Irving Picard

* The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a lawsuit asking courts to force major companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sotomayor spent the entire oral argument asking attorneys how she could fit more Miami Sound Machine on her Zune. [New York Times]

* Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who can be seen every Thursday night on 30 Rock playing Kenneth the Page, shares none of Jan Brewer’s qualms about a “birther bill.” [Politico]

* The Ecuadorean Slapfight (also the name of my ska band in high school) between Patton Boggs, Gibson Dunn, and Chevron was squashed by a judge yesterday. [Reuters]

* Baker Hostetler is balling out of control on L’Affaire Madoff. [WSJ Law Blog]

Judge Vaughn Walker

* Tiger Blogger Vivia Chen wants white guys to be hunted like animals. [The Careerist]

* A copyright troll has found a way to exact a toll without actually owning any copyrights. No word yet on whether anyone has gained entrance into the boy’s hole. [Wired via ABA Journal]

* Alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning is being transferred to another prison. Julian Assange celebrated the news by going dancing. [Fox News]

* Sponsors of Proposition 8 are mad that retired judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over Prop 8’s defeat in court, is giving lectures around the country that feature a three-minute clip of the trial. They say the video should remain in the closet. Or a desk drawer of some sort. [Los Angeles Times]

* Yes, we have seen the excellent GW Law Revue video based on the Cee Lo Green song (embedded above). No need to send it to us again. In fact, please do not send us links to any Law Revue videos until we announce the start of our third annual Law Revue Video Contest (perhaps next month, but stay tuned). [YouTube]

* The SEC’s general counsel, David Becker, gets involved in the Madoff litigation — as a defendant, in an action brought by trustee Irving Picard. [Am Law Daily]

* An update on the Stroock “typo” saga. [The Real Deal]

Stan Chesley and his wife, Judge Susan Dlott

* Lawyer of the Day: Stan Chesley. Being married to a federal judge, with whom you live in a 27,000-square-foot mansion, doesn’t protect you against possible disbarment. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]

* Well this is embarrassing, isn’t it? Several answers to questions on the U.S. citizenship test are just plain wrong. [Slate]

* Ted Frank isn’t a fan of DOMA as a policy matter, but he disagrees with President Obama’s decision to stop defending it. [New York Daily News]

* If you thought that my obituary for Skadden name partner Joe Flom was too kind, even sycophantic, then read this one from the WaPo. [Washington Post]

Mr. Met gives me bad touches every summer.

I’ve been avoiding writing about Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of getting money for the victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, and his lawsuit against New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. It’s too painful. It’s like being close enough to see Oliver Perez’s face just as you know things are going to completely unravel but still hoping against hope that he’ll throw a strike. It’s like wondering if David Wright spends his nights crying softly while Mike Piazza texts him weekly updates on how many days he has until he’s an unrestricted free agent. I know what’s happening; I just don’t like to talk about it.

But, as we mentioned in Morning Docket, Picard’s massive complaint was made public today. He says Wilpon and Katz made $300 million in fictitious profits from business dealings with Madoff.

As you read through the allegations, try to remember how poorly the Wilpons make decisions about whom to hire, whom to fire, and how much to play baseball players — and then tell me if you are at all surprised by anything here…

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Steven Simkin is too cool for a necktie.

Being married to a Paul Weiss partner is nice; getting divorced from a Paul Weiss partner is even nicer. Thanks to the prestigious firm’s eye-popping profits, getting divorced from a PW partner should give you a seven-figure payday (assuming the Paul Weiss partner has been a partner for a while and is the “monied spouse” — a pretty safe assumption, unless you work at, say, Goldman Sachs).

But when you get that gigantic payment — like winning the lottery, but without all the taxes — can you feel confident in its finality? Or do you have to worry that your ex-spouse, a partner at a firm known for its aggressive and brilliant lawyering, will find a clever way to get some of that money back from you, years later?

Consider the tale of Steven Simkin, a Paul Weiss partner of almost three decades, and his ex-wife Laura Blank, who works in education. It involves a multimillion-dollar marital estate, residential properties in Manhattan and the tony suburb of Scarsdale, and an investment account with one Bernie Madoff.

And yes, for your voyeuristic pleasure, the tale comes with hard numbers, lots of numbers…

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Irving Picard

Rack up another win for trustee Irving Picard, the partner at Baker Hostetler who’s cleaning up the Bernard Madoff mess. On Friday, Picard and Preet Bharara, the headline-making U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced a $7.2 billion settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower (no it’s not spelled “Jeffrey”).

Picower, a successful investor and prominent philanthropist, earned billions — both real, through investing with Goldman Sachs, and fictional, through investing with Madoff — before he died in October 2009. Picower was found dead in the swimming pool of his home in Palm Beach, apparently after suffering a heart attack (a plot device familiar to viewers of Brothers & Sisters and The OC). If he had held on until January 2010, Picower would have avoided the estate tax.

Of the $7.2 billion settlement, $5 billion will go to Picard, to settle the complaint he filed against Picower in bankruptcy court, and $2.2 billion will go to the Department of Justice — the largest civil forfeiture payment in U.S. history. All of this money will eventually find its way to qualifying Madoff victims.

Based on monies collected to date, what kind of recovery might Madoff’s victims be looking at?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A $7.2 Billion Settlement Generates Money for Madoff Victims”

* Hiscock & Barclay cut Andrew Cuomo a $45K check and one of the firm’s lawyers got a deal. Does pay-to-play go both ways in New York? [New York Daily News]

* John du Pont: millionaire, maniac, murderer… miracle worker? He died just in time to avoid the return of the 55% IRS death tax. [Los Angeles Times; TaxProf Blog]

* I ❤ boobies, you ❤ boobies, but this school thinks that they’re lewd. Come on, even the New York Times ❤s boobies. [Legal Intelligencer]

* Calling a client a “cheap lunatic” isn’t a very good idea, especially when your firm is overcharging by $540K. Just ask Goodwin Procter. [Boston Globe]

* Time to find a new fetish to deposit in your spank banks, sickos, because animal crush videos have been banned (again). [CNN Politics]

* Despite Mark Madoff’s suicide, Irving Picard still has him on a short leash is pursuing litigation against the Madoffs. All clawback lawsuits against the family will continue to move ahead. [Wall Street Journal]

Mark Madoff, R.I.P.

Mark Madoff, the oldest of Bernard Madoff’s two sons, committed suicide on Saturday, by hanging himself in his Manhattan apartment. Saturday was a significant day: the second anniversary of Bernie Madoff’s arrest for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Mark Madoff’s lawyer, prominent Paul Weiss partner Martin Flumenbaum, issued a statement yesterday: “Mark Madoff took his own life today. This is a terrible and unnecessary tragedy…. [Mark Madoff was] an innocent victim of his father’s monstrous crime who succumbed to two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo.”

Flumenbaum wasn’t the only powerful Paul Weiss personage named “Martin” with involvement in this case. Mark Madoff’s body was actually found by legendary litigator Martin London, a longtime partner at the firm who is now of counsel at PW.

As noted on his Paul Weiss website bio, “[t]he gamut of Mr. London’s successes is vast.” But his experience is primarily on the civil side, with occasional forays into white-collar criminal work. His docket generally doesn’t include violence and death; he’s not the kind of lawyer who sees dead people (e.g., a homicide prosecutor).

So how did Marty London come to find Mark Madoff’s body?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Madoff Son Found Dead in Suicide (By Legendary Litigator Martin London)”

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