Recent Headlines from Above the Law
Can the Windy City blow NYC out of its traditional top perch in M&A work?
* “People who have a dream of going to law school should go into it with their eyes wide open.” In case you haven’t heard, not all of the law school lawsuits were dismissed; in fact, one of them filed against Thomas Jefferson School of Law is going to trial in March. [ABC News]
* Dewey know which D&L defendant will likely be able to escape a retrial? It seems that Steven Davis, the failed firm’s former chairman, may find himself on the receiving end of a deferred prosecution agreement instead. [DealBook / New York Times]
* At this point, it’s anyone’s best guess as to what the future of net neutrality may be: The FCC’s latest proposal for equal treatment of internet traffic apparently left a bad taste in the D.C. Circuit’s mouth during oral arguments at a recent hearing. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Baker & McKenzie used to be the largest law firm in the world before Dentons arrived on the scene, but now it’s got its eyes on expansion in a territory that the Biglaw behemoth hasn’t completely claimed: the United States. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Give thanks, because according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector added 600 jobs last month. If you’ve got a job on your Christmas wish list, Santa just might deliver one to you this year. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* PETA’s general counsel swears his organization isn’t monkeying around when it comes to asserting the IP rights of Naruto the selfie-taking monkey, but he may have to deal with a jungle of jurisdictional issues first. [Motherboard / VICE]
* Mmmm, Dewey smell a mistrial? On the eighth day of deliberations in the criminal trial of D&L’s former leaders, the jurors likely made defense counsels’ hearts skip a beat when they asked the judge for instructions on what to do concerning their undecided colleagues. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chief Justice John Roberts, who has voted conservatively in 85 percent of the Supreme Court’s most divisive 5-4 decisions, apparently isn’t conservative enough for our conservatives. It’s the damn Affordable Care Act. Thanks, Obama. [New York Times]
* According to the latest Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2015, for the sixth year running, Baker & McKenzie has the most recognizable Biglaw brand in the world. DLA Piper will continue to “churn [those] bill[s], baby!” in second place. [PR Web]
* Take the deal: Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who’s accused of hiding large sums used as hush money to conceal his prior sexual misconduct, is negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. If he were convicted at trial, he’d face up to 10 years in prison. [Reuters]
Which Texas firm is the most Texas?
* Baker & McKenzie was dethroned by DLA Piper as the the Biglaw king of gross revenue. The firm is blaming its poor performance — a 4.3 percent drop — on “currency fluctuations.” Better luck on snatching back glory next year. [Am Law Daily; Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* It’s hard out here for a pimp with an allegedly small peen: Terrence Howard’s divorce settlement was overturned by a judge after evidence was brought forward to suggest the actor was coerced into signing it. Apparently his ex was blackmailing him over the size of his manhood. [ABC News]
* There’s a new
sheriffjudge in town, and he’s cleaning up the Ferguson, Missouri, courts. His first order of business was to wipe out all arrest warrants issued before December 31, 2014, in the wake of the Michael Brown police shooting last August. [Reuters]
* Dean Philip Weiser of Colorado Law has announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position in July 2016. He’ll be remembered for keeping costs low and putting asses in seats during a time when it was difficult to do both concurrently. [Denver Business Journal]
* “On one level I give them kudos for playing hide the ball.” Gibson Dunn is fighting a subpoena issued by defense attorneys for computer metadata related to its Bridgegate report that cleared New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of all wrongdoing. [Bergen Record]
Why do blogs and social media matter for law firms? Allow this Biglaw chairman to explain it to you.
Throughout 2014, along with our friends at Good2BSocial, ATL once again researched the social media practices of law firms. Today we publish the first component of our findings: our second annual Social Law Firm Index, where we identify which specific firms are making the most effective use of social media.
* George Zimmerman was arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon. His lawyer said his client “has not been lucky with the ladies.” He hasn’t been lucky with being a decent human being, either. [USA Today]
* Lawrence McCreery, the Hawaii lawyer who licked a client’s ear and inspired the judge on his case to call him a “dirty old man,” has had his harassment conviction upheld on appeal. Get excited, he’s still got a law license, ladies. [Associated Press]
* We may soon see same-sex marriage bans in three states struck down, as the Fifth Circuit “appeared poised” to do so after oral arguments on Friday. Roberta Kaplan, our 2013 Lawyer of the Year, delivered a standout performance in arguing against Mississippi’s ban. [BuzzFeed]
* What do Sidley Austin, Baker & McKenzie, Reed Smith, Hogan Lovells, and Skadden Arps have in common? Their names were used in phishing emails to scam people out of their money. Some might say that’s business as usual. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* An arrest was made in the forcible rape of a woman — presumably a law student — that took place in the stacks of the Southern University Law Center’s library last semester. The accused rapist is currently behind held without bond. [WBRZ]
Shall we start with the good news, or the bad news?