Basketball

You’ll probably still be able to get into law school, even if these weren’t your grades.

* Michelle Friedland, a Munger Tolles partner, has been confirmed to the Ninth Circuit. Congratulations! This marks the first time in years that the court has had a full slate of 29 judges, which is also pretty cool for law nerds. [Legal Times]

* L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is probably going to be flopping around just like LeBron now that the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, a former Cravath attorney, has launched a full court press against him. [Am Law Daily]

* This is something completely new and different. The United Church of Christ filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over its ban on gay marriage saying it restricts its clergy’s religious freedom. [New York Times]

* Dear Low Grades, High Hopes: You don’t need an addendum to your law school application. You’ll get in everywhere you apply — they’re desperate to fill their seats. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

* Singer-songwriter Paul Simon was arrested yesterday alongside his wife after she “picked a fight” with him. Given how “disorderly” things were, perhaps all he wanted to hear was the sound of silence. [CNN]

* People are shocked — shocked! — to learn that L.A. Clippers owner and Southwestern Law grad Donald Sterling may just be racist. Where were all you people the last 30 years he’s been in the limelight? I guess this is what happens when the Lakers stop being good. At least they’re in good company, the NAACP didn’t seem to pay attention to the red flags either. [Business Insider]

* Bringing “blame the victim” to sickening new levels. A playwright is suing actress Valerie Harper for $2 million for having the audacity not to mention her cancer. [New York Daily News]

* Oh, no, wait. This is bringing “blame the victim” to sickening new levels. [Huffington Post]

* Liquid Natural Gas exports are tied down in the FERC approval process. Pesky lawyers. [Breaking Energy]

* Louis Althusser’s On The Reproduction Of Capitalism argues that “all law is by essence, in the last instance, inegalitarian and bourgeois.” And he doesn’t even know about the cruise ship we rented out for a partner meeting to discuss our offices in that “country” of Africa. [Critical-Theory]

* Keeping your cool is a lot easier from your computer than out in the field. [Katz Justice]

* The Supreme Court may have decided not to rule on whether juries can be non-unanimous, but they will spend their time figuring out if fish are “informational items.” Good job. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

In your dreams, Dean Morrison.

I still have many friends at Columbia, and it was great to see them. I was on the faculty appointments committee that helped hire some of them, and I now regret that we placed such emphasis on their basketball abilities in the hiring process.

– Dean Trevor Morrison of NYU Law, talking about his former colleagues after playing in the faculty portion of the 14th annual Deans’ Cup basketball game between NYU and Columbia. The NYU Law faculty lost, but Morrison says he “look[s] forward to being a liability on [the] faculty team again next year.”

‘Try and make it look painful, we’ve got a bloodthirsty audience here!’

* Allegations that a prison told a death row inmate to “put on a show” while getting a lethal injection. Just when you thought the death penalty couldn’t manifest itself as more cruel and unusual… [NBC News]

* A discussion of how early voting is bad. Apparently, after an electoral dialogue that usually lasts a year or more, we’re all lemmings swayed by the events of the last day of campaigning so there’s no justification for allowing voters to show up three days before the finish line. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

* Kentucky legend Richie Farmer’s basketball jersey may be retired, but the Bureau of Prisons decided to give Farmer, now a political figure heading to prison for abusing his office, his old number back as an inmate number. Thanks? [Legal Juice]

* In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama came out strong for patent law reform. Exactly the issue he needed to rally voters for the midterms! [Patently-O]

* And while it didn’t make the address itself, Attorney General Eric Holder is signaling a new administrative interest in reforming the out of whack sentencing laws. [Sentencing Law and Policy]

* On February 12, our own David Lat will be speaking at Georgetown at an ABA Journal sponsored talk on “#21stCenturyLaw.” Let’s see that hash tag start trending. [ABA Journal]

* Joshua Gilliland of The Legal Geeks reacts to the revelation that the new costuming for next season’s Doctor Who will ditch Gilliland’s beloved bow tie. Our hearts go out to you in your pain. Video embedded below… [The Legal Geeks]

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Cherished lunch box of Justice Holmes.

* Harvard Law’s Langdell Library hosts a bevy of legal treasures. Including the personal lunchbox of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. [The Harvard Crimson]

* Per a new survey, watching the Kardashians makes one twice as likely to want an aggressive lawyer. When I have to watch the Kardashians I become an aggressive lawyer. [Avvo]

* The Supreme Court spent Cyber Monday denying review to two cases challenging the imposition of sales taxes on Internet purchases. [The Blog of the Legal Times]

* New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman cracked down on fake Yelp reviewers. Apparently, reviewers who gave a pet groomer 4 stars are a bigger priority than the reviewers who gave subprime-backed securities AAA ratings. [Corporate Counsel]

* Not exactly breaking news, but Philly has caught on that law firms are merging because the market is so terrible with a new piece on the merger craze. Specifically, they’re looking at the planned merger of BakerHostetler and Philly’s own Woodcock Washburn L.L.P. we mentioned last week. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Lakers guard Steve Nash’s ex-wife is battling him for child custody. She’s hired a Phoenix law firm whose most famous attorney is jacked up NFL ref Ed Hochuli. For now Hochuli isn’t working on the case directly. For now. [TMZ Sports]

* Congratulations to Kobre & Kim on being named Law Firm of the Year by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. [Newsday]

* Who says Civil Procedure isn’t sexy? Some UNLV Law students take to YouTube to bring (Civ Pro) SexyBack. [You Tube]

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College basketball tipped off on Friday, but the biggest NCAA win of the night was in another kind of court. The legal kind… not the “deck of an aircraft carrier” kind. After months of speculation, Judge Claudia Wilken handed down her ruling in the class certification motion in the Ed O’Bannon suit.

If you haven’t been following the O’Bannon case, the former UCLA star heads up a group of current and former players suing the NCAA for improperly restraining players from negotiating the use of their own likenesses on everything from calendars and jerseys to broadcasting contracts and video games.

Judge Wilken’s ruling changes the landscape of the case and sets the parties on a collision course for trial in June. It also makes the NCAA very, very happy…

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* If you thought the Redskins were offensive, I bring you the Coachella Valley High Arabs. Complete with video of their mascot! [Yahoo! Sports]

* With states increasingly losing access to tried and true execution drugs, the wardens are now experimenting on their own. This sounds (a) incredibly cruel and unusual, and (b) likely to result in creating a supervillian. [Vocativ]

* Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fought hard for a voter ID law. And on Tuesday, he failed to meet the standards of the law he championed. Derp. [Opposing Views]

* We frequently link to the fun poetic stylings of Poetic Justice. Now you can enter a contest to win a free copy of the book! [Poetic Justice]

* In a horrific turn, a father called the cops to teach his son a lesson. Then the cops killed the son. [Gawker]

* Fear Roatti the White Tiger, Esq. Fear him mightily. [Deadspin]

* This is perhaps the weirdest law firm video ever. Video embedded after the jump… [Legal Cheek]

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* A look at how one expert witness helped Mark Cuban win in the insider trading case. The government should have hired the Spurs — they figure out how to beat Mark Cuban constantly. [The Expert Institute]

* This guy forgot to book a wedding venue and rather than admit it, called in a bomb threat. How mean would his bride-to-be have to be for him to commit a crime rather than disappoint? So anyway, he’s going to jail now. [Associated Press]

* Man arrested for punching a police horse. I mean, Mr. Ed shouldn’t have mouthed off like that. [Slate]

* The chief of FERC will be joining a top law firm in Portland. Someone send Jon Wellinghoff a complete box set of Portlandia so he knows what he’s getting into. [Breaking Energy]

* After yesterday’s scathing attack on law reviews brought out some defenders, this post brings the snark to the whole affair. [Law Prof Blawg]

* Ms. JD is handing out awards at its annual conference. Send in your nominations by December 15. [Ms. JD]

* The ironic webpage for the Delaware State Bar’s “Access to Justice” program. Image after the jump…

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Polina Polonsky

Last month, we brought you the titillating tale of Polina Polonsky, a “gorgeous brunette lawyer” who allegedly had an affair with Khloe Kardashian’s husband, NBA player Lamar Odom. Although it sounds like a Hollywood divorce train wreck in the making, sources claim Khloe and Lamar are going to stay together, even though the 6’10″ free agent is reportedly battling an addiction to crack cocaine, an odd drug of choice for a man of his wealth.

We know what you must be thinking: “Again with the Kardashian crap? Who cares if Lamar cheated on a Wookiee?” But today we think you’re going to care about the Kardashians if only because the lawyer involved in this torrid affair may have committed a serious breach of her ethical duties to clients at her firm.

What did this comely criminal defense attorney do that could have been so bad? Well, if your case didn’t go as planned, it may be because a washed-up basketball player like Lamar Odom was doing your legal work….

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Back in 2010, Leicester Bryce Stovell, a D.C.-based lawyer, filed a pro se lawsuit against LeBron James claiming he was the star athlete’s father — and that he had the genetic material to prove it. As it turns out, the paternity test came back negative, but that didn’t stop Stovell from further alleging that he had been defamed when LeBron was quoted as saying that he “want[ed] to be a better father than [his] was.” The King’s lawyers from Squire Sanders argued that Stovell was simply delusional, and the case got bounced out of court.

You’d think that Stovell would’ve taken his ball and gone home, but earlier this spring, he returned to court to file additional defamation charges against his fantastical son for making statements about his father (i.e., anyone but Leicester Bryce Stovell) in a Sports Illustrated interview.

On Labor Day, a federal judge — the same one who originally came to the conclusion that Stovell wasn’t the father — took Stovell to task for his lacking lawyering skills…

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