Harvard Statute 
John Harvard (1607-38).  He (1) didn't look like this, (2) didn't found Harvard, and (3) won the naming rights by dying two years after the place started.

Blawgletter® welcomes you, one and all, to this the 229th — and our third — Blawg Review!

The theme this week emerges, in full armor, from the brow of an Olympian figure:  a fourth child, Cambridge U. graduate, and English pastor — none other than John Harvard.  His death 371 years ago, on September 14, 1638, explains the timing.

HLS v Duke 
HLS, per Above the Law, lost a key contest to Duke last week.  (Elie Mystal '03 serves as Editor of ATL.  See his third year paper (on cochlear implants) here.)

Blawgletter's creds for hosting a Cantab confab?  Pretty thin, we confess.  Yes, we did vote for Barack Obama '91.  And, sure, we got our J.D. from HLS.  But that happened 25 years ago . . . and our most famous classmate styles himself an infotainer.  Plus we went elsewhere for college.  Ahem.

Fear not.  Harvud may furnish the motif and get more than its share of mentions, but we'll do a fair survey of the blawgosphere from the week that just ended.  We hope you enjoy the journey.

Rutherford B. Hayes 
As President, Rutherford B. Hayes '45 (1822-93) okayed a bill that let women lawyers for the first time argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The other HLS grad who made President supplies content for The Blog at whitehouse.gov.  The latest post presses the case for health care reform.

David Lat — a Harvard A.B. — keeps us up to date on law firm layoffs in Above the Law, which he managing edits.

Cornell law prof Michael Dorf '90 tweaks Chief Justice John Roberts '79 for making light of corporate influence in Dorf on Law.

Joseph E. Batchelder, III, offers his views about Securities and Exchange Commission rules and a new statute that aim to cabin pay to corporate titans on The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

Iustia Lexo Cano advises:

Dear Peter Wiggin: This letter is to inform you that you have received enough upvotes on your reddit comments to become president of the world.  Please be at the UN tomorrow at 8:00 sharp.

Cass Sunstein 
Cass R. Sunstein.  He doesn't look that scary.

The Washington Independent notes that U.S. Senators held up a vote on making HLS prof Cass Sunstein '78 the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  Their worry?  That he will ban hunting and let critters file lawsuits. 

Law Dork points out that Sunstein won the battle 57-40.

Tim Nuccio rants about an HLR case note that decried the demise of a Temple U. code barring "expressive, visual or physical conduct of a sexual or gender-motivated nature" if it had a bad purpose or effect.  The open letter to HLR Dean Martha Minow mentions that the author "will be attending law school next year and [that] I am extensively interested in joining a law review and publishing my own articles."

Over at John Palfrey, we learn of musings by "the managing partners of some of the world's leading law firms" – none from the U.S.  The MPs' thoughts include this bit:

A truly consistently first-class firm — the law firm equivalent, they say, of the Four Seasons in the hotel business — will continue to be able to charge a premium and will succeed.  If you can’t be consistently first-class across all offices, don’t try it.

Sports Law Blog hails the advent of Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law.

The Harvard library system just rolled out its Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard service.  And you don't need a Harvard degree to use it!

DASH includes the Journal of Legal Analysis, which this summer printed the second number of its first issue.  Two of the JLA items deal with how judges decide cases.

Above the Law discloses that HLS will cut back on the free coffee.

The Situationist ponders the effect of Senator Edward Kennedy's death on health care reform.  It will serve "as a tool for greater Democratic engagement."  Of course.

Elena Kagan
Ex-HLS Dean Elena Kagan '86 made her Supreme Court debut on Sept. 10 in Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, No. 08-205 (U.S.).  The case involves the first amendment right of corporations to speak via checkbook.  Transcript here.

Speaking of Citizens United, Jeffrey Toobin '86 urges the Chief Justice to "support a narrow, restrained campaign finance decision that Republicans and Democrats can embrace" and not to "hand down a broad, activist decision that turns our political system upside down."  "John Marshall or Earl Warren: the choice is his."

Over at Likelihood of Confusion, we hear of a trademark tussel between McDonald's and McCurrys in Bangkok:

Now, I’ve been on this story like grease on fries since forever.  McDonald’s is surely getting the home-town treatment here.  But any doubts I ever may have had that Ronald is in the right are dispelled whenever I read the phrase, “McCurrys Web site says that the name stands for ‘Malaysian Chicken Curry.’”  That’s right up there with the best of the transparently fake defenses — further proof that the Golden Arches guys are being treated like clowns.  

idealawg links us to an online Discover article on Truth and Memory.  The upshot?  What any police officer and trial lawyer will tell you:  memories change.

The always-cheery Richard Posner '62 riffs on "Unemployment and Depression" at The Becker-Posner Blog.

Robert Ambrogi with Media Law exposes shocking new facts about a town near the site of witch trials in the 1690s.  The selectmen of Hamilton have met in secret to talk municipal business, a burning-at-the-stake offense under the Open Meeting Law.

AdamsDrafting comes out for "confidentiality agreement" instead of "nondisclosure agreement".  AD likes putting things in the positive, you see.  It also warns against putting a hyphen after "non".

Ernie the Attorney waxes philosophical — about writing and standing on his head.  Ernie observes:

“The problem is we think we exist,” says Natalie Goldberg — author of Writing Down the Bones. Her point is that we should write and not worry about what other people might think of what we say. We are not what we think and yet that is how we see ourselves. As though our existence is established by our thoughts.

Sorcerer's Apprentice
Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia (1940).

Jordan Furlong writes about "The apprenticeship marketplace" for Law21.ca.  Clients don't want to pay for on-the-job training of newbies, he says.  Make the young ones apprentice, he suggests.

Paul Horwitz advises against giving profs what you think they want:

This approach yields few long-term benefits and only uncertain short-term benefits.  In my experience, the very best students acquire and apply a set of skills — reading a case or an exam question carefully, thinking about all its implications, thinking about both how to unpack it and how to "pack" it into a theme or ruling, thinking about how one case or subject matter connects with others and what big picture or set of themes emerges from all of this, producing an analysis that makes use of these conclusions in a concise and targeted way — that can be used across the board in both law school and legal practice.

PrawfsBlawg, "On Not Gaming the Law School System".

Scotusblog reports that Gitmo may soon expel many of those it has for so long kept behind chain link.  Some would rather stay.  Their native lands might treat them even worse.

Ever the sassy one, The Volokh Conspiracy relates a case in Finland.  A member of the Helsinki city council said ugly things about Islam and Mohammed.  His attack won him a fine of 330 Euros.

Should mediators intervene in religious conflicts?  Check out ADR Prof Law this week on that issue.

Ms.JD offers how-to-network advice to law students.  She ends with:

I get creative and focus on situations and relationships that are grounded in some mutually shared experience or interest. Those are the ones that are easiest to nurture and most likely to bear fruit.   

Kindle DX 
The new Kindle DX.

The University of Chicago Faculty Blog tells why the outfit that sells you an e-book reader doesn't care if someone steals it from you.  The thief likely will buy more e-books, and so will you — plus, you'll pay for another Kindle, too!

Abiola Inniss updates us in Caribbean Net News about intellectual property rights in Guyana and calls for legislation to address problems.

Last but far from least, Adam Liptak, on The Caucus Blog, describes the first official Court day of new Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

*    *    *    *

That does it for us this time.  A big thanks to Victoria Pynchon for her help.

Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

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Photo of Barry Barnett Barry Barnett

Clients and colleagues call Barry Barnett an “incredibly gifted lawyer” (Chambers and Partners) who is “magic in the courtroom” (Who’s Who Legal), “the top antitrust lawyer in Texas” (Chambers and Partners), and “a person of unquestioned integrity” (David J. Beck, founder of Beck…

Clients and colleagues call Barry Barnett an “incredibly gifted lawyer” (Chambers and Partners) who is “magic in the courtroom” (Who’s Who Legal), “the top antitrust lawyer in Texas” (Chambers and Partners), and “a person of unquestioned integrity” (David J. Beck, founder of Beck Redden).

Barnett is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and Lawdragon has named him one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States three years in a row. Best Lawyers in America has honored him as “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2019 and 2017) and Patent Litigation (2020) in Houston. Based in Texas and New York, Barnett has tried complex business disputes across the United States.

Barnett’s background, training, and experience make him indispensable to his clients. The small-town son of a Texas roughneck and grandson of a Texas sharecropper, Barnett “developed an unusual common sense about people, their motivations, and their dilemmas,” according to former client Michael Lewis.

Barnett has been historically recognized for his effectiveness and judgment. His peers chose him, for example, to the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Law Institute. His decades of trial and appellate work representing both plaintiffs and defendants have made him a master strategist and nimble tactician in complex disputes.

Barnett focuses on enforcement of antitrust laws, the “Magna Carta of free enterprise,” in Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s memorable phrase. “Barry is one of the nation’s outstanding antitrust lawyers,” according to Joseph Goldberg, a member of the Private Antitrust Enforcement Hall of Fame. Named among Texas’s top ten antitrust lawyers of 2023, Business Today calls Barnett a “trailblazer” among the “distinguished legal minds” who “dedicate their skill and expertise to the maintenance of healthy competition in various sectors” of the Lone Star State’s booming economy. Barnett is also adept in energy and intellectual property matters and has battled for clients against a Who’s Who list of corporate behemoths, including Abbott Labs, Alcoa, Apple, AT&T, BlackBerry, Broadcom, Comcast, Dow, JPMorgan Chase, Samsung, and Visa.

Barnett commands a courtroom with calm and credibility and “is the perfect lawyer for bet the company litigation,” said Scott Regan, General Counsel of former client Whiting Petroleum. His performance before the Supreme Court in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend prompted the Court to withdraw the question on which it had granted review. The judge in a trial involving mobile phone technology called Barnett “one of the best” and that his opening statement the finest he had ever seen. Another trial judge told Barnett minutes after a jury returned a favorable verdict against the county’s biggest employer that he was one of the two best trial lawyers he’d ever come across—adding that the other one was dead.

A versatile trial lawyer, Barnett knows how to handle a case all the way from strategic pre-suit planning to affirmance on appeal. He’s tried cases to verdict and then briefed and argued them when they went before appellate courts, including the Second, Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, and (in the case of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend) the Supreme Court of the United States.

Barnett is a sought-after public speaker, often serving on panels and talking about topics like the trials of antitrust class actions and techniques for streamlining complex litigation. He also comments on trends in commercial litigation and the implications of major rulings for outlets such as NPR, Reuters, Law360, Corporate Counsel, and The Dallas Morning News. He’s even appeared in a Frontline program about underfunding of state pensions, authored chapters on “Fee Arrangements” and “Techniques for Expediting and Streamlining Litigation” (the latter with Steve Susman) in the ABA’s definitive treatise on Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 5th, and commented on How Antitrust Enforcers Might Think Like Plaintiffs’ Lawyers.

Clients and other hard graders have praised Barnett for his courtroom skills and legal acumen.

A client in a $100 million oil and gas case, which Barnett’s team won at trial and held on appeal, said Barnett and his team “presented a rare combination of strong legal intellect, common sense about right and wrong, and credibility in the courtroom.” David McCombs at Haynes and Boone said Barnett “has a natural presence that goes over well with juries and judges.”

Even former adversaries give Barnett high marks. Lead opposing counsel in a decade-long antitrust slugfest said “Barry is a highly skilled advocate. He understands what really matters in telling a narrative and does so in a very compelling manner.”

Barnett relishes opportunities to collaborate with all kinds of people. At the Center for American and International Law (CAIL), founded by a former prosecutor at Nuremberg in 1947 and headquartered in the Dallas area, he has served on the Executive Committee, co-chaired the committee that produced CAIL’s first-ever strategic plan, supported CAIL’s Institute for Law Enforcement Administration and other development efforts, and proposed formation of a new Institute for Social Justice Law. CAIL’s former President David Beck said “Barry is extremely bright” and is “very well prepared in every lawsuit or professional task he undertakes.”

Barnett is also a Trustee of the New-York Historical Society, a Sterling Fellow at Yale, a member of the Yale University Art Gallery’s Governing Board, a winner of the Class Award for his work on behalf of his college class, and a proud contributor to the Yellow Ribbon Program at Harvard Law. Barnett’s pro bono work includes leading the trial team representing people who are at greatest risk of severe illness and death as a result of being exposed to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 while being detained in the Dallas County jail—work for which he received the NGAN Legal Advocacy Fund RBG Award.

At Susman Godfrey, Barnett has served on the firm’s Executive Committee, Employment Committee, and ad hoc committees on partner compensation, succession of leadership, and revision of the firm’s partnership agreement. He also twice chaired the Practice Development Committee.

Barnett understands that clients face many pressures. Managing the stress is important, especially in matters that take years to resolve. He encourages clients to call him whenever they have a question or concern and to keep the inevitable ups and downs in perspective. He wants them to know that he will do his level best to help them achieve their goals. He also strives to foster trust and to make working with him a pleasure.

Cyrus “Skip” Marter, the General Counsel of Bonanza Creek in Denver and a former Susman Godfrey partner and client, said Barnett is “excellent about communicating with clients in a full and honest manner” and can “negotiate for his clients from a position of strength, because he is not afraid to take a case through a full trial on the merits.” Stacey Doré, the President of Hunt Utility Services and a former client, said that Barnett is “an excellent trial lawyer and the person you want to hire for your bet-the-company cases. He is client focused, responsive, and uniquely savvy about trial and settlement strategy.” A New York colleague said, “Barry is a joy to work with as co-counsel. He tackles complex procedural and factual hurdles capably, efficiently, and without drama.”

Barnett’s wide-ranging experience and calm, down-to-earth approach enable him to connect with clients, judges, jurors, witnesses, and even opposing counsel. He grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas. He co-captained his high school varsity football team as an All-East Texas middle linebacker while also serving as the Editor of Key Club’s Texas-Oklahoma District, won the Best Typist award, took the History Team to glory, and sang in the East Texas All Region Choir. As Dan Kelly of client Vistra Corp. put it, Barnett is “a great person to be around.”

Barnett is steady and loyal. He has practiced at Susman Godfrey his entire career. He and his wife Nancy live in Dallas and enjoy spending time in Houston and New York. Their daughter works for H-E-B in Houston, and their son is a Haynes and Boone transactions lawyer in Dallas.

As a member of Ivy League championship football teams in his junior and senior years at Yale and a parent of two Yalies, Barnett has no trouble choosing sides for “The Game” in November. And he knows how important fighting all the way to the end is. On his last play from scrimmage, in the waning minutes of The Game on Nov. 22, 1980, he recovered a Crimson fumble.

Yale won, 14-0.