By Carlyn Kolker
Tom Goldstein's close-up
He's approaching celebrity status in the legal world, and
now he's getting some star power in the real world, too. Tom
Goldstein, publisher of SCOTUS Blog, which chronicles
developments at the Supreme Court, and founder of a boutique
appellate law firm focusing on Supreme Court cases, appeared on
Tuesday on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to opine on what he
knows best: the high court. Goldstein stuck to short, concise
statements, delivering one-liners and pithy insights.
His opinion on the health care case:"It does not look great
for the administration." His opinion on Obama's comments on the
Supreme Court possibly overturning the law: "It's a pretty
unusual move. He's in a pretty unusual spot." On the justices'
likely reactions to Obama's comments: "They are not going to be
told what to do." On Marbury vs. Madison, which helped define
the boundary between the executive and judicial branches: "I
think [the justices] are pretty into it." On Justice Kennedy as
the man in the middle: "I think Justice Kennedy sweats the
details about these things." On losing a recent case over the
right to conduct prison strip-searches: "I'm really sorry about
that." On whether Goldstein's TV appearance will destroy his
credibility with the court: "I hope not."
At first blush, it looked like Dewey & LeBoeuf, the New York
law firm that has witnessed major partner defections this year,
experienced decent, if not earth-shattering financial
performance in 2011. In early March, the American Lawyer, which
dutifully chronicles the financial vicissitudes of the 200
highest-earning law firms in the U.S., reported that Dewey had annual gross revenue of $935 million, up slightly less than 3
percent from 2010's revenue of $909.9 million, and the firm's
profits were $340.5 million. The magazine cited the firm itself
as a source for those numbers.
That was last month. On Tuesday, American Lawyer revised
both its revenue and profit numbers for Dewey, sourcing a March
27 article by Bloomberg News which in turn cited an internal
Dewey letter. That memo provided significantly different
numbers, Am Law now says, which are revenue of $782 million and
a profit pool of $254 million. Am Law credits a current and
former partner, as well as Bloomberg's story, as the source of
the revised numbers. When Am Law first begins publishing firm
revenue numbers at the beginning of each year they are
"preliminary," and the results are finalized by May, the
magazine said in its Web statement.
Dewey, however, stands by the numbers it provided to Am Law.
"We shared our methodology for arriving at the numbers we gave
to American Lawyer prior to your publication of that data," the
firm said in a statement. "Using that methodology, the numbers
we gave you were accurate at that time and they remain accurate
now." The numbers used in the Bloomberg story, it says, were
derived from a different methodology. "If any change is
contemplated, before that change is made we would want to
understand upon what basis that change is being made, what
methodology is being used to arrive at the numbers, and whether
American Lawyer has confirmed that every other law firm whose
numbers it publishes, is using the same methodology."
Elena Kagan, huntress
Associate Justice Elena Kagan grew up on the wilds of New
York's Upper West Side, swashbuckled her way through the jungles
of academia and the thickets of Congressional confirmation
battles. So naturally, she's going quail hunting.
And also duck hunting. And maybe someday, antelope hunting.
The newest Supreme Court justice has struck up a hunting hobby
with Justice Antonin Scalia, Kagan told an audience of law
school students at Marquette University in Milwaukee, the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, and they're going to go on a
hunting trip out West in the fall. Kagan remained mum on the
subject of the health care arguments - but with this kind of
judicial insight, who needs any more?
An Irish bar is smiling
Irish bars, meet communications law. A longtime Irish bar in
midtown Manhattan has won a key ruling from a federal court
judge allowing the bar to broadcast, over a streaming television
signal, Irish rugby and soccer games, according to the New York Times. This is more than just a spat between a bar and a
broadcaster, it's a another round in the development of telecom
law. Typically, bars pay big bucks to companies such as Premium
Sports for the rights to broadcast closed-circuit versions of
games. But Eugene Rooney, owner of the aptly-named Irish Pub in
Manhattan, set up technology with a friend in Ireland that
allows Rooney to stream matches online, via Ireland, without
paying anything. Premium sued Rooney for stealing its signal,
but U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled last month that
the bar was rebroadcasting the game, and therefore not stealing
the signal. Premium says it will appeal, and according to
Summary Judgments' sleuthing, has already asked Forrest to
reconsider her ruling, saying that she overlooked some aspects
of reigning case law in her opinion.
"I'm not gloating, nor will I go and advertise that I have
the games for free. But I have to say, it is satisfying," Rooney
tells the Times.
Tit for tat
Sometimes, the patent world whizzes by so fast that if you
blink your eyes, you'll miss the latest news. On Tuesday, less
than a month after Yahoo Inc sued Facebook Inc alleging the
social media site had infringed 10 key patents, Facebook shot
back. In a suit filed in federal district court in San Jose,
California, the social media behemoth accused Yahoo of - sound
familiar? - infringing 10 patents. Below is a round-up of some
quick-as-they-come factoids and analysis of Facebook's
-The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog gives a breakdown of the
10 patents at issue: what they are for, and why Facebook claims
these patents are being violated.
-Facebook's countersuit makes it clear that its impending
May initial public offering won't stop an aggressive litigation
strategy, PCWorld notes, citing influential tech blogger Florian
-While many observers have suggested that the two sides
would careen toward a settlement, "The vehemence of Tuesday's
filing suggests a quick settlement may not be in the offing,"
the New York Times writes.
-Writing on a Fortune blog, venture capitalist Chris Dixon,
a self-declared hater of software patents, says Facebook made
the right choice. The countersuit "gives Facebook the best
chance of fending off Yahoo's lawsuit - and therefore not
rewarding patent lawsuits," says Dixon.
Summary Judgments for April 3
Summary Judgments for April 2
Summary Judgments for March 30
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