Jay Bybee

Law school’s tombstone?

* Federal judges still have financial allegiances to their former firms that are reported on their mandatory annual disclosures. At least one appellate judge — Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit — made a killing after confirmation. [National Law Journal]

* After “a challenging 2013,” Bingham McCutchen is leaking lawyers like a sieve. Fourteen attorneys, including nine partners, recently decided to leave the firm, and they’re all headed to different Biglaw locales. [WSJ Law Blog via Reuters]

* Just one day after Donald Sterling was declared “mentally incapacitated,” he filed a lawsuit against the NBA, seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Skadden lawyers are stripping off their warm-up suits to take it to the court. [USA Today]

* This Am Law 200 firm thinks it figured out a way to help women combine their careers and home lives — by hiring a role model/mentor with an almost six-figure salary. Good idea or bad? [Dallas Morning News]

* We’ve got some breaking news for our readers from the “no sh*t” department: Law schools are competing to cut costs based on a shrinking applicant pool, but tuition is still quite unaffordable. [Houston Chronicle]

* Lewis Katz, co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and alumnus of Dickinson Law, RIP. [Onward State]

Look out Inspector Gadget!!!

* CeeLo Green, through his attorney, tells the judge and prosecutors in his criminal case to, um, Forget themselves. He’s miffed that the judge and prosecutors set up cameras during his arraignment and left themselves out of the shot creating a false impression of guilt. This marks the first time this guy didn’t want a camera fixated solely on him. [TMZ]

* Samsung wants a mistrial in its case with Apple because Apple’s attorney, Harold McElhinny, implied in his closing argument that American-made jobs building TV sets moved overseas because companies failed to protect intellectual property. Samsung is arguing that this is racist. [Bloomberg]

* Remember the matter of the attorney supposedly stalking a jury? Well, the judge has overturned the verdict over it. [Courthouse News Service]

* A week in the life of a Biglaw litigation associate. It’s a decent list, but where were the Thursday Night Football and Netflix? [Big Law Rebel]

* JPMorgan is awfully sorry for making the conscious decision to sell toxic securities that helped destroy the economy. “Our bad, y’all!” [Gawker]

* The justices who penned Bush v. Gore shamelessly admitted how terrible the decision was by trying to claim it had no precedential value. Unfortunately, no one listened to them. [Mother Jones]

* In addition to the many law firms that are contributing to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, several Asian-American lawyer groups are organizing a fundraising event this coming Monday. If you’re in New York, please consider attending! [Facebook; AABANY]

* In sad news, the son of Ninth Circuit Judge Jay Bybee shot and killed himself in the courtyard of the LDS Temple in Henderson, NV. Our thoughts are with Judge Bybee and his family. [Las Vegas Review-Journal (gavel bang: Las Vegas Law Blog)]

We’ve decided to tweak the format of Legal Eagle Wedding Watch a bit. Beginning today, we’ll be bringing you all the lawyer weddings featured in the New York Times.

This, admittedly, is the kind of everyone’s-a-winner feel-goodism that we normally abhor. Alas, to be frank, we’re sick of the constant death threats from couples who don’t make our column. Don’t worry — we’ll keep the focus on our brilliant featured couples, as always. But starting with today’s installment, you’ll also be able to check out the honorable mentions (and others) at the end of each post.

Also, congratulations to Elena Lalli and Guillermo Coronado, who edged out Caroline Lopez and Nicholas Miranda in our last reader poll for Couple of the Week.

This week’s featured couples are:

1. Meredith Osborn and Christiaan Highsmith

2. Claire McCusker and Michael Murray

3. Emily Keifer and Jordan Barry

More about these couples — and a list of all the NYT’s recent legal eagle matings — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Spreading the Love”

Jay Bybee

* An interesting look at the role played by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and his S.D.N.Y. colleagues in the recent Russian spy swap. [New York Times]

* The government’s obscenity case against porn purveyor John Stagliano has climaxed… in a dismissal. [Politico via First One @ One First]

* Now that the damn hole is plugged, at least for the time being, all eyes are on BP compensation fund czar Kenneth Feinberg. [New York Times]

* The Justice Department has launched the largest health-care fraud sting in U.S. history. [Washington Post]

* Still on the DOJ, here’s the interesting backstory on how Jay Bybee came to head the Office of Legal Counsel. [Main Justice]

We took a muscular view of presidential authority. We were offering a bottom line to a client who wanted to know what he could do and what he couldn’t do. I wasn’t running a debating society, and I wasn’t running a law school.

– Ninth Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee, testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about his authorization of aggressive interrogation methods as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

alex kozinski stephen reinhardt above the law.JPGjay bybee judge bybee judge jay s bybee above the law.jpg
Judge Stephen Reinhardt (left), perhaps the most prominent liberal appeals court judge in the country, is buddies with his conservative colleague on the Ninth Circuit, Judge Alex Kozinski (right). But we suspect that Judge Reinhardt feels less warmly towards Judge Jay S. Bybee (far right).

You can always count on the Ninth Circuit for a good old-fashioned judicial smackfest. And this latest one is very, very good.
Stepping into the ring are two of the Ninth Circuit’s most high-profile judges. On the left: Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the court’s liberal lion, who has been trading benchslaps with conservatives for decades. On the right: Judge Jay Bybee, one of the court’s newer (and more conservative) members. Luckily for him, Judge Bybee was confirmed to his life-tenured post shortly before eruption of the controversy over the 2002 Bush administration “torture memo” (which he signed).
From an article by Justin Scheck of The Recorder:

In March of 2005, Reinhardt and Bybee found themselves on a three-judge panel — together with Senior Judge Procter Hug Jr. — that heard the case of Roger Smith. Smith claimed that his guilty plea in the murder of Emmet Konzelman was no good since his supposed accomplice Jacob Edmonds — who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and testified against Smith — later recanted his testimony.

In his majority opinion, Reinhardt wrote that even though Smith had not exhausted his state claims, a rarely used exception should allow his case to move forward in federal court.

Par for the Reinhardt course. How did Bybee respond?

“I disagree with nearly every word the majority has written, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’ My profound disagreement is not limited to the facts, but runs throughout the majority opinion.”

Gee, Judge Bybee, tell us how you really feel!
And there’s more. Check out the rest, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bench-Slapped! Reinhardt v. Bybee”