* On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to evaluate the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and this is perhaps the definitive article on how the justices have been preparing the nation for marriage equality. Get ready for some big gay weddings this summer. [BuzzFeed]
* Smile for the camera! Kent and Jill Easter, the infamous helicopter-parenting lawyers who went to jail for attempting to frame a volunteer at their son’s school on drug charges, found themselves at the center of a 20/20 story. [ABC News]
* With it being highly likely that the Supreme Court will declare bans on same-sex marriage by the states unconstitutional, people are wondering which justice will be the one the vote hinges upon. Could it be Chief Justice Roberts? [New Republic]
* Come on now, the swing vote in the same-sex marriage cases will obviously be Justice Kennedy. The legal tea leaves have been read, and with his majority opinions in Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor, the future has been foretold. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Steven Metro, the former managing clerk of Simpson Thacher’s New York office, was finally indicted after being charged with insider trading almost one year ago. If you’re interested, flip to the next page to see the juicy indictment. [Am Law Daily]
* In a new report, the Texas attorney general’s office concluded the forgivable faculty loan program at UT Law not only violated school rules, but also “set into motion a lack of transparency that ultimately led to a lack of accountability.” [Texas Tribune]
What do these trends mean for lawyers in different specialties and at different seniority levels?
I became a lawyer without really understanding that the job cuts time off of your life. My work hours are long, I can’t see my family or friends, and I am constantly at the mercy of the partner or the client. On top of everything, at one point, I was paying 7% on my law school loans. […]
* Fewer people are applying to law school. According to LSAC, the number of would-be lawyers who submitted applications is down by 8.5 percent compared to last year. Serious question: How low can we go before all schools are officially in crisis mode? [WSJ Law Blog]
* You’ll never believe how this guy paid off his law school debt. His parents got a home refi loan, and with the money ($210,000), their son got rid of his student loans. Now he’ll pay his parents’ loan for 30 years. Wow. [Business Insider]
* Justice Samuel Alito took a break from the SCOTUS docket to receive an award named for the late Judge Edward Becker of the Third Circuit, a man who he said “tried to get federal judges to act in a more sensible way. That’s a real task.” [Legal Times]
* “[T]hings are getting back to where they were before the recession,” so naturally, state judges — like those in California — are suing over the salary increases they were denied while the recession was in progress. Bless their hearts. [National Law Journal]
* Hey lawyers, want to seem like you’re smart? Stop sprinkling your briefs with SAT vocabulary words. Just put on a pair of glasses and start using your middle initial more often. For the record, speaking in a pleasant voice is also helpful. [ABA Journal]
* In May 2014, we told our readers about the sad state of financial affairs for assistant district attorneys in Massachusetts — they make less money than courthouse janitors. Now is the state finally being encouraged to do something about it. [Boston Globe]
* The University of Maine School of Law is one of 74 law schools to drop its application fee in the hope of enticing more students to apply. Do these schools legitimately believe it’s the fee that’s keeping students away? [Bangor Daily News]
* Partners at Bingham McCutchen, the latest Biglaw firm to flop, claim they knew that the end was near about one year ago, when their managing partner informed them that the firm would “active[ly] wait” for money to appear. Yeah… [American Lawyer]
* The fraud trial for former members of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s top brass was pushed back to April because Joel Sanders hired a new defense attorney. Apparently he had some “irreconcilable differences” with his former counsel. [New York Law Journal]
* The California Commission on Access to Justice plans to launch a legal incubator program. This will help low-income individuals in need of legal services, and the low-income law grads struggling to put their degrees to work. [National Law Journal]
What do these trends mean for lawyers in different specialties and at different seniority levels?
* Per New York City’s gossip rag of record, an alleged “bed-pooping, cokehead” banker and his “alcoholic” wife were called out by the judge in their divorce case for involving their kids in a “horrible fiasco.” [New York Post]
* For time infinitum, the structure of Wachtell Lipton’s billing was “cloaked in mystery.” Thanks to an errant fee agreement, however, we have an idea of what the prestigious firm charges for its “distinctive service.” [Am Law Daily]
* Hey guys, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and there’s a newly single Bachelorette on the prowl. The lovely Andi Dorfman called off her reality TV stunt engagement. Perhaps the ADA will return to prosecuting cases? [E! Online via TODAY]
* “We are in the end game on the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.” Later today, we may find out whether the Supreme Court intends to take up any of the same-sex marriage disputes that have been presented to it this Term. [Bloomberg]
* It looks like the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law is starting an LL.M. program in gambling law. Step right up, because we’re now taking bets to see whether this degree will be advantageous for its graduates in the job market. [National Law Journal]
* California’s foie gras ban was recently struck down by a judge as an illegal encroachment upon the federal government’s regulatory domain. Please remember that while it’s delicious… it’s supposedly only “for assholes.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
* 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]
The school-by-school breakdown of the California bar exam results is out. Let’s take a look!
Certain celebrities are just too sexy for their civic duties.
The adage that law turns slowly does not hold in eDiscovery. This year saw unprecedented sanction awards for falling behind the curve. Courts did not hesitate to engage with advanced and nuanced technological issues. For lawyers and other eDiscovery professionals who plan on maintaining basic competence, these cases and trends shouldn’t be overlooked. For a full exploration of trends and developments in this area of case law, check out this on-demand webinar.
* Law school enrollment continues its death spiral for the fourth year in a row, with enrollment down about 28 percent since 2010. Some schools — about 25 of them — have reported enrollment dips of more than 20 percent. Celebrate good times, come on! [National Law Journal]
* Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the queen and king of rap royalty, have been sued over a sample that was allegedly used in their hit song, “Drunk in Love.” When asked for comment on the suit, our bae Bey kept it short and sweet: “Bow down, bitches.” [A.V. Club]
* Yoohoo, SCOTUS, pay attention to this one: The first federal judge has weighed in on President Obama’s executive order on immigration, and in a four-page takedown, found it unconstitutional and “beyond prosecutorial discretion.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Katrina Dawson, an Australian lawyer who worked at Eight Selborne Chambers, was killed during the Sydney terrorist siege earlier this week. She reportedly died in an attempt to save a pregnant law firm colleague from a hail of gunfire. [Am Law Daily]
* Lawyers and law students dressed in suits hosted a “die-in” in the pouring rain outside of a courthouse in downtown L.A. yesterday. Professor Priscilla Ocen of Loyola Law made some great points on a bullhorn. [L.A. Now / Los Angeles Times]
Fewer than 50 percent of test-takers in California passed the bar exam in July. One of the women who did is a former porn star and current stripper.
* Whoa, the American Bar Association shockingly deferred action on giving InfiLaw its blessing on the takeover of Charleston Law. Perhaps the ABA is turning over a new leaf as to saving law schools? [National Law Journal]
* Nevermind. The American Bar Association decided to grant provisional accreditation to the beleaguered LMU Duncan School of Law. Perhaps the ABA’s new slogan should be, “Accredit all the law schools!” [Claiborne Progress]
* Like it or not, despite their financial constraints, it’s likely that many law schools will never close, no matter how terrible they are — so as long as ABA regulation remains lax and the government keeps feeding students loan dollars to attend. [Daily Caller]
* If you read one piece of long-form journalism today, let it be this special report on the Supreme Court’s “echo chamber,” perhaps better known as the elite members of the SCOTUS bar who hoard all of the cases on the docket for themselves. [Reuters]
* In other law school-related news, fewer law school graduates are passing the California bar exam. California’s pass rate for the July exam was just 48.6%, and it’s been almost a decade since the pass rate was that low. Ouch! [Los Angeles Times]
Anna Nicole Smith, Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, California, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Marijuana, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Politics, Sexual Harassment, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, You Go Girl
* Bingham McCutchen canceled its partnership retreat, and their partner offer letters from Morgan Lewis must be accepted by today’s deadline — all while a prospective merger currently hangs in the balance. [Am Law Daily]
* Per Altman Weil’s 2014 Chief Legal Officer Survey, the work at in-house legal departments is about to grow exponentially, while the spend on outside counsel will decrease in turn. Uh oh, no bueno. [Corporate Counsel]
* “The attempt to have the defendant have any kind of humility has failed.” Due to “unsatisfactory” apologies to state employees, former judge Joan Orie Melvin will have to re-apologize for her crimes. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
* “A troubled law school is like Dracula: hard to kill.” In the wake of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s debt restructuring, it’s now obvious that law schools aren’t worth much at all. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Republicans are now in control in both the House and the Senate, but fear not, because the nation’s capital just legalized marijuana. That’ll help calm down the depressed D.C. Democrats out there. [CNN]
* Though it’s unlikely, thanks to this ruling, Anna Anna Anna Anna Anna Nicole’s lawyer/lover could be retried for allegedly giving illegally obtained prescriptions to the drug-addled model. [National Law Journal]
* Tinder’s cofounder apparently made a killing on her sexual harassment settlement with the company. Though no one admitted guilt, she reportedly took home “just over” $1M. Get it, girl. [Business Insider]
Ed note: This post originally appeared on InfoLawGroup. California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law an amendment to California’s data breach notification law on Monday. Although at least one news outlet has reported that the law requires a company to offer credit monitoring services, this interpretation is misguided. Rather, the law only places restrictions on […]
Law is no longer seen as the golden calf.