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Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Llp

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Eliot Spitzer Hires Guides to Keep Him From Washing Down River of Despair

LAW • Eliot Spitzer has been careful about the lawyers he's selected to protect him against potential charges related to his activities with random twentysomething hookers, hiring a set of heavy hitters from white-collar crime specialists Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He's right to be choosy: "Hiring a lawyer is not unlike selecting a river guide," the Times says today. "One wants a professional who not only steers clear of the rapids but does so in a reassuring manner. It also helps if he knows what to do should the boat hit the rocks." Yeah. That's just how we would have put it. [NYT] • A New York court rules that the daughter of a Jell-O heiress is not entitled to a taste of the multi-million-dollar fortune. [New York Law Journal] • Is Hillary Clinton's legal background hindering her campaign? [Law.com]

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So Why Hasn't Spitzer Resigned Yet?

Eliot Spitzer
Yesterday we received word from multiple reliable sources that Spitzer was planning on getting the whole thing over with last night. We weren't sure, but it sounded like there was to be an evening press conference, during which Spitzer officially resigned and David Paterson was sworn in as governor. But that never came to pass. Now Spitzer has wiped his schedule clean of public events and is hunkered down with advisers. Meanwhile, much of the mainstream media and many political rivals are calling for his head. As the New York Times pointed out, "any politician would have a full-time job just dealing with such revelations." It seems impossible that Spitzer would be able to continue on as governor (in about 24 hours state Republicans will start impeachment proceedings against him), and yet he hasn't resigned. What gives? Some theories: • In preparation for a day in which he may have to face prosecution over his role in the Emperor's Club prostitution debacle, stepping down from the governorship would be a great trump card. He could use it as a big sacrifice in any deal, saving himself from other punishments like fines, disbarment, or jail time. [National Review] • He could be destroying documents or evidence, suggests DealBreaker. Though it sounds far-fetched, a private security expert tells them that the reason executives under investigation at big companies are immediately escorted out of the building is so that they can't do that. "They should have the FBI there right now to prevent Spitzer from deleting his hard-drives," their source argues. [DealBreaker]

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New York Public Library Lions to Become Schwarzman's Kittens

FINANCE • As Blackstone's profit sinks 89 percent, Stephen Schwartzman gets the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street named after him. The naming rights came with a very generous $100 million donation, but we're not sure we're ready to go have lunch on the lovely steps of "Schwarzman." It'll feel like we're an undergrad at Penn or something. [NYT] • Wall Street says "There is a God" as its longtime persecutor, Eliot Spitzer, falls from grace. [NYT] • Lehman Brothers, the largest underwriter of U.S. mortgage bonds, plans to lay off 5 percent of its workforce, which is about 1,400 people. Meanwhile, Bear Sterns, the second-biggest underwriter of mortgage bonds, lost more than $1.3 billion in market value yesterday as investors worried about the firm's liquidity. [NYP, NYP]

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Stephen Colbert Doesn't Make the Ballot

MEDIA • Hollywood and television writers have decided to strike and will announce a walk-out deadline by noon today. Late night will be most immediately effected — guess we'll find out just how funny Jon Stewart and David Letterman really are. [NYT] • The South Carolina Democratic executive committee rejected self-proclaimed "favorite son" Stephen Colbert's attempt to get on the ballot. Colbert now has to accumulate 10,000 signatures to make the ballot as an independent or pay the Republicans $35,000. Tough decision. [HuffPo] • Don Imus signed a deal with Citadel to return to radio, broadcasting on WABC in New York and syndicated nationally on ABC Radio. The I-Man had to settle for $5 million a year, half of what he made with CBS. [WSJ]

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