Owners of land with substantial oil and gas resources have begun using the “takings” concept of property law to challenge local bans on fracking.
* Oh no you didn’t. Benchslap comes down on firm who tried to squeeze words together and tighten spaces to stay within page limits. [How Appealing]
* “Five Charts That Show You Should Apply to Law School This Year.” Slightly less educational than the 30 Cats That Are More Badass Than You. [Bloomberg Business]
* In fact, law schools are really almost indistinguishable from the show Community. Funny but not quite as funny as 4 years ago? Well, maybe that too. [The Legal Watchdog]
* I’ll just leave this as a prompt for your own short fiction: “Lexington woman being strangled with bra fights off attacker with ceramic chicken”… [WKYT]
* Do you know your Earth Day history? Like which lawyer turned Senator founded the occasion? [What About Clients?]
* Loretta Lynch might actually get confirmed, you guys! Senate Republicans have agreed to a bipartisan deal on human trafficking legislation which should end the Lynch logjam. America in 2015, “human trafficking bad” now requires months of negotiation. [CNN]
* Our old friend Professor Michael Simkovic is back and defending the decision to go to law school based on part-time job numbers because, hey, that’s how the Bureau of Labor measures unemployment so it must be the same for judging employment for struggling J.D.s. Professor Bernie Burk gives a thorough, thoughtful, and respectful retort. [The Faculty Lounge]
* Meanwhile, failing to learn the lesson of America, students seeking law degrees skyrocket in the UK. Thomas Cooley considers Norfolk campus. [Legal Cheek]
* The property law of Downton Abbey. It teaches the most important lesson of property — historically it’s really, really good to be a wealthy white guy. [Vanderbilt Law Review]
* Digging into a less heralded subsidiary argument in the marriage equality cases: the “proceed with caution” rhetoric intended to push the issue to the backburner. [NYU Law Review]
* On that note, same-sex marriage kills babies!!! Well, no, not really. But that is the argument one former Scalia clerk is making for some reason. [Dorf on Law]
* Looks like Europe is going to hit Putin where it hurts… an antitrust courtroom. That’ll learn him! [New York Times]
* Authorities have cleared the robot built specifically to buy illegal stuff off the dark web. In related news, officer, all that panda meat was bought by my robot… for an art project. [Hopes and Fears]
* Laurence Tribe’s arguments are getting closer and closer to Homer Simpson’s. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* In case you weren’t counting, there’ve been 95 Senate roll call votes while Loretta Lynch has been waiting… [People For The American Way]
* Lawyer suspended for handing out ecstasy to drug women into sex. I don’t disagree with the outcome, but there’s one pretty troubling aspect of the opinion: “The OLR noted… that his victim was much younger.” She was 22! At a certain point can we just admit women are adults? Focus on the drugging predatory behavior instead of constructing her as an addled-brained ingenue. [Legal Profession Blog]
* Daredevil’s courtroom antics evaluated by New York Judge Matthew Sciarrino. [The Legal Geeks]
* If you’re interested in the legal landscape of marijuana, here’s a cool infographic summing up where we are and how we got here. [Diego Criminal Defense]
* If you’re interested in February bar exam results from across the country, Bar Exam Stats is keeping a running tally complete with a nice map. [Bar Exam Stats]
* And meet the two legal heavyweights who will be arguing the case before SCOTUS. [Politico via How Appealing]
* Meanwhile, another Supreme Court has put a stop to same-sex marriage down in Alabama — for now. [Buzzfeed]
* General David Petraeus reaches a plea deal, requiring him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine (but no prison sentence). [Washington Post]
* It’s not as sexy as Obamacare or marriage equality, but the collection of state sales tax on out-of-state purchases made online is a pretty important issue — and Justice Kennedy wants SCOTUS to revisit it. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* A jury of eight men and 10 women will start hearing arguments today in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, defendant in the Boston Marathon bombing. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Legal ethics guru Monroe Freedman, RIP. [ABA Journal]
Opportunities abound in Texas.
The federal government can restrict access to public lands for oil and gas drilling purposes through a number of means.
Hydraulic fracturing and energy policy promise to be an interesting area to watch in 2015 as many competing political forces push to control the agenda.
What do these trends mean for lawyers in different specialties and at different seniority levels?
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) recently released its annual report on enforcement activities for 2014. As is typical, Enforcement identified its primary concerns as detecting and deterring fraud and manipulation in its markets and ensuring the safety and reliability of the grid.
In the final days before the November election, the Republican (then minority) staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a report outlining the domestic economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing, entitled Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution
The EPA’s inspector general, Arthur Elkins, Jr., has rejected Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) appeal for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to drop its review of the agency and the states’ ability to manage potential threats to water resources from hydraulic fracturing. In his October 16th letter responding to Sen. Inhofe, Mr. Elkins noted that, while inspectors general (IG) report their findings to Congress and their agency heads, they do not take direction from either in deciding what to review. He added that the Inspector General Act does not require IGs to explain why they should be allowed to continue their work, and that, in his opinion, interference by Congress or the agency is contrary to the statute.
* Floridian women lawyers got their wish: Bad Judge, plagued by bad ratings, is getting canceled. [Daily Business Review]
* A round-up of write-ups about today’s oral arguments in the Israel / Jerusalem passport case. [How Appealing]
* Interesting reflections from Professor Glenn Reynolds on the controversial catcalling video.
[USA Today via Instapundit]
* Things are bats**t insane — literally — at this Utah courthouse. [Gawker]
* The D.C. Circuit gives the EPA its way on cross-state air pollution. [Breaking Energy]
* Election monitors from the Justice Department: possibly coming to a jurisdiction near you (including Bergen County, New Jersey, where I grew up). [BuzzFeed]
* Can cops force suspects to use their fingerprints to unlock their cellphones? Eric Crusius and Lisa Giovinazzo debate, after the jump. [Fox News]
* Will we have a nominee for Attorney General Eric Holder’s position “shortly after the election”? Per a White House spokesperson, our lame-duck Congress might just get a chance to confirm America’s next top lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]
* In the wake of an associate general counsel’s suicide last week, Deutsche Bank has taken steps to further separate its legal and compliance teams to tamp down on its “legal and regulatory headaches.” Well then. [Corporate Counsel]
* David Tresch, Mayer Brown’s former chief information officer, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role in bilking the firm out of $4.8 million. Hey, it could’ve been worse, says his lawyer, whose client got off relatively easily. [Am Law Daily]
* Thanks to the rise of the “energy phenomenon,” law schools have started to offer various classes focusing on oil and gas law in the hopes of making their graduates employable. Good luck with that. [Times Online]
* If you plan to retake the LSAT, you need to study smarter. Don’t sweat it too much, though — it’s not like you’ve got a lot of competition trying to apply to law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* NFL blackout rules will be a thing of the past on November 24. So just in time for all you rabid Rams fans to watch them play the Raiders. [CommLawBlog]
* Electing judges is so very stupid. [What About Clients?]
* OK, Alex Rich: it’s time to ditch document review and become a psychic. [Law and More]
* A tumblr of offensive stuff overheard at Yale Law. If these are true, then that place sounds horrible. [The YLS Offensive]
* Exactly where is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? It turns out the government doesn’t really even know. They’re looking to shift the border and possibly allow more oil drilling. [Breaking Energy]
* How to get your Biglaw career right from the beginning. [Medium]