Imagine returning home from vacation and finding your home cleaned out. The thieves grabbed all the furniture, all the gadgets, all the kitchenware, and left you nothing. That’s what happened to an Ohio woman recently, and the police are refusing to help.
That’s because the perpetrator was First National Bank. Except Katie Barnett was not behind on her payments; the bank just repossessed the wrong house.
Fair enough. Mistakes happen. The bank is going to pay her back though, right?
Earlier this week, we wrote about a pair of prominent partners at Skadden Arps who got hit with a big-time benchslap. A federal judge in Chicago issued an order to show cause, requiring the Skadden lawyers to explain why they should not be sanctioned for failing to cite a highly relevant (arguably dispositive) Seventh Circuit case when briefing a motion to dismiss. The judge also set “a status hearing in open court…. [at which the attorneys] are all directed to appear in person.”
The Skadden partners filed a contrite response. They apologized profusely to the court, explained why they viewed the Seventh Circuit as distinguishable, and argued that even though they erred, their conduct didn’t merit sanctions. They announced to the court that they had settled the case in question, with Skadden “contributing to the settlement amount in order to personally redress plaintiffs’ counsel for responding to the motion to dismiss.” (In a classy move, they also extracted their associate from under the bus, explaining that he played no substantive role in the briefing.)
Despite the apology and the settlement, the status hearing went forward as scheduled yesterday. What happened?
On the transactional side, things seem to be going gangbusters for Skadden Arps. As we noted yesterday, the firm took the top spot in three separate rankings of 2012 M&A work. In 2011, a different firm sat atop each set of rankings, but in 2012, Skadden ruled them all.
On the litigation side, though, the new year has brought new headaches for Skadden. Earlier this month, a high-profile partner at the firm, along with another partner and an associate, got hit with a big benchslap. A federal judge issued an order to show cause, asking the Skadden lawyers to explain why they should not be sanctioned, and set “a status hearing in open court…. [at which the attorneys] are all directed to appear in person.” Ouch.
Skadden recently filed its response to the OSC. Let’s review the benchslap, then see what the Skadden lawyers had to say for themselves….
* This guy gets an A for imagination, but he fails the whole “How do you not realize that emergency dispatch will not send you a ride to go on a beer run, even if you call 911 nine times” test. [WCTI12]
* You know you’re addicted to cigarettes when you’ll smoke cigarettes that were hidden in a baby’s diaper. Then again, smoking already involves inhaling something covered in s**t. [Legal Juice]
* A 49-year-old attorney is charged with sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman in her room at the Chicago W Hotel. Bad news Bears. Seriously, ugh. [Chicago Tribune]
* Just give me all the foreclosed homes you have. Wait, wait. I worry what you just heard was ‘give me a lot of foreclosed homes.’ What I said was: Give me all the foreclosed homes you have. Do you understand? [My Fox Detroit via Legal Blog Watch]
* Whoever produces public-service announcements forgot that not only are drugs bad but so is a propensity toward violent anger. One could argue the latter is more likely to land you in jail. Either way, hilarious. [BuzzFeed]
Rather than helping homeowners modify their mortgage loans or avoid foreclosure, Defendants dupe distressed homeowners into paying thousands of dollars based on false promises and misrepresentations. Indeed, Defendants provide little, if any, meaningful assistance to modify homeowners’ mortgage loans or prevent foreclosure.
* Dewey even care if we spent money like it was going out of print? A new D&L bankruptcy court filing states that the failed firm used $43M of secured lenders’ funds in just one month in an attempt to save the ship from sinking. [Bloomberg]
* The Jerry Sandusky trial continues: Mike McQueary’s testimony in the former football coach’s case was pretty disgusting, but then again, most things are going to be pretty disgusting when you’re dealing with an alleged child predator. [Daily Item]
* A few ways you can tell this isn’t England: 1) our dental hygiene is generally better; 2) our royalty is entirely made up of reality TV stars; and 3) you still can’t serve people via social networking sites like Facebook. [paidContent]
* “Do I have to read the whole settlement?” Yup! UC Irvine Law’s consumer protection clinic will work to see if banks are keeping their end of the bargain in a $25B foreclosure-abuse settlement. [Los Angeles Times]
* Anna Gristina, the accused “Millionaire Madam,” claims in a motion to dismiss that police tried to make her name her johns, one of whom is apparently “a prominent Manhattan lawyer.” But which one? [New York Post]
* CBS claims that ABC’s “Glass House” is a rip off of “Big Brother,” and the network is trying to block the show from airing. OMG, please let it air so we can see this law school dropout in action. [Celebrity Justice / FindLaw]
* Joe Amendola has filed a motion to dismiss the child sex abuse charges against his client, Jerry Sandusky. And if he actually thinks that’s going to happen, then he definitely needs to call 1-800-REALITY. [Associated Press]
* @AllenStanford’s motion for a #newtrial has been denied. The Ponzi schemer’s “conviction by journo tweet” argument has failed. Major props to Judge David Hittner for issuing a ruling in less than 140 characters. [Bloomberg]
* Everyone’s obsessed with the U.S. News law school rankings, but here’s a ranking that people should actually be paying attention to: the law schools that lead to the most debt. [The Short List / U.S. News and World Report]
* St. John’s Law is planning to launch two new LL.M. programs, neither of which is in tax. This is newsworthy because people will apply anyway, and then bitch about the “value” of their degree. [National Law Journal]
* John Payton, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, RIP. [NAACP LDF]
If you don’t have a lawyer, it is hard to really put their feet to the fire and make sure the banks have every ‘t’ crossed and ‘i’ dotted… We are going to make sure funding for those legal services is restored.
As part of the settlement, New York State will receive a guaranteed $136 million, and New Yorkers who suffered during the foreclosure crisis will be eligible for an estimated $648 million in additional payments. Schneiderman said the settlement will help restore legal service programs that were cut back in recent years.
* One of the reasons that members of Congress are so filthy rich is because they’re only technically breaking the law, but Scott Brown wants to try to curb Congressional “insider trading.” [CBS News]
* In other Congressional news, pizza is now considered a vegetable. And fat people the world over rejoiced by stuffing their faces and continuing to clog their arteries. But not me, because goddamn do I hate pizza. [MSNBC]
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
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