Townsend and Townsend and Crew

No, RBG, that’s not the internet.

* According to Justice Elena Kagan, the rest of her colleagues are Supreme technophobes. Because “[t]he court hasn’t really ‘gotten to’ email,” they still pass handwritten memos to each other. [Associated Press]

* “[I]f we don’t get some relief we might as well close our doors.” Thanks to sequestration, budget cuts to the federal judiciary have resulted in layoffs in the Southern District of New York. Sad. [New York Law Journal]

* Kodak’s Chapter 11 reorganization was approved by Judge Allan Gropper, who called the affair “a tragedy of American economic life.” He must’ve had fond memories of getting other people’s pictures. [Bloomberg]

* Bankruptcy lawyers for corporate debtors are going to have to crack down on churning their bills. Starting in November, they will be subject to additional rules, and even (gasp!) fee examiners. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda (because of course his surname is Miranda), has lawyered up after his unusual nine-hour detainment at Heathrow airport this weekend. [Am Law Daily]

* So long, Nuts and Boalts: Christopher Edley, dean of Boalt Hall, is taking a medical leave and cutting short his term as the school’s leader at the end of the year. [Bottom Line / San Francisco Chronicle]

* “We’ll take him.” Indiana Tech Law School opens today, and its founding dean is very excited to add a 33rd student — one who was admitted yesterday — to the school’s inaugural class. [National Law Journal]

* Eugene Crew, co-founder of the firm once known as Townsend and Townsend and Crew, RIP. [Recorder]

An old white male and his younger diverse peeps.

Law firm diversity matters. It matters to corporate clients, many of them public companies that want to demonstrate their commitment to diversity through their selection of vendors and service providers — which is what law firms are, at the end of the day. It matters to the law students and lawyers that firms are trying to recruit — which is the premise behind the data collection conducted by Building A Better Legal Profession.

So there should be keen interest in the latest edition of the American Lawyer’s Diversity Scorecard 2011, which the magazine just released. As Am Law explains, the Scorecard constitutes its annual ranking of large law firms by their percentage of minority attorneys and minority partners.

Let’s take a look at the top firms for diversity. Did your firm make the list?

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Remember back in May when we told you that Kilpatrick Stockton was in merger talks with Townsend and Townsend and Crew? But we had to say they “might” be in talks because nobody would go on the record confirming them? Then in July we told you that they definitely had been in talks, but the firms said: no, no, no, those talks have fallen apart?

Well, here we are in November and, surprise, Kilpatrick Stockton is merging with Townsend and Townsend and Crew.

The lesson: you can believe Above the Law or you can believe the double-speak nonsense coming out of the mouths of firm leaders…

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We really don’t like writing about murders, suicides, and murder suicides here on Above the Law. They are always sad, the loss of human life is always tragic, and it’s really hard to be funny/snarky/edgy when people have died.

That said, we have to go where the news takes us, and so we press on today with a roundup of people in the legal community who recently met untimely ends. A Department of Justice lawyer took his own life, and an office manager for Townsend and Townsend and Crew allegedly killed her estranged husband, before turning the gun on herself…

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Are we about to head into, or already in the midst of, a double-dip recession? The stock market has been taking a beating. Unemployment claims are on the upswing.

And law firm layoffs continue. The Daily Journal reports:

A month after the collapse of a proposed merger, San Francisco-based intellectual property boutique Townsend and Townsend and Crew announced Wednesday it is laying off nine attorneys and 25 staff members.

All nine attorneys, and most of the targeted staffers, are from Townsend’s Bay Area offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Walnut Creek. The layoffs reduce Townsend’s firmwide attorney headcount by 5 percent, to 174 lawyers, a firm spokesman said.

The failed merger would have involved Townsend and Kilpatrick Stockton.

Which Townsend lawyers were hit hardest by the cuts?

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Back in May, we reported on merger rumors involving Kilpatrick Stockton and Townsend and Townsend and Crew. As it turns out, the firms were in talks — but now those talks have fallen apart.

As the two firms told the Daily Journal, the talks were called off because of a familiar reason: potential client conflicts. According to a statement issued by Kilpatrick’s co-managing partner, William Dorris, “We explored merger discussions with our friends at Townsend, but clients always come first. When client-related conflicts could not be resolved, we could not proceed further.”

What made the merger alluring initially?

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One merger is an accident. Two mergers … well, that could be a trend.

The merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells is in the books. The new firm is up and running, and it’s already saying goodbye to people. The Blog of the Legal Times reports that Hogan Lovells had some departures over the weekend:

A six-lawyer insurance litigation group left Hogan to launch a D.C. office for Hartford, Conn.-based Shipman & Goodwin. James Ruggeri, who leads the group, said that the move was made because of conflicts created by the merger for his group’s chief client, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Ruggeri serves as The Hartford’s national counsel for complex insurance coverage matters. He had been at Hogan since 1991.

Hogan Lovells has gotten a lot of attention in part because it is the highest-profile law firm merger to take place after the recession fully took hold.

But over the weekend, a tipster reported that there might be another notable merger on the horizon. Our source tells us that Townsend and Townsend and Crew and Kilpatrick Stockton are in talks…

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Salary Cuts.jpgThe myth that IP boutiques would be immune from the recession has already been debunked. Today, a few more intellectual property lawyers came back down to earth with the rest of the legal industry.
Above the Law has obtained an internal memo from the IP firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew. The firm is cutting salaries:

All- After much deliberation and consideration of the various issues involved, including the thoughtful input of the associates, the Policy Committee has made the decision to restructure associate compensation for 2010 as follows:
1) The associate pay scale for 2010 will be adjusted so that starting salaries for first year associates will be $145,000.
2) The remaining scale will be:
Level 2: $ 160,000
Level 3: $ 170,000
Level 4: $ 185,000
Level 5: $ 210,000
Level 6: $ 225,000
Level 7: $ 240,000

But don’t get too attached to that lockstep system, Townsend associates. After the jump, we see that Townsend wants to join the cool kids hanging out behind the gym lighting lockstep on fire.

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