“Sucked balls can make millionaires” — Powerball management and/or Hugh Hefner
In the wake of a record-breaking $580 million Powerball jackpot that none of us won, we all returned to our soul-crushing legal jobs and forgot about the dream of owning an island or riding a partner around the office like horse until the next big jackpot.
But some lawyers are making a living off the lottery. One law firm in New York, Certilman Balin, has even registered the domain name thelotterylawyer.com to tout their expertise in estate planning for lottery winners. That’s some quality SEO. Professional legal advice for lottery winners is a growing cottage industry as the public becomes more familiar with jackpot winners squandering their money.
But estate planning isn’t nearly as entertaining as the crying and gnashing of teeth from litigation. And lotteries have spawned some wild cases because wherever there are deep pockets and petty people there are legal fees just waiting to be collected.
I’m an old smelly sock, and I’m proud. And I think it’s time to stop the nonsense. After two years of almost relentless attacks on socks, a bit of perspective would be nice.
For at least two years, the popular press, bloggers, and a few sensationalist sandals have turned old smelly socks into the new investment banks. We entice bright young students into our stinky clutches. Succubus-like, when we’ve taken the sweat we want from them, we return them to the mean and barren streets to fend for themselves. Barefoot.
The hysteria has masked some important realities and created an environment in which some of the brightest potential lawyers are, largely irrationally, forgoing the possibility of a rich, rewarding and, yes, profitable, career.
I’m an old smelly sock, and I miss all those bright potential lawyers.
* “[L]awyers aren’t trained as accountants,” but Gibson Dunn, Freshfields, Drinker Biddle, and Skadden may have some splainin’ to do when it comes to Hewlett-Packard’s M&A blowout with Autonomy. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Looks like it’s time for some holiday musical chairs: Dorsey & Whitney’s managing partner Marianne Short will be leaving the firm at year’s end to join UnitedHealth as its chief legal officer. [Twin Cities Business]
* The court-ordered mediation between Hostess and the bakers’ union broke down last night. If Judge Drain approves the company’s liquidation plan, the Twinkie may disappear from whence it came. [Reuters]
* You shall not pass — or use Lord of the Rings characters in online gambling games! J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate is suing Warner Brothers for $80M over improper licensing of the late author’s characters. [Bloomberg]
* Please don’t tickle me, Elmo. One week after an accuser recanted his allegations against puppeteer Kevin Clash, another one filed suit over an underage sexual relationship. [Media Decoder / New York Times]
* There’s nothing like some man-on-man sexual harassment to get you going in the morning. Sparks Steak House paid $600K to settle charges lodged by 22 male servers over an eight year period. [Corporate Counsel]
* Seems like this pulchritudinous plaintiff’s contract case is still kicking, and Emel Dilek testified that sleeping with the boss was “absolutely not” one of her roles during her time at Mercedes-Benz. [New York Post]
* Lululemon and Calvin Klein have settled their patent spat over elastic waistbands on yoga pants. Here’s hoping the Canadian yoga-wear company turned this lemon of a lawsuit into lemonade. [Businessweek]
* What do divorcées do in their spare time? They go to Florida’s $350M courthouse to spray paint it with broken hearts and notes for the judge who presided over their proceedings. [Riptide 2.0 / Miami New Times]
Chris Christie, that redundant rotundity, has taken a vicious beating this week. The party of personal responsibility has personally held him responsible for Mitt Romney’s defeat. And it’s easy to see why. Instead of traveling to Pennsylvania to stump for Romney, he stayed behind in New Jersey so he could spoon some more with President Obama. What does it profit a man who gains a friendship with Bruce Springsteen, but loses his party the presidential election? Hell if I know.
Loads of people are saying that Christie blew his chance at ever being nominated by the Republicans because of his a-hugging and a-kissing on President Obama. I don’t know about all that. The fact is, Christie has and had about as much a chance at the Republican nomination for president as Rudy 9-11 before him. Just as that lisping vampire couldn’t have won a nationwide nominating process if the excess saliva in his mouth depended on it, so too was Christie doomed. The sort of abrasive politics that Christie practices may have found its level in the New Jersey governorship. And that’s probably okay.
Sports and Presidential politics have a long and storied history of entanglement. Everyone knows that President Obama is a White Sox fan who has dutifully filled out March Madness brackets and agitated for a college football playoff. Likewise, Mitt Romney is said by some melodramatic fans of figure skating to have saved the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Lesser known amongst political nerds is that William Howard Taft, along with being our 27th President and also serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was the original starting center for the Harlem Globetrotters. The original Round Mound of Rebound, Taft was said to have installed a basketball court in the White House commissary. Late at night, when the Mrs. was fast asleep, Taft could be heard working on his lethal hook shot and pounding large boxes of chocolate donuts downstairs on the newly installed court.
Among his more famous quips, Taft is said to have uttered, during an oral argument at the Supreme Court, “I’m the Michael Jordan of law! Who wants to sex Mutombo?”
* Concussion litigation expert Paul D. Anderson discusses the nitty-gritty of all those football players suing because their job may have gave them brain damage. [Legal Blitz]
* In unnerving lawyer news, a Seattle litigator was arrested on accusations of sexually assaulting a masseuse at knifepoint. [Komo News]
* And on the other side of the country, a Pennsylvania attorney was specifically targeted in a home invasion that left him in the hospital with gunshot wounds. What is wrong with people this week? [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* This whole disastrous domestic dispute-turned-shooting could have been avoided by marrying a dog-lover instead of a cat lady. [Legal Juice]
* Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson explains why he’s putting all his chips on Mitt Romney. [Huffington Post]
* Here are some tips on acing your call-back interview. Seriously though, you really only need one item: a Trapper Keeper. [The Careerist]
While liberals and the “lamestream media” are fixated on the planks dealing with “abortion” and “gay marriage,” the platform includes some lower-profile planks worth checking out. Here are five that stuck out to me as a lawyer….
Ed. note: This new column is about sports and the law. You can read the introductory installment here.
In June of 2005, my girlfriend asked if we could go see War of the Worlds. Tom Cruise was flying high, engrossed in a love that would last forever, and starring in a blockbuster that was getting okay reviews. While I was never a huge fan of popcorn movies, I relented. After two solid hours of explosions and other loud noises, I walked away surprisingly impressed with the effort. While the Academy may ignore this film, I thought, I had had a damned good time. The very next weekend, I visited home and caught up with my father. I told him that I thought War of the Worlds was pretty enjoyable and, since I knew he had seen it with my mother recently, I asked him if he agreed. His face puckered sourly and he muttered “No…no.” Then I launched into a litany of guesses, all wrapped in a pseudo-intellectual pose, as to why he disliked the film. Well, sure, it was a silly action movie, but you could do far worse. Spielberg may have “grown up”, but he was still a populist director at heart and quite good at directing the kind of movies that Michael Bay was consistently f**king up. And sure, it wasn’t deep and didn’t leave me with anything besides the faint memory of two enjoyable hours. But wasn’t that enough? Dad patiently sat there as his son prattled on for a bit. When I was finally winded, he said “You want to know why I hated that movie? You know that scene in the beginning where Tom Cruise is playing catch with his son?” Sure, I replied. “Well, Tom Cruise throws a baseball like a goddamned girl. He pushes the thing. PUSH. PUSH. How did you not catch that!? It’s plain as day. And I’m supposed to think he’s a hero!?”
Every time the NFL or the NCAA gets involved in the law these days, you can bet there is going to be some pungent BS coming from heads of our national sports. Whether it’s the NCAA slamming Penn State without due process, or the NFL allegedly defaming one of its players (after punishing him without due process), sports leagues treat the law like so many high school jocks treat nerds: keep punching it until it stops talking.
Usually, the sports leagues look most ridiculous when they try to legislate the morality of their employees. As if anybody besides children and the easily deceived really care how their favorite players live on Monday through Saturday, so long as they come to play on Sunday.
Sundays are of course important. Because in addition to civic pride and fantasy points, there are quite a lot of Americans who have real money on the line when it comes to football. That’s a fact NFL executives are very well aware of… why do you think the league requires teams to make detailed injury reports before the betting lines are set?
But the NFL has to keep up appearances that they oppose gambling on their games, which is why they have objected to Governor Chris Christie’s entirely reasonable proposal to bring sports betting to New Jersey.
Yeah, non-gamblers might be surprised to learn that New Jersey doesn’t already allow sports betting, but you wouldn’t have the Sopranos if gambling was legal in the Garden State….
* The ABA is gearing up for its annual meeting in Chicago. I’ll note (with a lack of surprise) that I was not invited. [ABA Journal]
* At that meeting, the ABA will once again consider accrediting foreign law schools. American lawyers have shouted down this idea twice before, but if the ABA has a chance to screw over its constituents it simply must keep trying. [National Law Journal]
* Here, we see NYU’s Dean Richard Revesz defend the economic value of an “expensive” NYU Law degree without actually using any economic facts or statistics. [Constitutional Daily]
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
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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 seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!