Morning Docket

  • Time to Retire - Clock

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.01.14

    * Some think SCOTUS should be the biggest issue of Election 2016. Why? Because most of the justices are old as hell, and they’ll only be older, more decrepit — and potentially more likely to retire — before or come voting time. [Washington Post]

    * Deans from “middle-ranked” schools continue to question the results of the July 2014 bar examination. Sure, recent grads were part of the law school brain drain, but there’s no way they were “less able” than their older (and wiser) classmates. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Darren Wilson resigned this weekend, but it wasn’t because he killed an unarmed teenager in August. Wilson’s lawyer says his client quit because other Ferguson officers could’ve been harmed if Wilson remained on the police force. [Reuters]

    * There’s only one thing that’s worse than a gunner, and that’s a septuagenarian gunner. At 73 years old, Jim Edwards is the oldest student at the Nashville School of Law, and he “view[s] what [he’s] doing as a calling from God.” Aww. [USA Today]

    * This recent law school graduate may not have a job, but she figured out a creative way to make a small dent in her debt. She makes custom string art and sells it on Etsy. We’re willing to bet Texas Tech Law counts her as employed. [Dallas Morning News]

    40 Comments / / Dec 1, 2014 at 9:06 AM
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg RF Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Canada, Dewey & LeBoeuf, English Grammar and Usage, Morning Docket, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Morning Docket: 11.28.14

    * John Altorelli, the finance lawyer who allegedly had an affair with sexy Russian spy Anna Chapman, is indeed screwed — he’s the second former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner to file for personal bankruptcy in the wake of the firm’s collapse. [American Lawyer]

    * Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had a heart procedure on Wednesday, left the hospital yesterday and should be back on the bench on Monday. [CNN]

    * Canada’s newest Supreme Court justice, Suzanne Cote, is no stranger to the spotlight; she’s worked on high-profile cases like the investigation into Justice Lori Douglas (of nude photo fame). [How Appealing]

    * Michele Roberts, leading litigatrix and former Skadden partner, is settling into her new job as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. [New York Times]

    * Newly released deposition testimony from Bill Cosby will probably only worsen his PR woes. [Associated Press]

    * Stuck in the office today with nothing to do? Take this fun exercise to test your punctuation and copy-editing skills, designed by Bryan A. Garner. [ABA Journal]

    9 Comments / / Nov 28, 2014 at 9:15 AM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.26.14

    * Indiana Tech Law has yet another new dean after a little more than a year of operations — he currently serves as a dean at the second-best law school in the nation, Cooley Law. [Journal Gazette]

    * A Pennsylvania lawyer allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old girl in his office, and prosecutors have already reserved a “special place in hell” for him, and possibly a jail cell. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * “We feel like we’ve been left hanging in a really stressful time.” While Bingham McCutchen partners and top staffers made moves, less senior staffers were left crying and without a clue. :( [Am Law Daily]

    * Since a grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death, people are counting on the DOJ to come through for them. “I just don’t think Ferguson has a leg to stand on,” says one negative nancy law professor. [National Law Journal]

    * After being down in the dumps for a while due to the recession, according to Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, law firm leaders are feeling more confident and optimistic about the economy — as one can see from these bonuses. [WSJ Law Blog]

    27 Comments / / Nov 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM
  • Bill Cosby

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.25.14

    * “Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.” Louisa Moritz, one of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, is interested in filing a class-action lawsuit against the comedian. [Fox News Latino]

    * If you’re interested, here’s all of the testimony and evidence that was presented to the grand jury that resulted in no true bill for Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. [Associated Press]

    * HBO hired a team of 160 lawyers to look at its film adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology. The power of thetans compels them to keep churning that bill, baby. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * “The Constitution is not a math problem,” but it seems like the Supreme Court is playing a numbers game when it comes to its decisions having to do with same-sex marriage. What’s the magic number for SCOTUS to take a case? [New York Times]

    * It’s official: Morgan Lewis has gobbled up most of Bingham McCutchen ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stick a fork in it, because Morgan Lewis is done — it’s now stuffed full of more lawyers than any other firm in the country. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Emerson Briggs III, an ex-partner at Hunton & Williams, is facing disbarment in D.C. over the child pornography he downloaded at work. Oh, how the mighty have fallen: he’s been working as a paralegal since being disbarred in New York. [Legal Times]

    * Patricia Nesci, a law firm secretary, allegedly forged a judge’s signature on an order to show cause to keep herself from being evicted from her home earlier this month. She apparently did not get a Biglaw-style bonus from her former firm. [Syracuse.com]

    * Before you submit your applications, you should try creating a budget to see just how financially screwed you’ll be during and after law school, and then compare it to your pre-law school budget. Try not to cry. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    22 Comments / / Nov 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM
  • Bronx ADAs Gang Signs

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.24.14

    * Want to see a group of assistant district attorneys from the Bronx throwing up gang signs in their holiday photo? Of course you do! How seriously is the Bronx DA’s office taking the picture even though local defense attorneys are pissed? Not very! [New York Daily News]

    * “What he did was out of line, inappropriate, unnecessary, and hurtful.” There’s a scandal brewing over at Mercer Law, where a professor apparently thought it would be prudent to use the “N-word” during his constitutional law class. [Macon Telegraph]

    * Gilberto “Cannibal Cop” Valle wants his conviction for illegally accessing NYPD databases to be overturned to improve his chances of getting into law school. He shouldn’t be worried — some schools accept convicted murderers. [New York Post]

    * Thelen LLP’s bankruptcy case, first filed way back in 2009, is finally moving towards its conclusion. The last holdout partners who refused to settle must now pay back their monthly draws from the firm’s final year. Too bad, so sad. [National Law Journal]

    * Ladies, have a pudding pop: Martin D. Singer of Lavely & Singer, better known these days as Bill Cosby’s lawyer, wants the media to stop publishing “unsubstantiated, fantastical stories” about the comedian’s alleged rape victims. [Chicago Tribune]

    * The grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting is still undecided on the case. Perhaps they’ll have a decision before Thanksgiving so everyone in Ferguson can enjoy their turkey in peace (or in protest, depending on how it comes out). [CNN]

    43 Comments / / Nov 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • Traffic sign for Winners or Losers - business concept

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.21.14

    * Barack Obama laid out his plans for an immigration overhaul last night, daring the members of Congress to pass a bill if they didn’t like it. Consider that to be a presidential burn. [New York Times]

    * Who’s got the God View now? In an effort to stop pissing off its paying customers, Uber hired Harriet Pearson of Hogan Lovells to take a look at its data-privacy practices. [Bloomberg]

    * Dean Jack Boger of UNC Law will be stepping down this summer. He says his journey to deanship started in hell and ended in paradise. We’re not sure law students ever get out of the hellscape. [Daily Tar Heel]

    * South Texas College of Law launched an Oil & Gas Law Institute in the hope of making its graduates’ résumés look pretty enough to get them jobs. [Texas Lawyer]

    * Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown, is in talks to resign ahead of a grand jury’s decision on whether or not to indict him. Wise choice? [CNN]

    34 Comments / / Nov 21, 2014 at 9:10 AM
  • letter-shock

    Asians, Attorney Misconduct, Crime, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Rankings, Texas

    Morning Docket: 11.20.14

    * Deep in the heart of Texas, a judge refused to dismiss Gov. Rick Perry’s felony case over a silly technicality in the underlying paperwork concerning the special prosecutor’s oath of office. [CNN]

    * This lawyer got a spanking for including a noncompete in an associate’s contract that said he wouldn’t be able to practice the same type of law for two years. [Legal Profession Blog via ABA Journal]

    * UVA Law came in at #7 in the Graduate Programs ranking of the 50 best law schools, but the the school doesn’t “focus on year-to-year fluctuations in rankings.” Keep those collars popped high. [Cavalier Daily]

    * “I’m hopeful that we’ll get our Tracy back, the guy everyone loves.” Tracy Morgan’s lawyer says the comedian’s crash with a Wal-Mart truck this summer has left him with a traumatic brain injury. [Bloomberg]

    * After its giant, website-crashing sale debacle earlier this month, someone decided to file a class-action suit against Sephora for discriminating against Asian customers whose accounts were blocked. [Reuters]

    4 Comments / / Nov 20, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • Prostitution2

    Bar Exams, Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Prostitution, Public Interest, Screw-Ups, Small Law Firms, Student Loans

    Morning Docket: 11.19.14

    * Morgan Lewis may be pretty pleased with itself now that it gets to gobble up most of Bingham McCutchen’s partners, but some day soon, it may be forced to “choke a bit” on remains of the dying firm’s carcass. [Philadelphia Business Journal]

    * Yesterday, we wondered what would happen to Bingham McCutchen’s brand new back-office operation in Kentucky. Now, the pieces are starting to come together. We may have more on this interesting development later. [Am Law Daily]

    * A Connecticut criminal defense firm’s managing partner who teaches at UConn Law was picked up in a prostitution sting last week. At least he’s got the skills to represent himself. [Connecticut Law Tribune]

    * The NCBE thinks bar exam takers were “less able” than in prior years, but the organization seems to have forgotten that ExamSoft was “less able” to perform its one freaking job. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

    * You must be whacked in the mind if you think law school tuition has anything to do with public service loan forgiveness. Law school tuition is high because people are still willing to pay for it. [Huffington Post]

    24 Comments / / Nov 19, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • BarbieBratz

    Biglaw, Crime, Lateral Moves, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Police, Romance and Dating, Weddings, Weirdness

    Morning Docket: 11.18.14

    * “The notion that some of us weren’t invited, selected or chosen to join Morgan Lewis is ridiculous.” Bingham McCutchen partners who aren’t moving to Morgan Lewis don’t want you to think they’re losers. [Am Law Daily]

    * MGA is back in court to sue Mattel, and now it wants $1 billion after its $88 million verdict was nixed by the Ninth Circuit. Here’s hoping Quinn Emanuel will come to the rescue in a hot pink Barbiemobile. [National Law Journal]

    * “We want an indictment. The cops don’t like it.” Missouri’s governor declared a state of emergency ahead of the grand jury’s decision on whether to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown. Yikes. [Reuters]

    * Not that it’s a wise choice, but you can still apply to law school with a low GPA. Almost nothing is “too low” these days. Most law schools want a pulse, that’s all. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Everyone can find love, even mass murderers and cult leaders: Charles Manson applied for a marriage license so he could get hitched to a 26-year-old woman who’s visited him since she was 17. [E! Online]

    19 Comments / / Nov 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • stripper shoe

    Biglaw, D.C. Circuit, Divorce Train Wrecks, Fashion, Health Care / Medicine, Labor / Employment, Law Firm Mergers, Morning Docket, Nude Dancing

    Morning Docket: 11.17.14

    * When Loretta Lynch still worked at Hogan & Hartson (now known as Hogan Lovells thanks to a merger), her colleagues described her as a warm person without “a political bone in her body.” That said, best of luck to her in D.C. [National Law Journal]

    * The D.C. Circuit upheld the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive opt-out plan for religious employers, but since “[t]he court is wrong,” we can count on a at least a few organizations that’ll refuse to comply. Gee, thanks a lot, Obama. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Some call the latest Biglaw tie-up “law-firm Darwinism,” but hey, “[i]t’s not like [Bingham’s] a wounded gazelle and we are pouncing on them,” says a too coy Morgan Lewis lawyer. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Fashion law may be a $985 billion global industry, but only five law school courses on the topic exist in the U.S. Why? “There’s no defensible reason except that fashion is perceived as a frivolous subject.” [AFP]

    * This woman plans to appeal a $1 billion divorce settlement award because it’s not “fair and equitable.” In her defense, she did get a very small percentage of her ex-husband’s multibillion-dollar wealth. [People]

    * Wage and hour laws have never been so sexy: Thanks to this court ruling, Rick’s Cabaret is going to have to make it rain on thousands of strippers to the tune of more than $10 million. [New York Times]

    25 Comments / / Nov 17, 2014 at 9:07 AM
  • fashion runway

    Biglaw, Confirmations, Federal Government, General Counsel, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Sandra Day O'Connor

    Morning Docket: 11.14.14

    * Loretta Lynch, America’s would-be attorney general, has been flying under the radar for years, and now senators are searching to find something, anything at all really, that could possibly be wrong with her. [Legal Times]

    * “[T]his is the best period of time that we have seen in a long time.” According to Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group, Biglaw’s revenue, hours, and profits all rose in the first nine months of 2014. Nice work! [Am Law Daily]

    * Biglaw mergers and acquisitions are now on pace to meet or beat last year’s record, and company legal departments are pretty pissed off about it, especially since “[l]arge firm views on conflicts [tend to] drive [GCs] crazy.” [Reuters]

    * Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attended the groundbreaking of Arizona State Law’s new campus, and even shoveled some dirt in honor of the school named after her. [Arizona Republic]

    * What’s the price on being blackballed? Condé Nast settled its unpaid intern class-action lawsuit yesterday for $5.8 million, which will result in $700 to $1,900 payouts per aggrieved intern. [Fashionista]

    9 Comments / / Nov 14, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • Exam

    Antonin Scalia, Bar Exams, Biglaw, Clarence Thomas, Gay Marriage, Insider Trading, Law Firm Mergers, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Small Law Firms, Supreme Court, Video games

    Morning Docket: 11.13.14

    * Look, ma, no Justice Kennedy! Over the dissent of Justices Scalia and Thomas, the Supreme Court quickly lifted its earlier stay on allowing same-sex marriages to go forward in Kansas. [USA Today]

    * Sources say were it not for Bingham McCutchen’s malpractice settlement with the former owner of the Dodgers, Morgan Lewis would’ve walked away from the potential merger deal. #blessed [Am Law Daily]

    * Mathew Martoma, the would-be lawyer who was expelled from Harvard Law for faking his transcripts, was denied his bid for bail pending appeal on an insider trading conviction. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start: The ex-general counsel to Occulus VR started his own firm and angel investment company to address the needs of video game companies. [Gamasutra]

    * New York is holding off on adopting the Uniform Bar Exam, at least for a little while longer, mostly because “the[re] is just not enough turnaround time to do it for July ’15.” Hooray? [New York Law Journal]

    26 Comments / / Nov 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • Scalia Talking

    Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, FCC, Gender, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, LSAT, Money, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology, Texas, Women's Issues

    Morning Docket: 11.12.14

    * With all this net neutrality talk, one of the biggest fans of the cause is Justice Antonin Scalia. He may not be tech-savvy, but he may yet save the internet. [National Law Journal]

    * And the partners rejoiced? Bingham McCutchen approved a Morgan Lewis merger, and now the firm waits for its valiant rescuer to ride in upon its trusty steed. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * A new study says the way to close the law school gender gap is to adopt gradeless grading policies similar to those of top law schools. Honors for everyone, yay! [Stanford News]

    * LSAT prep company Test Masters Educational Services Inc. — not to be confused with TestMasters — must pay about $927K in legal fees, because as it turns out, some people were confused. [Legal Times]

    * A Texas state representative submitted a bill calling for a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because there aren’t enough lawyers there. Unemployed lawyers, you know what to do. [Action 4 News]

    7 Comments / / Nov 12, 2014 at 8:54 AM
  • Bar exam tank

    Bar Exams, Barack Obama, Biglaw, Law School Deans, Law Schools, LSAT, Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.11.14

    * While she may have “one of the broadest and most expansive roles” in West Wing history, thanks to this article, Valerie Jarrett can add a new title to her résumé: “Obama Whisperer.” [New Republic]

    * Alumni from failed firms — or “dead firm alums,” which makes them sound like ghosts — have been having reunions to remember the good times at their former Biglaw homes. Aww, cute. [Am Law Daily]

    * Everyone’s freaking out about the decline in bar exam scores, even deans. Brooklyn Law’s dean got into it with the NCBE’s head over her “offensive” comments about July ’14 takers. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Speaking of the bar exam, here’s a comparison between the amount students pay in law school tuition and the likelihood of passing the test on the first try. Spoiler: it doesn’t really matter. [Huffington Post]

    * Here’s how to determine how badly you screwed up the LSAT. Step 1) Realize you took the test because you don’t know what else to do with your life. No more steps. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    7 Comments / / Nov 11, 2014 at 9:02 AM
  • pretty pot

    Biglaw, Crime, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Drugs, Gay Marriage, Job Searches, Law Schools, Marijuana, Morning Docket, Pregnancy / Paternity, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Trials, U.S. Attorneys Offices

    Morning Docket: 11.10.14

    * “I think the court has to take a case now. This is their job.” It’s time to hurry up and wait: SCOTUS is running down the clock when it comes to taking a gay marriage case this Term. [National Law Journal]

    * Zach Warren will be tried separately from the former leaders of D&L on criminal charges in the wake of the firm’s failure. Dewey think lawyers still care about him? [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Good news, everyone! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector added 300 jobs in October. This sure is exciting for the fraction of the class of 2014 that number represents. [Am Law Daily]

    * A Long Island attorney requested that one of her trials be postponed during her high-risk pregnancy, but lawyers from the S.D.N.Y. allegedly “shouted at and insulted” her in response. Wow. :( [New York Times]

    * Since enrollment dropped off, law schools are competing to attract transfer students. Georgetown, for example, recently took more than 100 transfers — a 75 percent increase in two years. [Washington Post]

    * Just because your state puff, puff, passed the vote to legalize smoking pot, it doesn’t mean you won’t be fired for doing it. Careful with your dope, unless you’d like to see your career go up in smoke. [CNN Money]

    15 Comments / / Nov 10, 2014 at 7:30 AM
  • High Speed

    6th Circuit, Biglaw, Books, Cars, Crime, Edwards Wildman, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Jeffrey Toobin, Law Schools, Layoffs, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 11.07.14

    * As mentioned earlier, the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey’s dissent is a very fun read because it’s dripping with sarcasm. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Sentencing has been delayed for Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s friends during the pendency of the Yates case at SCOTUS. Like a grouper, a backpack may not be a “tangible object.” [National Law Journal]

    * Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Wildman Palmer are planning to shed lawyers and staff members in anticipation of their proposed mergers with Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]

    * Weekend reading? ATL’s managing editor, David Lat, reviews Blindfolds Off (affiliate link), an interesting collection of interviews with judges about how they decide their toughest cases. [Wall Street Journal]

    * Everyone, please stop what you’re doing. Jeffrey Toobin has discovered that law schools are in trouble, and he’s on the case. You can read more information about this new phenomenon here. [The New Yorker]

    * Adam Tang, the man who drove a 26-mile loop around Manhattan in 24 minutes, was convicted of reckless driving without being present. Check out the video of his crazy drive, after the jump. [ABA Journal]

    17 Comments / / Nov 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM
  • Jay Z

    Bar Exams, Barack Obama, Biglaw, Celebrities, Crime, DUI / DWI, Eric Holder, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Sarbanes-Oxley / Sarbox / SOX, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 11.06.14

    * “Perhaps Congress should have called this the Sarbanes-Oxley Grouper Act.” Based on the justices’ reactions during oral argument, it seems like SCOTUS isn’t taking the bait in the Yates case. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * It seems that President Obama still hasn’t made a decision on who he wants to replace Eric Holder as attorney general. Maybe the results of the midterm election made him change his mind. [Legal Times]

    * Jay Z may have 99 problems, but this champagne deal ain’t one because Cooley helped to seal the deal. If Armand de Brignac is good enough for Queen Bey, it’s good enough for this Biglaw firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * Students at the University of South Dakota School of Law are wondering whether they’re receiving a good legal education considering they’re being trained to pass the “easiest [bar] in the nation.” [The Volante]

    * Kenneth Desormes of Connecticut was charged after trying to eat the results of his breathalyzer test. He may be the same Kenneth Desormes who tried to get his law school to admit to fraud. [Hartford Courant]

    25 Comments / / Nov 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM
  • Anna Nicole Smith

    Anna Nicole Smith, Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, California, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Marijuana, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Politics, Sexual Harassment, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, You Go Girl

    Morning Docket: 11.05.14

    * Bingham McCutchen canceled its partnership retreat, and their partner offer letters from Morgan Lewis must be accepted by today’s deadline — all while a prospective merger currently hangs in the balance. [Am Law Daily]

    * Per Altman Weil’s 2014 Chief Legal Officer Survey, the work at in-house legal departments is about to grow exponentially, while the spend on outside counsel will decrease in turn. Uh oh, no bueno. [Corporate Counsel]

    * “The attempt to have the defendant have any kind of humility has failed.” Due to “unsatisfactory” apologies to state employees, former judge Joan Orie Melvin will have to re-apologize for her crimes. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

    * “A troubled law school is like Dracula: hard to kill.” In the wake of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s debt restructuring, it’s now obvious that law schools aren’t worth much at all. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Republicans are now in control in both the House and the Senate, but fear not, because the nation’s capital just legalized marijuana. That’ll help calm down the depressed D.C. Democrats out there. [CNN]

    * Though it’s unlikely, thanks to this ruling, Anna Anna Anna Anna Anna Nicole’s lawyer/lover could be retried for allegedly giving illegally obtained prescriptions to the drug-addled model. [National Law Journal]

    * Tinder’s cofounder apparently made a killing on her sexual harassment settlement with the company. Though no one admitted guilt, she reportedly took home “just over” $1M. Get it, girl. [Business Insider]

    19 Comments / / Nov 5, 2014 at 9:02 AM

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