Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Party Like a Lipton

Marty Lipton, who surely invented the poison pill and may or may not have brought "European bottle service" to discotheques nationwide, is known to some as the consumate practical joker. Rumor has it that back in the mid-Seventies, he placed a whoopie-cushion behind the pillow on his friend and partner Herb Wachtell's desk-chair, and when Herb (then the head of WLRK's famed "domestic disputes" practice) sat down, it emitted a real "Bronx cheer"!

In the mid-Eighties, during the height of Lipton's fictional feud with Joe Flom, he is said to have perfected the art of the office prank--not surprising given that he is said to be impervious to conventional weaponry. From the barrage of singing telegrams he sent Flom during tense merger negotiations in 1986, to the petting zoo (including peacocks!) he supposedly had set up in Flom's office during a meeting concerning a hostile LBO, Lipton is thought to have "gotten Flom's goat" more than once--no pun intended!

Although Marty is no longer a spring chicken, we understand that he shows no signs of slowing down. Indeed, we have it on information and belief that he is going stronger than ever, and may have in fact pulled perhaps his greatest prank yet. From a source inside the hallowed halls of biglaw, we are told that when Mr. Flom was out to lunch last week (no doubt frequenting Skadden's new frozen yogurt machine (now serving "Pralines and Cream")), Mr. Lipton snuck into Flom's office and reprogrammed the ring-tone on Mr. Flom's mobile phone. Hours later, when Mr. Flom was back from lunch and sitting at his desk in a meeting with a potential new client, he was more than surprised when, from his cell phone, he heard not the traditional ring that he had grown accustomed to, but rather, the modern dance hit "Party Like a Rock Star." Rumor has it that because of his ring tone, Mr. Flom lost that potential client (to Mr. Lipton, nonetheless--an unintended consequence of what was meant to be a harmless prank), because that potential client is said to HATE the Shop Boyz, who wrote and performed the number.

Follow up calls that we didn't make to Mr. Flom's office were obviously not returned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fro Yo Update # 2

One of our spy's at Skadden (in the accounts receivable department) informs us that the firm has refused delivery of WLRK's fabled "fro yo" machine (now serving chocolate-vanilla swirls!), instead opting to send it on to Paul Roth as a charitable gift. While lay-persons might interpret this 331H-10 election simply as a means by which to take a large charitable write-off, we here at the Poison Pill know the situation to me much more complex. Indeed, we hear that Joe Flom "loves the dairy products" but that the dairy products "don't love him." Yes, that's right, we hear that Joe Flom is lactose intolerant.

Now, this wouldn't on its own be a de facto reason for Skadden to refuse to accept delivery of a fro yo machine, but apparently Mr. Flom--known for not having invented the poison pill--has a soft spot for frozen yogurt despite the fact that it is said to make him farty and bloated. When he heard that Skadden would be receiving the fro yo machine--one donated by Marty Lipton nonetheless--we hear from our fake source that he threw a temper tantrum, both because of his (fictional) feud with Marty Lipton, and because he knew that, if available in the Skadden Cafeteria, he wouldn't be able to resist the appeal of that sugary sweet nectar, regardless of its effect on his digestive system (including the colon!). As such, we are told that Mr. Flom ordered two junior associates in the tax department to "burn the midnight oil" and stay long past closing time (1 am) to design a transaction in which they could obtain a tax write off for the machine, while at the same time passing on what he believes to be an "evil" yogurt dispenser, to Paul Roth, who is known more for his accumen at the "mashed potato" than his love for frozen concoctions, but appears to enjoy a good snow-cone every once in a while as well.

We wish Mr. Roth and his minions good luck with the fro-yo machine, and recommend having rainbow sprinkles available at all times to make the experience "extra fun."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fro-Yo Update

Our insider has confirmed that The Law Office of Marty Lipton has in fact removed the firm’s frozen yogurt machine from the premises. Contrary to popular belief, the frozen yogurt machine was not removed for required maintenance. Rather, we have learned that the machine was donated to Skadden Arps in order to make room for the Pinkberry franchise that is slated to open next week on WLRK’s 24th floor.

Lipton has always been one step ahead of the competition. Though at one time, a frozen yogurt machine may have been the perk that convinced top law school recruits to accept offers from WLRK over its competitors, times are changing. In order to lure away top candidates, many top firms now offer frozen yogurt machines, some of which change flavors weekly. Lipton wannabes, however, will now have to pony up a Pinkberry franchise just to keep pace.

Along with Pinkberry’s two (that’s right, two!) delicious flavors, regular or green tea, WLRK attorneys will now be able to enjoy a host of fresh and exotic fruit toppings including bananas, kiwi, passionfruit, and our favorite, durian flown in from Southeast Asia.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Breaking News Regarding Marty's Frozen Yogurt Machine

As we've previously reported, the Law Firm of Marty Lipton recently installed a "complimentary" frozen yogurt machine in its lawyers' lunch room (off limits to non-esquires, who can enjoy frozen custard in a separate facility of their own). From what we gather, the machine has been a huge hit since its installation, and in fact has to be refilled quite often--sometimes more than twice (twice!) a day. If you are just tuning in, lawyers at the Law Firm of Marty Lipton love them some frozen yogurt!

This afternoon, we here at the Poison Pill received a startling report from one of our many spies. From what we understand, yesterday, a group of attorneys, on their daily 15 minute sustenance/lavatory break, entered the Lipton lunchroom to find that their beloved frozen yogurt machine was missing. You heard us right, missing! Grief stricken that they could not enjoy their daily fix of frozen fermented bacteria and sugar substitutes, these attorneys supposedly sat motionlesss in the lunchroom for a full billable hour before realizing that they were wasting serious time that could be better spent billing clients or otherwise playing Galaga in the firm's game-room (note: we understand that these attorneys will be billing this lost hour to a billing code entitled "lunchroom administration," so that they can properly account for their time).

Nobody seems to know why the frozen yogurt machine, popular with oh-so-many employees (especially on "Butter Praline" day), has gone missing, but we have a theory: we understand that the frozen yogurt machine was purchased by non other than Marty Lipton, the inventor of the poison pill and ballroom dancer extraordinare. Therefore, the machine, like Lipton, must be impervious to physical ailment, and thus cannot be broken. The only logical explanation for its disappearance, then, is that Mr. Lipton has removed the machine on purpose, as some sort of a motivational ploy. To what end he wishes to motivate his employees, however, we cannot surmise, because that would require us to think on the same level as Mr. Lipton, and while we're no slouches in the grey-matter department, we know enough not to bother with such a pointless exercise, because we (as would you) would fail miserably. Quite simply, Marty we ain't.

If you have any information or theories as to the missing frozen yogurt machine, kindly contact us at maxwellhause@gmail.com. We would start an "open forum" on the frozen yogurt machine, but all truth be told, we don't know how to do that, and also we fear open forums (one of us grew up in Eastern Europe).

UPDATE: We are told that the frozen yogurt machine--which apparently was not purchased by Marty Lipton, but rather, appears to have been purchased by a purchasing agent in the firm cafeteria, at the behest of the cafeteria sous-chef (not to be confused with Herb Wachtell, head of the firm's esteemed "food poisoning defense" practice group)--is, in fact, broken, and has been sent out for repairs. We will let you know if we hear when it is slated to be returned. In the meantime, we recommend that you try a chipwich or a bomb-pop, now available at any local Bodega.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Paging Dr. Lipton, Dr. Lipton

For those of you keeping score at home, let it be know: Marty Lipton invented the poison pill. That's right, he invented it!! Marty Lipton is an inventor. This, of course, begs the question--does Marty Lipton have a laboratory?

Well, the answer is simple--he must. After all, he IS an inventor (he invented the poison pill). We can only venture to guess, but we imagine that Marty's laboratory, perhaps located deep underground beneath 51 West 52nd Street, might possibly (but probably doesn't really) contain the following items:

-Stuffed animal heads (mounted on the walls) that Mr. Lipton may or may not have stuffed himself during his reported taxidermy craze in the early 1990's;

-A 20 x 20 foot parkay dance floor, used to practice ballroom and salsa dancing (as well as the occasional "mashed potato-off" with Paul Roth (the New York bar's "master" of the mashed potato);

-The Panda suit donned by Joe Flom during the infamous "panda suit incident" in the late 1980's;

-A complete set of "Corbin on Contracts":

-A professional grade chemistry set (including 25 test tubes and at least 15 pyrex beakers), that Mr. Lipton uses to create and test his newest legal innovations;

-A glass case enclosing/protecting the single peppercorn that Mr. Lipton purportedly once received as his solitary remuneration for defending against an LBO (he was testing the legal concept of consideration);

-A laboratory assistant named Herbert (who may or may not also be the head of The Law Firm of Marty Lipton's famed med-mal practice group);

-A defective Pinto that we hear Mr. Lipton is trying to restore;

-VHS copies of every episode of "Inside the Actors' Studio";

-Jumper cables;

-A refrigerator full of soda and cold treats;

There you have it. What we can only guess may very well be the contents of Mr. Liptons (most likely non-existent) laboratory.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Note to the WLRK Person Who is Oft On This Site

Dear WLRK Person who is spending an exorbitant amount of time on the site:

Hi! How are you? We’re ok, thanks. A little hungry, but it’s almost dinnertime, so that’s good.

We’ve noticed that you are spending alot of time on the site of late. Alot more than anyone else, anyway. We would like to think that you simply enjoy reading it, and find its contents amusing--but of that, we’re not so certain. We’re curious what you are doing up here so often? Given your viewing record, it seems to us, anyway, like you could possibly be “preparing” for something. Who knows?

We don't think that we’ve said/done anything wrong on this site (isn't there a Galaga machine in the video arcade?). That said, we’re just some regular common folk trying to make our way in this world. Average Joe's, if you will. The David to your Goliath. To the extent you don’t like what we’re doing, we’d love to talk about it with you and reach an amicable resolution of any differences we might have. There’s no need to be spending all that time preparing for something that could possibly be avoided with a simple conversation. Email us at maxwellhause@gmail.com and we'll talk. Seriously.

Best always,

Maxwell and Robert

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Marty Lats

According to our spies, famed corporate law wonk, Marty Lipton, has a new workout buddy: Matthew McConaughy! That’s right, Matthew McConaughy is taking fitness tips from none other than M&I heavy, Marty Lipton.

Word around the campfire is that the two met when McConaughy spotted Lipton working on his lats with a medicine ball. McConaughy was apparently impressed with Lipton’s spectacular washboard abs and bronzed pecs. McConaughy approached the shirtless (and chiseled) Lipton at the smoothie bar where the two discussed Lipton’s favorite Yoga moves over a protein energy shake.

The two were later spotted jogging shirtless through New York’s central park, part of Lipton’s daily cardio binge. That’s not all! According to one insider, Lipton and McConaughy hit up New York hot spot Marquee enjoying European bottle service with Lipton’s entourage. Did we mention they were shirtless!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Alternative Billing Practices of the Esteemed Mr. Lipton

You will recall that a few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported that a number of "high powered" New York City attorneys--including Simpson Thacher partner and insurance industry lackey Barry Ostrager, among others--will be increasing their rates to more than $1000 per hour. In the weeks since this article ran, without a doubt, the number one query we've received over here at the Poison Pill has been: "hey, why wasn't Marty Lipton included on that list," or some similar such derivation. Well, we'll tell you!

Legal legend has it that for some time now, Marty Lipton has eschewed "traditional billing mechanisms," instead, attempting to arrive at newer and more streamlined ways to bill his clients. Sure, when he started practicing back in the 1960's, he charged an hourly fee (a whopping $75 per), but with the onset of M&A fever back in the early 80's (a fever which coincided with the breakup of Lipton's barbershop quartet, which begs the question--which came first, the quartet or the corporate takeover?), Lipton quickly discovered that there were more effective ways to make money as a high-powered corporate lawyer than by using the usual "hourly rate."

In 1982, Lipton and a corporate client agreed that instead of using typical, by-the-hour legal fees, WLRK would be remunerated with a percentage of stock in the transaction WLRK had been structuring. At the end of the day, when the deal closed, WLRK, as a result of Marty Lipton's sheer genius, walked away from the deal with over $20 million dollars in stock (as opposed to the measly few hundred grand they would've billed in hourly legal fees), which it then liquidated, at a substantial profit. It was no wonder then, a few weeks later, when WLRK's second largest conference room was morphed into a video arcade, complete with a brand new Galaga machine, Frogger, Ms. Pac Man, Donkey Kong, and a Pool table that can also be used for ping-pong when covered with a large piece of plywood (also generously included as a result of Mr. Lipton's windfall).

In the years that followed, it is said that Mr. Lipton eschewed the billable hour billing model in his corporate practice altogether, instead opting only to take on deals in which he and his firm could "share in the action." From 1982-1990, Lipton supposedly earned well North of $450 million dollars in fees for the firm as a result of such "alternative" billing arrangements. This, of course, goes to explain the brand new "Scotch Guard" carpeting that was installed throughout WLRK's office hallways back in 1988.

It was also during the late 80's that other attorneys began to take notice of WLRK's good fortune (it was really really nice carpet), and opted to follow Lipton's lead and structure alternative billing arrangements of their own. It should be noted, however, that Lipton's partner Herb Wachtell--head of WLRK's esteemed "lemon law practice group" (now suing any Richmond County auto dealership!)--is rumoured to have disagreed with Lipton's innovative billing techniques, and as such was never one of those other attorneys. Indeed, we have it on information and belief that the venerable Wachtell, unlike his esteemed partner, has always charged an hourly rate (or a full day "per diem" rate for EBT's in any of the 5 boroughs).

But as we know all too well, capital markets worldwide took a downturn in the early 1990's, drying up the M&A transaction well, and forcing many a good corporate attorney who had copied Marty Lipton's groundbreaking alternative billing mechanisms, to move back to the traditional hourly-billing model. As we've explained before, it was during this period that Marty Lipton found some downtime, which he used to focus on some unexplored hobbies--including taxidermy, salsa dancing, and Mexican style cooking. But what most folks don't know, however, is that while other attorneys were returning, with their tails between their legs, back to the billable hour, Marty Lipton was stretching the bounds of the attorney-client billing model like it had never been stretched before. Having netted well over $4 billion dollars from sale of the stock WLRK had earned as compensation as lead attorney on a number of lucrative securities transactions in the late 80's, Lipton found himself less interested in money, and more interested in other types of opportunities. It was during this time that Lipton began to accept "interesting barters" rather than "money," as payment for his services. It is said that in exchange for services rendered under his "barter" system, Lipton received, among other things, a signed, autographed Dale Earnhardt racing helmet, the original ruby slippers from the movie the Wizard of Oz, and a lifetime supply of Orville Reddenbacher's "southern style" popping corn.

But it wasn't until 1993 when Lipton wowed the entire legal community when he opted to test the bounds of the legal concept of "consideration" by accepting nothing but a peppercorn in return for his services defending a large auto parts conglomerate from a potential greenmailer! That's right, you heard us, a single peppercorn as payment for over 200 hours of legal services performed! In the months that followed, Lipton went on to accept only a "hawk" for structuring a large securities deal, and a "robe" for defending a small boutique investment bank from an LBO takeover attempt, not only to further test the concept of consideration, but as one has pundit noted, "just because [he] could."

The nature of Lipton's billing practices of late are highly confidential, and as such, unknown to our myriad sources in the legal community. But if there is one thing we do know, it is that Marty Lipton is always one step ahead of everyone else--which means that he is, as we speak, no doubt employing newer and even more inovative billing methods than have ever been conceived by the human mind; further proof that Mr. Lipton may indeed, be superhuman.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Uncle Marty

There has been a lot of talk these days about first year associate salaries. $165k to live in Philadelphia!? We’re not impressed. With all due respect to our friends down in the city of brotherly love, we’ll pass. Quite frankly, if I was on law review at an Ivy League law school, I would take a job in WLRK’s (a/k/a the Law Offices of Marty Lipton) mail room before I took a gig in Philly. For those of you actually considering employment by a firm other than WLRK, allow us to explain:

It’s no secret that Lipton and his ilk like to take care of the “help.” Trust us, between Lipton’s jaw dropping M&A gold mine, and Herb Wachtell’s successful slip n’ fall practice group (now servicing Bronx County), WLRK can afford to shell out some serious clams. Though unconfirmed, we hear that the guy who cleans the toilet stalls at WLRK makes more than the average partner at Wilson Elser (one of herb Wachtell’s chief competitors). WLRK’s receptionist drives a Maserati for crying out loud.

That’s right, the poison pill auteur is not afraid to flaunt it (after all, it is Marty Lipton’s proverbial milkshake that brings all the Fortune 500 companies to the yard). In addition to astronomical annual and semi-annual bonuses, Sir Marty has started to offer “alternative” incentive based compensation packages to his associates. For example, Lipton recently offered a week long paid vacation to the first associate to bill 3000 hours within the first five months of the fiscal year. Lipton is also rumored to have paid Joe Flom his hourly billing rate ($250 an hour) to dress up like a clown and make balloon animals at Lipton’s granddaughter’s birthday (Flom gladly accepted).

If you think WLRK’s salaries are insane, wait until you see the perks. We’re told that Lipton has constructed a scale replica of The Mall at Short Hills on its 23rd floor. During their lunch breaks (on weekends only), associates are encouraged to take their spouses shopping. Guess what, its all on uncle Marty. Did we mention that Litpon recently installed a frozen yogurt machine in the lawyer’s lunch room?! In case you weren’t paying attention, frozen yogurt.

Getting hungry? After churning out 250 billable hours a month, who wouldn’t be! Look no further than your office desk for a lavishly prepared gourmet meal prepared by a three star Michelin chef. In the mood for Lobster Thermador at two in the morning? No problem. Lipton’s around the clock kitchen staff is happy to whip up any dish (including Marty’s famous German Potato Salad) and deliver it right to your desk. The days of squandering valuable billable hours by having to walk to the firm cafeteria are over.

Aside from mind boggling kickbacks, WLRK stands out on any resume. We can’t stress this enough people. Marty Lipton invented the poison pill! He invented it! We also hear that Lipton recently scored over 800 points in a sanctioned Scrabble match against hedge fund shill, Paul Roth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Barbershop Marty

It is legend in the pantheon of legal rumour and inuendo that the genesis of Joe Flom's (fictional) feud with Marty Lipton was not, in fact, their competing M&A practices, but rather, differences of opinion over their shared a capella stylings. That's right--it turns out that in the early 1980's, Flom and Lipton founded and performed together, in a barbershop quartet.

Known as the Loan Rangers (because of a certain LBO takeover mechanism that was popular in those days), Flom (as soprano) and Lipton (as bass), performed alongside litigation hero Herb Wachtell (as baritone), and a fourth unidentified tenor singer who may or may not have been actor Bryan Brown (of "FX", "FX2" and "Cocktail" fame), in venues as far ranging as Hilly's on the Bowery (the precursor to CBGB's), the Westchester County Fair, the yearly Drexel Burnham Lambert junk bond convention run by Michael Milken, and on occassion, when hurting for a gig, the 6 train running from Eastchester/Dyre Avenue in the Bronx, to Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

It is said that for many months, the men worked together swimmingly--both on arrangements and vocalizations, and in performances as well (Flom's high soprano harmony is said to have perfectly complimented, and as one former fan put it, "danced around" Liptons sparing, understated-yet-refined "tuba style" bass harmonies)--until their infamous fight in the fall of 1991 over the group's dress style. Apparently, Marty (understandably) wanted to go with the traditional red and white striped shirts, black pants, suspenders, and straw hats, while Flom (inexplicably) wanted to "update" the group's look with dark, double breasted suits and bowler hats.

What is more, it appears that Flom also wished for the group to go in a new musical direction as well--even going so far as to create a capella arrangements for all the songs from the hit play "Cats," to be performed at a gig the group had booked for later that week (at the Shaun Peterson birthday party at the Brooklyn Petting Zoo). Though Lipton was (and remains) a patron of the arts and a lover of showtunes, he understood that barbershop quartets are meant to celebrate our nation's vaudevillian past, not Broadway showstuff, and rebuffed Floms attempts to take over the group and use the quartet as an outlet for his over-the-top show-style arrangements. It is said that this particular fight was so heated that it caused Bryan Brown, a renouned pacifist, to quit the group in protest, after which he went on to pursue a mediocre, short lived career in the moving pictures.

With the loss of their fabled tenor, and baritone Herb Wachtell always tied up and unable to attend regular practices due to his burgeoning "per diem" practice in Bronx County Supreme, Lipton is said to have opted to disband the Rangers for good in the spring of 1982. As the group was really the light of Joe Flom's life at the time, he is said to have never fully recovered from Lipton's move, and instead grew angry at him for "making the group go bye bye." Rumor has it that for many years, on the occasional lonesome weeknight, Joe Flom could be heard in the hall outside his office at 4 Times Square, harmonizing to vinyl recordings of old folk tunes, trying to relive those olden days, when the Loan Rangers were truly the "tops."

Lipton was also said to be upset about the groups breakup as well, but not nearly as much as Flom had been. In any event, Marty--being the resilient soul that he is (after all, he DID invent the poison pill!)--is said to have gotten over it quite quickly, upon discovering, at a black-tie-optional function, that he was a natural and gifted ballroom dancer.

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