* Even if you are trying to be ethical, you just might fall into one of these pitfalls. [United States Law Week / Bloomberg BNA]
* Chief Justice John Roberts unloaded some Microsoft stock so he can hear the Xbox 360 case. [Associated Press]
* Sex toys really can bring us closer together: longtime rivals reach agreement over sex toy patent. [Law360]
* The U.S. may be “importing a recession,” but at least bankruptcy lawyers will make out. [Law and More]
* Unable to attend this year’s Legaltech conference? Here’s what you missed. [Business of Law Blog]
* You shouldn’t feel bad about offending some people. [Associate’s Mind]
* Leaving Biglaw once you have kids — but not in order to play with the baby 24/7. [Hire an Esquire]
* Check out the latest podcasts on Legaltech 2016. [CodeX]
Intellectual property law stupidity strikes again as the NFL fights to keep anyone from using the words “Super Bowl.”
Battles between tech companies are some of the most complex and high-stakes litigation in patent law.
* The New York Times editorial board believes SCOTUS justices “already have all the evidence they need to join the rest of the civilized world and end the death penalty once and for all” — and they may get the chance to do so this Term (but won’t). [New York Times]
* A Texas lawyer has filed the first “birther” lawsuit against Republican candidate Ted Cruz, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Canadian-born senator isn’t eligible to run for president. The filing is a pretty entertaining read in that it’s completely insane. [KHOU 11 News]
* Just when ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf chair Steven Davis thought his legal troubles were over, Citibank swooped in to slap him with a suit seeking repayment of a $400,000 loan for his capital contribution to the failed firm. [New York Law Journal via ABA Journal]
* The U.S. Copyright Office has formed an academic partnership with George Mason University School of Law. We bet students and law school administrators alike are probably hoping it’ll turn into an employment partnership as well. [IP Watchdog]
* Lower-ranked law schools ought to thank their lucky stars that U.S. News “ranking competition” exists, because if not for fear they’d sink in the rankings, higher-ranked schools would’ve enrolled students typically bound for unranked schools. [Forbes]
* Not only has Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s first bid to get a new trial been rejected, but in what’s been called a “symbolic gesture,” the convicted Boston Marathon bomber has now been ordered to pay more than $101 million in restitution to his victims. [Boston Globe]
Little clarity on the shady copyright loophole that tech companies keep pushing
Enough of this monkey business!
* According to the Law Firm Group of Citi Private Bank’s year-end predictions for the legal profession, profit growth for this year and next is once again going to be anemic. This is the “new reality for the foreseeable future.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* “[T]hese guerilla marketers believe they are above the law.” Uh-oh! What has The Biebs done now? Pop star Justin Bieber has pissed off the San Francisco, California, legal community with sidewalk graffiti ads promoting his new album. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* If you thought that the highest ranked law school in Virginia would’ve fared the best on the state’s July 2015 administration of the bar exam, you’d be wrong. With a 93 percent passage rate, congratulations to Jerry Falwell’s finest at Liberty Law! [One News Now]
* Ay dios mio! Escándalo! In a recently filed lawsuit, a former faculty member at Amherst College claims that teaching assistants in her department were encouraged to “prostitute themselves” to increase enrollment in Spanish classes. [Washington Post]
* “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur…” The ear worm lullaby featured on The Big Bang Theory is now at the center of a copyright dispute, and it seems like this kitty could actually win. Showrunners probably wish they left this one in the litter box. [USA Today]
* Everyone was under the impression that Dickstein Shapiro and Bryan Cave would be tying the knot by the year’s end, but instead, it looks like their brief love affair has turned into a bad romance. Oh no! Will Dickstein Shapiro be left at the altar? [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “The idea they own the name ‘blue’ for a manual for legal citations is ridiculous.” A rival citation guide to The Bluebook will be released in 2016, using the name “BabyBlue.” Since a Biglaw IP attorney is involved in the copyright clash, this is already more exciting than techciting. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who was too rich to realize his actions had consequences, was apparently also too rich to realize he shouldn’t hide out in a ritzy vacation locale in Mexico while on the run from police with his mother. Damn you, affluenza! [CNN]
* If you’re looking for a law firm where you can take time off whenever you want and still earn a healthy paycheck, then look no further than Ashton KCJ Lawyers in England. That’s a perk we’re sure attorneys in the U.S. would love their firms to adopt. [Mirror]
* Annie, get your gun: Gun-toting Texans are going to have a very happy new year, because come January 1, 2016, the state’s new open carry law will go into effect. The open carrying of handguns had previously been banned in the state since 1865. [RT]
* Jeffrey Feulner, founder of the Men’s Divorce Law Firm, was charged with domestic violence battery after he allegedly attacked his wife. She filed for divorce three days later — and presumably used a more woman-friendly lawyer as counsel. [Orlando Sentinel]
* The lawsuit the Bernie Sanders campaign filed against the Democratic National Committee is far from over. Will a “full investigation from top to bottom” reveal that the DNC was trying to burn the Bern in the polls? [Yahoo!]
* It seems like the whole two-year law school gambit isn’t working out as planned, but maybe that’s because it hasn’t been properly executed yet. Sorry, Northwestern, but we’re really not sorry for saying that. [DealBook / New York Times]
* DraftKings and FanDuel threw the challenge flag after Illinois AG Lisa Madigan declared that daily fantasy sports betting was illegal in her state. Gibson Dunn and Boies Schiller hope review of the play won’t result in another “Fail Mary.” [Chicago Tribune]
* “I thought I was the only person who felt that way.” Feeling left out at law school? USC Law is trying to make legal education a little less intimidating for students who are the first in their family to attend institutions of higher education. [Los Angeles Times]
* iDamages: If you thought Apple liked gouging its customers, then you should see what it does to its adversaries. Samsung just paid the company more than $548 million in patent infringement damages, but Apple wants about $180 million more. [Reuters]
The top frivolous suits of the year may be a dumb list, but some of these cases are pretty funny.
* If you need a reminder as to why it is essential to fight for access to abortions and reproductive freedom generally, read this. [Slate]
* Is Madonna using the “fair use” doctrine to avoid paying artists whose work she uses? [DIY Photography]
* Bigger isn’t always better: how Cooley Law School is hurting legal educational standards. [Lawyers, Guns and Money]
* Want a surefire way to NOT get out of educational debt anytime soon? Go to law school. [Wall Street Journal]
* You need to know your rights vis-a-vis airlines. Because the government isn’t going to fine them much anymore. [Huffington Post]
* Virginia is going to stop recognizing conceal carry permits from 25 states. [Washington Post]
This high-powered boutique firm pays base salaries that are $20K above market AND generous bonuses on top of that.
Copyright law may ruin your Star Wars viewing party.
Has the situation stabilized since our last look at the firm? Not exactly….
Star Wars mania means frivolous intellectual property claims.
* Robert Lewis Dear, the man accused in the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting, had this outburst during a hearing yesterday: “I am guilty, there will be no trial. I am a warrior for the babies. You’ll never know the amount of blood I saw in that place.” [CBS Denver]
* The American Bar Association has approved the merger between William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law to form Mitchell|Hamline Law. Since law school mergers now seem to be a viable option, struggling schools may be able to find a way to survive instead of closing. [Pioneer Press]
* In yesterday’s affirmative action duel at the Supreme Court, Bert Rein of Wiley Rein and Gregory Garre of Latham & Watkins faced off for the second time in Fisher v. University of Texas: The Reckoning. Will SCOTUS kill AA this time? [WSJ Law Blog]
* According to the Rhode Island Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, Judge Rafael A. Ovalles brought his office into disrepute after sexually harassing a female court clerk and sitting in chambers with his hand in his underwear. [Providence Journal]
* A settlement in the “Happy Birthday to You” copyright case has thrust the song into the public domain where it belongs. Now employees at chain restaurants across the country won’t have to sing cheesy soundalike songs to birthday diners anymore. [Reuters]