* “[D]emand for lawyers is declining,” but we definitely need another law school in Texas. A federal judge quit his job to become the dean of the ten millionth law school in the state. [National Law Journal]
- Facebook, Law Schools, Lindsay Lohan, Morning Docket, Murder, Religion, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Texas
- Biglaw, Defamation, Disability Law, Health Care / Medicine, Labor / Employment, Minority Issues, Pro Se Litigants, Proskauer Rose, Racism, Ropes & Gray, Sexism, Women's Issues
- They are both leading law firms.
- They both have major presences, their two biggest offices, in New York and Boston.
- They both have blue and gray in their logos.
- And they are both involved in litigation with former employees claiming employment discrimination.
Let’s take a look at the latest news — a fresh lawsuit filed against Proskauer, and updates in a lawsuit against Ropes that we’ve previously covered….
- Breasts, D.C. Circuit, Guns / Firearms, Health Care / Medicine, Morning Docket, Music, Racism, Rap, Wall Street
According to the Department of Labor, 14 million people in our country are unemployed. And with a surplus of lawyers that reaches into the thousands in almost every state, unemployment is a serious problem for the legal profession.
Unfortunately, we all know that Biglaw firms — and surely other firms, as well — are avoiding these attorneys like the plague. We spoke about this industry-wide issue back in late 2009, noting that Biglaw firms weren’t exactly keen on hiring associates that had previously been laid off. In fact, one recruiter we spoke with told us that approximately 80 percent of employers specifically requested résumés from attorneys who are still employed.
Facing these seemingly insurmountable odds, what’s an unemployed attorney to do? As it turns out, President Obama wants to lend a hand, but only if he can get Congress to pass this jobs bill….
- Asians, Biglaw, California, Feminism, Gender, Intellectual Property, Irell & Manella, Labor / Employment, Lawsuit of the Day, Litigators, Movies, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Paul Hastings, Sexual Harassment
Youngblood v. Irell & Manella: The Law Firm Fights Back
Firm denies claims and moves for arbitration.
Last month, Juliette Youngblood, an ex-partner at the elite California law firm of Irell & Manella, filed suit against her former firm. In her lawsuit for sex discrimination and wrongful termination, Youngblood advanced a whole host of salacious allegations — including a report of sexual harassment by Morgan Chu, arguably the nation’s #1 intellectual-property litigator.
Irell did not respond to the lawsuit at the time. Now it has, in a blistering 22-page filing that calls Youngblood’s claims “meritless” and “utterly false, complete fabrications manufactured out of whole cloth.”
What does the firm have to say about the specific claims made by Youngblood — such as the allegation that a drunken Morgan Chu made inappropriate and offensive comments to her at a firm happy hour, including remarks about her physical appearance and about “objects entering [Youngblood's] body”?
And what do ATL sources, including readers familiar with both Youngblood and Irell, think of the situation?
- Asians, Biglaw, California, Feminism, Gender, Intellectual Property, Irell & Manella, Labor / Employment, Lawsuit of the Day, Litigators, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Sexual Harassment
Lawsuit of the Day: Youngblood v. Irell & Manella
Former partner alleges sexual harassment by Morgan Chu.
Legendary litigator Morgan Chu, former managing partner and current litigation chair at Irell & Manella, is one of the nation’s top intellectual-property attorneys and trial lawyers. He has tried multiple IP cases to nine-figure jury verdicts, and he has earned every professional accolade under the sun (see his Irell website bio). He is arguably the nation’s #1 IP litigator. (If you disagree, make your case for someone else in the comments.)
And now Morgan Chu is the subject of sexual-harassment allegations. In a lawsuit filed in California Superior Court on Friday, former Irell partner Juliette Youngblood alleges that Chu sexually harassed her, then retaliated against her after she rejected his advances.
Morgan Chu is widely admired — at Irell, where his
rainmaking monsoon-making helps generate robust partner profits (over $2.9 million in PPP in 2010), as well as above-market associate bonuses; in IP litigation circles, where he is a fearsome adversary; and among Asian-American lawyers, where he stands as proof that we can excel at litigation as well as transactional work.
It’s hard to believe that such a beloved figure has been hit with such salacious allegations (which we must emphasize are mere allegations at this point, nothing more). But let’s forge ahead and check them out — along with the pertly pretty plaintiff who is making them….
- Biglaw, Labor / Employment, Racism, Rudeness, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Sex, Sex Scandals
Back in November 2010, we reported on the lawsuit of Nelson v. Jones Day. Plaintiff Jaki Nelson, an African-American woman who worked as a legal secretary in the Los Angeles office of Jones Day, sued the firm, alleging race-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and infliction of emotional distress. In her lawsuit, Nelson made some rather lurid allegations.
Allegations that, it appears, were lacking in merit. The case has been dismissed.
Let’s learn more — and see what the firm has to say about the dismissal….
- 9th Circuit, Antonin Scalia, Gender, Gibson Dunn, Labor / Employment, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Ted Frank, Ted Olson, Wal-Mart, Women's Issues
We just learned, via the SCOTUSblog liveblog of today’s proceedings at the Supreme Court, that Wal-Mart v. Dukes has been decided. Here is some background about the case, one of the most closely watched of this Term, and here is the opinion of the Court.
Justice Scalia wrote the opinion of the Court, which was joined in its entirety by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito. SCOTUS reversed the Ninth Circuit and held that class action certification should not have been granted in this case, brought on behalf of hundreds of thousands of female Wal-Mart employees who alleged a pattern and practice of pay and promotion discrimination by the giant retailer.
Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, which was joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. What did RBG have to say?
- Biglaw, Harvard Law School, Labor / Employment, Martha Minow, Minority Issues, Partner Issues, Racism, Ropes & Gray
On Friday, we discussed the discrimination claims made against Ropes & Gray by John H. Ray III. Ray, a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School and an African-American man, claimed that he was discriminated against and passed over for partner on account of his race.
At the time of our prior post, Ray did not comment beyond what was in his filings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But now Ray has contacted us with his rebuttal to Ropes, explaining that when he previously declined to comment, he “did not know that you intended to rely on a determination letter that had been rescinded and largely discredited in at least its factual description by my reconsideration requests.”
John Ray’s response is lengthy and detailed. Check it out below….