Recent Headlines from Above the Law

  • Kim Davis

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.01.15

    * Vatican officials confirmed — or rather, didn’t deny — that Pope Francis did, in fact, have a secret meeting with infamous Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Hmm, apparently all it takes is denying people their newfound civil rights to get an audience with the Pope. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The ABA Accreditation Committee will recommend that the ABA approve the merger between Hamline and William Mitchell. The merger byproduct could be operational in 2016 if all goes well. Is this something we should be excited about? [Hamline University]

    * On the ninth day of deliberations in the criminal trial of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former executives, jurors were still unable to come to a consensus, and one juror mentioned she’d have to leave early on October 9. Oy vey! Dewey think this jury is hung? [Am Law Daily]

    * Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stayed the execution of Richard Glossip — you may recognize his name from his recent unsuccessful Supreme Court case — because the drugs the Corrections Department received didn’t match protocol. Figures. [Associated Press]

    * “We are heartened the district attorney has agreed that even a misdemeanor charge would be inappropriate.” Prosecutors will not be charging Caitlyn Jenner with vehicular manslaughter in the fatal car crash she was involved in earlier this year. [USA Today]

    35 Comments / / Oct 1, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • See ya, Judge.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.19.15

    * Ouch! The Florida Supreme Court just unanimously told a lower court judge to STFU and GTFO. Judge Laura Watson, who was elected to her position in 2012, was summarily ousted from the bench for shady conduct that took place before her judgeship commenced. [Sun Sentinel]

    * The ABA postponed making a decision on whether it’ll approve a merger between Hamline Law and William Mitchell Law. Not to worry, everything will be okay. Come on, as if the ABA would let a failing law school completely crash and burn. [MPR News]

    * We mentioned this week that Hank Greenberg won his A.I.G. bailout suit, but we didn’t get around to the part where Davis Polk got quite the judicial spanking from an “irritated” judge — and the firm wasn’t even named as a defendant. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Uh oh. It looks like Ellen Pao just got “powed.” Judge Harold Kahn has tentatively ruled that Pao must pay about $276,000 in trials costs to Kleiner Perkins. (Special thanks go out to ATL commenter Paul Harvey for this clever little quip.) [Digits / Wall Street Journal]

    * Micah Green, a prominent lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, is headed for greener pastures at Steptoe. He’s the latest rainmaker to leave, which makes us wonder if the firm will be satisfied with only being able to make it drizzle. [PowerPost / Washington Post]

    19 Comments / / Jun 19, 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
  • money magnet

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.07.15

    * Which Biglaw firm just raised its starting salary for associates? Will this be the beginning of a revolution? Don’t you wish your firm would follow this firm’s lead? We’ll have more on this exciting salary news later today. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * “With the decline of lawyers and law students, we were looking for new avenues to attract students.” William Mitchell Law may say its hybrid J.D. program was for its students’ benefit, but it was really only to put asses in seats — even digital ones. [CNBC]

    * It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday… when you’re a Biglaw partner trying to escape the terms of your contract by making a lateral move. Some firms are even holding capital contributions hostage to discourage partners from leaving. [Recorder via ABA Journal]

    * Potential penalties for Supreme Court protesters seem to be getting stiffer. Perhaps federal prosecutors are pissed about 99Rise’s persistence, because this time, members of the social justice group are facing jail time for “haranguing” our justices. [Legal Times]

    * According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida was the most productive federal trial court in the nation last year. When Flori-duh is kicking your ass, it’s time to reevalute your life. [WSJ Law Blog]

    9 Comments / / Apr 7, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Coming to a law school near you?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.06.15

    * “It’s unconscionable, and I believe they have breached the fiduciary duty to the law school, to the students and to the public.” Appalachian Law is struggling, and some believe its trustees are preventing the school from saving itself. Will this be the first school to fold? [Inside Higher Ed]

    * “We were all running this ATM machine called big law firms.” Before 2008, it was easier for large law firms to make money, but now, there’s an “insurmountable gap” in revenue between the industry’s heavy hitters and the rest of the pack. [Wall Street Journal]

    * You’ll pry their job security from their cold, dead hands: William Mitchell Law professors know that layoffs may be coming thanks to the school’s planned merger with Hamline Law, and have filed suit to protect the Tenure Code. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

    * Bonus season isn’t the only thing that Davis Polk has cornered the market on. According to the latest Bloomberg M&A rankings, the firm came out on top during the first quarter of 2015 when it came to advising on major deals. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * “Whatever happened to The New York Times’ fact-checker?” Here’s yet another harsh critique of Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon’s cringeworthy defense of law schools, and this time it’s from a fellow law professor. Ouch. [The Belly of the Beast via Am Law Daily]

    * Jay Edelson of Edelson PC may be the “most hated person in Silicon Valley,” but he probably doesn’t care about being Liked — after all, he recently filed suit against Facebook over the social networking company’s face recognition software. [New York Times]

    28 Comments / / Apr 6, 2015 at 8:45 AM
  • A happy Hamline Law grad?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.02.15

    * Unfortunately, it seems that if you want to get an elite legal education in this country, you’re going to have to pay an arm and a leg for it. This year’s NLJ Top 10 Go-To Law Schools each have a sticker price that’s greater than $50K. [National Law Journal]

    * Hamline University’s president thinks it was smarter for her law school to merge with William Mitchell Law than for it to close altogether — hey, it’ll still bear the Hamline name and its dying carcass won’t be on her books anymore! [Star Tribune]

    * Later this week, SCOTUS will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that could decimate the Affordable Care Act as we know it. At this point, the justices must be contemplating how many people will lose if the plaintiffs here win. [Wall Street Journal]

    * An ADA from the Brooklyn DA’s office who prosecuted drug cases was canned after his colleagues learned that he failed to report his personal connection to an admitted cocaine dealer. Perhaps they were jealous he refused to share his hookup. [New York Daily News]

    * In case you missed it, Above the Law, your favorite legal website, has been “rankle[d]” by a new series on CNNMoney called “Above the Law.” We know you’re as ticked off about this as we are, so we hope you’ll help us write our cease-and-desist letter. [Am Law Daily]

    37 Comments / / Mar 2, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Damn Dewey dollars...

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.16.15

    Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual. We will be back in full force tomorrow.

    * The news is in, and it seems that Davis Polk’s financial numbers were at record highs. The firm’s revenue beat the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and its PPP rose to $3.29 million. No wonder its 2014 bonuses were so awesome! [Am Law Daily]

    * Yes, we know that William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law are merging to survive as a result of a quickly disappearing applicant pool. We’d really love to know how many other law schools are considering this as an alternative to closing their doors. [Star Tribune]

    * How are Nebraska and Oklahoma, which neighbor Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, handling the situation? Not well. Their AGs want SCOTUS to rule the weed law in the state where you can get Rocky Mountain High is unconstitutional. [PBS NewsHour]

    * Thanks to a recent ABA rule change, schools are beginning to admit students without LSAT scores. One of those schools is Iowa Law (ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News), but those students need to have done really well on other standardized tests. [Daily Iowan]

    * “How have I done as a judge today?” “Not bad, but you could do better.” Judge John Hurley had a run-in with an 80-year-old criminal defendant who wouldn’t stop calling him sweetheart. Flip to the next page to see the entertaining video. [NBC 6 South Florida]

    32 Comments / / Feb 16, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • law_school1-e13663075495591-RF

    Law Schools

    Two Lower-Tier Law Schools Merge To Become One… Lower-Tier Law School

    Law schools are trying everything to keep up while students turn their backs on legal education.

    42 Comments / / Feb 13, 2015 at 1:29 PM
  • 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
  • iPhone

    Books, Contract Attorneys, Election Law, Insider Trading, Non-Sequiturs, White-Collar Crime

    Non-Sequiturs: 09.17.14

    * Law student sends naked selfie to her father. Hilarity ensues. [Inside Edition]

    * “Is insider trading bad?” Asking for a friend. [The Atlantic]

    * Judge catches law firm cheating on the page limit. Apparently, Judge Carl Barbier was well-versed in the “slightly less than double-spaced” trick. [NPR]

    * What’s the matter with (statutory interpretation in) Kansas? [KSN]

    * You may have heard that technology is going to gut the market for low-level lawyering. If not, here’s a wakeup call. [Forbes]

    * This year’s MacArthur genius grant recipients. Is your name on the list? SPOILER: No. But a William Mitchell Law professor is. [New York Times]

    * Steve Klepper’s fair-minded and favorable review of Lat’s forthcoming book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). [Maryland Appellate Blog]

    4 Comments / / Sep 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM