Airplanes / Aviation, Basketball, Biglaw, Blogging, Contracts, Douglas Berman, Education / Schools, Environment / Environmental Law, Federal Government, Intellectual Property, Law Professors, Mergers and Acquisitions, Morning Docket, Politics, Sentencing Law, State Judges, Trademarks, Wall Street
* What to do when your federal agency’s website has been hacked by Anonymous and you’re unable to post a major report online for public dissemination? Well, just ask a law professor to do it for you on his blog; that’s not embarrassing, not at all. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The many victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster can now rejoice, because yesterday, Transocean pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act, and will pay the second-largest environmental fine in United States history to the tune of $400 million. [CNN]
* Money takes flight: eleventy billion Biglaw firms are behind the beast that is this awful airline merger, but taking the lead are lawyers from Weil Gotshal for AMR and Latham & Watkins for US Airways. [Am Law Daily]
* After questioning the validity of one of the NBA players union’s contracts, Paul Weiss is withholding details about it thanks to the government’s intrusion. Way to block nepotism’s alleged slam dunk. [New York Times]
* “When is the last time you took the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street to trial?” Elizabeth Warren took the Socratic method to the Senate Banking Committee and she was applauded for it. [National Law Journal]
* If you liked it, then perhaps you should’ve put a ring on it, but not a Tiffany’s diamond engagement ring that you’ve purchased from Costco, because according to this trademark lawsuit, it may be a knockoff. [Bloomberg]
* “We feel very badly for Megan Thode.” A Pennsylvania judge ruled against the Lehigh student who sued over her grade of C+ because let’s be serious, did ANYONE AT ALL really think he wouldn’t do that?! [Morning Call]
* Dear professors, please try to understand that most people who experience normal, human emotions are more concerned with the future of American law students than they are with whether or not American law schools can survive by bilking the hell out of foreigners. [PrawfsBlawg]
* In Canada, they raided somebody’s Super Bowl party to bust up an illegal gambling ring. They never would have done this during the Grey Cup. [CTV News]
* Apparently some kind of law something happened on Downton Abbey last night? I missed it, because staring at a dark stadium is literally more interesting than that freaking show. [Law and More]
* Thomson Reuters is getting out of the academic book publishing business. If only law professors would do the same thing. [TaxProf Blog]
* Is Washington & Lee’s “experiential” curriculum working? [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Just to be clear, torturing people only works in the movies and television. [Politics USA]
* Cleary might become an ATL feeder firm. [Legal Cheek]
* Here’s an excerpt from a fun interview with David Lat, in which he talks about asking Richard Posner out on a date. [California Lawyer]
And there’s video, which you can watch for CLE credit, after the jump….
Lat participated in Legally Speaking, a series of in-depth interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics, co-produced by California Lawyer and UC Hastings College of the Law.
You can watch Lat’s interview with Professor Evan Lee via the embed below. You can check out earlier interviews — with luminaries like Justice Stephen Breyer, Professor Alan Dershowitz, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Professor Harold Koh, Professor Larry Lessig, and novelist Scott Turow — over here. California CLE credit is available for watching each video.
Most of our devices these days are “integrated” with one another—or at least they “sync” for access to the same information at home, office and mobile locations. But legal information should never be as freeflowing as a simple calendar reminder to walk the dog. What is integration in the real world of confidential, detailed, legalese-packed law firm technology?
ATL has a new assistant editor reporting for duty. He’s our new Kreiger.
* PETA sends Bebe a cease-and-desist letter over fur-free advertising. To be honest, I only understood half of what I just wrote. [Fashionista]
* Here are five reasons why editors hate lawyers. Of course, when the editors are lawyers, you just kind of end up hating yourself. [About Editing And Writing]
* Can someone explain to me how it’s constitutional for Virginia to promise not to enforce laws? [Pilot]
* Did you enjoy the South Park episode that involved proprietary towel technology? Then you’ll love this lawsuit! [Thomson Reuters News and Insight]
* I asked Professor Rick Hasen whether or not I should self immolate to prevent the GOP from legally rigging the next election, and he’s telling me to chill out because it’s gonna be okay. [Slate]
* I’ve been trying to find an excuse to link to this. It’s a guy who is blogging about news from 1913 as if it was happening in real time, in this technological environment. Here, we look at some very swift Southern-style justice. [Retro Pundit]
* I must admit, I wanted to pull out my Leonardo DiCaprio coconut drinking goblet to fully enjoy this rich-white-man fight. [Dealbreaker]
* Belated congratulations to Elbert Lin, aka Mr. LEWW, on his appointment as solicitor general for West Virginia. [Bench Memos / National Review Online]
Scratch a lawyer and you’ll find an aspiring writer beneath the surface. Trying to make the jump from practicing law to a full-time writing career? Here’s a case study.
* Here’s the answer to the question everyone’s been asking since December: the Supreme Court will be hearing the gay-marriage cases on March 26 (Prop 8) and March 27 (Windsor). No extra time for args? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Wherein Scott Greenfield responds to Mark Herrmann’s thoughts on bench memos — or, in Greenfield’s words, why our important appellate decisions shouldn’t be left “in the hands of children” (aka law clerks). [Simple Justice]
* Will the latest massive mortgage settlements lead to lawyer layoffs? [Going Concern]
* Cy Vance’s ears must’ve been ringing when this opinion came out, because the judges on this appellate panel said the prosecution’s case was based on “pure conjecture bolstered by empty rhetoric.” [WiseLawNY]
* Apparently a Santa Clara law professor is getting pummeled in the comments on various law blogs because of his thoughts on law school. As Rihanna would say, “Shine bright like Steve Diamond.” [Constitutional Daily]
* Meditation and mindfulness are more mainstream than ever in the practice of law, but given all the tales of stressed out lawyers’ alleged misconduct we hear about, you certainly wouldn’t know it. [Underdog]
* And from our friends at RollOnFriday, you can see what the folks at Norton Rose do in their spare time….
Thanks to the Norton Rose / Fulbright & Jaworski merger, lawyers at Fulbright will soon be working Gangnam Style with all of this fabulosity. Aren’t you excited to be joining them in doing the hallway horsey dance?
What can you learn about the law from your favorite comic book superheroes? A lot!
* Professor Josh Blackman has a Christmas gift for you: “The 8 Best Benchslaps of 2012.” See if you can guess who wins the award for lifetime achievement. [Josh Blackman’s Blog]
* Speaking of unorthodox law school classes, how would you like to take a course on “Understanding Obama”? [Althouse]
* And speaking of the Instagram controversy, what might happen if the intellectual property issues wind up in the courts? [Associate’s Mind]
* The deadline for our holiday card competition has passed; our write-up of the finalists will appear shortly. While you wait, check out this cute non-electronic law firm holiday card. [Ross Fishman]
* Time is running out! We’d love your votes in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (under “News/Analysis”). Thanks, and Happy Holidays! [ABA Journal]
If you are not a fan of Westboro Baptist Church, check out Anonymous’s declaration of cyber-war against them….
The following declaration of cyber-war was provoked by Westboro Baptist Church’s plan to picket a vigil for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting:
* “This is a total victory not just for the C.F.T.C., but also for financial reform.” Regulators, mount up, because you basically just got a free pass to do your jobs and keep a more watchful and vigilant eye on Wall Street. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Last year, China officially surpassed the United States in terms of the number of patent applications filed. China’s probably surpassed the United States in terms of patents infringed, but that’s neither here nor there. [National Law Journal]
* And now we see why St. Louis University School of Law’s interim dean said he’d be donating his salary to the school. He’s no “butt boy” — he’s settled $25M worth of cases since the fall. [Madison-St. Clair Record]
* “Help me, I’m poor”: the Huffington Post’s army of unpaid bloggers will continue to be unpaid, because the Second Circuit recently affirmed the S.D.N.Y.’s decision to toss out their case. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Diane von Furstenberg, the fashion designer behind luxury brand DVF, is suing an ex-distributor for selling her wares on the cheap to the likes of TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Ugh, cringe… that’s très déclassé. [Bloomberg]
* Just in case you haven’t seen enough responses to the Case Western Law dean’s New York Times op-ed, here are some more. (Plus, with this, you’re getting the additional bonus of an incredibly sad letter from a young lawyer.) [Associate’s Mind]
* Oh mon dieu! Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s legal team is now denying that that there was ever a settlement in the hotel maid’s sexual assault suit civil suit, and especially not a $6M settlement — because that’s apparently “flatly false.” [Slate]
* You’ve probably led a sad and lonely existence if you’re laying on your death bed and worrying about who will inherit your iTunes library. Don’t worry, they’re headed to a “legal black hole,” anyway. [Legal Blog Watch]
* And in other news, some teenagers are so obsessed with their tech gadgets, like cellphones, that they’d allegedly be willing to kill their family and pry the damn thing from their cold dead hands. [Legal Juice]
* Please remember to vote for your favorite law blog (coughcough Above the Law coughcough) in the Blawg 100 in the News/Analysis category, and all the rest of the sites you read in other categories, too! [ABA Journal]
* After the jump, Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia speaks with law firm consultant Tim Corcoran of the Corcoran Consulting Group about the future of rainmaking and business development in Biglaw….
Alston & Bird, Biglaw, Blogging, Bloomberg, David Boies, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Mergers and Acquisitions, Money, Non-Sequiturs, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Securities and Exchange Commission, Securities Law, Supreme Court, Ted Olson
* As soon as Mary Schapiro announced she was stepping down as chairwoman of the SEC, Obama nominated another woman to take her place. Congrats to SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter! [WSJ Law Blog]
* In other breaking news that no one will care about now that bonus season is upon us, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swapped out her neck doily for a blingy necklace from Glamour. [Josh Blackman’s Blog]
* You know what the ancient Romans would’ve hated more than watching the fall of the Roman empire? The Citizens United decision. Cato, Cicero, and Julius Caesar wouldn’t have been impressed with this. [Slate]
* Why go to law school if you’re already doing well financially? Perhaps you’re just another prestige hunter. If you are, then all the better for you, because that seems to be what all of the law schools are selling these days. [Inside the Law School Scam]
* Don’t cry for Argentina: they may be in the middle of a billion-dollar bond dispute, but the uber-prestigious lawyers on either side of the case (Boies; Olson) are enough to make you forget about their troubles. [Reuters]
* A Biglaw attorney from Alston & Bird with a rare sleep disorder confronts Big Pharma and… doesn’t win. At least not yet. But on the bright side, she’s not sleeping for 18 hours anymore. [The Last Word on Nothing]
* We’re honored to announce that Above the Law was named as one of the ten law blogs in the ABA Journal’s inaugural Blawg 100 Hall of Fame. Please click here if you’d like to help us win again this year. [ABA Journal]
* After the jump, Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia speaks with a Bill Lawlor, a Dechert partner, who claims that “hope springs eternal for M&A attorneys.” Will the mergers and acquisitions market begin to boom once again?
Are you writing to have written, or writing to be read? In-house columnist Mark Herrmann explains the difference.
On the occasion of his one-year anniversary as an Above the Law writer, in-house columnist David Mowry reflects on his time at ATL.