Morning Docket

  • Bob McCulloch

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.09.15

    * Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor who handled (mishandled?) the Michael Brown / Darren Wilson case in Ferguson, Missouri, was recently named as “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. This probably wasn’t a good idea. [Slate]

    * American Apparel filed for bankruptcy, and rather than Biglaw firms representing the embattled clothier, they’re trying to snatch up fees. Skadden, White & Case, and Paul Hastings are each owed quite the pretty penny. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Which law school dean was just named as senior counsel at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world? That would be Nicholas Allard of Brooklyn Law School. Perhaps this law dean’s academic cash flow wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

    * “Unless the industry cleans itself up, we can expect more lawsuits like this in the future.” In an interesting turn of events, the marijuana industry is now seeing its first product liability suit. A protip for growers: No one wants to smoke fungicide. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Just when you thought patent trolls couldn’t get any worse, they started to harass members of the fashion industry. Copyright trolls (i.e., Stephen Doniger and Scott Alan Burroughs) are suing over textile prints left and right, and that’s so last season. [Fortune]

    64 Comments / / Oct 9, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • fighting gloves

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.08.15

    * Remember the judge who challenged a public defender to a fistfight in court? He was suspended by the Florida Supreme Court, and has 20 days to explain why he should keep his job. With all due respect, your great right hook isn’t a good enough reason, Your Honor. [Florida Today]

    * Screw the historic SCOTUS decision, because this Alabama probate judge really doesn’t want to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In fact, he doesn’t think any judges in the state should have to do so. He wants the federal government to issue them instead. []

    * In the wake of the latest daily fantasy sports scandal involving DraftKings, FanDuel has hired the kind of legal representation that you’d want on your team for a Hail Mary play. Hut! Hut! Hike! Time to suit up, Debevoise and Kirkland. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * The University of Chicago Law School has a new dean. We’d like to wish a warm welcome to Thomas Miles, a “rookie dean” who likely has enough prestige points under his belt to lead one of the best law schools in the nation with great ease. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * Today is the 25th Annual National Depression Screening Day, so if you’re a lawyer or a law student who’s feeling anxious or depressed, please feel free to take an anonymous online screening quiz. There are people and programs who can help you. [Am Law Daily]

    17 Comments / / Oct 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Dewey LeBoeuf original sign New York

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.07.15

    * Dewey know what Justice Robert Stolz will do now that the jury has declared itself deadlocked on most charges? Tune in later today. [American Lawyer]

    * A case brought by law student turned privacy activist Max Schrems has triggered a European court ruling that Facebook won’t “like.” [How Appealing]

    * King & Spalding associate Ethan Davis talks about how he prepared for his argument yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court. [National Law Journal]

    * Thanks to sentencing reform, the Justice Department will release about 6,000 inmates from prison starting later this month. [New York Times]

    * Speaking of the DOJ, BP will settle Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims with the feds for a whopping $20 billion. [ABA Journal]

    * Elsewhere in news of embattled companies, Volkswagen is turning to Mayer Brown for help in dealing with the emissions scandal that stinks to high heaven. [American Lawyer]

    * 50 Cent’s malpractice suit against his ex-lawyers seeks 7.5 billion cents. [Law360]

    * When legal recruiters sue each other, things can get ugly — fast. [American Lawyer]

    16 Comments / / Oct 7, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Kim Davis

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.06.15

    * While we’re loath to continue giving this woman airtime, it turns out that infamous Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’s law firm, Liberty Counsel, was recently declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This fits the overall narrative here quite nicely, don’t you think? [Salon]

    * After 12 days of deliberation, the jury in the criminal trial of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former execs has shown no signs of reaching a verdict, but instead, signs of exhaustion. In fact, one juror needed medical attention because she deliberated too hard. [Am Law Daily]

    * This seems to be a common phrase lately: law firm mergers are breaking records again. Altman Weil says more firms announced mergers in the first three quarters of 2015 than in the first three quarters of any year in almost a decade. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * “I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.” Thanks to Governor Jerry Brown, California is now the fifth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The End of Life Option Act will take effect sometime in 2016. [Los Angeles Times]

    * If you’re an undergraduate student who’s planning to go to law school, then you better be building relevant lawyering skills. Master the art of bullsh*tting before you graduate and you’ll be ahead of the game. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    105 Comments / / Oct 6, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Supreme Court SCOTUS photo by David Lat

    Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 10.05.15

    * Today’s the first Monday in October, and we all know what that means. The Supreme Court starts its Term as disapproval of its work reaches a new high for recent years. [Gallup via How Appealing]

    * And here’s Adam Liptak’s excellent overview of the new Supreme Court Term, so you can sound smart at cocktail parties this month. [New York Times]

    * In other SCOTUS news, Senator Bob Menendez is fighting the bribery charges against him by relying upon a high court decision he once condemned — can you guess which one? [The Record How Appealing]

    * Which presidential candidates get the most in campaign contributions from Silicon Valley lawyers? The second-place finisher might surprise you. [The Recorder]

    * Elsewhere in presidential politics, Hillary Clinton will announce new gun-control proposals later today. [New York Times]

    * Don’t rush off to law school just yet, but the legal sector did gain a few thousand jobs last month, layoffs notwithstanding. [American Lawyer]

    * Dewey have any idea of when this jury will reach a verdict? [Law360]

    * Super-mediator Kenneth Feinberg’s latest challenge: pension reform. [National Law Journal]

    42 Comments / / Oct 5, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Hillary Clinton RF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.02.15

    * Not everyone can lead a glamorous life before going to law school. Take, for example, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. After graduating from college, she traveled to Alaska where she gutted fish with some “gentlemen from Japan.” Eww, that sounds… slimy. [JD Journal]

    * Law schools have been forced to hike up a rocky road in terms of admissions for quite some time, but admissions officers recently decided to put on their rose-colored glasses. Everything will be okay next year! Things are looking up! [Inside Counsel]

    * Corrales Municipal Judge Luis Quintana of New Mexico may have been disbarred, but he has no plans to resign from his position on the bench; after all, municipal judges in his state don’t have to be lawyers. How terribly convenient for him. [Albuquerque Journal]

    * Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is now facing additional charges — including a new perjury charge — related to her grand jury testimony. She better find a way to blame this on her evil twin, because this doesn’t look good. [Times-Tribune]

    * Warren Watson, a man who was convicted of robbing, raping, and murdering 66-year-old attorney Claudia Miller in her office in 2013, was recently sentenced to life in prison, plus 334 years on top of that for all of his dastardly deeds. [Denver Post]

    37 Comments / / Oct 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Kim Davis

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.01.15

    * Vatican officials confirmed — or rather, didn’t deny — that Pope Francis did, in fact, have a secret meeting with infamous Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Hmm, apparently all it takes is denying people their newfound civil rights to get an audience with the Pope. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The ABA Accreditation Committee will recommend that the ABA approve the merger between Hamline and William Mitchell. The merger byproduct could be operational in 2016 if all goes well. Is this something we should be excited about? [Hamline University]

    * On the ninth day of deliberations in the criminal trial of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former executives, jurors were still unable to come to a consensus, and one juror mentioned she’d have to leave early on October 9. Oy vey! Dewey think this jury is hung? [Am Law Daily]

    * Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stayed the execution of Richard Glossip — you may recognize his name from his recent unsuccessful Supreme Court case — because the drugs the Corrections Department received didn’t match protocol. Figures. [Associated Press]

    * “We are heartened the district attorney has agreed that even a misdemeanor charge would be inappropriate.” Prosecutors will not be charging Caitlyn Jenner with vehicular manslaughter in the fatal car crash she was involved in earlier this year. [USA Today]

    35 Comments / / Oct 1, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Paul Walker (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.30.15

    * Paul Walker’s daughter, 16-year-old Meadow Walker, filed a wrongful death suit against Porsche, alleging the automaker was negligent and strictly liable because the car her father died in had several design defects, namely that it was too fast, too furious. [CNN]

    * The jury on the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial is having a really difficult time this week. Yesterday, on the eighth day of deliberations, jury members asked for the definition of the word “deliberation” and clarification on what their jobs were as jurors. [Am Law Daily]

    * If you’d like to know why Hughes Hubbard likely conducted layoffs last week, then look no further than the commentary of this City Private Bank Law Firm Group analyst. Times have officially changed for litigators at large law firms. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * In news that no one should find particularly shocking, Albany Law School has announced an affiliation with the University at Albany. Both schools are struggling with enrollment and hungry for cash, so it’s a match made in heaven. [Albany Times Union]

    * “There are 35,000 museums in the U.S. … [b]ut the great legal profession hasn’t gotten around to establishing one.” Spoke too soon: Say hello to the American Museum of Tort Law, Ralph Nader’s house of personal injury horrors. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    53 Comments / / Sep 30, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Monkey Selfie

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.29.15

    * PETA’s general counsel swears his organization isn’t monkeying around when it comes to asserting the IP rights of Naruto the selfie-taking monkey, but he may have to deal with a jungle of jurisdictional issues first. [Motherboard / VICE]

    * Mmmm, Dewey smell a mistrial? On the eighth day of deliberations in the criminal trial of D&L’s former leaders, the jurors likely made defense counsels’ hearts skip a beat when they asked the judge for instructions on what to do concerning their undecided colleagues. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Chief Justice John Roberts, who has voted conservatively in 85 percent of the Supreme Court’s most divisive 5-4 decisions, apparently isn’t conservative enough for our conservatives. It’s the damn Affordable Care Act. Thanks, Obama. [New York Times]

    * According to the latest Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2015, for the sixth year running, Baker & McKenzie has the most recognizable Biglaw brand in the world. DLA Piper will continue to “churn [those] bill[s], baby!” in second place. [PR Web]

    * Take the deal: Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who’s accused of hiding large sums used as hush money to conceal his prior sexual misconduct, is negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. If he were convicted at trial, he’d face up to 10 years in prison. [Reuters]

    43 Comments / / Sep 29, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • Calling Ronda Rousey! (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.28.15

    * Jurors in the criminal trial for former leaders of Dewey & LeBoeuf have reviewed evidence for a full week already, and will return to court today for their eighth day of deliberations. At least the defendants will be able to keep killing time on Candy Crush. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * A federal judge denied the UFC’s motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit that was filed against it by current and former fighters over the organization’s monopolization of the MMA industry. It’s time to bring in an armbar submission artist to stop the UFC for good. [ESPN]

    * “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn.” Hot on the heels of his surprise resignation, House Speaker John Boehner has vowed to avoid a government shutdown and pass some legislation before his time is up. Well, it’s good to have goals. [Reuters]

    * Volkswagen can expect nothing less than a “tsunami” of lawsuits and legal proceedings thanks to its emissions scandal. On the bright side, Kirkland & Ellis is going to be able to reap the rewards of thousands of billable hours. [Chicago Tribune; Automotive News]

    * TV staffers who worked on “The Following” and “The Blacklist” filed suit against production companies Warner Brothers, NBC, and Sony, alleging they were forced to work 24 hours straight — and pee in bottles — without being paid overtime. [New York Post]

    22 Comments / / Sep 28, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Damn you, bar exam!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.25.15

    * Why are so many law grads failing the bar exam? Law profs, a law dean, and a Biglaw recruiting specialist all have answers to this question… and only some of them come close to being satisfactory. [Room for Debate / New York Times]

    * Jurors in the Dewey & LeBoeuf trial have deliberated for five days thus far, and seem to be no closer to coming to a verdict than when they first started. They’re quibbling over thesaurus entries for the word “fake” (i.e., “fake income”). [Am Law Daily]

    * Thanks to the OnRamp Fellowship, more women lawyers are making a reentry into the legal profession through Biglaw firms than ever before. Participating firms now include Skadden Arps and MoFo, amongst others. Congrats! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Law school enrollment may be stagnant across the country, but at Colorado Law, it’s booming. The size of the school’s incoming class is 22 percent larger than last year’s was. What can we say other than students were sTOKEd to get in. [Boulder Daily Camera]

    * If you’re ever fired from your job, charged with insider trading, and the SEC wants access to your work phone, take heart in the fact that your personal passcode is just that — personal. The SEC can’t treat it as a business record thanks to this ruling. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Richard Cudahy Sr., longtime Seventh Circuit judge, RIP. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

    39 Comments / / Sep 25, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • 'Please don't fall asleep, RBG!'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.24.15

    * Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be in attendance during Pope Francis’s Congressional address. Here’s hoping a certain someone doesn’t nod off in the middle of it. [National Law Journal]

    * This courthouse clerk is accused of trying to go out with a little too much style after being fired from his job. He allegedly tossed thousands of pages of court documents in the garbage before leaving the building, and he now faces up to 10 years in prison. [Houston Chronicle]

    * Lawrence Mitchell, the former dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, was supposed to return to the school this year after taking a sabbatical. Instead, he resigned. When it comes to this creeper, maybe that’s a good thing. [Cleveland Scene]

    * Sorry to burst your bubble, law schools, but if you think spending millions to complete major building projects during a serious downturn in applicants will result in a “Field of Dreams” type of situation, you’re flat-out wrong. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Good news, everyone! Thanks to this appeals court decision, registered sex offenders in Wisconsin will now be able to take pictures of children in public. Child predators have never, ever been so excited to assert their First Amendment rights. [WSJ Law Blog]

    25 Comments / / Sep 24, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • 220px-Birthday_girl_in_hat

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.23.15

    * In a story we’ve been following for years, a federal judge has put down the most notorious copyright troll in the world: “Happy Birthday To You” is now in the public domain. [LA Times]

    * Former SMU Dean John Attanasio, hit with a prostitution arrest back in February, is looking at a pre-trial diversion program if he’s willing to admit the charge. [CBS DFW]

    * Just weeks after his brother took over hosting duties on The Late Show, Edward Colbert has been named managing partner of Kenyon & Kenyon LLP. [Law360]

    * The Republic of Guinea may have to cough up a lot of guineas in unpaid legal fees to Dentons after Judge Royce Lamberth rejected its sovereign immunity request. [Legal Times]

    * Honestly, who doesn’t bring a couple dildos along when visiting a Rent-A-Center? [Courthouse News Service]

    * Dewey know what horrors await law firm managers if convicted? It’s more than a little troubling that a couple million people face this fate, but we only get glossy coverage of these conditions when some millionaire lawyers might end up there. [The Am Law Daily]

    * Gibson Dunn under fire for not keeping original notes of its Bridgegate interviews because defense lawyers don’t know how these new-fangled “computer” things work. [The Record]

    54 Comments / / Sep 23, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • Tracy Morgan

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.22.15

    * In case you missed it, on top of her perjury and obstruction charges, Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane’s license to practice law was suspended. As a law professor attempting to make a sick burn noted, “She may be at this point our paralegal general.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Tracy Morgan made an appearance at The Emmys on Sunday night that earned him a standing ovation, but David Jay Glassman, the attorney representing the Walmart truck driver who hit the comedian’s car last summer, wasn’t applauding. Hmm, perhaps his wife suddenly got pregnant? [The Wrap via Yahoo!]

    * If the former leaders of failed firm D&L are convicted this week, we seriously hope that they’re not so disillusioned as to believe they’ll be shipped to a “Club Fed” facility. How long Dewey think these Biglaw alums will last at a place like Rikers? [Am Law Daily]

    * New Biglaw associates at some firms are being treated to a second college experience filled with orientation programs, resident advisers, summer reading, and even parties. (At least they get to drink champagne, not Franzia.) [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * The president of UMass says its law school will be fully accredited by the American Bar Association within one year’s time. Given that everyone gets a turn when it comes to ABA accreditation, this is one low-expectation-having educator. [Boston Business Journal]

    59 Comments / / Sep 22, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Casey Anthony

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.21.15

    * Somewhere in Florida, Casey Anthony can rest a little easier knowing that Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman she falsely implicated in the kidnapping and death of her already deceased child, just had her defamation suit thrown out. [WKMG]

    * Better late than never? The Judicial Conference finally decided impeachment is warranted for Judge Mark E. Fuller, who recently resigned from his position on the Middle District of Alabama’s bench in the wake of his “reprehensible” domestic violence scandal last summer. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * In case you were wondering which Biglaw firms were reaping financial rewards in the race to represent clients in space, Squire Patton Boggs and K&L Gates have both performed at least six figures of work from their mission control centers. [Am Law Daily]

    * Thomas Rubino, a paralegal at Manhattan firm Paris & Chaikin, allegedly forged the names of 76 judges on fake orders to make his life easier at work. Now that he’s facing 234 counts of forgery, something tells us his life is going to be more difficult. [New York Post]

    * Lindsay Lohan’s defamation case against Fox News over comments made on The Sean Hannity Show that she did coke with her mother was dismissed because as Justice Wright noted, “truth is a defense.” He clearly didn’t think LiLo’s claims were fetch. [MSN News]

    41 Comments / / Sep 21, 2015 at 9:06 AM
  • Judge using hammer

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.18.15

    * The outcomes of misconduct complaints against members of the federal judiciary will now be posted online for your viewing pleasure to “provide for greater transparency” — and schadenfreude. This could wind up being entertaining, so keep your eyes peeled. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Apparently there are people out there who don’t know that law schools are in trouble and have been for a while, which is certainly news to us. See how the dean of UNLV School of Law explains the “new normal” to a human interest writer. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

    * The White House just launched a nationwide movement to encourage legal immigrants in America to become U.S. citizens. What a happy coincidence that this campaign will likely add millions of voters to the rolls just in time for Election 2016. [New York Times]

    * Per a report from The Real Deal, real estate practices are heating up in Biglaw firms across New York City. Firms like Fried Frank, Skadden, and Proskauer are expanding their real estate groups, so be on the lookout, laterals. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Harvard Law is supposed to be overseeing the rollout of a new Title IX program for the reporting of sexual harassment, but so many of the administrators who were in charge of its implementation have left that its come to a standstill. Oopsie! [Harvard Crimson]

    36 Comments / / Sep 18, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • student-loan-debt

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.17.15

    * If you’re unsatisfied with your current income-based loan repayment plan, wait until you see what the government has in store for you with its Revised Pay As You Earn plan. Here’s a hint: more pain, more tears, and more anger. [Am Law Daily]

    * If you haven’t heard, SABMiller will likely be getting taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in a “mega-beer merger.” Sadly for Hogan Lovells, SABMiller tossed the firm out like a skunked beer in favor of representation by Linklaters. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Rather than poaching lawyers from other local firms, Jones Day is trying to grow its Detroit office by calling home Michigan attorneys who expatriated from the state. No offense to the firm, but these people probably left for a reason. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

    * Slowly but surely, results from the July 2015 administration of the bar exam are being released. Duke Law did best in North Carolina, where the overall combined pass rate for all takers was 69.4 percent (down from 75 percent last year). [Triangle Business Journal]

    * With hours to spare, Richard Glossip — a man you may know from the Glossip v. Gross case that was before SCOTUS — was able to secure a last minute stay of execution. An Oklahoma appeals court has given him two more weeks to live. [New York Times]

    29 Comments / / Sep 17, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • Justice Anthony Kennedy

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.16.15

    * Justices Kennedy and Breyer seemed to be champing at the bit for a prolonged solitary confinement case last Term, and now they may have the opportunity to weigh in on one. Let’s see if the Supreme Court decides to let Justice Kennedy swing his vote around. [New York Times]

    * We all know that Mark Cuban isn’t that big of a fan of the Securities and Exchange Commission, but now he’s trying to inject himself into the debate over the agency’s use of in-house administrative law judges by way of filing a brief in support. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Winston & Strawn elected Jeffrey Kessler to serve as its co-chair. He’s got experience running firms with others — he once served as a member of Dewey’s four-partner Office of the Chairman before the firm completely imploded. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * IU Maurer Law is teaming up with Chapman and Cutler, an Am Law 200 firm, to create a two-year rotational program in finance and law. There’s just one catch: this is only for recent college graduates, not law school graduates. Oops! [Indiana Daily Student]

    * Lucrative niche alert: They’re calling this the green rush, but we don’t need to remind attorneys that green is also the color of money. By 2020, the market for legal recreational marijuana is going to be booming, with billions of dollars in business. [Fortune]

    34 Comments / / Sep 16, 2015 at 8:59 AM