* Happy tax day! Let’s take a moment to remember that the tax prep industry spends millions to keep taxes a confusing, unpleasant mess. [TaxProf Blog]
* “Since You Were Wondering, Judge Judy Is Having Amazing Sex” is the most goddamned horrifying headline of the year. [Morning After / Gawker]
* The dream juror: a guy whose whole schtick is getting unanimity. Chief Justice John Roberts reports to his local courthouse. [Washington Post]
* Sad news. “Mr. Fuzzy,” who traveled the Washington firms shining shoes, appears to have been found dead near the tidal basin. [Hill Now]
Another arrest announcement suggests an accomplice in the killing of David Messerschmitt.
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[…]
Columnist Renwei Chung explains how a murder in Milwaukee last April may have triggered Starbucks’s consciousness on race relations in America.
What did suspect Jamyra Gallmon allegedly tell the police?
After looking at the death penalty through the eyes of those facing it, alternatives to lethal injection, even the firing squad, might not look quite so objectionable.
* If you thought Squire Patton Boggs would be able to meet its projection of $1 billion in combined revenue after its merger, you’d be wrong. If you thought the firm would be able to meet its projection of having more than 1,500 lawyers after its merger, you’d also be wrong. [National Law Journal]
* Use this slideshow to compare how California law schools are doing in terms of job placement. Stanford was on top, and Golden Gate was dead last. Bonus: If you strip out school-funded jobs, the numbers look even worse. [Sacramento Business Journal]
* Uh… oops? Keila Ravelo, the ex-Willkie Farr partner who was accused of stealing millions of dollars from two of her former firms, is now at the center of questions over settlements in credit-card cases she worked on. [New York Law Journal via ABA Journal]
* “Please help us heal.” David Messerschmitt’s widow is begging for information about the DLA Piper associate’s death. The case is being actively investigated, and police believe the person of interest who was seen on surveillance footage is a woman. [Legal Times]
* In case you missed it yesterday, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The first charge could result in up to five years in jail, while the second could result in a life sentence. Yikes! [WSJ Law Blog]
* As we mentioned, U.S. News is giving law schools less credit for hiring their own grads. Rumor has it that a few schools would’ve done better in the rankings but for their high percentage of school-funded jobs. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Two students in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from Oklahoma University were expelled after a video of their racist chanting was leaked online. Lawyers want to know: was their expulsion a First Amendment violation? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* UC Irvine Law debuted on the 2016 U.S. News law school rankings at No. 30, missing Dean Erwin Chemerinsky’s goal of starting out as a Top 20 school. Not to worry, Dean, there are still ways to game the rankings. Keep your head up! [National Law Journal]
* Don’t bother delaying your law school education just because the economy’s bad. The professors who told us that a law degree is worth $1 million think that its value will only drop by about $30K in times when unemployment is high. Yeah, okay. [ABA Journal]
* The grisly murder of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt, who was found stabbed to death in a Washington, D.C., hotel, remains unsolved. Police are still searching for the “person of interest” who was seen on video from the hotel’s security camera. [Legal Times]
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:
* And meet the two legal heavyweights who will be arguing the case before SCOTUS. [Politico via How Appealing]
* Meanwhile, another Supreme Court has put a stop to same-sex marriage down in Alabama — for now. [Buzzfeed]
* General David Petraeus reaches a plea deal, requiring him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine (but no prison sentence). [Washington Post]
* It’s not as sexy as Obamacare or marriage equality, but the collection of state sales tax on out-of-state purchases made online is a pretty important issue — and Justice Kennedy wants SCOTUS to revisit it. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* A jury of eight men and 10 women will start hearing arguments today in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, defendant in the Boston Marathon bombing. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Legal ethics guru Monroe Freedman, RIP. [ABA Journal]
* Analyzing the Supreme Court on style over substance. Probably for the best because the substance has been pretty shoddy for a lot of the last few years. [SCOTUSblog]
* “Constitutional oriented” judge has some issues with the First Amendment. I guess he’s a “pre-Amendment Originalist.” [Popehat]
* Lawyers should find a niche in connected devices. It’s true. But since the partners I used to work with still printed out all their emails, good luck with that. [Law and More]
* The psychic toll of bankruptcy work. [The Docket]
* Ninth Circuit overrules lower court, holding that an arbitrator is not inherently plaintiff-biased because he or she has participated in litigation financing. [LFC 360]
If you have any information, police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information in the case.
* “Let’s face it: There are some people here that will not vote for her unless she says what they want her to say, that the president committed an illegal act by these [immigration] executive orders.” Loretta Lynch is having a tough time making Republican friends. [The Hill]
* Some new details have been released on the investigation into DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt’s death. Per police records, he was stabbed in the back, and was found in his hotel room with “lubricant and condom” and an “enema.” We’ll have more on this development later today. [Legal Times]
* The rankings are coming! THE RANKINGS ARE COMING! Rankings guru Bob Morse, the man who holds law school deans’ jobs in his hands, says the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings will be out on March 10. [Morse Code / U.S. News & World Report]
* A patent lawyer with Asperger’s syndrome is suing Patterson & Sheridan for discrimination. In his suit, he claims that a prominent partner was allowed to continually harass him in a purported quest to drive him out. Ah, law firm life. [The Recorder]
* The case against the ex-leaders of Dewey & LeBoeuf hinges on the testimony of the failed firm’s former employees. Defense attorneys, of course, are trying to get things barred from admission — including one defendant’s link to a mob member. [New York Law Journal]
* “We’re still in the same position we’ve been in. There’s progress, but things are moving at a snail’s pace.” As we mentioned earlier this week, according to NALP, the percentage of women associates in law firms is up… but not by much. [DealBook / New York Times]
* One of the best law schools in the country will have a brand new dean come this summer. Congratulations to Theodore Ruger, a longtime law professor who will assume the deanship at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in July. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Could it be? Did Justice Clarence Thomas ask a question during oral arguments at SCOTUS? No, but he did ask a question at Yale Law during a presentation, noting that he doesn’t ask “irrelevant, useless questions” at the high court. [Legal Times]
* Per NALP, gains were made by women and minorities in law firms for the first time in years, but be careful, because Jim Leipold is watching you: “Individual law firms should not be allowed to hide behind the national figures.” [National Law Journal]
* Meet Judge Robert C. Brack of the District Court of New Mexico, who recently earned quite the accolade. Judge Brack has sentenced more defendants than any other federal judge in the past five years. He won’t be celebrating his achievement. [WSJ Law Blog]
* This Georgetown Law professor, who happens to be the cofounder of one of the country’s largest litigation finance firms, wants to see a law firm IPO, but others wonder if lawyers would be able to ethically practice while reporting to shareholders. [Washington Post]
* A Chadbourne & Park employee has been banned from ever working for another law firm again following his theft of $15,360 from C&P’s coffers. Not to worry, no client money was pilfered from the firm — the cash was taken from an open office account. [Am Law Daily]
* If you haven’t heard, David Lat wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and “[w]riting the novel was almost therapeutic for [him] in a way” — he’s “kind of over” the fact that his résumé doesn’t include a SCOTUS clerkship. [Chicago Daily Law Bulletin]
Horrific news, as associate identified as victim in brutal stabbing.
* When we first reported on this former law school dean’s arrest for prostitution, we weren’t sure if he was the alleged john. Now we know: SMU Law’s John Attanasio allegedly offered to pay an undercover officer $100 for “specific sexual acts.” [Dallas Morning News]
* It seems that a lawyer in Nebraska lost his “special pen” at the courthouse, and he’d really like it to be returned to him. It’s not just any pen — it’s a $500 Montblanc Meisterstück. Help this man get his prestigious pen back. [Omaha World-Herald]
* The early numbers on Cadwalader’s ranking in the Am Law 100 seems to indicate that would-be chair James Woolery got the hell out while the getting was still good. The firm’s profits per partner dropped by 15.3 percent in 2014. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]
* “Being in the law school business looked like a good idea. Those days are over.” Enrollment continues to decline at law schools across the country, and in Virginia, class sizes are about 20 percent smaller than they were in 2011. [Roanoke Times]
* When it comes to the recent murder-suicide of two Tulane Law students, “[p]eople are really surprised and baffled about what happened” because they say there were no warning signs. If you’re depressed, please seek help. [New Orleans Advocate]
* Given the fact that children’s vaccinations have become a topic presidential candidates are debating, you should know that almost half the states allow anti-vaxxer parents to opt-out. Thanks for the measles, everyone! [WSJ Law Blog]
Additional information about this past weekend’s disturbing news.