Morning Docket

  • Uhh... thanks for the bonus?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.18.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.17.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.16.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.15.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.12.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.11.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.10.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.09.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.08.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.05.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.04.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.03.14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.02.14

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

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

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

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

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

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