Morning Docket

  • Alecia and Andrew Schmuhl

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.14.15

    * Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl, the husband-and-wife lawyer duo accused of treating a law firm managing partner and his wife to a “torture session,” had a hearing this week where it was revealed that Andrew allegedly slit the managing partner’s throat. [Washington Post]

    * ‘We’re asking you to choose life. Yes, even for the Boston Marathon bomber.” Jurors began deliberating in the death penalty phase of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial late yesterday afternoon. It’s worth noting that the last time someone was executed in Massachusetts was 70 years ago. [Boston Globe]

    * “Explaining these persistent gender disparities in income … has proven to be much more difficult than simply identifying them.” Per a study conducted by Harvard Law, the wage gap for women in the law has been growing since 1975. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * The deadly Amtrak derailment hit too close to home for attorneys in the Northeast who travel frequently on the Acela line. In fact, some of our best tips have come from Acela trips. Our thoughts are with those who were affected by the crash. [National Law Journal]

    * A sexy little spat: Dov Charney, the ex-CEO of American Apparel, filed a $20M defamation suit against the company, claiming that despite what employees were told, he never agreed that he’d stay away from American Apparel for good. [Los Angeles Times]

    7 Comments / / May 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Die Judge Ransom Font

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.13.15

    * According to a recent survey conducted by Altman Weil, Biglaw managing partners and chairs say that overcapacity and a lack of work for their partners is putting a dent in their overall profitability. Please don’t take the easy way out here — the weather is way too nice for layoffs. [Am Law Daily]

    * Beverly Cochran, the wife of Judge Edward Najam of the Indiana Court of Appeals, was charged with obstruction and false reporting after allegedly carving “die judge” on their front door in the hope that her son-in-law would be arrested. [WBIW via ABA Journal]

    * When Harvard Law alums say their business education “was a joke,” you know you’ve got a problem. Law schools are finally coming around to the fact that their graduates don’t have a clue about business, and some of them are trying to fix that. [Bloomberg Business]

    * Nicole Eramo, UVA’s associate dean of students, has filed a $7.5 million defamation suit against Rolling Stone for tarring and feathering her in the magazine’s now discredited campus rape story. She’s also upset this “unflattering” photo was published. [CNNMoney]

    * Say aloha to admission to the University of Hawaii School of Law without an LSAT score. We figure that a few more schools will decide to try this program out since the ABA recently indicated its regrets about introducing the initiative in the first place. [KHON2]

    32 Comments / / May 13, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Starbucks logo coffee

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.12.15

    * Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the UC Irvine School of Law thinks it’s time for California to follow New York’s lead and adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. After all, if doctors don’t have to take separate exams each time they move to a new state, lawyers shouldn’t have to do it either. [Los Angeles Times]

    * A jury just returned a verdict of $0 for a police officer who was severely burned after spilling a cup of free Starbucks coffee in his lap. The pictures of the burns that were used as evidence are pretty nasty, so you’ll obviously want to check them out. [NPR; WTVD]

    * According to a survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep, 56 percent of recent law grads would have preferred to condense their schooling to two years, while just 34 percent of prospective law students felt similarly. Oh, to be that naive again. [National Law Journal]

    * Violent besties? As it turns out, the gun altercation George Zimmerman was involved in yesterday was apparently part of some sort of ongoing feud with Matthew Apperson, the same man he threatened to kill in a road rage incident last year. [Crimesider / CBS News]

    * If you’re wondering what you should do during the summer before going to law school, then you can take the advice of this future gunner and possibly enroll in a pre-law prep course and work yourself to death, or you can relax. It’s up to you. [The Diamondback]

    22 Comments / / May 12, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • UMass-Law-hats-540x286

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.11.15

    * UMass School of Law has a burgeoning deficit of $3.8 million, so instead of attempting to increase enrollment, the school has decided to cut its class size to 72 students. Hmm, we have a feeling those “cuts” aren’t intentional. [Boston Globe]

    * Reddit’s Ellen Pao may have lost her gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins, but she sure as hell doesn’t want to pay the nearly $1 million in “grossly excessive and unreasonable” court costs that the venture-capital firm has requested. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * It’s no shocker that members of the T14 have the most competitive LSAT scores in the country, but you may be surprised by which two schools had the absolute lowest median LSAT scores. Hint: Cooley isn’t one of them. [Short List / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Baltimoreans will surely be pleased by this news: Officers in the Freddie Gray case filed a motion to get their charges dismissed, and have asked that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recuse herself for her “overzealous prosecution” and conflicts of interest. [Baltimore Sun]

    * Jury selection is complete for the criminal trial of failed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former top brass. “It’s a very diverse jury,” with jurors ranging from members of the unemployed to day traders. Best of luck to Joel and the Steves — they may need it. [Am Law Daily]

    * MVP? No, MVD! A UNH Law prof will teach a college course called “Deflategate: The Intersection of Sports, Law and Journalism” because a dean thought it would be a great way to use pop culture to hook undergrads on the law. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

    20 Comments / / May 11, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • Student-Loans-Cap

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.08.15

    * We mentioned earlier this week that Charleston School of Law may suspend enrollment of first-year students next year. Perhaps the law school’s ultimate failure wouldn’t be a bad deal for students — a closed school loan discharge would actually be a blessing for them. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * With law school graduation right around the corner, you can kiss your dreams of a Supreme Court justice delivering your commencement speech goodbye. Thus far, not a single SCOTUS jurist will deliver remarks at a 2015 ceremony. [National Law Journal]

    * Per the latest report from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, law firm expenses outpaced revenue in the first quarter of 2015. Some of the biggest expenses are salaries, so maybe this is another reason why some firms are resorting to layoffs. [Am Law Daily]

    * They should’ve just watched The Wire? Under Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s leadership, the Department of Justice is going to launch an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department has been involved in any discriminatory police work. [NPR]

    * If you’re still trying to decide which law school to attend, you may want to consider one that has robust practicum offerings. Being “practice ready” after graduation supposedly does wonders for your job prospects. (Just kidding.) [U.S. News & World Report]

    7 Comments / / May 8, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 05.07.15

    * Are you tired of hearing about Tom Brady’s balls? No? Good. Here’s a great profile of the Paul Weiss litigator that authored the report on deflategate. [New York Times]

    * Good news for all the Pandora listeners out there. The Second Circuit affirmed Pandora’s access to the ASCAP music catalogue. [New York Law Journal]

    * As if the “Jena Six” haven’t been through enough, now one of its members is heading to law school. [American Lawyer]

    * Brewery scores big First Amendment victory. Let’s all celebrate with a nice cold bottle of “Raging Bitch” beer. [Corporate Counsel]

    * The federal government paid $45 million to Northrop Grumman Systems to settle claims it misappropriated trade secrets related to their satellite program. [National Law Journal]

    * The debate over the minimum wage rages on in Ninth Circuit case on the constitutionality of Los Angeles’ Living Wage law. [Law360]

    6 Comments / / May 7, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Elena Kagan LF Justice Elena Kagan

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 05.06.15

    This profile makes the case for Elena Kagan to be your new favorite Justice. (Don’t worry RBG, you’ll always be first in Staci’s heart.) [American Prospect]

    * The lateral partner wheel of fortune has taken another spin; Cozen O’Conner has added 8 lawyers from Dickstein Shapiro’s state Attorneys General practice group, that’s almost the entirety of the group. [National Law Journal]

    * Speaking of lateral partner moves, are they worth it when clients get fed up with the disruption and potential conflicts that these moves cause? [Law360]

    * After the scathing DOJ report detailing injustice, the City of Ferguson needs some quality lawyering. They got it in Winston & Strawn chairperson, Dan Webb, but it won’t come cheap. [American Lawyer]

    * After egregious discovery delays caused a district judge to enter a default judgment as to liability against the defendant, a French drone maker, a jury awarded $7.8 million in damages in a patent infringement case. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * Loretta Lynch makes her first official trip as Attorney General, to Baltimore to meet with community leaders, police, and the family of Freddie Gray. [NPR]

    11 Comments / / May 6, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Aww, the ABA wants you back, LSAT.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.05.15

    * Ever argued about weed before SCOTUS? Ever argued about weed before SCOTUS… while high? The Supreme Court asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. to weigh in on the marijuana border wars suit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska against Colorado. [Denver Post]

    * Well, that was quick! After enacting this rule just last year, the ABA now wants to put a stop to law schools using an exception that would allow up to 10 percent of their entering classes to consist of students admitted without having taken the LSAT. [ABA Journal]

    * Landon Thomas, a 2014 NYU Law graduate, has been missing for more than a week. He was last seen in Harlem on April 27. His friends and family have set up a Facebook page to aid in the search. If you have any information, please call the police. [DNAinfo]

    * Corinthian Colleges, a higher education system that ran an employment falsification scam that was eerily similar to what law schools were once doing, has gone belly up, and Biglaw firms are swooping in like vultures to get in on the action. [Am Law Daily]

    * After being convicted on 30 federal charges last month, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed some emotion for the first time during the penalty phase of his trial, where he was seen wiping a tear while his aunt sobbed on the stand. [TIME]

    22 Comments / / May 5, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Marilyn J. Mosby (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.04.15

    * This past Friday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped the gavel on the police officers who were allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Here are seven interesting facts you need to know about this “certified badass.” [New York Magazine]

    * Which law school placed the most graduates from the class of 2014 into full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage was required that weren’t school-funded? Stop. Before you say Columbia Law, you’re wrong for the first time in years. [National Law Journal]

    * Indiana Tech, the little law school that couldn’t, received a recommendation against accreditation from the ABA on its first try. Not to worry, because law school officials say this is just a “minor setback” for all 59 of its students. ::sad trombone:: [News-Sentinel]

    * “You are not doing that here.” Tough titty: Kelly Noe, one of the Ohio women challenging the same-sex marriage ban in her state before the Supreme Court, was yelled at by a security guard for breastfeeding her baby outside the high court. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

    * If you’re hoping to register a “smutty” or “immoral” trademark, then you may be able to get what you want if this Federal Circuit opinion comes down your way. We’ll soon see if a ban on these offensive trademarks violates the First Amendment. [Corporate Counsel]

    29 Comments / / May 4, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Floyd Mayweather (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.01.15

    * Floyd Mayweather’s lawyer says that his client will post Suge Knight’s insanely high $10 million bail if he wins his fight against Manny Pacquiao. Suge says he was “really going to pull for him to win, but now [he’s] going to have to pray for him to win.” [Los Angeles Times]

    * Northwestern University School of Law is launching a first-of-its-kind loan repayment assistance program to help grads in “modestly salaried private sector jobs” — that is, if you make less than $85,000, the school will pay your loan interest for up to a year. [National Law Journal via CBS]

    * If you haven’t heard, the class of 2014 was much more employed than the class of 2013 by a factor of a few percentage points. Apply to law school right now! (No, don’t do that. The class of 2014 was smaller, so it looks like the job stats were better.) [ABA Journal]

    * “[T]he jury is out and the only sane thing you can say about Dentons is check back in three years.” Hot on the heels of the announced merger between Dentons and McKenna Long, many lawyers are running for the exits. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * If you’re interested in going to law school on the east coast, then you may want to take a look at this list of schools, ranked by total employment of the class of 2014. We’d shudder to see what this list would look like if only long-term, full-time jobs were used. [BostInno]

    * A lawyer who’s suing former U.S. Representative Aaron Schock on behalf of a campaign donor says he’s been unable to locate the disgraced politician to serve him. What will happen now? We bet you can find out on the next episode of Downton Abbey. [ABC News]

    0 Comments / / May 1, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 4.30.15

    * Supreme Court actually limits speech rights and upholds a Florida ban on judicial candidates’ direct fundraising. Here’s the excellent plain English breakdown of Williams-Yulee. [SCOTUSblog]

    * Former NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pleaded not guilty to a superseding indictment. [NY Law Journal]

    * Professor Dorf analyzes the sex discrimination rationale in the same-sex marriage case. [Dorf on Law]

    * $1 million in sanctions upheld against a Philadelphia lawyer. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * So this is what they mean by practicing “sexy” law. 2015 list of 100 top Hollywood attorneys revealed. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * In an increasingly rare bipartisan act, patent reform is back on the agenda. [Corporate Counsel]

    * According to a new study by Harvard University, nearly 50% of millennials believe the criminal justice system is unfair. Welcome to the party kids. [NY Post]

    13 Comments / / Apr 30, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Kerry Washington (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.29.15

    * In case you haven’t read the transcripts from yesterday’s same-sex marriage arguments at the Supreme Court and you still want to have some talking points at the water cooler at the office, here are six of the more “provocative” questions that the justices asked. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * HBO is filming a TV movie called “Confirmation” about Justice Clarence Thomas’s 1991 nomination hearings. Kerry Washington will play Anita Hill and Wendell Pierce will play our silent justice. No one puts a pube on Olivia Pope’s Coke can and gets away with it! [Hollywood Reporter]

    * If you’re not interested in the CliffsNotes version of the same-sex marriage arguments at SCOTUS, you should know the justices were split along their usual ideological lines, and Justice Kennedy seemed even more wishy-washy than normal. [New York Times]

    * You’re my boy, Blue! Brooklyn Law School will honor 100-year-old Professor Joseph Crea this summer. He’s been teaching at the school for more than five decades, and looks like a well-preserved academic artifact. Congratulations! [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

    * Still high off its top passage rate for the February 2015 Florida bar exam and thanks to an anonymous $1 million gift, Ave Maria Law announced that it will be purchasing its campus… and launching a totally unrelated $3.2 million capital campaign. [News-Press]

    * If you’re looking to take a year off before law school, then perhaps you ought to consider becoming a paralegal, a research analyst, or an investment banker. At least one of those jobs will make you reconsider your future. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    20 Comments / / Apr 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Facebook on a screen

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 04.28.15

    * Oh Texas. Judge gets in trouble for posting about an ongoing trial on Facebook, violating HER OWN RULE about posting about an ongoing trial on Facebook. [Texas Lawyer]

    * Head of the Georgia state judicial ethics committee resigns after billing questions arise. [Daily Report]

    * Ach nein! Orrick closes two German offices. [Am Law]

    * Yup, if you graduated law school (even from a great school like Columbia) in 2010, you are well and truly screwed. [NY Times]

    * Get ready for the gay marriage oral arguments with a fascinating history of codified homophobia in public service. [WaPo]

    * Irony alert: Judge’s son got a DUI when he was driving recklessly in front of — yup, you guessed it — the courthouse. [Times Free Press]

    * NY State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman comes out in favor of decriminalization of seven “broken windows” offenses that account for ~42% of NYPD summonses. [NY Daily News]

    * RIP Harvey Miller, 82, Weil Gotshal bankruptcy partner passed away after a fight with ALS. [NYLJ]

    14 Comments / / Apr 28, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Kendall Jenner (Photo by Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.27.15

    * The job market may be “improving,” but people aren’t going to start applying to law school in droves any time soon. There’s been a 40 percent drop in applicants since 2005, and according to LSAC’s latest data, “the downward spiral is still… spiraling.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Lines to see what could be one of the most historic arguments before the Supreme Court started forming last Friday, but the rest of the country will have to sit back and wait until June to see if a constitutional right to same-sex marriage will be declared. [Reuters]

    * Kris Jenner was just hit with a six-figure lawsuit thanks to model Kendall Jenner’s 19th birthday party, which was allegedly complete with more than 100 guests and a male stripper. Don’t worry, mom, the stripper already spanked your daughter. [Ministry of Gossip / Los Angeles Times]

    * The latest edition of the Am Law 100 rankings are out, and it looks like gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per partner are on the way up at most firms. You’ll never believe which firm is the new No. 1. We’ll have more on this later. [American Lawyer]

    * Hey, here’s some info you’ve never heard before now! People who graduated from law school in 2010 are still screwed because they’re drowning in debt and some have never worked as lawyers! Never fear, the New York Times is on it! [DealBook / New York Times]

    * “Obviously, the concussion affected my judgment — oops, I shouldn’t say that, given my day job.” At 92 years of age, Judge Robert Sweet of the S.D.N.Y. splits his time between legal pirouettes in the courtroom and skating pirouettes on the ice. [New York Times]

    * “It’s time for restraint of the federal government’s over-aggressive weed warriors.” States that have legalized pot are tired of the Feds prosecuting their citizens, and that’s what the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 aims to stop from happening. [High Times]

    * “[L]awyers are naturally drawn to writing because we spend our days working with words.” If you’re a lawyer thinking about writing a legal thriller in your spare time, you’re not alone. Just ask Scott Turow and our very own David Lat. [National Law Journal]

    25 Comments / / Apr 27, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Katy Perry

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.24.15

    * The Girl Scouts of Suffolk County are teaming up with Touro Law to create a justice patch so young women can learn about the law and legal careers. If only the law school would help its grads earn the jobs patch! [National Law Journal]

    * After going through the fuss of having Greenberg Traurig send out a cease and desist letter to a designer who created a 3D printed figurine of Left Shark after the Super Bowl, Katy Perry’s trademark application for cartoonish sea creature has been denied. [SPIN]

    * Douglas Boggs, son of the late Thomas Boggs, Jr., is planning to ditch Squire Patton Boggs for Manatt Phelps & Phillips as soon as next week. Poor SPB, because now the firm isn’t going to have a single Boggs left to speak of. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * ” This is a country that has made great progress, but there is still more to do.” Now that Loretta Lynch has finally been confirmed as our next attorney general, it’s time to step back and take a look at Eric Holder’s historic legacy in the position. [MSNBC]

    * The Orrick partner who defeated Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins has now been hired to fend off another gender-bias suit filed against Twitter. Imagine what it’s like to be the go-to lawyer for Silicon Valley tech bros. [WSJ Law Blog]

    18 Comments / / Apr 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Loretta Lynch (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.23.15

    * Congratulations to Loretta Lynch, who later today should be confirmed as the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general. [CNN]

    * And congrats to baseball star Barry Bonds, whose obstruction of justice conviction just got overturned by the Ninth Circuit. [How Appealing]

    * Dewey turned DLA Piper partner John Altorelli, alleged former paramour of Russian spy Anna Chapman, is back in the news — JP Morgan Chase accuses him of lying about his assets in his pending personal bankruptcy case. [American Lawyer]

    * The many debaters-turned-lawyers out there might enjoy this look at the college debate career of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. [New York Times]

    * A satirical “killing Jews is his jihad” ad can’t be kept out of New York mass transit, per Judge John Koeltl (S.D.N.Y.). [ABA Journal]

    * Retired General David Petraeus is expected to plead guilty later today to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling Paula Broadwell classified materials. [Washington Post]

    * U.S. Supreme Court justices are getting grumpier, according to interesting research discussed by Paul Barrett. [Bloomberg View via How Appealing]

    * With the U.S. Supreme Court about to decide the constitutionality of gay-marriage bans, what’s next for opponents of marriage equality? [New York Times]

    * Standing up for “religious freedom” bills, for one thing — which is what Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is doing, telling corporations that plan to “bully[]” his state, “Save your breath.”
    [New York Times]

    22 Comments / / Apr 23, 2015 at 9:12 AM
  • Sofia Vergara (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.22.15

    * Law school graduates may not be able to find jobs immediately, but not to worry, because according to this law professor, at least they won’t be homeless — and sadly, for some people, a thought like that may be comforting. [Washington Post]

    * Sofia Vergara is locked in a battle with her ex-fiancé over their frozen embryos. Her lawyer says now that she’s engaged to the studly Joe Manganiello, she has “no desire to have children with her ex,” but that certainly isn’t going to stop him from suing her to become a dad. [New York Daily News]

    * Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may regret flipping the bird at a security camera in his federal holding cell now that it’s being shown to the jury in the punishment phase of his trial to prove that he’s “unrepentant, uncaring, and untouched” by his crimes. [Boston.com]

    * If you’ve been waitlisted at a law school you’re desperate to get into, perhaps you ought to try sending a letter of continued interest. Hey, you never know, bringing attention back to your application might just might work! [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Black lives matter, but apparently not to the police. The DOJ has opened an investigation into the death of black Baltimore resident Freddie Gray following his arrest. He died from a “severe spinal cord injury,” but the police claim to have no idea how it happened. [CNN]

    40 Comments / / Apr 22, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Chicago

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.21.15

    * It’s NALP week here on ATL. With the traveling (it’s in Chicago this year) somehow I got stuck doing Morning Docket. Also, I’m not wearing any pants. [NALP]

    * Click on something I wrote on Redline or else I’ll end up having to do this every day and I will attach all of you motherf**kers in my EEOC complaint. [Redline]

    * A California court decided that tiered water rates were illegal. Charging people more for water based on how much they consume is a key part of California’s water plan. In other news, I’m fully prepared to live without nuts and fruits and vegetables as California returns to its natural, dusty state. [LA Times]

    * I don’t even know how the format of this column is supposed to work anymore. I’m supposed to put a jump here? After the jump, more stories. Here’s a video from Buzzfeed. [Buzzfeed]

    * Yesterday, on 4/20 Chicago decided to stop prosecuting low-level, non-violent drug offenses. I’m right to be terrified of going to Chicago today, right? Like, in Chicago, it’s not just the cops I have to worry about, there are also actual criminals. [ABA Journal]

    * The sentencing phase of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial begins today. If we’ve learned one thing from Game of Thrones, it’s that public executions don’t always have the desired effect. If we’ve learned two things it’s always double-tap during “trials.” [NBC News]

    * A Manhattan judge granted Habeas Corpus to two chimpanzees. When I get back to New York, will I even recognize it? [Nonhuman Rights]

    42 Comments / / Apr 21, 2015 at 9:26 AM