* “You are a beautiful grave — dead inside.” Be still my heart. What kind of a girl wouldn’t appreciate a love letter like this? A former tax attorney from Winston & Strawn, apparently. [New York Post]
- American Bar Association / ABA, California, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, Paul Clement, Tax Law
- Constitutional Law, Election 2012, Gay, Gay Marriage, Health Care / Medicine, Kannon Shanmugam, Litigators, Paul Clement, Politics, SCOTUS, Solicitor General's Office, Supreme Court, Williams & Connolly
We’re now in late September, so you know what that means. The first Monday in October, which starts the new Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, is just around the corner.
With that in mind, the Heritage Foundation wrangled a high-powered pair of panelists to offer their thoughts on October Term 2011:
- Paul Clement, former U.S. Solicitor General, now a partner at Bancroft PLLC; and
- Kannon Shanmugam, former assistant to the Solicitor General, now a partner at Williams & Connolly.
What did Messrs. Clement and Shanmugam have to say about the upcoming SCOTUS Term?
* “I doubt this is constitutional, but let’s just do it.” Sounds like business as usual down in the Senate as to plans to extend the FBI Director’s term. [Blog of Legal Times]
* Are we really still talking about desegregating schools in Arkansas? I can’t even believe that this is a serious proposition. [WSJ Law Blog]
* This is what happens when lawyers from Yale stop being polite, and start getting real. What good can come from Kentucky or North Dakota? [PrawfsBlog]
* Ladies, should you take a new job while pregnant? To me, that’s kind of like asking, “Should I go bungee jumping while pregnant?” Not a good idea. [Corporette]
* Apparently, there’s some debate as to which city will be the next world capital of law. And no, it probably isn’t going to be one of these outsourcing cities. [Law21]
* Kash, of course it’s bad for America that Weiner is resigning. We don’t get to see any more big, kosher pickles. [The Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]
* Summer associates, please take note. Do not send emails to colleagues about wild, underage ragers like this JP Morgan intern did. You will look like a complete tool. [Dealbreaker]
* Leave it to Paul Clement to get this lady off with a 9-0 decision. It turns out she wasn’t a terrorist, just a little kooky. [CNN Justice]
* Bob Tennant of Recommind tells patent critics (and competitors) a thing or two about prior art and automated discovery. [Recommind]
* New York magazine is on a roll: first the buzz-generating Paper Tigers piece, then the big Anna Nicole Smith story, and now this great profile of Paul Bergrin, “The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey.” [New York Magazine]
* A few highlights from the Sarah Palin email dump. [Wonkette]
* A lap dance might get a rise out of a recipient, but it doesn’t rise to the level of art, according to a New York state appellate court. [Albany Times-Union]
* Speaking of the former Solicitor General, here’s his substantive defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (via Chris Geidner). Check it out — there’s a link to his brief — and see what you think. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]
* Speaking of gay marriage, here’s an interesting legal issue, involving foster care and adoption, same-sex couples, and religious freedom. [Peoria Journal Star]
- Associate Bonus Watch 2010, Associate Salaries, Biglaw, Bonuses, Constitutional Law, Gay, King & Spalding, Legal Ethics, Money, Partner Issues, Politics
Some people, including crisis communications experts, think that King & Spalding should just shut up already about the DOMA debacle. The firm agreed to represent the House of Representatives in defending the controversial Defense of Marriage Act, and then almost immediately turned around and withdrew from the representation. This prompted the departure from the firm of star appellate litigator Paul Clement, former Solicitor General of the United States, who took the DOMA matter over to his new firm, Bancroft PLLC.
The decision to drop DOMA defense also led to the defections of King & Spalding clients, like the NRA and the state of Virginia. It generated criticism of the firm from diverse quarters — everyone from Ken Cuccinelli to the New York Times editorial board. [FN1]
Despite the advice of the communications experts (with which I personally agree), King & Spalding continues to discuss the DOMA debacle. The firm is starting to sound like a therapy patient that won’t relinquish the couch, and just wants to yap and yap and yap. Are you listening?
Let’s look at the latest revelations — and also some compensation news out of K&S….
* DOMA dude Paul Clement filed his first brief as lead counsel for 26 states seeking to nullify Obamacare. In a land of socialist, freeloading, hippie queers, one man stands alone. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
* Eric Holder defended the legality of the Osama killing on Capitol Hill yesterday. In prepared remarks, he said, “If history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anyone.” [CNN]
* Irving Picard has asked a judge to allow him to start making disbursements to Madoff’s victims. Victims stand to receive a coupon book valued at over 200 dollars, a free subscription to Cat Fancy, and a lifetime’s supply of Spanx for Men. [Reuters]
* Chris Simms, guilty of poor quarterbackery, was found not guilty of smoking drugs and driving. [New York Post]
- Biglaw, Gay, Gay Marriage, King & Spalding, New York Times, Paul Clement, Politics, Quote of the Day
King & Spalding’s willingness to drop a client, the U.S. House of Representatives, in connection with the lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was such an obsequious act of weakness that I feel compelled to end your legal association with Virginia so that there is no chance that one of my legal clients will be put in the embarrassing and difficult situation like the client you walked away from, the House of Representatives.
A second quote of the day, from the New York Times, after the jump.
- Biglaw, Boutique Law Firms, Constitutional Law, Gay, Gay Marriage, King & Spalding, Paul Clement, Quote of the Day, Seth Waxman, Viet Dinh
I think it’s important for lawyers on the other side of the political divide from Paul, who’s a very fine lawyer, to reaffirm what Paul wrote [in his resignation letter from King & Spalding]. Paul is entirely correct that our adversary system depends on vigorous advocates being willing to take on even very unpopular positions. Having undertaken to defend DOMA, he’s acting in the highest professional and ethical traditions in continuing to represent a client to whom he had committed in this very charged matter.
– Seth Waxman, former U.S. Solicitor General (under President Clinton) and current WilmerHale partner, commenting to Washingtonian magazine on the decision of fellow former S.G. Paul Clement to resign from King & Spalding and join Bancroft PLLC. At Bancroft, the D.C. boutique law firm founded by former Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, Clement will continue to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives in its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
- Biglaw, Boutique Law Firms, Constitutional Law, Gay, Gay Marriage, King & Spalding, Paul Clement, Politics, Small Law Firms, Viet Dinh
The leading law firm of King & Spalding, which came under fire from LGBT rights groups after its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) became public last week, has moved to withdraw from the litigation. The firm cited problems with the vetting process applied to the engagement.
And Paul Clement, the former U.S. Solicitor General and King & Spalding partner who was going to spearhead the DOMA defense, is now a former K&S partner. He resigned from K&S this morning, in response to the firm’s withdrawal decision. Clement will continue his representation of the House of Representatives in DOMA litigation from his new home, Bancroft PLLC, the high-powered D.C. boutique founded by a fellow alum of the Bush Department of Justice, Georgetown law professor Viet Dinh.
UPDATE (12:20 PM): We reached out for comment to Professor Dinh, who said: “Paul wins the biggest cases and Bancroft solves the most complex problems. This is a no brainer. We will continue to do what Paul and I love doing most, which is to serve the best interests of our clients.”
Let’s take a look at King & Spalding’s stated justification for dropping the DOMA representation, and at Paul Clement’s resignation letter….
- Constitutional Law, Gay, Gay Marriage, King & Spalding, Media and Journalism, Paul Clement, Politics, Quote of the Day
[A] lawyer who defends an individual or a law, no matter how unpopular or distasteful, helps ensure that the outcome is viewed as fair. If DOMA is struck down, the fact that it was defended effectively will make the victory for its opponents more credible…. We hope [Paul] Clement loses, but we don’t begrudge him the assignment. Even a lawyer of his skills will find it hard to defend a discriminatory law like DOMA.