Wall Street’s Law Firm Fallout; Why Heller Died; Mayer Brown’s Refco Exposure and the 2008 Litigation Report – Legal Announcements

NEW YORK, Nov 03, 2008 LawFuel – Legal Announcement Service — This month, Incisive Media’s The American Lawyer reports on the Crash of 2008, with an inside view of partners who worked at the epicenter of the crises and evaluation of the potential impact of the crash on firms that have built their profits around Wall Street. In addition, the November issue examines three critical decisions that doomed Heller Ehrman and why Mayer Brown alone faces $2 billion in liability and the possible criminal conviction of a senior partner from the collapse of a commodities firm in 1995. Finally, the Litigation 2008 special report analyzes the engineering of today’s conservative Supreme Court and why, so far, detainees in Afghanistan have failed to attract pro bono attention from the firms active in the Guantanamo appeals. For these and other stories, visit www.americanlawyer.com.

“The Center Of The Storm” by reporter Julie Trieman follows four critical days in the life of two Davis Polk insolvency partners as they juggle clients, the government and the financial crisis in efforts to save Lehman Brothers from collapse and pull AIG back from the brink of insolvency.

Now that Wall Street has changed forever, what about the firms that service the Street? In the past, no one questioned that the premier firms would fare just fine. But this downturn, everyone agrees, is different. Susan Beck’s “Chronicle of a Future Foretold” features interviews with more than 15 law firm leaders and consultants. Some see a dramatic and fundamental shift in the landscape for law firms. Others predict business mostly as usual–at least for themselves.

In “Why Heller Died,” Drew Combs reports that Heller’s leaders made a number of choices over the past two years that ended up being wrong. According to the more than a dozen onetime Heller partners interviewed for the story, three critical decisions proved to be turning points on the road to Heller’s death. And, while they are specific to this firm, they also provide broader lessons from the demise of the 118-year-old Heller.

Susan Beck’s “Target Practice” examines the fallout from the implosion of Refco, the scandal- plagued commodities trading firm that collapsed in 2005. Both Mayer Brown and Weil, Gotshal had close ties to Refco, but only Mayer Brown is on the hook for $2 billion, with a senior partner facing criminal charges. In a decade that’s seen waves of corporate scandals–Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, and Global Crossing–Joseph Collins of Mayer Brown stands alone as the only outside lawyer to be indicted. Why?

“The Right Stuff” by Tony Mauro explores the engineering of the conservative hegemony at the Roberts Court. While most commentators believe that conservatives are finally riding high in the saddle at the Supreme Court–and enjoying it, Mauro wonders whether the Court has reached conservative nirvana. The coming months will bring new tests of just how far to the right Bush has turned the Court. And then, of course, the upcoming election will determine if the changes that Bush began gain momentum or stop in their tracks.

“Black Hole” by Daphne Eviatar reveals that the U.S. detention center at Bagram in Afghanistan has earned a reputation as the new Gitmo–except that big-firm American lawyers aren’t lining up to represent the inmates. On its face, the legal status of the detainees at Bagram appears to be much like that of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and one would expect the Bagram detainees to benefit from the legal successes of the Guantanamo inmates. But so far, that hasn’t happened. Moreover, the Bagram detainees have failed to garner the same level of public attention and outrage–or the stampede of offers for pro bono representation from major commercial law firms.

Litigation 2008 is a special supplement distributed with both The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazine. To subscribe or request back copies of The American Lawyer, including copies of the November issue, please call (800) 755-2773 or (212) 545-5990 outside the U.S. An electronic edition of the magazine can also be purchased online at www.americanlawyer-digital.com/. The American Lawyer is published in print and online by Incisive Media.

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SOURCE: Incisive Media

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