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Gandolfini's Will Is a "Disaster"; S&C Lawyer Gets Touchy; And More!

Vivia Chen

July 12, 2013


The_sopranos_1999_1299_posterSome fascinating, curious, quirky news items that you might have missed:

1. Too bad James Gandolfini didn't have a more astute T&E lawyer. William Zabel, founder of Schulte Roth & Zabel and consigliere of the rich and famous, took a peek at Sopranos star Gandolfini's will for the New York Daily News, and he was not impressed.

Actually, Zabel calls Gandolfini's estate plan a tax "catastrophe" and "disaster." By the way, does anyone know who drafted the will? (ABA Blog)

2. Do all lawyers get this touchy serving on juries? Sullivan & Cromwell associate Jonathan Gregory Rohr was apparently not happy about the guilty verdict in the murder trial of Nicholas Brooks (he was charged with strangling his girlfriend to death at a posh hotel in New York).

According to the New York Post, Rohr said, "I'm so done with this," and "stormed away from the courthouse." The Post reports that Rohr stated that he thought the trial was unfair, "before threatening to call the cops on a reporter if she asked any more questions." Guess I won't call him for a comment. (New York Post)

Harold-And-Maude_2 3. Forget the Nanny State; it's now the Granny State. Georgia takes measures to protect Maude from Harold. Governor Nathan Deal signs law intended to protect the elderly from grifters. Poor Harold—he was just trying to be nice. (Daily Report)

4. Would you sacrifice something this sexy for a client? Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt abandoned his gorgeous Ferrari in gushing floodwaters during a rainstorm so that he could get to a client's hearing on time. Very gallant. I'd pick him as my lawyer any day. (Above the Law)

5. And you thought law was a lousy field for women. A quick look at women on Wall Street throughout the years. (Bloomberg View)

6. Shocked, shocked: Work sucks! Research using a smartphone app finds that "respondents ranked being sick in bed as the only activity more unpleasant than working." What's more, "workers preferred cleaning the house or waiting in line to being on the job." (The Wall Street Journal)


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Steven, I remember him being very clear about trusts, especially about not wanting an irrevocable trust. What he preferred was another form of trust, something called "in vitro" something. Cause those other ones would lock you in...
Wherever they may be right now, I sure hope James Gandolfini and Tony Soprano can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

In the Gandolfini matter, it is hard to know whether he was head strong in his wishes and did not care about the taxes or he just did not get good advice. He could have lowered taxes by using a QTIP trust or some other form of marital trust. He could have also done a liquidity analysis that could have pointed out this looming tax problem. If insurable, he could have purchased a large term policy via an Irrevocable Trust.

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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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