Bernie Madoff

* Yes, we have seen the excellent GW Law Revue video based on the Cee Lo Green song (embedded above). No need to send it to us again. In fact, please do not send us links to any Law Revue videos until we announce the start of our third annual Law Revue Video Contest (perhaps next month, but stay tuned). [YouTube]

* The SEC’s general counsel, David Becker, gets involved in the Madoff litigation — as a defendant, in an action brought by trustee Irving Picard. [Am Law Daily]

* An update on the Stroock “typo” saga. [The Real Deal]

Stan Chesley and his wife, Judge Susan Dlott

* Lawyer of the Day: Stan Chesley. Being married to a federal judge, with whom you live in a 27,000-square-foot mansion, doesn’t protect you against possible disbarment. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]

* Well this is embarrassing, isn’t it? Several answers to questions on the U.S. citizenship test are just plain wrong. [Slate]

* Ted Frank isn’t a fan of DOMA as a policy matter, but he disagrees with President Obama’s decision to stop defending it. [New York Daily News]

* If you thought that my obituary for Skadden name partner Joe Flom was too kind, even sycophantic, then read this one from the WaPo. [Washington Post]

* If I had a nickel for every federal judge who dismissed a challenge to Obamacare, I’d have fifteen cents. Come to think of it, phrasing it that way doesn’t illustrate a whole lot. Oh well. [New York Times]

* Tennessee seeks to outdumb every other state with a proposal that would make it a felony for any person to follow sharia law. Your move, Mississippi. [The Tennessean]

* Albany Law School of Union University is downsizing, but will likely still keep all three T’s. [National Law Journal]

* The Supreme Court ruled that a 1986 law precluded plaintiffs from suing vaccine-makers in state courts. In your face, Jenny McCarthy. [WSJ Law Blog]

* “Top SEC lawyer and his bros inherited $1.5M in Madoff profits.” [New York Post]

* The FBI is being sued for sending an informant to infiltrate a California mosque. Instead of War on Poverty, they got a War on Terrorism so the police can bother me. [Washington Post]

* New York City parks are the newest places to go smoke-free. If we smoke, do we not bleed? [CNN]

They had to know. But the attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know.’

Bernard Madoff, speaking about the banks and hedge funds that invested in his Ponzi scheme, in his first for-publication interview since his December 2008 arrest (via Dealbreaker).

* If the Muslim Brotherhood gains power in Egypt, they will impose sharia law. Just like Oklahoma! [ABC Online]

* Lindsay Lohan took to Twitter to announce that she “was not raised to lie, cheat, or steal.” Well, nature it is. [msnbc.com]

* Arizona is suing the federal government over the porous border. Mr. Obama, build us a wall! [Reuters]

* Barry Bonds, he of the enormous dome piece, had the number of felony charges against him dropped to five. Hauling that gargantuan cranium about. I’m not kidding, that boy’s head is like Sputnik. [ESPN]

* Mario will mediate the Madoff / Mets mess. [New York Post]

* How to fix the criminal justice system? I say gulags. Mostly because I like the word gulags. [The BLT via WSJ Law Blog]

* Hospitals have begun turning away job applicants who smoke. This guy thinks hospitals are acting like a bunch of weiners. [New York Times]

Mr. Met gives me bad touches every summer.

I’ve been avoiding writing about Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of getting money for the victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, and his lawsuit against New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. It’s too painful. It’s like being close enough to see Oliver Perez’s face just as you know things are going to completely unravel but still hoping against hope that he’ll throw a strike. It’s like wondering if David Wright spends his nights crying softly while Mike Piazza texts him weekly updates on how many days he has until he’s an unrestricted free agent. I know what’s happening; I just don’t like to talk about it.

But, as we mentioned in Morning Docket, Picard’s massive complaint was made public today. He says Wilpon and Katz made $300 million in fictitious profits from business dealings with Madoff.

As you read through the allegations, try to remember how poorly the Wilpons make decisions about whom to hire, whom to fire, and how much to play baseball players — and then tell me if you are at all surprised by anything here…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nothing About the Madoff Thing Surprises Any Mets Fans”

Steven Simkin is too cool for a necktie.

Being married to a Paul Weiss partner is nice; getting divorced from a Paul Weiss partner is even nicer. Thanks to the prestigious firm’s eye-popping profits, getting divorced from a PW partner should give you a seven-figure payday (assuming the Paul Weiss partner has been a partner for a while and is the “monied spouse” — a pretty safe assumption, unless you work at, say, Goldman Sachs).

But when you get that gigantic payment — like winning the lottery, but without all the taxes — can you feel confident in its finality? Or do you have to worry that your ex-spouse, a partner at a firm known for its aggressive and brilliant lawyering, will find a clever way to get some of that money back from you, years later?

Consider the tale of Steven Simkin, a Paul Weiss partner of almost three decades, and his ex-wife Laura Blank, who works in education. It involves a multimillion-dollar marital estate, residential properties in Manhattan and the tony suburb of Scarsdale, and an investment account with one Bernie Madoff.

And yes, for your voyeuristic pleasure, the tale comes with hard numbers, lots of numbers…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Millionaire Paul Weiss Partner Might Get Money from His Ex-Wife — Thanks to Bernie Madoff”

Irving Picard

Rack up another win for trustee Irving Picard, the partner at Baker Hostetler who’s cleaning up the Bernard Madoff mess. On Friday, Picard and Preet Bharara, the headline-making U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced a $7.2 billion settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower (no it’s not spelled “Jeffrey”).

Picower, a successful investor and prominent philanthropist, earned billions — both real, through investing with Goldman Sachs, and fictional, through investing with Madoff — before he died in October 2009. Picower was found dead in the swimming pool of his home in Palm Beach, apparently after suffering a heart attack (a plot device familiar to viewers of Brothers & Sisters and The OC). If he had held on until January 2010, Picower would have avoided the estate tax.

Of the $7.2 billion settlement, $5 billion will go to Picard, to settle the complaint he filed against Picower in bankruptcy court, and $2.2 billion will go to the Department of Justice — the largest civil forfeiture payment in U.S. history. All of this money will eventually find its way to qualifying Madoff victims.

Based on monies collected to date, what kind of recovery might Madoff’s victims be looking at?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A $7.2 Billion Settlement Generates Money for Madoff Victims”

* A lawyer named Conn created a 3D commercial for potential clients. Too bad his target audience will be purchasing new hips before 3D televisions. [Florida Times-Union]

* Normally, you’d end up in the doghouse if you didn’t attend a loved one’s funeral, but Bernie Madoff’s throwing his family a bone on this one. [DealBook / New York Times]

* “And then I felt a sharp jabbing pain into my rectum.” That’s what she said. Actually, that’s what he said. What’s with the NYPD and sodomy? [Wall Street Journal]

* Another day, another “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” lawsuit. Yes, I just totally dropped a DADT bomb after a story about sodomy. I went there, that happened. [Washington Post]

* You’d think that the Calorie Commando would hire some healthier hobos to kill his wife, but these guys just wanted pizza, beer, and tequila. [CNN]

* You better not question Rahmbo’s amended 2009 tax return. He will f**king end you. You will never even see it coming, motherf**ker. [NBC Chicago]

* Hiscock & Barclay cut Andrew Cuomo a $45K check and one of the firm’s lawyers got a deal. Does pay-to-play go both ways in New York? [New York Daily News]

* John du Pont: millionaire, maniac, murderer… miracle worker? He died just in time to avoid the return of the 55% IRS death tax. [Los Angeles Times; TaxProf Blog]

* I ❤ boobies, you ❤ boobies, but this school thinks that they’re lewd. Come on, even the New York Times ❤s boobies. [Legal Intelligencer]

* Calling a client a “cheap lunatic” isn’t a very good idea, especially when your firm is overcharging by $540K. Just ask Goodwin Procter. [Boston Globe]

* Time to find a new fetish to deposit in your spank banks, sickos, because animal crush videos have been banned (again). [CNN Politics]

* Despite Mark Madoff’s suicide, Irving Picard still has him on a short leash is pursuing litigation against the Madoffs. All clawback lawsuits against the family will continue to move ahead. [Wall Street Journal]

Mark Madoff, R.I.P.

Mark Madoff, the oldest of Bernard Madoff’s two sons, committed suicide on Saturday, by hanging himself in his Manhattan apartment. Saturday was a significant day: the second anniversary of Bernie Madoff’s arrest for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Mark Madoff’s lawyer, prominent Paul Weiss partner Martin Flumenbaum, issued a statement yesterday: “Mark Madoff took his own life today. This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy…. [Mark Madoff was] an innocent victim of his father’s monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo.”

Flumenbaum wasn’t the only powerful Paul Weiss personage named “Martin” with involvement in this case. Mark Madoff’s body was actually found by legendary litigator Martin London, a longtime partner at the firm who is now of counsel at PW.

As noted on his Paul Weiss website bio, “[t]he gamut of Mr. London’s successes is vast.” But his experience is primarily on the civil side, with occasional forays into white-collar criminal work. His docket generally doesn’t include violence and death; he’s not the kind of lawyer who sees dead people (e.g., a homicide prosecutor).

So how did Marty London come to find Mark Madoff’s body?

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