Obama campaign.
We bet that Senator Obama — who tries to cast himself as Mr. Sweetness & Light (and Hope, The Audacity Of) — will try to stay above the fray. He’ll leave the dirty work to his staffers (a la Geffengate).
But we wanted to bring this to your attention. We think it’s unfair that ourgirl Hillary gets attacked for being allegedly conniving, but equally devious competitors don’t get called out on such things. Update: You can view the Barack Obama campaign memo, entitled “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab)’s Personal Financial and Political Ties to India,” by clicking here (PDF). To Avoid Conflicts, Clintons Liquidate Holdings [New York Times]
Surely you all recall William P. Smith — a partner at McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago), and head of its bankruptcy department — who recently told a Miami bankruptcy judge, in open court, that she was “a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.” We broke the story here (with follow-up here).
The “Happy Meal” comment royally pissed off Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff (and not ’cause she’s a Burger King partisan). She benchslapped Bill Smith via an Order to Show Cause, directing the Fry Guy to explain why he shouldn’t be suspended from practice in her court.
The firm has now filed a motion in response to the OSC. From the Daily Business Review:
Chicago attorney William P. Smith says he’s very, very, very sorry for telling U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff she was “a few French fries short of a Happy Meal” during a May 7 court hearing in Miami.
The chairman of McDermott Will & Emery, the Chicago-based firm whose bankruptcy practice Smith heads, is ready to prostrate himself before the judge as well.
According to a recent motion filed by the law firm, Harvey Freishtat, who heads the 1,000-lawyer firm, plans to fly to Miami for a hearing on Smith’s comment. The motion states Freishtat will personally express “on behalf of the entire firm, to this court, to the other lawyers in this case, and to the other honorable judges of this District Court, [his firm’s] sincere and deepest apology for the words used by Mr. Smith.”
And would Her Honor like a side of fries with that?
More discussion after the jump.
So this is the 21st century? Where courts award punitive damages for offensive words and pictures? Isn’t “the scummiest kind of sexually offensive tripe” exactly what we always used to say people had to put up with in a free country? Man, that was so 20th century!
3. Suing Autodmit [Instapundit]
Professor Glenn Reynolds — who kindly links to our post, by the way — largely agrees with Professor Althouse. He sarcastically observes: “Stuff that offends dumb hicks in the heartland is constitutionally protected. Stuff that offends Yale Law Students must be stamped out!”
More links, after the jump.
Anthony Ciolli, the former Chief Education Director of the AutoAdmit.com website, and various posters on that message board have been sued. A civil action has been filed against them in federal district court in Connecticut.
The claims made against defendants are as follows: copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 501; appropriation of another’s name or likeness; unreasonable publicity given to another’s life; publicity that places another in a false light before the public; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and defamation.
For more details, check out this thread at AutoAdmit.com. There was some debate over at AutoAdmit concerning the authenticity of the posting. But we emailed David Rosen, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the case, and he confirmed:
We did post something giving notice of a lawsuit. I’m not available for comment for the moment. You can check with Dorothy McLaughlin at Keker & Van Nest — they are lead counsel.
We have contacted Dorothy McLaughlin Sachs and will let you know when we hear back from her.
Our speculation is that the “Doe I” and “Doe II” plaintiffs are two of the individuals interviewed in this Washington Post article about AutoAdmit. The individual attacked on AutoAdmit.com who figures most prominently in the Post article is a female Yale Law School student. Plaintiffs’ counsel, David Rosen, is an alumnus of Yale Law School who also teaches at YLS.
This is a developing story. We’ll bring you more information as soon as we have it. If someone might be able to send us a copy of the summons and complaint, we’d be most grateful. Thanks. Update: The WSJ Law Blog has a detailed post, including lots of additional information, over here.
For those of you who are curious, the full text of the AutoAdmit.com posting appears after the jump.
(Gavel bang: commenters.) Notice of lawsuit pending vs. certain AutoAdmit posters [AutoAdmit.com / Xoxohth] Students File Suit Against AutoAdmit Director, Others [WSJ Law Blog] Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web [Washington Post] David N. Rosen bio [Yale Law School] David Rosen & Associates [Best Lawyers in America]
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The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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