After looking at the death penalty through the eyes of those facing it, alternatives to lethal injection, even the firing squad, might not look quite so objectionable.
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For Judge Jones, the victory must be bittersweet.
* Huge Net Neutrality development: President Obama believes the FCC should reclassify the Internet as a utility. Will his three appointees listen to him? [Vox]
* Rick Springfield’s butt faces retrial. [Lowering the Bar]
* The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar is recommending the sale of Charleston Law School to InfiLaw. Well, now we should feel secure in knowing this is a great plan. [TaxProf Blog]
* An interview with famed mob lawyer turned mayor, Oscar Goodman. [Coverage Opinions]
* In Alabama, if a jury misbehaves and doesn’t sentence a murderer to the death penalty, the judge has full power to overrule them. Delightful. [The New Yorker]
* A white former prosecutor has to work really, really hard to get himself arrested, along the way exposing just how racially stilted the criminal justice system is. [The Atlantic]
* When asked what his favorite SCOTUS decision was during his POTUS tenure, Obama said it was the high court’s cert denials on the gay marriage cases. Well played, sir. [Wall Street Journal]
* “Leverage has started to shift away from law firms.” Despite the fact that their headcounts are rising, Biglaw firms are downsizing office space as rents keep climbing higher. [Am Law Daily]
* Schools are trying to slap lipstick on the pig that legal education has become amid an “anemic job market.” We bet your law school has some shiny new innovations too. [News Observer]
* Citing the fact that “the courts do not exist to win popularity contests,” a judge sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in prison. Serious question: Will he be allowed to bring his prosthetic legs? [New York Times]
* Nancy Grace and her friends have pitchforks at the ready because Jodi Arias’s penalty phase retrial begins today, and another jury will decide if she deserves to die for murdering her boyfriend. [Reuters]
Joe Freeman Britt won’t forgive murder. Or, apparently, people who DON’T commit murder.
Justice Scalia snarked at Justice Blackmun. It turns out Justice Blackmun was right.
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* All work and no play makes summer associates sad, but they had a really great time this year, what with the lucky law students attending Broadway shows, sporting events, and Russian cabarets. Sounds like fun! [Am Law Daily]
* Alas, not everyone was getting wined and dined this summer. Some lawyers can’t even find a place to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal services sector lost ~200 jobs during the month of July. [WSJ Law Blog]
* It may be the “worst time in the history of legal education to go to law school,” but because of new programs being launched, at least some of our recent graduates will be less screwed. [New York Times]
* “The ABA is used as a whipping boy for standing in the way of innovation,” but soon it’ll vote on revisions to its accreditation standards. Welcome to the party, ABA, thanks for being late. [National Law Journal]
* It took 15 doses of lethal injection drugs to execute Joseph Wood when it should’ve taken one. Don’t worry, it wasn’t cruel and unusual punishment — the Arizona Department of Corrections says so. [CNN]
* The day after the Supreme Court lifted a stay on Joseph Wood’s execution, it took nearly two hours for Arizona authorities to kill him using the very drug cocktail he contested on appeal. [New York Times]
* So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu: Spencer Barasch, the lawyer at the center of some blowback due to his dealings with Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford, is now leaving Andrews Kurth. [Am Law Daily]
* A dead body was found inside of this West Texas law firm, and the man who was pegged as a suspect claimed he lived at the firm, along with his recently deceased friend. This seems sketchy. [KCBD 11]
* Suffolk Law is hosting a contest where students, coders, and entrepreneurs will try to figure out a way to hack the justice gap. Start by creating an app to help new lawyers earn a living wage. [BostInno]
* Donald Sterling isn’t going to let the fact that he’s already involved in one contentious lawsuit about the L.A. Clippers stop him from filing another contentious lawsuit about the L.A. Clippers. [Bloomberg]
* Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild infamy is in some trouble with the law. He just got hit with a $5,000 per day fine until he returns two luxury cars to the pornography company’s bankruptcy estate. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Now that a federal judge has classified California’s death penalty as unconstitutional, it’s only a matter of time before the issue reaches the Supreme Court. We have a feeling the justices will likely roll their eyes. [National Law Journal]
* Word on the street is that Bingham McCutchen has got the urge to merge, and has apparently spoken to a handful of potential partners over the course of the past three months. We’ll have more on these developments later. [Reuters]
* As it turns out, it was neither Wachtell Lipton nor Jenner & Block that managed to snag the coveted GM litigation oversight job. Nice work, Quinn Emanuel — you’re considered a “well-respected outside law firm.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Congrats, Flori-duh, you did something right. A state court judge has ruled that Florida’s ban on gay marriage violated the U.S. Constitution in the latest post-Windsor victory for equality. Yay! [Bloomberg]
* Thanks to their hundreds of thousands of dollars in law school debt, many graduates are considering declaring bankruptcy. Too bad most won’t be able to get their loans discharged. [Connecticut Law Tribune]
* There’s a very good chance that if you go in-house, you could wind up making more money than even the wealthiest of Biglaw partners. But how much more? Take a look at the latest GC compensation survey. [Corporate Counsel]
* GM has hired outside counsel to review the way the company handles its litigation practices. Since we’re not sure which, we’ll take bets on whether this “well-respected outside law firm” is Wachtell or Jenner & Block. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A federal judge in California ruled that the state’s death penalty was unconstitutional. A defendant living with the “slight possibility of death” violates the Eighth Amendment. Damn appeals! [New York Times]
* “He hasn’t been charged with anything at the moment and we’ll deal with the charges when they’re filed.” Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl hired Yale Law lecturer Eugene R. Fidell, a military law expert (and husband of noted legal journalist Linda Greenhouse). [New Haven Register]
* We all know that George Clooney’s fiancée, Amal Alamuddin, has both beauty and brains. What we didn’t know is that she poses for incredibly embarrassing pictures, just like the rest of us. [Us Weekly]
* How do Americans feel about the Supreme Court’s recent cellphone privacy ruling, Riley v. California? [Digital Constitution / Microsoft]
* Donald Trump slapped with sanctions. [South Florida Lawyers]
* The very, very, very long arm of Canadian jurisdiction. [Slate]
* Alafair Burke, author of All Day and a Night (affiliate link), lists her favorite “lawyers are people too” books. In other words, fiction. [Omnivoracious]
* The latest assault on Hillary Clinton — dusting off an old story about a particularly nasty case where she served as a court-appointed attorney — is the latest in a string of political attacks on the foundation of the criminal defense system. [Washington Post]
* Tomorrow, the Family Violence Appellate Project is throwing a battle of the bands! “Banding Together To End Domestic Violence” features bands from law firms and businesses competing at San Francisco’s 1015 Folsom club. Voting is “Chicago-style,” with each vote $1. Buy tickets and submit “votes” at their website. [Family Violence Appellate Project]
* Professor Glenn Cohen of Harvard Law appeared on Rachel Maddow last night to discuss whether or not doctors should participate in executions. I guess no one would be around to complain about the six-month-old issue of People in the waiting area. Video below. [Rachel Maddow Show]
Ed. note: Above the Law will not be publishing on Monday, May 26, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
* Who cleans up after Godzilla rolls into town? I figure it’s Damage Control. [The Legal Geeks]
* So we all know University of Texas Law admits politically-connected students with bad grades and scores. But did you know they let in someone with a 128 on the LSAT? ONE. TWENTY. EIGHT. [Watchdog.org]
* Do we even need the Supreme Court? Well, that’s one way to get RBG to retire. [Huffington Post]
* Seriously, the Boston Public School system is eliminating its history department. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* Yesterday I talked about a devastating takedown of the latest National Review article contending that sexual assault is no big deal. Perhaps I crowned a champion too soon, because this is an even better whipping of that article. [Concurring Opinions]
* Wait, ID laws ultimately suppress voter turnout? What a surprise! [Election Law Blog]
* The last word in the death penalty debate after the jump… [The Onion]