At least it seems clear this Biglaw partner has learned his lesson.
Hope he still has enough to afford a fancy lawyer. Sounds like he needs one.
Ever wonder what Lex Luthor would do if he were a state judge?
* Steven Metro, an ex-managing clerk at Simpson Thacher who was accused of passing insider info about mergers and other business transactions to his law school buddy in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme, has pleaded guilty. He faces up to 20 years in prison. [Reuters]
* Remember Keila Ravelo, the Willkie Farr partner who allegedly stole millions from that firm and her prior firm, Hunton & Williams? It turns out her involvement in the $5.7 billion MasterCard/Visa antitrust settlement could ultimately become its kiss of death. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Chief Judge Morrison England (E.D. Cal.) says he and his colleagues are incredibly overworked, sometimes putting in more than 80 hours per week. It’s too bad it doesn’t make a difference — the court is at a “crisis point” in its backlog of cases. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Last summer, a federal judge ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional in California because an appeals process with the “slight possibility of death” was cruel and unusual. Here’s a real shocker: the Ninth Circuit overturned the decision. [New York Times]
* Embattled Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane is well past the point of having 99 problems, but there’s no end in sight. Former prosecutors have filed suit against her, alleging she retaliated against them for exposing her alleged criminal misdeeds. [Tribune-Review]
Quit your sports trash-talking before it costs you your job, lawyers.
* Law school admissions standards have plummeted and bar exam passage rates are circling the drain. This can only mean one thing: an army of dumb would-be lawyers whose degrees aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on will “become criminals themselves — robbing liquor stores, grabbing old ladies’ handbags, selling derivatives.” [Wall Street Journal]
* A Pennsylvania attorney was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography after it was discovered that he was downloading the images at his law firm. Protip: Don’t leave pictures of nude boys engaged in sexual acts in the copier tray. [The Reporter]
* Law firms where older partners refuse to pass the baton may be in trouble. “Some law firms could crumble after this generation because they don’t have a lot to sell to the next generation.” Only 3% of managing partners belong to Generation X. [New York Times]
* DLA Piper’s London office launched a review of its pay structure in an effort to remunerate partners based on more than just billable hours alone. One wonders if this meritocracy will make its way across the pond to us here in America. [Legal Business]
* According to a landmark decision from the Mexico Supreme Court, it’s a constitutional right for people to be able to grow and smoke their own marijuana. Of course, this ruling only applies to the petitioners, but it’s a step in the right direction. [Los Angeles Times]
You’d think that after he was disbarred, got ordered to refund excessive legal fees, and had his law firm dissolved and placed into receivership, not much else bad could happen to Stan Chesley — but you’d be wrong.
* Despite the fact that people seemed to have been losing their minds over court packing, according to Judge Sri Srinivasan of the D.C. Circuit, President Obama’s appointment of four new judges on the powerful court had little to no impact on the outcome of cases. [POLITICO]
* “Americans are actively being deprived of their rights.” In this excellent longread on arbitration, we learn it’s the best for big companies, but for plaintiffs who are forced into it, it amounts to the “privatization of the justice system.” [DealBook / New York Times]
* Uh oh! Disgraced plaintiffs’ lawyer Stan Chesley — perhaps better known as the “Master of Disaster” — had a warrant issued for his arrest last week after he failed to appear for a hearing related to his refusal to pay a $42 million judgment. [Louisville Courier Journal]
* Florida A&M University College of Law has a brand new dean. We’d like to wish a warm welcome to Angela Felecia Epps, whose salary of $252,000 is likely more than any of the school’s recent and barely employed graduates can hope to make. [Orlando Sentinel]
* A 30-year-old New Jersey man has been sentenced to a 16-year prison term for aggravated arson after the fires he set last year damaged a local law firm (one that was representing him at the time) and the county prosecutor’s office. [Associated Press]
He allegedly wrote in a motion that his farts contain “more integrity and legal competence than is possessed by all the [judges] on this panel combined.”
People watch short videos to learn pretty much everything. And they do it exactly when they need to learn – whether it’s to tie a bow tie an hour before a wedding or make a martini just before the party starts. Hotshot is bringing that concept to the legal industry. We think you should be […]
What happens when you allegedly begin to act like your clients and commit a crime — in court, no less?
* “Cases swing. I don’t.” Justice Anthony Kennedy would really like it if folks would stop referring to him as the high court’s
swingerswing vote. In other news, the Supreme jurist thinks Legally Blonde is a “pretty good movie.” [Harvard Gazette]
* Hey, everyone, it’s high time we did something about this law school debt crisis. Have you somehow never heard about or experienced this before (despite reading Above the Law for eons)? Not to worry, because the New York Times is on it! [New York Times]
* “She’ll still be fighting for the things she cares about. But this time, she’ll be asking us to join her.” Irin Camron, co-author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (affiliate link), thinks we’ll see more Badass Bader this Term. [New York Times]
* The Pennsylvania Senate is trying to kick embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane out of office because she’s working with a suspended law license. Come on, it must be pretty embarrassing when your AG can’t even refer to herself as a lawyer. [Morning Call]
* According to Professor Paul Campos, the law school scam will keep on trucking thanks to the for-profit institutions — Arizona Summit Law, Charlotte Law, and Florida Coastal Law — that are run by InfiLaw. Well, at least they’re good at one thing, right? [The Atlantic]
* Toke the vote! The next states that will likely legalize recreational marijuana by ballot referendum come November 2016 include California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Vermont, on the other hand, may pass marijuana-friendly legislation. [Rolling Stone]
* Any day Cadwalader can avoid damages in a huge, multimillion-dollar malpractice case is a great day. Yesterday, the New York Court of Appeals dismissed a never-ending suit filed against the firm by a former client over a failed commercial mortgage-backed securitization. Phew! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Say hello to Northwestern Pritzker Law: In case you missed it, Northwestern Law recently received a $100 million donation, the largest single gift ever made to a law school. For that much money, you’re damn right the school has a new name. [Chicago Tribune]
* This must’ve been a huge blow to his ego… U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had to dismiss insider trading charges against seven defendants thanks to a Second Circuit decision that made it harder to prosecute certain financial crimes. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Charleston Law fired back against professors who sued the school by saying in its answer it wouldn’t be in such dire straits if they hadn’t “sabotaged the transfer of the school to InfiLaw.” Take that back, they did a good deed. [Charleston Regional Business Journal]
* “Sorry, not sorry, narcs,” says Judge Breyer. Earlier this week, a California judge informed the DEA that it needed to stop harshing medical marijuana patients’ mellows by shutting down medical pot dispensaries that were operating within state laws. [TIME]
How does this state AG plan to do her job when her license to practice law has been suspended?
* Is there a pattern of dishonesty in the Orange County, CA District Attorney’s office? [New York Times]
* Does a lack of SEC enforcement on clawback rules actually create a perverse incentive to manipulate earnings? [MarketWatch]
* Shocking news: Men admire their own work more than women do. I know that sentence is full of gender norms, but sometimes it is what it is. [TaxProf Blog]
* Is it ever okay for Biglaw associates to have privacy in the office? [What About Paris?]
* What you need to know right now in the world of legal tech. [CodeX]
* Thinking of using Google AdWords for your firm? Careful if you’re bidding on opposing counsel’s name, it could land you in ethical hot water. [Legal Profession Blog]
* What are the biggest threats for your corporate data? [Bloomberg BNA]
A divorce battle between two Biglaw associates gets ugly — very ugly.
* “We saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and she just blew that tunnel up.” Massachusetts teen Michelle Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend after she texted him numerous times, encouraging him to kill himself. If you haven’t seen them, her messages are chilling. [Associated Press]
* “If you are a lawyer thinking about having sex with your client, you better think first.” Go ahead, argue that your client’s 30-day suspension from practice was “just” because the woman kept coming back for more. Maybe your judge won’t be as sarcastic. [Knoxville News Sentinel]
* If you’re starting law school, you probably haven’t heard about the biggest law firm bankruptcy in history, and you likely don’t know what the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial is about. Here’s a listicle of reasons to doubt the prosecution’s case. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Biglaw firms are rethinking their office space at the same time as they’re building up their posh amenities. At the end of the day, associates may be forced to move to cubicles, but it’s all for the clients’ benefit, so hooray for them. *golf claps* [Commercial Observer]
* Our congratulations go out to Alicia Ouellette, Albany Law School’s newest president and dean. We’re certainly hopeful that she’ll be able to handle the tenuous employment situation with the school’s tenured faculty better than her predecessor did. [Times Union]