* 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]
* More concrete rumors are swirling that President Obama will teach at Columbia Law School once his term is up, with Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger seemingly confirming Obama would have some role at the school in 2017. [Quartz]
* Everyone knows the legal profession has a… problem when it comes to substance abuse. But do lawyers overshare their issues? Or does an open attitude about these problems create a culture where more are willing to seek help? [Law and More]
* Yes, that clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, is still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Maybe we should blame her lawyers. [Slate]
* If you want to be the best, learn from the best — writing tips from none other than Justice Kagan. [Business Insider]
* Some tough words for lawyers that want the easy life: you shouldn’t get the clients. [It’s Not About The Lawyers, Teacups]
* How do we go about changing the public defense system, which serves ~80% of all defendants? [Fulling the Promise]
* Earlier this week, President Barack Obama said that he’d issue an executive order to keep Jon Stewart on as the host of The Daily Show, despite his imminent retirement. POTUS joked that “[i]t’s being challenged in the courts.” [Newsweek]
* Check out this hot mess from New Jersey: An employee in the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office was allegedly demoted from office administrator to legal secretary after making comments about a prosecutor’s adult purchases made during a visit to a sex toy shop. [Press of Atlantic City]
* Dentons just snagged a heavy hitter in its Chicago office, where Roderick “Rick” Palmore, formerly general counsel to corporate giant General Mills, will serve as senior counsel. This hire will surely give the firm some “additional street cred.” [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Uh oh! According to the latest Managing Partner Confidence Index report from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, Biglaw higher-ups are only “moderately” confident about their financial prospects for the second quarter. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* If you’ve been searching for ways to improve your already strong law school application, then boy, do we have some tips for you. You can start by being even more gunnery — take the LSAT again, and get your GPA even higher. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
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.
* No pudding pops for you, POTUS! When President Obama answered a question about the possibility of revoking Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom, he more or less insinuated that the comedian was a rapist, saying this country should “have no tolerance” for it. [New York Times]
* “He was acting like a clown.” Even if you reportedly act like a complete and total drunk idiot while hitting on a partner’s wife at your would-be law firm’s holiday party, it’s still possible that you’ll get a job if your dad has political ties and allegedly makes certain promises to the firm. [Journal News]
* Everyone’s eager to make the jump to an in-house job after years in Biglaw, but many forget the comp scheme is different from what they’re used to. Some in-house earners, however, blow away the competition. We’ll have more on this later. [Corporate Counsel]
* One of the most important lessons that can be learned from the D&L debacle is that “[g]igantic law firms have a major Achilles’ heel.” When attorneys flee in droves, it can really upset the balance, and boy, Dewey know what a pain that can be. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If you think all New York City firms will only hire from elite law schools that make up the U.S. News T14, then think again. This prominent real estate boutique seeks to “hire the best candidates based purely on merit, not aristocracy.” Refreshing. [Huffington Post]
* With sagging enrollment and disappointing job statistics, offering students some tuition reimbursement if they’re still unemployed nine months after graduation is a great way to put asses in seats. We’ll have more to say about this news later today. [New York Times]
* Testimony in the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial got a little more interesting when jurors learned that the plan to cook the firm’s books to the tune of more than $50 million was hatched after a pricey steak dinner at Del Frisco’s. Don’t all evil Biglaw plans come together after an expensive steak dinner? [DealBook / New York Times]
* These people just won the criminal justice reform lottery: In case you missed it, President Barack Obama commuted the sentenced of 46 nonviolent drug offenders in order to shine a light on punishments that didn’t fit the crimes committed. [POLITICO]
* Pay close attention to this information, gunners, because it probably applies to you. Per a new study conducted by two Colorado Law professors, LSAT scores are an “overvalued predictor” of future law school grades and résumé builders don’t matter. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Osvaldo Miranda Diaz, the lawyer who called Cuba’s criminal justice system “disgusting” during a presentation he gave to visiting U.S. lawyers, secured a full ride for Duke Law’s LLM program thanks to one of his audience members. Congrats! [Daily Business Review]
The always quotable John Yoo had interesting and funny things to say during a recent interview he gave to Virginia Lamp Thomas (wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, for whom Professor Yoo once clerked).
Which law school could be flooded with paparazzi and Secret Service agents thanks to this statesman’s presence, and what subject will he be teaching?
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 […]
* Here’s a very important lesson for all of the lawyers reading this: thinking about work while you’re on the way to work doesn’t mean that you’re actually working. This novel argument failed miserably for a Biglaw partner trying to get out of a huge insurance claim. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Justice Scalia isn’t very fond of the media’s coverage of SCOTUS: “They don’t like conservatives on the court, or anywhere else for that matter. They do a lousy job. You can’t expect them to do a good job.” Wow, tell us how you really feel. [Arkansas Online]
* “Enough! Enough! Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job.” After months of watching his pick for attorney general wait around thanks to political gridlock, President Obama has finally had it with this sh*t. [New York Times]
* Good news, associates! If you leave your law firm job for a Supreme Court clerkship, you’ll likely still be able to receive that gigantic SCOTUS hiring bonus — to the tune of $300,000 plus! — if you return to the firm you left when it’s over. [National Law Journal]
* “Hard questions have to be asked at law schools whose modest reputations and forgiving admission standards do not ensure their graduates gainful employment.” High LSAT scores are down, bar failure is up, and law schools still say it’s not their fault. [Bloomberg]
Lawyers represent 11 percent of this list. Which legal eagles soared into the Time 100?
* President Obama recently authorized a study into whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. For now, any changes made to the bankruptcy code will likely apply only to private loans, so it looks like many law school graduates won’t be declaring bankruptcy any time soon. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the across-the-board drop in law school applications has inspired some law schools to do crazy things like shortening the length of time it takes to get a degree and lowering tuition. Hmm, more law schools should go crazy. [U.S. News & World Report]
* In the wake of much criticism of its plan to eliminate the LSAT for some students to gain admission to Iowa Law, the school’s dean offers an explanation: it’ll help her school compete to attract students who would otherwise have gone to T14 schools. [The Gazette]
* Even though law schools are in trouble, a legislator in Texas is still lobbying the state to subsidize the creation of a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because he has a “hard time believing there are no jobs for attorneys out there.” [Cleburne Times-Review]
* If you find that law schools aren’t reacting quickly enough to the crisis at hand, there are other options for you out there. While law schools implode as their tuition skyrockets, it seems that those who have fled the law are now trying to become engineers. [Quartz]
* 12 Things Every Lawyer Should Learn From Saul Goodman. [LinkedIn]
* The 10th Circuit had so much trouble wading through a federal statute they had to diagram the sentence. As the opinion notes, “[t]hat bramble of prepositional phrases may excite the grammar teacher but it’s certainly kept the federal courts busy.” If you want to see the whole opinion, it’s here. [Lowering the Bar]
* Meet your King v. Burwell plaintiffs! It’s actually kind of sad. Like the guy paying $655/month on health insurance who could be paying $62.49/month but won’t because Obama is a secret Muslim or something. [Jezebel]
* Speaking of cybersecurity, hackers hit Anthem Insurance pretty bad. At least the company is handling the data breach well. [LXBN]
* New evidence reveals that the victims of lynchings in the South were much higher than previously assumed. Thankfully, racism is over according to the Supreme Court. [Gawker Justice]
Meanwhile, that sentence diagramming opinion discussed earlier is available on the next page….
Though he didn’t speak on it for very long, President Obama made sure his State of the Union address Tuesday underscored the importance of increased cyber security in the future.
The Obama Administration has just released the proposed text of the Personal Data Notification & Protection Act as the latest step in its uniform federal breach notification initiative. Similar legislative efforts in the past have been unsuccessful, but there remains interest in federal legislation that would eliminate the need to navigate the patchwork of 47 different state breach notification laws. This article will highlight how the proposed federal law compares to most state breach notification requirements, and how it may impact businesses as a practical matter.
* Here’s some JOLTing news: Megon Walker, the Harvard Law graduate who claims her life was ruined because the school accused her of being a plagiarist, just lost her defamation suit against her alma mater. [National Law Journal]
* “You have a party like this and it’s as though you’re handing out hand grenades as party favors.” Jeff Lake, a California lawyer, was arrested and faces social host liability issues thanks to his kid’s Playboy party. [Denver Channel]
* Congress is back in session, and President Obama resubmitted his nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, along with other judicial nods. She’ll be a “terrific attorney general,” so get this show on the road. [Legal Times]
* “How many clinics do you have to close before the court says, ‘Enough’?” Lawyers for abortion clinics and Texas state attorneys faced off before the Fifth Circuit over the
viabilityconstitutionality of the Lone Star State’s abortion laws. [New York Times]
* It’s a new year with new laws in effect, and it looks like 27 states, plus D.C., have made major moves with regard to weed, be it through the legalization medical marijuana or decriminalization of its possession. Do you know your rights? [CNN]
Now Orly Taitz is trying to drag Amal Clooney into the Birther movement.
While President Obama was right about the consequences of heeding terrorist whims, he may have been wrong about whose responsibility it was to bear the burden of not heeding those whims.