* Thoughts go out to all those in Boston. [CNN]
* I hope you’ve all got your taxes finished. Here’s a fun fact: most tax cheats live in the South and the West. The two areas of the country filled with people who think taxes are evil cheat more? Go figure. [NBC News]
* Remember, it’s not polite to say “thank you.” [Las Vegas Law Blog]
* And now the rare, “self-benchslap.” [Associated Press]
* A detailed look at how the Federalist Society became so powerful in American law schools. Unfortunately, it neglects the “they tend to order better pizzas for their events” gambit. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* Remember the new, depressing, public domain Happy Birthday song? The sponsor of that contest, WFMU, is at it again with a new contest to create modern, entertaining covers of public domain ditties. Despite my ragging on the birthday song, this is a pretty cool idea. [Free Music Archive]
* Are you a young lawyer complaining about your lot in life? You’re at this site, so statistically you are. Well, quit your bitchin’! [Associate's Mind]
* The Texas Supreme Court does not value emotional attachments to dogs. This is surprising because I can think of at least 10 country songs on this very point. [Law and More]
* Mocking law school couples with a GIF from Veep? Get out of my head, UChiLawGo! [UChiLawGo]
* Boob-induced failure. [Legal Juice]
At Recommind, we regularly take the initiative to learn what lessons can be distilled from firms that are having real success in discovery practice. Here are five of them…
The Federal Circuit doesn’t look kindly upon counsel failing to abide by commitments made to the court.
Who is Debra Milke, and why is she sometimes called “Casey Anthony’s Arizona sister”?
* In case you didn’t catch this yesterday when it was announced, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, is currently being held for trial in New York City. This will be the most unbiased jury in the world. /sarcasm [New York Times]
* According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, democracies shouldn’t depend “on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say.” Well then! I suppose we should look forward to the uprising. [The Big Story / Associated Press]
* Cooley and Winston & Strawn are working on the $600 million sale of everyone’s favorite store for slutty Halloween costumes, Hot Topic. Apparently that store still exists. I had no idea. Good to know! [Am Law Daily]
* Proskauer Rose is now the most powerful Biglaw firm in the sports world. It just goes to show that even if you’re too awkward to play ball, it doesn’t mean you can’t hit it out of the park in court. [Sports Illustrated]
* “I would love to blink and wake up in 10 years and see where all this ends.” Unemployed law grads are probably saying the same thing, but hopefully these law school law firms will be beneficial. [New York Times]
* A group of legal heavy hitters — “The Coalition of Concerned Colleagues” — submitted a cutting letter to the Task ABA Force on Legal Education. Next time, try “The Law School Avengers.” [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* If it’s proven that enough Native Americans find the Redskins team name offensive, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board may cancel the mark. Would it be offensive to call the TTAB Indian givers? [National Law Journal]
* An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but benchslaps are another thing entirely. Sorry, Gibson Dunn, but your document production “mistake” was “unacceptable” in Judge Paul Grewal’s courtroom. [Bloomberg]
Judge recuses himself so he never has to see a specific lawyer again, and then rips the lawyer in an order.
A highly subjective look at the case against Jack Abramoff associate Kevin Ring. The writer, a friend of Ring’s, argues it was a miscarriage of justice.
Regardless of how protected you think you are, TCPA lawsuits continue to rise. With a 70% increase since 2012, it’s clear that companies are putting themselves at risk each day they de-prioritize their protection strategy. Attend this webinar to learn how you can help clients protect themselves. (Sponsored)
Justice Sotomayor is generally very nice, but don’t get her angry. A federal prosecutor in Texas who made improper, racially charged remarks during a trial learned this the hard way.
10th Circuit, Benchslaps, Biglaw, Confirmations, Constitutional Law, Guns / Firearms, McCarter & English, Mergers and Acquisitions, Minority Issues, Money, Morning Docket, Musical Chairs, Politics, Racism, SCOTUS, Securities and Exchange Commission, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court
* Our own Elie Mystal isn’t the only one who’s capable of fanning the flames of race baiting — it seems that Supreme Court justices can do it, too! We’ll probably have more on Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s benchslap later today. [The Two-Way / NPR]
* Patience is obviously one of this judge’s virtues, because this took a looooong time. After waiting more than a year for people to put their petty political pandering aside, the Senate confirmed Robert Bacharach to the Tenth Circuit. [Blog of Legal Times]
* Mary Jo White, the nominee to lead the SEC, will probably face her confirmation hearing in March. Her legal wranglings at Debevoise may be of interest to some, but really, who cares? She’s so cute and tiny! [Reuters]
* Mayer Brown and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year: gross revenue is up overall at most Biglaw firms, but not this one. In 2012, Mayer Brown’s revenue dipped 3.7 percent for a six-year low. [Am Law Daily]
* Kirkland & Ellis, now the fifth-largest Biglaw firm in the nation, is leading the market in terms of top dollar merger-and-acquisition deals. Now, if only the firm could get some bananas. [Crain's Chicago Business]
* Orderly liquidation authority may be a legitimate exercise of power under the Bankruptcy Clause, but as far as these states are concerned, it’s just another reason to hate the Dodd-Frank Act. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Remember Peggy Ableman, the judge who ordered lawyers to attend a course on remedial civility in their “jammies”? She’s now at McCarter & English, so mind your manners. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* An “astronomically stupid” legal loophole? Unpossible! Gun trusts are seeing the limelight because Chris Dorner claims he used one to purchase his paraphernalia without a background check. [New York Times]
Remember the two Skadden partners who got hit with a big benchslap, an order to show cause why they shouldn’t be sanctioned? What punishment did they get from the court?
A judge doesn’t understand a fried chicken insult, so he blames the black guy for being oversensitive. Of course this happened in Texas…
Please stop tackling and handcuffing the Fourth Amendment….
* Professor Josh Blackman has a Christmas gift for you: “The 8 Best Benchslaps of 2012.” See if you can guess who wins the award for lifetime achievement. [Josh Blackman's Blog]
* Speaking of unorthodox law school classes, how would you like to take a course on “Understanding Obama”? [Althouse]
* And speaking of the Instagram controversy, what might happen if the intellectual property issues wind up in the courts? [Associate's Mind]
* The deadline for our holiday card competition has passed; our write-up of the finalists will appear shortly. While you wait, check out this cute non-electronic law firm holiday card. [Ross Fishman]
* Time is running out! We’d love your votes in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (under “News/Analysis”). Thanks, and Happy Holidays! [ABA Journal]
If you are not a fan of Westboro Baptist Church, check out Anonymous’s declaration of cyber-war against them….
The following declaration of cyber-war was provoked by Westboro Baptist Church’s plan to picket a vigil for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: