Recent Headlines from Above the Law
One of these firms is a shop that might have given Cravath a run for its money.
* Steven Metro, an ex-managing clerk at Simpson Thacher who was accused of passing insider info about mergers and other business transactions to his law school buddy in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme, has pleaded guilty. He faces up to 20 years in prison. [Reuters]
* Remember Keila Ravelo, the Willkie Farr partner who allegedly stole millions from that firm and her prior firm, Hunton & Williams? It turns out her involvement in the $5.7 billion MasterCard/Visa antitrust settlement could ultimately become its kiss of death. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Chief Judge Morrison England (E.D. Cal.) says he and his colleagues are incredibly overworked, sometimes putting in more than 80 hours per week. It’s too bad it doesn’t make a difference — the court is at a “crisis point” in its backlog of cases. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Last summer, a federal judge ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional in California because an appeals process with the “slight possibility of death” was cruel and unusual. Here’s a real shocker: the Ninth Circuit overturned the decision. [New York Times]
* Embattled Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane is well past the point of having 99 problems, but there’s no end in sight. Former prosecutors have filed suit against her, alleging she retaliated against them for exposing her alleged criminal misdeeds. [Tribune-Review]
I hate keeping up with CLE as much as the next lawyer, but this is a pretty extreme avoidance strategy.
Who says you can’t get away with carelessness in Biglaw?
* It’s almost Halloween, so members of the legal profession had to have expected some spooky legal proceedings to occur this week. It seems that Lori Sforza, a witch priestess from Salem, has been granted a protective order against a well-known warlock. [Associated Press]
* Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would like to remove marijuana from the list of dangerous controlled substances that are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which would free up states to legalize it on their own terms. Stoners are really feeling the “Bern” now, in more ways than one. [Washington Post]
* Four federal lawyers spent weeks nailing down the legalities behind the killing of Osama bin Laden, and they weren’t allowed to ask Attorney General Eric Holder for help for fear of leaks to the press. They even had to do the legal research themselves! [New York Times]
* According to a new report by the National Association of Women Lawyers, there’s been no “appreciable progress” made for women in the nation’s largest law firms since at least 2006. This is extremely disheartening. Please do better, Biglaw. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* You know Walgreens is buying Rite Aid for $9.4B, but you might not have known which law firms were prescribing advice in the mega pharmacy merger. Skadden, Jones Day, Simpson Thacher, and Weil Gotshal got billable scripts. [DealBook / New York Times]
He missed a ton of classes in his last year of law school, but it all turned out okay for him in the end.
Stay tuned for a possible influx of more cold, hard cash in your paychecks, U.S. associates. Be sure to check the UPDATE to this report.
* Chris Christie argued passionately about national security with Rand Paul, noting that he was appointed a U.S. Attorney the very day before 9/11. Except, you know, he wasn’t and is completely lying. [Empty Wheel]
* Choose the right firm for you… with the help of these Legos. [The Careerist / The American Lawyer]
* A bipartisan bill hopes to replace loan default rates with a repayment metric. [Insider Higher Ed]
* The most predictable prison escape ever. [Lowering the Bar]
* John McAfee’s new security update includes a handgun — which he was arrested for carrying while high on Xanax after a “shootout” with police. He explains the whole thing on Facebook. [Gawker]
* Liberty Law has a new dean. [News & Advance]
* Pretty sure Key & Peele read the Elonis decision. [Key & Peele / Comedy Central]
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* Her dad’s the ringleader, he calls the shots; she’s like a firecracker, she makes it hot: Since “everything is working perfectly” under pop star Britney Spears’s conservatorship — which has been in effect for the past seven years — it’ll likely stay that way indefinitely. [Us Weekly]
* Well, that was fun while it lasted. The ABA did away with its year-old LSAT exemption rule in record time. Law schools will only have until 2017 to lard up classes with students who haven’t taken the exam. Good luck and Godspeed. [National Law Journal via TaxProf Blog]
* Simpson Thacher isn’t the only Biglaw firm that allegedly blew it when it came to turning hundreds of General Motors’ secured creditors into unsecured creditors. Mayer Brown is also facing twin class-action suits for this $1.5 billion boo-boo. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Good news, everyone! The ABA approved a merger between Rutgers Law-Camden and Rutgers Law-Newark, and we’re going to look at this in a positive light because theoretically speaking, there’s now one less law school out there. [MyCentralJersey.com]
* “Are Law Schools Skewing Job Placement Numbers?” In a word, yes. Not to be a complete
pessimistrealist, but come on, you know most school-funded positions exist solely to prop up any given law school’s less-than-pleasing job statistics. [Bloomberg]
* When you’ve taken the lives of so many, no one cares about your sad life story. A Colorado jury inched closer to inflicting the death penalty upon convicted movie theater shooter James Holmes in the second phase of his trial’s penalty portion. [New York Times]