Authorities are considering the death a homicide.
It has long been the case in Hong Kong that most UK law firms and a very small minority of US law firms have three month notice periods for their US associates built into their employment contracts. But until about 18 months ago it was not common for any firm to enforce a three month notice period when a US associate left solo[…]
* Due to the speed at which she was driving, Caitlyn Jenner could face a vehicular manslaughter charge related to the fatal chain-reaction car crash she was involved in earlier this year. The ESPY-winning celeb’s fate is in the district attorney’s hands now. [NBC News]
* Surprise! David Sweat, one of the New York inmates who led authorities on a three-week manhunt after he escaped from prison in June, pleaded not guilty to felony escape charges at his arraignment. He’ll likely get a few years added onto his life sentence if he’s convicted. [Reuters]
* Oh baby: Valeant is buying Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the “female Viagra,” for a cool $1 billion. Skadden Arps and Sullivan & Cromwell, the firms repping the companies, must be turned on by the deal. [DealBook / New York Times; Am Law Daily]
* Prosecutors in the David Messerschmitt case are seeking a 25-year sentence for Jamyra Gallmon, the woman who stabbed the DLA Piper associate in a robbery-gone-wrong and left him for dead in a D.C. hotel room. Her attorney is asking for 18 years. [Legal Times]
* The Florida Bar is recommending disbarment for a group of attorneys accused of arranging a DUI arrest for a rival attorney during a high-profile trial. You’ve got to admit this set-up was a particularly bold move, even for Flori-duh lawyers. [Tampa Bay Times]
* This October, rappers Jay Z and Timbaland will have to testify in a lawsuit concerning copyright infringement and improper music sampling. We’ll see how “Big Pimpin'” they really are when we find out which lawyers and law firms are repping them. [Page Six / New York Post]
* This judge apparently doesn’t appreciate fighting words in pleadings. “Do you want to fight me? Is that what you want?” A West Virginia magistrate judge challenged a litigant — one who previously called the magistrate a “fat sweaty slob” in motion papers — to come to his house and “see what happens.” [Charleston Gazette-Mail]
* An ex-Texas judge was sentenced for his side job of smuggling guns into Mexico and selling them. He faced up to 70 years when he pleaded guilty to two felony counts in May, and was handed his 18-month sentence on Friday. Yeehaw! [Austin American-Statesman]
* The Idaho College of Law will begin to host first-year law school classes at its Boise campus starting in 2017. The Boise campus now serves 1Ls, 2LS, and 3Ls, but not to worry, this flyover law school’s main campus isn’t going anywhere. [Idaho Statesman]
* Julian Bond, civil rights icon, SPLC board member, former NAACP chair, RIP. [NYT]
It’ll be terrible if this lawyer’s death becomes another one of Venezuela’s unsolved murders.
* According to this former Supreme Court clerk, Justice Scalia’s judicial zingers are just like porn in that they’re “titillating, but over time they coarsen the culture of which they are a part.” (Plus, for what it’s worth, the jurist’s audience usually never gets a money shot.) [Washington Post]
* Better late than never? The ABA dropped the hammer on law schools trying to game their employment stats with a new rule that’ll force them to report school-funded jobs as part-time unless certain length and salary reqs are met. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The largest of D.C.’s largest law firms grew even larger over the past year, and thanks to a merger, an outsider firm — Morgan Lewis — managed to infiltrate the capital’s Big Four. Sorry, WilmerHale, but maybe 2016 will be your comeback year. [National Law Journal]
* In other ABA news, the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar rejected a plea for academic credit for paid externships, because we apparently want to keep students as indebted as possible before they begin their professional legal careers. [ABA Journal]
* A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Richard Lee, a known conspiracy theorist, who sought the release of the Seattle police department’s death-scene photographs from Nirvana star Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Hey! Wait! He’ll file a new complaint. [Seattle Times]
Columnist Tamara Tabo examines the case of Sandra Bland, the young woman who died in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas.
My father is a military man. Accordingly, all things in life, from mundane trips to the grocery store to complex life decisions like planning for and choosing a college, was subject to careful, deliberate planning. Digesting evidence and facts was a far better road than the proverbial “crossing of fingers” and trusting that “it will all work out for the best.” Former NYC mayor Rudolph Guiliani said it best when he announced that “Hope is not a strategy.”
I was reminded of this adage when reading a few industry reports compiling data points about corporate legal departments and the ever –increasing complexity of the regulatory environment. Here are some shockers:
* Most Biglaw firms are downsizing their office space, but Ropes & Gray just inked a deal to increase the size of its New York office by 40,869 square feet. It’ll occupy more than 300,000 square feet in Rockefeller Center. Hope the firm has lawyers to fill it! [Commercial Observer]
* Yikes! Thanks to a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll, the newly formed Philly office of Novak Druce appears to have been left without a single lawyer. The firm decided to “refrain from commenting” on the departures. [Legal Intelligencer]
* The same jury that found James Holmes guilty of several counts of murder in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre completed the first phase of sentencing and decided that aggravating factors existed for him to incur the death penalty. [Los Angeles Times]
* A former court clerk in Indiana is suing because she claims she was fired for refusing to process same-sex marriage licenses, even though doing so went against her “sincerely held” religious beliefs. We may be seeing a lot more of these in the future. [Indy Star]
* Per Texas prosecutor Warren Diepraam, medical examiners have ruled that Sandra Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging, and he has “full faith” in the autopsy results. The community remains outraged, and investigation into the case is ongoing. [NBC News]
* Because sometimes the application of the law seems like an indecent proposal: Demi Moore is “in absolute shock” because she may be facing a lawsuit for negligent supervision due to a pool drowning that occurred at her home while she was out of the country. [Fox News]
* “The bow tie is a manifestation of my unwillingness to become part of the rabble.” Male lawyers face harsh criticism about their fashion choices, too, and these New Jersey attorneys will wear their bow ties with pride, no matter what. [Bergen Record]
* In a recent interview, Justice Alito critiqued his SCOTUS colleagues for adopting a seemingly limitless interpretation of the 14th Amendment: “I don’t know what the limits of substantive liberty protection under the 14th Amendment are at this point.” [Legal Times]
* If you’d like to be a federal appellate judge by the age of 35, then Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit has some advice for you. First and foremost, know where to “peddle your wares” — get a job in Washington, D.C., ASAP. [Concurring Opinions via ABA Journal]
* Managing partners, repeat this mantra: Don’t do a Dewey! Thanks to the D&L financial disaster, Biglaw firms have decided to cut back on or ditch bank loans completely and get by with a little help from their
friendspartners in times of need. [Wall Street Journal]
The lawyer’s assailant has been charged with murder.
* A litigant with a Supreme pimp hand? Darius Clark, the man whose child-abuse case — which is currently before SCOTUS — will determine whether teachers may testify of behalf children, was indicted for allegedly running a prostitution ring from jail. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]
* Judge Mark Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama was arrested last summer on domestic violence charges after his wife confronted him about an alleged affair with a law clerk. What a gent! He’ll be resigning from the bench August 1. [USA Today]
* You can roll your eyes at Rand Paul all you want, but several key parts of the Patriot Act expired shortly after midnight because the Senate was unable to reach a deal to extend it. (FYI, DOJ may still use grandfathered privacy-poaching techniques.) [New York Times]
* “Nothing changes. The system is disgusting. There is no due process.” Do you want to read the story that made Cuba’s government ban an American legal journalist from any further coverage of the country’s court system? Of course you do. [Daily Business Review]
* “I can’t preserve caution in my delight with Ruth.” This is what retired Justice David Souter wrote about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s performance after her first week on the bench. He already knew back then that she was no-no-no-NOTORIOUS. [Boston Globe]
* Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who recently resigned from Dickstein Shapiro following his indictment, was allegedly paying a former student “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to keep quiet about past sexual abuse at the politician’s hands. [New York Times]
* Beau Biden, former state attorney general of Delaware, major in the Delaware Army National Guard’s JAG Corps, and son of Vice President Joe Biden, RIP. [Washington Post]
* It’s summer associate season in Biglaw, so here are some tips to help you not completely screw up your futures. (But if you do catch someone misbehaving, make sure to send your friends here at ATL a tip.) [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]
* Break out the vuvuzelas, because Loretta Lynch just scored herself a gigantic GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Several of FIFA’s top officials were arrested in Switzerland for extradition to America to face federal corruption charges over years of alleged racketeering and wire fraud. [New York Times]
* “Not all the evidence that you hear and see will be riveting.” The Dewey & LeBoeuf financial crimes trial may be sexy for Biglaw aficianados, but at least one of the prosecutors on the case had the courtesy to warn jurors they’d be bored. [Am Law Daily]
* Which Biglaw firms are the best places for new fathers to work? According to a recent report from Fatherly, a digital parenting resource for men, Arnold & Porter, Alston & Bird, and Baker Donelson all have pretty nice paternity leave policies. [Nooga.com; Fatherly]
* At some law firms, working part-time or on a flexible schedule isn’t necessarily a career killer for women, but that doesn’t change the fact that at other firms, doing so means that “they’re no longer on that partnership/management track.”[Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Daniel Meltzer, Story Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, former Principal Deputy Counsel to President Obama, and federal courts scholar, RIP. [Legal Theory Blog]
We can learn several life lessons from the late, great musician, as columnist Renwei Chung explains.
Columnist Renwei Chung reflects on the unexpected passing of his father last year.
* For Mad Men fans: Have you wondered how the show is getting away with making real-life ad agency McCann Erickson sound like a hellhole? [The Legal Artist]
* The hell? An aide to California AG Kamala Harris was arrested for serving as “chief deputy director” of a rogue police department. That claims to be descended from the Knights Templar. And run by the Freemasons. The conspiracy is real, my friends. [Slate]
* Catholic priest dubbed “Monsignor Meth” sentenced to 5 years for running a drug ring. This may be an obvious point, but in the grand scheme of “crimes committed by Roman Catholic priests” this really isn’t so bad. Unless kids were paying for meth the way… well, they sometimes pay for meth. [NBC Connecticut]
* Nobody wants to throw children to the wolves, but current child support laws are less about helping kids and more about throwing poor parents in jail when they can’t afford to pay money they don’t have. [LFC 360]
* The Goebbels estate is seeking royalties for biographies about the Nazi propagandist, giving new meaning to the term “IP Troll.” [Inside Higher Ed]
* Fascinating. All the cool stuff you can do now that the U.S. Code is published as structured data. If you like your statutes in cool graphs, this is for you. [Concurring Opinions]
* RIP Richard Bartlett, who helped bring the New York courts into unity. He was 89. [New York Law Journal]
Unsealed court documents offer new revelations about the case.