When it comes to legal technology, there’s a whole lot of innovation going on.
Ms. JD’s Eighth Annual Conference on Women in Law, themed Superwomen JDs, will be held on Friday, February 19, 2016 at NYU School of Law. Ms. JD’s Annual Conference is a premiere event for women law students and young lawyers. An overview of the conference agenda and registration information is available here. Please join us!
Which law school is turning part of its library into a “legal delivery center”?
* If you were a Biglaw partner at a troubled firm who managed to escape before the sh*t really hit the fan, and you now feel bad for those you left behind, don’t worry. We know you might not be familiar with emotions, but “[i]t’s a legitimate human feeling.” [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Just when you thought Ted Cruz was eligible to run for president, some renowned legal scholars have crawled out of the woodwork to state the complete opposite — and some have even published law review articles about it. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Those contract attorneys who sued for overtime pay at their doc review jobs made an impact, but it might not have been the kind they were hoping for. Many law firms and staffing agencies have stopped offering overtime work at all. [New York Law Journal]
* Florida’s death row inmates are stuck in legal limbo now that SCOTUS invalidated the state’s capital punishment sentencing regime as unconstitutional. Maybe the state where people go to die should consider repealing its death penalty altogether. [Reuters]
* Oh my God (but not his): An atheist lawyer is suing to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from all U.S. currency because he says it violates the separation between church and state. He’s filed God-related lawsuits in the past, and lost them all. [Cleveland.com]
* In the wake of fired CEO Martin Shkreli’s arrest for securities fraud, KaloBios Pharmaceuticals has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company will be repped by Hogan Lovells (and likely won’t be charged 4,000 percent more than it should be). [Reuters]
* “Not all of it is law at its grandest but all of it is the practice of law.” Yet another contract attorney’s suit for overtime pay has bitten the dust with a recent dismissal. This time, Quinn Emanuel was the Biglaw firm victorious in keeping doc reviewers downtrodden. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Since Dechert decided to up the ante on first-year associate salaries, other Philadelphia Biglaw firms have responded in kind. Drinker Biddle has matched, while Pepper Hamilton and Cozen O’Connor are following close behind. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Facebook needs a “dislike” button: The social media titan’s suit against DLA Piper and Milberg for their defense of alleged con man Paul Ceglia in a fraudulent breach of contract case versus Zuckerberg’s first baby was dismissed. [Buffalo Business First]
* From “weird to wildly costly,” check out some of the craziest malpractice cases that were filed against Biglaw firms during the course of 2015. The McDermott Will & Emery elder abuse case here is particularly creative. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Both Kaye Scholer partner Evan Greebel (formerly of Katten Muchin) and Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli pleaded not guilty to securities fraud charges. Now, the world is left to weep because Skhreli’s Wu-Tang album wasn’t seized. [Reuters]
* “You are not an American because you got sworn in on a Koran.” The Hate Crimes Unit of the New York Police Department is investigating a series of threatening calls made to Judge Carolyn Walker-Diallo, Brooklyn’s first Muslim judge. [WSJ Law Blog]
* David Lola, the contract attorney who sued Skadden and Tower Legal for overtime pay with claims he wasn’t practicing law, settled his claims for $75,000. But now we don’t know if doc reviewers are entitled to overtime pay. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Slater & Gordon, the world’s first publicly traded law firm, continues to watch as its stock price tumbles. The firm’s shares are now worth A$0.89 after it decided to pull its earnings guidance, and they’ve lost 90 percent of their value since April. [The Guardian]
* That’s not how you’re supposed to examine briefs: A Maryland court commissioner was charged with visual surveillance with prurient intent and misconduct in office after allegedly using his cellphone to take an upskirt photo of a courthouse employee. [AP]
Should law schools adapt to the needs of the law students and the changes in the industry and offer more e-discovery-related classes?
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?”
What could be causing this upset in the litigation market?
* Paul Walker’s daughter, 16-year-old Meadow Walker, filed a wrongful death suit against Porsche, alleging the automaker was negligent and strictly liable because the car her father died in had several design defects, namely that it was too fast, too furious. [CNN]
* The jury on the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial is having a really difficult time this week. Yesterday, on the eighth day of deliberations, jury members asked for the definition of the word “deliberation” and clarification on what their jobs were as jurors. [Am Law Daily]
* If you’d like to know why Hughes Hubbard likely conducted layoffs last week, then look no further than the commentary of this City Private Bank Law Firm Group analyst. Times have officially changed for litigators at large law firms. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* In news that no one should find particularly shocking, Albany Law School has announced an affiliation with the University at Albany. Both schools are struggling with enrollment and hungry for cash, so it’s a match made in heaven. [Albany Times Union]
* “There are 35,000 museums in the U.S. … [b]ut the great legal profession hasn’t gotten around to establishing one.” Spoke too soon: Say hello to the American Museum of Tort Law, Ralph Nader’s house of personal injury horrors. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
At what point does software become so complex that it really is dispensing legal advice?
Here are the right questions to ask when presented with new software for assisted review, according to technology columnist Jeff Bennion.
* Remember The Spread Love Band? They’re the street band that played near Skadden’s D.C. office. Skadden hated them so much they tried to convince the Secret Service to shoo them. Now they’re playing the Kennedy Center. It’s like the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” except instead of “practice,” the answer is “enrage a bunch of uptight lawyers.” [Washingtonian]
* Important request of the ABA: just say no to your task force on legal education financing, chaired by a member of the Infilaw board. [The Lawyer Bubble]
* What’s the best big city for law school grads? [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* Aaaand what’s the best small city for law school grads? [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]
* Rental car companies tried to deduct collision damage on their taxes. That didn’t work out for them. [Tax Prof Blog]
* Justice Willett discusses social media and the judiciary. [Washington Times]
* Judge tried to interfere in the kitty abusing case against his son. Some real-life Itchy the Mouse stuff. [Law360 (sub. req.)]
* R.I.P. Professor and Associate Dean Christopher M. Fairman. [Ohio State Law]
Today’s decision may have implications for the legal landscape for document reviewers.
* Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced — even she couldn’t stand the thought of him being Batman. Celebrity divorces don’t come cheap, and you know what that must mean: high-powered lawyers and even higher rates for their billable hours! [CNN]
* “[H]ow young would you go…I’d do 5[,] [b]ut 0-12 is hot.” Well, that’s absolutely disgusting. Matthew Gigot, an attorney who does doc review in the D.C. area, was charged in a child pornography case for sexual performance using a minor. [FOX 5 DC]
* The main line of defense as of late in the Dewey trial for the former head honchos of this failed firm is that everyone sends out embarrassing — and potentially incriminating — emails from time to time. We know all abput that here at Above the Law. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “Put down the bong, throw out the vaporizer and lose the rolling papers.” If you’re hoping to land a job at any federal agency any time in the near future, then you better quit your toking as soon as possible, even if it’s legal in your state. [New York Times]
* Here’s some sad news for women who are interested in taking home their apparently delicious and nutritious placentas to feast upon after their children are born in hospitals: it’s only completely legal in three states — Hawaii, Oregon, and Texas. [The Stir]
As more data gets accumulated, the legal community needs to look at more creative ways to sort and organize it so that it can actually be used, as legal technology columnist Jeff Bennion explains.