Department of Justice

Emily Dickinson: poet — and legal scholar?

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul

– Emily Dickinson, quoted by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in today’s ruling, which approved a major e-book price-fixing settlement. Just yesterday, the case made headlines when Bob Kohn submitted an amicus brief — consisting entirely of cartoons.

Talk about a pole tax…

* Dewey know if Citibank is planning to sue other former D&L partners over their capital contribution loans? According to one court document filed by Luskin Stern & Eisler, the bank’s counsel, the fun has just gotten started. [Am Law Daily]

* Unlike the voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina, the Department of Justice has approved New Hampshire’s law of the same ilk. Apparently hippies from the “Live Free or Die” state are incapable of discrimination against minorities. [CNN]

* Arizona, on the other hand, can discriminate against minorities all the live long day — for now. A federal judge ruled that the “show me your papers” provision of S.B. 1070, the state’s strict immigration law, may be enforced. [Bloomberg]

* The latest argument raised in the case over the Mongolian Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton is that the bones are actually a “Frankenstein model based on several creatures.” This movie is getting boring. [WSJ Law Blog]

* “[T]he state of New York doesn’t get to be a dance critic.” We’re sure that any man would gladly tell the New York Court of Appeals that lap dancing is a form of art, but should it enjoy a tax exemption? [Associated Press]

Down in Charlotte, at the quadrennial “We Hate America” (spelled “Amercia”) Convention, the Communist Pander-Bears have released a 70-page Party Platform replete with dozens of references to specific pieces of legislation that no one necessarily understands to remind us of the scores of bills that the Democrats have failed to pass since 2008.

The Democrats don’t provide nearly as many bold changes to the legal structure of the country as the Republicans. But there are a few legal planks worth reviewing, though tragically little on the subject of porn. How dare they not respond to the strongest plank of the Republican platform?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pol Dancing: Democratic Platform Tragically Light On Porn Policy”

Any Tintin fans out there? How ’bout Frank Miller? No? Me neither.

No matter, because we may have a new genre of graphic novels to add to the canon that will specifically appeal to attorneys: the illustrated amicus brief. Yeah. That’s a thing now. happened.

For anyone who has ever been frustrated by a judge’s imposition of silly page limits, just follow the lead of Bob Kohn. He filed a brief regarding the Justice Department’s proposed settlement in the long-standing e-book (so appropriate, right?) price-fixing case involving Amazon, Apple, and some of America’s largest publishers.

Let’s take a look…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Why Write an Amicus Brief — When You Can Draw One Instead?”

After months of living under house arrest and frozen assets, Megaupload leader Kim Dotcom has finally won a multimillion dollar victory in New Zealand court — one that will unfreeze some of his money and allow him to sell off some of his luxury cars so he can pay his attorneys.

Not a glamorous win, by any means, but it is what it is.

The Justice Department’s prosecution has been riddled with problems almost from the case’s beginning, back in January. This is another setback in their attempts to curb file-sharing.

So how much of his money will Dotcom now be able to fork right over to his lawyers? And which cars can he sell?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Kim Dotcom Can Finally Pay His Lawyers; And There Will Be Much Rejoicing”

Last time we checked in with the crumbling prosecution of Megaupload, the massive cyber locker, and its similarly massive leader, Kim Dotcom, a New Zealand court had declared the search warrant served against Dotcom unconstitutional.

This week, the same judge has ruled that the United States government needs to let New Zealand see why exactly they want to extradite Dotcom. You know, so the country can decide if it’s really a good idea to turn over someone to a foreign government.

What a shocking request! Let’s keep reading to see the details of the ruling, as well as additional updates as to what Dotcom is doing to try to pay his lawyers, who thus far have not received a dime for their services….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The DOJ Wishes Megaupload Would Just Die Already”

On many occasions here, we have covered the notion that it seems almost anyone will be allowed, nay, encouraged to practice law in the United States. But it turns out that assumption isn’t entirely correct. For the time being, the bar appears to still be closed to at least one specific group: undocumented immigrants.

That might seem obvious, right? Well, what about an immigrant who was brought here illegally but has been waiting in line for citizenship for almost two decades? Sorry, if the DOJ has its way, no dice…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Can Illegal Aliens Be Lawyers in America? NOPE”

* In the Apple-Samsung trial yesterday, Apple’s attorneys accused Samsung of intentionally copying the iPhone. Samsung’s attorney was like, Bro, step off. And then Judge Lucy Koh and all the members of the gallery and the jury crowded around in a circle and started yelling Techno-fight! Techno fight! [Wall Street Journal]

* Matthew Kluger, formerly of Wilson Sonsini and more recently convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for insider trading, gives an interview about what motivated him to commit his crimes. [Bloomberg]

* France is not happy that Google did not delete all its Street View information from the country after it promised to. Shockingly, some parts of the world apparently still value data privacy. How quaint! [New York Times]

* Former Perkins Coie partner Harold DeGraff must arbitrate his compensation battle with his former law firm. But the process will not have to be kept confidential. [Thomson Reuters]

* I’m pretty sure at this point the DOJ is just consulting a Ouija board in its increasingly feeble attempts to prosecute Megaupload. [Wired /Threat Level]

* UBS is not happy that it lost $356 million on the Facebook IPO. Now it’s suing NASDAQ over the snafu. [CNNMoney]

A Biglaw football commercial?

* Dewey know whether this revised partner contribution plan will be well received? Well, from the looks of it, the firm’s executive committee members are being asked to repay a greater sum of money, so people will probably be happier. [Am Law Daily]

* Arnold & Porter’s William Baer, the man nominated to lead the DOJ Antitrust Division, received a warm reception from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it was all because of his “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. [National Law Journal]

* What do you get when you cross a Biglaw patent associate from Steptoe & Johnson with an NFL Redskins quarterback? A pretty cool hobby, and a new Adidas commercial. [Capital Business Blog / Washington Post]

* Up next in this judicial gong show, Madam Justice Lori Douglas’s lawyer has asked the Canadian Judicial Council to recuse itself and terminate the legal ethics inquiry against her client. [Full Comment / National Post]

* You saw this coming: attorneys for the man identified as Victim 2 in the Jerry Sandusky trial have released voice mails allegedly left by the former coach, and plan to use them in a civil suit against Penn State. [CNN]

* A lawyer’s former mistress who attempted to kill his wife on several occasions is expected to take a plea deal today in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence. Sounds like a soap opera plot. [Houston Chronicle]

* “Don’t say another word, because you’re just pissing me off.” Former adjunct law prof Clark Calvin Griffith said some interesting things to a judge during his indecent exposure sentencing hearing. [Pioneer Press]

I have said time and time again that electronic privacy is, at best, quickly slipping out of existence, and at worst, already an illusion. That might be overly cynical, but it makes life easier if you can expect that whatever information you post online could realistically, unexpectedly, and embarrassingly, be published and seen by many people. Same goes for your personal consumer information. Advertisers figure out your consumer preferences, the music you like, the food you eat, etc. and so on.

That said, at least some public officials are not yet ready to let privacy fade quietly into the night. The Attorney General of California has created a new organization — a start-up, if you will — specifically to protect individual citizens from “those who misuse technology to invade the privacy of others.” Ooh, methinks that ain’t a bad idea…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Here They Come to Save the Day! California’s New Privacy Squad Is on the Way”

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