Morgan Chu

The elite California law firm of Irell & Manella is a top firm for diversity. It’s a top firm for associate satisfaction. And, on a related note to associate satisfaction, it’s a top firm for bonuses.

Year-end bonuses at Irell & Manella for associates who meet their hours typically beat the New York market by a healthy amount. In recent years, they’ve been as high as twice the Cravath scale.

Alas, that’s not the case this year. But the Irell bonuses are still nothing to scoff at….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Irell & Manella Beats The Market Again (But By Less Than Usual)”

SCOTUS in the house at SOTU.

President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address this evening, and it was even less exciting than last year (which was less exciting than the year before, when the famous Obama v. Alito showdown over Citizens United took place). Tonight was light on drama — one of the most compelling moments came early on, with the arrival in the chamber of retiring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — and President Obama’s speech was light on new ideas. Considering that we’re in an election year, with no major legislation likely to pass anytime soon, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Your Above the Law editors covered the speech via Twitter. See @ATLblog, @DavidLat, @ElieNYC, and @StaciZaretsky.

Here’s an open thread for discussion of the address. We’ll get the party started with a few legally oriented highlights, after the jump.

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Do you believe in life after law? More specifically, do you believe in life after Biglaw?

Many former partners at major law firms spend their post-Biglaw years living large — as well they should. After all, they worked very hard, for many years, to amass seven-figure, eight-figure, or even nine-figure fortunes. After leaving behind the life of billing 2000+ hours a year, they finally have time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

But not all ex-partners find themselves on Easy Street. Take, for example, these two ex-partners in California — one whose civil suit against her former firm isn’t going so well, and one who might be going from Biglaw to the Big House….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bad News for Former Biglaw Partners on the West Coast”


A war hero comes home.

* Lawyers with four to seven years of experience are apparently now in demand. You know why? BECAUSE THEY FIRED ALL OF THEM TWO YEARS AGO! [WSJ Law Blog]

* Occupy Wall Street is now getting free hugs. It’s like, when you register as a liberal, somebody comes in the night and shoves your testicles back up inside you. [Dealbreaker]

* I dream of a day when eyewitness testimony is viewed as unreliable as DNA evidence is now thought to be reliable. [An Associate's Mind]

* If you are a lawyer, it’s really never about you. [What About Clients?]

Morgan Chu

* Even in the extremely unlikely scenario that one of these radical tax plans is adopted, tax lawyers will still find work. Believe it. [Going Concern]

* Morgan Chu, the hotshot Irell & Manella partner accused of sexual harassment, won a motion to compel arbitration of the dispute. [Law360 (subscription)]

* If you took the “over” on the cold day in Hell when BP is allowed to drill in the Gulf again, you’re gonna lose that bet. [New York Times]

* It’s a bit anticlimactic. And we’ve been pulled apart by political divisiveness. But we are just about done with the Iraq War! Yay? Ticker tape in Times Square, or is it going to be all, “Welcome home, while you were away we misplaced all the jobs and money”? [Politico]

Juliette Youngblood and Morgan Chu

Last month, Juliette Youngblood, an ex-partner at the elite California law firm of Irell & Manella, filed suit against her former firm. In her lawsuit for sex discrimination and wrongful termination, Youngblood advanced a whole host of salacious allegations — including a report of sexual harassment by Morgan Chu, arguably the nation’s #1 intellectual-property litigator.

Irell did not respond to the lawsuit at the time. Now it has, in a blistering 22-page filing that calls Youngblood’s claims “meritless” and “utterly false, complete fabrications manufactured out of whole cloth.”

What does the firm have to say about the specific claims made by Youngblood — such as the allegation that a drunken Morgan Chu made inappropriate and offensive comments to her at a firm happy hour, including remarks about her physical appearance and about “objects entering [Youngblood's] body”?

And what do ATL sources, including readers familiar with both Youngblood and Irell, think of the situation?

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Firm denies claims and moves for arbitration.

For sale. Contact me for details.

* What kind of a lawyer can’t spot a Nigerian scammer before being bilked out of millions? If you fell for that, please hit me up. I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. [Washington Post]

* Will Juliette Youngblood, the self-proclaimed “luckiest girl in the world,” still feel the same way if her claims against Irell & Manella and Morgan Chu are sent to binding arbitration? [Am Law Daily]

* The Game may face charges over an alleged tweet that prevented police from responding to five emergency calls in two hours. Only five? I guess that’s what happens when you’re straight outta Compton, where snitches get stitches. [CNN]

* With Senator Kevin de León hoping to regulate the use of fitted and flat hotel sheets, one thing’s for sure. California isn’t becoming a nanny state. It’s becoming a maid state. [Los Angeles Times]

* You know Chris Stewart has had one too many concussions when he’s still talking about finishing law school after his NFL career is over. [Wall Street Journal]

* I might be a bad little Jew for saying this, but matzoh isn’t worth $9.9B. It’s like eating cardboard. If you want special prison food, at least sue for something that tastes good. [New York Daily News]

Morgan Chu

Legendary litigator Morgan Chu, former managing partner and current litigation chair at Irell & Manella, is one of the nation’s top intellectual-property attorneys and trial lawyers. He has tried multiple IP cases to nine-figure jury verdicts, and he has earned every professional accolade under the sun (see his Irell website bio). He is arguably the nation’s #1 IP litigator. (If you disagree, make your case for someone else in the comments.)

And now Morgan Chu is the subject of sexual-harassment allegations. In a lawsuit filed in California Superior Court on Friday, former Irell partner Juliette Youngblood alleges that Chu sexually harassed her, then retaliated against her after she rejected his advances.

Morgan Chu is widely admired — at Irell, where his rainmaking monsoon-making helps generate robust partner profits (over $2.9 million in PPP in 2010), as well as above-market associate bonuses; in IP litigation circles, where he is a fearsome adversary; and among Asian-American lawyers, where he stands as proof that we can excel at litigation as well as transactional work.

It’s hard to believe that such a beloved figure has been hit with such salacious allegations (which we must emphasize are mere allegations at this point, nothing more). But let’s forge ahead and check them out — along with the pertly pretty plaintiff who is making them….

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Former partner alleges sexual harassment by Morgan Chu.

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpg
Welcome to Part 2 of our Ask The Experts article on long-term career planning, partnership prospects, and in-house careers, brought to you by the ATL Career Center, powered by Lateral Link
Last week, we shared advice about general career development from the Career Center’s Professional Development panelists: Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, Mike Woronoff of Proskauer Rose, and Vivian Yang, General Counsel at Citysearch.
This week, we’re back with the panelists’ advice on the specific steps that associates need to take if they want to make partner or move in-house. Click here to read the full article and view other resources on the Career Center.  If you have tips or questions that you would like covered in future Ask The Experts columns, please email careercenter@abovethelaw.com.
Alternatively, you can read Part One here, and Part Two after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Advice for Midlevel Associates (Part 2)”

Career Center AboveTheLaw Lateral Link ATL.jpg
Welcome to the latest article in the Ask The Experts series, brought to you by the ATL Career Center, powered by Lateral Link. This week’s experts include Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, Mike Woronoff of Proskauer Rose, and Vivian Yang, General Counsel at Citysearch, who served as panelists on the Career Center’s Professional Development panel for mid-level associates on long-term career planning, partnership prospects and in-house careers. The panelists shared a lot of valuable information, so we’re making this a two-part article.
This week we highlight the panelists’ advice to mid-level associates on general career development, such as how to find mentors and use the people you already know to build a network. Next week, we’ll be back with Part Two of the article, with advice on the specific steps that associates who want to make partner or move in-house need to take.
Part One, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Advice for Midlevel Associates (Part 1)”

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With most associates just trying to avoid joining the growing ranks of unemployed attorneys, partnership prospects might seem like part of a distant and unfathomable future.  But in what might be a surprise to associates who have been laid off or suffered salary cuts, many law firms are making a healthy number of new partners. The National Law Journal reports that the overall number of partners nationwide in 2009 is actually higher than in 2008. 

Visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for more on which firm has a five-year non-equity partner track, which firm does not require capital contributions from new partners, and which firm went from promoting 34 attorneys to partner in 2008 to promoting 0 in 2009. 

If you are a mid-level associate in Los Angeles and you really want the inside scoop on how to grab that brass ring, come to the Career Center Professional Development panel on November 17, hosted by Lateral Link and Proskauer Rose, for a discussion on long-term career planning, partnership prospects and in-house careers. Panelists include Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, Mike Woronoff of Proskauer, and Vivian Yang, GC at Citysearch. Attendees will receive 1.25 CLE credit hours.  Click here to learn more or to register.