Fabulosity

What lies behind this door?

On New York’s Upper East Side, just down the street from my high school, sits a magnificent mansion. As my classmates and I walked past on our way to gym class in Central Park, I’d wonder: who lives at 7 East 84th Street?

A titan of finance, like a bulge-bracket banker or a hedge-fund god? The CEO of a Fortune 100 company? A reclusive heir or heiress?

Actually, no. It’s the home of a landlord/tenant lawyer. And not even a landlord-side lawyer, but a champion of tenants’ rights.

The scourge of New York City landlords is a lord himself — with a $30 million castle. Can you believe it?

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Last week, we asked our readers to submit their entries for Above the Law’s “Notorious R.B.G.” contest.

On Tuesday, you voted on the finalists, and now it’s time to announce the winner…

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As we previously mentioned, Above the Law is coming to Seattle. We’ve done events this year in New York, Washington, Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago, and now we’re heading to the Pacific Northwest. (If you’re interested in possibly sponsoring an event, please drop us a line.)

We’re hosting a reception for our readers featuring cocktails, canapés, and a conversation moderated by managing editor David Lat with leading in-house lawyers. This event will be a great opportunity for attendees to hear from thought leaders, meet members of the Above the Law team, and network with peers. There is no cost to attend; thanks to our friends at Recommind for their generous sponsorship.

The reception will take place on Wednesday, July 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please click on the link below to request an invitation. We look forward to seeing you next week.

Click here to RSVP.

Earlier: Above the Law Is Coming To Seattle

Last week, we asked our readers to submit their entries for Above the Law’s “Notorious R.B.G.” contest.

Let’s take a look at what they were able to come up with, and then vote on the finalists…

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Few places on God’s green earth are more beautiful than Seattle in July. The weather is perfect, with little rain and with temperatures in the 70s, and the days are long.

So it should come as no surprise that we’re taking the Above the Law roadshow to the Emerald City next week. We’re hosting a reception for our readers on the evening of Wednesday, July 17, starting at 6:30 p.m.

This event will be a great opportunity for attendees to hear from legal leaders, meet members of the Above the Law team, and network with peers. Cocktails and canapés will be provided, and there is no cost to attend. Thanks to our friends at Recommind for their generous sponsorship.

Please click on the link below to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you next week.

Click here to RSVP.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Last week, an overwhelming percentage of our readers voted for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as their favorite Supreme Court justice. And why shouldn’t they have? RBG is the high court’s second female justice, and she’s been hailed as an advocate for women’s rights since she took the oath in 1993. Not for nothing, but Justice Ginsburg is also a huge hit among pop culture audiences.

We’ll break down her popularity for you: not only is she the wealthiest justice, but she’s also got a bobblehead, a comic book, and a Tumblr blog dedicated to her fierceness and fabulosity.

Why not continue to honor Her Honor with a contest?

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A clerk at One First Street (click to enlarge).

Readers of Above the Law aren’t the only people interested in Supreme Court clerk hiring. Televangelist Pat Robertson — a graduate of Yale Law School, and winner of our reader poll for YLS’s most disgraceful graduate — recently wondered if Justice Anthony Kennedy might have been swayed by gay law clerks when he struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

(We’re everywhere! Even the Vatican!)

For the record, I don’t know the sexual orientations of Justice Kennedy’s outgoing law clerks — well, not all of them — and I don’t intend to go digging for such info. But in fairness to Robertson, before you yell at him for making a big deal out of gay SCOTUS clerks, please note that the topic has made headlines recently. Indeed, it would be interesting to look back on his historic Term for gay rights from the perspective of a lesbian or gay clerk. Perhaps we’ll hear from such a clerk in the future (although the absence of leaks about the big rulings suggests that this group is an impressively tight-lipped bunch).

If I were selected to serve as a law clerk to a justice of the United States Supreme Court, I would be gay — as in very, very happy. Let’s look at the brilliant young lawyers who have been hired as SCOTUS clerks for the next two Terms of the Court….

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50 Riverside Drive

Last month, we brought you a Davis Polk fairy tale. Two talented lawyers met at the elite law firm, fell in love, and got married. They lived happily after, in their $6 million apartment (until they sold the apartment to a celebrated Chinese artist).

Now it’s time for the Sullivan & Cromwell version. For some lawyers who work there, S&C sends them into therapy; for others, it sends them into the arms of a beloved.

This couple met at Sullivan & Cromwell, got together, and bought an apartment at 50 Riverside Drive, a beautiful prewar co-op on the Upper West Side. They renovated the place — doing a lovely job, I might add — and then sold it for more than $3 million….

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What Mr. [Richard] Trenk did was so egregiously sloppy that I’m told his name is entering the legal lexicon: “To Trenk” means “to show a lackadaisical attitude toward the law, with catastrophic results for the client.” A usage example might be: “We were doing great until the lawyer missed the filing deadline and Trenked the whole case.”

Jake Freivald, owner of the domain name westorange.info, in public comments made during last night’s West Orange Township Council meeting. Freivald received a cease-and-desist letter from Trenk, and Freivald’s lawyer, Stephen Kaplitt, responded with a snarky letter that went viral globally.

(What else happened at the meeting? I attended, and it was a hot mess, jam-packed with shouting and even tears. Read on to get the juicy details….)

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One of the most magnificent homes we have ever covered in Lawyerly Lairs is the Manhattan mansion owned by the late Professor Hans Smit of Columbia Law School. Professors at NYU Law School, Columbia’s downtown rival, enjoy some pretty sweet real estate. But how many of them own a 12,000-square-foot house with its own Wikipedia entry?

Back in 2006, Professor Smit put his mansion on the market for $29 million. In 2007, he raised the price to $30 million. In 2008 — before the collapse of Lehman and the financial meltdown — he turned down a $20 million offer.

After being on and off the market for the past seven years, the house finally sold. For how much?

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