Morning Docket

  • Marilyn J. Mosby (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.28.15

    * As it turns out, Marilyn Mosby, State’s Attorney for Baltimore, has been a legal all-star for much of her adult life. Not only did she file charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, but she won a case in front of Judge Judy. Watch the video below. [New York Daily News]

    * “No one needs more than 18 years in the high stakes and extremely powerful position of Supreme Court justice.” If you’re against lifetime terms for SCOTUS justices, you’re going to love Fix the Court’s new initiative for voluntary term limits. Who’d actually follow through with this? [Legal Times]

    * The DOJ brought a landmark case against FIFA officials, but there’s likely going to be a problem getting those who were charged extradited from Switzerland. Legal experts say it’ll be at least six months until we can get them in the U.S. penalty box. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Sure, Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former chief financial officer may have referred to the firm’s “fake income” and hoped for a “clueless auditor,” but come on, that doesn’t mean that he was involved in anything fraudulent. He’s just a really “blunt” kind of guy. [Am Law Daily]

    * UC law students are thanking Gov. Jerry Brown they’re exempt from supplemental tuition increases — “[they] are paying a ton already for [their] degrees.” Good thing legal education is in the toilet, otherwise they’d be paying the fee hikes. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Comedian Tracy Morgan has settled his personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart over the tractor-trailer truck crash he was involved in last summer. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but we imagine someone will leak them online soon. [Reuters]

    28 Comments / / May 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM
  • drunk with a tie around head

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.27.15

    * It’s summer associate season in Biglaw, so here are some tips to help you not completely screw up your futures. (But if you do catch someone misbehaving, make sure to send your friends here at ATL a tip.) [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]

    * Break out the vuvuzelas, because Loretta Lynch just scored herself a gigantic GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Several of FIFA’s top officials were arrested in Switzerland for extradition to America to face federal corruption charges over years of alleged racketeering and wire fraud. [New York Times]

    * “Not all the evidence that you hear and see will be riveting.” The Dewey & LeBoeuf financial crimes trial may be sexy for Biglaw aficianados, but at least one of the prosecutors on the case had the courtesy to warn jurors they’d be bored. [Am Law Daily]

    * Which Biglaw firms are the best places for new fathers to work? According to a recent report from Fatherly, a digital parenting resource for men, Arnold & Porter, Alston & Bird, and Baker Donelson all have pretty nice paternity leave policies. [; Fatherly]

    * At some law firms, working part-time or on a flexible schedule isn’t necessarily a career killer for women, but that doesn’t change the fact that at other firms, doing so means that “they’re no longer on that partnership/management track.”[Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * Daniel Meltzer, Story Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, former Principal Deputy Counsel to President Obama, and federal courts scholar, RIP. [Legal Theory Blog]

    12 Comments / / May 27, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17: Sofia Vergara attends the European premiere of 'Happy Feet Two' at the Empire cinema Leicester Square on November 20, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.26.15

    * What Dewey think the leaders of this failed firm — Steven Davis, Stephen DiCarmine, and Joel Sanders — were doing during Memorial Day Weekend? Odds are at least one was working on his tan prior to opening arguments at tomorrow’s trial. [American Lawyer]

    * Sofia Vergara will be heading back to court after a judge granted Nick Loeb, her ex-fiancé, permission to amend his complaint to seek custody over the couple’s frozen embryos. “There is no legal issue. Embryos are not children,” says her lawyer. [ET Online]

    * After making great hay of the school’s apparently dire financial straits in a last-ditch effort to woo InfiLaw back into its lonely arms, Charleston Law will be enrolling new students after all. We’ll have more on this desperate move later. [Post and Courier]

    * Cuba Libres for everyone! The Florida Bar is sending a parade of lawyers into Cuba to explore potential business opportunities while Biglaw firms are breaking into their stashes of Romeo y Julietas in preparation for an influx of post-embargo billable hours. [Reuters]

    * Students at Northern Kentucky Law may soon be doing time at a local jail to complete their educations, since the administration is considering moving the school there. At least they’ll have practice for their residence in debtors’ prisons in the future. []

    8 Comments / / May 26, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Howard Dean (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.22.15

    * Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich isn’t the only politician who will be joining Dentons. After Dentons completes a merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge, former DNC Chair Howard Dean will also be working for the largest law firm in the world. YEEEAAAH! [The Intercept]

    * Now that New York has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam, other states are considering it. Hurry up, because the UBE will “break down the long persistent barriers that keep lawyers from moving” — which isn’t a bad thing. [National Law Journal]

    * In half a century of reproductive and gay rights cases, it’s worth noting that “arguments based on a right to privacy have tended to weaken and crack; arguments based on equality have grown only stronger.” Let’s see what SCOTUS does in June. [The New Yorker]

    * All six of the Baltimore police officers who were arrested following the death of Freddie Gray have been indicted on homicide and assault charges. Despite the fact there’s now an indictment, the officers’ lawyers are calling the prosecution’s case weak. [New York Times]

    * “Can you #trademark a #hashtag?” It’s somewhat of a tricky issue for people who are trying to register their marks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but these attorneys from IP powerhouse Morrison & Foerster have a pretty good explanation. []

    31 Comments / / May 22, 2015 at 8:31 AM
  • Ariel Winter (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 05.21.15

    * Modern Family star Ariel Winter wants to go to law school. Aw, that’s a shame — she seems so smart. [E!]

    * Five major banks will plead guilty to felony charges over allegations they illegally manipulated the dollar/euro exchange rate and pay over $5 billion in fines. Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the scheme as “brazenly illegal.” [National Law Journal]

    * Preet Bharara is making the rounds as a law school commencement speaker, find out why Lat calls him, “surprisingly entertaining for a prosecutor.” [Wall Street Journal]

    * Despite release of several hundred pages of the report on CIA abuse and torture a federal judge will not require the disclosure of the full report citing evidence that Congress intended to “retain control” over it. [Legal Times]

    * Stay at home moms with JD are now commanding “bonuses” from their spouses —  at least on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. [American Lawyer]

    * Bail is set at $1 million for each of the bikers arrested in Waco after the deadly brawl. [CNN]

    * ConAgra Foods will plead guilty to criminal charges over a 2007 outbreak of salmonella that was traced back to peanut butter. [NPR]

    30 Comments / / May 21, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • Josh Seiter (Photo by The Bachelorette/ABC)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.20.15

    * Thus far, five law schools — Hawaii, Iowa, St. John’s, Drake, and Buffalo — have decided to drop the LSAT for top-performing applicants, and it’s no surprise that all five law schools have watched their enrollment numbers take traumatic tumbles. [Bloomberg Business]

    * “[E]veryone calls colleagues for advice, particularly when we get gnarly jury notes.” As it turns out, judges in the Southern District of New York are big proponents of the “phone a friend” lifeline for their trickier cases. FYI, those friends are never law profs. [New York Times]

    * Well, that was incredibly quick! Josh Seiter, the 2013 graduate of Chicago-Kent Law who’s built a successful career stripping, working as an escort, and appearing on reality TV shows, didn’t even make it past the first rose ceremony on The Bachelorette. [Heavy]

    * Without WARNing? Butler & Hosch, one of the largest foreclosure firm’s in the country, decided to abruptly close up shop, leaving hundreds of attorneys and staff members of out work. Sources have told us that the firm was unable to make payroll. [Orlando Sentinel]

    * Sorry, boutiques, but according to Lexis/Nexis CounselLink’s Enterprise Legal Management Trends report, the biggest of all Biglaw firms are controlling the market when it comes to performing specialized IP litigation work. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * As we mentioned previously, Sam Kamin of Denver Law is the first professor to hold a pot law professorship. Here’s an interesting Q&A with the law firm partner who came up with the idea. See Prof. Kamin at our marijuana law event in June. [National Law Journal]

    33 Comments / / May 20, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Amal Clooney (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.19.15

    * Amal Clooney of Doughty Street Chambers, who happens to be married to George Clooney, is being heralded as an “exotic, luxe-brand Princess Diana upgrade.” Lesson learned: marry a celebrity and your legal credentials look awesome. [New York Magazine]

    * If you’re into fashion at the high court, this satirical news website managed to get an exclusive photo of all of the Supreme Court justices in their new spaghetti strap sun-robes. You know what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg must be thinking about her colleagues: “Do you even lift?” [The Onion]

    * The William Mitchell Law professors who filed suit against the school to protect the tenure code after its merger with Hamline Law was announced have voluntarily dropped their case. Apparently no harm will come to the precious after all. [National Law Journal]

    * Vicente Sederberg, a firm that focuses on marijuana law, will sponsor a three-year professorship for marijuana law and policy at Denver Law. Sam Kamin will be the first to hold the position. Come see him at ATL’s marijuana reception in June. [The Cannabist]

    * Everyone in the legal community likes to complain about the fact that law reviews are useless because no one reads them. We dare you to complain about an entire law review issue dedicated to the legal problems presented in AMC’s Breaking Bad. [WSJ Law Blog]

    29 Comments / / May 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Jose Baez

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.18.15

    * Jose Baez of Casey Anthony trial fame gave the commencement address at Valparaiso Law this weekend and let graduates know that they, too, can be attorneys, even if they’ve been financially irresponsible. They’re letting this man teach at Harvard Law now. [The Times]

    * Suffolk Law and Cardozo Law will have new deans this summer, and both are planning for smaller classes. Considering Suffolk’s plummeting LSAT scores (and standards?), its new dean may have bigger problems to deal with than filling seats. [National Law Journal]

    * He “Pressure Drop[ped]” the ball: If you could take the LSAT or open for the Rolling Stones with Toots and the Maytals, which would you pick? This Paul Hastings partner took the test, and says it’s his only regret about choosing law over music. [Am Law Daily]

    * Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have been sentenced to death last week, but it’s highly unlikely that his punishment will be carried out any time soon, if at all. Instead, he’ll be putting his lawyers to work for time ad infinitum. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “[D]on’t let anyone say that Charleston School of Law was already in trouble.” A local attorney says that this soon-to-fail law school only started circling the drain after its proposed sale to InfiLaw was announced. That’s quite the indictment. [Post and Courier]

    35 Comments / / May 18, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Lance Armstrong in happier days. Will he be this victorious in litigation disputes? (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 05.15.15

    * Lance Armstrong is feuding, again, with former teammate Floyd Landis — this time over discovery [National Law Journal]

    * Remember July 2014 when we all learned that ExamSoft — the bar examination software — totally crapped out on test takers? Yeah, they just reached a $2.1 million settlement.  #NeverForgetBarghazi [Law360]

    * Rejoice haters of measles and other preventable diseases! California is moving to end “personal belief exemptions” for mandatory vaccines. [NPR]

    * In oral arguments for an appeal of the conviction of Jesse Litvak, a bond trader convicted of securities fraud involving government bailout funds, the Second Circuit was skeptical over the fairness of the trial. [New York Law Journal]

    * The FDA finally arrives in the year 2015; plans to ease restrictions on gay blood donors. [Jurist]

    *  Senate Judiciary Committee recommends prosecutor Robert Capers the next U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, filling Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s vacancy. [Wall Street Journal]

    * An analysis of who the winners will be under Google’s new plan to buy up patents before the trolls. [JD Supra]

    30 Comments / / May 15, 2015 at 8:54 AM
  • 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