Morning Docket

  • fail failure

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.21.15

    * Arizona Summit Law wasn’t the only law school to post an embarrassing passage rate on the July 2015 administration of the bar exam. Only 28 percent of test-takers from this law school passed, but its dean says that the scores don’t “reflect a problem with the school’s quality.” Hey, whatever helps you get to sleep at night. [Tennessean]

    * Speaking of bar passage rates, if you’re applying to law school, should you care about them? Job statistics are probably a more telling measurement when comparing schools, but then again, it’s harder to get a job when you can’t pass the bar exam. [U.S. News]

    * “It’s a huge blow to his tenure as DA.” The mistrial in the criminal case against Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former executives is putting a major damper on what was supposed to be Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s crackdown on corporate crime. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Thanks to the Department of Education’s “gainful employment rule,” for-profit law schools could be in trouble when it comes to eligibility for federal student loans under the “debt-to-earnings” test. This certainly may put a crimp in Infilaw’s style. [Huffington Post]

    * The vast majority of all class members in the Subway “footlong” lawsuit aren’t likely to see a dime. This is fine because they don’t need to see any “dough,” but a guarantee that the company’s next spokesperson won’t be a child predator would be nice. [WSJ Law Blog]

    55 Comments / / Oct 21, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • prison prisoner jail convicted criminal

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.20.15

    * “This is the best we can do” doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement on policy change, but at least the bipartisan sentencing reform bill has a chance to see the light of day. [National Law Journal]

    * Corporate scandals feed more and more of the news cycle, and general counsels are key to responding. [Law360]

    * Speaking of corporate scandals, the Petrobras corruption scandal has already cost an estimated $5 billion in losses. [Corporate Counsel]

    * Yup, Republicans are still trying to undo Obamacare via lawsuit. The Obama administration just lost a ruling to immediately appeal the viability of the lawsuit. [Wall Street Journal]

    * The Dewey trial’s hing jury mirrors the dysfunction of the Dewey & LeBoeuf partnership. [American Lawyer]
    * The feds are cracking down on drone registration, which means a bunch of new regulations to follow, you know, if you are into flying drones. [Fortune]

    23 Comments / / Oct 20, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Oscar Pistorius

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.19.15

    * After a recent vote, the Florida Bar flat-out rejected a supposedly “controversial” proposal for bar reciprocity. Attorneys in the Sunshine State absolutely, positively do NOT want you practicing law there if you haven’t taken the Florida bar. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Tomorrow, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison after having only served a fifth of a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, a law school graduate. He’ll begin a stint of house arrest, and he’s not allowed to have guns there… for very obvious reasons. [UPI]

    * The case of the missing mistrial? After four weeks of deliberation, and after having acquitted the defendants of a slew of lesser charges, the jury in the criminal trial against the ex-execs of Dewey & LeBoeuf will enter a new month without a full verdict. [Reuters]

    * The Nebraska Legislature voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, but supporters of capital punishment have forced a November 2016 referendum vote instead. Not to worry, “[n]obody’s going to be executed in Nebraska anytime soon.” [New York Times]

    * This week, Connecticut’s Appellate Court will hear cases at the state’s most famous — and most prestigious — law school. Don’t get too excited, Yalies, because this has nothing to do with you. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of this place. [Associated Press]

    46 Comments / / Oct 19, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • John Stamos (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.16.15

    * John Stamos of Full House fame was formally charged with driving under the influence earlier this week following his arrest for erratic driving this summer. He faces up to six months in jail if convicted. We have faith that his beautiful hair will survive time in the slammer. [USA Today]

    * While the vast majority of the law school lawsuits containing allegations related to deceptive employment statistics have been dismissed, a few are still alive and kicking. The very first one filed — Alaburda v. Thomas Jefferson School of Law — is heading to trial in 2016. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Trick or treat? Per federal prosecutors, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will plead guilty before Halloween as part of a deal in his ongoing sexual misconduct hush-money case, but whether he’ll serve time is a question that’s yet to be answered. [Reuters]

    * Headcount at real estate firms with once-prominent foreclosure practices continues to shrink thanks to the recession’s end. To that effect, two Chicago firms have eliminated hundreds of positions for legal professionals since 2013. [Chicago Business Journal]

    * Thanks to a new online system, Northwestern Law will be able to interview prospective students any time, anywhere. The school is the first in the country to offer awkward casting couch sessions as part of its admissions process. [Northwestern University News]

    31 Comments / / Oct 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • kardashian_sisters

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.15.15

    * Daaaammmmn. Some serious shade as Greenberg Traurig CEO Richard Rosenbaum takes a swipe at Dentons. Video below the jump.

    * Lamar Odom is still technically married to Khloe Kardashian, thereby giving his estranged wife authority when it comes to medical decisions. Good, because I think we were all hoping a man’s tragic health crisis could be fodder for May Sweeps. [Eonline]

    * Linklaters is “internally crowdsourcing” to find a solution to provide a better work-life balance. Jesus. Bring on the necessary resources to cap any individual’s work week at 60 billable hours and move on. Anything less is just an invitation to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. [Law360]

    * Looks like NPR’s hit podcast Serial is ready for a second season. [The Onion]

    * Dewey think these deliberations will ever end? [The Am Law Daily]

    * Ah, the life of in-house counsel: writing bitchy emails to customers telling them how stupid they are. [L.A. Times]

    * Rand Paul explains how “liberty” works for gay people. [Gawker]

    * Before joining a class action, make sure aren’t advertising your own criminal behavior to authorities. [Times-Picayune]

    * And here’s that Greenberg Traurig-Dentons swipe. This strikes me as an ill-considered decision given that Dentons is known as a firm that doesn’t start fights, but sure as f**k ends them. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    41 Comments / / Oct 15, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • sad-lawyer

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.13.15

    * Biglaw leaders aren’t feeling so hot about the future of the profession. What else is new? [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Villanova Law School whining about its fall in the U.S. News rankings after admitting it had artificially inflated its numbers. Listen, it’s this stupid fascination with U.S. News that got Villanova busted in the first place. It’s high time the school stops preening for U.S. News and starts touting its admirable position in the rankings based on what’s best for students. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * It’s time for the Supreme Court to hear the important cases! Enough of these poor people railroaded by the system, where’s justice for disgraced former Governor Bob McDonnell? [Washington Post]

    * Everything should be legal! At least when it comes to BS NCAA violations. [Adequate Man / Deadspin]

    * Women make less than men when it comes to in-house work. Sort of like all other work. [Law360]

    * Hillary was hailed as the big winner last night, but her biggest victory was knowing that Bernie Sanders was going to pull his punches. [Redline]

    * Sara Randazzo with the Twitter observation of the day yesterday: lawyer for ex-Dewey chair Steve Davis trolled the jury with his tie pattern. [Twitter]

    22 Comments / / Oct 14, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • 800px-Lion_in_masai_mara

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.13.15

    * Zimbabwe officials won’t charge Dr. Walter Palmer in the slaying of Cecil the lion since he had proper paperwork, but he likely won’t be allowed to hunt if he ever returns. This will not stand. It’s now time for the American vigilante animal-lover justice team to assemble. [Reuters]

    * Per the results of two new surveys, Biglaw firms can stop worrying about their work drying up thanks to in-house law departments keeping matters in-house. Outside spending on legal counsel is flat as opposed to in the negative, and that’s apparently something to celebrate. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * This school puts the “duh” in Flori-duh: As we mentioned previously, Ave Maria School of Law was the caboose on the trainwreck that was the July 2015 administration of the Florida bar exam, and now people can’t stop staring at the wreckage. [Naples Daily News]

    * The Cannabis Law and Policy Project, a new group at the University of Washington School of Law, will spend the next year researching existing and emerging markets for marijuana. We can’t wait for them to puff, puff, pass on their knowledge. [UW Today]

    * If you’re planning to take the LSAT with testing accommodations, there are a few things that you need to know. Find out what types of accommodations are available, and be sure to file your — OMG, SQUIRREL! [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    46 Comments / / Oct 13, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Matt Jackson

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.12.15

    Ed. note: In honor of Columbus Day (and Canadian Thanksgiving), Above the Law will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will be back in full force tomorrow. Stay tuned for today’s news!

    * Who is Amy Berman Jackson? If you’ve been watching Jeopardy! lately, you’ve probably been trying to figure out which law firm reigning champion Matt Jackson works for as a paralegal. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that his mother is a D.D.C. federal judge. [Washington Post]

    * Another SCOTUS term is upon us, and while Chief Justice Roberts tends to cast his votes on the issues through a conservative lens, there’s talk that he could be a “wildcard.” Hmm, perhaps Justice Kennedy will have a pal to swing with this year. [MSNBC]

    * Choose your path wisely: Bloomberg Markets released its ranking of the 50 most influential people last week, and not a single practicing lawyer made the cut. Attorneys who chose career alternatives, however, made a killing. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Marcel Aubut, who recently resigned in disgrace from his position as Canadian Olympic Committee president after allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching came to light, has also decided to leave his Biglaw firm and seek counseling. [NBC Sports]

    * Late last week, California adopted an exacting digital privacy law that will require police to get warrants to access all manner of electronic information, from emails to texts to metadata. Please thank the Golden State for keeping your sexts safe. [WSJ Law Blog]

    52 Comments / / Oct 12, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • 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. [AL.com]

    * 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