Samuel Alito

law library Above the Law.jpgWhen it comes to legal hotties contests, Above the Law is a market leader — and everybone else has yet to match.
We’re previously held beauty contests for America’shottest ERISA lawyers, law school deans, and 3L students at NYU Law. And we have tons of ideas for future contests.
We asked for your help in picking our next contest. Here’s how you voted:
ATL poll results hotties hottie contest competition law library librarian.JPG
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to ATL’s latest hotties contest: LAW LIBRARIANS!!!
It’s not as strange as it might seem. Librarians get a bad rap; they’re regarded as frumpy and, well, bookish. But we know there are lots of hot legal librarians out there just waiting to be discovered.
To name just one, there’s the fun and fabulous Martha-Ann Alito, the wife of Justice Samuel A. Alito. They met when he was an assistant U.S. attorney in Newark, New Jersey, and she was the USAO’s law librarian. Some people find their angels in the centerfold; Sam Alito found his in the center stacks!
Okay, time for contest logistics. Do you know a hot law librarian — whether at a law school, a law firm, a courthouse, or elsewhere — who deserves to be considered?
Please check out the nomination rules and guidelines, which appear after the jump. Thanks!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Hotties: Law Librarians!”

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgNewsweek has an interesting article about retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The gist of the piece is that even though Justice O’Connor is longer on the Court, she’s still extremely busy. Since her SCOTUS retirement, she has served on the Iraq Study Group, which published its report not too long ago; sat by designation on circuit courts (by our count, at least three — the Second, Eighth, and Ninth); worked on books; and delivered speeches, including vigorous defenses of “judicial independence.”
The most noteworthy material concerns the timing of Justice O’Connor’s departure from the Court:

O’Connor carefully weighed when to quit the bench. In the spring of 2005, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist publicly battling thyroid cancer, the two justices discussed timing. “We talked a little bit,” O’Connor recalls. “I was concerned about whether he had an intention to step down since his plans might have altered my own. It’s hard for the nation to grapple with two [retirements] at once,” she says. “He indicated he didn’t want to step down.” So she realized she had to go first.

And so she did, announcing her retirement on July 1, 2005. As it turned out, however, Chief Justice Rehnquist passed away about two months after SOC stepped down. So the nation did end up having to deal with two vacancies at the same time. (Then-Judge John Roberts was moved over to the Chief spot, after being nominated initially as an Associate Justice, and Judge Samuel Alito was subsequently appointed to replace Justice O’Connor.)
The article also reports unfortunate news concerning Justice O’Connor’s husband, John Jay O’Connor III:

After O’Connor was freed from her daily duties at the court—it took six months before Alito took her seat—John’s condition deteriorated. Last summer she reluctantly placed him in a care center near their home in Phoenix; she visits him often. “It’s such a miserable disease. It’s so sad. It’s so hard. I did the best I could,” she says. “He wants me there all the time.”

Justice O’Connor’s departure has left a void on the Court. And we’re not talking about making Justice Kennedy even more of an influential swing vote.
What we want to know is: Now that SOC is away from One First Street most of the time, who leads the morning aerobics classes at the Supreme Court gym — as Justice O’Connor used to do, on a daily basis before she retired? Although Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a cheerleader in her youth, she no longer seems like the aerobicizing type.
And don’t look to SOC’s replacement, Justice Samuel Alito. We adore Justice Alito as a jurist. But we don’t think we’re alone in not wanting to see him in spandex.
Justice: Bench Player [Newsweek via WSJ Law Blog]

Supreme Court hallway Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law.JPGLast month we published a round-up of Supreme Court clerk hiring for October Term 2007. We asked you to keep us updated as to future developments.
We thank you for doing so. Here is what we’ve heard recently. If you see any errors, or have anything to add, please let us know.
1. Justice Samuel Alito, who has already filled two of his spots for OT 2007, has completed his interviewing. He interviewed roughly 10 to 12 candidates for the two remaining clerkships. It is possible, if he likes someone enough, that he may hire one or two of his ’08 clerks from this batch of candidates.
2. Chief Justice John Roberts, for whom we had no information in our round-up, apparently has moved. From a tipster:

“I am sure you have probably already received this intel, but it appears Chief Justice Roberts has recently made a few hiring choices for OT 2007.”

“Looks like he hired Jason Burnette, a 2006 Georgia law grad currently clerking for Judge Anderson on the 11th. See here.”

“He also at least extended an offer to Anton Metlitsky, (I think you might have covered this guy over at UTR back in the day). I assume Mr. Metlitsky accepted.”

“Hope this info is helpful.”

It most definitely is. Thank you! And please keep the tips coming.
P.S.Yes, we did cover Metlitsky back in the day. See here. Metlitsky was hired by then-Judge Roberts to clerk for him on the D.C. Circuit. When JGR got brought up to the Supremes, Metlitsky sought refuge in the clerk-feeding arms of Judge Merrick Garland (D.C. Circuit).
P.P.S. Yes, we know — we owe you profiles of the current Breyer clerks. We’ve been distracted by Aaron Charney, associate pay raises, and Shanetta Cutlar. Rest assured, they are coming. In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, check out our Alito clerk profiles.
The good news is that there’s stil time for you to email us with your tidbits about them. We look forward to hearing from you.
P.P.P.S. We reprint an updated tally of October Term 2007 clerks, as well as links to our prior posts, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Update: October Term 2007″

Yale Law School dinner 5.JPG
Last Friday night, we attended a Yale Law School alumni dinner here in Washington, at Acadiana restaurant. It was timed to coincide with the big AALS conference of law professors in DC, since so many YLS alums are in legal academia.
The keynote speaker at the dinner was Professor Heather Gerken, who was snatched up from Harvard by Yale last year. She gave an interesting talk about her proposal for a “Democracy Index,” a national system for ranking the election-law practices of the different states. (We won’t repeat her remarks here, since Professor Gerken’s proposal is laid out in detail in her Legal Times commentary.)
Before Professor Gerken spoke, the audience was addressed by Dean Harold Hongju Koh. He updated us about recent developments at the law school, and gave the standard spiel about the brilliance and diversity of Yale’s first-year class.
(In case you’re wondering, the Yale 1Ls have a median GPA of 3.91. Their ranks include oodles of Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars… and a massage therapist. You can have the Rhodies, the whole lot of ‘em; just give us the massage therapist.)
Dean Koh also delivered remarks that could be viewed as part of his new charm offensive: an attempt to reach out to YLS conservatives, in the wake of some criticism on that front.
Some random photos — plus very surprising news about Justice Clarence Thomas and Yale Law School, the alma mater he’s had a rocky relationship with — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Yale Dean Harold Koh Hearts Conservatives”

supreme court hallway.jpgWe’re continuing to profile the current class of Supreme Court law clerks. We’ve written up the Alito clerks for October Term 2006 already, and we’re working on profiles of the Breyer clerks.
(We reiterate our prior request for tips about the SGB crew, especially Thiru Vignarajah. We probably have enough material about the other three.)
Looking ahead to the future, here’s what we know so far about the justices’ hiring of law clerks for October Term 2007. Most of it is taken from Wikipedia.
Caveat lector: Wikipedia, of course, can be edited by pretty much anyone. So please note that much of the information appearing below is UNCONFIRMED. We have added links to additional, confirmatory sources where available, so you can weigh for yourself the reliability of the information.
Justice John Paul Stevens
1. Todd Gluth (Boalt Hall 2005 / W. Fletcher)
2. Sara Klein (Cardozo 2005 / Barry (3d Cir.) / Lifland (D.N.J.))
3. Kate Shaw (Northwestern 2006 / Posner)
4. Abby Wright (U. Penn. 2006 / Boudin)
Justice Antonin Scalia
1. Aditya Bamzai (University of Chicago/Sutton/OLC)
2. John Bash (Harvard 2006 / Kavanaugh)
3. Bryan Killian (Harvard / Niemeyer)
4. Rachel Kovner (Stanford / Wilkinson)
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
1. Michael Chu (Harvard / D. Ginsburg)
2. Stephen Cowen (U. Chicago / D. Ginsburg)
2. Andrianna (“Annie”) Kastanek (Northwestern 2005 / Ripple)
3. C.J. Mahoney (Yale 2006 / Kozinski)
Justice Clarence Thomas
1. William S. Consovoy (George Mason 2001 / E. Jones)
2. Eric McArthur (Chicago 2005 / Luttig)
3. Carrie Severino (Harvard 2005 / Sentelle)
4. Heath Tarbert (U. Penn 2001 / D. Ginsburg)
5. Leila Thompson (NYU / Lambert (D.D.C.) / Sentelle)
Update: Upon information and belief, William Consovoy is now scheduled to clerk for Justice Thomas in October Term 2008, not October Term 2007. For more, see here.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1. Brian Fletcher (Harvard 2006 / Garland)
2. Zack Trip (Columbia 2005 / Kearse)
Justice Stephen G. Breyer
1. Eric Feigin (Stanford 2005 / Wilkinson)
Justice Samuel Alito
1. David H. Moore (BYU 1996 / Alito)
2. Jessica Phillips (Northwestern 2006 / Flaum)
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (retired):
1. Heidi Bond (U. Michigan 2006 / Kozinski)
(Random observation: WOW. This is shaping up as the best Term ever for Northwestern Law School, with three of its graduates landing SCOTUS clerkships so far. And U. Penn is doing quite well, too.)
As we all know, Wikipedia is not infallible. So if you have corrections (or additions) to any of the OT 2007 law clerk information appearing above, please email us. Thanks.
Update: SCOTUS Clerk Hiring News: An Errata Sheet
List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States [Wikipedia]

kwanzaa happy kwanzaa kwanza candles.gifThe week before a major holiday is usually pretty slow. And the Friday before the holiday weekend is usually dead — the perfect time for Mike Nifong to announce he’s dropping the rape charges against the Duke lacrosse team defendants.
Other highlights from the past week in legal news and ATL:
* Get to know this year’s Alito clerks!
* And help us get to know the current Breyer clerks.
* Dean Harold Koh’s Christmas gift to Yale Law School conservatives: newfound warmth and friendliness.
* Speaking of Yale Law School, YLS grad Yul Kwon just won Survivor. Congrats, Yul!
* Stuff you knew already: Supreme Court clerks are cooler than you. Lawyers have mediocre sex lives. Pro se litigants are insane.
* Last week dragged in a few more law firm bonus announcements, but nothing exciting. To skim the coverage, click here, then scroll down through the headlines.
* On the subject of bonuses, Biglaw associates: Please take our 2006 bonus poll (first announced here):

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

stephen breyer justice.jpgIn case you missed it, yesterday we profiled the four current clerks to Justice Samuel Alito. Click here to read that post.
Moving up the seniority chain brings us to Justice Stephen G. Breyer. According to Wikipedia, these are Justice Breyer’s four law clerks for October Term 2006 (please notify us of any errors you see):

1. Jaren Casazza (Columbia ’04 / Jacobs / Wood(S.D.N.Y.))

2. Tacy Flint (Chicago ’04 / Posner)

3. Stephen Shackleford (Harvard ’05 / Boudin)

4. Thiru Vignarajah (Harvard ’05 / Calabresi)

To profile the SGB crew, we need a little help from you. Please send us interesting tidbits, fun facts, or amusing anecdotes about these members of the Elect, by email. We also welcome any photographs you might have. Please be sure to include the clerk’s full name somewhere in your message (because we often locate messages relevant to drafting a specific post by running searches in our inbox).
We note that Amber Taylor has already profiled this foursome. We therefore implore you to send us information that is especially salacious and scandalous quirky, so we don’t simply repeat what’s in her write-ups. Thanks!
List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States [Wikipedia]
The Breyer Clerks [Prettier Than Napoleon]
A Law Clerk Hiring Update: Alito’s Experienced Hands, Breyer’s Hires, and More [Underneath Their Robes]
Earlier: Justice Alito’s OT 2006 Law Clerks

michael lee mike lee christopher paolella chris paolella matthew schwartz matt schwartz gordon todd.JPGsamuel alito jr samuel a alito jr justice alito.jpgSorry it has taken us so long. As promised months ago, we now begin our series profiling current Supreme Court clerks (aka the “October Term 2006″ or “OT 2006″ law clerks).
We’ll be going chambers by chambers, starting with the most junior justice. Here are the four law clerks to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.:

1. Michael S. Lee (BYU ’97/Benson (D. Utah)/Alito)

2. Christopher J. Paolella (Harvard ’99/Alito)

3. Matthew A. Schwartz (Columbia ’03/Alito)

4. Gordon D. Todd (UVA ’00/Beam)

As a member of the Alito extended family explained to us, here’s the key to understanding the Alito chambers: 3:1. This golden ratio perfectly captures the demographics of the OT 2006 Alito clerks. Consider:

1. Familial status: three are married with children, one is not (Chris Paolella — married, but no kids yet).

2. Undergraduate institution: three are Princetonians, one is not (Michael Lee — BYU).

3. Prior Alito clerkship: three previously clerked for then-Judge Alito on the Third Circuit, one did not (Gordon Todd).

4. Religious affiliation: three are Christian,* one is not (Matthew Schwartz — he’s Jewish).

5. College debate: three were gods of the parliamentary debate circuit, and former presidents of the American Parliamentary Debate Assocation (APDA); one was not (Michael Lee).

But we wouldn’t want such commonalities to overshadow the individuality of these gents. Check out our profiles of Messrs. Lee, Paolella, Schwartz, and Todd — after the jump.
* Mitt Romney footnote: Michael Lee is Mormon, which we consider to be Christian. Presidential candidate Romney hopes that evangelical Christians voting in the Republican primaries will agree with us.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Justice Alito’s OT 2006 Law Clerks”

Christmas tree.jpg* The holiday season is here, and you know what that means: year-end bonuses for law firm associates. On Friday, Milbank Tweed made the first big bonus announcement. And this time it wasn’t fake.
* They talk a lot about “due process” over at Yale Law School. But questions have been raised concerning the process by which Linda Greenhouse, SCOTUS reporter for the New York Times, was selected over Justice Samuel Alito for the school’s prestigious Award of Merit.
* If Greenhouse benefited from preferential treatment from YLS Dean Harold Koh, it wouldn’t have been the first time.
* Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer: not just geniuses, but also an inspired comedic duo.
* Speaking of great legal minds, Professor Noah Feldman is leaving NYU for Harvard Law School.
* And speaking of NYU Law School, if you haven’t already voted in the 3L hotties contest, there’s still some time left. Polls close tomorrow at 3PM (Eastern time).
* Finally, we have a new little sibling. Please extend a warm welcome to Supermogul: The View From the Top.

samuel alito harold koh linda greenhouse.JPGWe’re delighted that our scoop about Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh pushing Linda Greenhouse over Justice Samuel Alito for the YLS Award of Merit has been picked up so widely. It even made the pages of the Holy Trinity of the Right-of-Center Blawgosphere: Instapundit, Volokh Conspiracy (Jonathan Adler), and Althouse.
As noted, our transcript of the deliberations was fictionalized and satirical. But it is based upon what we’ve learned about the process by which Greenhouse was selected.
If you disbelieve our account in its entirety, allow us to share with you some supporting information. This isn’t the first time that Dean Koh has been accused of showing favoritism towards Linda Greenhouse. Consider the case of the Harry Blackmun papers.
Koh, a former law clerk to Justice Blackmun and advisor to his daughter Sally, played a major role in giving Linda Greenhouse exclusive, early access to Blackmun’s papers — much to the chagrin of other news organizations. As reported at the time by Tony Mauro:

Blackmun’s daughter Sally, the executor for the papers, said in an interview last week that Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, and Nina Totenberg, longtime Court correspondent for National Public Radio, have been given exclusive pre-release access to the papers for their respective media of print and broadcast journalism….

The Washington Post asked for early access before the exclusive arrangement was made, but was denied. Editors at the Post were described by one knowledgeable source outside the newspaper as “livid” over the favored treatment granted to the Times.

Executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. and Post attorney David Kendall of Williams & Connolly repeatedly sought reconsideration of the exclusive deal, without success, according to sources at the Post. The Post petitioned Sally Blackmun and Yale Law School professor Harold Koh, a former clerk to the justice and now an adviser to Blackmun.

A Post source says that Koh invited the newspaper to make a proposal for early access last July, but did not mention a deadline. According to the source, by the time the Post replied in September with a plan for non-exclusive early access, the decision had already been made to give the Times exclusive access.

Say it ain’t so! Dean Koh had already made up his mind, in favor of La Greenhouse? Quelle surprise!

For her part, Greenhouse says she began talking with Koh last July, but did not seek exclusivity. The offer to give the Times the only print media preview “fell in my lap,” she says….

Koh declined to comment on why Greenhouse and Totenberg were selected.

So what is the origin of Linda Greenhouse’s Svengali-like power over Harold Koh?
We have a theory. Check it out, along with a bunch of interesting links, after the jump.

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