Federal Judges

  • Shon Hopwood

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Clerkships, D.C. Circuit, Divorce Train Wrecks, Federal Judges, Howrey LLP, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Sentencing Law, Technology

    Morning Docket: 09.06.13

    * Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Department of Justice will be declassifying some secret opinions from the FISA Court. We wonder who’ll be hosting the giant redaction party. [Associated Press]

    * Morgan Lewis paid out a $1.15 million settlement over unfinished business claims to this defunct firm. Great work, Mr. Diamond, but Howrey going to get the rest to do the same? [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]

    * “[Shon] Hopwood proves that my sentencing instincts suck.” Now that this former bank robber has a clerkship with the D.C. Circuit, the judge who sentenced him is having second thoughts. [The Two-Way / NPR]

    * Laptops are useful tools for students in law school classrooms, but they’re also great for checking Above the Law and buying shoes while professors are droning on and on. Apparently we needed a study to confirm this. [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * George Zimmerman’s wife filed for divorce, citing “disappointment” as one of her reasons for ending the marriage. Don’t worry, Shellie, half of the nation was disappointed with the verdict too. [Washington Post]

    3 Comments / / Sep 6, 2013 at 9:09 AM
  • lebron james RF

  • Philip Alito (via Getty Images)

    Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Celebrities, Constitutional Law, Eugene Scalia, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Law Schools, LSAT, Military / Military Law, Morning Docket, Phil Alito, Police, Samuel Alito, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Shira Scheindlin, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 08.22.13

    * The NSA has violated the Constitution for years, you say? And it’s been misleading the FISA court about all of its domestic spying activities? As of this moment, the NSA is on double secret probation! [New York Times]

    * Imagine how the New York stop-and-frisk case would have turned out if it had been before SCOTUS. The “human toll of unconstitutional stops” may not have been weighed so heavily. [Opinionator / New York Times]

    * “[N]o one has a crystal ball,” but right now, it’s highly likely that the Supreme Court will take up another gay marriage case. Perhaps it’ll be the one that’s currently unfolding in Pennsylvania. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * According to a recent survey conducted by Randstad, about 60 percent of lawyers are proud to be members of the legal profession, which is impressive(!) considering how unhappy they are. [The Lawyer]

    * Birds of a feather really do flock together. Philip Alito, son of Justice Samuel Alito, will join Eugene Scalia, son of Justice Antonin Scalia, at Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * Even though the vast majority of his race-based claims were dismissed on summary judgment, this “token black associate” still has a respected Biglaw firm up against the Ropes. [National Law Journal]

    * Law school applications are plummeting, but top law schools haven’t started scraping the bottom of the barrel — their applicants’ LSAT scores have remained relatively competitive. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female.” Considering (s)he was just sentenced to 35 years in prison, Bradley Chelsea Manning sure picked a great time to make this announcement to the world. [Chicago Tribune]

    * You dare call the Duchess of Dumplins racist and sexist? When it comes to Paula Deen’s new legal team from Morgan Lewis, five are women, and four are black. Take that, Lisa Jackson. [Am Law Daily]

    4 Comments / / Aug 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM
  • internet typewriter

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Boalt Hall, Deaths, Elena Kagan, Federal Judges, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology, Townsend and Townsend and Crew, United Kingdom / Great Britain

    Morning Docket: 08.21.13

    * According to Justice Elena Kagan, the rest of her colleagues are Supreme technophobes. Because “[t]he court hasn’t really ‘gotten to’ email,” they still pass handwritten memos to each other. [Associated Press]

    * “[I]f we don’t get some relief we might as well close our doors.” Thanks to sequestration, budget cuts to the federal judiciary have resulted in layoffs in the Southern District of New York. Sad. [New York Law Journal]

    * Kodak’s Chapter 11 reorganization was approved by Judge Allan Gropper, who called the affair “a tragedy of American economic life.” He must’ve had fond memories of getting other people’s pictures. [Bloomberg]

    * Bankruptcy lawyers for corporate debtors are going to have to crack down on churning their bills. Starting in November, they will be subject to additional rules, and even (gasp!) fee examiners. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda (because of course his surname is Miranda), has lawyered up after his unusual nine-hour detainment at Heathrow airport this weekend. [Am Law Daily]

    * So long, Nuts and Boalts: Christopher Edley, dean of Boalt Hall, is taking a medical leave and cutting short his term as the school’s leader at the end of the year. [Bottom Line / San Francisco Chronicle]

    * “We’ll take him.” Indiana Tech Law School opens today, and its founding dean is very excited to add a 33rd student — one who was admitted yesterday — to the school’s inaugural class. [National Law Journal]

    * Eugene Crew, co-founder of the firm once known as Townsend and Townsend and Crew, RIP. [Recorder]

    8 Comments / / Aug 21, 2013 at 9:07 AM
  • scalia talking RF

    Antonin Scalia, Federal Judges, Old People, Quote of the Day, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    SCOTUS Rules, Nobody Drools

    Justice Scalia, please tell us what you REALLY think about mandatory retirement for members of the Supreme Court.

    5 Comments / / Aug 20, 2013 at 4:14 PM
  • condom girl

    American Bar Association / ABA, Bankruptcy, Bar Exams, Biglaw, Constitutional Law, Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Howrey LLP, Law Professors, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 08.19.13

    * Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is definitely one of our favorite judicial divas. When asked if she thought the Supreme Court’s work was art or theater, she mused, “It’s both, with a healthy dose of real life mixed in.” [New York Times]

    * According to the Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group report on the first half of the year, the legal industry should count itself lucky if it manages to meet last year’s single-digit profit growth. This “new normal” thing sucks. [Am Law Daily]

    * Howrey going to celebrate these “monumental” settlements with Baker & Hostetler and Citibank? The failed firm’s trustee might throw a party when he’s finally able to file a liquidation plan. [Am Law Daily]

    * Uncommon law marriage? A man stuck in an inheritance battle who lived with his late partner since 1995 now asks the District of Columbia to declare him common-law husband. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar proposed a major overhaul to its accreditation standards. Action, of course, likely won’t be taken until next year. [National Law Journal]

    * Despite the fact that these measures could help struggling graduates, law deans are at odds over the ABA’s proposed changes to tenure requirements for professors. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

    * “Sooner or later you’ve got to make a choice, because you need enough revenue to cover what your expenses are.” Cooley will weather the storm by introducing a massive tuition hike. [Lansing State Journal]

    * “How would you feel if you spent well over $100,000 on law school, only to have to spend an extra couple of thousand dollars on a course to get you to pass the bar?” You’d probably feel like everyone else. [CNBC]

    * Requiring porn stars to wear condoms might not be sexy, but a federal judge says it’s constitutional. Don’t worry, unlike its actresses, the adult film industry won’t go down without a fight. [Los Angeles Times]

    10 Comments / / Aug 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM
  • failed

    Bar Exams, California, Federal Judges, Free Speech, Law Schools, Quote of the Day

    A Law School Whose Grads Fail The Bar Exam 93 Percent Of The Time

    You’d want to keep that sad statistic under lock and key, too!

    21 Comments / / Aug 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM
  • Kamala Harris

    Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, California, Celebrities, Depositions, Divorce Train Wrecks, Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Minority Issues, Money, Morning Docket, Practice Pointers, Racism

    Morning Docket: 08.15.13

    * The Poly Prep alumni who settled their sex abuse suit against the school are going after O’Melveny & Myers for allegedly playing a part in prolonging the litigation by doing what lawyers do best: lying. [Am Law Daily]

    * If you’ve got a case up on appeal and you’re like a virgin, giving oral (arguments) for the very first time, then you should probably consider taking a look at the top 10 tips that’ll help you to prepare for it. [The Recorder]

    * The California Supreme Court denied petitions from Proposition 8 proponents seeking to enforce a ban on same-sex marriage across the state. Kamala Harris, the country’s best looking AG, approves. [BuzzFeed]

    * The Chapman School of Law will change its name after receiving the second-largest donation ever made to a law school. N.B. The donor isn’t a law school graduate, which certainly explains why he has cash to spare. [National Law Journal]

    * Notebooks from the most famous law school you’ve never heard of are now on digital display thanks to Harvard Law. Unlike today’s students, Litchfield lawyers had lovely handwriting. [Brainiac / Boston Globe]

    * Keep ya head up: Legendary lawyer Roger Rosen, whose clients range from O.J. Simpson to Phil Spector, will hang up his shingle to avoid prosecution for leaking info to Tupac’s killers. [New York Post]

    * Just think, if the judge in Paula Deen’s case had permitted counsel to stay discovery, perhaps the celebrity chef wouldn’t have been able to serve up a slice of her piping hot racism casserole. [Daily Report]

    * Sure, Lamar Odom allegedly cheated on Khloe Kardashian with a lawyer, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to get divorced. If they do, we’ll be there for the train wreck. [Ministry of Gossip / Los Angeles Times]

    8 Comments / / Aug 15, 2013 at 9:10 AM
  • Hope the football makes up for the unemployment.

    Alston & Bird, Biglaw, Celebrities, Facebook, Federal Judges, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Musical Chairs, Police, Privacy, Racism, Ted Frank

    Morning Docket: 08.13.13

    * In the latest round of musical chairs, Skadden Arps managed to scoop up products liability queen and top woman litigator Lisa Gilford from Alston & Bird. Congratulations! [The Recorder (sub. req.)]

    * Is merger mania a thing of the past? With pocketbooks tighter than ever, “pseudo-mergers” are starting to look great. No one will complain about more lawyers with less liability. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * Man, it’d be great if you could represent plaintiffs in a class action suit and keep all of the settlement funds without having to pay your clients a cent. Oh wait, you can actually do that? [New York Times]

    * “It shows he’s adventuresome and he’s got good taste.” Peter Zimroth, the lawyer appointed to oversee the reform of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies, married very, very well. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * The ABA approved Texas A&M’s acquisition of Texas Wesleyan’s law school. Hello to the Texas A&M Johnny Football School of Law! We hope to see the Heisman of employment stats. [National Law Journal]

    * A judge says the woman who sued Paula Deen for racial discrimination was nothing more than an “accidental victim.” And like that, her race-based claims have melted away like butter, y’all. [ABC News]

    3 Comments / / Aug 13, 2013 at 9:14 AM
  • Employee

    Benchslaps, Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Judicial Divas, Legal Ethics, Lesbians, Media and Journalism, State Judges

    Benchslap Of The Day: Federal Judge Tells State Judge To Shut His Mouth

    A federal judge takes a state court judge to task for his extra-judicial writing.

    12 Comments / / Aug 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM
  • NYPD RF

    Constitutional Law, Crime, Federal Judges, Minority Issues, Police, Quote of the Day, Racism, S.D.N.Y., Shira Scheindlin

    New York Can No Longer Stop And Frisk The ‘Right People’ For Being The ‘Wrong Color’

    It is now considered unconstitutional to stop and frisk New Yorkers solely on the basis of race.

    14 Comments / / Aug 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM
  • Reema Bajaj

    Attorney Misconduct, Bar Exams, Biglaw, California, Crime, D.C. Circuit, Federal Judges, Free Speech, Law Schools, Layoffs, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Patton Boggs, Wells Fargo

    Morning Docket: 08.09.13

    * As “one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation,” Patricia Wald, the first woman appointed to the D.C. Circuit, was awarded the Medal of Freedom. Congrats! [Blog of Legal Times]

    * Biglaw firms saw “anemic” growth in the first half of 2013, and according to the latest Wells Fargo survey, some “minor cuts” are expected in headcount. Well, that’s just great. [Am Law Daily]

    * “It is a period of significant change for the firm. That requires some hard decisions.” Patton Boggs has already conducted layoffs, so what could possibly be next for the firm? [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * Sorry guys, but it looks like Reema Bajaj’s bajayjay will be out of session for the foreseeable future. The attorney accused of exchanging sex for office supplies has agreed to a three-year suspension of her law license. [Chicago Tribune]

    * Rather than be bought out by InfiLaw (it could “diminish the value of their degrees”), Charleston School of Law alumni are trying to organize a merger with a public school. Good luck with that. [Greenville News]

    * Nebraska will offer a doctorate in space law, which makes sense because… f**kin’ magnets, how do they work? But really, we’re willing to bet it’s because of all of the crop circles in the state. [Miami Herald]

    * No joke necessary: This law school claims its rights are being infringed upon because it has to disclose how many of its graduates — 7 percent at last count — have passed the bar. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * Two of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friends were indicted on obstruction of justice charges. If convicted, the pair will face up to 20 years in prison, and they don’t even have a Facebook fan page to show for it. [Bloomberg]

    9 Comments / / Aug 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM
  • summer beach ball summer associate event contest

    4th Circuit, American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Conferences / Symposia, Copyright, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Immigration, John Roberts, Morning Docket, Pornography, SCOTUS, Summer Associates, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 08.08.13

    * “[J]ust because something is constitutional doesn’t mean it’s the best idea, or even a good one.” Perhaps we’ve given Chief Justice John Roberts a little too much to do. No wonder he’s gotten cranky. [Opinionator / New York Times]

    * “It’s raining lawsuits.” As Justice Scalia predicted, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Windsor case, gay couples across the nation have banded together to challenge bans on same-sex marriage. [NBC News]

    * The Fourth Circuit ruled that state authorities in Maryland can’t arrest and detain people just because they look like they might be illegal immigrants. They can only do that in Arizona. [Baltimore Sun]

    * No more fun during sequestration, ever! Judges, get ready to kiss your “lavish accommodations” at judicial conferences goodbye, because Senator Tom Coburn is on the case. [National Law Journal]

    * For all of the talk that Biglaw is in recovery, summer associate hiring just isn’t what it used to be. Summer class sizes shrank since last year. We’ll have more on this later today. [Am Law Daily]

    * On Friday, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will consider making changes to its law school accreditation standards. Yes, the ABA does have standards. [ABA Journal]

    * Open wide and suck this down: A film on the life and times of porn star Linda Lovelace may be lost to the cutting room floor because Deep Throat’s rights holders are seeking an injunction. [The Guardian]

    9 Comments / / Aug 8, 2013 at 9:04 AM
  • casey-anthony-smile

    Banking Law, Crime, D.C. Circuit, Department of Justice, Education / Schools, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Law Professors, Law Schools, LSAT, Minority Issues, Morning Docket, New Jersey, Securities Law, State Attorneys General, State Judges, Television, Trials, UVA Law

    Morning Docket: 08.07.13

    * The speed (or lack thereof) of justice: The DOJ filed suit against Bank of America, alleging that the bank defrauded mortgage-backed securities investors in 2008. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Sri Srinivasan, the newest member of the D.C. Circuit’s bench, is getting ready to hear his first arguments, while litigants try to commit the spelling of his last name to memory. [Legal Times]

    * The LSAT is not to blame for the dearth of minority enrollment in law schools, said a UVA Law professor, and then a Cooley Law professor had to swoop in to slap him down. [National Law Journal]

    * After teaming up with Touro, the University of Central Florida is working with Barry on an accelerated degree program. The dean of FAMU is upset. Don’t worry, you’ll get your turn, too. [Orlando Sentinel]

    * New Jersey is in no rush to legalize gay marriage. To support their views, officials point out that people with civil unions are just like married couples — except for the married part. [New Jersey Law Journal]

    * Meanwhile, a judge in Illinois will decide whether she’ll dismiss a challenge to the state’s gay marriage ban by the end of September. In her defense, early fall is a great time for a wedding. [Daily Herald]

    * Belvin Perry, the judge who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial, may be getting his own Judge Judy-esque television show. Oh, Flori-duh, you never, ever cease to entertain us. [MSN News]

    6 Comments / / Aug 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM
  • 220px-Sen_Chuck_Grassley_official-RF

    Akin Gump, D.C. Circuit, Federal Judges, John Roberts, Politics

    D.C. Circuit Underworked, Say Anonymous Letters Possibly From Federal Judges

    Senator Grassley asks federal judges to rat out their colleagues. Should the D.C. Circuit be run like a fast food restaurant comment box?

    11 Comments / / Aug 2, 2013 at 12:28 PM
  • Law school's epitaph?

    9th Circuit, Akin Gump, American Bar Association / ABA, Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Clerkships, Contract Attorneys, D.C. Circuit, Federal Judges, Judicial Nominations, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Munger Tolles & Olson, Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court Clerks, Ted Frank

    Morning Docket: 08.02.13

    * Hiring a Supreme Court clerk might not be worth a $500,000 gamble for some Biglaw firms. Some will take that sweet sign-on bonus and remove their golden handcuffs before a year is out. [Capital Comment / Washingtonian]

    * Akin Gump partner and D.C. Circuit nominee Patricia Millett won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee by a margin of 10-8 along party lines, and now her nomination will head to the full Senate for a vote. [Huffington Post]

    * President Obama nominated Michelle Friedland and John Owens, two young Munger Tolles & Olson partners, for seats on the Ninth Circuit. If confirmed, that’ll make three partners from the same firm on the bench. [The Recorder]

    * Sorry, law firms, but it’s no longer cool to inflate hourly billing rates for contract attorneys when you pay them substantially less. You can thank Ted Frank for this judicial revelation. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education thinks that just about everything having to do with law schools is “deeply flawed” and needs “serious re-engineering.” How comforting. [ABA Journal]

    * Law School Transparency is willing to assist schools with the reporting of their ABA post-graduation job placement statistics, for a price. How much is integrity worth these days? [National Law Journal]

    * For $25K, Casey Anthony’s bankruptcy trustee won’t make her sell the worldwide rights to her story — like her theory of the crime she was acquitted of, it “exists solely within [her] mind.” [Sun-Sentinel]

    12 Comments / / Aug 2, 2013 at 9:14 AM
  • student-loan-debt

    9th Circuit, Banking Law, Bar Exams, Biglaw, Books, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, Racism, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Sports, Student Loans, Supreme Court, United Kingdom / Great Britain, Video games

    Morning Docket: 08.01.13

    Ed. note: We are having an Above the Law retreat this afternoon, so we may be less prolific than usual today. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

    * “I think I am now the hardest-working justice. I wasn’t until David Souter left us.” Justice Ginsburg celebrates her twentieth year on the high bench in true diva style. [USA Today]

    * Sorry, EA, the Ninth Circuit thought your First Amendment free expression defense to allegedly stealing college sports players’ likenesses was a load of hooey. [Wall Street Journal]

    * “It’s a decision that clearly favors the merchants.” A federal judge gave the Fed a spanking in a ruling on its cap for debit card fees earned by banks after consumer swipes. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * “What makes this discriminatory? I don’t think there’s anything in Title 7 that says an employer has to be consistent.” Ropes & Gray’s “token black associate” had his day in court. [National Law Journal]

    * The firm that outed J.K. Rowling as author of “The Cuckoo’s Calling” will make a charitable donation as an apology — getting the book to the bestseller’s list wasn’t charitable enough. [New York Times]

    * As the bar exam draws to a close today, here’s something to consider: 12,250 people signed up to take the test in New York alone. Are there jobs out there for them? Best of luck! [New York Law Journal]

    * The feds want to make a better return on their investment on law student loans. Perhaps it’s time for those good old gainful employment regulations. [Student Loan Ranger / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro is expected to speak at his sentencing hearing today, where a judge will decide if a term of life in prison plus 1,000 years is appropriate punishment for him. [CBS News]

    14 Comments / / Aug 1, 2013 at 9:25 AM
  • Supreme Court Clerk Hallway original

    Clarence Thomas, Clerkships, Fabulosity, Federal Judges, Feeder Judges, Law Schools, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

    Supreme Court Clerk Hiring Watch: The Official List For October Term 2013

    A complete list of the SCOTUS clerks for the upcoming Term (October Term 2013), plus several hires for October Term 2014.

    20 Comments / / Jul 25, 2013 at 5:54 PM