A number of attorneys at the SEC were not getting enough stimulation from their securities work, so they turned to porn. Lots and lots of porn — one attorney ran out of room on his computer and had to start storing his porn on CDs and DVDs in boxes in his office, according to the Inspector General’s report earlier this year.
Who were these attorneys who, for so many years, were more focused on wanking it than spanking the Madoffs? We don’t know. The 33 XXX-site-surfing SEC employees — mostly accountants and attorneys — were identified only by their work titles in the Inspector General report and not by name.
According to the Denver Post, the SEC turned down FOIA requests from both the Washington Times and Colorado attorney Kevin Evans, seeking the names of employees involved in the scandal. From the Denver Post:
[T]he SEC maintains in court records that the request for employee names and discipline is an invasion of privacy.
“Public identification of the Commission staff could conceivably subject them to harassment and annoyance of the conduct of their official duties and in their private lives,” a government legal adviser wrote in a denial of Evans’ FOIA request.
Evans is a former partner at Hogan & Hartson and Schiff Hardin, and is now a name partner at his own firm. And he was not content to have his FOIA turned down. He sued the SEC last month, and will let the courts decide if this is a true invasion of privacy.
His justification: how would your clients feel if you were billing them for “rubbing the redweld” while looking at www.ladyboyjuice.com?
While the economy was in freefall, an attorney at the SEC had a crisis of a different kind: his work computer had run out of room for his porn stash.
Thankfully, this was more easily solved than the mystery of Madoff’s returns. The SEC headquarters senior attorney, who spent up to eight hours a day surfing porn sites at work according to a recent SEC inspector general report, is a problem solver. He started downloading his porn directly to CDs and DVDs that he kept stored in boxes in his office. SEC attorneys know how to get the job done!
He was not the only SEC employee obsessing over porn while the economy was being raped. Bess Levin has a whole collection of anecdotes from the Office of the Inspector General report, over at sister site Dealbreaker.
Can you blame them for turning to sites like “www.ladyboyx.com, www.ladyboyjuice.com, www.trannytit.com, and www.anal-sins.com”? They weren’t having much luck nailing economic criminals after all…
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Goldman Sachs this morning. According to the SEC, Goldman is guilty of taking a “do what I say, not what I do” approach to mortgaged-backed securities.
Well, d’uh. That’s why Goldman isn’t suckling on the federal teat right now.
The SEC claims Goldman sold a financial instrument that they knew was going to fail, while at the same time taking short positions against that instrument.
Goldman denies the charges:
The SEC’s charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.
Am Law Daily reports that Sullivan & Cromwell partner Richard Klapper will be representing Goldman in this matter.
Let’s unpack the SEC’s complaint (pdf). Whether or not the SEC prevails in this civil litigation, their complaint certainly succeeds in making Goldman look very shady — the company’s stock tanked this morning.
We continue our lateblogging of the Federalist Society’s 2009 National Lawyers Convention. The conversations at the conference are always interesting. As far as we’re concerned, this has to be one of the most painless ways to rack up CLE credits.
Here’s the next panel discussion that we attended: Regulation of Financial Institutions
Hon. Paul S. Atkins, Congressional Oversight Panel and Former U.S. SEC Commissioner
Ms. Stephanie R. Breslow, Partner, Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP
Dean Paul G. Mahoney, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
Hon. Annette L. Nazareth, Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Moderator: Hon. Edith H. Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
A quick and dirty write-up, after the jump.
The New York City marathon happens this Sunday. We know many lawyers who will be running it, and we wish them luck.
The marathon did not impose a minimum age until 1981 (16, raised to 18 in 1988). Pegged to the upcoming marathon, the New York Times had a fascinating article earlier this week about child marathoners, focusing on Wesley Paul, Scott Black (pictured), and Howie Breinan:
The adventures of Paul, Black and Breinan offer a glimpse into a forgotten aspect of the running boom of the late 1970s. Preternaturally self-disciplined, they were among about 75 children (ages 8 to 13) who tackled the early years of the New York City Marathon in a time of novelty and naïveté….
With no conclusive study, physicians still debate risks to children who compete in marathons, like muscular-skeletal injuries, stunted growth, burnout, parental pressures and the ability to handle heat stress.
Another risk: going on to become a securities lawyer. Two out of the three child marathoners profiled by the Times now practice in that field.
Will the mainstream media ever hold law firms accountable for their roles in the global financial crisis? Probably not. Relatively speaking, only a small sector of society understands that Biglaw firms played a significant role making “toxic assets” lucrative and legal. Without attorneys, bankers wouldn’t know their tranches from their enhancements.
Too few people can get their head around what actually happened to cause the market crisis. But the public — the average American citizen — can wrap its mind around the concept of bonuses. I think it goes something like this:
Bonuses, BAD. Wall Street, BAD. Pitchforks and Torches, GOOD.
Can the mainstream media latch onto that?
The current online front page of the NYT weddings section is worth a click. The head blurb leads with “Despite their differences in age . . . ” underneath a picture of a 20-something bride embracing a “groom” who appears to be about nine years old. “Differences in age,” indeed. Somebody alert Morality in Media! (Of course, when you click on the link, you learn that the real groom is 40-something. Still yucky, but not illegal.)
Our spotlighted weddings this week feature couples who are well-matched not only in age, but in accomplishments. Here they are:
We previously covered the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against Mark Cuban. Today brings some good news on that front for the billionaire businessman. From Mark Cuban’s brother, lawyer / blogger Brian Cuban:
Chief Judge Sidney Fitzwater said in a 35-page ruling released Friday that the SEC had failed to prove that Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, “undertook a duty of non-use of information required to establish liability under the misappropriation theory of insider trading.”
As the SEC has 30 days to amend the complaint, further comment by me would be inappropriate until the deadline has passed.
* Lawyers are winning in the long rivalry between lawyers and bankers. Endless financial fraud cases make lawyers look ethical. There is another fraud charge in Philadelphia against money manager Joseph Forte. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
* The SEC is investigating Apple’s disclosures about CEO Steve Jobs’ health, to make sure the company did not mislead investors. [Bloomberg]
* A Czech businessman settled a suit filed against him by hedge fund Omega advisors, after he alegedly bribed government officials in Azerbaijan, defrauding investors hundreds of millions. [The New York Times]
* In the aftermath of India’s Enron–the Satyam scandal, the Indian government will likely rescue Satyam’s workers from losing their jobs. [Time.com]
* SEC chairman Christopher Cox resigned in the wake of scrutiny of the SEC for failing to investigate allegations in the Madoff scandal. [The Associated Press]
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
We recognize that you already possess the ability and intelligence to succeed in a variety of legal professions. Our job is to expose you to various practice areas in a way that ensures those very attributes are successfully applied. Our seasoned and successful faculty present unique programs that provide an approachable and practical understanding of the avenues of achievement available as you launch a fruitful, enjoyable and promising career.
Our Live Bridge the Gap weekends satisfy the entire year of New York Newly-Admitted CLE Credits in only two days!
After physically attending a full weekend, you will receive:
• 3.0 Ethics CLE credits,
• 6.0 Skills CLE credits, and
• 7.0 Professional Practice and/or Law Practice Management CLE credits
Date: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:35 p.m. (EST) Location:
55 Exchange Place
New York, NY 10006
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!