And the award for the funniest lawyer bio goes to ...
The research staff here at Law & Politics reviews thousands upon thousands of online bios as part of the Super Lawyers selection process.
Our researchers will tell you: if you’re looking for laughs, you're not going to find them in law firm website bios. There are, however, rare (I mean really rare) exceptions. One that was brought to my attention by our director of research is the biography of Martin D. Ginsburg (DC Super Lawyers ’07, ’08) who serves Of Counsel with Fried Frank.
If you read his bio, you’ll see that he has a mighty impressive resume. But what’s really impressive is how he manages to make it all funny. And this, from a tax lawyer! A couple of examples:
“Professor Ginsburg attended Cornell University, stood very low in his class and played on the golf team.”
“he was a member of the ABA Tax Section Council, where he performed no useful service at all; celebrating that achievement, in 2006 the Tax Section gave Professor Ginsburg its lifetime Distinguished Service Award.”
Kudos to the marketing department at Fried Frank for not putting the kibosh on this, and to Professor Ginsburg for demonstrating that lawyers need not take themselves too seriously.
Of Numbers and Names -- The Week That Was
If there's such a thing as a celebrity football referee, it's Ed Hochuli. He's worked two Super Bowls, 15 playoff games, and has earned the nickname "Guns" for his formidable biceps. And lately, he's come under fire for a controversial call in the closing minutes of the Denver - San Diego contest which ultimately cost the Chargers the game.
What most people don't know about Hochuli is that he is a named partner at one of the largest litigation firms in Arizona. Besides working 30 to 40 hours a week as a referee, he works a 50 hour week as a lawyer, heading up 25 to 50 cases on top of another 200 cases he's involved with. He arrives at the office at 5 am, finds time to pump iron a couple hours most days, and has raised six children.
Read the story we did on the amazing Hochuli from our 2007 Southwest Super Lawyers magazine.
One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons shows a business executive slamming his desk and saying, “What? A billion is a thousand million? Why wasn’t I informed of this!!?”
I think about that cartoon as I contemplate the numbers of the past week. First, there is the $700 billion bailout package. Just as I’m wrapping my brain around all those zeroes, we learn that on Monday, the market went down by a trillion dollars.
A trillion dollars. That’s a thousand billion. It’s like a million millionaires losing everything in a single trading day.
With losses like these, it’s not surprising to see the actions taken by two firms to respond to the financial crisis. On Wednesday, Susman Godfrey announced the creation of its “Financial Fraud Task Force,” moving their most experienced partners from across the country and relocating them temporarily to the firm’s New York office.
That same day Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney announced the formation of its “Financial Crisis Working Group,” bringing together the firm’s resources from offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia to help businesses deal with the crisis.
I love these terms. It’s no longer a “practice group.” That term is too staid -- too plodding for these rapidly changing times. “Task Force” and “Working Group” imply immediate action, a work-through-the-night rapid response. They conjure up images of legal special ops forces.
It will be interesting to see how other firms follow. But they better hurry. The best names are going fast.