Exorcism

‘Let us pray upon the good book…’

They say that possession is nine-tenths of the law, but Kenneth Klee, an attorney who literally wrote the book on bankruptcy, is willing to take the old adage one step further. You see, Klee isn’t your average lawyer. Sure, he’ll charge you $1,000 per hour to take care of your high-stakes bankruptcy proceedings, but if your financial issues have left you feeling spooked, he’ll be able to assist you for a cheaper price.

You see, Ken Klee, a man who is sometimes referred to as the “dean of the bankruptcy bar,” has an interesting hobby. In his free time, instead of cleansing people of their debts, he cleanses their souls. Klee is capable of waving his learned hand “energy hand” and making physical and spiritual ailments disappear, all for the low, low cost of $300 for a two-hour session.

And sometimes, just for the hell of it, he’ll even perform exorcisms…

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Sexorcise the demon!

* You don’t necessarily have to agree with what Chief Justice John Roberts did with respect to his health care opinion, but you’ve got to admit that it was an act of statesmanship that will forever define his legacy on the Court. [New York Times]

* CNN, one of the world’s most reliable news networks, reports that no many legal scholars were surprised unsurprised by yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to strike down uphold the Individual Broccoli Mandate Affordable Care Act. [CNN]

* Word to the wise: don’t get cocky over in the Eighth Circuit, because apparently boosting the length of a prison term based on whether or not a defendant is smiling at sentencing is not considered an abuse of discretion. [National Law Journal]

* Dewey know why the number of law firm mergers and acquisitions in the United States dropped during the second quarter? Truth be told, they’re all scared, because “[n]obody wants to wind up with a lemon.” [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* George Zimmerman, the man charged in Trayvon Martin’s death, is returning to court today to try to get himself released on bond… again. Let’s give him some credit, because he sure is tenacious. [ABC News]

* Listen, it’s not an easy thing to perform an exorcism these days. Sometimes a priest really just needs to kiss and caress the demon out of your body — a sexorcism, if you will. Nothing to sue over, nothing at all. [MSNBC]

On Thursday morning, while talking to my therapist — no, not the People’s Therapist — I mentioned that I’ve been quite busy at work these days, covering the fast-moving story of a law firm implosion. I started to explain, but he interrupted.

“You mean Dewey?” he asked. “I know all about it. An old friend of mine is a partner there. He just asked me for a referral.”

Sign #1 that a law firm story has gone mainstream: your shrink knows about it. Sign #2: it’s getting covered by esteemed general-interest outlets like Slate and the Economist. (In Slate, Reynolds Holding argues that the experience of Ruden McClosky, the Florida firm that pulled off the bankruptcy-cum-merger maneuver last year, could provide helpful lessons for Dewey.)

Aside from a report that some partners want criminal charges brought against chairman Steven H. Davis, as noted in Morning Docket, things have been relatively quiet on the Dewey front over the past day or two. Perhaps too quiet, for some people….

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In August of 2009, while driving around Silicon Valley after speaking at Santa Clara Law, I saw an office park in East Palo Alto with a sign that jumped out at me. Being a Biglaw groupie, I stopped and snapped a picture:

I parked, got out of my rental car, and walked around. I was struck by the beauty of the overall office complex, with its expansive plaza, immaculate landscaping, and fountains. It was a veritable law firm Xanadu!

Or maybe an old Indian burial ground….

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(Plus more potential partner departures.)”

Last month, Midwestern firm Polsinelli Shughart raided Bryan Cave. Approximately 22 attorneys from Bryan Cave’s Phoenix, D.C., and Chicago offices spread their wings and flew over to Polsinelli. The Phoenix flock was the largest, consisting of 12 partners and associates.

When a big group of attorneys leave, it sometimes spooks those left behind. We hear that one partner at Bryan Cave was really spooked.

The attorneys that left had all been on the 22nd floor, the main floor of the Phoenix office on which clients are greeted. Their departure left the floor eerily vacant, so the firm asked some partners and attorneys to move into the empty offices. One of those asked to move was longtime partner Bob Shely. He felt his new office was tainted, though; according to reports circulating widely at the two firms, he said it had an “evil feeling.”

I see defected people?

According to the rumor mill, he wanted the carpets torn out and the office renovated. But a recruiting coordinator at the firm offered a cheaper solution: a do-it-yourself spiritual cleansing kit….

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