Recent Headlines from Above the Law
* 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?
* Baker & McKenzie was bumped from the top spot in the Global 100 last year when DLA Piper swooped in to steal the firm’s glory. This year, B&M is back with a vengeance, and richer than ever. Take that, DLA dopes. [Am Law Daily]
* “I’m pretty sure I just got fired.” Before the bud business was big enough for Biglaw, the mere suggestion of going green was allegedly enough to warrant some pretty major disciplinary action from a leading law firm. [National Law Journal]
* Judge Thomas Griesa is toying with holding Argentina in contempt for saying that it didn’t default. Argentina struck back with the social media hashtag #GrieFault. Clever. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team has an expert who says that any jury in Massachusetts will be tainted because of the “inflammatory” news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The ABA’s new Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education held its first public hearing to try to figure out why law school tuition is high. The ABA is so late to the party it’s not even funny. [ABA Journal]
* In consideration of Africa’s “growing economic prowess,” Biglaw firms like Dentons and Baker & McKenzie are opening up shop. Don’t make DLA’s mistake: Africa isn’t a country. [Am Law Daily]
* Stopped like traffic: Two of Gov. Chris Christie’s former aides properly asserted their Fifth Amendment rights and won’t have to give up docs relating to the Bridgegate scandal. [Bloomberg]
* Armed with a privacy curriculum developed at Fordham, several law schools are trying to teach middle-schoolers how to manage their online reputations. Selfies and the Law should be fun. [Associated Press]
* Alex Hribal, the suspect in the Pennsylvania stabbing, was charged as an adult on four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault. Our thoughts remain with those injured. [CNN]
* A Texas woman was convicted of murdering her boyfriend by bludgeoning him in the head with the 5-inch stiletto heel of a pair of blue suede pumps. The true crime is that they weren’t peep-toes. [ABC News]