* 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:
* “This is a total victory not just for the C.F.T.C., but also for financial reform.” Regulators, mount up, because you basically just got a free pass to do your jobs and keep a more watchful and vigilant eye on Wall Street. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Last year, China officially surpassed the United States in terms of the number of patent applications filed. China’s probably surpassed the United States in terms of patents infringed, but that’s neither here nor there. [National Law Journal]
* And now we see why St. Louis University School of Law’s interim dean said he’d be donating his salary to the school. He’s no “butt boy” — he’s settled $25M worth of cases since the fall. [Madison-St. Clair Record]
* “Help me, I’m poor”: the Huffington Post’s army of unpaid bloggers will continue to be unpaid, because the Second Circuit recently affirmed the S.D.N.Y.’s decision to toss out their case. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Diane von Furstenberg, the fashion designer behind luxury brand DVF, is suing an ex-distributor for selling her wares on the cheap to the likes of TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Ugh, cringe… that’s très déclassé. [Bloomberg]
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer. Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
* Just in case you haven’t seen enough responses to the Case Western Law dean’s New York Times op-ed, here are some more. (Plus, with this, you’re getting the additional bonus of an incredibly sad letter from a young lawyer.) [Associate’s Mind]
* Oh mon dieu! Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s legal team is now denying that that there was ever a settlement in the hotel maid’s sexual assault suit civil suit, and especially not a $6M settlement — because that’s apparently “flatly false.” [Slate]
* You’ve probably led a sad and lonely existence if you’re laying on your death bed and worrying about who will inherit your iTunes library. Don’t worry, they’re headed to a “legal black hole,” anyway. [Legal Blog Watch]
* And in other news, some teenagers are so obsessed with their tech gadgets, like cellphones, that they’d allegedly be willing to kill their family and pry the damn thing from their cold dead hands. [Legal Juice]
* Please remember to vote for your favorite law blog (coughcough Above the Law coughcough) in the Blawg 100 in the News/Analysis category, and all the rest of the sites you read in other categories, too! [ABA Journal]
* After the jump, Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia speaks with law firm consultant Tim Corcoran of the Corcoran Consulting Group about the future of rainmaking and business development in Biglaw….
Alston & Bird, Biglaw, Blogging, Bloomberg, David Boies, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Mergers and Acquisitions, Money, Non-Sequiturs, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Securities and Exchange Commission, Securities Law, Supreme Court, Ted Olson
* As soon as Mary Schapiro announced she was stepping down as chairwoman of the SEC, Obama nominated another woman to take her place. Congrats to SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter! [WSJ Law Blog]
* In other breaking news that no one will care about now that bonus season is upon us, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swapped out her neck doily for a blingy necklace from Glamour. [Josh Blackman’s Blog]
* You know what the ancient Romans would’ve hated more than watching the fall of the Roman empire? The Citizens United decision. Cato, Cicero, and Julius Caesar wouldn’t have been impressed with this. [Slate]
* Why go to law school if you’re already doing well financially? Perhaps you’re just another prestige hunter. If you are, then all the better for you, because that seems to be what all of the law schools are selling these days. [Inside the Law School Scam]
* Don’t cry for Argentina: they may be in the middle of a billion-dollar bond dispute, but the uber-prestigious lawyers on either side of the case (Boies; Olson) are enough to make you forget about their troubles. [Reuters]
* A Biglaw attorney from Alston & Bird with a rare sleep disorder confronts Big Pharma and… doesn’t win. At least not yet. But on the bright side, she’s not sleeping for 18 hours anymore. [The Last Word on Nothing]
* We’re honored to announce that Above the Law was named as one of the ten law blogs in the ABA Journal’s inaugural Blawg 100 Hall of Fame. Please click here if you’d like to help us win again this year. [ABA Journal]
* After the jump, Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia speaks with a Bill Lawlor, a Dechert partner, who claims that “hope springs eternal for M&A attorneys.” Will the mergers and acquisitions market begin to boom once again?
Are you writing to have written, or writing to be read? In-house columnist Mark Herrmann explains the difference.
What’s next in eDiscovery? In this On Demand webinar, Recommind explores how predictive coding has evolved, and how prioritized review helps with fact-finding and legal problem solving. Watch this in-depth webinar to learn how advanced analytics and machine learning are powering litigation strategy as well as efficiency.
On the occasion of his one-year anniversary as an Above the Law writer, in-house columnist David Mowry reflects on his time at ATL.
An alumnus of the Southern University Law Center speaks up in defense of his alma mater and one of his most colorful former professors.
* A tipster writes: “PLEASE address this trash pile of an article… I’m begging you.” Well, here you go. [XOJane]
* The controversy over Elizabeth Warren’s phantom law license continues. Here’s more analysis of her allegedly unlawful practice. [Legal Insurrection via League of Ordinary Gentlemen]
* Cravat swine and more? Court approves punishment for necktie thief. [Blog of the Legal Times]
* Where do Mitt Romney’s infamous 47 percent live? [TaxProf Blog]
* Check out this legal technology writing contest. Seriously. You could win $5,000. Hell, maybe I’ll enter too. [IT-Lex]
* Isn’t it oddly fitting that Bill Clinton’s home turf is the first southern state to consider allowing medical marijuana? [Fox News]
* Lat gives some protips on launching a successful law blog. [Law360 (sub. req.)]
* Someone was finally able to liken the Scalia v. Posner debate to a suitable situation: bitchy mean girls fighting each other in a middle school cafeteria. Seriously, only the inclusion of “like” throughout the entirety of the dialogue could’ve made it better. [lawprofblawg]
* Who pays your law professors’ salary? The obvious answer is law students, since professorial wallets are padded by tuition dollars. But what happens when IBR comes into play and loan debts are forgiven? Then the answer shifts to the taxpayers. [PrawfsBlawg]
* When Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers died, everyone was expecting that a lawsuit would be filed, but no one really thought that it would be one based on contract law. [New York Law and Legal Analysis Blog]
* What kind of case “really turn[s] on” everyone’s favorite First Amendment lawyer? Free speech cases that are riddled with challenges, of course, and questions about what does and doesn’t constitute porn. [Vegas Inc]
* You must be wondering where Above the Law fell on this ranking of the 15 Most Influential Law Blogs. We won’t give it away, but let’s just say that we now share something in common with Cooley. [Business Insider]
* “[S]ome dude with the munchies is getting a little legal education.” That’s what we thought when one of our top searches last week was “pictures of tacos” — and not even “duck tacos,” but regular ones. [Search Party]
After being attacked for allegedly defending the driver who killed one of its insureds, what does Progressive Insurance have to say for itself? Here is their statement.