Don’t get in a car with anyone you suspect is carrying drugs or other contraband. Should that car be stopped (even on the most flimsy of pretenses), one thing could lead to another — and you might all end up in jail.
* With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, and many lawyers waiting to pop the big question this weekend, we must let our readers know that nothing could possibly be more romantic than a prenuptial agreement. Eww, just kidding. [Total Return / Wall Street Journal]
* On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you can’t stand your spouse anymore, you can stay for a Valentine’s weekend at the Divorce Hotel in upstate New York. For the low, low price of $5,000, you can check in married and check out single. [New York Post]
* “Usually, people have told me, when you’re stopped, the officer says, ‘License and registration.’” Here’s a Supreme Court fun fact for you to keep up your sleeve: Chief Justice John Roberts has never been pulled over by a police officer in his life. [Slate]
* According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, lawyers are the exception to the rule when it comes to pay growth stagnation. “Top earners gonna earn” — by 1,450 percent compared to the competition. [Wonkblog / Washington Post]
* There’s a warrant out for Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who brought this wintry hell upon the Northeast. “He told several people that winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow!” [CBS Boston]
Bar exam results from around the country are beginning to trickle in and the results are far from encouraging. The results from July 2014 were the lowest in recent memory, but many had hoped that the drop would prove to be only an aberration. This does not appear to be the case.
So now the real question is: How much longer will law students continue to stick with the major bar review companies that can’t seem to get them to pass?
* As the year winds down to a close, we take a look back at the amazing time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had. From her Hobby Lobby dissent to her subtle New Republic shade, the Notorious RBG’s 2014 was better than yours. [Bustle]
* When you’ve allegedly been driving drunk after a holiday party and have gotten into an accident, one of the things you say to the police upon your arrest should not be, “Come on, I’m a judge” — especially if you are one. [New York Post]
* After advising on 221 deals worth about $511 billion, Skadden Arps was the top dog in the M&A game in 2014. While taking a break from rolling around in money, the firm’s managing partner was heard thanking inversions. [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]
* Although we haven’t heard what’s going on with associate bonuses at this firm, Wiley Rein bought itself a bonus subsidiary. Last week, the firm finalized its purchase of lobbying and communications group McBee Strategic. [Blog of Legal Times]
* While many law schools found their student enrollments getting smaller due to forces of nature in 2014, the University of Mississippi School of Law claims it decreased its class sizes intentionally. Oh, the places you’ll go! [Clarion Ledger]
The attorney in question had two licenses suspended: her driver’s license AND her law license.
Maybe, just maybe, there are too many laws.
We should be against any tool or app that has the potential to dictate how lawyers are paid and run their practice.
* 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]
* Thanks to this Government Accountability Office ruling, the company that cleared NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis may lose a $210M contract. [Legal Times]
* After being acquitted on insider trading charges, Rengan Rajaratnam agreed to settle the civil suit filed against him for a cool $840K. At least he’s not in jail like his brother. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Those interested in going to law school may want to know that Philadelphia is purportedly home to some of the cheapest law schools in the country — not Penn Law, though, sorry ’bout that. [Main Street]
* Professors at WUSTL Law held a “teach-in” to discuss the Michael Brown police shooting case. According to them, the likelihood Darren Wilson will be federally charged is “slim to none.” [Student Life]
* Attack of the aggrieved ex: a man drove a burning pickup truck loaded with explosives into a law firm, destroying much of the building. He had apparently dated one of the firm’s former clients. [Virginian-Pilot]
We at Kinney are running the search for a fantastic in-house opening in Singapore, at the leading and largest tech company in Southeast Asia. The spot will be filled by a US associate with at least three years experience in M&A, from a top Wall Street or equivalent US firm. Compensation will be competitive with what the new hire is earning at their top tier law firm.
* Dean Chemerinsky lays out how the Supreme Court is protecting local corruption. It’s what the Framers would have intended. [New York Times]
* In response to the latest article from Professor Michael Krauss, a former student suggests that maybe the so-called “justice gap” is a good thing. It kind of comes down to how much you believe in the efficiency value of the “American Rule.” [That’s My Argument]
* The eternal question for female lawyers: do you dye your hair or embrace the gray? [Gray Hair]
* Boston’s drivers suck. [The Faculty Lounge]
* A well-written tribute to a Nashville civil rights lawyer. [Nashville Scene]
* This seems like a place to remind people that David’s going to Houston next month. [Above the Law]
* Here’s a new game to check out. It’s a twisted dirty word game called F**ktionary (affiliate link), so obviously it was made by a lawyer. It’s kind of like Cards Against Humanity meets Scattergories, which is just as fun as it sounds. The promo is after the jump….
* Cleary Gottlieb lost some historic cases during the first half of 2014, including one for $50 billion, but not to worry, “the firm is proud of the work Cleary lawyers do every day.” [Am Law Daily]
* The Fourth Circuit is refusing to issue a stay in Virginia’s gay marriage case, so the state will be for all lovers starting next week unless SCOTUS decides to step in. [National Law Journal]
* Thomas M. Cooley Law School has now officially become the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. If only a new name could clear its reputation. [MLive.com]
* It’s not every day that a law student with a criminal history is arrested on murder charges, but Tuesday was that day for one student. We’ll have more on this later. [San Antonio Express-News]
* “Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it.” Google sure is optimistic about Glass, but several states aren’t, and have already proposed driving bans. [WSJ Law Blog]
In-house columnist Mark Herrmann considers how different practice areas could be affected by the arrival of autonomous cars.
* The day after the Supreme Court lifted a stay on Joseph Wood’s execution, it took nearly two hours for Arizona authorities to kill him using the very drug cocktail he contested on appeal. [New York Times]
* So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu: Spencer Barasch, the lawyer at the center of some blowback due to his dealings with Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford, is now leaving Andrews Kurth. [Am Law Daily]
* A dead body was found inside of this West Texas law firm, and the man who was pegged as a suspect claimed he lived at the firm, along with his recently deceased friend. This seems sketchy. [KCBD 11]
* Suffolk Law is hosting a contest where students, coders, and entrepreneurs will try to figure out a way to hack the justice gap. Start by creating an app to help new lawyers earn a living wage. [BostInno]
* Donald Sterling isn’t going to let the fact that he’s already involved in one contentious lawsuit about the L.A. Clippers stop him from filing another contentious lawsuit about the L.A. Clippers. [Bloomberg]
* Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild infamy is in some trouble with the law. He just got hit with a $5,000 per day fine until he returns two luxury cars to the pornography company’s bankruptcy estate. [WSJ Law Blog]
* There’s a very good chance that if you go in-house, you could wind up making more money than even the wealthiest of Biglaw partners. But how much more? Take a look at the latest GC compensation survey. [Corporate Counsel]
* GM has hired outside counsel to review the way the company handles its litigation practices. Since we’re not sure which, we’ll take bets on whether this “well-respected outside law firm” is Wachtell or Jenner & Block. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A federal judge in California ruled that the state’s death penalty was unconstitutional. A defendant living with the “slight possibility of death” violates the Eighth Amendment. Damn appeals! [New York Times]
* “He hasn’t been charged with anything at the moment and we’ll deal with the charges when they’re filed.” Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl hired Yale Law lecturer Eugene R. Fidell, a military law expert (and husband of noted legal journalist Linda Greenhouse). [New Haven Register]
* We all know that George Clooney’s fiancée, Amal Alamuddin, has both beauty and brains. What we didn’t know is that she poses for incredibly embarrassing pictures, just like the rest of us. [Us Weekly]
* How do Americans feel about the Supreme Court’s recent cellphone privacy ruling, Riley v. California? [Digital Constitution / Microsoft]