Howrey

The only book in the world I'd actually consider burning in public.

* Harvard Law School exams used to be easier. Think about that the next time you hear about grade inflation. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Speaking of things getting harder, this seems like proof that the Bluebook exists to propagate sales of the Bluebook. [Josh Blackman's Blog]

* And yet the Bluebook hasn’t been updated to include a special citation form for Wikipedia. Weird. [An Associate's Mind]

* Howrey going to WARN them that there are more of these lawsuits coming? [Am Law Daily]

* A professor at John Marshall Law School (Atlanta), Lucille Jewel, has written a law review article about the ability of scam blogs to impact legal education. I’m just going to sit very still until Leonardo DiCaprio confirms that I’m already dreaming. [Legal Skills Prof Blog]

* “People’s preferences can sometimes override their principles.” No, that’s not the subtitle of my upcoming book, “Bush v. Intellectual Consistency: The Antonin Scalia Story.” [Blackbook Legal]

* Yuck Fale. [CBS New York]

Although Howrey LLP officially dissolved as a partnership as of March 15, some operations continued beyond that date. But at the close of business today, the firm is going into a more complete shutdown, due to a withdrawal of bank financing.

“Last night, we received notice via email that Howrey is closing as of today, because CitiBank refuses to pay the payroll,” one source reported. “CitiBank has also refused to pay our PTO [paid time off], and our pension contributions.”

“Citibank has closed the door on Howrey operations today, more than a month before the May 9th date listed on WARN notices,” a second tipster confirmed. “No PTO, pensions will be paid out.”

UPDATE (6 PM): Citi takes issue with Howrey’s take on events. From a Citi spokesperson: “We are deeply disappointed in Howrey’s mischaracterization of the situation. Citi is not responsible for the employment practices of a client and has acted in a professional manner throughout this process.”

The full Howrey memo, after the jump.

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Firm shutting down today, after Citi pulls plug.

David Boreanaz

* What kind of a tour bus does Willie Nelson have? A cannabus. The singer won’t have to make a pit stop to sing in court on his maryjane charges. [New York Daily News]

* How is there a human trafficking problem in Michigan? Are they all Canadians? No one cares if Canadians aren’t getting their fair share of maple syrup. [Chicago Tribune]

* The FTC can be a real Buzz-kill. Google settled its privacy case with the feds over its failed social networking site. [Bloomberg]

* The big O avoids the big ©: my FAAAAAVORITE talk show host doesn’t have to pony up $100M. That makes me want to scream, cry, and then pee my pants. [Crimesider / CBS News]

* Let me save you the trouble: Dockette, your comment about dwarfs was completely inappropriate. I hope that you turn into a dwarf. [Washington Post]

* David Boreanaz settled a wangtastic lawsuit about his peen — and rightfully so, because the show is called Bones, not Boners. [E! Online]

* Howrey gonna make ends meet? By moving to Baker Hostetler. [Am Law Daily]

* I hate crappy customer service as much as the next guy; I just hope UCLA law students from “third world s**tholes” aren’t offended. [Professor Bainbridge]

* Forgive my ignorance, but I don’t see why the right has a problem with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. They know you don’t catch “the gay” from working with gays. I mean, I’m still as straight as an arrow. [Bilerico]

* A very thorough Wal-Mart v. Dukes linkwrap — big enough to be discounted at Wal-Mart. [How Appealing]

* As long as we’re thinking of giving prosecutors bonuses, let’s also grant them the right of prima nocta over the wives of any men they convict. The latter idea is just as stupid as the former. [Overlawyered]

* While law students suffer in unemployment and tuition continues to spiral upwards, law professors have decided to draw a line in the sand over tenure. In related news, 18 law professors have been hospitalized after attempting to wedge their heads up their own asses. [TaxProf Blog]

* Law school valedictorians are so socially awkward that they need this advice. [Law Riot]

* What lessons can we learn from the demise of Howrey? [Law 360 (via Hellerman Baretz)]

This is what greeted me when I logged into my Twitter account this morning:

Alas, the Howrey Twitter feed hasn’t been updated since February 9.

In terms of more active feeds, please feel free to follow Above the Law (or yours truly, or Elie Mystal).

You can also follow many leading legal commentators, including several of ATL’s outside contributors, by checking out the feeds that we’re following here at Above the Law, or our list of Favorite Legal Tweeps. Happy tweeting!

This week, Seyfarth Shaw announced the arrival of two construction litigators from Howrey, David Mancini and James Newland Jr. The two partners have been on the Seyfarth website for a while, as we noted last week, but Seyfarth made it official on Monday with a press release.

The other big news this week at Seyfarth: payment of bonuses. Alas, this news isn’t being as warmly received as the Howrey partners.

“Very individualized and below market as usual,” said one source. “No mention of spring bonuses either.”

A second tipster was even more angry….

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Paul Oekten

* “How can I keep other people from stealing my idea?” If you’re hoping to do so through copyright law, good luck. [Law of Fashion]

* Howrey CEO Robert Ruyak blamed alternative fee arrangements for contributing to Howrey’s downfall, but Jay Shepherd isn’t buying it. [The Client Revolution]

* Speaking of Howrey, former partners have been picked up in recent days by Venable, Covington, and Arnold & Porter. [Am Law Daily]

* Paul Oetken, the openly gay New York lawyer nominated to the S.D.N.Y. bench, has received a “unanimously qualified” rating from the ABA. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* For-profit colleges are under legal attack; could law schools be next? [STLtoday.com]

* What do great jazz musicians and successful trial lawyers share in common? [Underdog]

* What are some strategies for playing hooky from your Biglaw job? [Corporate Monkey Lawyer]

* It’s Pi Day. Or is it Pie Day? How about everybody eats 3.14 slices of pie so they’re covered both ways. [Pls Clarify via Blawg Review]

* It’s NCAA tournament time. Join our group “Above the Law Blog” with the password “abovethelaw” and fill out a bracket. The top three finishers will get ATL t-shirts (and mad respect from lawyers who like to procrastinate everywhere). [ESPN]

Whoops. Even though the polls closed about a week ago, we forgot to announce our Lawyer of the Month for February.

So let’s get to it. Who is Above the Law’s latest honoree?

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* Howrey’d come to this? Robert Ruyak’s ruminations on his law firm’s fall. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Speaking of Howrey, it’s only the latest of several major law firms to go from Am Law 100 status to dissolution. Take a swim in the Biglaw Dead Pool. [Law Shucks]

* Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, has been hit with his biggest sexual harassment lawsuit ever — one seeking $250 million in damages. [Gawker]

* Bess Levin on the Raj Rajaratnam trial: “People helping people is all this is about.” [Dealbreaker]

Raj Rajaratnam

* “How Ohio State Athletics Flunked the Bar Exam.” Or: I’m going to wait until Elie returns from vacation before tackling sports stories. [Off Tackle Empire]

* Speaking of Elie, we already know his answer to the question posed by Francis G.X. Pileggi: “Does Delaware need another law school?” [Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog]

* Here’s a sports-related story I can understand. This fact pattern, dubbed the case of the “wayward weiner” or the “fateful frank,” belongs on a torts final exam. [ABA Journal]

* Professorial catfights can be so much fun. Watch Professor Stephen Bainbridge go after Professor Brad DeLong. [Professor Bainbridge]

The partners of the law firm of Howrey LLP, founded in 1956, have voted to dissolve the existing Howrey partnership. The dissolution will take effect on March 15, 2011, according to a press release that was issued earlier tonight by the firm.

The firm’s chairman and CEO, Robert Ruyak, has not been the most popular person during Howrey’s long and painful disintegration (which arguably started over a year ago, with some key partner defections). But few would disagree with the statements he made this evening.

“This is a very difficult time for our firm, for our attorneys and for our staff,” Ruyak said. “Many of us have spent our entire legal careers at Howrey and remain proud of what we built. We find some solace in the fact that our people have been so well received by their new firms. They are first class professionals and deserve the respect accorded to leaders in their fields.”

We extend our sympathies to everyone at Howrey who will be affected by the firm’s demise, and we wish them the best of luck as they search for new workplaces. Many superb lawyers and staff have worked at Howrey over the past 55 years, and as we’ve chronicled in these pages, many are being courted and welcomed by other law firms — a testament to their talents and abilities.

Additional commentary and links, as well as the full press release, appear below.

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