Sports and the Law 3 Above the Law blog.jpgI previously wrote (here and here) about Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic hopeful who was ruled ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games by the International Association of Athletics Federations (“IAAF”) because he uses Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthetic legs. With help from Dewey & LeBoeuf (disclosure: my previous employer) as his pro bono counsel, Pistorius recently challenged the IAAF’s ruling in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
On Friday, a three-person arbitration panel ruled in Pistorius’s favor, finding that Pistorius’s prosthetics do not provide him with “an overall net advantage” in violation of IAAF Rule 144.2(e). This opens the door for Pistorius to compete in South Africa’s Olympic trials using his prosthetics. The panel reserved the right to change its ruling if new scientific evidence emerges.
With this matter resolved for now, let’s take a look at the big winners and losers from the litigation:
Big Winners
Oscar Pistorius: Finally eligible for South Africa’s Olympic trials, the Blade Runner is a step closer to competing against the world’s finest. In addition, he is also a step closer to earning the kind of endorsement dollars that would make even Dan & Dave envious.
Ossur HF Company: The Iceland-headquartered supplier of the Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthetics is gaining all kinds of free publicity. Most of us have now heard of the Cheetah Flex-Foot. Can anybody name a competitor prosthetic? I didn’t think so.
Dewey & LeBoeuf: Forget the goodwill that comes with pro bono representation. By winning this case, Dewey & LeBoeuf has expanded its sports-law footprint across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as opened the door to secure new business in international sports arbitration.
Debevoise & Plimpton: Real kudos goes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for their gutsy and articulate 18-page decision that does not pull its punches with the IAAF. David W. Rivkin, a partner in the New York and London offices of Debevoise & Plimpton, was one of the three named arbitrators in this dispute. His work could only look good for the firm.
Read the rest, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sports and the Law: Pistorius is Finally Free to Run”

Sports and the Law Above the Law blog.jpg[Ed. note: This is the second column by ATL's new sports columnist, Marc Edelman. You can read more about Marc, and check last week's inaugural column (in case you missed it), by clicking here.]
Twenty-one year old South African runner Oscar Pistorius had his heart set on running the 400-meter event at the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, on January 14, the International Association of Athletics Federations (“IAAF”) ruled that Pistorius was ineligible to compete because he has artificial legs.
According to the IAAF, Pistorius’s j-shaped carbon-fiber prosthetics (sometimes known as “cheetahs”) give him an advantage over runners with natural legs. As a result, the IAAF put the kibosh on what should have been the feel-good story of the 2008 Beijing games.
The story of Oscar Pistorius is truly remarkable. Born with a congenital disease that prevented the fibula in his legs from forming properly, Pistorius, at the age of 11 months, had both of his legs amputated below the knee. A few years later, he was fitted with his first prosthetics.
Read the rest of the column, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sports and the Law: Oscar Pistorius’s Claim has Strong Legs to Stand on”

Blawg Review 134 Eric Turkewitz Above the Law blog.jpg* So what are your legal remedies if she cheats on you anyway? [copyranter]
* While we’re visiting copyranter: another day, another animal kingdom law firm ad. [copyranter]
* Did the Fifth Circuit go easy on Judge Kent? There may be more here than meets the eye. [How Appealing]
* Eric Turkewitz delivers a New York City marathon-themed Blawg Review. Very cool! [New York Personal Injury Blog via Blawg Review]
P.S. Speaking of the NYC marathon, thanks to the many ATL readers who supported our efforts to raise funds for cancer research. Our fundraising goal was $2,500; thanks to you, we easily exceeded that goal. Our fundraising page will remain up through the end of the year, and your donations are still welcome. If you’re looking for more tax deductions after getting that big bonus check, just click here.
As for our performance in the marathon, we finished in 4:43:27 (good enough for inclusion in the New York Times marathon results supplement, which includes everyone who finishes in under five hours — sorry, Katie Holmes). We were slower this time around than when we ran it in 2005. But considering that we actually trained in 2005 — unlike this year, when the longest run we did before the marathon was a 10-mile run back in April — we were pleased.

* Politician busted for cheating in marathon. Seriously. [Sports Illustrated] [FN1]
* iPhone sued over exclusivity. [MSNBC]
* Hospital employees suspended for violating HIPAA after Clooney visit. [CNN]
* Suspected killer escapes to St. Martin, so far evades extradition. [CNN]
[FN1] Shameless plug: Speaking of marathons, David is running the New York City marathon next month, to raise funds for cancer research. If you’d be willing to support him with a tax-deductible donation, please click here.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver Hedges clerkship bonus Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgClerkship bonus announcements continue to roll in. Here’s the latest:

Quinn Emanuel’s website confirms that they have finally increased their clerkship bonus to $50,000.

My understanding is that other prestigious California litigation shops, like Keker and Munger, are still stuck at $35,000. You would make my day if you called them to confirm this (and thereby applied a little pressure).

Sorry, tipster. As we previously mentioned, we no longer conduct affirmative outreach to law firms about their clerkship bonuses, after receiving abuse rather than gratitude for past efforts on that front.
(But we might reconsider if, say, enough people made (tax-deductible) charitable donations to support us in the New York marathon this year. We need to raise $1,250 by early next month. Contributions — did we mention they’re tax-deductible? — can be made through our fundraising page.)

marathon Above the Law blog.jpgThe news cycle yesterday was dominated in the morning by coverage of the northeastern storm. In the afternoon, and continuing into today, the tragic events at Virginia Tech took center stage. (We’ll soon be setting up a new thread to discuss the VT shootings, which are dominating the morning headlines

But there was some happier news also, including the running of the 111th Boston Marathon. From a tipster:

Dan McGrath is a 1L at Notre Dame, and he just finished the Boston Marathon in 2:25:59, placing 31st overall.

We’re impressed by Mr. McGrath’s ability to balance marathon training with the rigors of the first year of law school. We congratulate him, and all the other lawyer-runners who completed the Boston Marathon, on their achievement.

(Feel free to mention other attorneys who completed yesterday’s race in the comments. Thanks.)

Boston Marathon [official website]

Denny Chin Judge Denny Chin Above the Law.jpgTime for a quick break from Biglaw and bonuses. Earlier this week, Judge Denny Chin (S.D.N.Y.) dismissed a lawsuit by a Florida man who blamed the Atkins diet for his heart troubles. As the WSJ Law Blog points out, Judge Chin offered some dieting tips in the opinion:

In a footnote, Judge Chin wrote that he has had success with his own “much simpler diet, which can be described in four words: Run more, eat less.”

We’d like to supplement this coverage. Judge Chin is one of many federal judges who enjoy running, and he runs regularly with his law clerks. They go for a vigorous morning jog through downtown Manhattan or along the Hudson River, then stop for steamed Chinese pork buns on the way back to chambers.

(But given all the weight that Judge Chin has successfully lost since taking up the sport, we’re guessing he consumes the Siu Bao in only moderate quantities.)

Judge Chin took up running only seven years ago. Since then he has completed the New York City marathon four times. How fast was he?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Denny Chin: Born To Run”

lindsay lohan subpoena service of process.jpgLast Friday, at the Annual American Cinematheque Awards ceremony (honoring George Clooney), scandal-prone starlet Linday Lohan was slapped with a subpoena. And it happened on the red carpet.
Was Lindsay being haled into court for her hideous keyhole-front halter gown, made of restored 14th-century chain mail, and trimmed with packaging twine? Actually, no.
Lindsay was being served with a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case involving her mother, Dina Lohan, who is being sued for breach of contract by two music producers and managers. reports:

It all started after the actress was approached by a woman who Lindsay assumed was an autograph seeker on her way out of the event. Lindsay said to the woman “You’re my first autograph!” to which the woman promptly answered “You’ve been served.” According to witnesses, Lindsay then dropped the paperwork and chased after the process server. No word on whether she caught up to the process server.

We’re wondering two things. First, what kind of shoes was Lindsay wearing? Second, why did she run after the process server? Was she hoping to return the subpoena to her?
If so, it was misguided thinking on Lindsay’s part. Service of process is governed by the same rule as the second-grade playground: “No backsies.”
P.S. As you can see from the photo, Lindsay Lohan is just like a Biglaw attorney — she never leaves home without her Blackberry. [Ed. note: Or is that a Treo? See the comments. We haven't had a Blackberry in years (which is both a good and bad thing).]
Lindsay: You Got Served []
Lindsay Gets Served! A Shocking Red Carpet Summons!!! []
Lindsay Lohan Served With a Subpoena — On the Red Carpet! [WSJ Law Blog]

gold sofa golden sofa.jpgOur long national nightmare is not yet over. Jennifer Wilbanks, aka “The Runaway Bride,” is making headlines once again.

The “runaway bride,” who took off days before her lavish wedding in 2005, is suing her former fiance for $500,000, claiming he defrauded her out of her share of their assets.

Jennifer Wilbanks is seeking $250,000 as her share of a home she says John C. Mason purchased through the partnership with proceeds from $500,000 received for selling their story to Regan Media in New York.

Leaving your fiancee high and dry at the altar, disappearing for several days, and telling the police a phony story of abduction and sexual assault are pretty bad things. But the lawsuit has brought to light an even greater transgression:

[L]etters included as exhibits in the lawsuit show that the former couple has been in dispute over personal property Wilbanks claims Mason has kept. The items include a ladder that belonged to her father, a gold-colored sofa, a new vacuum cleaner and wedding shower gifts.

A “gold-colored sofa”? Quelle horreur! Did they go dumpster-diving at Trump Tower?
Yet Wilbanks, who presumably registered for or picked out said sofa, wants it back. And that, in our book, is a capital offense — against good taste.
‘Runaway Bride’ Sues Her Former Fiance [Associated Press]

stephen breyer in track suit.JPGLately you haven’t been sending many legal celebrity sightings our way. C’mon, guys — we know you can do better. If you harbor doubt as to who constitutes a “legal celebrity” in our book, please review this post.

Due to your delinquency, we’ll have to resort to some rather hoary sightings. Here’s the first, inspired by our recent post about legal hotshots chowing down:

As for food sightings, I hear that Leonard Leo has his own wine locker at Morton’s. One day this past summer, he was there and Miguel Estrada was in the next booth.

For those of you outside the Beltway, Leonard Leo is Grand Poobah of the Federalist Society — ringmaster of the good Senatrix’s “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Miguel Estrada — aka “the kid from Teguicalpa” — is the brilliant Latino lawyer, and former nominee to the celestial D.C. Circuit, who is often talked about as a possible SCOTUS nominee (in a Republican administration).

And what do great legal minds do to work off all those calories? Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Judge Consuelo Callahan (9th Cir.), and Judge Kathleen Cardone (W.D. Tex.) are aerobics aficionados. And all three, coincidentally, used to teach it. Justice O’Connor led the female law clerks in aerobics at the Supreme Court; Judge Callahan was an instructor at Jack La Lanne Fitness in Stockton, California; and Judge Cardone led classes at EP Fitness in El Paso, Texas.

Meanwhile, Justice David Souter, feeder judges J. Harvie Wilkinson (4th Cir.) and Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain (9th Cir.), and ex-Judge Michael Chertoff (3d Cir.) enjoy running. And they’re not the only ones:

An older sighting (March), but a good one. I was driving my car in Georgetown one Sunday morning behind a jogger (blue/black long spandex pants and windbreaker). He was trotting right down the middle of the street, leaving no opportunity to pass on either side.

We followed behind him for about 2 blocks, going an infuriating 4 mph. When he hits the end of the block, he turns and starts jogging the opposite way, and now he’s heading straight in our direction. It was unmistakably Justice Stephen Breyer.

We commend Justice Breyer for his fitness regimen (which may explain why he’s one of the more svelte of the justices). But please, Your Honor — show some consideration for the motorists.

(Yeah, we know — those brick sidewalks in Georgetown can be a real bitch. But remember the words of Nietzsche: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”)

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