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Sullivan Cromwell bonsai tree plant Above the Law blog.jpgAt right: a photograph of one of the bonsai trees that Sullivan & Cromwell has been sending its offerees.
Some description, from our tipster:

I took a camera phone pic of this S&C bush when it first came, to text to a non-law school friend who could not believe that law firms send plants.

It’s not wrapped anymore [in the picture]. That tiny thing in front of the elaborate packaging is the plant. Originally, the five-inch plant arrived in a giant box stuffed with styrofoam. The plant was then wrapped inside green and black tissue paper, adorned with gold “Sullivan and Cromwell” ribbon and a small gift card, and then placed in a clear cellophane wrapping, before it was then graced with a gold embossed “S&C” sticker.

None of that, however, prevented the dirt from exploding all over my kitchen as I opened the giant box.

We realize that this photo, taken with a camera phone, isn’t the greatest pic. If you’re the proud owner of an S&C bonsai, feel free to photograph it and then email us. Maybe we’ll hold a contest for best picture of an S&C bonsai tree, or create a special photo gallery. Thanks!
Earlier: Sullivan & Cromwell to 190K Bonsai Trees!

Kiehls Sullivan Cromwell Aaron Charney Above the Law blog.jpgIn response to yesterday’s quick post on the Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell litigation, a tipster sent us this:

I don’t have any information on the case, but thought you might be interested in this minor tidbit on Sullivan & Cromwell.

The Lavender Law conference (the annual GLBT CLE fest) was in Chicago last weekend. S&C did not send anyone for the conference itself, as far as I know, but they flew in several associates just for the closing ceremonies.

They also offered the nicest swag of any firm: gift sets of Kiehl’s products. Seems they are trying to repair some damage with the gay community, even if it’s only through cosmetics.

“Only” through cosmetics? Kiehl’s products are no ordinary cosmetics. S&C is shrewd: they know the way to our hearts is through our pores.
Sure, that Aaron Charney might seem cute and well-meaning. But who wouldn’t kick him to the curb for a lifetime supply of Facial Fuel?
Correction: According to various commenters, Sullivan & Cromwell personnel were present for the job fair as well. “S&C was front-and-center at Lav Law. A friend of mine called me from the fair to tell me how pallid and haggard they looked.”
Kiehl’s [official website]

Ivy Briefs True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student Martha Kimes Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg* This may come as a surprise to some of you, but Chambermaid isn’t the only law-related book that has been published in the past six months. Check out Nicole Black’s enthusiastic review of Ivy Briefs, by Columbia Law School grad Martha Kimes. [Legal Antics]
* Harvard Law School snags Bill Rubenstein, a prominent gay law prof. So why are they keeping it on the down low? [Leonard Link]
* Justice Alito thinks some of his colleagues need to shut their pieholes. We think their first names rhyme with “Beano” and “Even.” [Legal Times via NYM Daily Intelligencer]
* Sarbanes-Oxley: Hot or Not? [DealBreaker]
* More advice for Loyola 2L: If your non-Biglaw job doesn’t pay you enough, try dumpster diving! [ABA Journal]
* Willkie gets sued — and we’re reminded of this lawsuit. State and local governments don’t seem to like Biglaw much these days. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
* Hold the cheese. Or get sued for lots of cheddar. [Charleston Daily Mail]

flowers 1-800-flowers Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHere’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:

1. “I’ve never heard of these lawyers [Kennitra M. Foote & Associates]. They’re definitely not powerhouses of the Houston bar.”

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):
Leroy Greer 1 800 flowers complaint Exhibit D.jpg
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

flowers 1-800-flowers Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf 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
(Houston)

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]

iPhone small Apple iPhone Blackberry Crackberry Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOn Friday, we reported that if you’re at Skadden, you can use your $3,000 technology allowance to buy an iPhone. We now have some clarifications about that good news.
From a Skadden source:

1. While you can use your tech allowance to buy just about anything “tech-y” at Skadden, the tech dept has made it clear that the iPhone is NOT compatible with Skadden tech infrastructure. See below [posting reproduced after the jump].

2. The iPhone isn’t excluded [from the tech allowance], but since you’re basically required to have a Blackberry for business purchases, they would likely frown on purchasing both a Blackberry (the monthly Blackberry service comes out of the tech allowance) and an iPhone (where the entire monthly phone-data package would likely be redundant).

3. What’s the point of having two devices strapped to your hip? Isn’t one enough? As soon as a reliable Blackberry client comes out for the iPhone, I think demand will force the tech folks to support the iPhone. Right now don’t even bother asking to get your Skadden email working on an iPhone.

We thank our tipster for explaining these finer points.
In the comments to our prior post, people expressed an interest in a forum for discussing workplace perks — i.e., “the fringe benefits that vary between Biglaw firms — tech allowances, book allowances, gym memberships, home loans, etc.”
We’re happy to oblige. But let’s do this in an organized way. Over the next week or so, we’ll put up a series of posts on fringe benefits, with each post dedicated to discussion of a specific type of perk.
Let’s get the ball rolling. Please treat this post as the open thread for discussion of technology allowances. Thanks.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Clarification About iPhones at Skadden (and Open Thread on Tech Allowances)”

iPhone small Apple iPhone Blackberry Crackberry Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgLots of interesting debate in the comments over the wild rumor that Skadden might raise starting salaries to $195,000 before the year’s end.
Some think it’s crazy talk. Others note that it might simply mark a return to Skadden’s prior practice of paying above-market base salaries, combined with smaller year-end bonuses (designed to bring total comp for Skadden associates up to market, depending upon other firms’ year-end bonuses).
Anyway, regardless of what you think about that gossip, here’s something that’s confirmed:

tipster: interesting tidbit
ATL: I’m all ears
tipster: skadden will reimburse associates for iphone purchases from their tech allowance
ATL: oh cool!
tipster: Pretty much makes skadden associates the coolest on the planet!

Here are more details on the Skadden technology allowance, from the firm website:

The firm provides up to $3,000 to attorneys for the purchase of technology equipment at the commencement of employment. After 2 years of service, the firm provides additional allowances for the purchase of approved technology equipment.

If you’re Skadden associate, go treat yourself to five iPhones. Then send the four you don’t use to your friends at ATL.
Update: Some caveats about Skadden and iPhones appear here.
Attorneys and Law Students: FAQs [Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom]
Earlier: More Wacky Rumor-Mongering: Skadden to $195K?
Waiting for the iPhone: An iWitness Account

In our recent post about Nina Totenberg’s poorly received graduation speech at Georgetown University Law Center, we solicited your anecdotes about her. La Nina is the Great Diva of the Supreme Court press corps, and colorful stories about her are legion.
We received a few submissions. Here’s one to get the ball rolling:

My county bar colleagues and I got sworn in to the SCOTUS bar back in [the late 1990s]. It was a real thrill. We got to meet the Clerk of Court and had a private coffee-and-danish session with Justice Ginsburg.

The thrill of it was almost ruined by seeing Nina Totenberg chewing gum in court while a couple of decisions were handed down. We’re talking chewing it like cud, Britney Spears style. I was not impressed.

And later that day, Totenberg was spotted driving down Constitution Avenue… with a baby in her lap!
We recognize, of course, that Nina Totenberg has many defenders and devoted fans — groupies, even. After all, “[d]ue of extremely high demand,” this NPR gift item — the Nina Totin’ Bag — is out of stock:
Nina Totenberg Nina Totin Bag Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpg
Troubling. Deeply, deeply troubling.
Have a Nina Totenberg tale to tell? Send it to us by email (subject line: “Nina Totenberg”). Thanks.
The Nina Totin’ Bag [NPR Shop]
Earlier: Worst Graduation Gift: Nina Totenberg as Your Commencement Speaker

iPhone small Apple iPhone Blackberry Crackberry Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOkay, this is kinda random. But it’s Friday, so please give us some latitude.
(Also, we have previously covered this subject, in a way that connected it to the legal world. So there.)
As you all know, today is I-Day: the first day that Apple’s coveted iPhone will be available for sale to the general public. At 6 PM, Apple and AT&T stores will open their doors, and the masses will flood in. Long lines have already formed in different cities around the country.
We were just IM’ing with one ATL reader standing outside an AT&T store waiting for his iPhone. If you’re curious, you can read portions of our exchange after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Waiting for the iPhone: An iWitness Account”

And we’re not speaking metaphorically, about the remaining decisions from October Term 2006.
We’re talking about the shoes of celebrated Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg, of ABC News. Will a pair of Manolos fall from the sky?
So, what happened to JCG’s footwear? Was it a case of sabotage, by an increasingly threatened rival?
Jan Crawford Greenburg 2 shoeless without shoes Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
Go Home Already: Missed Connections [DCist]

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