Recent Headlines from Above the Law
Who has the best law firm brand? And what embarrassing ATL stories have they overcome to keep it?
* Carmen Electra filed a federal suit against a strip joint, alleging that the gentleman’s club defamed her by using a scantily clad picture of her without her prior consent, thereby insinuating that she removes her clothing for money there or otherwise endorses its sexy services. [New York Daily News]
* Happy anniversary to our favorite SCOTUS monk: If Justice Thomas sticks to his usual routine when the Supreme Court returns from its winter break, he’ll have officially gone a decade without asking a question from the bench. [New York Times]
* Aloha! Just one week after receiving a $25 million donation and changing the name of the school, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law is losing its dean to Hawaii Pacific University, where he’ll serve as president. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* DLA Piper recently acquired Peltonen LMR, a Helsinki firm, bringing its grand total of Nordic offices to three. Unlike in the past, we hope that this time DLA Piper knows what country its new office is located in. Pssst… it’s Finland. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* If you’ve been waitlisted by the law school of your choice, we hope that you’re a particularly patient person, because you may be waiting to find out your academic fate until April, or worse yet, July. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
One Biglaw firm gets right into the middle of the Democratic fight.
* In the wake of fired CEO Martin Shkreli’s arrest for securities fraud, KaloBios Pharmaceuticals has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company will be repped by Hogan Lovells (and likely won’t be charged 4,000 percent more than it should be). [Reuters]
* “Not all of it is law at its grandest but all of it is the practice of law.” Yet another contract attorney’s suit for overtime pay has bitten the dust with a recent dismissal. This time, Quinn Emanuel was the Biglaw firm victorious in keeping doc reviewers downtrodden. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Since Dechert decided to up the ante on first-year associate salaries, other Philadelphia Biglaw firms have responded in kind. Drinker Biddle has matched, while Pepper Hamilton and Cozen O’Connor are following close behind. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Facebook needs a “dislike” button: The social media titan’s suit against DLA Piper and Milberg for their defense of alleged con man Paul Ceglia in a fraudulent breach of contract case versus Zuckerberg’s first baby was dismissed. [Buffalo Business First]
* From “weird to wildly costly,” check out some of the craziest malpractice cases that were filed against Biglaw firms during the course of 2015. The McDermott Will & Emery elder abuse case here is particularly creative. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
Which office will be closing, and will there be any layoffs?
What does this mean for current associates at the firm?
* Law school admissions standards have plummeted and bar exam passage rates are circling the drain. This can only mean one thing: an army of dumb would-be lawyers whose degrees aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on will “become criminals themselves — robbing liquor stores, grabbing old ladies’ handbags, selling derivatives.” [Wall Street Journal]
* A Pennsylvania attorney was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography after it was discovered that he was downloading the images at his law firm. Protip: Don’t leave pictures of nude boys engaged in sexual acts in the copier tray. [The Reporter]
* Law firms where older partners refuse to pass the baton may be in trouble. “Some law firms could crumble after this generation because they don’t have a lot to sell to the next generation.” Only 3% of managing partners belong to Generation X. [New York Times]
* DLA Piper’s London office launched a review of its pay structure in an effort to remunerate partners based on more than just billable hours alone. One wonders if this meritocracy will make its way across the pond to us here in America. [Legal Business]
* According to a landmark decision from the Mexico Supreme Court, it’s a constitutional right for people to be able to grow and smoke their own marijuana. Of course, this ruling only applies to the petitioners, but it’s a step in the right direction. [Los Angeles Times]
Wild accusations in a pair of lawsuits about the man at the center of a famous Biglaw embarrassment.
Some more salary movement in mid-sized markets, but is the bidding war for talent off to the races or limping out of the gate?
How are international firms doing in comparison with the Seven Sisters when it comes to handling major transactions?