* “While some argue that going to law school is still a safe bet, little evidence exists to support this position.” This law professor thinks law schools are in a “death spiral,” and that a “top” school may soon be in danger of closing. Uh oh! Which one could it possibly be? [Washington Post]
* “Rascal was the perfect law student because he never missed a class. If Rascal was asked a question he never said ‘pass.'” In 1937, Samford’s Cumberland School of Law graduated its first and only dog. In 2015, dogs bark and howl at Samford because of its new U.S. News rank. [Alabama.com]
* “You do not need to have a law degree to understand how troubling this is.” Politicians are pissed at Hillary Clinton over the email scandal she got herself into at the State Department, but it turns out she technically obeyed the law. [National Law Journal]
* Why do law firms fail? Dean Frank Wu of UC Hastings Law thinks that it’s because “[s]mart people overestimate the importance of being a smart person” — that is, your firm can still flop even if its lawyers are the best lawyers in the world. [Huffington Post]
* According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after two months of soul-sucking declines in the market, the legal sector gained 3,100 jobs in February. Wow, we only need 40,000 more jobs until all of last year’s class is employed. [Am Law Daily]
* Meet Hewie, a cuddly puppy adopted by a law firm to act as its social media avatar. Wachtell was considering the same thing, but Ragnok, Destroyer of Souls, wasn’t up for adoption. [Legal Cheek] * After throwing a hissy-fit over nuts, Korean Air Lines’ Heather Cho is sentenced to one year. Luckily for her […]
Biglaw bonuses this year were insane. In an industry that usually plays “follow the leader” when it comes to associate bonuses, this year felt more like a poker tournament.For a full recap of the 2014 bonus season, fill out this brief form and receive ATL’s Biglaw Bonus Poker infographic.
* As we’ve addressed, the grand jury declined to indict the officer in the police-cause homicide — per the medical examiner — of Eric Garner. [New York Times]
* This is a good time to remember Eric Garner was killed for the horrible crime of selling loosies, a product that developed a black market in NYC in response to rising cigarette taxes. Evading cigarette taxes should be a crime. But, like, a “here’s your $50 ticket” crime, not the death penalty. [Huffington Post]
* An anonymous Georgetown law student has filed suit against the school and one of its instructors, Rabbi Barry Freundel, for “luring her to the bath as part of her studies at the school.” And who didn’t have that lesson in Civ Pro? [Washington Post]
* Another in the continuing series looking back on a decade of Chief Justice Roberts. This time looking back at the slow and steady drive to curtail women’s rights. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* The Bar Association of San Francisco is hosting an event next Tuesday featuring Chief Judge Alex Kozinski entitled: The Wizard of Koz. Um, may not be the best time to use to “Cos” sound in a title. But that aside, it promises to be an interesting event if you’re in the area. [San Francisco Bar]
* Brian Finch of Pillsbury Winthrop talks cyberattacks and admits what everyone else wants to deny: law firms are a weak link in cybersecurity. [Bloomberg TV]
* We are coming to Chicago, and we’d love to see you at our event on Thursday night — RSVP here. [Above the Law]
* Wait, FIFA may be dishonest? Kirkland partner Michael Garcia announces plans to appeal after FIFA releases ethics report on the Russia and Qatar World Cup bidding process that contains “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions.” And he should know since he worked on the investigation. [Am Law Daily]
* Behold the all-purpose citation! [Lowering the Bar]
* Regarding yesterday’s crazy “woman sues the owner of the dog that her dogs killed,” an astute reader notes that a year ago, the Texas Supreme Court limited damages in pet deaths to “animal’s market worth.” So in the interest of reining in damages, the courts gave the victim less incentive to sue than the owner of the perpetrators. Sounds like a great system there. [Dallas Morning News]
* The holidays are around the corner. Get that special lawyer some prints of courthouses around the country to spruce up their office. [Courthouses of America]
* Wow. California school district argues that 14-year-old girl could legally consent to sex with her teacher because, I mean, come on, we all knew she was a slut. This happened. In 2014. [Slate]
* Advice that should go double for lawyers: sometimes you really just need to drop acid to clear your head. [What About Clients?]
* Professors who refuse to retire are the worst. [TaxProf Blog]
This takes some gall. And some stupidity.
Come for the oral argument coverage, stay for the point where Justice Alito tries to hump Justice Kagan….
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* Say what you will about Justice Scalia, but the man is hilarious — more funny than his four liberal colleagues combined, according to a statistical analysis of oral argument recordings. [New York Times]
* The government shutdown is slowing down the judicial confirmation process, already famous for its speed and efficiency. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
* More about news for Steven Donziger in his long-running battle with Chevron. Maybe it’s time to surrender, Steve? I hear Ecuador is a great place to retire. [New York Law Journal]
* Law firm merger mania continues, as Carlton Fields combines with Jorden Burt. [Carlton Fields (press release)]
* Herbert Smith Freehills says “you’re hired” to Scott Balber, the lawyer for Donald Trump who got mocked by Bill Maher on national television. [The Lawyer]
* You might see your dog as harmless and cuddly, but the law might see your dog as a weapon (and rightfully so, in my opinion). [New York Times via ABA Journal]
* Congratulations to all the winners of the FT’s Innovative Lawyers awards. [Financial Times]
* And congratulations to Heidi Wendel and Deirdre McEvoy, high-ranking government lawyers headed to Jones Day and Patterson Belknap, respectively. [New York Law Journal]
* Today the Supreme Court will hear argument in McCutcheon v. FEC, a major campaign finance case that some are calling “the next Citizens United.” Check out an interview with one of the lawyers behind it, after the jump. [UCTV]
Marty Lasden of California Lawyer magazine interviewed the severely conservative James Bopp Jr. for the “Legally Speaking” series (in which I previously participated). It appears this interview with Bopp took place before Bopp got bumped from the podium in favor of Erin Murphy, a young superstar of the Supreme Court bar.
* A woman and her husband are charged with making dog porn, which is… well, it’s filming dogs having their way with the woman. So if you’re in North Carolina and get called for jury duty, that might be in your future. [Huffington Post Weird]
* Instead of a gun fight over getting cut off in traffic or someone dissing a sports team, this Russian guy opened fire with rubber bullets over an argument about Immanuel Kant. Much more cultured over there. [Critical-Theory]
* Gypsy family tries to pay bail with gold and the state judge cried foul, probably because he feared he was being… ugh. What followed was a thorough investigation of Romany culture. [New York Times]
* Judges in Chicago have to comply with a small sampling of the demeaning security procedures everyone else has had to deal with for the last 12 years and they deal with it graciously throw an absolute bitchfit. I mean, their complaints are sound, but still… [Chicago Sun-Times]
* Man held by authorities for peacefully protesting a photo enforced traffic light. Some things, like a guaranteed stream of city income, are too important to let free speech get in the way. [Autoblog]
* A judge has ordered a new trial for the cops convicted of the Danziger Bridge slayings in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Among the reasons, the prosecutors were writing disparaging comments about the defendants on online comments sections. As if anyone takes internet commenters seriously. [The Times-Picayune]
* Only a few more hours to register for this event featuring Kathy Ruemmler, counsel to President Obama, talking about women in law, leadership, and government. [Ms. JD]
What is your law school doing to help you with stress relief during finals?
* Thoughts go out to all those in Boston. [CNN]
* I hope you’ve all got your taxes finished. Here’s a fun fact: most tax cheats live in the South and the West. The two areas of the country filled with people who think taxes are evil cheat more? Go figure. [NBC News]
* Remember, it’s not polite to say “thank you.” [Las Vegas Law Blog]
* And now the rare, “self-benchslap.” [Associated Press]
* A detailed look at how the Federalist Society became so powerful in American law schools. Unfortunately, it neglects the “they tend to order better pizzas for their events” gambit. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* Remember the new, depressing, public domain Happy Birthday song? The sponsor of that contest, WFMU, is at it again with a new contest to create modern, entertaining covers of public domain ditties. Despite my ragging on the birthday song, this is a pretty cool idea. [Free Music Archive]
* Are you a young lawyer complaining about your lot in life? You’re at this site, so statistically you are. Well, quit your bitchin’! [Associate’s Mind]
* The Texas Supreme Court does not value emotional attachments to dogs. This is surprising because I can think of at least 10 country songs on this very point. [Law and More]
* Mocking law school couples with a GIF from Veep? Get out of my head, UChiLawGo! [UChiLawGo]
* Boob-induced failure. [Legal Juice]
* If you’ve been waiting for the definitive, Kashmir Hill, what in the hell is Catfishing article, here you go. [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]
* Let me just say that societies that fully utilize the talents of women have an inherent advantage over the ones that don’t. With one rules change, we now have twice as many potential combat soldiers. Glory. [Daily Beast]
* A “Good Samaritan” gun owner defended a little boy from pit bulls by shooting at the dogs who were mauling the little boy. Look, as a dad, can I just say that if you see some pit bulls attacking my son, please help… by running at the pit bulls and saying, “Git, git away from that boy,” not by shooting a freaking hand cannon towards my child! [Cato @ Liberty / Cato Institute]
* Okay, who has standing to sue for a violation of the 27th Amendment? Who? I want this to happen. Come on, constitutional scholars. Make it happen. Let’s see who really cares about “all” the amendments, not just the ones that allow people to shoot each other. [The Note / ABC News]
* I mean we’re suing over sandwiches, aren’t we? [Legal Blog Watch]
* Slow your roll, NAACP. I’m pretty sure that the 14th Amendment doesn’t protect the rights of black people to become diabetic with oversized sugary drinks. [Gawker]