Recent Headlines from Above the Law
* It’s time to start shutting down law schools, but this clearly isn’t something that the American Bar Association is ready to act on. After all, new schools keep popping up, and the ABA keeps accrediting them for reasons beyond understanding. [Bloomberg Business]
* At the end of a landmark Term at the Supreme Court, some presidential candidates are fanning the flames of voters’ fears. Linda Greenhouse asks, “[W]hat, exactly, are people supposed to be afraid of now? A same-sex married couple with affordable health insurance?” [New York Times]
* Eric Holder will return to Covington & Burling, the Biglaw firm from whence he came, and he’ll be there “until [he] decide[s] [he’s] not going to be a lawyer anymore.” This crazy guy says he’d even turn down a SCOTUS nom to continue working there. [Am Law Daily]
* Congrats to Skadden, the firm that ranked numero uno in worldwide deals according to Bloomberg’s quarterly M&A league tables. Davis Polk finished $93 billion behind that, but hopefully the bonuses will be just as sweet this winter. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* If you’re planning to enter law school at the end of the summer — especially if you’re a gunner in training — there’s no better way to spend your last months of freedom than to read one (or all of) these law prof-recommended books and papers. [Washington Post]
* Ouch! The Florida Supreme Court just unanimously told a lower court judge to STFU and GTFO. Judge Laura Watson, who was elected to her position in 2012, was summarily ousted from the bench for shady conduct that took place before her judgeship commenced. [Sun Sentinel]
* The ABA postponed making a decision on whether it’ll approve a merger between Hamline Law and William Mitchell Law. Not to worry, everything will be okay. Come on, as if the ABA would let a failing law school completely crash and burn. [MPR News]
* We mentioned this week that Hank Greenberg won his A.I.G. bailout suit, but we didn’t get around to the part where Davis Polk got quite the judicial spanking from an “irritated” judge — and the firm wasn’t even named as a defendant. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Uh oh. It looks like Ellen Pao just got “powed.” Judge Harold Kahn has tentatively ruled that Pao must pay about $276,000 in trials costs to Kleiner Perkins. (Special thanks go out to ATL commenter Paul Harvey for this clever little quip.) [Digits / Wall Street Journal]
* Micah Green, a prominent lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, is headed for greener pastures at Steptoe. He’s the latest rainmaker to leave, which makes us wonder if the firm will be satisfied with only being able to make it drizzle. [PowerPost / Washington Post]
* “It’s unconscionable, and I believe they have breached the fiduciary duty to the law school, to the students and to the public.” Appalachian Law is struggling, and some believe its trustees are preventing the school from saving itself. Will this be the first school to fold? [Inside Higher Ed]
* “We were all running this ATM machine called big law firms.” Before 2008, it was easier for large law firms to make money, but now, there’s an “insurmountable gap” in revenue between the industry’s heavy hitters and the rest of the pack. [Wall Street Journal]
* You’ll pry their job security from their cold, dead hands: William Mitchell Law professors know that layoffs may be coming thanks to the school’s planned merger with Hamline Law, and have filed suit to protect the Tenure Code. [Minnesota Public Radio News]
* Bonus season isn’t the only thing that Davis Polk has cornered the market on. According to the latest Bloomberg M&A rankings, the firm came out on top during the first quarter of 2015 when it came to advising on major deals. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “Whatever happened to The New York Times’ fact-checker?” Here’s yet another harsh critique of Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon’s cringeworthy defense of law schools, and this time it’s from a fellow law professor. Ouch. [The Belly of the Beast via Am Law Daily]
* Jay Edelson of Edelson PC may be the “most hated person in Silicon Valley,” but he probably doesn’t care about being Liked — after all, he recently filed suit against Facebook over the social networking company’s face recognition software. [New York Times]
Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual. We will be back in full force tomorrow.
* The news is in, and it seems that Davis Polk’s financial numbers were at record highs. The firm’s revenue beat the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and its PPP rose to $3.29 million. No wonder its 2014 bonuses were so awesome! [Am Law Daily]
* Yes, we know that William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law are merging to survive as a result of a quickly disappearing applicant pool. We’d really love to know how many other law schools are considering this as an alternative to closing their doors. [Star Tribune]
* How are Nebraska and Oklahoma, which neighbor Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, handling the situation? Not well. Their AGs want SCOTUS to rule the weed law in the state where you can get Rocky Mountain High is unconstitutional. [PBS NewsHour]
* Thanks to a recent ABA rule change, schools are beginning to admit students without LSAT scores. One of those schools is Iowa Law (ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News), but those students need to have done really well on other standardized tests. [Daily Iowan]
* “How have I done as a judge today?” “Not bad, but you could do better.” Judge John Hurley had a run-in with an 80-year-old criminal defendant who wouldn’t stop calling him sweetheart. Flip to the next page to see the entertaining video. [NBC 6 South Florida]
It’s been a couple of months now. You’d think Cadwalader would make a move.
From distinguished to despicable, who should be Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2014? Please vote in our poll!
Which firm is acting the Scrooge this year?
* The Fifth Circuit is allowing the Texas voter ID law to be enforced during the upcoming election, even though it was recently struck down by a federal judge. After all, “preserving the status quo” is very important down south. [Bloomberg]
* We suppose that’s why the Supreme Court stepped in to make sure that abortion clinics in Texas were allowed to reopen following their shut down. Take that, Fifth Circuit. [New York Times]
* AG Eric Holder is showing off some fancy legal footwork before he walks out the door. Federal prosecutors can no longer ask defendants to waive their IAC claims when pleading guilty. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Davis Polk & Wardwell is a Biglaw firm where hotties roam, and it looks like this top Justice Department prosecutor who started his career there is returning home there to roost. [DealBook / New York Times]
* It’s the debt: With headlines like “Law school applications plummet – at U of L too,” the University of Louisville School of Law can’t even convince alums from its undergrad school to attend. [Courier-Journal]
* Amal Alamuddin changed her name to Amal Clooney on her firm’s website. It’s as if she wants to rub the fact that she’s a human rights lawyer who just got married in everyone’s face. [New York Daily News]