Obama’s week of initiatives with regard to drug sentencing is a great start, much awaited and much needed, but it’s a drop in the bucket.
ATL Academy For Private Practice Volume 1 – Getting Started offers a mix of deeply informed, sometimes contrarian, but always thoughtful insight into meeting the challenges of starting and optimizing your own practice. Click here to download.
What drove him into this situation, and what will happen to him next?
* As mentioned earlier, the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey’s dissent is a very fun read because it’s dripping with sarcasm. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Sentencing has been delayed for Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s friends during the pendency of the Yates case at SCOTUS. Like a grouper, a backpack may not be a “tangible object.” [National Law Journal]
* Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Wildman Palmer are planning to shed lawyers and staff members in anticipation of their proposed mergers with Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]
* Weekend reading? ATL’s managing editor, David Lat, reviews Blindfolds Off (affiliate link), an interesting collection of interviews with judges about how they decide their toughest cases. [Wall Street Journal]
* Everyone, please stop what you’re doing. Jeffrey Toobin has discovered that law schools are in trouble, and he’s on the case. You can read more information about this new phenomenon here. [The New Yorker]
* Adam Tang, the man who drove a 26-mile loop around Manhattan in 24 minutes, was convicted of reckless driving without being present. Check out the video of his crazy drive, after the jump. [ABA Journal]
* Many lawyers may think that Biglaw is in recovery what with its record gross revenues and profits, but if you adjust the numbers for inflation, the overall picture looks pretty grim. Reality certainly does bite, folks. [American Lawyer]
* Please pay up and shut up: Alas, seven partners who sought to dismiss the clawback suits filed against them by failed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf’s bankruptcy liquidation trustee were denied in court this week. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Thomas Jefferson School of Law restructured its debt to avoid default, and now its dean has announced he doesn’t think the school’s enrollment will ever return to its former glory. Aww. [National Law Journal]
* Warren Gladders, the WUSTL Law grad turned bank robber, received 45 years in jail for his getaway shootout with the cops. It’ll run consecutively with his 24-year robbery sentence. [St. Louis Post Dispatch]
* The judge overseeing the Jodi Arias sentencing retrial made the unusual decision to bar the public from watching the testimony of the defense’s first witness. We’re now awaiting Nancy Grace’s anuerysm. [AP]
* When asked what his favorite SCOTUS decision was during his POTUS tenure, Obama said it was the high court’s cert denials on the gay marriage cases. Well played, sir. [Wall Street Journal]
* “Leverage has started to shift away from law firms.” Despite the fact that their headcounts are rising, Biglaw firms are downsizing office space as rents keep climbing higher. [Am Law Daily]
* Schools are trying to slap lipstick on the pig that legal education has become amid an “anemic job market.” We bet your law school has some shiny new innovations too. [News Observer]
* Citing the fact that “the courts do not exist to win popularity contests,” a judge sentenced Oscar Pistorius to five years in prison. Serious question: Will he be allowed to bring his prosthetic legs? [New York Times]
* Nancy Grace and her friends have pitchforks at the ready because Jodi Arias’s penalty phase retrial begins today, and another jury will decide if she deserves to die for murdering her boyfriend. [Reuters]
This week, the Supreme Court had a chance to fix it. It didn’t.
Litigation finance is a funding tool many companies are considering to help cover the fees and expenses related to major legal claims. We at Lake Whillans Litigation Finance have compiled a list of questions to help you determine if your client is a candidate for litigation finance.
* Law schools are in trouble, but Cooley Law is “going strong” — after all, only “28 percent of last year’s graduates at its Michigan campuses failed to land jobs as lawyers within nine months.” You’re really doing it wrong. [Tampa Bay Times]
* This guy broke into the University of Oregon School of Law three times, and all he got were these computers for hipsters and a crappy 11-year sentence. (He should’ve broken into the football facility for better loot.) [Register-Guard]
* Should you go to law school if you know for a fact that you don’t want to be a lawyer? This is the type of question that would render your ATL editors unable to even. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* Amanda Bynes has been placed on a 5150 psychiatric hold, and people suddenly care about mental health law. It’s sad that it takes a celebrity to make people care about these issues. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Marijuana is making its way to the ballot in some states this November, but before you vote, here’s a primer on where it’s legal to smoke weed, where it might be, and where it’s not. [Washington Post]
* How are Nevada and Idaho officials reacting to yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling striking down gay marriage bans in those states, and how soon might marriages get underway? [BuzzFeed]
* In other LGBT legal news, New York City is likely to make it easier for transgender individuals to amend their birth certificates. [New York Times]
* Good news for Joan Orie Melvin, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice turned convicted felon: her unorthodox sentence has been stayed (again). [How Appealing]
* Eduardo Leite, who has led Baker & McKenzie since 2010, gets another two years at the helm of Biglaw’s biggest firm. [American Lawyer]
* Cravath associate Micaela McMurrough scores a victory in tax court for artists. [New York Times]
* The ABA has issued a new opinion addressing ethical issues raised during the sale of a law practice. [American Bar Association]
* Why do lawyers blog? Tim Baran of Rocket Matter talks to 23 of us. [Legal Productivity]
The Affluenza controversy was messed up enough. Now the kid’s lawyers are trying to use another kind of privilege to keep his diagnosis from coming up in a civil case.
* Noah “Kai” Newkirk, the protestor who disrupted Supreme Court arguments in February, was sentenced to time served and barred from the court. Don’t worry, we’ll get you all the SCOTUS clerk news you need, cutie. [Associated Press]
* “There are still a lot of firms out there hoping the good old days are going to return, and are finally coming to the realization that that isn’t going to happen.” More on Biglaw layoffs. [Am Law Daily]
* Yet another law school gets its rating downgraded by Moody’s. As a standalone school with “substantial declines in JD enrollment,” Vermont Law’s outlook is now negative. Sad trombone. [Moody’s]
* Jason Bohn, the heavily indebted law school grad once profiled by the New York Times, was convicted of murdering his girlfriend last month, and now he’s been sentenced to serve life in prison. [New York Post]
* “Is the Tax Code really 70,000 pages long?” No, not really. We wonder who started the rumor that it was so long, because in reality, it’s only about 2,600 pages long — which is still way, way too long. [Slate]
* It appears that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with this celebrity family. Lindsay Lohan’s mother, Dina Lohan, pleaded guilty yesterday to drunken driving and speeding charges in New York. [CNN]
* Scared of an audit, were we? With the unsealing of the case against Dewey’s former finance director comes greater insight into what was really going on behind the scenes at the failed firm. [DealBook / New York Times]
* The American Bar Association is willing pay up to $15,000 to organizations that match unemployed law grads with jobs to serve the legal needs of the poor. So, how much do the poor law grads get paid? [National Law Journal]
* Tenure may be “under fire,” but law professors are fighting back — and hard — because law school deans seem unwilling to speak up on their behalf. Let’s face facts though, tenure isn’t going anywhere. [Forbes]
* It figures one of the faces of America’s $1 trillion of outstanding student loan debt is a lawyer. Hey, heavily indebted lawyers make great headlines and even better first paragraphs. [Big Story / Associated Press]
* Jordan Graham, the newlywed who pushed her husband of eight days off a cliff, was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Protip: an annulment would’ve been a better option than second-degree murder. [CNN]