* Many Biglaw firms seem to be dragging their feet to match Davis Polk’s generous bonus scale. Why’s that? According to one partner, these bonus matches have cut into his firm’s profits by about 4 percent. Yikes! [The Economist]
* Total 1L enrollment in law school is the lowest it’s been since 1973, when there were 53 fewer schools. The next step would be to reduce tuition to 1973 levels, and then no one would have any more complaints. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Just because Bingham McCutchen bit the big one, it doesn’t mean that all of its pro bono cases will have to suffer the same fate. Not only did Morgan Lewis rescue most of the firm’s attorneys, but it’s also saving 500 of its pro bono cases. [Am Law Daily]
* Now that President Obama has decided to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, lawyers are champing at the bit for more business opportunities. Love Cuban cigars? Well, lawyers love trademark disputes involving those cigars. [National Law Journal]
* Greenberg Traurig reminds Florida clerks that if they issue gay marriage licenses, they could be criminally charged. Plaintiffs’ attorneys remind Florida clerks that if they refuse to issue gay marriage licenses, they could be sued. [Tampa Bay Times]
* Our managing editor, David Lat, sat down with Vivia Chen to dish about some of his favorite things, from his new book, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), to his new fiancé. Her book review: “I liked it! It’s a fun, breezy read.” Hooray! [The Careerist]
Why should someone who will have a hard time relating to the duties of a federal law clerk read Supreme Ambitions?
If you are at the 6th or 7th year level and have mostly PE / M&A experience from a top tier US firm and PE practice group, and you have an interest in moving to Hong Kong, then please contact our Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
* Law firm suffers Viagra hack. If it persists for more than four hours… [Legal Cheek]
* An in-depth and frightening look at “Witness 40″ in the Ferguson Grand Jury proceedings: a bipolar woman with a long history of making racist comments who lived nowhere near Ferguson and testified only after Officer Wilson’s story was revealed — which she parroted back. Bob McCulloch thought this was a stellar witness. Bob McCulloch is also bad at his job. [The Smoking Gun]
* Charleston local government wants InfiLaw out of town. Is there anyone left who wants InfiLaw to take over Charleston? [TaxProf Blog]
* Congratulations to U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña on her confirmation as head of ICE. [International Business Times]
* Pet piercing will soon be illegal in New York, so get that dope nose ring for your dog today! [Lowering the Bar]
* Canadian “band” Skinny Puppy demands $660,000 from the U.S. government for using their music as torture material without permission. As a compromise can we just pledge to strap Dick Cheney down and force him to listen to 15 consecutive hours of Skinny Puppy and call it a day? [Gawker]
* Cleveland WR Andrew Hawkins pens a thorough, even-handed takedown of butthurt police union leaders demanding he apologize for taking the stance that police should try not to kill unarmed 12-year-olds. So apparently this is what the Browns are good at. [Talking Points Memo]
* David chats about the backstory behind Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link).
According to the New York Times, “for an elite niche,” Supreme Ambitions “has become the most buzzed-about novel of the year.”
* A student at Barry Law claims someone stole her phone and used it to call an African-American blogger an N-word on Instagram. We’ll have more on this believable story later. [Miami Herald]
* Mark Wahlberg wants to be pardoned for a crime committed before he was known as Marky Mark. He should also consider asking to be pardoned for The Happening and Planet of the Apes. [CNN]
* The job market was flat last month, and in 2014, the legal sector lost 3,000 jobs. Don’t worry, you’ll get a job eventually, per the hopes and prayers of your career services employees. [Am Law Daily]
* Shine bright like A. Diamond: Howrey’s bankruptcy trustee says he’ll have a confirmed creditor-repayment plan “well before” the end of next year. [WSJ Law Blog]
* iF*ckedUp? The last named plaintiff in the Apple iPod class action may not have bought an iPod during the time period at issue in the suit. [Bits / New York Times]
* We suppose that with new tech comes new logos, because Covington & Burling is dropping the “& Burling” for global branding purposes. [National Law Journal]
* A former Cleary Gottlieb associate will be a very rich man after The Lending Club, the company he founded post-Biglaw, completes its IPO. [American Lawyer]
* Marriage equality won’t arrive in Mississippi just yet. [How Appealing]
* The federal civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner could complicate Loretta Lynch’s nomination to serve as attorney general. [New York Times]
* In other news about excessive use of force by police, the U.S. Department of Justice just blasted Cleveland’s department for abysmal record-keeping about such incidents. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
* And what does possible 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton think about police abuses? [New York Times]
* Non-random appellate panels in the federal courts are far more common than you might think, reports Alison Frankel. [Reuters via How Appealing]
* Former federal government lawyer Michael Richter: “It’s Not Top-Secret If You Can Google It.” [Wall Street Journal]
* “[I]t’s hard to find anybody as handsome as Antonin Scalia.” Some would beg to differ, but as it turns out, legal scholar Bryan Garner can brown-nose with the best of them. [WSJ Law Blog]
* In a lawsuit filed against real estate database Zillow, a former employee claims she was subjected to the “most heinous acts of sexual harassment imaginable” and “sexual torture.” That’s just lovely. [LAist]
* Law firm merger activity is still going strong as 2014 winds down to a close. Aside from big-name tie-ups like Bingham / Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord / Edwards Wildman, other firms like Verill Dana also had the urge to merge. [Am Law Daily]
* “Does it really surprise me? Not all that much.” University of Memphis School of Law students are on high alert during finals time after one of their own was almost robbed at gunpoint across the street from campus this week. Yikes. [WMC Action News 5]
* In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Above the Law’s managing editor, David Lat, wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and it’s been receiving rave reviews. If you dig clerkship lit, you should try to check it out. [National Law Journal]
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* Grand juries rarely let someone go without an indictment unless it’s a cop. Apparently pigs do not make for ham sandwiches. Instead of wishing for another rubber stamp indictment, this may be a good time to demand that everyone benefit from such skeptical grand juries. [FiveThirtyEight]
* Well that’s an interesting name… [Legal Juice]
* Have you written a thank you note lately? Probably not. But you should. [What About Clients?]
* Maybe you should ditch that temp legal job and go into PR? [Law and More]
* Kinney Recruiting expands its operations to Chicago. [Kinney Recruiting]
Becky Halstead, the first woman in West Point history to graduate and achieve a promotion to general officer and the first woman in United States history to serve as a commanding general in combat, thoroughly impressed the audience at the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Tenth Annual General Counsel Institute (“GCI 10’) that was held on November 6th – 7th at the InterContinental Times Square in New York City.
* “Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.” Louisa Moritz, one of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, is interested in filing a class-action lawsuit against the comedian. [Fox News Latino]
* If you’re interested, here’s all of the testimony and evidence that was presented to the grand jury that resulted in no true bill for Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. [Associated Press]
* HBO hired a team of 160 lawyers to look at its film adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology. The power of thetans compels them to keep churning that bill, baby. [Hollywood Reporter]
* “The Constitution is not a math problem,” but it seems like the Supreme Court is playing a numbers game when it comes to its decisions having to do with same-sex marriage. What’s the magic number for SCOTUS to take a case? [New York Times]
* It’s official: Morgan Lewis has gobbled up most of Bingham McCutchen ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stick a fork in it, because Morgan Lewis is done — it’s now stuffed full of more lawyers than any other firm in the country. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Emerson Briggs III, an ex-partner at Hunton & Williams, is facing disbarment in D.C. over the child pornography he downloaded at work. Oh, how the mighty have fallen: he’s been working as a paralegal since being disbarred in New York. [Legal Times]
* Patricia Nesci, a law firm secretary, allegedly forged a judge’s signature on an order to show cause to keep herself from being evicted from her home earlier this month. She apparently did not get a Biglaw-style bonus from her former firm. [Syracuse.com]
* Before you submit your applications, you should try creating a budget to see just how financially screwed you’ll be during and after law school, and then compare it to your pre-law school budget. Try not to cry. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* As mentioned earlier, the Sixth Circuit upheld same-sex marriage bans in four states. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey’s dissent is a very fun read because it’s dripping with sarcasm. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Sentencing has been delayed for Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s friends during the pendency of the Yates case at SCOTUS. Like a grouper, a backpack may not be a “tangible object.” [National Law Journal]
* Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Wildman Palmer are planning to shed lawyers and staff members in anticipation of their proposed mergers with Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]
* Weekend reading? ATL’s managing editor, David Lat, reviews Blindfolds Off (affiliate link), an interesting collection of interviews with judges about how they decide their toughest cases. [Wall Street Journal]
* Everyone, please stop what you’re doing. Jeffrey Toobin has discovered that law schools are in trouble, and he’s on the case. You can read more information about this new phenomenon here. [The New Yorker]
* Adam Tang, the man who drove a 26-mile loop around Manhattan in 24 minutes, was convicted of reckless driving without being present. Check out the video of his crazy drive, after the jump. [ABA Journal]