Week in Review

BarBri bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpg* Let’s begin with the practical. If you took the Bar/Bri bar review course between 1997 and 2006, please click here, so you can find out how to claim $125 for yourself (unless you want to go it on your own and try to get more).
* Gay lawyer Aaron Charney and his former employer, Sullivan & Cromwell, had their day in court. We were on hand to jot down the money quotes and shoot lots of photos.
* Speaking of Aaron Charney, is he just another money-hungry plaintiff, rather than a crusader for justice for gay lawyers everywhere?
* Anna Nicole Smith, a prevailing party in the U.S. Supreme Court and the widow of a (very rich) former Yale Law professor — a prof who taught Trusts and Estates, of all things — passed away.
* Still more big law firms announced pay raises for their associates.
* Your stories about Shanetta Cutlar, the colorful chief of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section, are pleasingly novel to us. But to the DOJ’s front office, it’s all old news.
* Law students are good at squabbling amongst themselves.
* Judge Janice Rogers Brown is pretty cool.
* And Canadians are funny.

Aaron Charney headshot Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL.JPG* Last Tuesday, a civil action captioned Aaron Brett Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP was filed in New York Supreme Court — and the world of Biglaw has never been the same ever since. Click here to access the complete archives of our Aaron Charney coverage.
* Of course, Sullivan & Cromwell partners aren’t the only bosses who are jerks challenging (allegedly).
* Don’t forget the Divine Miss C, Shanetta Cutlar, whose delicious reign continues over at the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.
Compared to Aaron Charney and Shanetta Cutlar, other topics pale by comparison. But here are other highlights from the past week in legal news:
* Charles “Cully” Stimson apologizes for ranking on Gitmo lawyers.
* In New Orleans, trials get rescheduled for football.
* Barry Ostrager of Simpson Thacher, the renowned business litigator, has poor bathroom manners (or aim).
* The justices of the Michigan Supreme Court just can’t stop squabbling.
* Now we know the real reason — or rather, the 25 million reasons — that the Dewey Ballantine / Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe merger was scuttled.
* Third Circuit Judge Marjorie Rendell, who also serves as the First Lady of Pennsylvania, sings a duet with Jon Bon Jovi. We don’t know whether to be delighted or frightened.

Donald Stout house Blackbery RIM NTP NPT.JPG* Over at the Justice Department, the bad-ass Shanetta Cutlar, Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division, takes no prisoners.
* Not even summer interns can escape her wrath.
* But hey, at least they get to go back to school. Full-time attorneys can escape only by leaving the Section — provided that Shanetta doesn’t get to them first.
* Speaking of job changes, meet your new White House counsel: Fred Fielding, of Wiley Rein & Fielding (who served as White House counsel under President Reagan).
* Next time you go out for pizza, leave the corporate lawyers at home.
* Pentagon official Charles Stimson doesn’t like how Guantanamo Bay detainees are getting pro bono representation from some of the country’s top law firms. Don’t they have better things to be doing with their pro bono time?
* Michael Nifong manages a Houdini-like escape from the debacle known as the Duke lacrosse team rape case.
* Celebrity law professors Noah Feldman and Jeannie Suk, whom you have just dubbed Feldsuk, have a really nice house.
* But not as nice as the $7 million mansion of patent lawyer Donald Stout (aerial view at right).
* Federal judicial nominees: Out with the old, in with the new.
* Chief Judge Michael Boudin (1st Cir.): You like him, you really like him.
* Maybe it’s because he’s such a big feeder judge. Interestingly enough, though, he has only placed one clerk so far at the Supreme Court for October Term 2007.*
(But Chief Judge Boudin feeds mostly to Justice Breyer and Justice Souter. The former isn’t finished hiring yet, and the latter hasn’t even started.)

2007.jpgLast week was short, thanks to the New Year’s holiday; but it sure was busy. Here are some highlights from a very momentous week:
* No more jokes about Harriet Miers: the ill-fated ex-SCOTUS nominee has resigned as White House counsel. Speculation about her successor abounds.
* No more jokes about the Dewy Orifice: the ill-fated merger between Dewey Ballantine and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has been called off.
* Turns out that Chief Justice Rehnquist was a painkiller junkie. Once, while suffering withdrawal symptoms, he tried to bust out of a hospital in his PJs.
* Chief Judge David Levi, of the Eastern District of California, will be the new Dean of Duke Law School.
* All About Jan? Just as the aging Margo Channing’s reign over Broadway was threatened by the comely Eve Harrington, the aging Linda Greenhouse’s reign over One First Street is being threatened by the comely Jan Crawford Greenburg.
* Who knew? Law professors and legal bloggers sure know how to party! Photos of drunken legal academics available here and here.
* Cravath partner John Beerbower has enjoyed some amazing apartments over the years. Cravath partnership + Wealthy wife = $20 million, Park Avenue pad.
* Who’s your favorite First Circuit judge? Cast your vote here.
* If you’re a right-winger hoping that Justice Stevens will step down soon, don’t hold your breath.
* Today’s D.C. Circuit: Despite the occasional catfight, it’s not as bitchy as it used to be. Sigh.
* Oppressed law clerks, your Devil Wears Prada is on its way. Coming soon to a bookstore near you: Chambermaid, by former Third Circuit clerk Saira Rao.

kwanzaa happy kwanzaa kwanza candles.gifThe week before a major holiday is usually pretty slow. And the Friday before the holiday weekend is usually dead — the perfect time for Mike Nifong to announce he’s dropping the rape charges against the Duke lacrosse team defendants.
Other highlights from the past week in legal news and ATL:
* Get to know this year’s Alito clerks!
* And help us get to know the current Breyer clerks.
* Dean Harold Koh’s Christmas gift to Yale Law School conservatives: newfound warmth and friendliness.
* Speaking of Yale Law School, YLS grad Yul Kwon just won Survivor. Congrats, Yul!
* Stuff you knew already: Supreme Court clerks are cooler than you. Lawyers have mediocre sex lives. Pro se litigants are insane.
* Last week dragged in a few more law firm bonus announcements, but nothing exciting. To skim the coverage, click here, then scroll down through the headlines.
* On the subject of bonuses, Biglaw associates: Please take our 2006 bonus poll (first announced here):

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

stack of bills cash money.jpgWe summarized the past week in non-bonus news back in this post. Now, we provide a recap of last week in Biglaw and associate bonus news:
* In merger news, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Preston Gates & Ellis are combining to form “K&L Gates.”
* Meanwhile, the Dewey-Orrick merger will be delayed in its consummation.
* As for law firm associate bonuses, it was actually a pretty unexciting week, despite the flurry of announcements. With the obvious exception of Wachtell Lipton, every firm that announced essentially matched the market bonuses (as set during the prior week by Milbank).
* For the archives of our complete bonus coverage, click here, then scroll down. For bonus information about a specific firm, go to our firm-by-firm linkwrap, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Week in Review — Biglaw Bonus Edition: December 11-15″

smell smelly NYU law library.jpgHere’s our recap of the past week in ATL, completely free of Biglaw or bonus news (which will be summarized in a separate “Week in Review” post).
The theme for this week’s news: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
* Hardworking lawyers are still unhappy with their sex lives.
* Celebrities still get in legal trouble (and so do state court judges).
* Borat-related lawsuits still keep getting filed.
* The Duke lacrosse team rape case is still FUBAR.
* Law school libraries are still foul-smelling at the height of final exams.
* Pro se litigants are STILL AWESOME.
* Senator Orrin Hatch is still on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
* Justice Breyer is still concerned about sectarian violence in the 17th century.
* Eumi Choi is still our idol.
* Working for the government still offers many young lawyers more interesting work, and greater responsibility, than Biglaw life (but without a five-figure bonus).
* Also, public interest work still attracts some of the most promising law school graduates.
Have a good weekend, everyone!

Christmas tree.jpg* The holiday season is here, and you know what that means: year-end bonuses for law firm associates. On Friday, Milbank Tweed made the first big bonus announcement. And this time it wasn’t fake.
* They talk a lot about “due process” over at Yale Law School. But questions have been raised concerning the process by which Linda Greenhouse, SCOTUS reporter for the New York Times, was selected over Justice Samuel Alito for the school’s prestigious Award of Merit.
* If Greenhouse benefited from preferential treatment from YLS Dean Harold Koh, it wouldn’t have been the first time.
* Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer: not just geniuses, but also an inspired comedic duo.
* Speaking of great legal minds, Professor Noah Feldman is leaving NYU for Harvard Law School.
* And speaking of NYU Law School, if you haven’t already voted in the 3L hotties contest, there’s still some time left. Polls close tomorrow at 3PM (Eastern time).
* Finally, we have a new little sibling. Please extend a warm welcome to Supermogul: The View From the Top.

stack of bills cash money.jpg* It’s all about the benjamins, baby. Bonus season is upon us. And we’re standing by to broadcast every move. So please email us with any news, rumors, and leaked memos about bonuses.
* Truthful tips are especially welcome. Look for the first wave of bonus announcements in the coming week.
* And check out the most anal retention letter ever.
* In non-Biglaw developments, it was a busy week for the Supreme Court. They heard all about EPA regulatory discretion, the Federal Circuit’s recondite jurisprudence, and other fun topics.
* On tap for the SCOTUS: Ken Starr and a bizarrely fascinating case. It’s like Bill ‘n Monica, all over again. But is it sexy enough for same-day audio-cast? Probably not.
* Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the imminent Democratic takeover is already being felt at the Senate Judiciary Committee. The big white-collar shops are eagerly anticipating lots of new business.
* Speaking of elections, please cast your vote for November 2006 Couple of the Month. And if you’re an NYU Law School student, please forward us the results of voting in the 3L hottie contest.
* In federal appellate judge news, Judge Morris Arnold is recovering nicely, Judge Richard Posner is getting testy, and Judge Frank Easterbrook is now Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook.
* And over in the district court, Judge Lee Rosenthal (S.D. Tex.) is probably out of the running for a promotion to the Fifth Circuit (despite being very highly regarded).
* Finally, in state court land, some judges are getting a little big for their britches robes. They’re mouthing off, railing against immigrants, and making spectacles of themselves. Pipe down, Your Honors, and stay out of trouble.

Borat Borat Borat lawsuit law litigation legal Borat Borat Borat.JPG* Another week, another Borat lawsuit.
* Wow — it doesn’t take much to get lawyers all hot and bothered. But ATL readers were evidently untroubled.
* Merry Christmas. There will be no O.J. Simpson book.
* But no Britney sex tape, either.
* Wesley Snipes has some harsh words for the IRS. And Judge Posner does, too.
* We hung out a lot with the Federalist Society. We watched the social conservatives and the libertarians slug it out over cultural issues. And we learned that Judge Edith Jones isn’t the woman we thought she was.

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