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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli can take his legal attack on the health reform legislation one step further. Today Judge Henry Hudson (E.D. Va.) denied a Health and Human Services motion to dismiss — which means we’re headed for discovery. The WSJ Law Blog reports:

The ruling represents a setback that will force the Obama administration to mount a lengthy legal defense of the law. The suit, filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, alleges that the law’s requirement that its residents have health insurance violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution…

In his opinion, Judge Hudson ruled: “The guiding precedent [on the Commerce Clause] is informative but inconclusive.”

At times like these, it’s important to remember that the Democrats have 255 votes in the House and 59 votes in the Senate, but only four votes on the Supreme Court…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Virginia Lawsuit Against Health Care Reform Allowed to Continue”

Are there any cynics out there who are sick of all this good news about how the legal economy is recovering? Hell, even a supposed teen porn purveyor is counting on a full recovery sometime in the near future.

If all this happiness and roses makes you feel a little bit ill, look no further than Craigslist for your daily dose of sadness. Check out this out, it’s the saddest kind of barter deal…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How Much Would You Pay Somebody To Give You A Job?”

For lawyers — who concern ourselves with rules, and how to navigate within them without breaking them — one of the most interesting features in the New York Times magazine is The Ethicist. Columnist Randy Cohen fields ethical questions from readers and provides insight and advice. (Earlier this year, he smacked me down for an ethical transgression involving Oreos and a hotel minibar.)

This past weekend, The Ethicist once again entertained a query from a member of the legal community. Jeremy Weg, a rising second-year at Cardozo Law School, asked the following:

When I study in my law-school library, I generally choose a cubicle near a heavily used photocopier that doubles as a printer connected to the school’s computer network. This machine often breaks down — paper jams and the like. If I know it’s not working, must I tell the student about to use it, which means constantly interrupting my own work? Every page printed costs the student eight cents, but she can ask the librarian for a refund.

One response might have been “de minimis non curat lex” (translation: “you have got to be kidding, please get a life”). But that wouldn’t have been very fun.

What did The Ethicist advise?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Thinking Like a Lawyer: The Case of the Broken Copier”

We’ve all heard of the crime of Driving While Black. It’s when black people drive around in nice cars — which some cops interpret as probable cause for a stop and search. It’s happened to me (shout-out to Kokomo, Indiana). After my experience I learned how to respect the law (of not ending up in Kokomo, Indiana).

But the ABA Journal now tells us of a whole new crime African-Americans can commit: jogging.

Even after police apparently recognized him as a downtown defense lawyer, they went ahead and arrested him for no good reason while he was jogging in his longtime neighborhood in West Las Vegas, contends David Lee Phillips.

A lawsuit filed over the incident by Phillips, 58, who is black and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is ongoing. In it, he contends that police threatened and harassed him before knocking him to the ground…

Man. A brother can’t even avoid getting hassled in Las Vegas…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A New Legal Violation: Jogging While Black?”

* Judge Susan Bolton, who took the teeth out of the Arizona immigration law, has been getting lots of hate mail, including death threats. But loyal readers of Above the Law know it’s not the first time for her. [Chicago Sun-Times]

* The ball is in Blake Strode’s court: pro tennis or Harvard Law School? [St. Louis Today]

* From the frying pan into the fire? Lindsay Lohan is out of jail and into rehab. [Los Angeles Times]

* Crackberry users in the U.A.E. are going to need rehab soon, too. [New York Times]

* Patent lawyer Donald Stout doesn’t care what you say about his house. [Financial Post]

* Chelsea Clinton is off the market. [Washington Post]

* You have the right to wonder what will become of the Miranda warning. [Associated Press]

* Teen arrested for the fatal shooting of a University of Pittsburgh law student. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; KDKA]

Ed. note: Law Shucks focuses on life in, and after, Biglaw, including by tracking layoffs, bonuses, and laterals. Above the Law is pleased to bring you this weekly column, which analyzes news at the world’s top law firms.

As summer programs around Biglaw wrap up, all eyes turn to offer rates.

The rising 3L participants are looking to wrap up the golden tickets* of an offer of permanent** employment (* – but don’t forget about deferrals and recisions; ** – or layoffs).

Rising 2Ls have finished applying for law reviews and journals and are focused on prioritizing their bids for OCI. High offer rates are a definite plus in deciding which firms to try to get interviews with. As are the firms’ prestige rankings, especially if there’s a particular practice area of interest.

The rest of the denizens of Biglaw view offer rates as one measure of a firm’s health.

Of course, summer programs aren’t the only way into Biglaw — or at least television producers don’t think so. There’s a new drama in the works about a slacker who gets hired at a top Manhattan firm, despite not having a law degree.

After the jump, a roundup of summer-program news, billion-dollar deals, lateral moves, and other recent developments from around Biglaw.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Week in Biglaw: 08.01.10″

Pop the Biglaw Bubbly

We feel like we’re taking magic Biglaw pills today and having hallucinatory flashbacks to 2006. The good news has been rolling in. Just today, we covered raises at Sheppard Mullin, and a 100% offer rate for D.C. summer associates at Latham & Watkins.

And over at Am Law Daily, Zach Lowe predicts good things for 2011. There will be more summer associate spots to go around next year, law school kiddies:

On-campus interviewing starts in two weeks at some schools, and early indications are that hiring at premier law firms will jump–in some cases by a lot–after plummeting this summer, according to sources at law schools and firms.

Cravath, Skadden, and Ropes & Gray, among others, plan to hire more warm bodies next summer than this one. This summer was dismal, after all, in terms of summer associate hiring, as demonstrated by these charts from the National Law Journal and Am Law Daily.

The upside of hiring fewer summer associates, though, is an increase in the likelihood of all of them getting hired. We’ve had more reports of 100% offer rates from a few firms today, along with fun ways of spreading the good news. Eyewitness accounts, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Things Are Looking Up: More Summer Associate Classes Get 100% Offer News”

Some Italian-Americans from New Jersey end up handing down the law. E.g., Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.

And some Italian-Americans from New Jersey end up getting in trouble with the law. E.g., Snooki, the pint-sized, gallon-breasted breakout star of MTV’s popular Jersey Shore reality TV show.

According to TMZ, Snooki — a.k.a. Nicole Polizzi — was arrested earlier today in Seaside Heights, NJ. What was her alleged offense?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Jersey Shore’s Snooki Is Not Above the Law”

* Do you need an attitude makeover at your job? [Corporette]

* More good news. Firms intend to increase summer hiring this year. [Am Law Daily]

* The natural evolution of the “do not call” list. [Legal Blog Watch]

* I wonder if we should all stop talking about the Arizona immigration law until it (inevitably) ends up before the Supreme Court? Naw… it’s too much fun. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Lobbyists are making some serious bank. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

* Surely lawyers will find a way to generate fees out of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Somebody has to tell the banks what they can pay their own people. [Concurring Opinions]

* If you absolutely have to kill somebody, make sure you bet on black. If you kill a white person, you’re three times more likely to get the death penalty. [ABA Journal]

Happy Friday, Above the Law readers.

Last week, we gave you this photo of a law grad at Georgetown taking a break from bar exam studies. Instead of cracking under the pressure, he was covering the cracks.

We asked for possible captions for the photo. You submitted reams of them, and we chose our ten favorites.

Here’s the caption crowned the winner for this photo of a bar studier on his hidden throne….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Winner: Stalled”

We’re rolling through the Vault 2011 list of the “prestigiest” firms in the land, so that you can comment on what it’s like to actually live, work, and breathe those firms (when you’re not choking on all the prestige in the air).

We’ve covered #1-10 and #11-20. Here’s the next round-up. Now it’s time for the London-based Magic Circle firms to join in the elite fun:

21. Arnold & Porter
22. Shearman & Sterling
23. Boies, Schiller & Flexner
24. O’Melveny & Myers
25. Ropes & Gray
26. Morrison & Foerster
27. Munger, Tolles & Olson
28. Hogan Lovells
29. Clifford Chance
30. Linklaters

What do associates have to say about the ups and downs of life at these firms? Here are some excerpts from their Vault listings…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Threads: Vault 21 – 30 (2011)”

I don’t believe you when you say just about anything anymore because I know that you will lie to a court any time it helps you. I know that. I saw you do it. I know you will do that. You have proven that to me beyond a reasonable doubt.

– Chief Judge James Holderman (N.D. Ill.) of Chicago, berating government lawyers — before a unanimous panel of the Seventh Circuit removed him from the case, in the middle of trial. Judge Richard Posner’s opinion cited Judge Holderman’s abuse of discretion and “unreasonable fury toward the prosecutors.”

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