Harvard Law School

Toréador, en garde ! Toréador ! Toréador ! Et songe bien, oui, songe en combattant Qu'un œil noir te regarde.

My fellow Americans, I have some terrible news to tell you. I’ve just been made aware of a terrible secret. Apparently all the fears you’ve heard from the far right about the desire of certain liberal justices to impose foreign law on the Unites States of America were justified. I know, I know — I’m as shocked as you are.

I don’t know how else to make sense of what is going to happen tomorrow. The far, far right was right. They just got the kind of foreign law wrong. The Supreme Court doesn’t want to impose Sharia law on us; instead, they want to impose French law on us.

I know this because on Friday, July 22, Justice Stephen Breyer is going to go to that bastion of liberal elitism, Harvard Law School, and deliver an entire address in French. Sacré bleu!

Let’s look at the announcement….

UPDATE (5:30 PM): Please see the update added to the end of this post.

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The verdict in the Casey Anthony case reflected the lack of forensic evidence and heavy reliance on circumstantial inferences. There was no evidence of a cause of death, the time of death, or the circumstances surrounding the actual death of this young girl. There was sufficient circumstantial evidence from which the jury could have inferred homicide. But a reasonable jury could also have rejected that conclusion, as this jury apparently did.

Alan Dershowitz, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece about the Casey Anthony verdict. (For thoughts along similar lines in defense of fair Casey, see Elie’s recent post.)

Moshe Gerstein

The nauseating story of Moshe Gerstein has come to an abrupt end. Gerstein, who had been accused of possessing violent child pornography, has been found dead.

The allegations against Gerstein — who worked at Gibson Dunn and Skadden — were particularly disturbing. Gerstein was accused of stockpiling thousands of images of brutal child porn.

But he pleaded not guilty and was due to appear in court yesterday.

Instead, his obituary ran in The Republican today.

That obit is light on details, but an Above the Law source has attempted to shed some more light on the situation…

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Allegations of criminal conduct can be made against attorneys from all walks of life. An innocent-looking solo practitioner in Illinois can be accused of prostitution. A partner in a well-regarded Minnesota law firm, the incoming president of the state bar association, can be accused of molesting a child (and convicted of criminal sexual conduct, after pleading guilty).

Such seamy accusations aren’t limited to the heartland; we also see them here in New York, at elite law firms. As we mentioned last night, Moshe Gerstein — a 35-year-old corporate associate in the New York office of Gibson Dunn, who also once worked at Skadden — has been charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with child pornography possession. And we’re not talking about garden-variety kiddie porn, but images of a particularly disturbing nature.

Let’s learn more about the charges against this young lawyer, have a look at Moshe’s mug, and hear from some tipsters who know him — including a former colleague….

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Atticus Finch was a heroic (albeit fictional) lawyer.

Unlike some of my fellow writers here at Above the Law, I don’t have anything against the legal profession or law school. I don’t have regrets about going to law school myself, and I believe it can be the correct decision for some (even many) people. See my prior post, In Defense of Going to Law School.

Even though it’s no longer my full-time occupation, I also don’t have a problem with the practice of law. Practicing law can be a noble calling, and it can also be financially rewarding. The work of a lawyer is often intellectually challenging and personally fulfilling. In the words of Scott Greenfield, “There is enormous satisfaction, value, to serving our clients. There is great satisfaction in ending a day knowing that someone is better off for your having been there.”

So I’m not a “law hater.” To quote the winning entry from this year’s Law Revue contest, I Like the Law.

But even I, despite my favorable feelings towards lawyers and the legal profession, couldn’t help chuckling at what one four-year-old girl had to say about becoming a lawyer….

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Sometimes LEWW scans a wedding announcement with bated breath, praying that we’ll find a law degree so we can write about a couple. We were crushing on Peanut Wong and David Hattaway before we even clicked on their link. But alas, she’s a dental student (of course she is), and he’s an electrical engineer. So we’ll just say this: If you eat the Wong Peanut, you could die.

On to this week’s featured couples:

Elena Saxonhouse and Tulley Rafferty

Kathleen McArthur and Matthew Gross

Alice Brown and Michael Leiter

Get the scoop on these couples — including their registries, résumés, and cheesy wedding websites — after the jump.

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Here are a couple of things I learned last week:

1) Above the Law readers love commencement train wreck stories.
2) Emory Law students feel picked on.

Armed with this new information, I bring you stories of commencement ridiculousness at schools with student bodies mature enough to take a little scrutiny.

Graduation has come and gone at Yale Law School and Harvard Law School. And while most Yale and Harvard graduates have jobs lined up for this fall, the transition from student to graduate did not go as smoothly as possible. At one school, a Supreme Court justice essentially had to crash the ceremonies. At another school, it seems the smart people organizing the event were totally flummoxed by the naturally occurring phenomenon of rain.

You’d think that with 380-plus years of combined experience, these two law schools could figure out how to run a graduation ceremony. But apparently there’s no accounting for common sense….

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I don’t think it’s going to come as a galloping shock to anybody that law review was not my kind of thing. My conversational style, inattention to detail, and aversion to boredom really didn’t mesh with anything law review was selling.

And after my 1L year, my grades were strong enough that I knew I’d get a Biglaw job somewhere during OCI; I didn’t need the résumé bump. Why in the world would I want to compete with individuals who really wanted it and would cut me to get on, when at the end the “prize” was being on boring-ass law review? No thanks.

When I received my law review application, I quickly ushered it into the trash.

A current Harvard Law student had a more expressive way of saying no to law review — a more combustible rejection…

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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….

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When I worked in private practice, I once had a case opposite Ropes & Gray. The Ropes lawyers made a highly positive impression on me. They were very talented advocates (and they continue to be talented advocates; note the firm’s recent, high-profile victory in the defense of an in-house lawyer for a drug company).

Of course, many top firms have excellent lawyers. The Ropes attorneys were also… nice. They were polite, and genteel, and not difficult to deal with (in contrast to some of their co-counsel). They met my expectations of what lawyers from an old white-shoe firm should be like. [FN1]

In light of this overall Ropes & Gray “niceness,” it’s a bit surprising to see discrimination claims lodged against the firm. In March, we wrote about a lawsuit filed against Ropes by Patricia Martone, a former partner and noted IP litigatrix. Martone, represented by the high-powered Anne Vladeck, alleged age discrimination, sex discrimination, and retaliation.

Today we bring you news of another discrimination lawsuit brewing against the firm. The potential plaintiff has an impressive pedigree. But do his claims hold water?

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