* Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor who handled (mishandled?) the Michael Brown / Darren Wilson case in Ferguson, Missouri, was recently named as “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. This probably wasn’t a good idea. [Slate]
* American Apparel filed for bankruptcy, and rather than Biglaw firms representing the embattled clothier, they’re trying to snatch up fees. Skadden, White & Case, and Paul Hastings are each owed quite the pretty penny. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Which law school dean was just named as senior counsel at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world? That would be Nicholas Allard of Brooklyn Law School. Perhaps this law dean’s academic cash flow wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
* “Unless the industry cleans itself up, we can expect more lawsuits like this in the future.” In an interesting turn of events, the marijuana industry is now seeing its first product liability suit. A protip for growers: No one wants to smoke fungicide. [Los Angeles Times]
* Just when you thought patent trolls couldn’t get any worse, they started to harass members of the fashion industry. Copyright trolls (i.e., Stephen Doniger and Scott Alan Burroughs) are suing over textile prints left and right, and that’s so last season. [Fortune]
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* Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed over her refusal to give marriage licenses to gay couples, was released by order of Judge David Bunning — with a warning not to interfere with her deputy clerks’ duties. Hmm, yeah, she’s totally going back to jail. [New York Times]
* The law school applicant pool is still dwindling after all these years, so it’s interesting to see which schools are offering students the biggest
bribesscholarships and grants (some of which may later disappear) so they can fill the seats in their classes with asses. [Bloomberg via PreLaw]
* This Montana Law professor claims that he was forced to retire from his teaching position early due to the school’s ongoing budget cuts: “I am the first full-time member of the law faculty upon whom the ax has fallen.” We’ll have more on this later. [Missoulian]
* Hmm, what Dewey know about the standard of evidence for conviction in the D&L fraud trial? “Woulda, coulda, shoulda is fine for cocktail party conversation. In this courtroom and in any courtroom, the proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt.” [Reuters]
* Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, who received an LL.M. in taxation from NYU School of Law, is making a $20 million donation to the school, its largest gift ever. We wonder how much he’s giving to his alma mater, Wayne State Law. [WSJ Law Blog]
The Seventh Circuit affirms: $260,000 in educational debt for a law school grad can’t be discharged in bankruptcy.
* A jury has ruled that rapper 50 Cent must pay an additional $2 million in punitive damages to a woman whose sex tape he posted online, on top of the $5 million he already owes her. This wanksta better hope the judgment gets discharged in bankruptcy. [Associated Press]
* California is America’s breeding ground for unaccredited law schools, and “[m]ost jurisdictions simply don’t allow [these] kind of law school[s] to exist at all. Period.” Nearly all students (about 9 out of 10) drop out before graduation. How much money is being wasted? [Los Angeles Times]
* Since 2007, the pay gap between the highest- and lowest-paid positions in many specialized fields has widened — but that isn’t the case when it comes to the legal profession. Unfortunately, not as many people are making it rain. [New York Times]
* “[M]aybe legislation should fix this. Not the court.” A San Diego judge has suggested that he’ll likely dismiss a right-to-die lawsuit filed by Christy O’Donnell, a civil rights attorney who’s fighting a battle against lung, brain, spine, rib, and liver cancer. [NBC San Diego]
* You’ve seen reactions to Harper Lee’s portrayal of Atticus Finch as a racist in Go Set A Watchman (affiliate link) from everyone and their mother and their dog, but maybe you haven’t seen reactions from law professors yet, so have a look. [National Law Journal]
* “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be
cowboyspotheads.” Country singer-songwriter and OG stoner Willie Nelson says marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next decade. Who knows, maybe his cannabis-crazed dreams will come true. [San Antonio Express-News]
* Where do lonely hearts go? To court. This ex-Illinois Law student was accused of stalking a classmate and barred setting foot on campus for a two-year time period. A new trial was ordered, and now he may be able to graduate. Yay? [National Law Journal]
* Law firms of all sizes are merging at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue like this ad infinitum. Eventually, all of the fun is going to stop, and it’ll likely because there isn’t any more profitability to be had for these firms. Womp. [Am Law Daily]
* Corporate legal departments are pushing for more diversity among their ranks, with companies like Xerox leading the way. NAPABA is hopeful that we’ll see 20 Asian-American lawyers as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies by 2020. [WSJ Law Blog]
* For a man who wanted to “get rich or die tryin,” things don’t seem to be working out so well: Bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was busy denying ownership of many of his luxury items in court this week. He says he rents, borrows, and leases most of his bling. [Associated Press]
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* “I would hope that we’ve already hit the bottom.” America’s legal educators and admissions deans are wishing, hoping, and praying that the upcoming school year will be the last year that merely having a pulse is a prerequisite for law school admission. [National Law Journal]
* Bankruptcy court, here we come: We all know that right now, exorbitant law school debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, but judges have started to rally in favor of student debtors, noting that the Brunner test is simply incompatible with today’s high tuition costs. [New York Times]
* “A professional education will never be cheap,” and the ABA has finally decided to give the appearance of caring about the average graduates of private law schools with six figures of loans. Enhanced financial counseling for all! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Indiana Tech Law School won’t be appealing its denial of accreditation by the American Bar Association. Before you get too excited about a law school accepting failure and throwing in the towel, it seems that the school is just going to reapply instead. [KPC News]
* “[O]ne’s face may determine one’s fate, at least in the judicial domain.” Per a new study, the more untrustworthy a criminal defendant looks, the more likely it is that he’ll receive a harsher sentence. Boy, Dewey know defendants in need of a makeover. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “I don’t know what you heard about me, but a bitch can’t get a dollar out of me.” Truer lyrics have never been rapped. 50 Cent’s legal team will face off in bankruptcy court against lawyers for a woman owed $5 million thanks to a sex-tape scandal. [Business Insider]
* You may be happy that income-based loan repayment exists and is saving you from defaulting on your law school debts, but in a few decades, you’re probably going to get F’d in the A by a ticking tax time bomb. [Student Loan Ranger / U.S. News]
* If you missed it, James Eagan Holmes, the shooter in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre in Colorado, was convicted for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. Next up is the sentencing phase of his trial, and the death penalty is on the table. [Denver Post]
* The head honchos at Goldman Sachs are sad their second-quarter profits were reduced by ~half thanks to protracted litigation stemming from the financial crisis. The bank had to put away $1.45B for “mortgage-related litigation.” [DealBook / New York Times]
* The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but Berg & Androphy, led by attorney David Berg, is trying its hand at big city life in New York. It got the hang of things, y’all: B&A has already poached two Kasowitz partners. [Lawdragon]
* 50 Cent has declared bankruptcy. Forthwith, he shall be known as “The Secured Creditors’ Half-Dollar.” [Business Insider]
* Nina Totenberg talked with Justice Ginsburg and learned the reason the so-called liberal wing of the Court wrote so few separate opinions: they have agreed to speak with one voice as much as possible. As Justice Ginsburg put it, “If you want to make sure you’re read, you do it together, and you do it short.” [NPR]
* Are you licensed in Texas? Frequent contributor Dan Hull of Hull McGuire is looking for local counsel. [What About Clients?]
* Academics are planning to hold onto their jobs past retirement age because you can take their jobs from their cold, dead, tenured hands. [TaxProf Blog]
* How are you using LinkedIn? Because if you use it only as a connections catalog, you’re missing out on an opportunity to publicize your practice. [Law and More]
* The opposite of saved by the bell: man free on bond sent to jail cell when fire alarm disrupts hearing. Then the judge leaves the building, stranding the guy in a cell. [Times-Picayune]
* Richard Hsu chats with author Brad Meltzer about his new book and weathering the rejection he experienced over his first novel. And stay tuned, because there’s more Richard Hsu coming up later. [Hsu Untied]
* Kaye Scholer’s Managing Partner Michael Solow talks about the firm’s new digs at 250 West 55th Street. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
Did the firm seriously think anyone would be willing to pay for that?
Yet another once successful firm is seeking refuge in bankruptcy as it gasps its final breaths.
This is turning out to be a cruel, cruel summer for law firms.
The court called in backup…