* The Eighth Circuit axed a $900K jury award after a lawyer recounted her tale of sexual harassment by a law professor at Drake University Law during closing arguments. Well, that sucks, but we’d really love to know which professor this was. [ABA Journal]
* If flat is the new up, then mergers must be the new growth. The new year is upon us, and law firms are on track to either meet or break the merger record set in 2013. Thus far, 22 firms have announced mergers or acquisitions in 2014. [Washington Post]
* A lawyer in Minnesota who’s been in trouble with the bar quite a few times was recently charged with setting his girlfriend on fire. Yikes, someone’s way too excited about the Fargo mini-series. [Star-Tribune]
* Oscar Pistorius took the stand in his murder trial yesterday, revealing that when he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he was really trying to protect her. This case gives us the sads. [New York Times]
* Sorry we’re not sorry about the toupee: Paramount wants this Wolf of Wall Street suit dismissed since it’s undeniable the plaintiff was part of “bizarre travesty that was Stratton Oakmont.” [Hollywood Reporter]
The adage that law turns slowly does not hold in eDiscovery. This year saw unprecedented sanction awards for falling behind the curve. Courts did not hesitate to engage with advanced and nuanced technological issues. For lawyers and other eDiscovery professionals who plan on maintaining basic competence, these cases and trends shouldn’t be overlooked. For a full exploration of trends and developments in this area of case law, check out this on-demand webinar.
* Dentons still has the urge to merge with a U.S. firm, and now it’s trying to tempt Patton Boggs away from Squire Sanders with a “serious overture.” Bow chika bow wow. [The Lawyer]
* Despite all the outrage over Albany Law’s faculty buyouts, some have already accepted the package offered. Looks like anything’s possible for the right price. [Albany Business Review]
* Guess which law school is cutting tuition by a whole lot? Some hints: it’s in New York and it’s been selling off real estate. We’ll have more on this later. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* Perhaps this could be considered a gift of provisional accreditation: Alberto Gonzales, U.S. Attorney General in President George W. Bush’s administration, is now dean at Belmont Law. [The Tennessean]
* Take a look at this new paper by Professors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld on race and culture in law school admissions. Actually, it’s fake, but it’s sad that it could, in theory, be very real. [Washington Post]
* Zac Efron is going to star as a Yale Law grad forced by criminals to work in the world’s largest Biglaw firm in a film adaptation of John Grisham’s book, The Associate. OMG, he’s so cute. [Hollywood Reporter]
* Our thoughts go out to the families of those wounded and killed during the Fort Hood shooting. [AP]
* Scared of an audit, were we? With the unsealing of the case against Dewey’s former finance director comes greater insight into what was really going on behind the scenes at the failed firm. [DealBook / New York Times]
* The American Bar Association is willing pay up to $15,000 to organizations that match unemployed law grads with jobs to serve the legal needs of the poor. So, how much do the poor law grads get paid? [National Law Journal]
* Tenure may be “under fire,” but law professors are fighting back — and hard — because law school deans seem unwilling to speak up on their behalf. Let’s face facts though, tenure isn’t going anywhere. [Forbes]
* It figures one of the faces of America’s $1 trillion of outstanding student loan debt is a lawyer. Hey, heavily indebted lawyers make great headlines and even better first paragraphs. [Big Story / Associated Press]
* Jordan Graham, the newlywed who pushed her husband of eight days off a cliff, was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Protip: an annulment would’ve been a better option than second-degree murder. [CNN]
Things can get crazy pretty quickly when law professors at Top 50 law schools get attacked during class.
* The federal judiciary is hiring for staff and public defender positions lost during the government’s sequestration throughout the better part of last year. Ready, aim, fire those résumés! [Legal Times]
* New York Biglaw firms always manage to find their way to the top of the Am Law 100 rankings. When all’s said and done, being so close to Wall Street definitely has its perks. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
* Absolutely no one should be alarmed about the fact that Kasowitz Benson’s profits per partner have dropped by 15 percent — well, no one but the equity partners, that is. Have fun with that. [Am Law Daily]
* The managing partner of Jacoby & Meyers is worried people will think his personal injury firm is going under, not Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy. Either way, those commercials won’t die. [New York Law Journal]
* A professor at George Mason University Law was pepper sprayed IN THE FAAAAAACE by an unknown assailant in his classroom yesterday afternoon. We’ll obvious have more on this story later. [ARLNow]
* La Verne is the first law school to offer flat-rate tuition. There will be no scholarships and no discounts. Students will pay $25K/year, nothing more, nothing less. This is, dare we say, wise. [National Law Journal]
* “Passion over pension.” Mekka Don, the Weil Gotshal corporate lit attorney turned rapper, just released his first CD, and it’s all about leaving Biglaw to follow his dreams. Go buy it here (affiliate link). [MTV]
Which law school is asking some of its faculty members to quit for the greater good?
* Justice Ginsburg was a hottie back in the day (as well as a cheerleader, aka a “Twirler”). [Josh Blackman’s Blog]
* “When a Juror Calls You a Motherf*cker” (or, how not to get out of jury duty). [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]
* Professor Edward Morrison returns to Columbia Law, after a very short stint at U. Chicago — maybe he missed his fabulous Lawyerly Lair in Manhattan? [Columbia Law School]
* Speaking of CLS faculty members with multimillion-dollar townhouses, congratulations to Sarah Cleveland on her nomination to serve as an independent expert on the Human Rights Committee. [Columbia Law School]
* After getting a cease-and-desist letter, this Maine bakery renamed the controversial treat “C&D” — well played, Little Bigs Bakery, well played. [WMTV.com]
* In the wake of the latest “no cleavage” memo, which made the pages of the New York Daily News, Amanda Hess conducts a comprehensive survey of this odious genre. [Slate]
* Social media isn’t a panacea, but it can be important and useful, and lawyers should use it responsibly — so check out these new Social Media Ethics Guidelines for Attorneys. [New York State Bar Association]
Take our quiz and test your knowledge of one of the most crucial aspects of legal tech: Ediscovery.
Which school is decimating its law professor headcount this time?
Law professor smacks down law professor so I don’t have to.
Thinking outside the box of “three years of classes” vs. “moar clinics.”
Which law school is politely pushing its older faculty members out the door this time?
* Justice Elena Kagan is looking forward to hunting a new kind of game next year with Justice Antonin Scalia. Gobble gobble, bitches. They’re going after wild turkeys, and not the whiskey. [Legal Times]
* If you’ve been wondering why Morrison & Foerster is referred to as MoFo, the backstory isn’t as cool as we were led to believe. It was the firm’s teletype address. [Capital Business / Washington Post]
* Don’t worry, law profs, your precious tenure protections aren’t going anywhere yet. The ABA has officially given up on its quest to remove tenure as an accreditation requirement. [National Law Journal]
* Nicholas Spaeth, the former state attorney general of North Dakota who sued a slew of law schools for age discrimination after being passed over for a job after AALS, was found dead yesterday. RIP. [Inforum]
* If you’ve been waitlisted, send a letter of continuing interest. Convince them you’ll be employed within 10 months of graduation, and watch the acceptance letters roll on in. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
3rd Circuit, Deaths, Department of Justice, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Immigration, Judicial Nominations, Law Professors, Law Schools, Minority Issues, Morning Docket, Racism, SCOTUS, Securities Law, Supreme Court, Video games, Violence
* Foreclosure attorney Bruce Richardson alleges that Hogan Lovells partner David Dunn hit him with a briefcase in front of a court officer. That’s how they roll in state court. (Expect more on this later.) [New York Daily News; New York Post]
* From cop killer to nomination killer: Mumia’s the word that stopped Debo Adegbile’s nomination to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. [Washington Post]
* In happier nomination news, congratulations to former Breyer clerk Vince Chhabria, as well as to Beth Freeman and James Donato, on getting confirmed to the federal bench for the Northern District of California. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* It’s been a good week for amicus briefs. Congrats to Professors Adam Pritchard and Todd Henderson for getting the attention — and perhaps the votes — of several SCOTUS justices. [New York Times]
* How a Cornell law student got her father to foot the bill for half of her pricey legal education. [ATL Redline]
* As I predicted, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in United States v. Maloney didn’t sweep the alleged prosecutorial misconduct under the rug by granting the government motion without comment. [The Atlantic]
* RACEISM™ alert: federal prosecutors allege that deputies to a North Carolina sheriff accused of racial profiling of Latinos shared links to a violent and racist video game. [Raleigh News & Observer]
* Speaking of mistreatment of Latinos, a recent Third Circuit decision spells good news for some immigrant communities. [Allentown Morning Call]
* Sarah Tran, the law professor who taught class from her hospital bed, RIP. [Give Forward]