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by Vault Law Editors | February 23, 2009

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A trio of follow-ups as we wait to see if the streak of consecutive Heartbreaking Thursdays of Staggering Layoffs reaches three:

Books o? Business: A week after I wrote about firms? timidity in considering laterals lacking bulging books o? business, The National Law Journal brought us anecdotal evidence courtesy of a few souls set adrift by Thacher Proffitt (RIP). At least 65 of those kept out of the Sonnenschein lifeboat are still on the dole (severance reportedly ran out last week)?8 partners included. Predictably, structured finance and real estate specialists are feeling disproportionately unpopular, with one such lawyer telling The NLJ that big firms won?t talk to partners with less than $1 million in annual business (smaller firms might take a look at partners hauling in half that).

Series o? Tubes: We wrote him off too soon: In light of the latest allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, the October corruption conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted ?Series of Tubes? Stevens now appears far less than ironclad. Last week, the Department of Justice removed six attorneys from its prosecution team after a D.C. judge held four of them?including the case?s lead prosecutor and the DOJ?s public integrity chief?in contempt for failing to deliver documents relating to a complaint filed in December by an FBI agent working on the case. Lead Stevens attorney Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly now has another arrow in his quiver as he looks forward to an April 15th post-trial hearing.

Layers o? Leverage: With much attention placed on the travails of such associate-heavy firms as Cadwalader, White & Case and Orrick (numbers one through three on AmLaw?s compendium of highest-leveraged firms), outfits that elected not to roll the dice aren?t immune from attorney cuts: Faegre & Benson, by far the least-leveraged member of the AmLaw 100 at 1.89 total attorneys to every equity partner (Wachtell, by comparison, clocked in at number 96, with 2.68 attorneys per equity partner), cut ties with 33 attorneys and 67 support staffers via layoffs and buyouts earlier this month.

-posted by ben fuchs

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