Morning Docket

  • Thomas Gilbert Jr.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.06.15

    * At the annual Association of American Law Schools meeting, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg handed out a delightful piece of marriage advice that she sometimes uses when dealing with her colleagues on the Supreme Court: “It helps to sometimes be a little deaf.” [National Law Journal]

    * Thomas Gilbert Jr., the man accused of killing his father — who just so happened to be the founder of the Wainscott Capital hedge fund — allegedly shot him to death over a $200 cut in his monthly allowance. This is why rich people can’t have nicer things. [New York Post]

    * Litigants on both sides of a First Amendment issue headed to SCOTUS are using a law review article penned by none other than Justice Elena Kagan in an attempt to influence all of the justices. See, people do read law review articles. [New York Times]

    * Musical chairs, dean-poaching edition: Fordham Law just named Matthew Diller as its new dean, but he’s still going to remain as dean at Cardozo until the end of the year. Let’s see how he tackles the school’s enrollment decline. [New York Law Journal]

    * Per a study conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, law school graduates who participated in a practice-ready program fared better as attorneys than those who did not. Whoa, nice going. [WSJ Law Blog]

    19 Comments / / Jan 6, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Amal Clooney

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.05.15

    * Per recent reports, human rights attorney Amal Clooney was threatened with arrest after she pointed out major issues with the Egyptian justice system in a paper sponsored by the International Bar Association. She was able to escape because officials feared the wrath of George Clooney. [The Telegraph]

    * Uh oh! It looks like Alan Dershowitz got himself mixed up in a lawsuit involving a salacious underage sex scandal. In his own defense, the famed Havard Law prof said, “It’s a completely, totally fabricated, made-up story. I’m an innocent victim of an extortion conspiracy.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The price of the billable hour may have risen by more than 10 percent over the course of the last four years, but according to the chairman of one Biglaw firm, “[t]he question is: Is anybody ­paying that?” Hahaha, yeah right. [National Law Journal]

    * That was quick. The Bitcoin Foundation hired a global policy counsel who lasted there for less than a year. It seems the policy and regulation aspects of the digital currency’s existence were viewed as a “distraction.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Chicago Biglaw and midsized firms are brushing up on their Mandarin language skills because Chinese investment in the Windy City hit more than $3 billion last year. FYI, senior associates, these firms may have a job for you. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * Did she get SLC punk’d? Another woman was just nabbed for allegedly pretending to be a lawyer. It seems that Utah resident Karla Carbo reportedly impersonated a member of the bar at least three times in the past six months. [New York Daily News]

    12 Comments / / Jan 5, 2015 at 9:06 AM
  • JGR

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.02.15

    * In his year-end report, Chief Justice Roberts wrote about the high court’s belated adoption of the latest technological advances, but promised SCOTUS briefs and filings would be online… next year. [New York Times]

    * It’s been recommended that J. Michael Farren, the former White House lawyer who attempted to murder his ex-wife — a former Skadden Arps attorney — be disbarred in D.C. Apparently the bar considers a conviction for something like this a big no-no. [Legal Times]

    * Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s terrorism trial for his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings will begin in Boston on January 5, despite his legal team’s best efforts to avoid the inevitable. At least fangirls won’t have to travel to admire him. [Bloomberg]

    * Here’s one law prof’s thoughts on Harvard Law’s lame response to sexual assault complaints: “I believe … that Harvard University will be deeply shamed at the role it played in simply caving to the government’s position.” Well then. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Remember the Idaho prosecutor who recited the lyrics to “Dixie” during closing arguments at a black man’s trial? The defendant’s conviction was overturned because the prosecutor “inject[ed] the risk of racial prejudice into the case.” [NBC News]

    * “People asked me what I want as an epitaph: He tried.” Mario Cuomo, the three-term New York governor and Willkie Farr alumnus who was once considered to replace Supreme Court Justice Byron White, has passed away. RIP. [New York Times]

    12 Comments / / Jan 2, 2015 at 9:06 AM
  • Harvard Law School

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.31.14

    * Per the Department of Education, Harvard Law sucks at handling sexual assault and harassment complaints. As it turns out, the DoE only found out about the misconduct because a faculty member from New England Law snitched on the Ivy League school. [Boston.com]

    * Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the penalties for pot possession. One state legislator wants to change that in the new year, and hopes his colleagues will puff, puff, pass his bill in favor of small civil fines instead of jail sentences. [VICE]

    * “If the court has been waiting until the country is more comfortable with gay marriage, they’ve waited long enough.” The first SCOTUS conference of 2015 will focus on gay marriage cases. It’d be fabulous if they took one. [Supreme Court Brief]

    * Latham and Fried Frank are going to be advising on Shake Shack’s initial public offering. Hungry attorneys working on the IPO will be disappointed to learn that their client doesn’t have any public offerings for consumption on Seamless. [Am Law Daily]

    * The bankruptcy trustee for the late, great, defunct firm of Howrey LLP keeps lining up big settlements for its remaining creditors. This time, Wiley Rein will contribute $1 million to the failed firm’s coffers. Howrey like dem apples? [Wall Street Journal]

    10 Comments / / Dec 31, 2014 at 9:00 AM
  • 'Oopsie,' says a law dean.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.30.14

    * An African-American Cleary Gottlieb project attorney is suing, claiming that the firm discriminated against him when he was fired. He alleges that white lawyers kept their jobs, but he lost his because he was black. [Legal Times]

    * For law deans, hindsight is 180: This D.C.-area school “aggressively” raised tuition when everyone decided to go to law school to ride out the recession, and now its dean is admitting that doing so was a “mistake.” [Washington Post]

    * “I want to bring blind justice to the Michigan Supreme Court.” Come New Year’s Day, Richard Bernstein — who has been legally blind since birth — will do just that when he’s sworn in to serve on the state’s highest court. Congratulations! [WSJ Law Blog]

    * It’s important to learn the skill of entrepreneurship as part of today’s legal education since you never know when you’ll be forced to open your own practice because you can’t get someone else to give you a job. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Associate bonuses aren’t the only charitable causes Biglaw firms are willing to throw money at in a given year. In fact, some firms dole out millions upon millions of dollars for the purpose of doing good and supporting their communities. [Am Law Daily]

    12 Comments / / Dec 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.29.14

    * As the year winds down to a close, we take a look back at the amazing time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had. From her Hobby Lobby dissent to her subtle New Republic shade, the Notorious RBG’s 2014 was better than yours. [Bustle]

    * When you’ve allegedly been driving drunk after a holiday party and have gotten into an accident, one of the things you say to the police upon your arrest should not be, “Come on, I’m a judge” — especially if you are one. [New York Post]

    * After advising on 221 deals worth about $511 billion, Skadden Arps was the top dog in the M&A game in 2014. While taking a break from rolling around in money, the firm’s managing partner was heard thanking inversions. [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]

    * Although we haven’t heard what’s going on with associate bonuses at this firm, Wiley Rein bought itself a bonus subsidiary. Last week, the firm finalized its purchase of lobbying and communications group McBee Strategic. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * While many law schools found their student enrollments getting smaller due to forces of nature in 2014, the University of Mississippi School of Law claims it decreased its class sizes intentionally. Oh, the places you’ll go! [Clarion Ledger]

    30 Comments / / Dec 29, 2014 at 9:03 AM
  • cooley blue

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.24.14

    * The Thomas M. Cooley Law School is planning to sell one of its academic buildings for an asking price of $8.15 million. Dear Lord, the school will lose some of its library square footage. NOOOOOOOOO! [Lansing State Journal]

    * Contrary to his client’s hit anthem, Pharrell’s lawyer isn’t happy. He says YouTube has been “blithely” ignoring his requests to take down music for which it lacks performance rights, and it may result in a $1B lawsuit. [Hollywood Reporter]

    * Clifford Sloan, the State Department’s special envoy on Guantánamo Bay, appointed in 2013 to help shut down the detention center, is returning to the loving arms of Skadden’s partnership on January 1, 2015. Gitmo is still open. Oops. [Am Law Daily]

    * After 30 years, the Food and Drug Administration decided to lift its lifetime ban on blood donation for gay men. Now gay men just have to abstain from doing gay things for a year — like having sex with other men — to donate blood. Yay? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * If you’ve been wondering what the most ridiculous lawsuits of 2014 are, we’ve got you covered. These are the top 10 most absurd cases filed over the course of the past year. You may remember some of these from our coverage. [Faces of Lawsuit Abuse]

    11 Comments / / Dec 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM
  • christmas-coal

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.23.14

    * “Instead of ordering the Marshal to permit a desegregated Christmas party at the Court, the Court hosted no party at all.” Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in his diary of the SCOTUS Christmas party that never was due to the high court’s unspoken racism. [Supreme Court Brief]

    * We know of at least one lawyer who may be receiving a lump of coal in her stocking. A former partner of two major New York City firms allegedly stole millions of dollars from them to live a life of luxury. We’ll have more on this later today. [Bergen Record]

    * Since “interest in law schools [is] dwindl[ing] nationally,” the easiest cost-cutting measure comes in the form of faculty buyouts at another school. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game, law professors. It’s a “necessary” evil these days. [The Advocate]

    * President Obama is going to nominate Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, for the position of deputy attorney general. If confirmed, there’ll be two women at the top of the DOJ. Yay! [Miami Herald]

    * Guess who just got promoted to partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner? It’s none other than Joshua Schiller, the son of the firm’s cofounder and managing partner. Aww. That’s the most precious thing ever. We just want to pinch his cheeks. [Am Law Daily]

    * Before you submit your law school applications, you should probably make sure that you’ve read and followed all of the instructions, because just in case you forgot, you’re applying to follow instructions for a living. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    40 Comments / / Dec 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM
  • David Schwimmer

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.22.14

    * Florida Judge Cynthia Imperato was “devastated” after a jury found her guilty of DUI and reckless driving charges, but we imagine the judge may be more devastated by the fact that she’s a sitting judge who’s been sentenced to 20 days of house arrest. [Florida Sun Sentinel]

    * David Schwimmer, best known for his role as Ross on Friends, has been cast as lawyer Robert Kardashian in an O.J. Simpson true crime television miniseries. He surely knows it’ll take a lot of “unagi” to play the role just right. [Rolling Stone]

    * If you have to debt finance your J.D., you’re going to in for a rude awakening when you graduate and the loans start coming due. FYI, “lot[s] of graduates [are] buried in private student loan debt with not enough income to repay it.” [Forbes]

    * The parents of James Holmes, who’s better known as the alleged shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre, have begged for him to be spared the death penalty ahead of his trial, but prosecutors say that in this case, “justice is death.” [Denver Post]

    * When it comes to Russia, “[a] lot of firms are thinking about pulling out.” That’s what she would’ve said if she were a managing partner. Biglaw firms that have been rocked by the ruble’s ruin are telling lawyers to leave before they’re laid off. [Am Law Daily]

    * Binder & Binder, the National Social Security Disability Advocates® whose late-night TV commercials you’ve grown to love, has filed for bankruptcy. The firm’s headcount will likely drop by more than half because of this. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]

    26 Comments / / Dec 22, 2014 at 9:11 AM
  • Police crime scene

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.19.14

    * A third-year student from the Louisiana State University Law Center was indicted for allegedly raping one woman and allegedly sexually assaulting and attempting to rape another. He’s currently free on bail under GPS monitoring supervision. [The Advocate]

    * Here’s some news you can potentially use (with extreme caution): you may be able to give a law firm partner the finger and still be eligible to receive unemployment benefits after you’ve been fired for flipping the bird. [Madison St. Clair Record]

    * Ever go to law school? Ever go to law school… on weed? Lots of law schools are adding courses related to marijuana law to their curricula because “[f]or most students, this is an inherently interesting topic.” Yessir, it is. [National Law Journal]

    * Hmm, this advice article says you should evaluate your GPA and LSAT score to determine which law schools to apply to, but we know the only real qualification is a pulse. This is confusing. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * The Federal Communications Commission renewed a radio license for a station owned by Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder, despite the fact that the agency’s chairman previously called the team name “offensive and derogatory.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    16 Comments / / Dec 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM
  • 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
  • Yep, we're laughing at you.

    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