Morning Docket

  • Taylor Swift

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.30.15

    * Next time on Nancy Grace: A recent graduate of Michigan State Law allegedly got a master’s degree student from the school pregnant twice before he left the country. The woman allegedly murdered one of the babies, and the other is now missing. [Detroit Free Press]

    * I’ll just leave this right here so I won’t get fined. It looks like a partner from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton helped Marshawn Lynch trademark his nickname “Beast Mode” — a trademark that may lead to Lynch getting a $100,000 fine from the NFL. [Am Law Daily]

    * In other trademark news, Taylor Swift got approval for catchphrases from her album. “Nice to Meet You, Where You Been?” Her IP lawyers “Could Show You Incredible Things,” but you could’ve been getting down to “This Sick Beat.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Gibson Dunn earned $459,000 for successfully challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, which was apparently a “sharp cut” in the fees the firm initially requested for star litigator Ted Olson’s time. Poor Teddy. [National Law Journal]

    * According to Am Law’s latest Lateral Partners Survey, there was a 7 percent increase in lateral moves — 2,736, to be precise — between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Guaranteed pay packages, though, seem to be a thing of the past. [American Lawyer]

    * The K&L Gates Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, a clinic that’s perhaps better known as the firm’s revenge porn project, is assisting a California law student whose nude pictures and videos were allegedly put online by an ex. [DealBook / New York Times]

    9 Comments / / Jan 30, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • NBA Law Prom Oklahoma Law

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.29.15

    * “I will be myself. I will be Loretta Lynch.” During the first day of her Senate Judiciary hearing, our would-be attorney general was cool, calm, and collected while delivering the news that she’s not Eric Holder. [National Law Journal]

    * Just how many retweets does it take for a law student at Oklahoma Law to convince Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder to go with her to law school prom (i.e., Barrister’s Ball)? Apparently only 1K. Come on, be her date, Steve! [FanSided]

    * After being arrested on bribery charges, New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has decided to take a leave of absence from personal injury firm Weitz & Luxenberg — and to think, he was originally hired “to bring prestige to the firm.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Chess trains you to always think of the worst-case scenario. A lot of the time, that’s what lawyers are hired to do—to think, ‘What’s the worst case and how can I manage it?’” The youngest Debevoise associate moonlights as a chess champ. [Am Law Daily]

    * Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of billionaire Harold Hamm who first rejected a $975 million alimony check earlier this month and later cashed it, still thinks she should be able to appeal her divorce decree. This woman’s got some real chutzpah. [Bloomberg]

    9 Comments / / Jan 29, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Alexandra Marchuk and Juan Monteverde

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.28.15

    * There’s nothing like boner talk in federal court: Juan Monteverde of Faruqi & Faruqi reaffirmed his claim that he was too drunk to get it up “consummate the act” during the time Alexandra Marchuk alleged he forced sex upon her. [Law 360]

    * “There’s something deeply ironic about a judge seeking the right to ignore another judge’s ruling while crying ‘judicial activism.'” Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court wants judges to ignore a federal ruling on his state’s unconstitutional ban on gay marriage. [Reuters]

    * Just days after the legal news media found out that Dentons would be tying the knot with Dacheng, the deal has officially been sealed. Talk about a shotgun wedding! Best wishes go out to 大成 Dentons for a happy, international marriage. [Am Law Daily]

    * Elite litigation boutique Susman Godfrey will be consolidating its Dallas and Houston offices into one mega-office in 2016 after the firm’s lease in Dallas is up. Will all of the displaced attorneys remain with the firm? [Houston Business Journal]

    * Can we talk… about wrongful death cases? A lawsuit has finally been filed against the outpatient endoscopy facility and physicians involved in the death of Joan Rivers, and details have been released as to the way the beloved comedian died. [CNN]

    37 Comments / / Jan 28, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • cakepops

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.27.15

    * “She’s kind of like Eric Holder in a skirt.” Well then. No one else really seems to care about longtime prosecutor Loretta Lynch’s nomination for the position of replacement top dog at the Department of Justice, but hey, maybe that’s actually a good thing. [National Law Journal]

    * Yael Krigman, who left her job at White & Case to open up her own cakepoppery in Washington, D.C., doesn’t miss being a lawyer. In fact, these days, she says she uses her law degree “much more than [she] did as a practicing attorney.” [GW Hatchet]

    * It’s official: the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court had no shame in their game when they denied certiorari on a civil rights case involving shirtless Wade McCree. It’s too bad judges are immune from lawsuits like this. [Associated Press via Detroit News]

    * If you’re lucky enough to have power, then boy, Dewey have a wonderful longread for you to take a look at on this “historic” snow day. It turns out that this failed firm’s management painted a “rosy picture” to mask an “ugly truth.” [ABA Journal]

    * Should you submit a law school application with a crappy LSAT score without first telling the schools that there will be another, hopefully better LSAT score coming? Please. They’ll be thrilled you have a pulse. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    15 Comments / / Jan 27, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • Deflate-Gate. NFL football deflated on the field

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.26.15

    * Senate Republicans are contemplating abolishing filibusters for SCOTUS nominees. This could go one of two ways: it could work out nicely for them, or explode in their faces. It’s like a choose your own adventure game. [POLITICO]

    * When it comes to the upcoming gay marriage cases before SCOTUS, “[e]very lawyer involved will want to argue.” Remember, when you’re given the chance to make history, you better hope that you’re on the right side of it. [National Law Journal]

    * “[I]f there is one decision I would overrule, it is Citizens United.” Even RBG thinks this campaign finance decision is one of the Supreme Court’s “darkest hour[s].” [Salon]

    * SCOTUS refused to stay Charles Warner’s execution, but it agreed to grant cert on his lethal injection case days after his death. Better late than never? [New York Times]

    * The NFL has drafted Ted Wells of Paul Weiss to blow up the absurd controversy that is “Deflategate.” Come on, who cares if the Patriots cheated again? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Do you know any chronic Biglaw firm-hoppers? How many firms are too many to lateral to? Three? Five? Seven? Jesus Christ, for this guy, try 10 firms. [Am Law Daily]

    27 Comments / / Jan 26, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • Preet Bharara

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.23.15

    * Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was recently referred to as the “most dangerous man in American politics.” Why’s that, you ask? It’s because he’s “a federal prosecutor who doesn’t give a f*ck.” Damn straight. [BuzzFeed]

    * Just when you thought the Alan Dershowitz sex scandal couldn’t get any more intense, the investigative sleuths over at Gawker found flight records that allegedly place the professor as a passenger on a billionaire bad boy’s pedo plane. [Gawker]

    * Dewey know which former chairman of a failed firm had to beg to get a refund on his bail money because he couldn’t otherwise afford to pay the expert witnesses for his upcoming criminal trial? Aww. Poor, poor Steven Davis. [New York Law Journal]

    * Fried Frank’s chairman says that completely pulling the firm out of Asia was a “difficult but necessary decision.” On the other hand, an ex-partner at the firm says this move had basically been “inevitable” since at least 2009. Hmm. [Am Law Daily]

    * If you want advice on how to pick a “cost-efficient” law school, the first thing you should realize is that your scholarships may come back to bite you in the ass. Go on, read the fine print — after all, you want to be a lawyer. [U.S. News & World Report]

    35 Comments / / Jan 23, 2015 at 9:13 AM
  • debt shackles

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.22.15

    * Dentons is on the verge of finalizing a mega-merger that would make the combined firm the largest in the world, beating out even Biglaw behemoth Baker & McKenzie. Which law firm is Dentons wooing this time? [Wall Street Journal]

    * “We say law school is expensive, but it’s not expensive for everybody.” People who do poorly on the LSAT finance their classmates’ schooling, and thanks to this chart, now we know what the cost of a low LSAT score really is. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

    * Senate hearings for Loretta Lynch are scheduled to begin next week, but thus far, she’s only received eight letters in support of her nomination for AG. Eric Holder, who is apparently far cooler than she is, received tons of ’em. Aww. [National Law Journal]

    * The next edition of the Am Law 100 will soon be released, but until then, Am Law is sating our desire for rankings with little tidbits of interesting information. This just in: Apparently Weil Gotshal posted a major, double-digit increase in PPP. [Am Law Daily]

    * Nixon Peabody has had the urge to merge for quite some time, and now the firm has finally found a willing partner. If everything works out, the firm will gobble up Ungaretti & Harris, and everyone will be a winner! [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * “There is a large overhang of unemployed law graduates looking for jobs. Whether employers will hire them over 2015 grads is hard to predict.” Which is the lesser of two evils: dumber law grads or law grads with huge résumé gaps? [CBS News]

    19 Comments / / Jan 22, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • United States Capital

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.21.15

    * Nothing is f*cked here, Judge: With first-class flights, alcoholic beverages, and hotel movies already nixed, lawyers who worked on the City of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy case are now being forced to defend their multi-million dollar billables. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “It’s important to have different perspectives in Congress. It really adds a lot to the mix.” That said, which law schools are the best at producing lawmakers? You may be surprised by some of the schools that made the list. [National Law Journal]

    * “Going to law school is still a great option,” says the dean of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, a school whose 25th percentile LSAT scores dropped by six points year over year. Toss UA Law a pity application. [Daily Wildcat]

    * Per the defense in the Aurora movie theater massacre case, the prosecutor’s “insistence upon the death penalty certainly seems politically motivated” — that, or maybe James Holmes deserves the death penalty for killing 12 people. [ABA Journal]

    * By now, everyone’s heard of the woman who’s planning to “marry” her biological father and move to New Jersey. Believe it or not, incestual adult relationships are actually legal in the Garden State thanks to a legislative screw-up. [NJ Advance Media]

    17 Comments / / Jan 21, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Uhh... thanks for the bonus?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.20.15

    * Fried Frank is closing down its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices because they were costing the firm more money than they were bringing in. What’ll happen to the lawyers who work there? Most of them will be huòdé dìyù. [Am Law Daily]

    * Not everyone can match the New York market when it comes to Biglaw bonuses. According to disputed rumors, associates in some practices of at least one Chicago law firm didn’t receive any bonus at all. Which firm? [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * We often complain that women are getting the short end of the stick in Biglaw, but today we’ve got a nice little caveat. At some large law firms in at least one city, more women are making partner than their male counterparts. [National Law Journal]

    * UVA hired Pepper Hamilton to consult on its inept handling of sexual assault cases while O’Melveny & Myers deals with its Rolling Stone gang rape allegations. Collars shall be half-popped until the school gets serious about these issues. [Newsplex]

    * Whittier Law, home to one of the worst full-time, long-term employment rates in the country, hopes to give grads a “legal leg-up” with its new solo incubator program — because “[e]ducation and training doesn’t end when they graduate.” [Daily Pilot]

    * Wet Seal joined the ranks of teen retailers like Deb and Delia’s when it dumped lots of locations and filed for Chapter 11. New code provisions might’ve sped things along, but like, being a debtor-in-possession is totally uncool. [DealBook / New York Times]

    5 Comments / / Jan 20, 2015 at 9:07 AM
  • Kent and Jill Easter

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.19.15

    * On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to evaluate the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and this is perhaps the definitive article on how the justices have been preparing the nation for marriage equality. Get ready for some big gay weddings this summer. [BuzzFeed]

    * Smile for the camera! Kent and Jill Easter, the infamous helicopter-parenting lawyers who went to jail for attempting to frame a volunteer at their son’s school on drug charges, found themselves at the center of a 20/20 story. [ABC News]

    * With it being highly likely that the Supreme Court will declare bans on same-sex marriage by the states unconstitutional, people are wondering which justice will be the one the vote hinges upon. Could it be Chief Justice Roberts? [New Republic]

    * Come on now, the swing vote in the same-sex marriage cases will obviously be Justice Kennedy. The legal tea leaves have been read, and with his majority opinions in Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor, the future has been foretold. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Steven Metro, the former managing clerk of Simpson Thacher’s New York office, was finally indicted after being charged with insider trading almost one year ago. If you’re interested, flip to the next page to see the juicy indictment. [Am Law Daily]

    * In a new report, the Texas attorney general’s office concluded the forgivable faculty loan program at UT Law not only violated school rules, but also “set into motion a lack of transparency that ultimately led to a lack of accountability.” [Texas Tribune]

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/252991700/Indictment-U-S-v-Steven-Metro

    7 Comments / / Jan 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.16.15

    * Fewer people are applying to law school. According to LSAC, the number of would-be lawyers who submitted applications is down by 8.5 percent compared to last year. Serious question: How low can we go before all schools are officially in crisis mode? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * You’ll never believe how this guy paid off his law school debt. His parents got a home refi loan, and with the money ($210,000), their son got rid of his student loans. Now he’ll pay his parents’ loan for 30 years. Wow. [Business Insider]

    * Justice Samuel Alito took a break from the SCOTUS docket to receive an award named for the late Judge Edward Becker of the Third Circuit, a man who he said “tried to get federal judges to act in a more sensible way. That’s a real task.” [Legal Times]

    * “[T]hings are getting back to where they were before the recession,” so naturally, state judges — like those in California — are suing over the salary increases they were denied while the recession was in progress. Bless their hearts. [National Law Journal]

    * Hey lawyers, want to seem like you’re smart? Stop sprinkling your briefs with SAT vocabulary words. Just put on a pair of glasses and start using your middle initial more often. For the record, speaking in a pleasant voice is also helpful. [ABA Journal]

    11 Comments / / Jan 16, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • lawyer with lots of cash

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.15.15

    * From Biglaw to big fields: This Duane Morris attorney decided to put her legal career out to pasture so she could hop on a tractor and become a farmer — and not just any farmer, but an organic farmer. Oooh, how artisanal! [Am Law Daily]

    * Seventy percent of people who make $150K+ get the raises they ask for, and people with law degrees get raises more often than any other degree holders. Walk up to your law firm’s managing partner and demand a raise. We dare you. [U.S. News]

    * The Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit filed by a former Kansas Law student who claimed he was wrongfully expelled. Apparently he forgot to disclose his criminal past, and when the school found out, he got the boot. [National Law Journal]

    * The William Mitchell College of Law welcomed its first class of “hybrid” online students this week. Law school may have lost its flair, but 85 crazy kids ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s jumped at the chance to learn law online. [Star Tribune]

    * Marvel trotted out a familiar law firm plaque to gin up excitement for the premiere of Daredevil, which will be out on Netflix come April. Comic book nerds, rejoice, for Nelson and Murdock will soon be open for business and gracing your screens. [/Film]

    3 Comments / / Jan 15, 2015 at 9:07 AM
  • gradenfreude

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.14.15

    * In May 2014, we told our readers about the sad state of financial affairs for assistant district attorneys in Massachusetts — they make less money than courthouse janitors. Now is the state finally being encouraged to do something about it. [Boston Globe]

    * The University of Maine School of Law is one of 74 law schools to drop its application fee in the hope of enticing more students to apply. Do these schools legitimately believe it’s the fee that’s keeping students away? [Bangor Daily News]

    * Partners at Bingham McCutchen, the latest Biglaw firm to flop, claim they knew that the end was near about one year ago, when their managing partner informed them that the firm would “active[ly] wait” for money to appear. Yeah… [American Lawyer]

    * The fraud trial for former members of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s top brass was pushed back to April because Joel Sanders hired a new defense attorney. Apparently he had some “irreconcilable differences” with his former counsel. [New York Law Journal]

    * The California Commission on Access to Justice plans to launch a legal incubator program. This will help low-income individuals in need of legal services, and the low-income law grads struggling to put their degrees to work. [National Law Journal]

    11 Comments / / Jan 14, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • ArrowGoingDown

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.13.15

    * With fewer and fewer students applying to law school, acceptance rates have skyrocketed. Some, like GW Law, have even been accused of “laundering [their] credentials” by padding their enrollment numbers with transfers. [GW Hatchet]

    * “People don’t graduate from law school understanding the business of law.” That’s just one of the reasons recent grads are having such a tough time getting jobs as associates. Suffolk Law thinks it can help change that. [Boston Business Journal]

    * “This is an example of the system working as intended”: Hundreds of thousands of dollars are due to successful plaintiffs in same-sex marriage cases, and millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees for that work is racking up interest. [National Law Journal]

    * James Risen, the New York Times reporter who refused to out his source as part of a CIA investigation, has won the right to keep his journalistic integrity intact after a long legal battle. Prosecutors have officially dropped him as a witness. [Bloomberg]

    * After much talk about partners heading for the exits before, during, and after the Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders merger, and Bob Luskin has finally left the building for Paul Hastings. We hope his parting wasn’t “painful” for him. [WSJ Law Blog]

    11 Comments / / Jan 13, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • George Zimmerman

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.12.15

    * George Zimmerman was arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon. His lawyer said his client “has not been lucky with the ladies.” He hasn’t been lucky with being a decent human being, either. [USA Today]

    * Lawrence McCreery, the Hawaii lawyer who licked a client’s ear and inspired the judge on his case to call him a “dirty old man,” has had his harassment conviction upheld on appeal. Get excited, he’s still got a law license, ladies. [Associated Press]

    * We may soon see same-sex marriage bans in three states struck down, as the Fifth Circuit “appeared poised” to do so after oral arguments on Friday. Roberta Kaplan, our 2013 Lawyer of the Year, delivered a standout performance in arguing against Mississippi’s ban. [BuzzFeed]

    * What do Sidley Austin, Baker & McKenzie, Reed Smith, Hogan Lovells, and Skadden Arps have in common? Their names were used in phishing emails to scam people out of their money. Some might say that’s business as usual. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * An arrest was made in the forcible rape of a woman — presumably a law student — that took place in the stacks of the Southern University Law Center’s library last semester. The accused rapist is currently behind held without bond. [WBRZ]

    14 Comments / / Jan 12, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • Andi Dorfman

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.09.15

    * Per New York City’s gossip rag of record, an alleged “bed-pooping, cokehead” banker and his “alcoholic” wife were called out by the judge in their divorce case for involving their kids in a “horrible fiasco.” [New York Post]

    * For time infinitum, the structure of Wachtell Lipton’s billing was “cloaked in mystery.” Thanks to an errant fee agreement, however, we have an idea of what the prestigious firm charges for its “distinctive service.” [Am Law Daily]

    * Hey guys, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and there’s a newly single Bachelorette on the prowl. The lovely Andi Dorfman called off her reality TV stunt engagement. Perhaps the ADA will return to prosecuting cases? [E! Online via TODAY]

    * “We are in the end game on the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.” Later today, we may find out whether the Supreme Court intends to take up any of the same-sex marriage disputes that have been presented to it this Term. [Bloomberg]

    * It looks like the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law is starting an LL.M. program in gambling law. Step right up, because we’re now taking bets to see whether this degree will be advantageous for its graduates in the job market. [National Law Journal]

    * California’s foie gras ban was recently struck down by a judge as an illegal encroachment upon the federal government’s regulatory domain. Please remember that while it’s delicious… it’s supposedly only “for assholes.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

    26 Comments / / Jan 9, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Olivia Lake (her dad's a lawyer)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.08.15

    * Here’s some JOLTing news: Megon Walker, the Harvard Law graduate who claims her life was ruined because the school accused her of being a plagiarist, just lost her defamation suit against her alma mater. [National Law Journal]

    * “You have a party like this and it’s as though you’re handing out hand grenades as party favors.” Jeff Lake, a California lawyer, was arrested and faces social host liability issues thanks to his kid’s Playboy party. [Denver Channel]

    * Congress is back in session, and President Obama resubmitted his nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, along with other judicial nods. She’ll be a “terrific attorney general,” so get this show on the road. [Legal Times]

    * “How many clinics do you have to close before the court says, ‘Enough’?” Lawyers for abortion clinics and Texas state attorneys faced off before the Fifth Circuit over the viability constitutionality of the Lone Star State’s abortion laws. [New York Times]

    * It’s a new year with new laws in effect, and it looks like 27 states, plus D.C., have made major moves with regard to weed, be it through the legalization medical marijuana or decriminalization of its possession. Do you know your rights? [CNN]

    27 Comments / / Jan 8, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Surfing the internet for pornography

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.07.15

    * Alan Dershowitz vowed to sue the lawyers who alleged he took part in a sex scandal for defamation, but it looks like he was too slow — they sued him for defamation first. The Dersh, however, seemed pleased as punch by the news: “This makes my day.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Illinois passed some of the toughest anti-revenge-porn legislation the country has seen to date. With possible jail time and huge fines, maybe people will be inspired to be decent human beings… but we doubt it. [International Business Times]

    * Welcome to 2015: In what’s being called the “running of the laterals,” many Biglaw partners and associates are making their moves and taking their practices to different firms and businesses. We hope everyone collected their bonuses! [Am Law Daily]

    * You may be “troubled by a program where people at the bottom pay for the people at the top,” but it’s happening at law schools across the country. Students with low LSAT scores are subsidizing their classmates’ education. [National Law Journal]

    * Meanwhile, getting into law school with lower LSAT scores is easier than it’s ever been before. From 2010 to 2013, nearly all of the nation’s Top 20 law schools admitted students with lower test scores. Thank them for paying your tuition. [Businessweek]

    36 Comments / / Jan 7, 2015 at 8:54 AM