Alston & Bird

(Admittedly, that advice would have been more helpful on Friday than it is now, but then I wouldn’t have had anything to write up today.)

Every year there are people who use New Year’s as an excuse to go out and act like fools. I know, the bubbles in the bubbly are hard to handle. But usually people get their act together by New Year’s Day. Maybe not Big Ten football people, but regular people usually manage to avoid embarrassment at the start of a new year.

But there are exceptions to every rule, and this year’s lawyerly exception comes from Charlotte, North Carolina. An associate at Alston & Bird went out for New Year’s Day dinner, and hilarity ensued.

Happily for the rest of us, an Above the Law reader was there to bear witness — and the associate left behind a little bit of evidence…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associates: Try Not to Leave Behind Evidence of New Year’s Debauchery”

Now this is a list that matters. Corporate Counsel (an American Lawyer publication) has complied its annual list of the firms that Fortune 100 companies use as outside counsel. This is a list of which firms are getting work from clients with deep pockets. If you care at all about the business end of the law, then you care about this list.

And while the firms that are tapped for this kind of work won’t surprise anybody, it’s always good to take a look at who clients want to be with.

For general corporate law, these are the firms that were mentioned most by clients reporting to the magazine:

Cleary: 12 mentions
Davis Polk: 11 mentions
Cravath: 10 mentions
Simpson Thacher: 10 mentions

Yep, no real surprises there.

But what about some other practice areas? Well, the names start to change…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Who Represents Corporate America?”

Discovery disputes, like a certain other thing, happen. But it’s not often that these happenings make the pages of the New York Times. An article on the front page of the business section reports:

Dell has been accused of withholding evidence, including e-mails among its top executives, in a lawsuit over faulty computers it sold to businesses, according to a filing made Thursday. Advanced Internet Technologies filed a motion in Federal District Court in North Carolina asserting that Dell had deliberately violated a court order by failing to produce documents written by its executives, including the company’s chief executive and founder, Michael S. Dell.

The filing is the latest twist in a three-year-old lawsuit brought by A.I.T. that accuses Dell of selling at least 11.8 million faulty PCs over three years and then trying to hide problems with the computers from customers. A.I.T., an Internet services company, says it lost business as a result of the broken Dell machines.

Ironically enough, one of the apparent victims was the law firm representing Dell in the case….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dude, You’re Getting A Dell… Runaround?”

Shanetta Cutlar

On Friday, we broke the news that Shanetta Cutlar will be stepping down as head of the Special Litigation Section (“SPL”), in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. This news was met with rejoicing in some quarters; Cutlar was not universally loved as a boss.

Much of our past coverage of Shanetta Cutlar has been somewhat negative (reflecting what we’ve heard from our sources). But there are some dissenting opinions — and we’re happy to present one to you today.

After our Friday report, we heard from Robert Driscoll, a former Justice Department official who is now a partner in the Washington office of Alston & Bird. During his time at the DOJ, he worked with Cutlar — and was very impressed by her work as an attorney. Driscoll told us:

I was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division from 2001-2003. In that position, I played a part in Shanetta getting the post as Chief. Whatever her strengths or weakness as a manager may have been (and I had heard she could be mercurial), I never doubted that she was a talented and extremely dedicated lawyer. Indeed, it was these characteristics that caused us to appoint Shanetta as Chief. She certainly was not placed in that position for having any conservative credentials.

More warm words for Shanetta Cutlar, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “In Defense of Shanetta Cutlar”

Atlanta Georgia GA Hotlanta Big Peach Abovethelaw Above the Law legal tabloid.jpgThe day that many of you have been waiting for has arrived. Today ATL goes to ATL: the fair city of Atlanta!
Based on NALP forms and prior news articles, it seems that starting salaries in the Big Peach generally range from $130,000 and $145,000 (similar to Philadelphia).

At $130K: Alston & Bird; Arnall Golden Gregory; King & Spalding; Kilpatrick Stockton; McKenna Long & Aldridge; Morris, Manning & Martin; Paul Hastings; Powell Goldstein; Smith Gambrell & Russell; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; Troutman Sanders; Womble Carlyle.

At $135K: Jones Day

At $145K.: Dow Lohnes; Hunton & Williams; McGuireWoods; Schiff Hardin.

At $160K: Fish & Richardson (IP work).

Feel free to discuss associate compensation, or any other hot issues in Hotlanta, in the comments. Thanks.
New lawyers’ pay puts public sector to shame [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Alston & Bird Raises First-Year Pay Yet Again [Fulton County Daily Report]
Hunton raises first-year salaries to $145,000 [Fulton County Daily Report]
Related: Open threads focused on Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Jersey, Phoenix, Charlotte.

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