Washington D.C.

The wheels of justice might have taken a wrong turn today. It seems that Justice Antonin Scalia had some minimum contacts — with another vehicle, on a highway outside D.C.

According to a Supreme Court spokesperson, Justice Scalia was involved in a minor car accident this morning, while heading in to One First Street to hear oral argument in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. The accident took place on the George Washington Parkway (a tricky road to drive on, as I know from my time spent in Washington).

Justice Scalia — my personal favorite among the justices, for his brilliance, wit, colorful personality, and unmatched writing skill — was thankfully not injured. He made it on to the bench in time for the Tuesday oral argument session.

What kind of car does Justice Scalia drive?

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A couple of participants played Courtship Connection musical chairs

At the heart of our Courtship Connection series is the premise that lawyers play well together in romantic relationships. Hopefully the story earlier this week of an engagement between two lawyers going horribly wrong won’t discourage future participants from taking on a fellow lawyer as a playmate.

Previous Courtship participants aren’t discouraged, at least. Perhaps you remember the whiskey-swigging law student who was “prettier/kinder/smarter” than the Blue Moon-drinking fellow student I paired her with? In her write-up, she expressed an interest in the “nice, smart, and talkative” Big Gov lawyer who wasn’t swept off his feet by a fellow conservative attorney over dim sum on Valentine’s Day. She was up for “steamed buns” but, sadly, he wasn’t.

Our picky Elephant says that “a friend” alerted him to whiskey girl’s call to action. He emailed me to say he was up for it, so I sent them out to The Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. He wound up getting that action. At least, I think he did…

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This installation of the Courtship Connection has some important advice for blind daters. If you are feeling sick or if you are feeling exhausted, or if you are suffering from those two conditions combined, you should just reschedule.

(Last week, one of our participants was sniffly on her date and still managed to make a love connection, but we should all think of that as the exception and not the rule.)

I had high hopes for these two do-gooder lawyers in their late 20s, who named First Amendment law and environmental law as their favorite classes in law school, respectively — and who managed to translate their noble passions into professional gigs. Both Donkeys — d’uh — he said that if he weren’t a lawyer, he’d be a “singer for an unsuccessful band,” and she said she’d be a “yoga teacher, park ranger, and world traveling vagabond.”

Such a precious pairing! I sent them to Adams Morgan’s Tryst on a Tuesday evening to drink environmentally-sustainable coffee and chat about how to keep Obama in office come 2012. She was enchanted and even went so far as to send a text post-date. Unfortunately, that text went ignored. Here’s why…

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What’s going on with clerkship bonuses? The last time we really checked was over a year ago. We might do a follow-up; if you have tips — not questions or requests for advice, but hard information about clerkship bonus amounts — please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonuses”).

In our last look at the subject, in February 2010, the going rate seemed to be $50,000. You can look back at our prior post for the names of at least 11 firms paying $50K clerkship bonuses. (If any of that info needs to be updated, in either direction, please let us know.)

We can confirm that at least one firm is paying a clerkship bonus in excess of $50,000: BuckleySandler, a young, highly-regarded firm that focuses on banking and financial-services law. We’ve written quite a bit about the firm before; it started with a bang, when Skadden partners Andrew Sandler and Benjamin Klubes left the megafirm to set up their own shop.

Let’s learn a little more about BuckleySandler, and check out the memo announcing the $60K clerkship bonus (along with other compensation-related information)….

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Well, well, well. After a string of miserable failures unsuccessful matches, I’ve finally introduced two lawyers in Washington, D.C. who both filed motions with me for a second date.

So how’d I do it? Throwing a blonde lawyer into the mix helped…

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A law student said this picture best captured the feeling of his date

Last week, we had two more blind dates in the swampy city: a pair of lawyers and a pair of law students.

Both dates left me feeling that I really need to start recruiting more candidates from outside of the legal field. (Note to Lat and Elie: Could you get your colleagues to send some Dealbreaker and Fashionista readers my way?)

The late 20s-early 30s lawyers I sent out both went to school in Boston, both described themselves as Dem-GOP mixes (she said she was a hybrid, he ‘fessed up to being a libertarian), and both named Scalia as their man at One First Street. Asked to describe themselves in three words, she gave me an alliterative four — “sweet, sarcastic, smart, social” — and he used slashes with abandon — “Spunky/energetic, funny, old school/1950s-ish, conservative.”

I sent them to Proof wine bar on a Tuesday night. Here’s what happened next….

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Two dates, including one on Valentine's Day, fell flat.

Given the track record of Above the Law’s lawyer-matchmaking series, some may think we should change the name of the series to the Courtship Misconnection.

In one of our first Washington, D.C. couplings, on Superbowl Sunday, a male lawyer fumbled his date with a “disarmingly feisty and unabashedly vivacious” female associate. (Beware the women who self-describe as “feisty,” says Slate.) Undeterred, I’ve continued to set up dates in the nation’s capital.

I sent two Biglaw types to Solly’s on U Street last week — a late 20s female Donkey who wanted a trunk and an early-thirties male Elephant who requested ass. If not a lawyer, she said she’d be a cage fighter, and he said he’d be a writer. I thought I had an excellent “opposites attract” formula. I was wrong.

She described the date as a “pretty lackluster affair” and he said no “love connection was made.” “You are no Patti Stanger,” female Donkey wrote me (a little bitterly). Boring dates may be even worse than disastrous ones.

Luckily, the other two dates recounted here were more entertaining. One, because it was a blind date on Valentine’s Day, and the other because it’s our first occurrence of Courtship Connection leading to a lawyer’s pants being torn off…

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This week has been fairly quiet in terms of news about the troubled Howrey law firm. A post over at the Howrey Doody Time blog — with a brilliant punny title (wish I had thought of it myself) — describes the current state of affairs as “a painful holding pattern.”

Well, this morning we do have some Howrey news to report. Above the Law has learned that IP partner Mark Whitaker is leaving the D.C. office of Howrey, his professional home for the past decade or so, to join Baker Botts.

“He’s going to Baker Botts to be the 337 guy,” said a source, referring to Section 337 (19 U.S.C. § 1337), which governs fast-track intellectual property litigation before the International Trade Commission (ITC). “He has a very nice stable of clients he has developed independent of Howrey.”

Mark Whitaker

The hiring of Mark Whitaker — described to us as a “great, great guy,” as well as a former Navy officer (like fellow Howrey partner Richard Beckler) — is a nice coup for Baker Botts, since § 337 expertise is an in-demand area. And luckily for Whitaker, the move won’t mess with his commute: both Howrey and Baker are in the Warner Building, at 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We understand that Whitaker was part of the group of Howrey partners invited to join Winston & Strawn, but he had other plans underway when the Winston talks were announced. His departure from Howrey comes just a few days after WilmerHale’s announcement that it was picking up another noted Howrey IP litigator, Robert Galvin (in Palo Alto).

So that’s the latest Howrey partner news. What’s going on with associates and staff?

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Only one person had a good time on this date. (Stock photo.)

With Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, now seems like a great to time to relaunch ATL’s Courtship Connection — our well-intentioned but only sporadically successful program for hooking up our single legal-eagle readers.

Like the Real World, the series is back and in a new city. Judging from the date we’ll now recount, our matchmaking adventures in D.C may be as disappointing as the eight strangers MTV picked to live in a Dupont Circle house last year. (But hey, dating through Above The Law has got to turn out better than dating through Craigslist in D.C.)

This was an East Coast (him) meets West Coast (her) match. Both were of the politically-liberal persuasion. I matched these two top law grads in the 25-35 age range in part because I thought they would look good together. Both are hotties. When asked to describe themselves in three words, neither could stick to the word limit. He said he was a “brainy, preppy reformed frat-guy” and she said she was “disarmingly feisty and unabashedly vivacious.”

I should not have been so superficial. While he enjoyed her vivacity, she enjoyed… writing up a feisty recap of the date….

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This is rich. The owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder, has sued the Washington City Paper for a column he claims defamed him and used anti-Semitic imagery. That’s right, the man who has famously defended his right to name an entire football team after an ethnic slur is playing the ethnic card because a columnist made fun of him.

The kicker is that on top of this amazing execution of rank hypocrisy, Snyder manages to insult all Jews who have actually dealt with anti-Semitism by coming up with an ethnic offense where none existed. The columnist wasn’t making Jewish jokes or playing off of Jewish stereotypes. He was calling Dan Snyder a terrible owner and a shady dude. Saying he was a victim of anti-Semitism degrades the term and make this entire lawsuit look like the petulant reaction of a narcissistic millionaire.

As Dennis Green might say: Daniel Snyder is who we thought he was….

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