* “Taking the bar is like riding a bike. A bike that’s on fire.” Never before has there been a better way to describe what it’s like to take the bar exam. Here’s how some recent examinees were able to survive. Miraculously, no one preemptively sent a letter like this. [California Lawyer]
* DLA Piper is entering into happily married bliss with Davis, a 260-lawyer firm from the Great White North. An April wedding is planned. The couple is registered with American Lawyer and Vault. Give them a few loads of loonies! [Am Law Daily]
* Attorney General Eric Holder took to the op-ed pages to announce the Department of Justice’s official take on the constitutionality of marriage equality in America: “Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage.” [USA Today]
* Speaking of Eric Holder, the attorney general released another official announcement yesterday. Ben Mizer will take over as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. (For what it’s worth, people are making a huge deal over the fact that he’s gay.) [Metro Weekly]
* If you’ve missed a law school application deadline, don’t worry, because there are ways you can boost your chances of getting in. Having a pulse is only 98 percent of the battle — you’ll also need a tuition check. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
If you have any information, police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information in the case.
With its critical impact on the world economy and global trade, privacy legislation in Asia has been extremely active in the last several years. A recently released report, Privacy Laws in Asia, written by Cynthia Rich of Morrison & Foerster LLP for Bloomberg BNA, analyzes commonalities and differences in the privacy and data security requirements in countries including Australia, India, Hong Kong and more.
This report gives you at-a-glance access to a side-by-side chart comparing four key compliance areas, a country-by-country review of the differences and special characteristics in the law, and explanations of the common elements of the privacy laws in 11 jurisdictions.
* “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]
* 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]
New developments in the David Messerschmitt killing.
Horrific news, as associate identified as victim in brutal stabbing.
A caveat tacked on to the end of this firm’s bonus memo really ticked off our tipsters.
2014 was a banner year for lateral movement in the legal industry. But, which law firms hired the most lateral partners? Which firms had the greatest number of partner defections?
Throughout 2014, along with our friends at Good2BSocial, ATL once again researched the social media practices of law firms. Today we publish the first component of our findings: our second annual Social Law Firm Index, where we identify which specific firms are making the most effective use of social media.
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[…]
* 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]
Check out the magnificent mansion that helped drive a rainmaker into bankruptcy.
* Ted Cruz Goes To Jury Duty is the Ernest Goes To Camp of a new generation. [NBC News]
* Former Judge Mike Maggio has graced our pages with his disgrace before when he admitted to making racist and sexist remarks about Charlize Theron’s adoption. Well, he just pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. Looks like he’ll Geaux to prison. [Arkansas Times]
* Faced with allegations that it discriminated against a trans woman, Saks takes the curious legal stance that it had the legal right to discriminate. I’d say that takes balls, but… [Slate]
* A hearing board in Illinois just recommended a one-year suspension of former Sidley Austin and present DLA Piper attorney Lee Smolen. Maybe he could spend that time with his kids. [Legal Profession Blog]
* Fourth Circuit rules that you can’t set up unconstitutional barriers to abortion. Nothing to do with the woman’s rights of course, but because it might impact the doctor’s free speech. [Dorf on Law]
* Fired for wife-swapping. [Lowering the Bar]
* Technology and outsourcing have totally jacked the careers of Biglaw associates. You already knew this, but now there’s a paper! [TaxProf Blog]
How does a rainmaker earning millions of dollars a year wind up in personal bankruptcy?
* An “America’s Next Top Model” contestant sued Tyra Banks, claiming she was disqualified from the title because Banks found out she had worked as an escort. You’re looking for people who can walk back and forth in heels over and over. Who did you think was trying out for the show? [Courthouse News Service]
* Dewey know which DLA Piper department head just declared personal bankruptcy? [New York Times]
* Coming soon to the hipster haven near you: the artisanal attorney. Hilarious satirical piece by John Frank Weaver. [McSweeney’s]
* Are you getting married? Are you planning to change your name? Huge mistake. The name part at least. Maybe the married part, I don’t know your deal. [The American Lawyer]
* The Onion surveys the reaction to the Columbia Law exam policy. [The Onion]
* You can’t force welfare recipients to get drug tests. Which was kind of obvious but still required a court to weigh in. [Pathologyblawg]
* A New York judge allegedly stroked his secretary’s face, forced her to give him hugs, and regaled her with explicit tales of sex with his mistress. [New York Post]
* There’s a wealth of information in this post about the ABA 509 Information Reports. Keith Lee does a year-over-year comparison of the top ten and bottom ten schools, looking for trends. [Associate’s Mind]
Law firm mergers are often bad ideas; if you’re going to do one, do it right.
Did you hear that sound? Listen carefully. What is that row? It’s the sound of alternative legal providers’ footfalls, gaining on you.
* Baker & McKenzie was bumped from the top spot in the Global 100 last year when DLA Piper swooped in to steal the firm’s glory. This year, B&M is back with a vengeance, and richer than ever. Take that, DLA dopes. [Am Law Daily]
* “I’m pretty sure I just got fired.” Before the bud business was big enough for Biglaw, the mere suggestion of going green was allegedly enough to warrant some pretty major disciplinary action from a leading law firm. [National Law Journal]
* Judge Thomas Griesa is toying with holding Argentina in contempt for saying that it didn’t default. Argentina struck back with the social media hashtag #GrieFault. Clever. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team has an expert who says that any jury in Massachusetts will be tainted because of the “inflammatory” news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The ABA’s new Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education held its first public hearing to try to figure out why law school tuition is high. The ABA is so late to the party it’s not even funny. [ABA Journal]