Posts by Staci Zaretsky
* In his year-end report, Chief Justice Roberts wrote about the high court’s belated adoption of the latest technological advances, but promised SCOTUS briefs and filings would be online… next year. [New York Times]
* It’s been recommended that J. Michael Farren, the former White House lawyer who attempted to murder his ex-wife — a former Skadden Arps attorney — be disbarred in D.C. Apparently the bar considers a conviction for something like this a big no-no. [Legal Times]
* Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s terrorism trial for his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings will begin in Boston on January 5, despite his legal team’s best efforts to avoid the inevitable. At least fangirls won’t have to travel to admire him. [Bloomberg]
* Here’s one law prof’s thoughts on Harvard Law’s lame response to sexual assault complaints: “I believe … that Harvard University will be deeply shamed at the role it played in simply caving to the government’s position.” Well then. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Remember the Idaho prosecutor who recited the lyrics to “Dixie” during closing arguments at a black man’s trial? The defendant’s conviction was overturned because the prosecutor “inject[ed] the risk of racial prejudice into the case.” [NBC News]
* “People asked me what I want as an epitaph: He tried.” Mario Cuomo, the three-term New York governor and Willkie Farr alumnus who was once considered to replace Supreme Court Justice Byron White, has passed away. RIP. [New York Times]
Whoa! The lawyers at this firm must have been pretty shocked by the unexpected news.
I became a lawyer without really understanding that the job cuts time off of your life. My work hours are long, I can’t see my family or friends, and I am constantly at the mercy of the partner or the client. On top of everything, at one point, I was paying 7% on my law school loans. […]
From distinguished to despicable, who should be Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2014? Please vote in our poll!
* Per the Department of Education, Harvard Law sucks at handling sexual assault and harassment complaints. As it turns out, the DoE only found out about the misconduct because a faculty member from New England Law snitched on the Ivy League school. [Boston.com]
* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the penalties for pot possession. One state legislator wants to change that in the new year, and hopes his colleagues will puff, puff, pass his bill in favor of small civil fines instead of jail sentences. [VICE]
* “If the court has been waiting until the country is more comfortable with gay marriage, they’ve waited long enough.” The first SCOTUS conference of 2015 will focus on gay marriage cases. It’d be fabulous if they took one. [Supreme Court Brief]
* Latham and Fried Frank are going to be advising on Shake Shack’s initial public offering. Hungry attorneys working on the IPO will be disappointed to learn that their client doesn’t have any public offerings for consumption on Seamless. [Am Law Daily]
* The bankruptcy trustee for the late, great, defunct firm of Howrey LLP keeps lining up big settlements for its remaining creditors. This time, Wiley Rein will contribute $1 million to the failed firm’s coffers. Howrey like dem apples? [Wall Street Journal]
If you like to practice law, you probably shouldn’t do something like this to a judge.
* An African-American Cleary Gottlieb project attorney is suing, claiming that the firm discriminated against him when he was fired. He alleges that white lawyers kept their jobs, but he lost his because he was black. [Legal Times]
* For law deans, hindsight is 180: This D.C.-area school “aggressively” raised tuition when everyone decided to go to law school to ride out the recession, and now its dean is admitting that doing so was a “mistake.” [Washington Post]
* “I want to bring blind justice to the Michigan Supreme Court.” Come New Year’s Day, Richard Bernstein — who has been legally blind since birth — will do just that when he’s sworn in to serve on the state’s highest court. Congratulations! [WSJ Law Blog]
* It’s important to learn the skill of entrepreneurship as part of today’s legal education since you never know when you’ll be forced to open your own practice because you can’t get someone else to give you a job. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Associate bonuses aren’t the only charitable causes Biglaw firms are willing to throw money at in a given year. In fact, some firms dole out millions upon millions of dollars for the purpose of doing good and supporting their communities. [Am Law Daily]
The school-by-school breakdown of the California bar exam results is out. Let’s take a look!
* As the year winds down to a close, we take a look back at the amazing time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had. From her Hobby Lobby dissent to her subtle New Republic shade, the Notorious RBG’s 2014 was better than yours. [Bustle]
* When you’ve allegedly been driving drunk after a holiday party and have gotten into an accident, one of the things you say to the police upon your arrest should not be, “Come on, I’m a judge” — especially if you are one. [New York Post]
* After advising on 221 deals worth about $511 billion, Skadden Arps was the top dog in the M&A game in 2014. While taking a break from rolling around in money, the firm’s managing partner was heard thanking inversions. [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]
* Although we haven’t heard what’s going on with associate bonuses at this firm, Wiley Rein bought itself a bonus subsidiary. Last week, the firm finalized its purchase of lobbying and communications group McBee Strategic. [Blog of Legal Times]
* While many law schools found their student enrollments getting smaller due to forces of nature in 2014, the University of Mississippi School of Law claims it decreased its class sizes intentionally. Oh, the places you’ll go! [Clarion Ledger]
Who should be Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2014? Give us some suggestions!
The adage that law turns slowly does not hold in eDiscovery. This year saw unprecedented sanction awards for falling behind the curve. Courts did not hesitate to engage with advanced and nuanced technological issues. For lawyers and other eDiscovery professionals who plan on maintaining basic competence, these cases and trends shouldn’t be overlooked. For a full exploration of trends and developments in this area of case law, check out this on-demand webinar.
Happy holidays from your favorite foreclosure attorney!
* The Thomas M. Cooley Law School is planning to sell one of its academic buildings for an asking price of $8.15 million. Dear Lord, the school will lose some of its library square footage. NOOOOOOOOO! [Lansing State Journal]
* Contrary to his client’s hit anthem, Pharrell’s lawyer isn’t happy. He says YouTube has been “blithely” ignoring his requests to take down music for which it lacks performance rights, and it may result in a $1B lawsuit. [Hollywood Reporter]
* Clifford Sloan, the State Department’s special envoy on Guantánamo Bay, appointed in 2013 to help shut down the detention center, is returning to the loving arms of Skadden’s partnership on January 1, 2015. Gitmo is still open. Oops. [Am Law Daily]
* After 30 years, the Food and Drug Administration decided to lift its lifetime ban on blood donation for gay men. Now gay men just have to abstain from doing gay things for a year — like having sex with other men — to donate blood. Yay? [WSJ Law Blog]
* If you’ve been wondering what the most ridiculous lawsuits of 2014 are, we’ve got you covered. These are the top 10 most absurd cases filed over the course of the past year. You may remember some of these from our coverage. [Faces of Lawsuit Abuse]
If these allegations are true, perhaps partners aren’t being paid enough?
Although poetry may be the best way to make passive-aggressive complaints about your case, the next time you’re considering writing a four-page, 60-line email riffing on a classic holiday poem, you might want to consider your audience.
* “Instead of ordering the Marshal to permit a desegregated Christmas party at the Court, the Court hosted no party at all.” Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in his diary of the SCOTUS Christmas party that never was due to the high court’s unspoken racism. [Supreme Court Brief]
* We know of at least one lawyer who may be receiving a lump of coal in her stocking. A former partner of two major New York City firms allegedly stole millions of dollars from them to live a life of luxury. We’ll have more on this later today. [Bergen Record]
* Since “interest in law schools [is] dwindl[ing] nationally,” the easiest cost-cutting measure comes in the form of faculty buyouts at another school. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game, law professors. It’s a “necessary” evil these days. [The Advocate]
* President Obama is going to nominate Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, for the position of deputy attorney general. If confirmed, there’ll be two women at the top of the DOJ. Yay! [Miami Herald]
* Guess who just got promoted to partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner? It’s none other than Joshua Schiller, the son of the firm’s cofounder and managing partner. Aww. That’s the most precious thing ever. We just want to pinch his cheeks. [Am Law Daily]
* Before you submit your law school applications, you should probably make sure that you’ve read and followed all of the instructions, because just in case you forgot, you’re applying to follow instructions for a living. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
Be vewwy vewwy quiet… We’re hunting for owiginal intent!
* Florida Judge Cynthia Imperato was “devastated” after a jury found her guilty of DUI and reckless driving charges, but we imagine the judge may be more devastated by the fact that she’s a sitting judge who’s been sentenced to 20 days of house arrest. [Florida Sun Sentinel]
* David Schwimmer, best known for his role as Ross on Friends, has been cast as lawyer Robert Kardashian in an O.J. Simpson true crime television miniseries. He surely knows it’ll take a lot of “unagi” to play the role just right. [Rolling Stone]
* If you have to debt finance your J.D., you’re going to in for a rude awakening when you graduate and the loans start coming due. FYI, “lot[s] of graduates [are] buried in private student loan debt with not enough income to repay it.” [Forbes]
* The parents of James Holmes, who’s better known as the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre, have begged for him to be spared the death penalty ahead of his trial, but prosecutors say that in this case, “justice is death.” [Denver Post]
* When it comes to Russia, “[a] lot of firms are thinking about pulling out.” That’s what she would’ve said if she were a managing partner. Biglaw firms that have been rocked by the ruble’s ruin are telling lawyers to leave before they’re laid off. [Am Law Daily]
* Binder & Binder, the National Social Security Disability Advocates® whose late-night TV commercials you’ve grown to love, has filed for bankruptcy. The firm’s headcount will likely drop by more than half because of this. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]
What happens when Supreme Court justices exercise their Second Amendment rights?
If you’re easily offended, then you might want to stop reading now.