* Uh-oh! Martin Shkreli may have gotten more than he bargained for when he bought the one and only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” An artist whose work appears on the album’s packaging has filed a copyright infringement suit against the smug pharma bro. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A Texas ADA was arrested this weekend for DWI after crashing into a parked car. According to police, it appeared as if she was trying to leave the scene. She’s been a prosecutor for almost a year, and hasn’t been put on a leave of absence for her alleged transgressions (yet). [FOX 7 Austin]
* “I don’t understand why donors should not donate money to the Law School because some moron, some racist decided to put black tape on some portraits.” Some alumni (not this guy) are uncertain if they’ll continue to donate to Harvard Law. [Harvard Crimson]
* President Obama has proposed a cybersecurity plan that’ll cost $19+ billion. Americans will learn how to better secure their accounts to prevent illegal hacks. That’s a lot of cash to teach people not to use “123456” as their password. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Have your birthday cake and eat it too, because the terms of Warner Music Group’s “Happy Birthday to You” settlement have been disclosed, and up to $14 million is up for grabs for those who’ve had to pay licensing fees to use it. [L.A. Now / Los Angeles Times]
Intellectual property law stupidity strikes again as the NFL fights to keep anyone from using the words “Super Bowl.”
Most everyone knows what an elevator speech is: it’s a short, pithy, memorable description of a company’s services. Lawyers have always built their reputations on their expertise, such that the creation of an elevator pitch should be one of the easiest things for an attorney to do; however, many lawyers still stumble over the basic question: “What do you do?”
* The New York Times editorial board believes SCOTUS justices “already have all the evidence they need to join the rest of the civilized world and end the death penalty once and for all” — and they may get the chance to do so this Term (but won’t). [New York Times]
* A Texas lawyer has filed the first “birther” lawsuit against Republican candidate Ted Cruz, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Canadian-born senator isn’t eligible to run for president. The filing is a pretty entertaining read in that it’s completely insane. [KHOU 11 News]
* Just when ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf chair Steven Davis thought his legal troubles were over, Citibank swooped in to slap him with a suit seeking repayment of a $400,000 loan for his capital contribution to the failed firm. [New York Law Journal via ABA Journal]
* The U.S. Copyright Office has formed an academic partnership with George Mason University School of Law. We bet students and law school administrators alike are probably hoping it’ll turn into an employment partnership as well. [IP Watchdog]
* Lower-ranked law schools ought to thank their lucky stars that U.S. News “ranking competition” exists, because if not for fear they’d sink in the rankings, higher-ranked schools would’ve enrolled students typically bound for unranked schools. [Forbes]
* Not only has Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s first bid to get a new trial been rejected, but in what’s been called a “symbolic gesture,” the convicted Boston Marathon bomber has now been ordered to pay more than $101 million in restitution to his victims. [Boston Globe]
Little clarity on the shady copyright loophole that tech companies keep pushing
Enough of this monkey business!
* According to the Law Firm Group of Citi Private Bank’s year-end predictions for the legal profession, profit growth for this year and next is once again going to be anemic. This is the “new reality for the foreseeable future.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* “[T]hese guerilla marketers believe they are above the law.” Uh-oh! What has The Biebs done now? Pop star Justin Bieber has pissed off the San Francisco, California, legal community with sidewalk graffiti ads promoting his new album. [San Francisco Chronicle]
* If you thought that the highest ranked law school in Virginia would’ve fared the best on the state’s July 2015 administration of the bar exam, you’d be wrong. With a 93 percent passage rate, congratulations to Jerry Falwell’s finest at Liberty Law! [One News Now]
* Ay dios mio! Escándalo! In a recently filed lawsuit, a former faculty member at Amherst College claims that teaching assistants in her department were encouraged to “prostitute themselves” to increase enrollment in Spanish classes. [Washington Post]
* “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur…” The ear worm lullaby featured on The Big Bang Theory is now at the center of a copyright dispute, and it seems like this kitty could actually win. Showrunners probably wish they left this one in the litter box. [USA Today]
* Everyone was under the impression that Dickstein Shapiro and Bryan Cave would be tying the knot by the year’s end, but instead, it looks like their brief love affair has turned into a bad romance. Oh no! Will Dickstein Shapiro be left at the altar? [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “The idea they own the name ‘blue’ for a manual for legal citations is ridiculous.” A rival citation guide to The Bluebook will be released in 2016, using the name “BabyBlue.” Since a Biglaw IP attorney is involved in the copyright clash, this is already more exciting than techciting. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who was too rich to realize his actions had consequences, was apparently also too rich to realize he shouldn’t hide out in a ritzy vacation locale in Mexico while on the run from police with his mother. Damn you, affluenza! [CNN]
* If you’re looking for a law firm where you can take time off whenever you want and still earn a healthy paycheck, then look no further than Ashton KCJ Lawyers in England. That’s a perk we’re sure attorneys in the U.S. would love their firms to adopt. [Mirror]
* Annie, get your gun: Gun-toting Texans are going to have a very happy new year, because come January 1, 2016, the state’s new open carry law will go into effect. The open carrying of handguns had previously been banned in the state since 1865. [RT]
* Jeffrey Feulner, founder of the Men’s Divorce Law Firm, was charged with domestic violence battery after he allegedly attacked his wife. She filed for divorce three days later — and presumably used a more woman-friendly lawyer as counsel. [Orlando Sentinel]
The top frivolous suits of the year may be a dumb list, but some of these cases are pretty funny.
In just a couple of hours, you can learn how to approach your essays with much more confidence and be much better prepared to pass the bar exam. Professor Marino’s famous Essay Method has successfully helped thousands of bar takers and it can work for you, too! Click here to learn more about getting extra points on your […]
* If you need a reminder as to why it is essential to fight for access to abortions and reproductive freedom generally, read this. [Slate]
* Is Madonna using the “fair use” doctrine to avoid paying artists whose work she uses? [DIY Photography]
* Bigger isn’t always better: how Cooley Law School is hurting legal educational standards. [Lawyers, Guns and Money]
* Want a surefire way to NOT get out of educational debt anytime soon? Go to law school. [Wall Street Journal]
* You need to know your rights vis-a-vis airlines. Because the government isn’t going to fine them much anymore. [Huffington Post]
* Virginia is going to stop recognizing conceal carry permits from 25 states. [Washington Post]
Copyright law may ruin your Star Wars viewing party.
Star Wars mania means frivolous intellectual property claims.
* Robert Lewis Dear, the man accused in the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting, had this outburst during a hearing yesterday: “I am guilty, there will be no trial. I am a warrior for the babies. You’ll never know the amount of blood I saw in that place.” [CBS Denver]
* The American Bar Association has approved the merger between William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law to form Mitchell|Hamline Law. Since law school mergers now seem to be a viable option, struggling schools may be able to find a way to survive instead of closing. [Pioneer Press]
* In yesterday’s affirmative action duel at the Supreme Court, Bert Rein of Wiley Rein and Gregory Garre of Latham & Watkins faced off for the second time in Fisher v. University of Texas: The Reckoning. Will SCOTUS kill AA this time? [WSJ Law Blog]
* According to the Rhode Island Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline, Judge Rafael A. Ovalles brought his office into disrepute after sexually harassing a female court clerk and sitting in chambers with his hand in his underwear. [Providence Journal]
* A settlement in the “Happy Birthday to You” copyright case has thrust the song into the public domain where it belongs. Now employees at chain restaurants across the country won’t have to sing cheesy soundalike songs to birthday diners anymore. [Reuters]
* Jared Fogle, Subway’s former spokesman, pleaded guilty to federal charges related to sex with minors and child pornography, and was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison. His creative defense? Losing weight on the Subway diet made him choose to erm… “eat fresh.” Yuck. [Washington Post]
* Biglaw firms have been announcing their new partnership classes over the past few weeks, and it goes without saying that the vast majority of new partners attended highly ranked law schools. Take a wild guess at which school was the most represented. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Per the latest report from the NALP, women and African-Americans continue to falter in their career progress at Biglaw firms. James Leipold says it’s “troubling” that the numbers are “reversing course.” We couldn’t agree more. [DealBook / New York Times]
* UnitedHealth recently announced that it expects to suffer in terms of its insurance sales under the Affordable Care Act, and has gone so far as to threaten that it may pull out of the exchange. Here are five things you need to know about that. [WSJ Law Blog]
* One of the members of Survivor filed a copyright infringement suit against Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign after the song “Eye of the Tiger” was played during a rally held for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Now it’s stuck in your head. Welcome! [Reuters]
This judge isn’t some vacuous fangirl; she’s quoting the lyrics for a reason.
Insert Ninth Circuit joke here.
Washington’s battle to keep its trademarked racist name took a wonderfully offensive turn.
* Weed legalization seems like a good idea on paper, but this probably isn’t the way to do it. Unless you’re a fan of cartels and Nick Lachey. Yes, that Nick Lachey. [Gawker]
* Is there a legal controversy brewing surrounding Demi Lovato’s new album? In related news: there’s a new Demi Lovato album coming out. [Entertainment Weekly]
* Which legal TV show is law firm life really like? [Daily Lawyer Tips]
* Ralph Nader? In the tank for creditors? Say it ain’t so. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* Practical advice for laid off lawyers — don’t get fooled by the “advice industry.” [Law and More]
* Are we looking at the future of legal advertising? [AZA Law]
* It’s time to start thinking about what to put into your holiday cards. [Attorney at Work]