Constitutional Law

  • Marilyn J. Mosby (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.04.15

    * This past Friday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped the gavel on the police officers who were allegedly involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Here are seven interesting facts you need to know about this “certified badass.” [New York Magazine]

    * Which law school placed the most graduates from the class of 2014 into full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage was required that weren’t school-funded? Stop. Before you say Columbia Law, you’re wrong for the first time in years. [National Law Journal]

    * Indiana Tech, the little law school that couldn’t, just failed to receive accreditation from the American Bar Association on its first try. Not to worry, because law school officials say this is just a “minor setback” for all 59 of its students. ::sad trombone:: [News-Sentinel]

    * “You are not doing that here.” Tough titty: Kelly Noe, one of the Ohio women challenging the same-sex marriage ban in her state before the Supreme Court, was yelled at by a security guard for breastfeeding her baby outside the high court. [Cincinnati Enquirer]

    * If you’re hoping to register a “smutty” or “immoral” trademark, then you may be able to get what you want if this Federal Circuit opinion comes down your way. We’ll soon see if a ban on these offensive trademarks violates the First Amendment. [Corporate Counsel]

    29 Comments / / May 4, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • SCOTUS 2

    Death Penalty, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    The Latest Lethal-Injection Challenge May Depend On The Answer To One Question — And It’s Not What You Think

    Does a person sentenced to death have the right to be unconscious at the time of his death? No, argues columnist Tamara Tabo.

    26 Comments / / May 1, 2015 at 6:07 PM
  • Chimpanzee Phone USE

    Animal Law

    No, A Judge Didn’t Say Chimpanzees Are People

    No, a judge didn’t really say chimpanzees have personhood — check out the order.

    8 Comments / / Apr 21, 2015 at 12:22 PM
  • Constitutionally protected?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.17.15

    * “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing.” Even as class sizes get smaller and tuition gets lower, the law school brain drain continues. America’s best and brightest won’t be fooled into studying law when the job market is still so unstable, but others have been. [Bloomberg]

    * Attorneys for California’s sex workers have filed suit to overturn the state’s ban on prostitution, claiming that “[t]he rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” Yeah, okay. [AP]

    * “The simple story is that $160,000 as a starting salary at large law firms is less prevalent than it was immediately prior to the recession.” You can scream “NY TO 190K!” all you want, but starting salaries have remained flat. Sowwy. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York has involved himself in an “escalating war of words” with members of the federal judiciary that he may come to regret. Will this “petulant rooster” be able to kiss and make up? [New York Times]

    * Per a recently filed lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still hasn’t paid a single law firm for their representation in the Biogenesis case. He allegedly owes Gordon & Rees $380,059 in unpaid fees. Come on, A-Rod. You’ve got the cash. [New York Daily News]

    * Infamous plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger of the $9.5 billion Chevron / Ecuador kerfuffle decided that if he can’t win his case in a court of law, he might as well try to win it in the court of public opinion. Check out his side of the story. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    49 Comments / / Apr 17, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Laurence Tribe

    Environment / Environmental Law, Laurence Tribe, Law Professors

    Et Tu, Laurence Tribe?

    Why is a leading liberal legal scholar coming to the defense of Big Coal?

    23 Comments / / Apr 7, 2015 at 5:15 PM
  • Supreme Court pretty Small

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.24.15

    * Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the Supreme Court is trying to attract more minority law clerks, lower court judges have it easier because they can recruit from local schools. Some justices have an Ivy League addiction, and thus, a diversity problem. [Legal Times]

    * The next step in the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, the lawyer who will someday be the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, isn’t likely to occur until at least mid-April. Why the wait? SENATE SPRING BREAK, WOO! [Reuters]

    * Give me maple syrup, or give me death: According to legal experts from the National Constitution Center, even though Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he still counts as a “natural born citizen” who’s eligible to be president. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley avoided a supreme spanking from SCOTUS over his submission of a garbled cert petition last year, but the high court took the opportunity to remind all lawyers to write “in plain terms.” [National Law Journal]

    * How badly do you want to go to a top law school? Exactly how desperate you are to feel the warm and gentle embrace of prestige? How hard can you gun? Would you be willing to take the LSAT three times? [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    45 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 9:11 AM
  • Amal Clooney

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.09.15

    * Amal Clooney, the attorney who tamed George Clooney’s heart and is now considered one of the most famous human rights lawyers in the world, will be teaching at a New York law school this spring. Which one? We’ll have more on this fun news later today. [USA Today]

    * Talk about a Hail Mary play: The ACLU has decided to come to the defense of a very unlikely cause. Per a recently filed federal brief, the organization thinks that the USPTO’s cancellation of the Redskins trademark was unconstitutional. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * According to a new BARBRI study, the vast majority of third-year law students think they’re ready to go when it comes to practicing law, but the lawyers who have had the (dis)pleasure to work with new graduates don’t seem to agree. [National Law Journal]

    * “Those kinds of jobs are never going to be enough to absorb the number of people graduating from law school over the next five or 10 years.” Northeastern’s dean laughs in Biglaw’s face — his grads measure their success in other ways. [Boston Business Journal]

    * Ellen Pao’s “racy” gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins serves as a harsh criticism of the sexist culture of Silicon Valley. Luckily, jury members will be able to busy themselves with the case’s more lurid details. [The Upshot / New York Times]

    * Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency is working on a new podcast that will help prospective law students to see what working in the legal profession is really like. “I Am The Law” debuted in January 2015, and it’s worth a listen. [U.S. News & World Report]

    5 Comments / / Mar 9, 2015 at 8:52 AM
  • lawyer snow angel

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.17.15

    * Following NBC’s announcement of his six-month suspension without pay, Brian Williams turned to Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly to save his career. The pair met when they were Supreme Court clerks — oopsie, we guess that’s another misrepresentation. [Am Law Daily]

    * “We weren’t about to ask them to risk life and limb to get in.” As Boston braces for yet another snowstorm, Biglaw firms are trying to figure out how they can continue to operate. Punxsutawney Phil is keeping the wheels of justice from turning. [National Law Journal]

    * The Supreme Court has granted Colorado an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma which claims that its decision to legalize marijuana was unconstitutional. Puff, puff, pass this cert vote, SCOTUS. [Cannabist / Denver Post]

    * Regulators! Mount up… and then run away to your new Biglaw firms. Preet Bharara’s S.D.N.Y. roster is constantly changing thanks to the golden handcuffs large law firms offer, but Bharara still “love[s] all [his] children equally.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * David Messerschmitt, the DLA Piper associate who was found dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room last week, is remembered by his colleagues as “someone so talented and so nice.” There have been no new breaks in his murder investigation. [Legal Times]

    14 Comments / / Feb 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Elsa Frozen

  • Deflate-Gate. NFL football deflated on the field

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.26.15

    * Senate Republicans are contemplating abolishing filibusters for SCOTUS nominees. This could go one of two ways: it could work out nicely for them, or explode in their faces. It’s like a choose your own adventure game. [POLITICO]

    * When it comes to the upcoming gay marriage cases before SCOTUS, “[e]very lawyer involved will want to argue.” Remember, when you’re given the chance to make history, you better hope that you’re on the right side of it. [National Law Journal]

    * “[I]f there is one decision I would overrule, it is Citizens United.” Even RBG thinks this campaign finance decision is one of the Supreme Court’s “darkest hour[s].” [Salon]

    * SCOTUS refused to stay Charles Warner’s execution, but it agreed to grant cert on his lethal injection case days after his death. Better late than never? [New York Times]

    * The NFL has drafted Ted Wells of Paul Weiss to blow up the absurd controversy that is “Deflategate.” Come on, who cares if the Patriots cheated again? [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Do you know any chronic Biglaw firm-hoppers? How many firms are too many to lateral to? Three? Five? Seven? Jesus Christ, for this guy, try 10 firms. [Am Law Daily]

    27 Comments / / Jan 26, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • Kent and Jill Easter

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 01.19.15

    * 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]

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/252991700/Indictment-U-S-v-Steven-Metro

    7 Comments / / Jan 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Processed by: Helicon Filter;

    Native Americans, Religion

    When Killing Eagles Is A Matter Of Faith

    Conservation of endangered species shouldn’t be a religious issue. But it is.

    / Jan 13, 2015 at 3:03 PM
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.17.14

    * 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]

    33 Comments / / Dec 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • Justice Antonin Scalia

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 12.16.14

    * “If you can’t disagree on the law without taking it personally, find another day job. You shouldn’t be an appellate judge.” You’ve really got to admit that sometimes, Justice Scalia has an absolutely wonderful way of putting things. [Associated Press]

    * David Boies sent everyone and their mother and their dog a letter asking them to destroy all docs leaked from the Sony hack, lest they face legal consequences, but there’s just one problem with that pesky First Amendment. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The law students who requested exam delays due to unfair grand jury decisions claim they’re not “coddled Millennials” — no, they’re members of the new regime of lawyers who are willing to ask, “If not us, then who?” [National Law Journal]

    * Please keep in mind that these students are likely the same ones who may be missing out about learning the intricacies of rape law because they want their professors to “protect them from causing or experiencing discomfort.” [New Yorker]

    * Well, this is an interesting round of musical chairs: Vice Media just poached James H. Schwab, the chairman of the media and entertainment practice group at Paul Weiss, to join the company as co-president. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Undergrad students at Boston University are trotting out the latest edition of the school’s pre-law review. Feast your eyes upon the genius of future gunners, or don’t, because it’ll help them learn early that no one actually reads law reviews. [BU Today]

    20 Comments / / Dec 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • The Chief Justice, rapping in repose.

    John Roberts, Quote of the Day, Rap

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Raps Eminem Lyrics During Oral Arguments

    Who knew John Roberts could lay down sick rhymes like these?

    10 Comments / / Dec 2, 2014 at 1:26 PM
  • angry handcuffs

    Constitutional Law, Crime

    The Exception Is The Rule: How The Government’s ‘Good Faith’ Efforts Are Destroying The Fourth Amendment

    While there has been some progress towards a restoration of the nation’s Fourth Amendment rights, there have also been several steps back.

    4 Comments / / Nov 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM
  • Canada View From Up North

    Canada, Constitutional Law, Crime, Guns / Firearms, Murder, Politics, Violence, War on Terror

    The View From Up North: Terror In Ottawa

    Reflections from Canadian columnist Steve Dykstra on the recent Ottawa shooting.

    13 Comments / / Oct 29, 2014 at 1:57 PM
  • Supreme Court SCOTUS photo by David Lat

    8th Circuit, Bill Clinton, Constitutional Law, Elena Kagan, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Judicial Nominations, Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    How Health Concerns Dashed A Judge’s Supreme Court Dreams

    Which distinguished lower-court judge came extremely close to landing a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?

    19 Comments / / Oct 13, 2014 at 4:24 PM