Copyright

Ed. note: Your Above the Law editors are busy celebrating their freedom today (and we hope that you are, too). We will return to our regular publication schedule on Thursday, July 5.

* At this point, the Supreme Court’s dramatic deliberations on the Affordable Care Act are like a leaking sieve. Now we’ve got dueling narratives on Chief Justice Roberts’s behind-the-scenes flip-flopping. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Life, liberty, and the pursuit of fabulosity! The Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to grant cert on two DOMA cases, contending that Section 3 of the statute is unconstitutional. [Poliglot / Metro Weekly]

* A famous fabulist: according to California’s State Bar, disgraced journalist Stephen Glass is a “pervasive and documented liar,” but that’s not stopping him from trying to get his license to practice law. [Los Angeles Times]

* Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue pilot who had an epic mid-flight nutty and started ranting about religion and terrorists, was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a federal judge during a bench trial. [New York Post]

* After a month of bizarre legal filings, Charles Carreon has dropped his lawsuit against Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal. We’re hoping that there will be an awesome victory cartoon drawn up soon. [Digital Life / Today]

* Northwestern Law is the only American law school to have joined a 17-member global justice league geared toward legal teaching and research collaborations. But do they get cool costumes? [National Law Journal]

* UNC Law received two charitable gifts totaling $2.7M that will be used to fund tuition scholarships for current and future students. Maybe their students won’t have to create tuition donation sites anymore. [Herald-Sun]

* This law is for the birds (literally and figuratively). California’s ban on the sale of foie gras had only been in effect for one day before the first lawsuit was filed to overturn it as unconstitutional. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce recently announced that mermaids do not exist. Not to worry — it’s still legal to believe that Ariel is a babe. [New York Daily News]

Aww, SCOTUS, you made him cry.

* Today’s court session is business as usual for SCOTUS, because the justices always seem to save the “best” for last. And now I’ll have that stupid Vanessa Williams song stuck in my head all day. Sorry if I got it stuck in yours, too. [National Law Journal (reg. req.)]

* Meanwhile, over at the White House, the air was thick with the sound of silence on the eve of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. More than willing to bet that President Obama probably didn’t sleep too well last night. [Los Angeles Times]

* “If she dies and Romney wins, the Supreme Court will be the most conservative in history.” Oh, please. Stop giving Ruth Bader Ginsburg flak for being too old, and learn to respect your elders — she’ll quit (or she’ll croak) when she damn well feels like it. [New York Times]

* Peter Madoff will plead guilty to two federal charges at the end of the week. He’ll probably serve ten years in prison. In the long run, that’s nothing compared to big brother Bernie’s 150-year sentence. [Bloomberg]

* Reason #11ty-billion why we <3 Flori-duh: a judge rejected the DOJ's request to block Florida's voter purge, and Governor Rick Scott, of course, was pleased as punch, calling it a "common-sense decision." [POLITICO]

* Megaupload wins again: a New Zealand court ruled that the search warrants used to raid Kim Dotcom’s mansion were illegal because they failed to “adequately describe the offenses to which they related.” [Reuters]

* Loan debt will allegedly make you do some pretty crazy sh*t. Jason Bohn, the law school grad featured in an NYT article about the perils of law school, now stands accused of murdering his girlfriend. [New York Post]

* The ABA Journal wants to know if you think your law school’s name and reputation affected your career path. Well, the first comment on my first post was “the what what school of where now,” so you tell me. [ABA Journal]

As part of our continuing coverage of Maximus, err, Kim Dotcom, the charismatic, renegade technology leader of Megaupload who appears to be in the process of defying an entertainment empire, let’s take a quick look at the most recent filings in his copyright fight with United States government.

Plus, more importantly, we have a look at Dotcom’s awesome new Twitter feed. Spoiler alert: the account includes photographic evidence of money “laundering,” “racketeering,” and a guest appearance by the Woz…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What’s Happening In the Megaupload Case? Also: Kim Dotcom Joins Twitter, Uses It To Make Legal Jokes”

Today, we wake up in a world where LeBron James is king. The best player in basketball and the Miami Heat closed out Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Congratulations. Waking up to the reign of King James must be like living in Westeros in a world where Joffrey Baratheon is king. (That makes Dwyane Wade Cersei & Chris Bosh Lancel Lannister.)

Kevin Durant will be back. The supremely talented NBA scoring champion will get better from this, and I think he’ll win championships. On the basketball court.

In a court of law, Durant might not be as successful. Durant’s being sued for trademark infringement, and not by George Gervin. Many have compared Durant’s game to Gervin’s, but in terms of nicknames there is no contest. George Gervin was called the “Iceman,” because nicknames used to be cool and creative. Durant is often called simply “KD,” because younger sports fans don’t seem to know the difference between a nickname and an acronym.

Sometimes Durant is called “Durantula” because of his spindly length. That’s more of a word play than a nickname — and apparently it’s already taken. An 80s guitarist that you probably have never heard of claims that he trademarked the moniker “Durantula” years ago. Mark Durante is now suing Durant, his representatives, and Nike.

And the Durantula guitarist kind of has a point…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “‘Durantula’ Infringement Suit Against Kevin Durant May Have Legs”

* Dewey still have some folks who owe us money? Yes we do. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Facebook will change its terms of service, specifically regarding the way it handles “sponsored stories” in order to settle a large lawsuit [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* A man opposing a Virginia attorney in a child custody hearing shot at the lawyer outside the courthouse. Luckily, he missed. [Gettysburg Times]

*The Fifth Circuit said yes, the law firm of Smith & Fuller is on the hook for $30,000 for accidentally releasing its client’s secret information. [ABA Journal]

* Recently released interviews with George Zimmerman tell his side of the death of Trayvon Martin. [New York Times]

*The Electronic Frontier Foundation is stepping in represent Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal and the defendant in this mess. [Electronic Frontier Foundation]

* A U.S. congressional panel has voted to charge Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress. [Thomson Reuters News and Insight]

* Paul Ceglia’s motion to stay discovery, pending the resolution of his motion to disqualify Facebook’s attorneys, was denied. In last night’s ruling, the judge was less than sympathetic to Ceglia. [United States District Court Western District of New York]

* We wrote about Thomas Jefferson Law grad Michael Wallerstein‘s struggles with a quarter million dollars in law school debt last year. But it looks like he may have found an unorthodox, if not somewhat dodgy, escape route. On the other hand, maybe he’s gone out of the frying pan into the fire. [New York Post]

* The McCormick legal recruiting firm sued one of its former account managers for violating a noncompete clause. Fun times were had by all no one. [Blog of the Legal Times]

* The lawyer going after The Oatmeal and the charities benefiting from the “Bear Love Cancer Bad” campaign has now subpoenaed Twitter and ArsTechica. That’s pretty impressive for just about a week of work. [ArsTechica]

* An online knitting community feels the wrath of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s intellectual property enforcement team. [Gawker]

* Businesses have to choose their employees carefully so they don’t get sued down the road. Sometimes, apparently that means you should hire criminals. [New York Times]

* It’s not just media groups that are urging the Supreme Court to allow live coverage of the announcement of the ACA decision. Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee have joined the club. [Blog of Legal Times]

* Dewey know whether this failed firm’s former partners will be settling their claims any time soon? Team Togut hopes to reach a deal in the next six weeks, and claims that cooperation will absolve D&L’s deserters of all future liability. [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]

* From Biglaw to the big house: former Sullivan & Cromwell partner John O’Brien, who is serving time for tax evasion charges, has been suspended from practicing law in New York. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* A Stradling Yocca partner and his wife, a Boalt Hall graduate, stand accused of planting drugs on a school volunteer who supervised their son. Looks like the only thing they’re straddling now is jail time. [OC Register]

* Dharun Ravi was released early from jail yesterday after completing a little more than half of his 30-day sentence. Funny how bad behavior got him into the slammer, but good behavior got him out of it. [CNN]

* “Why would somebody so smart do something so stupid?” Kenneth Kratz, the sexting DA from Wisconsin, claims that the answer to that question is an addiction to sex and prescription drugs. [Herald Times Reporter]

* Jay-Z’s got 99 problems and this bitch is one. He’s been accused by Patrick White of plagiarizing parts of his own best-selling memoir, “Decoded,” and slapped with a copyright infringement suit. [New York Daily News]

Last week, we wrote about the legal spat between online comic artist Matthew Inman, who runs The Oatmeal, and the website FunnyJunk.

The folks at FunnyJunk threatened to sue Inman for copyright infringement and defamation, and the internet comedian responded with another comic, of course, and a plea to his readers to raise $20,000, not for settling the legal threat, but for a “Bear Love” charity campaign on behalf of of the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. (Inman also mentioned something about a drawing of the FunnyJunk attorney’s mother seducing a Kodiak.) In any case, we’re off a pretty good start here, right? Sure, but it gets way better….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hide Your Donations, Hide Your Comic; They Are Suing Everybody Up in Here”

Last month, we wrote about another in the increasingly long list of Facebook creation story-related lawsuits. The plaintiff in that story was Aaron Greenspan, a college classmate of Mark Zuckerberg. While Greenspan was in school, he created a similar social network to what eventually became Facebook.

Greenspan alleges that he was unfairly omitted from The Social Network, the 2011 film purportedly telling the history of Facebook. Greenspan felt so jilted at being left out of the movie that he sued the company that published The Accidental Billionaires, on which the hit movie was based (affiliate links).

As of of our last story, Greenspan’s suit alleging “defamation by omission” had just been dismissed by a Massachusetts federal judge.

But he appealed the decision to the First Circuit. Over the weekend, he also emailed us, and gave us more detail about his story. Let’s check in and hear what he has to say, along with a colorful deposition story from the old ConnectU case. There’s more than meets the eye to this tenacious programmer turned Facebook nemesis…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Facebook Litigation Continues: A Closer Look at Aaron Greenspan”

* The Justice Department dropped the remaining charges against John Edwards. That’s an anti-climax for the record books. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Gina Chon, the Wall Street Journal reporter whose sensuous e-mails with Brett McGurk, a U.S. ambassadorial nominee, were released last week, resigned her job at the paper. But temporary unemployment is no match for true love (or super hot sex, for that matter)! [Washington Post]

* UMass Law is now the first accredited public law school in Massachusetts. Thank God, because our law school reserves were running dangerously low. [Boston Globe]

* JPMorgan’s CEO admits, “I was dead wrong.” Congratulations, I hope that makes you feel better. Now why don’t you give us taxpayers all our money back? [Gothamist]

* The attorney for FunnyJunk is totally befuddled by the Oatmeal’s hilarious response to his legal threats, as well as the internet at large’s response to the response. Come on man, loosen up and feel the lulz. [Gawker]

* Congratulations to Andrew Schilling, the former top civil prosecutor at the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, who is joining BuckleySandler as a partner. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* I get stopped at the airport because some TSA agent thinks my belt buckle looks like a bomb or something, but this guy becomes a commercial pilot??? I just don’t get it. At all. [Wall Street Journal]

* I do not envy the guy who has to explain the $19,000 strip club credit card bill to his wife. [Daily Business Review]

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