New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

* The U.S. government has decreased funding to outside counsel for the third year in a row, leaving most Biglaw firms high and dry — except for Curtis Mallet-Prevost. Spend that $8.7M in contract cash wisely. [National Law Journal]

* Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer who brought DOMA down to its knees, is repping clients who want to intervene in the gay marriage case before the Tenth Circuit. Looks like somebody wants to be 2013 and 2014 Lawyer of the Year. [BuzzFeed]

* A judge has granted class action status in the suit challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. Let’s see if David Boies and Ted Olson can take another case to the Supreme Court and win. [Reuters]

* If you’ve been wondering why David Wildstein picked the Friday before the Super Bowl to stab Governor Chris Christie in the back, Lat thinks it might have been “some kind of act of revenge.” [Bergen Record]

* No acquittals this time: George Zimmerman is planning to enter the wonderful world of “celebrity” boxing. He’s set to enter the ring on March 1, and is more than likely to get his ass kicked. [Chicago Tribune]

Gold stars and praise for all law students!

* “Going forward, nobody is going to get everything they want. Not Democrats, not Republicans, not me.” What a way to open the door to debate on the president’s newly endorsed bipartisan immigration bill. [New York Times]

* The ACLU is suing the United States over the collection of Verizon phone records, citing a possible “chilling effect” on the people who may contact the ACLU. What an entertaining (and egocentric) cause of action. [Bloomberg]

* When businesses throw cash at judges’ election campaigns, jurists tend to rule in favor of their donors — which is likely why Sandra Day O’Connor called state judges politicians in robes. [Washington Post]

* If it’s not news of layoffs, it’s news of office closures: Dentons partners will vote on whether to close the firm’s doors in Kuwait, and Curtis Mallet-Prevost already got the hell out of the Gulf. [The Lawyer]

* If you want a law school where professors pat you on the head and give you a treat each time you answer a question correctly, use this method to choose your alma mater. [U.S. News & World Report]

* There’s a pretty high probability that you’re a legal procrastinator, so here are some tips to stop the madness. Apparently alcohol isn’t the answer to your problems. Who knew? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* New York City may be trying to defend a ban on sugary drinks that are larger than 16 ounces, but if your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, it doesn’t matter how big it is. [Associated Press]

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the American Lawyer recently released its Am Law 200 law firm rankings — a list that’s still closely watched, but not quite as prestigious as being a ranked member of the influential Am Law 100. Sorry, but being a part of the “Second Hundred” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

While the Am Law 100 celebrated a year of “slow growth” in 2012, it looks like the Am Law 200 will be known for its “bets on bulk.” When all of the big boys were busy playing it safe, perhaps out of fear of becoming the next Dewey, firms in the Second Hundred were gobbling up talent like there was no tomorrow.

Of course, as could’ve been expected, this kind of aggressive hiring had some pretty major effects on firms’ financial performance. So how did the Am Law 200 stack up? Let’s find out…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The 2013 Am Law 200: A ‘Hiring Binge’ Hangover”

Bonus news is out at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle. Basically the firm matched the Cravath scale. “Totally expected and acceptable,” said a contented Curtis associate, “since hours aren’t terrible and people (generally) don’t hate their lives.”

It was “basically” a Cravath match, because even Curtis — which only has around 200 lawyers, and which “tends to round out the bottom of the Am Law 200,” in the words of a Curtis source — was slightly more generous than Cravath and all the CSM followers, at least to certain top performers….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Curtis Mallet Matches Cravath (With a Little Sweetener for Some)”

Bad Report Card.jpgLoren Friedman earned Lawyer of the Day honors here back in 2008, when the then-Curtis Mallet associate was busted for doctoring his law school grades from the University of Chicago, by changing Cs into Bs and As.

Almost two years after the ethics complaint against Friedman was filed, the Illinois Review Board has rendered its verdict.

(We’re a little late in bringing you the news; the Legal Profession Blog noted the judgment last week.)

Good news for the unethical. Fudging your grades will get you gigs at Skadden Arps and Sidley Austin, but won’t get you disbarred. At least not in Illinois. Instead, the Board proposed an 18-month suspension, reduced from the three year sentence previously recommended.

UPDATE / CLARIFICATION: As noted by a commenter, Friedman won’t automatically be reinstated after 18 months. Rather, because the suspension is 18 months “and until further order of the court” (UFO), he will have to “satisfy his obligation of establishing his character and fitness before resuming practice.”

No big deal. Friedman has other things to occupy his time these days….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Update on Loren Friedman, the U. Chicago Transcript Tinkerer”

curtis facebook recruiting.JPGDespite last week’s welcome reprieve from Biglaw layoffs, it looks like some firms didn’t get the memo. Above the Law has learned that Curtis Mallet conducted layoffs early this week. We believe that 10% – 15% of its corporate associates have been let go. Multiple class years were affected, but it appears that first years were spared.

Curtis Mallet would not respond to our multiple requests for comment

Perhaps the firm is embarrassed to be laying off associates on the heels of last year’s strong profit numbers. In February, Am Law Daily reported:

Bucking the trend among New York law firms, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle reports a 13.5 percent surge in revenue to $125 million. Curtis Mallet has chosen the worst business year in memory to cross the million-dollar profits per equity partner mark, with PPP up 11 percent to $1 million. Revenue per lawyer for the firm’s 225 lawyers, scattered among 14 offices worldwide, nudged up 3.5 percent to $570,000….

Firm chairman George Kahale, who was profiled in The American Lawyer last year, says that Curtis Mallet has the right mix of groups for the current economic climate.

So you see, laid off associates should be proud that they helped the partners make a million dollars before being shown the door.

After the jump, we learn that the work of soon-to-be-former Curtis Mallet associates is not quite done.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Curtis Mallet Cuts Corporate Associates”

curtis mallet summer wear suggestions.jpgAs the temperature rises, so does the desire to embrace informal summer fashions. Women are breaking out their strapless dresses and short skirts, and men are starting to sport shorts. While casual summer wear is fine on the weekends, don’t yield to the temptation to wear your flip flops to your white shoe firm.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle conveyed that message to its New York office with a memo sent out last week. In its e-mail making the case for “business casual,” the firm reminded associates that pecs are not to be admitted into evidence:

By all means resist the urge to acquaint us with your chest hair. If you think it necessary to impress the ladies with your efforts at the gym over the winter, think again – we are not a particularly good demographic for that.

After that, the memo’s author reminds the gents that loose-fitting suits can help hide pounds. We’re not sure what that has to do with business casual exactly, and suspect the firm just wanted to try to give equal attention to men and women so as not to appear to be solely lecturing females guilty of summer-slutty fashion sense. (As the Seventh Circuit did last month.)

After the jump, we bring you the full memo, which advises the ladies to “save it for the clubs or the beach.” According to the tipster who sent this along, the advice “wasn’t well received.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Curtis Mallet Defines ‘Business Casual’ for its New York Associates”