We thought something was off about the discussion of the recruiting situation at Yale Law School in last week’s big New York Times article about the tough legal job market.
It turns out we were right. Check out this correction, which appeared in yesterday’s paper:
An article on Wednesday about a cutback in hiring by law firms misstated several firms’ recruitment decisions involving Yale Law School. Two firms — Baker & McKenzie and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy — did not register for the program in 2009; another, White & Case, registered but dropped its registration before scheduling any interviews. None of the firms “canceled interviews in New Haven.”
The errors were brought to the attention of the Times by a YLS spokesperson, who explained that the school was never contacted by the reporter and had no idea as to where he obtained his information.
“No students were ‘stunned’ by the canceling of any interviews,” the spokesperson explained to ATL. “That just simply did not happen.” Downturn Dims Prospects Even at Top Law Schools [New York Times] Earlier: All the News That’s Fit to Recycle
The Texas judge who ordered Microsoft to pay $290 million for infringing a patent included a $40 million enhancement that he said was partly justified because of alleged trial misconduct by a lawyer from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis tacked on the $40 million penalty because of evidence of willful infringement. But also “favoring enhancement,” he said in an opinion, was trial conduct by lawyer Matthew Douglas Powers, a Weil Gotshal partner.
Matthew Douglas Powers is a big name in IP circles. And he’s the co-chair of Weil’s litigation department. But he’s not going to comment on Judge Davis’s $40 million critique of his trial performance.
What were the judge’s reasons for admonishing Powers? Check after the jump.
Earlier this week, we wrote about a serious drafting mistake by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan — maybe a typo, maybe not — that could cost Stroock’s client millions.
Could Stroock look to its malpractice insurer for help? Maybe not, according to the New York Post:
The gaffe exposes Stroock to the real possibility of having to pay back Extell and Carlyle out of its own pocket because sources said that if the developers sue Stroock, it’s unlikely its insurer will pick up the tab.
The basis for this prediction is not included in the Post article. If you have thoughts on the insurance issue, please do share. Stroock didn’t comment to the New York Times, which first wrote about the error, but they did offer brief comment to the Post.
We realize that we make our fair share of typographical errors here at ATL. But this is just a blog, not a document being sent to a client or filed with a court, and we’re more focused on substance than style, due to the speed of the news cycle and our desire to be… FIRST! So please cut us some slack.
(But do continue to point out typos to us, either in the comments or by email. Readers are our unofficial copy editors, and we frequently fix typos after they’ve been brought to our attention.)
In any event, at least our typos don’t cost anyone millions. From the New York Times:
The Rushmore, a new 41-story glass and stone condominium tower on Riverside Boulevard at the Hudson River, seemed serene on a recent visit. The flowers in the interior courtyard were in full bloom; the ground-level pool had been filled. Sixteen buyers had already moved in.
And yet an error of a single digit in an arcane document — the densely worded 732-page offering plan — could upset that happy picture, and cost the sponsors, the Extell Development Company and the Carlyle Group, tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, lawyers say.
Last summer, Winston & Strawn only had a 90% offer rate for summer associates. Last year, that was worrisome. This year, summers would likely injure baby seals for a 90% offer rate.
Summers are getting nervous, and it appears that a video conference from Winston’s managing partner, Tom Fitzgerald, didn’t help matters. Here is one tipster’s report of the proceedings:
The entire Winston summer class watched a video-conference speech given by Tom Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald explained that we would be notified of offers during Labor Day weekend. We were also told that the demand for legal services has plummeted, and that we were very talented and would do well no matter whatever field or firm we joined. He even talked about some past Winston summers who went on to do great things … Overall Tom seemed to be preparing us for a slaughter come September. He also mentioned at the end of his address that those who did get offers would start January 2011 at the earliest. Needless to say the summers were feeling pretty s****y.
We haven’t been able to confirm that Winston & Strawn will be instituting a mandatory deferral for summers that receive an offer to return full-time.
Of course, it’s not all bad news for the firm. Just last week, Winston hired Thomas Cottingham III and a number of other attorneys from Hunton & Williams. The move should bolster Winston’s Charlotte office — good news for the firm, as well as the city of Charlotte.
But expanding during a recession is always a difficult thing to do. After the jump, take a look at one attorney’s thoughts about how Winston’s expansion in China is going — thoughts apparently intended for the firm’s former and current chairmen, but accidentally disseminated firm-wide. UPDATE AFTER THE JUMP (1:00 P.M.): One Winston tipster says the “attorney” weighing in on the Chinese expansion is just a spammer.
Here’s a blast email that went out last night to journalists who regularly receive updates from the U.S. Department of Justice. This particular press release was issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.
Pay special attention to the subject line.
Fifteen minutes later, a corrected version went out. It was identical to the original version, except for a new subject line: “CORRECTED: FEDERAL GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENT ON INTERNET BOMB THREATS.”
If you’d like to read the full press release, notwithstanding its manifest suckiness, we’ve posted it after the jump.
From: Mark Sargent
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 3:01 PM
To: Wendy Barron; 2010dist; 2011dist
Cc: William James; Doris Brogan; Felicia Hamilton; Lori Bogish; Jennifer Nguyen; Christine Stango
Subject: RE: Work-Study funds for summer 2009
Wendy, we need to be careful with this kind of mass communication, helpful as it is. As I am sure you saw, this ended up on Above the Law. I did not get nearly as excited about it as Maule, and I know other schools will have the same problem, but readersnaturally (albeit idiotically) put a bas [sic] spin on it for us.
This is what we get for being transparent and helpful! The internet really is a type of hell!
ing we put on email or elsewhere can go viral almost instantly.
Mark A. Sargent
Dean and Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
From a second tipster:
I had to forward this. It is the email equivalent of the scene in Billy Madison where Chris Farley gets on the school bus and yells, “NO YELLING ON THE BUS!”
1. Thanks for the shout-out, Dean Sargent! We’re glad to have you as a reader.
2. You’re right — other law schools arehaving the same problem. For example, there’s no more work-study money at Rutgers – Camden (email after the jump).
3. “[R]eaders naturally (albeit idiotically) put a bas [sic] spin on it for us.” Oh, Dean Sargent, don’t read the comments — they will only cause you grief. We’ve helpfully hidden them, so they don’t display by default; you have to affirmatively seek them out.
Finally, this is not the first time Dean Sargent has had problems with that pesky “reply all” button. Remember the saga of Peanut Girl? Back in the fall of 2007, Dean Sargent complained about having to deal with a student with a very severe peanut allergy — in an email he sent to the deans of all ABA-accredited law schools. In a subsequent apology to the listserv, he described his gaffe as “the oldest mistake in the history of email.”
We reached out to Dean Sargent for comment on his latest email error. Read more, after the jump.
The 90′s were good to Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame. His taekwando-boxing hybrid workout routine was all the rage across the land, with Paula Abdul a notable follower.
After his career peaked, the legal troubles started. In 1999, he filed a $10 million suit against his agent, because his agent wasn’t licensed to be an agent. And he hired Seyfarth Shaw to represent him. The case did not go well, and Blanks kick-boxed a malpractice suit Seyfarth’s way. One of Seyfarth’s L.A. partners, William Lancaster, bore the full brunt of Blanks’ aerobic fury, because Blanks alleged that he missed the statute of limitations by four weeks because Lancaster was dilly-dallying in the Superior Court system rather than taking his complaint to the labor commissioner, where it belonged.
The malpractice suit was decided in Blanks’ favor, and he was awarded $30 million. But the Second District Court of Appeals has reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the trial court.
Not without a cardio-kick to Seyfarth. From the Legal Pad:
[The] Second District Court of Appeal ruling that gave [Seyfarth] that dancing-with-joy moment wasn’t very kind to their law firm: It almost scoffed at their defenses to a celebrity’s claim of legal malpractice….
[Justice Richard Aldrich] had a warning for Seyfarth (and the trial judge) on remand. Aldrich speculated that Seyfarth will argue that Lancaster’s decision to delay filing a TAA petition was “a reasoned choice” or a “prudent trial strategy.” But he indicated that won’t be easy.
“Although attorneys have wide latitude in selecting strategy,” Aldrich wrote, “Seyfarth will have the burden to explain why its choice to delay filing a TAA petition was based upon a rational, professional judgment that would have been made by other reputable attorneys in the community under the same or substantially similar circumstances.”
Billy Blanks is giving Seyfarth quite the work-out.
K&L Gates associates have not heard about their 2008 bonus or their 2009 raises yet. Bonus news is historically late at the firm, and raise news should come in March.
In the meantime, associates got an unexpected bonus along with their second paycheck of the year. This is an excerpt from the e-mail associates received yesterday:
Please see the email below regarding an error with the direct deposit of the January 22nd payroll. In short the issue is that your payroll appears to have been deposited 3 times and the firm is in the process of request [sic] 2 of those be returned. So, please be careful not to spend more then your normal pay until you see that they [sic] corrections have been made to your account.
On the downside, K&L uses an inept payroll company. On the upside, the firm’s cash flow must be nice and healthy if it can afford to triple pay all of its associates. Indeed, as we reported yesterday, profits per partner at K&L are up.
The associate who sent the e-mail along to us is a brave one:
they said they’d take it out by early next week. i think i could head up to atlantic city. triple it. then put it back in my account by next monday.
Sounds like a plan to us. Not a good plan, but a plan. Full e-mail from the director of payroll after the jump.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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