Firing people sucks. The fired feel lousy about themselves. Those doing the firing feel like jerks. The day the ax falls is a dark one for everybody.
But it’s darkest for the ones who lose their jobs. Especially if they have to leave the building immediately. And don’t have time to clear out their desks. And have things in their desk that will result in at least 15 years of prison time.
Back in June, Jones Day confirmed that it had laid off staff in Dallas and Los Angeles. A recent press release from the FBI suggests that the firm had layoffs in D.C., too. The firm did not mention this back in June, perhaps because it did not want to have to relate the disturbing story of what was found in the desk drawer of one of their recently-axed employees…
Now meet John Mantooth’s daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Andrew Schill, creators of a website called Do Not Vote for my Dad. On July 20, Jan Schill wrote:
District 21 judicial candidate John Mantooth is not a good father, not a good grandfather and in my opinion a review of his 37 year record as an attorney in Cleveland, Garvin and McClain Counties reveals that he would not be a good judge.
The Schills are shrill; in their next post, Andrew Schill — another Okie Law grad who worked in Mantooth’s office for a year — lambastes his father-in-law for giving them a crappy Christmas basket, including worm-ridden chocolates…
The 76-year-old iconic director, Roman Polanski, is free to drug and sex 13-year-old girls across the European continent. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, the Swiss government rejected a U.S. extradition request. The Associated Press reports:
The Swiss mostly blamed U.S. authorities for failing to provide confidential testimony about Polanski’s sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.
The Justice Ministry also said that national interests were taken into consideration in the decision.
Funny, I didn’t know the Swiss had a national interest in protecting convicted rapists…
From time to time, we’ve tried to track whether or not the Biglaw layoffs have had a disparate impact on women or minorities. There hasn’t been a lot of hard evidence. We did a story last year on layoffs at Squire Sanders that seemed to disproportionately affect women. And this year we ran a report that contained statistics showing that minorities have been disproportionately hosed by the layoffs as well.
Of course, there are some good arguments that the difficulties experienced by women in larger law firms are gender-neutral. This article on TechnoLawyer explores some of those concerns.
But there is one Biglaw issue that is undeniably gender-based. Only women can give birth.
Lately we’ve been getting information suggesting we should add another group to the Biglaw endangered species watch list: mothers. Specifically, we’re hearing that the New York office of K&L Gates apparently sports zero associate mothers. There are some female partners at K&L Gates with children, but no female associate in the New York office has figured out how to breed and hang on to her job at the same time.
K&L Gates did not respond to our multiple requests for comment, but the statistics are quite shocking…
The New York State Senate yesterday passed its version of the Nanny Law. If signed by Governor Paterson, the law would require employers to give domestic workers paid vacation and sick days, as well as 14 days notice before termination. The benefits would apply to legal and illegal immigrants.
Essentially, it would require people to treat domestic employees like employees instead of serfs.
It sounds like a wonderful law. It sounds like the right thing to do. It sounds … utterly unenforceable. On True/Slant, Claudia Deutsch points out:
Sure, it sounds compassionate and embracing to say that anyone, legal or not, should have a right to recourse if they are being exploited. But how exactly does an illegal immigrant sue an employer without outing himself/herself? I can see a worst-case scenario if this passes, whereby people who currently employ citizens and legals might actively seek illegals, just to avoid the cost and paperwork.
Enforcing this law will be somebody else’s problem. But for the Biglaw families out there, the real question is whether this law will cause unnecessary problems in a market that already seems to work pretty efficiently….
Over on the website of the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin has a nice post on how Elena Kagan deftly finessed the “gays in the military” / Solomon Amendment issue while serving as dean of Harvard Law School. It’s an interesting read; check it out here (via Dahlia Lithwick’s Twitter feed).
Alas, these days Toobin is apparently busy with pursuits other than journalism. Over the weekend, the New York Daily News provided a rather salacious update on his alleged affair and resulting love child with Casey Greenfield — the Gibson Dunn litigator, daughter of well-known political pundit Jeff Greenfield, and a media figure in her own right….
Aaron Biber was a principal specializing in business law at the Minnesota law firm of Gray Plant Mooty — until yesterday. As mentioned in yesterday’s Non-Sequiturs, he’s been charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy.
His photo appears at right. We’ll let you be the judge.
Biber is treasurer of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and a former president of the Hennepin County Bar Association. He’s being held at the Hennepin County jail. Freeman’s office expects to ask for $1 million bail at his arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday.
South Lake Minnetonka police arrested Biber on Friday at the Eden Prairie Mall, where he had allegedly arranged to meet the boy. Authorities say Biber had previously had sex with the boy in October at Biber’s Shorewood home.
Gray Plant Mooty has put Biber “on leave” and taken down his bio. This Minnesota firm can teach Biglaw a thing or two — they’ve even eliminated the cached version.
UPDATE: Actually, you can find a cached version of his 2007 bio here (gavel bang: commenter). We’ve pasted a portion of it after the jump.
More yucky allegations, and the reaction from his colleagues, after the jump.
The New York City marathon happens this Sunday. We know many lawyers who will be running it, and we wish them luck.
The marathon did not impose a minimum age until 1981 (16, raised to 18 in 1988). Pegged to the upcoming marathon, the New York Times had a fascinating article earlier this week about child marathoners, focusing on Wesley Paul, Scott Black (pictured), and Howie Breinan:
The adventures of Paul, Black and Breinan offer a glimpse into a forgotten aspect of the running boom of the late 1970s. Preternaturally self-disciplined, they were among about 75 children (ages 8 to 13) who tackled the early years of the New York City Marathon in a time of novelty and naïveté….
With no conclusive study, physicians still debate risks to children who compete in marathons, like muscular-skeletal injuries, stunted growth, burnout, parental pressures and the ability to handle heat stress.
Another risk: going on to become a securities lawyer. Two out of the three child marathoners profiled by the Times now practice in that field.
We’ve already mentioned the recent arrest of acclaimed film director Roman Polanski (pictured at right, with uber-hottie Adrien Brody). But it’s a slow news day controversial, so we’d like to give you a chance to discuss it in more depth.
Over at the WSJ Law Blog, Ashby Jones has a nice write-up. He explains the background:
The Oscar-winning film director was arrested on Sunday in Zurich on a 31-year-old warrant issued in the U.S. for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski was arrested, at the request of the United States, as he jetted into Switzerland to collect an award for his life’s work.
Local police arrested Polanski at the airport upon his arrival in Zurich, where he was to receive a lifetime-achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival. Polanski was jailed pending a decision on whether to extradite him to the U.S., according to the Swiss Justice Ministry….
Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978 after he pleaded guilty to having had sexual intercourse with girl — the allegation was that he gave the girl alcohol and part of a quaalude before raping her. Since then, he has lived in France, where he was born. French authorities refused to extradite him to the U.S., claiming that his crime didn’t fall under those covered by treaties between the two countries.
According to ABC News, which obtained comment from Polanski’s French lawyer, the director plans to fight extradition.
Should the authorities keep pursuing Polanski? Some pros and cons, plus a reader poll, after the jump.
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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 six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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