Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Loretta Preska small Judge Loretta K Preska Southern District of New York Above the Law blog.JPGJudge Loretta K. Preska (S.D.N.Y.) has it all: a lifetime appointment to the federal bench, a rich husband, and killer shoes.
As well as, it appears, no patience for lawyers who play fast and loose with the rules. From the WSJ Law Blog:

Cleary Gottlieb conjures images of Ivy League bookishness and international savoir faire, not bare-knuckled litigation tactics. But last week a federal judge sanctioned the firm and found them to have acted in bad faith. “Civil litigation is not always civil,” began a ruling by Loretta Preska, a federal judge in Manhattan. Here’s the opinion (PDF).

The judge concluded that Cleary tried to dissuade a witness from attending a deposition, in part because of a concern the witness would testify adverse to the firm’s client. Preska ordered Cleary to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys fees and costs ─ an amount to be determined ─ and ruled that “the sanction is imposed as a formal reprimand and should be circulated to all attorneys at Cleary.”

And Cleary partner Jean-Pierre Vignaud was ordered to write “I will not interfere improperly with the discovery process,” five hundred times, on a dry-erase board in a firm conference room.
Cleary Gottlieb — which, by the way, picked fellow white-shoe law firm Simpson Thacher to represent it — said in a statement that it intends to appeal.
Judge Sanctions Cleary: “Civil Litigation Is Not Always Civil” [WSJ Law Blog]
Kensington Intl., Ltd. v. Republic of Congo [WSJ Law Blog (PDF)]

Page 4 of 41234