• Justice Clarence Thomas


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.24.15

    * Justice Thomas parted with his conservative brethren on the Confederate flag case, but was it a product of his experience as an African-American? Don’t bet on it. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * A jury awarded $500,000 to a patient after doctors mocked him while anesthetized. For example, the anesthesiologist said, “I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” Maybe it’s me, but if he sued over that, it sounds like he absolutely deserved that punch in the face. [MedCity News]

    * This title says it all, “I Am An Adjunct Law Professor Who Teaches Five Classes. I Earn Less Than A Pet-Sitter.” [TaxProf Blog]

    * Have you ever wondered how blind people perceive and experience race? Really interesting findings from Professor Osagie K. Obasogie of UC Hastings Law. [Buzzfeed]

    * This may come as a shock, but a report finds that prosecutors cared more about securing convictions than protecting the public. [The Times-Picayune]

    * When we say the immigration system is broken, this is what we mean: 15-year resident with a Columbia Law degree about to be deported. [Vox]

    * In honor of the anniversary of Jaws last week, an examination of Quint’s legal duties to Brody and Hooper. When you consider his potential liability, perhaps he was better off getting eaten. [The Legal Geeks]

    * Federal government paying to scour sewage in Washington state to learn about pot usage post legalization. Note to federal government: they’re the dirty hippies, not you. [Seattle Times]

    34 Comments / / Jun 24, 2015 at 5:30 PM
  • In fairness, "Laser Coldplay" sounds pretty criminal.


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.23.15

    * Government argues that lasers are “insidious instruments normally used for criminal purposes,” which is… not true outside of Bond movies. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Local judge sues neighbors after “brutal donkey attack.” I guess you’d call this legal jackassery. [Seattle Times]

    * Eagles coach Chip Kelly slapped with $80,000 in back rent. His landlord claims he moved out too quickly because apparently she has never seen Chip Kelly in action. [The Legal Intelligencer]

    * Lost in Justice Kennedy’s comments on solitary confinement, Davis v. Ayala raised some important issues about jury selection. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * Interesting post on lynching and legal realism. [The Faculty Lounge]

    * Saint Thomas More on blogging. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * RMJ, the lawyer who revolutionized attorney advertising by taking In re RMJ all the way to the Supreme Court, has died. [Missouri Lawyers Weekly]

    3 Comments / / Jun 23, 2015 at 5:19 PM
  • Amal Clooney (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.22.15

    * Amal Clooney’s firm reportedly has a lawyer working for £1.50 an hour, which in U.S. dollars is “piddly squat.” [Legal Cheek]

    * People are pretty worked up over raisins. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * “A video shot in court shows a lawyer tussling with bailiffs and being forcibly removed in handcuffs from a foreclosure hearing.” Go on… [Daily Business Review]

    * Maybe that outsourcing thing was a bad idea for Biglaw. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Keith Lee reviews Lat’s Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). [Associate’s Mind]

    * Yahoo! General counsel Ron Bell discusses the challenges and rewards of representing the tech giant. [Hsu Untied]

    * Speaking of Yahoo!, on the eve of Obergefell, here’s a quick guide to the American government’s war on gays. [Yahoo!]

    * Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center, discusses the Affordable Care Act with Bob Garfield. Listen now while the ACA is still a thing. [On The Media]

    22 Comments / / Jun 22, 2015 at 5:45 PM
  • unc_logo


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.19.15

    * The North Carolina legislature’s war on UNC Law School continues. The Senate just proposed a $3 million budget cut. Tarheels adjust by ending Civ Pro right before International Shoe. [The Herald Sun]

    * U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer enjoys living dangerously. When the D.C. Circuit tells her the CIA needs to disclose more about drone policy, she… tells the CIA to keep its mouth shut. AC/DC has a song about that behavior. [Politico]

    * Most attention is, justifiably, fixed on marriage equality and health care, but there are some huge pending decisions we’re overlooking. [Slate]

    * Will Chief Justice Roberts save Obamacare again? [Mother Jones]

    * Speaking of SCOTUS, Professor Ilya Somin and Constitutional Accountability Center chief counsel Elizabeth Wydra talk Supreme Court in this podcast. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * Career hiccups begin with you. So, you know, stop doing that to yourself. [Corporette]

    * Why have car insurance in this case? A fair question. [Legal Juice]

    * If you didn’t make it to see David speak with a panel of distinguished guests at the Fix the Court/Politico Supreme Court event this week, here’s the video! [Politico]

    3 Comments / / Jun 19, 2015 at 5:12 PM
  • male lawyer megaphone


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.18.15

    * It was First Amendment Day at SCOTUS this morning! Here’s a recap. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * Exclusive report on the new CSOL president’s meeting with students. He explained how Infilaw had a terrible track record and offered nothing to the school. Just kidding! But he did suggest introducing “a Boy Scout-inspired ‘merit badge system’” to the school. So there’s that. [SC Lawyers Weekly]

    * Facebook made this legislator vote the wrong way on a bill. #banBoomers. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Texas became the first state to ban fracking bans. Looks like they understand hierarchical government in some situations. [Breaking Energy]

    * Allegations of political influence peddling in Orange County pot industry. I didn’t make it to the big ATL Business of Bud conference the other day, but this sounds scandalous. On the other hand, “drug trade influence peddling” used to involve fewer gavels and more Glocks, so this is a positive development. [OC Weekly]

    * Do you have strong feelings about FRCP 56(d)? You should. An excellent practice tip. [What About Clients?]

    * Tonight is the Family Violence Appellate Project’s annual Battle of the Lawyer Bands. If you want to see bands from Google, O’Melveny, Latham, Jones Day, Lieff Cabraser, and Kirkland & Ellis — and help a good cause — then you’d best be in San Francisco and head over to 1015 Folsom. Buy tickets at the link. [Family Violence Appellate Project]

    * You know who aren’t “Beliebers”? The Fourth Circuit. They swatted down Bieber and musical enabler Usher defending themselves against another artist’s copyright claim. Read the full opinion on the next page. [Fourth Circuit]

    9 Comments / / Jun 18, 2015 at 5:02 PM
  • student-loan-debt-e1414612604341


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.17.15

    * With student loan forgiveness earning public approval, the other shoe had to drop. Critics campaigning that any escape is “welfare.” If you were grasping for the proper pejorative it’s “Homecoming Queen.” [Concurring Opinions]

    * Hot mic alert! Lawyer broadcasts during recess that prosecutor is “in my pocket.” Only to the extent the prosecutor is now up your ass. [ABA Journal]

    * Maybe there’s hope for sentencing reform: 130 former judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials sign a letter advocating for the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015. The key is “former.” I’ll bet while they were running for office harsh sentencing was a-OK. [Sentencing Law and Policy]

    * Using the show Serial to teach good brief writing. [Legal Writing Pro]

    * Had you considered the marriage equality dimensions of Kerry v. Din? Me neither. But Professor Dorf did. [Verdict]

    * Law schools are increasingly hiring deans from within. Just another way of keeping Elie out of that dean’s job he wants so badly. [The Faculty Lounge]

    * What to do when hiring a contract attorney? Hm. Look for fear and desperation? Oh… oh, you’re being serious about ethics and stuff. [Daily Report]

    * The best description of the conservative argument in King: “the card says ‘Moops.'” [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    10 Comments / / Jun 17, 2015 at 5:05 PM
  • Veep-S02-720p-1080p-WEB-DL-Bluray-HDTV


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.16.15

    * The season finale of Veep offered a fun lesson in constitutional law. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * When the Supreme Court hands down Obergefell, will it punt the case by acknowledging a new layer of scrutiny? [Slate]

    * Kash Hill on Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker. Is a sex tape newsworthy if the guy’s bragging about his sex life on Howard Stern? [Fusion]

    * Florida and Florida State football players routinely circumvent the criminal justice system. Which… everyone kind of knew already. [ESPN]

    * Why “free IDs” are anything but. [Election Law Blog]

    * Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven? [Legal Juice]

    * Take this survey to put the time-worn law firm mantra of “collegial and collaborative” to the test. [Adam Smith, Esq.]

    * Bruce MacEwen of the aforementioned Adam Smith, Esq. breaks down the Am Law 200. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    12 Comments / / Jun 16, 2015 at 5:28 PM
  • 800px-AIG_wordmark.svg


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.15.15

    * Hank Greenberg won his lawsuit against the government for illegally seizing insurance giant A.I.G. as part of a bailout. But the court awarded no damages, finding that shareholders weren’t harmed by the takeover. So, to translate this, the court basically said to Greenberg, “You were so bad at running your business that a cabal of bureaucrats acting illegally did better for shareholders than you.” That’s… gotta sting. [New York Times]

    * Lost in the excitement of today’s Baker Botts decision was the Supreme Court declining to save North Carolina’s struck-down abortion law that would have required doctors to bend over backwards to dissuade women from getting an abortion. Over the dissent of Justice Scalia, the Court killed the law without giving it a chance. [Jezebel]

    * If you’re going to Richmond, California, make sure you’ve left your Ultimate Nullifier at home. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Something finally goes wrong for wealthy people moving into Brooklyn. SPOILER: it’s other wealthy people moving into Brooklyn. [Brownstoner]

    * Justice Ginsburg tells the crowd at the annual ACS Convention that Natalie Portman held up the upcoming RBG biopic, On the Basis of Sex, demanding that the film have a female director. Men’s rights activists can take heart that a man will be directing the inevitable porn version. [The Week]

    * Alan Dershowitz worries that the Zivotofsky decision gives the White House too much power over foreign policy as opposed to some myopic former water commissioner awash in lobbyist money from AIPAC and apocalyptic-minded Evangelicals Congress. [The Blaze]

    * Do you hate patent trolls? Good. Consider supporting this feature comedy film trolling patent trolls. [Indiegogo]

    * If you’re in D.C. Thursday morning, come hear our own David Lat discuss the future of the Roberts Court with some other people who are nowhere near as important. Like congresspeople and former federal judges and such. [Politico]

    32 Comments / / Jun 15, 2015 at 5:31 PM
  • Semi automatic handgun and pistol cartridges


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.12.15

    * Judge James Bascue, formerly of the Los Angeles Superior Court, was arrested after an armed standoff with police. [LA Daily News]

    * In the same vein as Elie’s piece on the financial costs of leaving the law, here’s a talk about the status hit you take leaving your profession. [Escape the City]

    * Is it possible for law school to be a breeding ground for social justice warriors? [Law at the Margins]

    * Could Gawker media be the biggest victory of Hulk Hogan’s career? [Capital New York]

    * The Supreme Court agreed to hear Shapiro v. Mack, regarding the proper role of three-judge district courts, which is a much bigger deal than it might seem. [Constitutional Accountability Center]

    * He’s been trying to get you to pay attention to the importance of knowing your client for years. Maybe some out-of-context cheesecake will help. [What About Clients?]

    * Today is Loving Day — the 45th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia — the day when the entire country laments the erosion of states’ rights… or something like that. [Slate]

    14 Comments / / Jun 12, 2015 at 4:55 PM
  • 640px-President_Barack_Obama-300x374


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.11.15

    * More whining about President Obama opining on Supreme Court cases while the justices “deliberate” — as though anyone’s opinion is up in the air. Apparently presidents have rarely done this. Fun fact: cynical lawyers have rarely gotten to the Supreme Court to attack a president’s landmark legislation on a tortured textual reading, but here we are. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * It’s like the Hangover. Except in prison. With more drugs. [Legal Juice]

    * Hey, remember when Jeb Bush got behind a law that required rape victims to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper until the law was shot down by the courts two years later? Good times. [Salon]

    * The Right proclaims Jeb Bush really doesn’t believe in publicly shaming women for having sex. Hm. See item 3 supra. [Legal Insurrection]

    * Wow. The Senate actually passed something. It’s a resolution hailing the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. Is it a sign of my cynicism that I’m shocked even that got approved? [Constitutional Accountability Center]

    * Why the rationale of Roe doesn’t really matter. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * Fourth Circuit panel snipes at each other over whether to call out overzealous prosecutors. It got so bad they actually sealed the opinion. [Maryland Appellate Blog]

    * Derek Khanna has a new report on patent reform written with Lincoln Labs. The fundamental premise: patents are not encouraging innovation any more. [Lincoln Labs]

    * Watchdog is reporting that Kroll Associates conveniently overlooked dozens of terrible LSAT scores in its report on University of Texas admission standards. It bears repeating: just how dumb must Abigail Fisher be to not get into this school? [Watchdog]

    * A short memoir about suing The Grateful Dead. [The Faculty Lounge]

    14 Comments / / Jun 11, 2015 at 5:29 PM
  • handgun with bullets


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.10.15

    * The “hiring a hit man” thing seems to be all the rage. Now a law student allegedly gets in on the action. [Legal Cheek]

    * A lesson in how to get sued by your employees. [Lowering the Bar]

    * The perfect civ pro exam all in one case. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * Are old lawyers bad lawyers? [Law and More]

    * “Prosecutor seeks judge’s removal for allegedly interfering with intern’s drunken-driving arrest.” Go on… [ABA Journal]

    * On June 23rd in Indianapolis, come hear David and Judge Tinder talk about judging, clerking, and ethics — and get CLE credit too. [Indiana Law Blog]

    7 Comments / / Jun 10, 2015 at 5:30 PM
  • John,_Magna_Carta


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.09.15

    * It’s the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta. Have you ever read it? Because it includes some stereotypically troubling thoughts on Jews. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

    * The lawyer from the Lady Chatterley’s Lover obscenity trial is 100 years old. So… take that, “clean living.” [Daily Mail]

    * Tennessee Law Review hosted a Third Amendment Symposium. Professor Reynolds waxes philosophic on whether the Third Amendment might limit government intrusiveness into domestic affairs in areas as diverse as computer spyware, “affirmative consent” laws, and childrearing. Sounds like one of them pinko commie “non-Originalist” readings to me. [Instapundit]

    * In a sign of the times, there’s a new information service providing analysis of critical legal issues related to cybersecurity, data protection, and data privacy challenges. But since most lawyers still think “banning personal email” is the height of cybersecurity, it may be a bit advanced for you. [The Cybersecurity Law Report]

    * Davis Polk associate Elyssa Friedland has a new book titled Love and Miss Communication (affiliate link) about a Biglaw associate fired for sending too many personal emails at work. As we just wrote before, that won’t be a problem at a lot of firms anymore. [Amazon]

    * We talked about lawyers meditating, so now let’s talk about lawyers and taijiquan. [Katz Justice]

    * Kudos to Lucosky Brookman LLP for raising over $155,000 for Save a Child’s Heart with its Second Annual Charity Golf Outing. [Lucosky Brookman LLP]

    * Richard Hsu chats with Mark Lemley, Stanford Law professor and founder of Lex Machina, about playing video games. Something we understand here at ATL. [Hsu Untied]

    8 Comments / / Jun 9, 2015 at 5:31 PM
  • Alcohol


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.08.15

    * There’s a lot of constitutional law about booze. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * Republicans try to play some word games on the Affordable Care Act and get straight-up lawyered. Or as The New Republic described the exchange: a “succinct, pithy demolition.” [MSNBC]

    * Oscar Pistorius could be headed home on parole in the next couple of months. Time to get back in that dating pool. [CNN]

    * Don’t bring your mom to court. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Here’s an interesting company at the juncture of law and technology — 3D printing demonstrative exhibits for trial. [3D Printed Evidence]

    * Randy Spencer interviews American Pharoah [Coverage Opinions]

    * An interesting question from a lawyer doing his part to help the homeless: if a person can’t get online, how do they even look for a job anyway? [What About Clients?]

    * A new novella from Jessica Pishko called A Trial for Grace (affiliate link) about a fallen, high-flying NYC attorney working a death penalty trial in North Carolina. [Amazon]

    * Consent explained with tea. [Vimeo]

    14 Comments / / Jun 8, 2015 at 4:57 PM
  • via Flickr user jeffreyw


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.05.15

    * Cue the Subway song: 130 Million. 130 Million Dollar. 130 Million Dollar Sandwich! [Law360]

    * Lawyers who denigrate jury duty become inmates who denigrate jury duty. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

    * Vox gets into the business of opining on law school. It takes a decidedly more enlightened approach than Slate. [Vox]

    * After arresting a guy for crack possession and figuring out it was really “cracker crumbs,” the cops charged the guy with obstruction because admitting you’re wrong is so passé. Thankfully the cooler heads of the judicial system prevailed and the guy is getting a $35,000 settlement for his troubles. Did he have Wheat Thins? Because I’m pretty sure those are crack. []

    * Oil heir Al Hill III, whom we’ve previously described as, “by most accounts, the epitome of the spoiled rich kid you desperately want to punch,” owes his lawyers some money. Like $40.9 million worth. [Texas Lawyer]

    * Crowdsourcing: Is this racist? Personally, I think no if specifically intended as a parody, but we’ll see. [What About Clients?]

    * On Tuesday, June 23, David and Seventh Circuit Judge John Tinder will be discussing “Judging, Clerking, Ethics, and Ambition” in the context of Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link) at the Conrad Indianapolis at 50 West Washington. So, you know, swipe right if you’re excited about seeing Judge Tinder. Full details at the link.
    [Federalist Society]

    8 Comments / / Jun 5, 2015 at 5:01 PM
  • Juan Monteverde and Alexandra Marchuk


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.04.15

    * New developments in everyone’s favorite soap opera of a case: Faruqi & Faruqi LLP is cross-appealing the $140,000 judgment in favor of former associate Alexandra Marchuk. [Law360]

    * Whoa. There’s one SEC Commissioner actually doing her job! So retro. Stay strong, Commissioner Stein. [Guile Is Good]

    * Congress is working on a bill to prevent companies from foisting non-compete clauses on employees making less than $31,200/year. But, but, then someone else might learn the important trade secret of the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices! [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * Senior and junior lawyers speak a different language. This article comes to us from the U.K., but the sentiment is universal, even if the phrase “bugger off” isn’t. [Legal Cheek]

    * Prosecutor called Asian Americans “greedy foreigners.” That goes over about as well as you’d expect. [Angry Asian Man]

    * David spoke with the Legal Talk Network about “the importance of friendship and family and the psyche of young lawyers who often compromise personal relationships for career ambitions.” If you guessed they were discussing Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), then you’re right. [Legal Talk Network]

    * Where are LL.M.s valuable? [LLM-Guide]

    * Lawyer sues EFF for calling his patent stupid. We here at Above the Law would like to reiterate that this patent is brilliant and probably the most Earth-shattering invention since the light bulb. [Corporate Counsel]

    * Maybe legalizing drugs doesn’t solve all the violence. [Seattle Times]

    3 Comments / / Jun 4, 2015 at 5:11 PM
  • Facebook_like_thumb


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.03.15

    * A social media guide for lawyers. Time to get on Woo Woo! [Associates Mind]

    * The growing ranks of Biglaw househusbands. [The Careerist / The American Lawyer]

    * Swordsmith sued by hotel chain over allegedly fraudulent gift cards. Swordsmith is still a thing? [Slate]

    * After a lawsuit highlighted the deplorable conditions facing the Buffalo Bills cheerleaders, the state legislature is stepping up with a cheerleader protection bill. On a completely unrelated note, I remind you that Isiah Thomas runs a professional sports team in the state of New York. [Politics on the Hudson]

    * Before you clear your browser history, take note that you may be obstructing justice. [The Nation]

    * A lawyer is suing Avvo to uncover the author of an anonymous negative review. [Tampa Bay Times]

    * “We don’t need fewer lawyers. We need cheaper ones.” And that all starts with cheaper law schools. [Washington Post]

    * If you want to build a professional brand, you probably should keep your trap shut. [Law and More]

    10 Comments / / Jun 3, 2015 at 5:03 PM
  • Sepp Blatter (photo via Agência Brasil)


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.02.15

    * Just days after a hard-fought reelection campaign, Sepp Blatter is resigning his post as President of FIFA. I wonder whose indictment is coming out next… [The Guardian]

    * The ABA is going to investigate the much-maligned Charleston School of Law. [SC Lawyers Weekly]

    * If you fancy yourself a trivia master — or just want some free drinks and food — sign up for ATL’s Summer Trivia Showdown. Use the code “PLComp” to get in for free. [Above the Law]

    * A New Jersey judge gagged the Bergen Dispatch, leading to this incisive response from the paper and the judge quietly vacating her own order. As Walter Sobchak taught us, “The Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint.” [Boing Boing]

    * Not to diminish the serious electoral problems of the U.S., but check out how out of whack representation is in the United Kingdom. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * If you’re seeking a prosanity fix, a parent filed a federal lawsuit against local, state and federal education officials contending that the theory of evolution is functionally a religion and therefore teaching it is a violation of his kid’s rights. [Charleston Daily Mail]

    * Seyfarth Shaw’s Stephen Poor explains why he joined Twitter. He talks about innovation and leadership, but it was all about following @aplusk. [Bloomberg BNA / Big Law Business]

    10 Comments / / Jun 2, 2015 at 4:57 PM
  • (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.01.15

    * The “Stepford Hipsters” of Abercrombie & Fitch have to make reasonable accommodations for employees wearing hijabs. [ATL Redline]

    * The EPA is seeking comment to a proposal to limit the pesticide exposure of bees, yeah… I am sure a few labels will stop the coming global agricultural disaster that colony collapse portends. [JD Supra]

    * David Boies is leading a legal all-star team fighting the construction of a new Warriors Arena, guess BSF will be rooting for the Cavs. [San Francisco Business Times]

    * We love a dash of dry humor buried in an answer — classic rockers Led Zeppelin admit to being one of the “greatest bands in history,” deny other allegations. [Lowering the Bar]

    * On the rarity of Mark Fuller resigning from the federal judiciary — it is about a once-in-every-ten-years kind of an event. [Legal Schnauzer]

    * Creating laws to keep up with advancements in artificial intelligence is bound to be… complicated. [Legal Theory Blog]

    * Judge Alex Kozinski gets testy in a dissent, calling the result (denying insurance coverage for sunken oil barrels before they started actually leaking) “absurd.” [Trial Insider]

    15 Comments / / Jun 1, 2015 at 4:58 PM