Screw-Ups

Nobody ever seems to believe me when I say this, but San Francisco gets chilly. It is cold most of the time. And foggy. The warmest time of year is right now, in late October. If you come to visit in July, and you stay in the city, and you will get cold.

That’s why every San Francisco tourist ever buys those cheesy sweatshirts with “San Francisco” written on them in a font that strangely resembles one of the main logos for our hugely disappointing championship-winning major-league baseball team, the Giants. Actually, it might be exactly the same logo. The baseball team is currently in a trademark dispute with the clothing company from Hayward (Oakland’s smaller, crappier neighbor to the south) over rights to the logo.

But hold on, the Giants have been using it for almost 20 years. They must have gotten the rights locked down years ago, right? Oopsies….

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We enjoy giving our readers the occasional peek behind the Biglaw curtain. Last month, for example, we shared with you the internal interview manual that Sullivan & Cromwell provides to its attorneys who conduct on-campus interviews at law schools.

Today, in a similar spirit, we take an inside look at the annual review process for attorneys at Skadden Arps. We’re into the fourth quarter of 2011, so these reviews are not far away.

In this special report, we’ll provide general observations on the Skadden review process, highlight noteworthy comments from leaked attorney evaluations, and show you a few reviews in their entirety (redacted to remove lawyer and client names). This information should interest Biglaw associates who want to know what partners look for junior lawyers, and it should also appeal to partners at other firms who want ideas on how to structure annual reviews.

If you’re interested in learning more about performance reviews at one of the world’s biggest and best law firms, please keep reading….

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I write about hacking and data security periodically, even though sometimes I get the feeling legal professionals try hard not to think about the subjects. But the stories in this realm bear repeating. Corporate data security is a real concern for many, many corporate attorneys, and especially in-house counsel.

Data security problems used to stem most frequently from weak firewalls or unencrypted equipment. But more and more, the biggest sources of risk and liability are just dumb or technologically overeager employees.

What kind of computer trouble are you and everyone you know getting your company or firm into? Let’s see….

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* After Anwar al-Awlaki’s death, everyone wants to know if it’s legal to kill American citizens abroad. Well, if Ron Paul is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. [New York Daily News]

* Sullivan & Cromwell and the Mailroom of Death: Harry Potter series reject or SCOTUS-bound appeal? If only there were a spell to make this screw-up disappear. [Washington Post]

* A class action suit alleges that Facebook is secretly tracking its users after they log off. Oh hi, Big Brother. I, for one, welcome our new lanky, douche overlord. [Bloomberg]

* When it comes to Scalia, caring about the coed dorm situation at Catholic University was this “Supreme Court justice’s latest supreme lapse of judgment.” Pure pwnage. [New York Times]

* Jared Lee Loughner is still just a tad too crazy to stand trial. Another four-month stay in a rubber room certainly will make his future insanity defense more believable. [Forbes]

* Hooters is suing Twin Peaks, a rival “breastaurant”, for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Boobs, butts, and booze are trade secrets? I guess that means I can’t open Grand Tetons. [Daily Mail]

There’s one guy in your outfit who understands the need not to write stupid e-mails: That’s the guy who just spent all day in deposition being tortured with the stupid e-mails that he wrote three years ago.

That guy will control himself. He’ll write fewer and more carefully phrased e-mails for the next couple of weeks. Then he’ll go back to writing stupid stuff again, just like everyone else.

You can’t win this game; no matter what you say, people will revert to informality and write troublesome e-mails. But you’re not allowed to give up. What’s an in-house lawyer to do?

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Joran van der Sloot

* Bob Morse announces that new jobs data may be used to change the methodology for calculating law school employment rates. Because Bob Morse has to do the ABA’s job for them. HIYOOOO! [U.S. News & World Report]

* And speaking of employment (or lack thereof), it looks like UDel and SUNY Stony Brook have given up their plans to build new law schools. Did they smarten up and start worrying about jobs like we do? [Washington Post]

* Joran van der Sloot: rolling his eyes at murder charges since 2005. More than a year after his arrest, he’s been charged with the murder of Stephany Flores. [CNN]

* Representing a private company, Cadwalader’s antitrust case against Google got tossed. Even Biglawyers can fail to meet their burdens of proof. [CNET]

* ‘Cause tonight we’re robo-signing like it’s 1999? Mortgage paperwork screw-ups aren’t as new as you think – they’ve been around since flannel was still cool. [Associated Press]

* Remember that Oscar de la Hoya lawsuit? The settlement allegedly included $20M in exchange for getting his heels and fishnets back. You can’t keep a good crossdresser down. [New York Post]

We have the makings of a trend: inappropriate contacts between participants in jury trials. These contacts can be problematic because a jury trial constitutes a delicate ecosystem, in which contacts and communications between actors are regulated strictly to ensure the fairness of the proceedings.

We recently mentioned a case where a juror got sentenced to community service after trying to friend the defendant on Facebook. Well, at least he didn’t try to “poke” her (although perhaps a desire to poke her is what prompted the problematic friend request).

Now we bring you news of, er, more intimate contact between a witness and a lawyer — which culminated in a mistrial….

UPDATE (11:00 AM): Photo of massage therapist Liudmyla Ksenych, a petite and pretty brunette, added after the jump.

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A partner at Morrison & Foerster accidentally “replied all” to an email on which “List/Attorney/All” was cc’d. Emails sent to “List/Attorney/All” go out to all 1,000-plus MoFo lawyers around the world.

What the partner wrote in the email was probably not something that should have been shared with the rest of the firm….

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Meet the Cavers: the cutest ginger attorney family ever.

In this rough economy, a job offer can be really exciting, even for the most seasoned attorney. A job offer is even more exciting when you find out that your future employer has also decided to make your husband an offer. And last week, that is exactly what happened to a husband-and-wife legal team from Rockford, Illinois.

Eileen and Brendan Caver, both graduates of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, quickly began to pack up to move half-way across the country for their new jobs in New York at the City of Syracuse corporation counsel’s office. With August start dates and two adorable children in tow, the Cavers quit their jobs in Illinois, put their house on the market, and canceled their daycare contract.

So, you’d think that even a city government would realize that offering attorneys jobs 780 miles away from home and then revoking those offers a week and a half later would be life-ruining. But apparently, that’s not how things work in upstate New York….

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If you are finishing up the bar exam today… are you reading this on your lunch break? What the hell is wrong with you? Focus!

If you finished the bar exam yesterday, congratulations. Time to relax and have some fun, if you have a job lined up for the fall. If you don’t have a job lined up, well, umm, lemme tell you these funny stories about other crazy things that happened during the administration of the July 2011 bar exam!

It seems that today in New Jersey — where Governor Chris Christie has just been hospitalized, by the way — they forgot to turn on the power at one testing site….

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