Tuesday, March 31, 2009
If you aren't a JRCLS member or can't attend, you can still see some exciting legal events throughout the weekend on the sidewalks surrounding Temple Square. Every year dozens of protesters turn out to condemn Mormons as they attend the conference, so you'll have a front row seat to the clash of prescient legal issues like free speech, property law, defamation, and separation of church and state.
However, if you're like most of us, you won't be anywhere near Salt Lake City this weekend. I'll be watching General Conference online, and maybe on TV if I can find it on satellite somewhere. The Mormon blogging scene (sometimes known as the "Bloggernacle," a term I dislike) always goes into overdrive over Conference Weekend. Some of the well-known Mormon blogs like Times & Seasons and By Common Consent usually carry open comment threads for communal live-blogging. They've been pretty entertaining in years past, so check them out.
As far as the actual conference itself, the lawyer-types can look forward to addresses by Elders Dallin Oaks, Todd Christopherson, and Quentin Cook. Their addresses are always interesting to me because of the occasional use of legal language or metaphors that add an additional subtext. And if you've ever seen a transcript of one of Elder Oaks' talks, you know that they almost resemble law journal articles, complete with Roman numeral headings and extensive footnotes. One of the highlights of this conference will inevitably be the announcement of a new Mormon Apostle to replace Joseph B. Wirthlin who died late last year. Last time there were vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve they were replaced by two attorneys. That probably won't happen again, however. Some might say that there aren't any good attorneys left.
Photo credit: Geoff Belknap
Monday, March 30, 2009
Position: Senior IP Litigation Attorney
Location: Chicago, IL
Description: Well established Chicago based IP firm with an international client base is seeking a senior IP attorney to second-chair IP litigation trials. The attorney must have a technical background and at least seven years of experience. Will consider senior associates, counsel or junior partners.Membership in Lateral Link is free and you can apply at www.laterallink.com
Saturday, March 28, 2009
If you haven't already heard tonight from 8:30 - 9:30 pm (regardless of what time zone you are in) is the second annual worldwide Earth Hour. It is a global campaign to draw attention to the environment. This year over 4,000 cities in 88 countries plan to participate. Basically the goal is to get as many people as possible to turn off all non-essential electric items during the hour. From Scott Base on the Antarctic to the U.N.'s world headquarters in New York our country will also be participating. Because LDS temples are such huge landmarks across the world it would be fun to see the LDS Church participate in the future by also dimming the lights of Temples across the world during Earth Hour. So turn off your TV's and computers (unless your reading this blog of course!) tonight at 8:30 and let's see if we can draw attention to a serious problem.
Friday, March 27, 2009
This article was prepared by Justin Flowers, a director in Lateral Link's New York office.
Last week, in the first part of this article, I addressed some of the basic issues surrounding the current legal hiring market for bankruptcy and restructuring/reorganization practices, including: 1) What sort of real opportunities are out there and where are they; 2) How much real practice-specific experience is necessary: and 3) What are the realistic chances for re-tooling from another practice area into such a practice? In this second installment, I am focusing on some further analysis and predictions for what the near future holds for the world of bankruptcy and how it might affect hiring this year, as well as ways to strengthen the case for successfully making the jump if you are not a mid level bankruptcy associate right at this moment.
When will bankruptcy work hit the point that being hired as a re-tool candidate becomes a possibility?
I get a lot of questions like this on firms' current and future capacity--have things hit the point where busy bankruptcy practices are unable to service the workload and need to bring in re-tools? And if not, when will that happen? The answer is that we don't know, and no one else does either. No one's crystal ball is working very well these days. Jack Williams, resident scholar at the American Bankruptcy Institute, recently predicted that Chapter 11 filings will rise at least 40% in 2009 from their 2008 levels, which were already highly elevated in comparison to recent years, according to this article by Mark Douglas of Jones Day. If Mr. Williams' prediction comes to fruition and the current trend continues or accelerates, it's conceivable that there could be an eventual tipping point, but only if other practice areas have enough business to prevent further cross-staffing amongst groups. As I mentioned last week, this is the single biggest impediment right now for would be bankruptcy associates looking to lateral in from a corporate or litigation background.
I have spoken with a number of bankruptcy associates, partners and recruiting coordinators, and although bankruptcy practices are indeed busy at present, a number of firms have not seen the tidal wave of work cascading over their walls that some forecasts had predicted and that many expected. Understandably, additional emergency help has not been needed so far. This isn't confined to any particular strata of firms or subset of practices either--groups in general are busy and would like experienced help if they can find it, but they aren't so far underwater that they are looking outside of those parameters. Again, there may very well come a point in the near future at which bankruptcy work picks up to the point that firms in fact can't keep up at the junior level, but we aren't there yet.
What other considerations should be kept in mind?
I realize that this is a particularly nasty job market for a lot of people, and it would be insensitive of me to ignore that fact and not offer some tips for those indomitable souls who will not be dissuaded and persist in an attempt to make the jump in the face of the broader bent of this article. Here are some things to think about.
First, be realistic. Remember that you must have at least some exposure to real bankruptcy work in a major law firm to have even the slightest chance of joining a bankruptcy group at this time. Having gotten an "A" in Bankruptcy in law school doesn't cut it if you have been doing only IPOs or fund formation or anything else except bankruptcy since then.
Second, keep some perspective. As recently as eighteen months ago, seemingly every attorney in the Northeast corridor wanted to be in a private equity, hedge fund or structured finance practice. There was a 2-3 year period where rabid hiring into these groups allowed a number of lawyers to lateral as a re-tool from other practices and geographic areas. But even at the height of that frenzied market, there were also a number of attorneys who were unable to switch into one of these practices. Some of those people are undoubtedly glad at this point that they couldn't and didn't make the jump. And some of those people were and are still bankruptcy attorneys who were very slow then but are now the envy of the industry. That's the nature of cycles. Additionally, if bankruptcy enjoys the same 2-3 year run as undisputed heavyweight champ of practice areas and drives the legal hiring market as such, there may very well be much greater macro economic problems than we are seeing even now, and the sky may indeed have fallen. So be careful what you wish for, Chicken Little.
Third, know your target practice. Bankruptcy practices vary greatly from firm to firm, and needs have grown increasingly specific even within broader practices. There are a number of ways in which a practice and position can be delineated--transactional, litigation, creditor side, debtor side, committee work, etc. Some firms have more general practices and handle multiple aspects of the practice--both debtor and creditor work, for instance--whereas some firms work almost exclusively on the creditor side. Along the same lines, some firms provide a strong mix of bankruptcy and restructuring/reorganization that require both transactional and litigation skill sets, whereas others can be more specific in their need for either developed litigation strength or a singular focus on the transactional side. Fine tune any presentation to fit a prospective practice's need as closely as possible to your actual experience. Firms with bankruptcy openings are explicitly asking for the experience, background and class level of candidates that they want to see. Doing a lot of committee work? That will greenlight you for some current openings and keep you out in the cold on some others. Have bankruptcy litigation experience? Again, that's a plus for some openings and a non-starter for others. But if you have the skills, experience and standing, it's absolutely to your advantage to have a conversation to see what your options are in a market currently full of them.
In the meantime, for those associates fortunate enough to still be gainfully employed: network within your firm to try to acquire some hands-on experience to include in your resume. Be proactive about this. Seek out partner contacts and ask if you can volunteer to work on a busy bankruptcy matter if it hasn't been offered to you. Beef up your resume to reflect as much bankruptcy and/or reorganization experience as possible.
Finally, no matter what your current situation, make sure that you cultivate and utilize relationships (with fellow alumni, with your law school's office of placement services, and yes, with a knowledgeable recruiter) that are able to maximize your access to available information and keep you plugged in to what is actually going on. Much like the stock market in the last couple of weeks, this is a day-to-day hiring market where real information is the most valuable commodity.As always, I am happy to answer questions as quickly as I can. If you have further questions or are interested in discussing some of the current opportunities in more detail, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The video game bill, HB353, had very broad support in both the Utah House and Senate, so there is still a chance of a legislative override. However, I hope that isn't the case. Legislation like this is often popular in conservative jurisdictions like Utah, but there's no point in passing an unconstitutional law that won't accomplish anything. Additionally, this bill has a strange pedigree, as it was purportedly drafted by Jack Thompson, a controversial disbarred Florida lawyer who has campaigned in several states for laws against video games.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This morning the Mormon Times Twitter account tweeted (what a stupid verb!) about a user who had set up an account purporting to be President Thomas S. Monson, current leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This account was set up yesterday, but it's not a new idea: I checked around and found a couple different Monson impersonators on Twitter, though the others don't seem to be taking the act as far. After only a day the new Monson impersonator has over 150 followers, but not everyone is fooled. One user even pointed out that the Faux Monson misspelled his wife's name.
Impersonation Policy. Interestingly, the Impersonation Policy makes specific provision for parody Twitter accounts, apparently recognizing the limitations imposed by cases such as Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, the landmark copyright case against 2 Live Crew's parody version of "Pretty Woman." The Twitter Impersonation Policy pages states:
The standard for defining parody is, "would a reasonable person be aware that it's a joke." An account may be guilty of impersonation if it confuses or misleads others—accounts with the clear INTENT to confuse or mislead will be permanently suspended.Under this standard, I think it's pretty clear that Faux Monson is violating the Twitter Terms of service. The account currently has nothing ironic or joking about it -- the user is acting as if he or she were Thomas Monson, claiming to be the official account. The page also carries a photograph of the real Thomas Monson and links to an LDS Church website about him.
The impersonation may also violate federal law under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Specifically, the impersonation may violate 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2), which is an extremely broad provision that bars intentional unauthorized access or exceeding of access of any computer. Here, since the use violates the Twitter Terms of Service, it is potentially unauthorized (or exceeds authorization). This provision is has been held to apply to all computers connected to the Internet, including server-side systems. Even more dramatic, CFAA provides for significant damages or up to 10 years jail time, sometimes without even showing any evidence of harm caused by the violation.
Before you get all riled up, I don't anticipate a lawsuit. That would be a waste of time and resources, and the LDS Church wouldn't even bother. Some of the fake Monson Twitter accounts have been around for nearly a year, and I'm sure other social networking sites have similar impersonators. However, there is some danger of misunderstanding or miscommunication. The Office of the First Presidency could always keep tabs on the impostors, and request that they be terminated by the service provider if things get out of hand. Or better yet, perhaps people should not be quite so gullible and link up with false accounts.
Earlier this month Sander wrote about the LDS Church's increased online presence, and how positive it can be. But the Faux Monson is an example of the potential down-sides of Internet involvement. A false Twitter account is relatively inconsequential, but I can imagine more serious scenarios. I think the benefits outweigh the occasional annoyances, but Church representatives will have to be aware that more issues like this will appear in the future.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
However, if receiving a law degree isn't a ticket to the good life then what is? Business schools continue to raise their tuition and yet MBA graduates also are struggling to find work. The government has even announced that they're looking to lay off 140,000 postal workers! I guess we could all become Am Way distributors......
Monday, March 23, 2009
Kevin Murphy, the author of the article, doesn't do a particularly good job explaining the situation. He apparently concludes that this is a Mormon initiative becuase the proposal is being led by Ralph Yarro III, a well known (and sometimes controversial) Internet and technology figure who is CEO of the Utah-based SCO Group, Inc. The proposal was authored by Cheryl Preston, attorney for CP80, a Utah-based group that proposes "zoning" online adult content to certain ports. Murphy further points out that many of the commenters in the public comment phase have cited their location as Utah. And as he points out, Utah is 58% Mormon. Boom! It must be a Mormon initiative. (Murphy also throws in a superfluous jab against the Mormon church, citing a recent study (PDF) that found that Utah led the nation in online adult content consumption.)
Kevin Murphy did not mention that Cheryl Preston, the CyberSafety Constituency petitioner, is also a BYU law professor. I think this is probably the strongest argument that this ICANN petition is Mormon-supported, although it still isn't dispositive -- individual Mormons are active in a broad array of organizations or causes. To my knowledge, the LDS Church has never taken a position on how the Internet should be governed, or what architecture mechanisms should be used. Even if the Mormon Church supported some sort of protocol that facilitated content filtering, it isn't clear what level of filtering it would advocate. One the one hand, the Church generally opposes pornography, but it also has vested interest in maintaining strong First Amendment rights for its own free exercise of religion. I don't believe there is an official Mormon position on how that balance should be maintained.
For my part, I am reluctant to alter current architecture in the way CP80 proposes. I can see the value in adopting mechanisms that would make it easier for parents to control the content or security threats exposed to their children. But all of these proposals run up against a definitional problem. Even if a functional filtering process is put into place, who decides what content belongs in what "channel"? It's a problem reminiscent of Justice Potter Stewart's famous concurrence in Jacobellis v. Ohio, calling it "trying to define what may be indefinable." I also have some reservations about the proposed CyberSafety Constituency's purpose and scope, because the purpose cited in the petition is colossally broad and potentially contradictory. But the bottom line is that this initiative is not supported by the Mormon Church. Not all Mormons would support it, and most Mormons have probably never heard of any of the proposed constituency or its supporting organizations.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Corporate Attorney Opening In-house, Permanent
A consumer package goods company in Louisville, Kentucky needs an attorney with a background in SEC, corporate, M&A, real estate, and executive benefits experience. The candidate needs 4+ years of experience, preferably a combination of large law firm and in-house experience. Law school GPA must be top 15%. This is a newly created position due to increased workload. There is relocation. Salary is $115-125K.
Please email the resume to email@example.com
Sarah E. Bowman, Esq.
Director & Senior Vice President
Alternate phone: 301-582-3783
Mobile phone: 240-355-6006
Position: Commercial Litigation Associate
Location: Chicago, IL
Description: This Chicago boutique with less than 5 attorneys, is seeking a junior associate to join the firm. The attorney should have at least 2 years of big firm experience and due to the size of the firm personality fit is very important. The firm was started by a former Kirkland & Ellis attorney and they represent some of the world's largest companies with an aggressive targeted approach to litigation. The new associate will jump right in and be involved with every aspect of litigation. This a tremendous opportunity to get significant hands on experience.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Unfortunately, too many of us are so eager to debate and get on with the right answer and the solution, that we often forget even to think about whether the right question has been asked. Lawyers pride themselves on their ability to ask penetrating questions, but I honestly think that the only people who are worse than lawyers at asking the right questions are business managers; and that the only people who are worse than managers at asking the right questions are Mormons.The rest of the address gives examples of business and church leaders who ask the right questions. One of the legal examples he cited was the question of separation of church and state. A Chinese colleague of Professor Christensen pointed out to him how vital religion was in American democracy:
[A]s religion loses its power over the lives of Americans, we are living on momentum. It is a momentum that was established by vibrant religions, and then became a part of our culture. Today there are many people in America who are not religious, who still voluntarily obey the law, follow through on their contracts and respect other people’s rights and property. This is because certain religious teachings have become embedded in our culture. But culture is not a stalwart protector of democracy’s enabling values. When people stop going to their churches, or if our churches lose their power over our culture, our system will not sustain itself. What other institutions will teach these values to Americans with the power required to guide their daily behavior?
The debate on the extent to which religious expression can be allowed in public life has been vigorous, and religion is monotonically losing ground. Whether it is the Ten Commandments etched into the stone of state and court houses, nativity scenes in public squares, the ability of school choirs to sing religious songs or having prayers at public school graduation exercises, religion increasingly is being pushed out of public view and public discourse. We have let the enemies of religion frame this debate incorrectly. Somehow the advocates of separation of church and state can’t understand what my Chinese friend saw so clearly – that the religious institutions whose role on the public stage they hope to minimize are in fact among the fundamental enablers of the civil liberties that we all now enjoy.
It's worth reading the whole thing. You can view the talk here or download it here.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
“Did we establish the monument for a religious purpose—to promote a certain religion?”
The answer, she found, was that they had not.
Then, Peterson began asking other important questions. “Do we move the monument? Do we keep it there? What are the financial ramifications for the city to defend the lawsuit at this time?”
I think it's interesting to hear from a Supreme Court litigant about the infancy of the case. The strategic and practical considerations faced by a small city government are also important; money and workload demands prevent quite a few cases from being litigated or appealed. Eventually the City of Pleasant Grove was joined by dozens of large and powerful amici, but there was no guarantee of any outside support.
Ms. Petersen's remarks also underscore a frightening but fantastic reality for young attorneys -- you can be a part of enormously important cases, transactions, or legislation. Young lawyers in government service or public interest organizations may not make the big bucks, but they often get the big cases. That's how an attorney just a few years out of law school working in a small city can end up working on a Supreme Court case.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
[This article was prepared by Justin Flowers, a director in Lateral Link's New York office.]
Last Friday Lateral Link gave the Mormon Lawyers audience a unique and wide-ranging Job of the Week that reflected the number of bankruptcy positions in this otherwise dismal market. These positions cut across several geographic regions. I, like many of our consultants here at Lateral Link, have been answering a tremendous number of questions from candidates about bankruptcy for weeks. Most of the questions have centered around a few main topics, which I discuss below. We've also been hearing a lot of blatantly wrong advice and information from other sources that our members are bringing to our attention. In order to help clear the air a bit, I wanted to put something out there this week that would cut through the fog of misinformation that is clouding the market regarding these highly sought-after positions. This information is based on the cumulative experience and substantial collective hours logged by the Lateral Link team speaking and meeting with recruiting coordinators and heads of practices in markets across the country. It's based on the reality of what is happening right now in the market, on the rules, not the exceptions (although I'm sure at least a few readers know "some guys from their high school" who've pulled off something incredible in contravention of all of this).
Which groups/practices are hiring?
This depends on where you are geographically (or where you are looking). New York is definitely the center of the bankruptcy lateral world at the moment and the place where there is the greatest depth and breadth of opportunities. Firms of every size and type of practice (more on that below) are currently looking in New York for partners and associates. Strong needs for both partners and associates are also available in every major market (and many non-major ones), but there are fewer of them in each market. As noted previously in the Job of the Week, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco all have openings. That's kind of obvious, but where else? Miami? Count it. Vegas? Oh yes, and plenty of cheap housing too. Indy? Indeed. And there's more where that came from.
How much experience is necessary?
New York opportunities run the gamut from more junior opportunities to more senior slots for genuinely experienced Bankruptcy or Restructuring attorneys. With the burgeoning numbers of failing and distressed companies, mid to senior level bankruptcy and restructuring associates are experiencing a heretofore unseen clamor for their services. Even junior associates with excellent credentials and a substantial amount of bankruptcy experience have some options in this market. Generally two years of experience is the minimum level needed, but there are a handful of options where slightly less experience will still put you in consideration. The bar in terms of experience is a little higher in other markets, however, at midlevel and above there are many opportunities for associates with strong bankruptcy experience and solid academic pedigree to make a move in these markets.
What are my chances of re-tooling as a bankruptcy associate from a corporate/litigation background?
The massive and repetitive rounds of recent and on-going lay-offs, combined with the dearth of real openings in many key practice areas, have turned the legal hiring market into something akin to a hellish game of musical chairs without the chairs. Many attorneys have turned their attention to the few areas where needs appear to be both real and plentiful. For those scrambling to get back into the firm world as quickly as possible (or those looking to forestall what might seem at this point to be an inevitable future reduction in force) but who lack the hard science backgrounds to parlay into an IP career, that oasis might appear to be bankruptcy. After all, the fact that there are aspects of both corporate transactional work and litigation to a broad bankruptcy practice give it an almost universal appeal and the sense that it is a tantalizingly simple re-tooling opportunity.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case in the lateral market thus far. While this New York Times headline was attention grabbing and generated some excitement among candidates seeking to re-tool (it was mentioned to me numerous times shortly after it came out), the article describes internal staffing shifts that have dominated the market until now. Many firms are coping with any real increase in bankruptcy work by channeling more junior associates into the practice, either directly or by staffing associates from other groups on bankruptcy cases. One top New York firm states clearly on their website that while the firm has approximately 100 attorneys dedicated to their Corporate Restructuring Group, they also have over 100 additional attorneys from various other firm practice groups that contribute regularly to bankruptcy and restructuring matters.
Recruiting coordinators and partners at top firms have expressed to us that they are far more likely to re-tool a junior associate from within their own ranks than they would be to do so for a lateral. This is the case regardless of whether an attorney attempts to self submit or is submitted through a recruiter. Throughout the recruitment cycles of the last few years, firms have exhausted large amounts of time, money and other resources in recruiting high caliber legal talent. The unwinding of law firm leverage and adjustments to the economic events of the last 12-18 months have resulted in the bloodletting of late 2008 and all that we have seen of '09 so far. While there are unfortunately a growing number of talented attorneys now thrust into the market, largely through no fault of their own, it does make sense that firms would have a vested interest in trying to retain and re-train the talent that they have already invested in rather than bringing in a lateral re-tool.
In order to consider a successful move into the Bankruptcy field, you must possess at least a year (and more is always better) of bankruptcy experience in at least a cross-over role. A candidate with no demonstrable Bankruptcy experience, whether acquired through an earlier rotation or through serendipitous work assignments, will have a very difficult time obtaining an interview.
That's all for this week, but next week I'll be laying out some predictions and analysis for what the near future holds for the world of bankruptcy and how it might affect hiring this year, as well as ways to strengthen the case for successfully making the jump if you are not a mid-level bankruptcy associate at this moment.
As always, I am happy to answer questions as quickly as I can. If you have further questions or are interested in discussing some of the current opportunities in more detail, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 16, 2009
My first impressions of the broadcast were completely sidetracks. First of all, they really need to work on the sound in the Small Theater of the Conference Center. The mike was way too hot, picking up every footstep on stage. Secondly, does every event associated with the Mormon Church require a musical number? The music itself was fine, but would have rather done without it. My final irrelevant (and irreverent) thought was about Cynthia Lange, the former JRCLS Chair of the Community Service and Outreach Committee. When she started her introduction I thought, "Oh no, even female attorneys can succumb to the dreaded 'Relief Society voice.'" I don't hear that tone anywhere else outside of church functions, and I find it not a little creepy.
On a more relevant note, I found some of the topics Elder Quentin Cook discussed quite interesting. For example, he referenced two recent articles in Forbes Magazine and the New York Times that criticized the legal profession's use of the billable hour. Apparently great minds think alike: We referenced the same Times article last month when we talked about the stresses LDS attorneys face while working under the billable hour.
Elder Cook discussed the U.S. Constitution, mentioning how both J. Reuben Clark and Dallin Oaks have expressed the opinion that the document was inspired. Elder Cook was careful to point out that not every word of the Constitution is inspired (the 3/5 Compromise of Art. I § 2 comes to mind), but he mentioned two key provisions that he felt were inspired by God. The first was the concept of "the Pursuit of Happiness," and how this extended well beyond the right to property. Elder Cook was careful to mention that more money doesn't necessarily mean more happiness, a mindset to which attorneys often subscribe. The same is true for prestige and position: Elder Cook said something to the effect of, "The respect for credentials can virtually become idols."
Elder Cook also opined that the protections afforded to religious practice in the Constitution were also inspired by God. He mentioned incidents in the early history of the Mormon Church when those protections weren't always recognized, and how they are still absolutely necessary today. I wholeheartedly agree -- we have touched on this topic a few times in the past.
The final thing I remember Elder Cook talking about was the duty LDS attorneys have to represent the Church. I think this can be done both directly and indirectly. Elder Cook specifically mentioned the use of interactive media, like blogging, which is near and dear to our hearts. Obviously, no one on this blog speaks for the Mormon Church or its positions, but the idea is to explore the convergence of legal issues and the Mormon faith.
However, my personal opinion is that the indirect representation of the Church is the most important. For example, there was a prominent attorney in the city where I live that everyone knew was a member of the Church. The local legal community recognized his faith as well as the fact that he was a good lawyer. Even today, many years after he moved to another city, his good example still reflects positively on the Church and other LDS attorneys here.
The JRCLS usually publishes the transcripts of broadcast addresses, so expect to see Elder Quentin Cook's remarks on the JRCLS website at some point. This summary is by no means exhaustive, so if any of you remember other topics or have other thoughts, feel free to chime in.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has hinted at a possible vacancy "soon" at the US Supreme Court, without indicating who would be leaving.
Speaking Friday at New England Law Boston's annual "Law Day," Ginsburg told students that the nine justices only take pictures together when a new member joins the high court.
Ginsburg, who turns 76 on Sunday, declined to elaborate on her comments. She underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in early February but has returned to the bench. Despite speculation that she might leave the court, Ginsburg has on several occasions expressed her intention to remain on the court for several more years. Only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she is one of five justices who are over 70 years old. Justice John Paul Stevens, the most liberal of the justices, is the oldest at 88. He turns 89 next month. Stevens, Ginsburg or fellow liberal justice David Souter, 69, have been expected possibly to retire soon, so it is likely that the whoever Obama replaces will be a liberal and so the overall balance of the court will remain the same.
Ginsburg, who turns 76 on Sunday, declined to elaborate on her comments. She underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in early February but has returned to the bench. Despite speculation that she might leave the court, Ginsburg has on several occasions expressed her intention to remain on the court for several more years.
Only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, she is one of five justices who are over 70 years old. Justice John Paul Stevens, the most liberal of the justices, is the oldest at 88. He turns 89 next month. Stevens, Ginsburg or fellow liberal justice David Souter, 69, have been expected possibly to retire soon, so it is likely that the whoever Obama replaces will be a liberal and so the overall balance of the court will remain the same.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Position: Employee Benefits and Compensation Associate
Description: A national firm is seeking a junior attorney with 1-3 years of experience in all areas of employee benefits and executive compensation, including qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, equity based compensation, health and welfare benefit programs, and merger and acquisitions. This person should also have experience working with public companies. Due to the small office environment, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work one on one with the Atlanta practice group leader.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Many local attorney and student JRCLS chapters have organized events around the broadcast this evening; check the full listing of scheduled events to find one in your area.
While not legal news, strictly speaking, it's worth noting that the Church has started in recent months at least three YouTube channels, all of which are geared towards a general audience:
Mormon Messages and LDS Public Affairs, which consists of news and comments of a general nature; and, Mormon New Era Messages, which, like the magazine of the same name, emphasizes moral and spiritual teachings to a younger demographic.
These sites, coupled with media.lds.org (emphasis on issue-oriented news and comment), mormon.org (basic doctrinal information geared to non-members), and the original site at lds.org, can all be used to help answer questions about the Church, and in some cases, to address criticisms directed at the Church or its members regarding positions taken on contemporary or moral issues. --SJR
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Professor Hills points out that, among other things, the proposed Connecticut measure is patently unconstitutional under Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah. (For a brief but excellent analysis of all the issues, see the open letter written by several prominent law professors to the Connecticut legislature.) For all the ugliness directed towards Mormons after Proposition 8 in California, there hasn't been such an overt legislative assault on the LDS Church in any jurisdiction.
I certainly don't see this as a Catholic or Mormon issue. Even with in a divisive political climate, I am utterly surprised that any legislator in the nation would sign his or her name to such a bill. In a Q&A on the National Review Online, Katheryn Jean Lopez asked Brian Brown (executive director of the National Organization for Marriage) "Why should anyone who’s not Catholic in Connecticut or Mormon in California care?" He responded:
All Americans, whatever their political leanings, should care when politicians propose to take out a specific religious group because partisans in one party don’t like its moral stands on important public issues.Brown goes on to call for "a response that makes these partisans regret it." I don't support Brown's vindictive approach, but I certainly agree that all Americans should be concerned that such a provision was ever contemplated.
Photo credit: Brent Danley
Please Repeat the Question from Amanda Bakale on Vimeo.
BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson recently referred to the rankings when describing BYU's achievements in the Inquiry Conference. Four out of five students accepted to BYU choose to enroll, he said, which is "matched only by one other university in the nation."
And for those of you wondering about the "school up north"-- the U ranked 29 spots lower than the Y.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Deseret Management's new president and CEO. Willes, will become chairman of the board of each subsidiary, with their CEOs reporting directly to him rather than their own boards.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Position: Mid-level Bankruptcy Associates
Location: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, pretty much everywhere!
Description: Take your pick of firms. In New York alone, we currently have Vault Top 20 Prestige firms (9 of them to be exact), smaller offices, boutiques, and everything in the middle. At this point, real bankruptcy/restructuring experience is a requisite, ideally classes of 2003-2006. However, with exceptional credentials, class years may be flexible. For more information, register with www.laterallink.com/register As always, if you make a move through Lateral Link you can make that up by earning a $10,000 guaranteed signing bonus.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Bill Atkins of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints general counsel flew in from Salt Lake City for the event. He focused primarily on how as LDS lawyers (or soon to be LDS lawyers) we should defend religious freedoms in this country and around the world. As societies become more secular the governments pass more secular laws which often begin invading into the religious freedoms that we often take for granted. Atkins believes there are between 10,000 to 12,000 LDS attorneys in the world (and to think that only about 1% of them read this blog!) we do have the man power to protect our religious freedoms from intrusion by the government and other organizations.
I hope this was the beginning of a long and successful Ohio Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Also, for those of you who participate in other JRCLS chapters we've love to know what you're up to as well. Feel free to shoot us an email at email@example.com to fill us in.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
University of Arizona
Lewis and Clark
Missouri - Columbia
Phoenix School of Law
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Today's lawsuit doesn't challenge the provisions of DOMA that allow states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages effectuated in other states. Mary Bonauto, head of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), insists that her organization has no plans to challenge that portion of DOMA, but it's only a matter of time before the rest of DOMA is challenged. If the federal benefits portion of DOMA is faulty (and I believe it is), then a similar argument can be made that the state provisions violate the Full Faith and Credit Clause.
I've never heard any of the legal counsel to the LDS Church give an explanation as to why the Church supported a federal constitutional amendment on traditional marriage, but I have always assumed it was because the Church's legal advisers recognized that DOMA was probably unconstitutional. From a legal perspective I think an amendment to the U.S. Constitution on marriage is a bad idea, since marriages have always been left to the states. But if I am right and DOMA is destined to fail, then only a federal constitutional amendment could preserve the traditional definition of marriage on a national level.
The Supreme Court viewed this case as an all or nothing proposition. However, I think there could have been a more equitable way to hold in this case. The law could have been changed so that the wife was required to given notice to her husband that she was obtaining an abortion BUT that the husband had no authority to stop her from carrying out the abortion. At least the husband then knows that a child of his was killed whereas under the current law a wife can legally end the life of his unborn child and not be required to tell him. (Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices will begin reading this blog and then they change the law themselves......but only if they give me credit for the idea!)
Monday, March 2, 2009
If you are unable to attend the fireside in person, it will be broadcast live on the LDS Church Satellite Network, accessible at any chapel in North America with a satellite dish. The fireside will be re-broadcast at 7:30 p.m. MST.
Your local chapter may have already set up a broadcast get-together at a nearby chapel or stake center. Check your chapter website or contact your chair to see if there is a scheduled event (for list of chapters, click HERE