john quinn

In a recent ranking of the world’s most valuable law firms, the litigation powerhouse of Quinn Emanuel topped the chart in “value per partner” (total firm value divided by number of equity partners). For QE, the “VPP” figure came out to a whopping $17.7 million.

So you can understand why masochistic talented lawyers pursue partnership at the famously hardworking firm with such fervor. Sure, occasionally you’ll hear about a partner walking away from the riches. But for many a young lawyer, making partner at Quinn Emanuel is a dream come true.

Over the weekend, QE announced ten new partners. Who made the cut?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “New Partner Watch: The Quinn Emanuel Ten”

Brian Tannebaum, my fellow small-firm columnist, recently described as silly the notion that “success in the law doesn’t come from good legal work.” I agree with Tannebaum that success requires far more than “being able to obtain a volume of calls from a fake presence, a creation of a ‘brand,’ and trying very, very hard to get our hand to the top of the baseball bat of the internet.” But I also think that success doesn’t come just from doing good legal work. In my experience, the most talented lawyers often are not the most successful, at least by traditional definitions. Nor are the most successful lawyers the best lawyers.

For Biglaw associates, success is usually defined as making partner. Anonymous Partner recently wrote that when you make partner in Biglaw, you “occupy a new professional status, and the nature of making partner is such that no matter how badly you screw up the rest of your life, you have accomplished something very rare. It is a life milestone, on par with getting married or winning the lottery in terms of its immediate alteration of your identity.”

And who makes partner in law firms? The best writers? The best oral advocates? The most thorough? The hardest working? The most efficient? Not necessarily any of the above.

Partnership decisions vary from firm to firm, and I am not so cynical to suggest that merit plays no role. Obviously, “merit” always plays a role. It’s just that what is meritorious is in the eye of the decision-maker, and that differs from what many associates might think is most important….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “From Biglaw to Boutique: Cream of the Crop”

On Friday afternoon, after just under three days of deliberation, the Apple v. Samsung jury came back with a tidy little verdict awarding just over $1 billion to Apple. Meanwhile, Samsung got nothing on its counterclaims.

It was a big win for Apple, and it came surprisingly quickly. As Elie pointed out, it would take many smart people more than three days to even understand all the the terms within the 109 pages of jury instructions. Aside from the jury itself, it seemed no one was ready for the verdict. One attorney for Apple even showed up in a polo shirt.

Let’s have a post-mortem run through of the case (and a quick-and-dirty look at the massive attorneys’ fees incurred by both sides)….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Apple v. Samsung: Where Do We Go Now?”


As some of you may have noticed, I spent yesterday in the San Jose Federal Courthouse, watching (and furiously tweeting) the Apple v. Samsung trial. The trial is on recess today, and I’m back in my blogger cage bedroom office. I’ve got a rundown of all the excitement, awkwardness and humiliation that can only happen in a highly publicized celebrity murder, err, patent trial.

Click through to see what’s shaking as the trial progresses….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above the Law Goes to Trial — Dispatch from Apple v. Samsung”

* Dewey know why the deadline to sign up for D&L’s proposed “clawback” settlement for former partners has been pushed back again? This time, the liability release is at issue. [WSJ Law Blog]

* In Pennsylvania, there’s been a spurt of lateral movement from people leaving in-house positions for law firms. Memo to laterals: you’re doing it wrong. No really, you are. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

* The Senate confirmed four nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, but they won’t be able to do much because they don’t have a chairman. Oh, government. [National Law Journal]

* Here’s a list of gunnerific tips for a successful first semester of law school. Too bad it’s missing the most important tip of all: read Above the Law daily. [Law School Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

* With drinks flowing and asses shaking, Rick’s Cabaret can do no wrong — except when someone dies. The club’s drink-sales policy is currently the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. [Houston Chronicle]

* Chris Danzig will be attending and live tweeting the Apple v. Samsung trial today. Follow him! [Twitter]

Last time we checked in at the Apple v. Samsung intellectual property trial, John Quinn was responding to heat from Judge Lucy Koh over allegations that he had authorized a press release with information that had been deemed inadmissible.

The case continued on Friday, and it has started back up again today as well. So, how did Judge Koh react to Quinn’s justification of his decision? And what dirt have the two tech giants continued slinging at each other? Well, let’s see….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Apple v. Samsung Trial Continues, And John Quinn Keeps Taking Shots”

What Husch Blackwell first-years look like right now.

* The Apple Samsung carnival returns to court today. I can’t wait to see what happens. We will probably have more on this later. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

* After being found guilty of judicial misconduct for misappropriating public funds, Michigan state Judge Sylvia James will be removed from the bench for the remainder of her term. [Detroit Free Press]

* London-based Herbert Smith poached six partners from Chadbourne, including the head of the firm’s litigation group, Thomas Riley, and Gregory Loss, who helmed the products liability group. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* San Bernardino is the newest California city to declare bankruptcy. The city apparently has over $1 billion in debt. I wonder if they had to cut their prosecutors’ salaries also. [Wall Street Journal]

* First-year associates at Husch Blackwell will see a nice salary bump this year. Oh boy! [Blog of the Legal Times]

* President Obama nominated prosecutor Pamela Chen to be a new judge for the Federal District Court in New York. If confirmed, she would become the second female Chinese-American federal judge in U.S. history, and also would be one of the first openly lesbian federal judges. [Metro Weekly]

* Republicans filibustered the Obama administration’s high-priority cybersecurity bill. [New York Times]

It almost feels like John Quinn is the one on trial, instead of Apple and Samsung.

* Last year, the TSA was supposed to hold public hearings about those naked body scanners everyone loves so much, but they still haven’t done it (surprise, surprise). Now the D.C. Circuit is starting to get angry. [Wired / Threat Level]

* Is there really life, hope, and maybe even an associate position beyond doc review work? This writer thinks so. [Greedy Associates]

* Remember the man convicted of murder who claimed that “celebrity angels and demons” told him to do it? His mistress and coworker of has now been arrested and charged as well. [AJC]

* This is a comic strip about a bear who also happens to be a lawyer. It is silly but also surprisingly clever, and funny jokes abound. [Bear Lawyer]

* Apple fired back at John Quinn regarding his declaration in the Apple / Samsung trial, and then the company filed “an emergency motion for sanctions” with Judge Lucy Koh. I think everyone in this case needs to take a timeout and cool their jets for a while. [Bloomberg]

* I mean, the trial is so hostile, the parties can’t even agree on the name of the case. [All Things D]

* Who murdered Robert Wone? The mystery looms as large today as it did six years ago. [Who Murdered Robert Wone]

* Holy s**t, this is like a real-life, Chinese version of “I’m Oscar! Dot com!” [Slate]

Man, I really wish I could sit in the gallery at the Apple v. Samsung trial over the next few weeks. It’s a war zone down in San Jose. In court yesterday, Judge Lucy Koh became “livid” when she found out about a Samsung statement describing evidence that had been ruled inadmissible by the court. She demanded to know John Quinn’s involvement in the statement (Quinn Emanuel represents Samsung), and then she threatened to sanction him. Whoa.

Quinn was ordered to explain himself, and we’ve got the declaration he filed this morning. It’s a doozy, and predictably, the master litigator does not take kindly to, in his words, “media reports… falsely impugning me personally”…

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This is as close as I came to hiking up that mountain.

If somebody suggested I go on a hike for fun, I’d probably punch him in the face. Since when is walking fun? To me, calling a hike a summer associate “event” is like calling the Bataan Death March a hike.

Obviously, I don’t work at Quinn Emanuel. Quinn has been running a hiking event for summer associates for years, and it’s one of the most popular events in all of Biglaw.

It’s unique. People have a good time — well, maybe not everyone, but most people.

And if somebody needs to be helicoptered out, well, that just strengthens the bonding experience for the survivors….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Dear Summer Associates: Read The Fine Print Before Signing Up For the Mountain Hiking, So The Firm Doesn’t Have To Send A Helicopter For You”

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