• Angry

    Crime, Drugs

    Judge Calls Defendant ‘Almost Worthless,’ Says He Should Maybe Kill Himself

    This judge’s tough-talking ways seem ripe for daytime television programming.

    17 Comments / / Aug 4, 2015 at 10:52 AM
  • Mandatory minimums


    John Oliver Explains Everything Wrong With Mandatory Minimums

    Explaining everything wrong with mandatory minimums in 15 minutes.

    0 Comments / / Jul 27, 2015 at 3:59 PM
  • Themis statue and handcuffs

    Crime, Drugs, Sentencing Law

    Criminally Yours: Obama’s Pardons Are A Band-Aid On The Problem, But At Least A Start

    Obama’s week of initiatives with regard to drug sentencing is a great start, much awaited and much needed, but it’s a drop in the bucket.

    6 Comments / / Jul 20, 2015 at 11:58 AM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.14.15

    * With sagging enrollment and disappointing job statistics, offering students some tuition reimbursement if they’re still unemployed nine months after graduation is a great way to put asses in seats. We’ll have more to say about this news later today. [New York Times]

    * Testimony in the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial got a little more interesting when jurors learned that the plan to cook the firm’s books to the tune of more than $50 million was hatched after a pricey steak dinner at Del Frisco’s. Don’t all evil Biglaw plans come together after an expensive steak dinner? [DealBook / New York Times]

    * These people just won the criminal justice reform lottery: In case you missed it, President Barack Obama commuted the sentenced of 46 nonviolent drug offenders in order to shine a light on punishments that didn’t fit the crimes committed. [POLITICO]

    * Pay close attention to this information, gunners, because it probably applies to you. Per a new study conducted by two Colorado Law professors, LSAT scores are an “overvalued predictor” of future law school grades and résumé builders don’t matter. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Osvaldo Miranda Diaz, the lawyer who called Cuba’s criminal justice system “disgusting” during a presentation he gave to visiting U.S. lawyers, secured a full ride for Duke Law’s LLM program thanks to one of his audience members. Congrats! [Daily Business Review]

    13 Comments / / Jul 14, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Hilary Bricken

    Drugs, Marijuana

    Dazed And Abused: The Ups And Downs Of Marijuana Research

    The federal government monopolizes nearly all meaningful marijuana research — and that’s a problem, according to cannabis-law columnist Hilary Bricken.

    / Jul 13, 2015 at 4:20 PM
  • Cocaine addiction

    Crime, Legal Ethics

    Lawyer Arrested With A Whole Lot Of Cocaine Hidden In A Very Uncomfortable Place

    This lawyer reportedly tried to go above and beyond for his imprisoned client.

    18 Comments / / Jul 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM
  • Hilary Bricken

    Marijuana, Patents

    The Possibility Of Marijuana Plant Patents

    Patents may soon be joining state-law trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, as an effective way to protect cannabis intellectual property.

    / Jul 6, 2015 at 4:20 PM
  • Justice Clarence Thomas


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.24.15

    * Justice Thomas parted with his conservative brethren on the Confederate flag case, but was it a product of his experience as an African-American? Don’t bet on it. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * A jury awarded $500,000 to a patient after doctors mocked him while anesthetized. For example, the anesthesiologist said, “I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” Maybe it’s me, but if he sued over that, it sounds like he absolutely deserved that punch in the face. [MedCity News]

    * This title says it all, “I Am An Adjunct Law Professor Who Teaches Five Classes. I Earn Less Than A Pet-Sitter.” [TaxProf Blog]

    * Have you ever wondered how blind people perceive and experience race? Really interesting findings from Professor Osagie K. Obasogie of UC Hastings Law. [Buzzfeed]

    * This may come as a shock, but a report finds that prosecutors cared more about securing convictions than protecting the public. [The Times-Picayune]

    * When we say the immigration system is broken, this is what we mean: 15-year resident with a Columbia Law degree about to be deported. [Vox]

    * In honor of the anniversary of Jaws last week, an examination of Quint’s legal duties to Brody and Hooper. When you consider his potential liability, perhaps he was better off getting eaten. [The Legal Geeks]

    * Federal government paying to scour sewage in Washington state to learn about pot usage post legalization. Note to federal government: they’re the dirty hippies, not you. [Seattle Times]

    34 Comments / / Jun 24, 2015 at 5:30 PM
  • male lawyer megaphone


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.18.15

    * It was First Amendment Day at SCOTUS this morning! Here’s a recap. [PrawfsBlawg]

    * Exclusive report on the new CSOL president’s meeting with students. He explained how Infilaw had a terrible track record and offered nothing to the school. Just kidding! But he did suggest introducing “a Boy Scout-inspired ‘merit badge system’” to the school. So there’s that. [SC Lawyers Weekly]

    * Facebook made this legislator vote the wrong way on a bill. #banBoomers. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Texas became the first state to ban fracking bans. Looks like they understand hierarchical government in some situations. [Breaking Energy]

    * Allegations of political influence peddling in Orange County pot industry. I didn’t make it to the big ATL Business of Bud conference the other day, but this sounds scandalous. On the other hand, “drug trade influence peddling” used to involve fewer gavels and more Glocks, so this is a positive development. [OC Weekly]

    * Do you have strong feelings about FRCP 56(d)? You should. An excellent practice tip. [What About Clients?]

    * Tonight is the Family Violence Appellate Project’s annual Battle of the Lawyer Bands. If you want to see bands from Google, O’Melveny, Latham, Jones Day, Lieff Cabraser, and Kirkland & Ellis — and help a good cause — then you’d best be in San Francisco and head over to 1015 Folsom. Buy tickets at the link. [Family Violence Appellate Project]

    * You know who aren’t “Beliebers”? The Fourth Circuit. They swatted down Bieber and musical enabler Usher defending themselves against another artist’s copyright claim. Read the full opinion on the next page. [Fourth Circuit]

    9 Comments / / Jun 18, 2015 at 5:02 PM
  • Juan Monteverde and Alexandra Marchuk


    Non-Sequiturs: 06.04.15

    * New developments in everyone’s favorite soap opera of a case: Faruqi & Faruqi LLP is cross-appealing the $140,000 judgment in favor of former associate Alexandra Marchuk. [Law360]

    * Whoa. There’s one SEC Commissioner actually doing her job! So retro. Stay strong, Commissioner Stein. [Guile Is Good]

    * Congress is working on a bill to prevent companies from foisting non-compete clauses on employees making less than $31,200/year. But, but, then someone else might learn the important trade secret of the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices! [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * Senior and junior lawyers speak a different language. This article comes to us from the U.K., but the sentiment is universal, even if the phrase “bugger off” isn’t. [Legal Cheek]

    * Prosecutor called Asian Americans “greedy foreigners.” That goes over about as well as you’d expect. [Angry Asian Man]

    * David spoke with the Legal Talk Network about “the importance of friendship and family and the psyche of young lawyers who often compromise personal relationships for career ambitions.” If you guessed they were discussing Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), then you’re right. [Legal Talk Network]

    * Where are LL.M.s valuable? [LLM-Guide]

    * Lawyer sues EFF for calling his patent stupid. We here at Above the Law would like to reiterate that this patent is brilliant and probably the most Earth-shattering invention since the light bulb. [Corporate Counsel]

    * Maybe legalizing drugs doesn’t solve all the violence. [Seattle Times]

    3 Comments / / Jun 4, 2015 at 5:11 PM
  • No one likes a lazy welfare zombie.

    Money, Technology

    alt.legal: Getting High, Battling Trolls, And Killing Zombies — Legally

    Is “legal innovation” an oxymoron? Absolutely not, as some new crowdfunding projects demonstrate.

    7 Comments / / Jun 3, 2015 at 2:58 PM
  • Hilary Bricken

    Marijuana, Tobacco / Smoking

    Big Tobacco Becoming Big Marijuana? Just Talk For Now

    Marijuana may one day be a natural step for Big Tobacco, but that day is a long way off and Big Tobacco’s inevitable domination is anything but certain.

    / Jun 1, 2015 at 4:20 PM
  • Criminal That I Am

    Books, Crime, Legal Ethics

    When A Lawyer Becomes A Criminal

    A lawyer falls in love with her famous client and slips him drugs in prison. But that’s not the end of her story.

    27 Comments / / May 12, 2015 at 5:22 PM
  • Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton


    Non-Sequiturs: 05.06.15

    * Hillary Clinton’s email practices while Secretary of State “not acceptable.” She promises not to do it while she’s in the White House. [Politico]

    * What does a test prep professional have to say about New York adopting the Uniform Bar Exam? [Kaplan Bar Prep]

    * Going to school in the Midwest? Here’s a ranking of the 42 Midwest law schools based on employment after graduation. [ChicagoInno]

    * The defendant who assaulted his lawyer — while on trial for assaulting his previous lawyer — is relieved after the court declared a mistrial. [ABA Journal]

    * Whether you dress up or dress down, remember to talk to people like people if you want to be a good lawyer. [Katz Justice]

    * Which occupation suffers from the most drug use/abuse? It’s not lawyers!!!! [Treatment4Addiction]

    * ATL regulars Jeena Cho and Keith Lee discuss the aftermath of her recent article in this publication and along with it “professionalism in law, constructive vs. destructive criticism, sexism and racism in law.” [The Anxious Lawyer / Resilient Lawyer Podcast]

    * We’ve talked about the David Messerschmitt case and the phenomenon of double lives. Fundamentally all of us maintain one on at least some level. [Law and More]

    65 Comments / / May 6, 2015 at 5:02 PM
  • Computer science


    Non-Sequiturs: 04.16.15

    * Authorities have cleared the robot built specifically to buy illegal stuff off the dark web. In related news, officer, all that panda meat was bought by my robot… for an art project. [Hopes and Fears]

    * The Biglaw pup who posted an anti-West, pro-Islamist rant on YouTube continues to be a headache for Clifford Chance. [Legal Cheek]

    * Laurence Tribe’s arguments are getting closer and closer to Homer Simpson’s. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * In case you weren’t counting, there’ve been 95 Senate roll call votes while Loretta Lynch has been waiting… [People For The American Way]

    * Lawyer suspended for handing out ecstasy to drug women into sex. I don’t disagree with the outcome, but there’s one pretty troubling aspect of the opinion: “The OLR noted… that his victim was much younger.” She was 22! At a certain point can we just admit women are adults? Focus on the drugging predatory behavior instead of constructing her as an addled-brained ingenue. [Legal Profession Blog]

    * Daredevil’s courtroom antics evaluated by New York Judge Matthew Sciarrino. [The Legal Geeks]

    * If you’re interested in the legal landscape of marijuana, here’s a cool infographic summing up where we are and how we got here. [Diego Criminal Defense]

    * If you’re interested in February bar exam results from across the country, Bar Exam Stats is keeping a running tally complete with a nice map. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * Former Facebook GC Ted Ullyot has joined VC firm Andreessen Horowitz to lead a new policy and regulatory affairs group in the firm. [Dealbreaker; TechCrunch]

    5 Comments / / Apr 16, 2015 at 5:06 PM
  • qgsrgyyp3wnqnaipmqtf

    Drugs, Supreme Court

    LSD and a Top-Secret Army Experiment’s Trip to the Supreme Court

    Justice Scalia and Justice Brennan square off… again.

    1 Comment / / Apr 16, 2015 at 4:28 PM
  • Nelly

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.13.15

    * It’s gettin’ hot in herre, so take off all your clothes. Nelly’s gettin’ so hot, he wanna take his clothes off — for his jailhouse strip search? The rapper was arrested in Tennessee this weekend for felony and simple possession of a potpourri of drugs on his tour bus. [CNN]

    * “It usually takes much longer for a position to become so disreputable that no respectable lawyer will touch it.” If you haven’t noticed, Biglaw firms don’t want to touch the SCOTUS gay marriage arguments with a 10-foot pole. [New York Times]

    * “I think we’re going to see a 10,000-lawyer law firm within five years.” In case it’s not entirely obvious by now, Dentons is trying to become the largest firm in the universe, with “no logical end” in sight to its lawyer hoarding ways. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * “[T]his one has me bumfuzzled.” Like other legal experts, this law prof isn’t sure how to tackle Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s lawsuit to preserve her power, but he does win the award for best usage of “bumfuzzled.” [Lacrosse Tribune]

    * Yikes! Pennsylvania State Attorney General Kathleen Kane recently found herself embroiled in scandal after two of her offices were searched and she was ordered to explain to a three-judge panel her reasoning for firing one of her prosecutors. [Morning Call]

    29 Comments / / Apr 13, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Drone camera Small


    Non-Sequiturs: 04.02.15

    * We’ve seen the future and it’s drones shoving commercialism down your throats 24/7. Get ready America! [DigiDay]

    * Federal judge mistaken for a maid because she’s black and everything is awful all the time. [South Florida Lawyers]

    * While everyone focuses on the Supreme Court, the fight for marriage equality is still raging in the state courts. [Huffington Post]

    * Yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of Attorney General Robert H. Jackson’s “The Federal Prosecutor” speech. Among many quotable admonitions against prosecutorial abuse: “While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst.” Perhaps he shouldn’t have given this speech on April Fools’ Day. [John Q. Barrett]

    * The New York Court of Appeals has upheld St. John’s Law’s decision to rescind the admission of a student who admitted that he’d pleaded guilty to possession because he’d been arrested for intent to distribute. But only after taking three semesters worth of his money of course. [Legal Profession Blog]

    * A law professor invites colleagues to break the mold of legal scholarship to build a “more authentic ethos.” In entirely related news, congratulations on tenure. [TaxProf Blog]

    9 Comments / / Apr 2, 2015 at 6:05 PM