West Virginia

Divorce, so I hear, is not a fun experience. Emotions run high, hearts get broken, money has to be divided among hostile parties. The last thing you want when you’re going through divorce is to have the judge handling your case scream at you in court, in front of your soon-to-be ex-wife, threatening to put you in jail, and saying he dislikes you so much that he should recuse himself from the case.

Sounds pretty terrible, right? Maybe even unbelievable? Well, straight from West Virginia, we’ve got video of our Judge of the Day doing just that…

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William Eskridge Jr.

America is a mobile country. You notice that I am not living in West Virginia anymore.

Yale Law professor William Eskridge Jr., commenting on enduring prejudice in the South when it comes to gay marriage.

We tend to think of the biggest Biglaw firms as “sweatshops,” while we view small firms, midsize or regional firms, or even Am Law 200 firms as “lifestyle” shops. The thought is that the big bad firms that service Wall Street clients will grind you up and spit you out, while somewhat smaller firms will allow you to have a normal life as you pursue your career.

It’s a great story, but it’s not necessarily a true one. Sometimes working at a smaller firm or a regional firm just means the same work with more pressure and less pay. Attorneys at such firms, whether partners or associates, don’t always have the kind of resources that Biglaw attorneys enjoy. There aren’t multiple layers of staffing available to double- or triple-check every document. It’s a lot of stress.

And stress can be just as deleterious to your health when working at a regional firm as it is when you work for a truly huge firm. This week, we’ve been fielding a bunch of reports about an associate who passed away at home after working what some tipsters report as maniac hours at his regional law firm the week before.

It’s a sad story, one that some accuse the law firm of trying to cover up, but it’s another opportunity for us to remind readers to take care of themselves even when work seems overwhelming…

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and for some people, it represents a time to serenade a sweetheart, pop bottles of champagne, and stare dreamily into the eyes of Mr. or Ms. Right (or Right Now, as the case may be). For others, Valentine’s Day is a time of loneliness and despair — angry, bitter lawyers, we’re looking at you — where only the commiseration of other single friends can lift one’s spirits.

For others still, Valentine’s Day is a time to ponder how their spouse got so fat, and why they decided to marry such an obnoxious, sniveling idiot. For the last category of those who will be celebrating lamenting Valentine’s Day this year, we’ve got a possible salve for your marital woes.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, those who hope to dodge Cupid’s arrows this year can enter a contest in the hopes of winning a free divorce. There’s just one catch….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Valentine’s Day, Give the Everlasting Gift of Love Divorce”

SLU Law's Raven Akram

* Time for a Biglaw battle: William Baer of Arnold & Porter is the front runner to take over the DOJ’s antitrust division, but could he lose the spot to one of O’Melveny’s finest, Richard Parker? [Blog of Legal Times]

* It’s about time people remembered there’s no such thing as privacy anymore, but in case you forgot, Google is here to remind you. Say hello to the company’s latest plan for internet domination. [Washington Post]

* Welcome to New Jersey, a lovely place where Governor Chris Christie thinks that gay people are qualified to be state supreme court justices, but completely unqualified for marriage. [Businessweek]

* Indiana Tech is breaking ground on the law school nobody wants, and St. Louis University is moving the law school everyone hopes will attract more NFL cheerleaders. [National Law Journal; St. Louis Business Journal]

* Pamela Anderson has settled a lawsuit over her alleged failure to promote the sale of condominiums. Because people would totally buy a condo after a pair of boobs told them to do it. [Winnipeg Free Press]

* Two men from West Virginia claim that they were sexually assaulted by Andy Dick in a nightclub. The long and short of this lawsuit: Andy Dick has been accused of allegedly acting like Andy Dick. [Toronto Sun]

DDs = Divorce Dollars?

* Herman Cain says he’s not in the habit of sexually harassing women. That’s too bad, because he’s got a great pick-up line for Election 2012: “I got your 9-9-9 right here. It’s in my pants.” [Reuters]

* Apparently Andrew Shirvell “has a history of trying desperately to smear people.” When so many people think you’re a closet case, that kind of a statement could be taken out of context. [Detroit Free Press]

* In college football news, West Virginia University wants to lose to unranked teams in a relevant conference so badly that the school is suing the Big East in the hopes of getting embarrassed quicker. [Washington Post]

* In honor of Kim Kardashian’s divorce, I propose that we play a game called “Things Longer Than Kim’s Marriage.” I’ll start: her sex tape with Ray Jay. [New York Post]

* Fake people. Fake cases. Judge Jerry. Looks like Judge Judy decided to let her husband out of his cage so he can play a judge in a new television series. [New York Daily News]

Over the summer, we wondered: what can law firms do to prepare for a possible double-dip recession?

One obvious answer: firms can “right-size” themselves, by making sure that they are as lean and as mean as they can be. And this seems to be what has been happening over the past few months.

We haven’t seen much in terms of lawyer layoffs lately, but staff layoffs are another story. In fact, on the staff side, we seem to be looking at a trend of firms reducing their permanent staff positions in favor of outsourcing.

Since August, we’ve learned of staff layoffs at O’Melveny & Myers (75 positions) and Paul Hastings (45 positions) — both as a result of domestic outsourcing to outside service providers. In addition, Pillsbury Winthrop announced that it might have to cut staffers who aren’t willing to relocate to its new Professional Services Center in Nashville. This prompted us to ask: Is On-Shore Outsourcing the Biglaw Wave of the Future?

The answer seems to be yes. Today we bring you news of additional staff reductions, at Fulbright & Jaworski and Goodwin Procter, both involving outsourcing….

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The big news this morning is bad news for the staff at O’Melveny & Myers. News started leaking out last night that the firm would be laying off 75 support staff members.

The firm has confirmed the news that was first published in The Recorder.

Approximately half the of the laid-off O’Melveny staffers will be cut outright. The other half will have the opportunity to be relocated to scenic West Virginia….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Staff Layoff Watch: O’Melveny & Myers Replaces 75 Humans With Technology”

The Penthouse Club is no Bada Bing.

* The legal sector lost 1,300 jobs in September. And because that’s not depressing enough, lawyers now have to compete for jobs with computers. Guess it’s time to learn binary. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week kicked off yesterday in West Virginia. Too bad this campaign isn’t in Michigan, where a woman is suing over a misleading movie trailer. [Washington Post]

* Think you had it rough on the bar exam? Try being in active labor during the MBE. Our congratulations go out to Elana Nightingale Dawson for passing the Illinois bar! [Daily Herald]

* What’s the point of being in witness protection when you’re getting sued over dueling nudie bars in Texas? You may be the real life Tony, but you’re disrespecting the Bing. [New York Post]

* Pants on the ground / Pants on the ground / Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground. A judge in New York finally took General Larry Platt’s words of wisdom to heart. [Daily Mail]

* What did you think of the way Obama was pimping out his reelection jobs bill last night? People were probably more excited about the football game that followed. [Los Angeles Times]

* Congratulations to Stephanie D. Thacker of West Virginia. She was nominated to fill a seat on the Fourth Circuit. If she doesn’t have a family circle, things will go well in her confirmation hearing. [State Journal]

* Money might not grow on trees, but it certainly grows on financial reform legislation. Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act, the pockets of Biglawyers will continue to be lined with cash for years to come. [New York Times]

* Skinnygirl is supposed to be “the margarita you can trust,” but now the company is facing two class actions. I’ve never tried it (duh), but it’s never good to put your trust in alcohol. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* If you really want a job, you can start packing for South Dakota. A bit deserted for me. In fact, I think you might need some oxen and a covered wagon to practice out there. [WSJ Law Blog]

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