Bitter News, 5-21-09

Quick headlines from the Bitter Newsroom as progressive as water law curriculum:

• Unfortunately, the Mad Men-style three-martini lunch has gone by the wayside and now everyone loves to earnestly point out things like “alcohol costs more than $25 billion a year in lost productivity—in California alone.” Humpf. David Redmond feels the same way—except in London.  The Morgan Stanley commodities trader came back one day from a 3.5 hour lunch between 13.14 and 16.41 (that’s the metric system for British time) and proceeded to rapidly TUI: Trade Under the Influence, making trades about every 7.5 seconds.  Now he’s banned for two years and fired.  Morgan Stanley says it’s guidelines really only condone drinking for client entertainment, but I think that qualifies, no?  [Solicitr.com]

• BigLaw is busted.  And we haven’t hit bottom yet.  In addition to layoffs, firms are forging ahead with bold salary cuts.  Reed Smith is the latest to announce an across-the-board U.S. associate salary splice of 10%.  And those associates are going to take like it the defenseless gimps they are—because they should be relived that (for now) it’s only 10%.  The job-clinging panic this depression has cultivated showed us back in March that nearly 80% of lawyers would still do their daily grind even if faced with 20% reduction.  Is the business of annually churning out gobs of “lawyers” from hundreds of American law schools to blame?  Better business-education in law is maybe a good thing to help understand the supply/demand disparity that is making law a less lucrative profession. [BizJournals.com]

• Bitter Lawyer would like a slice of that free junior lawyers action.  Send one over.  [Times Online]

• Harvard Law School just bumped up someone from the waitlist.  The possibility of a professional tennis career just convinced one scholarly athlete to defer his acceptance.  (It was just a safety net anyway.) University of Arkansas graduate Blake Strode, the 2009 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year bit his thumb at HLS in pursuit of Wimbledon.  And since Strode is black, don’t think for a second the reporter didn’t force an awkward Arthur Ashe comparison.  [Baxter Bulletin]

• Speaking of most-worthy, talented athletes and the law, “bratty” Andrew Giuliani, the former mayor’s son who sued Duke University for kicking him off the golf team in which he was ranked twelfth on the thirteen-person roster, had his case dismissed.  Despite no one on, or affiliated with, the team wanting to play with him, Giuliani pushed the suit, which U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Wallace W. Dixon (and the media) brushed off in the puniest way possible, tapping into the inner depths of his golf lexicon to make his point.  [New York Daily News]

• And you thought texting booty calls got you into enough ethical trouble.  Five lawyers have been charged with ethics violations stemming a trail of text messages regarding their cases against Detroit ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.  [Detroit Free Press]

• “Once again, you are being arrested in Boston.” Here’s what Altman & Altman, LLP’s blog suggests you should do—after calling the cops a bunch of muthafakas.  Because people who have a “warrant out for [their] arrest and, for some reason, those police officers on the corner are looking at [them] kinda funny” usually read blogs.  [Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog]

• “No witnesses, no case.” That’s what he always used to say.  But famous drug dealer, gang leader and rap star defender Paul Bergrin has just been indicted for “orchestrating the murder of a confidential witness by leaking his name to drug dealers who shot him in broad daylight on a Newark street corner; of traveling to Chicago to hire a murderer to kill a witness in another case; of coaching some eyewitnesses to lie; and of paying others to change their stories or leave town on the day they were to testify.” And that’s dedication, passion and commitment to the job I’m not quite sure should be punished.  [The New York Times]

• A law firm is being sued for not paying a bill of about $775,000 for digital storage of 62 terabytes of data, a quantity of ones and zeros the data service antiquated to “enough that if it were published on CD-ROMs would stack up higher than a 30-story building.” (How tall if published on laserdisc?) That cost is in addition to the $854,068.71 the firm already paid.  Hm, a 2TB hard drive from Costco is $249.99, which means if you bought 31 of those and stacked them, you’d have about 22 towering feet of storage all for a one-time bargain fee of $7,750.  Times.  They are a changin’. [Star Tribune]

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