Morning Docket

  • RBG

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.29.14

    * As the year winds down to a close, we take a look back at the amazing time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had. From her Hobby Lobby dissent to her subtle New Republic shade, the Notorious RBG’s 2014 was better than yours. [Bustle]

    * When you’ve allegedly been driving drunk after a holiday party and have gotten into an accident, one of the things you say to the police upon your arrest should not be, “Come on, I’m a judge” — especially if you are one. [New York Post]

    * After advising on 221 deals worth about $511 billion, Skadden Arps was the top dog in the M&A game in 2014. While taking a break from rolling around in money, the firm’s managing partner was heard thanking inversions. [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]

    * Although we haven’t heard what’s going on with associate bonuses at this firm, Wiley Rein bought itself a bonus subsidiary. Last week, the firm finalized its purchase of lobbying and communications group McBee Strategic. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * While many law schools found their student enrollments getting smaller due to forces of nature in 2014, the University of Mississippi School of Law claims it decreased its class sizes intentionally. Oh, the places you’ll go! [Clarion Ledger]

    30 Comments / / Dec 29, 2014 at 9:03 AM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.24.14

    * The Thomas M. Cooley Law School is planning to sell one of its academic buildings for an asking price of $8.15 million. Dear Lord, the school will lose some of its library square footage. NOOOOOOOOO! [Lansing State Journal]

    * Contrary to his client’s hit anthem, Pharrell’s lawyer isn’t happy. He says YouTube has been “blithely” ignoring his requests to take down music for which it lacks performance rights, and it may result in a $1B lawsuit. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * Clifford Sloan, the State Department’s special envoy on Guantánamo Bay, appointed in 2013 to help shut down the detention center, is returning to the loving arms of Skadden’s partnership on January 1, 2015. Gitmo is still open. Oops. [Am Law Daily]

    * After 30 years, the Food and Drug Administration decided to lift its lifetime ban on blood donation for gay men. Now gay men just have to abstain from doing gay things for a year — like having sex with other men — to donate blood. Yay? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * If you’ve been wondering what the most ridiculous lawsuits of 2014 are, we’ve got you covered. These are the top 10 most absurd cases filed over the course of the past year. You may remember some of these from our coverage. [Faces of Lawsuit Abuse]

    11 Comments / / Dec 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • christmas-coal

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.23.14

    * “Instead of ordering the Marshal to permit a desegregated Christmas party at the Court, the Court hosted no party at all.” Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in his diary of the SCOTUS Christmas party that never was due to the high court’s unspoken racism. [Supreme Court Brief]

    * We know of at least one lawyer who may be receiving a lump of coal in her stocking. A former partner of two major New York City firms allegedly stole millions of dollars from them to live a life of luxury. We’ll have more on this later today. [Bergen Record]

    * Since “interest in law schools [is] dwindl[ing] nationally,” the easiest cost-cutting measure comes in the form of faculty buyouts at another school. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game, law professors. It’s a “necessary” evil these days. [The Advocate]

    * President Obama is going to nominate Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, for the position of deputy attorney general. If confirmed, there’ll be two women at the top of the DOJ. Yay! [Miami Herald]

    * Guess who just got promoted to partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner? It’s none other than Joshua Schiller, the son of the firm’s cofounder and managing partner. Aww. That’s the most precious thing ever. We just want to pinch his cheeks. [Am Law Daily]

    * Before you submit your law school applications, you should probably make sure that you’ve read and followed all of the instructions, because just in case you forgot, you’re applying to follow instructions for a living. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    40 Comments / / Dec 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM
  • David Schwimmer

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.22.14

    * Florida Judge Cynthia Imperato was “devastated” after a jury found her guilty of DUI and reckless driving charges, but we imagine the judge may be more devastated by the fact that she’s a sitting judge who’s been sentenced to 20 days of house arrest. [Florida Sun Sentinel]

    * David Schwimmer, best known for his role as Ross on Friends, has been cast as lawyer Robert Kardashian in an O.J. Simpson true crime television miniseries. He surely knows it’ll take a lot of “unagi” to play the role just right. [Rolling Stone]

    * If you have to debt finance your J.D., you’re going to in for a rude awakening when you graduate and the loans start coming due. FYI, “lot[s] of graduates [are] buried in private student loan debt with not enough income to repay it.” [Forbes]

    * The parents of James Holmes, who’s better known as the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre, have begged for him to be spared the death penalty ahead of his trial, but prosecutors say that in this case, “justice is death.” [Denver Post]

    * When it comes to Russia, “[a] lot of firms are thinking about pulling out.” That’s what she would’ve said if she were a managing partner. Biglaw firms that have been rocked by the ruble’s ruin are telling lawyers to leave before they’re laid off. [Am Law Daily]

    * Binder & Binder, the National Social Security Disability Advocates® whose late-night TV commercials you’ve grown to love, has filed for bankruptcy. The firm’s headcount will likely drop by more than half because of this. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]

    26 Comments / / Dec 22, 2014 at 9:11 AM
  • Police crime scene

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.19.14

    * A third-year student from the Louisiana State University Law Center was indicted for allegedly raping one woman and allegedly sexually assaulting and attempting to rape another. He’s currently free on bail under GPS monitoring supervision. [The Advocate]

    * Here’s some news you can potentially use (with extreme caution): you may be able to give a law firm partner the finger and still be eligible to receive unemployment benefits after you’ve been fired for flipping the bird. [Madison St. Clair Record]

    * Ever go to law school? Ever go to law school… on weed? Lots of law schools are adding courses related to marijuana law to their curricula because “[f]or most students, this is an inherently interesting topic.” Yessir, it is. [National Law Journal]

    * Hmm, this advice article says you should evaluate your GPA and LSAT score to determine which law schools to apply to, but we know the only real qualification is a pulse. This is confusing. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * The Federal Communications Commission renewed a radio license for a station owned by Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder, despite the fact that the agency’s chairman previously called the team name “offensive and derogatory.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    16 Comments / / Dec 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM
  • Uhh... thanks for the bonus?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.18.14

    * Many Biglaw firms seem to be dragging their feet to match Davis Polk’s generous bonus scale. Why’s that? According to one partner, these bonus matches have cut into his firm’s profits by about 4 percent. Yikes! [The Economist]

    * Total 1L enrollment in law school is the lowest it’s been since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools. The next step would be to reduce tuition to 1973 levels, and then no one would have any more complaints. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Just because Bingham McCutchen bit the big one, it doesn’t mean that all of its pro bono cases will have to suffer the same fate. Not only did Morgan Lewis rescue most of the firm’s attorneys, but it’s also saving 500 of its pro bono cases. [Am Law Daily]

    * Now that President Obama has decided to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, lawyers are champing at the bit for more business opportunities. Love Cuban cigars? Well, lawyers love trademark disputes involving those cigars. [National Law Journal]

    * Greenberg Traurig reminds Florida clerks that if they issue gay marriage licenses, they could be criminally charged. Plaintiffs’ attorneys remind Florida clerks that if they refuse to issue gay marriage licenses, they could be sued. [Tampa Bay Times]

    * Our managing editor, David Lat, sat down with Vivia Chen to dish about some of his favorite things, from his new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), to his new fiancé. Her book review: “I liked it! It’s a fun, breezy read.” Hooray! [The Careerist]

    15 Comments / / Dec 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.17.14

    * Law school enrollment continues its death spiral for the fourth year in a row, with enrollment down about 28 percent since 2010. Some schools — about 25 of them — have reported enrollment dips of more than 20 percent. Celebrate good times, come on! [National Law Journal]

    * Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the queen and king of rap royalty, have been sued over a sample that was allegedly used in their hit song, “Drunk in Love.” When asked for comment on the suit, our bae Bey kept it short and sweet: “Bow down, bitches.” [A.V. Club]

    * Yoohoo, SCOTUS, pay attention to this one: The first federal judge has weighed in on President Obama’s executive order on immigration, and in a four-page takedown, found it unconstitutional and “beyond prosecutorial discretion.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Katrina Dawson, an Australian lawyer who worked at Eight Selborne Chambers, was killed during the Sydney terrorist siege earlier this week. She reportedly died in an attempt to save a pregnant law firm colleague from a hail of gunfire. [Am Law Daily]

    * Lawyers and law students dressed in suits hosted a “die-in” in the pouring rain outside of a courthouse in downtown L.A. yesterday. Professor Priscilla Ocen of Loyola Law made some great points on a bullhorn. [L.A. Now / Los Angeles Times]

    33 Comments / / Dec 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • Justice Antonin Scalia

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.16.14

    * “If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job. You shouldn’t be an appellate judge.” You’ve really got to admit that sometimes, Justice Scalia has an absolutely wonderful way of putting things. [Associated Press]

    * David Boies sent everyone and their mother and their dog a letter asking them to destroy all docs leaked from the Sony hack, lest they face legal consequences, but there’s just one problem with that pesky First Amendment. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The law students who requested exam delays due to unfair grand jury decisions claim they’re not “coddled Millennials” — no, they’re members of the new regime of lawyers who are willing to ask, “If not us, then who?” [National Law Journal]

    * Please keep in mind that these students are likely the same ones who may be missing out about learning the intricacies of rape law because they want their professors to “protect them from causing or experiencing discomfort.” [New Yorker]

    * Well, this is an interesting round of musical chairs: Vice Media just poached James H. Schwab, the chairman of the media and entertainment practice group at Paul Weiss, to join the company as co-president. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Undergrad students at Boston University are trotting out the latest edition of the school’s pre-law review. Feast your eyes upon the genius of future gunners, or don’t, because it’ll help them learn early that no one actually reads law reviews. [BU Today]

    20 Comments / / Dec 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • gradenfreude

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.15.14

    * Thanks to a former Skadden attorney’s failed attempt to kill himself, police were able to retrieve a suicide note — entitled “A Sad Ending to My Life” — that revealed the lawyer’s $5M Ponzi scheme. We may have more on this later. [Am Law Daily]

    * “I’m not one who believes there are too many lawyers in the country,” says Dean Thomas Guernsey of Thomas Jefferson Law. Conveniently, only 29% of TJSL’s ’13 grads are working in full-time, long-term jobs as lawyers. Kudos! [U-T San Diego]

    * The government just paid the least amount of money to legal services contractors since 2008. As far as Biglaw firms are concerned, Curtis Mallet-Prevost posted “significant losses,” receiving $2M less than it did in 2013. [National Law Journal]

    * Because not everyone wears gas masks, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to keep police from using tear gas on peaceful protestors in Ferguson without first issuing “clear and unambiguous warnings.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Ladies and gentlemen, this is the main event of the evening! IT’S TIME! FIGHTING out of the blue corner, angry UFC combatants who are planning to use “renowned” antitrust firms to secure “hundreds of millions of dollars”! [Bloody Elbow / SB Nation]

    16 Comments / / Dec 15, 2014 at 9:03 AM
  • 428px-Jonathan_G_Meath_portrays_Santa_Claus

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.12.14

    * Waiting for bar exam results can be super stressful, and now there’s a scientific study to prove it. The psychologists who conducted the study chose would-be lawyers as subjects since there’s a long waiting period for exam results. Protip: they should’ve chosen the waiting period between graduation and finding a job. [National Law Journal]

    * You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: SantaCon hired a lawyer to come to town. All those protesting the annual event will get a lump of coal in their stockings from hundreds of drunk Santas. [NJ.com]

    * “We’re quite pessimistic. The operational, legal and political challenges here are immense.” If — or perhaps more likely, when — SCOTUS abolishes Obamacare’s federal tax credits, the law will spin into a “dreaded death spiral.” [Talking Points Memo]

    * Per the latest Citi Private Bank report, the legal market seems to be stabilizing. Yay! Litigators might cry, though, because transactional law is on the rise, and litigation is on the decline (and may be through 2016 and beyond). Oh no, boo! [Am Law Daily]

    * Call your bookie, because Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA (who just so happens to be a former litigation associate from Cravath), would like everyone to know that he thinks sports betting should legalized. [DealBook / New York Times]

    15 Comments / / Dec 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM
  • merger law firm merger

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.11.14

    * According to the results of the latest Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group survey, law firm managing partners are slowly but surely growing more confident with how the legal industry is turning out as time goes by. Hooray! [Am Law Daily]

    * For what it’s worth, Ben Edelman’s threatening emails to Sichuan Garden weren’t his first time at the rodeo of douchebaggery. A few years back, the Harvard-educated lawyer sent similar emails to a sushi restaurant. Fun times. [Boston.com]

    * The American Bar Association would like to know what you think the most successful law firm merger in history is. There are so many fantastic failures to rule out, but so few true triumphs in comparison. What’re your thoughts? [ABA Journal]

    * The Senate has delayed the confirmation of Michelle Lee as the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until next year. Thus far, Lee’s would-be position has been open for almost two years. Wow, way to go, slowpokes. [Corporate Counsel]

    * Started from the bottom now we’re here: this lawyer started out in the records department of his firm, and now, after 15 years of working there as an employee, he’s going to become a partner. Congratulations, dude! [Tex Parte Blog / Texas Lawyer]

    * There are 3 types of logic games on the LSAT, and more power to you if you’re able to whiz your way through them. If you suck at logic games, learn how to conquer the mathiest part of the test. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    32 Comments / / Dec 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM
  • chinese food takeout

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.10.14

    * We know all about the ridiculous lawyer with three Harvard degrees who is apparently considering suing a mom-and-pop Chinese restaurant over a $4 overcharge. We’ll have more on this absolute absurdity later. [Boston.com]

    * An English court ruled that a girl with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder couldn’t be awarded damages against her mother because the harm occurred in utero. Remember folks, the unborn aren’t people, only corporations are. [Daily Beast]

    * A Foley & Lardner IP partner may be facing sanctions for a rather unorthodox petition for a writ of certiorari that he submitted to the Supreme Court. [Legal Times]

    * Someone at Harvard Law taped fliers containing the last words of unarmed African-Americans who shot by police over portraits of their law professors. [ABC News]

    * Per a recent study, the vast majority of law students have suffered from some sort of mental health issue while in law school. This isn’t at all shocking. [Yale Daily News]

    18 Comments / / Dec 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM
  • ArrowGoingDown-300x294

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.09.14

    * Whoa, the American Bar Association shockingly deferred action on giving InfiLaw its blessing on the takeover of Charleston Law. Perhaps the ABA is turning over a new leaf as to saving law schools? [National Law Journal]

    * Nevermind. The American Bar Association decided to grant provisional accreditation to the beleaguered LMU Duncan School of Law. Perhaps the ABA’s new slogan should be, “Accredit all the law schools!” [Claiborne Progress]

    * Like it or not, despite their financial constraints, it’s likely that many law schools will never close, no matter how terrible they are — so as long as ABA regulation remains lax and the government keeps feeding students loan dollars to attend. [Daily Caller]

    * If you read one piece of long-form journalism today, let it be this special report on the Supreme Court’s “echo chamber,” perhaps better known as the elite members of the SCOTUS bar who hoard all of the cases on the docket for themselves. [Reuters]

    * In other law school-related news, fewer law school graduates are passing the California bar exam. California’s pass rate for the July exam was just 48.6%, and it’s been almost a decade since the pass rate was that low. Ouch! [Los Angeles Times]

    15 Comments / / Dec 9, 2014 at 9:00 AM
  • Mark Wahlberg

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.08.14

    * A student at Barry Law claims someone stole her phone and used it to call an African-American blogger an N-word on Instagram. We’ll have more on this believable story later. [Miami Herald]

    * Mark Wahlberg wants to be pardoned for a crime committed before he was known as Marky Mark. He should also consider asking to be pardoned for The Happening and Planet of the Apes. [CNN]

    * The job market was flat last month, and in 2014, the legal sector lost 3,000 jobs. Don’t worry, you’ll get a job eventually, per the hopes and prayers of your career services employees. [Am Law Daily]

    * Shine bright like A. Diamond: Howrey’s bankruptcy trustee says he’ll have a confirmed creditor-repayment plan “well before” the end of next year. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * iF*ckedUp? The last named plaintiff in the Apple iPod class action may not have bought an iPod during the time period at issue in the suit. [Bits / New York Times]

    * We suppose that with new tech comes new logos, because Covington & Burling is dropping the “& Burling” for global branding purposes. [National Law Journal]

    * David Lat, ATL’s founder and managing editor, doesn’t “think [he’s] defamed anyone” in his book, Supreme Ambitions (aff. link). Yay! We’ll have more on this later. [New York Times]

    25 Comments / / Dec 8, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • Loretta Lynch

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.05.14

    * A former Cleary Gottlieb associate will be a very rich man after The Lending Club, the company he founded post-Biglaw, completes its IPO. [American Lawyer]

    * Marriage equality won’t arrive in Mississippi just yet. [How Appealing]

    * The federal civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner could complicate Loretta Lynch’s nomination to serve as attorney general. [New York Times]

    * In other news about excessive use of force by police, the U.S. Department of Justice just blasted Cleveland’s department for abysmal record-keeping about such incidents. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

    * And what does possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton think about police abuses? [New York Times]

    * Non-random appellate panels in the federal courts are far more common than you might think, reports Alison Frankel. [Reuters via How Appealing]

    * A smart and thoughtful review by Rosemarie Yu of my new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). [New York Law Journal]

    * Eugene Ingoglia, one of the S.D.N.Y. prosecutors who helped send Harvard Law cheater Mathew Martoma to prison, will be joining Morvillo LLP as a partner. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Former federal government lawyer Michael Richter: “It’s Not Top-Secret If You Can Google It.” [Wall Street Journal]

    * Congratulations to eBrevia, a legal technology company we’ve previously profiled, on raising $1.5 million in seed funding. [Law Technology News]

    18 Comments / / Dec 5, 2014 at 9:15 AM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.04.14

    * “[I]t’s hard to find anybody as handsome as Antonin Scalia.” Some would beg to differ, but as it turns out, legal scholar Bryan Garner can brown-nose with the best of them. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For the third year in a row, Cooley Law graduates have mostly failed the July administration of the Michigan bar. So much for it being a “highly prestigious” law school. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

    * In a lawsuit filed against real estate database Zillow, a former employee claims she was subjected to the “most heinous acts of sexual harassment imaginable” and “sexual torture.” That’s just lovely. [LAist]

    * Law firm merger activity is still going strong as 2014 winds down to a close. Aside from big-name tie-ups like Bingham / Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord / Edwards Wildman, other firms like Verill Dana also had the urge to merge. [Am Law Daily]

    * “Does it really surprise me? Not all that much.” University of Memphis School of Law students are on high alert during finals time after one of their own was almost robbed at gunpoint across the street from campus this week. Yikes. [WMC Action News 5]

    * In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Above the Law’s managing editor, David Lat, wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and it’s been receiving rave reviews. If you dig clerkship lit, you should try to check it out. [National Law Journal]

    12 Comments / / Dec 4, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • pretty pot

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.03.14

    * Everyone’s “BFF” Anthony Elonis, of the Elonis v. U.S. case that’s currently before the Supreme Court, is facing additional scrutiny over a snarky note he sent to an ADA last year about burning a cross on the prosecutor’s lawn. Wow, he sounds like really a “fun” guy. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * I was gonna go to class, but then I got high: DU Law is teaching a class about how to sell lots and lots of weed. Just kidding. According to the professor, the class is actually about the legal issues that come up when selling lots and lots of weed. [Cannabist]

    * The HRC’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index is out, and noticeably absent from the list of Biglaw honorees is Boies Schiller. We suppose the firm forgot one of its name partners is helping to overturn gay-marriage bans across the country. [Am Law Daily]

    * The University of Iowa College of Law is asking — nay, begging — the Supreme Court to block a retrial of Teresa Wagner’s claims of political bias discrimination. This is just one of the things law schools will do to keep their faculties liberal. [Associated Press]

    * From Yale to Wayne State, law students are getting involved in protests to spread the word about social injustice in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. If you have a problem with this, someone from NYU might too. [National Law Journal]

    * Winter break is the perfect time for undergraduate students to start working on their law school applications, but we’re more than willing to bet the future gunners out there have already sent all of theirs in. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    31 Comments / / Dec 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM
  • ArrowGoingDown

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.02.14

    * White & Case just named its youngest partner ever — in fact, he’s the youngest partner out of every international Biglaw firm in London. Joshua Siaw is just 30 years old, and he’ll be rolling around in money with the best of them. [Forbes]

    * OMG, you guys, due to precipitous drops in applications, it’s a buyers market out there for law students, and the New York Times is ON IT! Thanks for shedding light on this new info no one’s heard about before. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Quack quack: Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan are heading to the Mississippi delta to exercise their Second Amendment rights and go duck hunting. They’ll also be making a stop at Ole Miss Law to discuss constitutional issues. [National Law Journal]

    * Concordia School of Law will not be accredited by the American Bar Association before its first class graduates, meaning that no one in the class of 2015 will be able to take the bar exam this summer. Gah, what a gigantic waste of money. [KIVI FOX9]

    * If you go to law school, you may be able to start a career in government when you graduate. You can look forward to all sorts of exciting experiences, from a smaller paycheck than your classmates to no paycheck at all. [U.S. News & World Report]

    24 Comments / / Dec 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

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