You know the drill. We’re still taking summer associate stories; if you have one to share, please review our submission guidelines, and then email us.
Here’s the latest:
1. Superhero name: The Vanimal
2. Special power(s): Ridiculous self-aggrandizement; creeping out female colleagues; writing erotic correspondence.
3. Summered: Balch & Bingham, “several summers back.”
4. Claim to fame: From our tipster:
“The Vanimal was an odd duck from [law school redacted] who liked to talk about himself in the third person and refer to himself as ‘The Vanimal.’ E.g., ‘the Vanimal doesn’t drink’ — which was pretty out of place at a traditional southern firm. [Ed. note: The origins of this bizarre 'Vanimal' moniker will have to remain obscure; to say more would risk revealing his identity.]
“In addition to calling himself the Vanimal and speaking in the third person, he would make a V with his fingers — like a peace sign, but palm inwards — which he held up while he talked.”
You’re dying to find out what the erotica writing is about, right?
Find out, after the jump.
Here’s some follow-up on our Lawsuit of the Day, Greer v. 1-800-Flowers. Plaintiff Leroy Greer is suing the online florist for revealing to his wife that he had flowers delivered to his girlfriend — resulting in said wife divorcing his sorry ass.
Some readers who have seen the complaint offered these comments:
2. In terms of damages, “the guy is asking for $1 million (it’s in the demand letter).”
3. “Please note on page 25 (the receipt) that the delivery “MUST INCLUDE… Cuddly Plush/ Stuffed Animal” (emphasis in original). The occasion for the flowers was “Love & Romance.”
Yup, that’s right. Take a look at the receipt for yourself (Exhibit D to Greer’s Complaint):
Note the handwritten scrawl at the bottom of the receipt, presumably from Greer’s wife: “Be a man! If you got caught red handed then don’t still lie. Your tmobile has her number so why still lie.”
Interesting. Could this furnish a possible defense for 1-800-Flowers? If there was already ample evidence of Greer’s infidelity, can 1-800-Flowers really be blamed for his marriage unraveling? Earlier: Lawsuit of the Day: Greer v. 1-800-Flowers
If you’re a married man planning on sending flowers to your mistress, we have a tip for you: do NOT use 1-800-FLOWERS (as if you needed to be told).
Check out this interesting case, filed in the Southern District of Texas (Houston), and included in this morning’s Courthouse News Service (subscription):
Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc. 8/6/2007 H-07-2543
Breach of contract action in which the defendants agreed to keep the plaintiff’s order of flowers for his girlfriend private, with no record of the transaction mailed to him at his home or office.
Months later, the defendants sent a thank you card to the plaintiff’s home, and his wife called the defendants for proof of the purchase. The defendants faxed the plaintiff’s wife proof of his order of flowers for his girlfriend, which resulted in a divorce being filed.
Oh crap. In terms of tales of infidelity getting exposed, this one is definitely up there.
If plaintiff Leroy Greer prevails, what would be the appropriate measure of damages? Will 1-800-FLOWERS reimburse him for his divorce settlement, as a form of consequential damages?
And what about alimony — will they pick up the tab for that? Or can they just send his ex-wife a bouquet of carnations each month, for the rest of her life? Update: More details about the lawsuit appear here. Correction: Thanks, commenters. Scratch the reference to “alimony,” and replace it with “spousal support.” Leroy Greer v. 1-800-Flowers.Com (subscription) [Courthouse News Service]
Billy Merck here, once again filling in for Lat while he squeezes out some more vacation before the summer gets away from us. We’ll be here today and Laurie Lin will be here tomorrow; Lat’s back next week.
We start today with an update on a case from Georgia with which you’re all probably at least a little familiar. We reported earlier here on the case of Genarlow Wilson, the Georgia man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 years old. The Georgia statute under which he was convicted has since been amended to make the same offense a misdemeanor, but the change was not made retroactive to Wilson’s case.
On June 11, Wilson’s habeas corpus petition was granted on the basis that the 10-year sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment; as a result Wilson’s offense was changed to a misdemeanor, he was given credit for the more than two years already served in jail, and he would no longer have to register as a sex offender. Attorney General Thurbert Baker has appealed this decision, drawing criticism from many who question the need to keep Wilson in jail any longer than he has already been there.
Which leads us to the new part of the story. Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, who prosecuted the case against Wilson, has been there every step of the way to ensure not only that Wilson went to jail, but that he stayed there. When the state legislature considered bills last year and this year that would have amended the statute again to make it apply retroactively to Wilson’s case, McDade was there lobbying against the bills.
And evidently, as part of his efforts, McDade has made available to legislators and seemingly anyone else who wanted one copies of the videtape of the sexual encounter that got Wilson convicted. Many in Georgia have begun to question why McDade has been so free with the distribution of the tape, particularly since the distribution, receipt, and possession of it appears to violate Georgia and federal law.
More on McDade’s Nifong-like behavior after the jump.
Related: Attorney general: Wilson ruling could free molesters [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] Wilson’s legal tactics challenged[Atlanta Journal-Constitution] Judge says no bond for Genarlow Wilson, cancels hearing[Fulton County Daily Report] Sharpton embraces relatives at rally for Gernarlow Wilson[Atlanta Journal-Constitution] State Supreme Court moves up Genarlow Wilson hearing[Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
We’ve appended short updates to the original posts. But in case you didn’t see them, here are postscripts to the stories of two Louisiana lawyers with possibly problematic sexual appetites: Senator David Vitter, and recent UGA law grad Philip Pirie.
With respect to Senator Vitter, a source notes:
Check out this NOLA.com post. The owner of the Canal Street brothel in New Orleans came forward to say David Vitter had been a customer. Apparently she decided to speak out because of the bad press he has been getting. She wanted to clear his name because he was not into drugs, not into kinky sex, was nice to the hookers, etc.
With defenders like this, who needs attackers?
With respect to Philip Pilie, a tipster tells us:
“Apparently Philip is still planning on taking the bar Saturday. He was also engaged. Don’t know if it is still on or not.”
Here’s a quick follow-up on yesterday’s Lawyer of the Day — Senator David Vitter (R-LA), who recently confessed to having been a client of the escort service run by the so-called “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.
Check out this video, put together by the TPM crew. These were our favorite parts:
1. Vitter’s daughter: “Way to move it, Dad!”
2. Sen. Vitter: “In life’s most important moments, we’re not Republicans or Democrats. We’re parents.”
Or, more accurately, philandering spouses.
3. The senator’s wife, Wendy Vitter (also noted by various commenters):
“I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”
Many of you are studying for bar exams at the end of this month. You read ATL while procrastinating — and perhaps you feel guilty about it.
But you shouldn’t. There are far worse ways to procrastinate.
Like using the internet to set up trysts with underage females — who turn out to be undercover detectives. This email was forwarded to us yesterday:
From: [UGA Law grad] Date: Jul 10, 2007 1:32 PM Subject: Another great moment for UGA Law! To: [Various other UGA Law alumni]
Philip Pilie… a graduating 3L this past May. See theselinks.
More background, from a tipster:
Guy in question was studying for the Louisiana Bar Exam before he got picked up [for computer-aided solicitation for sexual purposes and attempted indecent behavior with a juvenile].
He was a Georgia Law ’07 grad, with a job lined up at Baker Donelson (a big firm for the city) in New Orleans. All of that is obviously not going to happen now.
Kicker is this: If you Google his online handle, it comes up with forum posts for a bunch of fashion sites. In one he gives lengthy fashion advice…
Read more about the Prada Predator, after the jump.
* Charges coming in “collar bomb” case. [CNN]
* Size matters. And bigger isn’t always better, as the Ninth Circuit demonstrates. [Los Angeles Times]
* That’s some hardcore pwnography. [Click 2 Houston (KPRC, Houston NBC affiliate)]
* Deal reached in Libya foreign medics AIDS trial, with details to come tomorrow; Libyan Supreme Court had been expected to uphold death sentences. [Jurist]
* Facing child sex charges, but don’t want that fact to slow down your legal career? Check out the Solomon Islands. [CNN]
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam,” making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.
The statement containing Vitter’s apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004….
“This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter, 46, said in a statement….
This is not the first time Vitter has found himself in a sticky situation:
During his Senate campaign, Vitter was accused by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee of carrying on a lengthy affair with a prostitute in New Orleans’s French Quarter. In a radio interview, Vitter then called the allegation “absolutely and completely untrue” and dismissed it as “just crass Louisiana politics.”
The reader tips about Peter Barta, the Legal Aid Lawyer who allegedly made surreptitious videos of his female co-workers getting changed, are starting to flow into our inbox. From a former colleague:
I used to work at the Criminal Defense Division (CDD) in Manhattan with Peter Barta. He would sidle up to female co-workers, bragging about his fluent Hungarian: “Did you know that the only language related to Hungarian is Finnish?”
Uh, yeah, I’m not an idiot. And if I didn’t know that already, I would have remembered from the seventeenth time you told me.
He would then mention, with no apparent self-consciousness, that he lived with his mother. Finally, he’d try to ask the girl — not me, I was too rude to him — out.
We’re repulsed. But at the same time, we can’t help wondering: Was Peter Barta just lonely and misunderstood? Could Judd Apatow, writer of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, write a screenplay that would make Barta appear sympathetic — a lovable schlub, a la Ben Stone (Seth Rogen)?
Even our tipster has a soft spot for her former colleague:
Creepy as he was/is, what a sad way to end one’s legal career. (Though I suppose he should have thought of that before he recorded “bare breasts and buttocks” on a nannycam.)
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.