Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Old-line, white shoe firms are interesting to me-- Sullivan & Cromwell brokered the Panama Canal deal, for example. Mudge, Rose is where Nixon met Mitchell. Dewey, Balentine used to be Root, Clark & Bird. The Root was Elihu Root, Jr., son of New York Senator Elihu Root, former United States Secretary of War. Henry Friendly and John Marshall Harlan II worked there at one time, and when Thomas E. Dewey was done being governor (but before he became a Thruway) that's where he went. LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae was pretty fancy too, and five years ago Dewey and LeBoeuf merged. Now it looks like they are going broke, which is sad, in a way. I don't mean particularly sad for the lawyers-- in the grand tradition of these matters it looks like they got into trouble for pretty much the same reason all law firms do. The saying in this biz is that pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. When your assets basically go home in people's hats every day it doesn't pay to get too greedy, and now a lot of interesting history is about to be lost, along with a lot of jobs that people who weren't greedhead lawyers can ill afford to lose.

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