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News Followup--Gibson Associate's Death, Paul Weiss Partner's Divorce, Personality Tests

Vivia Chen

June 30, 2011

Newspaper News updates to stories we've been covering:

1. Former Gibson Dunn & Crutcher associate Moshe Gerstein, 35, was found dead in  Mexico, reports  New York Law Journal. About two weeks ago, we reported that Gerstein was one of 26 people charged in a child pornography ring by the Manhattan D.A.'s office for trading violent videos and photographs of sexual assaults on children. NYLJ says the cause of death has not been disclosed.

2. Paul Weiss partner Steven Simkin lost a lot of money in the Madoff scam, and since then, he's been trying to revise his divorce agreement with his former wife to recoup some of his losses. But a recent ruling by New York's court of appeals suggests that Simkin might have some difficulty in his quest. Reports Peter Lattman of The New York Times:

New York’s highest court ruled that a woman could keep proceeds from a divorce agreement, even if those proceeds were the ill-gotten gains of a financial fraud perpetrated by her former husband.

The decision is a blow to the federal government, which is seeking to force the woman to disgorge what it says are millions of dollars in stolen money.

Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote in the opinion: “Ex-spouses have a reasonable expectation that, once their marriage has been dissolved and their property divided, they will be free to move on with their lives.”

3. Psychological testing to vet candidates in the legal sector is still radical, but not in the business world. In fact, it's booming.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

About 72 percent of 516 employers now use assessments to help make executive promotion decisions, nearly twice the proportion doing so in a 2010 survey, reports Aberdeen Group, a market research firm. Those polled this year said their evaluations comprise a variety of cognitive, behavioral, simulation, and motivational tests.

According to the WSJ, you have "to walk the fine line between answering honestly and divulging irrelevant personal details during an assessment." Revealing that you were abandoned by your parents as a child or that you had an affair on the job is not a good idea, the article points out. But another candidate who told of growing up with an alcoholic mother got the job.


Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? E-mail The Careerist's chief blogger, Vivia Chen, at VChen@alm.com.

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I guess being married to a crooked big law partner is like being a mob wife. He goes to prision but she gets to keep the house and the dough. Who says crime doesn't pay?

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The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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