* BP agreed to plead guilty to 14 charges and pay $4.5B in fines, but before going through with it, several Biglaw firms helped the company sell off assets to fund litigation- and spill-related costs. [Am Law Daily]
* According to HBR Consulting, compensation for in-house attorneys has risen over the past year — including bonuses, which went up to $62,500. Sorry, but Biglaw isn’t following suit. [Corporate Counsel]
* It’s better to leave well enough alone: Pryor Cashman was ordered to pay more than $21K in legal fees for filing a frivolous motion over its repeated attempts to dismiss a case. [New York Law Journal]
* Judge Susan McDunn, who claimed that her “life [was] being ruined” by the secret lawsuits of many powerful Chicagoans, has resigned. Looks like her $182K salary wasn’t enough to buy crazy pills. [Chicago Tribune]
We have new developments to report in the case of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures reflecting BDSM themes. As you may recall, the Canadian Judicial Council is currently investigating Douglas, based in part on claims that she sexually harassed a former client of her husband’s.
That client, Alex Chapman, claimed that the judge’s husband, Jack King, used the nude photos of Justice Douglas to try and entice Chapman into a three-way. Chapman testified that he was “disgusted” by the “terrible pictures” and that King “bull[ied]” him and “raped [his] mind.”
But if the latest allegations about him are true, Chapman is no innocent….
You often hear about women filing gender discrimination complaints that allege sexual harassment by lecherous male superiors. It’s less often that you’ll see a man making similar allegations against a woman. But it just so happens that someone in the federal government has lodged these very complaints against a female superior, and boy is his complaint juicy.
As we mentioned in Morning Docket, James T. Hayes Jr., a top-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, is suing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security because he claims that ICE’s chief of staff, Suzanne Barr, created a hostile working environment — specifically, “a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees.”
What does one have to do to create a “frat house-type atmosphere” in the offices of a federal agency? Let’s check out the allegations made in the complaint….
The ethics investigation by the Canadian Judicial Council of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in nude photographs that her husband took and then posted to the internet, has ended for now. The hearing adjourned on Friday and will resume at some point in the fall.
The latest noteworthy development was testimony to the panel to the effect that the committee considering Lori Douglas for appointment to the bench already knew about the nude photos when it evaluated her judicial application. This supports Justice Douglas’s claim that she did not improperly conceal information when applying to be a judge. “There was knowledge of the photographs and we were to follow up,” testified Justice Martin Freedman, who chaired the committee that screened Douglas for the bench.
With the hearings in recess, now is a good time to pause and take stock of the charges against Justice Lori Douglas. What is the best case that can be made against her?
The sordid and sad story of Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in nude photographs that her husband took and then posted to the internet, is starting to get picked up by U.S. media outlets. Yesterday, for example, it made the pages of the New York Daily News.
It’s not surprising that the story is spreading wider than Her Honor’s legs beyond Canada. An ethics inquiry arising out of the pornographic pictures is nearing its climax. This week, Justice Douglas’s husband, lawyer Jack King, has been testifying to the Canadian Judicial Council.
When it comes to employment-related lawsuits, we’ve seen some pretty wild allegations. In the past several years, a handful of women have alleged that they were terminated because they were simply “too hot.” While Debrahlee Lorenzana was told allegedly that she had to stop wearing sexy clothing because it distracted her coworkers, Lauren Odes was allegedly told that her breasts were “too large,” and that she needed to put on more clothing to cover them.
Being told to change your style of dress or put on more clothing to keep your job is one thing, but what about stripping out of your clothing just to get hired? That would be normal for a strip club, but unfortunately, the plaintiff in this case wasn’t trying to bump and grind on a greased-up pole….
* Presidential campaigns for Election 2012 are focusing in on the Supreme Court and future appointments to the high court, and Vice President Joe Biden is really not a fan of Justice Scalia. [POLITICO]
* Dewey know what the ramifications of D&L’s $50M insurance policy will mean for the resolution of the failed firm’s bankruptcy proceedings? Well, Steve Davis is probably happy. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* Howrey going to pay off all of our creditors? Probably by dipping into the coffers of the 70 other law firms that took on our defectors. Have fun with all of those subpoenas. [Capital Business / Washington Post]
* The percentage of women in Biglaw partnership positions is up 2.8% since 2003, but the equity gender gap remains. At least some progress is being made. [National Law Journal]
* “I thought your papers were terrific, I just disagreed with them.” Kleiner Perkins isn’t a fan of backhanded compliments, so the firm is appealing a judge’s decision to keep Ellen Pao’s case out of arbitration. [Reuters]
* James Holmes, the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie-theater massacre, is scheduled to make his first court appearance today for an initial advisement. Thus far, he’s facing at least 71 charges. [Denver Post]
* The class action suit filed against Cooley Law over its allegedly deceptive employment statistics has been dismissed, much like the NYLS lawsuit before it. More on the dismissal to come later today. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Sex isn’t going to buy me dinner.” Michael Winner, the attorney accused of offering “pro boner” assistance to female inmates, claims in an interview that the allegations against him are “just plain false.” [WSB-TV Atlanta]
* Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Aurora, Colorado. [CNN]
* Dewey know why the deadline for agreeing to a proposed $103.6M settlement for former D&L partners has been pushed back? It looks like these people are still unhappy with the very thought of parting with their money. [Am Law Daily]
* Four judicial nominees were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to fill federal district court positions in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. Now it’s time to hurry up and wait for a final vote on the Senate floor. [National Law Journal]
* “This is a garden variety sex harassment case.” That may be true, but when you’re dealing with a high-profile venture capital firm, and the plaintiff is an ex-Biglaw associate, you’re probably going to get some really bad press. [Washington Post]
* Opening statements in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s racial discrimination trial were heard yesterday. Even “America’s Toughest Sheriff” might cower in light of plaintiff representation by Covington & Burling and the ACLU. [CNN]
* Washburn University School of Law is planning to build a new facility for $40M. Unfortunately, the school will never be able to amass the funds needed to kill all the gunners, but we can still dream. [Kansas City Star]
Sexual harassment in the workplace is never a fun thing to deal with. Those who have had the unique displeasure of experiencing this kind of unwelcome conduct must constantly be looking over their shoulders, always wondering when the next unwanted sexual advance will appear — or in this case, when the next birthday card featuring a gigantic erect penis will allegedly materialize in their mailbox.
This is what a New York public school administrator claims occurred to him. He has filed a lawsuit against his former superior and the New York City Department of Education, and it is filled with a potpourri of sexual harassment allegations.
Apparently everything’s fun and games until somebody gets butthurt over your alleged refusal to participate in a gay foursome….
Yesterday and today, witnesses testified at the public hearing into ethics charges against Madam Justice Lori Douglas, the Canadian judge featured in pornographic pictures reflecting BDSM themes. Thus far, the proceedings haven’t been pretty — just like the nude pictures that started this whole mess.
Alex Chapman, the African-Canadian gentleman who claimed that Justice Douglas and her husband sexually harassed him, recently condemned the inquiry as “a bloody cover up.” Alas, cover up is one thing that this matter could have used more of. This headline from a Canadian news article says it all: “Despite attempts at propriety, little can hide tawdry nature of Manitoba judge’s sex trial.”
Tawdry indeed. Let’s look at the latest lurid allegations, including a claim by Alex Chapman that Lori Douglas touched his body….
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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.
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