* Judge William Pauley ruled that the NSA’s warrantless spying program is legal, noting that — if it had existed — the government could have predicted the 9/11 attacks. Good point, because intelligence agencies were in no position to figure out that there was an attack brewing without a Big Brother initiative. Oh… wait. [Huffington Post]
* On a related note, a cartoon from 1994 that predicted the NSA’s controversial programs. It’s really kind of scary…. [Slate]
* Britain’s clowns are furious that people are dressing up as clowns and trying to scare people. For their sake, let’s make sure they never hear about Pennywise. [Lowering the Bar]
* Professor Dave Hoffman evaluates the case for flat-rate tuition. [Concurring Opinions]
* The Wolf of Wall Street is about a criminal ripping off poor people. Bankers cheered at a recent showing. There is a lesson to be had there about what bankers would do if given an opportunity. [Business Insider]
* “Knockout,” a game where young boys cold-cock unsuspecting victims, is a serious issue. Nah, just kidding, it’s a crypto-racist overreaction. But at least one kid was stupid enough to try it and then tell a cop about it. Seriously. [Gawker]
Barack Obama, Constitutional Law, Department of Justice, Election Law, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Morning Docket, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Shira Scheindlin, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court
* People have “greatly underestimated how powerful a jurist Justice Sotomayor would be,” and now that one of her concurrences flies directly in the face of Obama’s NSA tactics, we’ll get to see how powerful she really is. [MSNBC]
* Here’s a fun end-of-the-year roundup: President Obama’s Top 10 Constitutional Violations of 2013. Fifty internet points shall be awarded to the first person who correctly guesses how many are related to Obamacare without looking. [Forbes]
* Following Judge Shira Scheindlin’s stop-and-frisk spanking, the Southern District of New York changed its rules on case assignments in order to increase transparency. Related-case judge-shopping just got a whole lot harder. [New York Times]
* Wiley Rein is defending its fee request in the Voting Rights Act case, and says the Department of Justice is “[tying] itself in knots” trying to find a way to get out of paying the piper. Harsh. [Blog of Legal Times]
* These are four ways you can overcome a low GPA when applying to law school, but really, the best way to overcome a low GPA is to not apply at all. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
* “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA.” Now that he’s unleashed all of America’s deep dark secrets, Edward Snowden just wants to Google like a regular guy. [Washington Post]
We at Kinney are running the search for a fantastic in-house opening in Singapore, at the leading and largest tech company in Southeast Asia. The spot will be filled by a US associate with at least three years experience in M&A, from a top Wall Street or equivalent US firm. Compensation will be competitive with what the new hire is earning at their top tier law firm.
Alston & Bird, Biglaw, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Celebrities, Crime, D.C. Circuit, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Federal Judges, Guns / Firearms, Heller Ehrman, Howrey LLP, Money, Morning Docket, Murder, New Jersey, Real Estate, Silicon Valley, Sports, Violence
* Judge Richard Leon’s decision in the NSA surveillance case is ripe for review by the D.C. Circuit, and given the court’s new make-up, we could see a very interesting result. Oh, to be an NSA agent listening in on those calls. [National Law Journal]
* With seven business days left until 2014, law firms all around the country are still desperately trying to get paid. Lawyers are working hard for the money — 83.5 cents to the dollar — so you better treat them right. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* Who you gonna call? Your local bankruptcy attorney. Alston & Bird, currently housed in Heller’s old digs in Silicon Valley, will head to a new office whose former occupants include Dewey, and Howrey, and Brobeck, oh my! [Am Law Daily]
* Four were arrested in the tragic murder of attorney Dustin Friedland, and each is being held on $2 million bond. One of the alleged assailants has a history of putting guns to other people’s heads. [NJ Star-Ledger]
* “I think it would be wise for the NCAA to settle this now.” Thanks to the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, the world of college sports will be forever changed, so all those video games you’ve got are now antiques. [CNBC]
* Tom Cruise settled his defamation lawsuit against a tabloid publisher over claims that he’d abandoned his daughter during the pendency of his divorce proceedings. Xenu is pleased by this announcement. [CNN]
Which law schools and lower-court judges send the most people into prestigious Bristow Fellowships at the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office?
* “She changed how the world looked at us: from scrappy lawyers to a force to be reckoned with.” As the very first female name partner of an Am Law 100 firm, the Biglaw world is Kathleen Sullivan’s oyster. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan thanks you kindly. [American Lawyer]
* “You hate to lose a great lawyer, but if you’re going to this is the way to do it.” Akin Gump might have recently lost partner Patricia Ann Millett to the D.C. Circuit, but her replacement, Pratik Shah, is working hard to fill her impressive shoes peep-toes. [National Law Journal]
* Alan Dershowitz will be stepping down from his position at Harvard Law School at the end of the week. Perhaps he’ll be able to find some time to join O.J. Simpson in the hunt for the real killers. [Boston Globe]
* Stephen McDaniel, the law grad accused of dismembering classmate Lauren Giddings, is back in the news. His alleged condom-stealing burglary capers are inadmissible at his murder trial. [Macon Telegraph]
* As if TLC’s critically acclaimed “Sister Wives” couldn’t get any better, a judge declared parts of Utah’s polygamy statute unconstitutional. Just imagine the ratings gold because of this ruling. [Salt Lake Tribune]
* It appears crack isn’t so wack after all, because Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor has a bevy of supporters who have stepped up to pay all of his legal bills. Waste your bonus money by donating here. [CBC News]
Federal judge goes on a tirade over how much he hates Burning Man.
Airplanes / Aviation, Antitrust, Attorney Misconduct, Canada, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Federal Judges, Guns / Firearms, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Politics, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court, U.S. Attorneys Offices
* What led the Senate Democrats to go nuclear? [New York Times]
* Should Justice Lori Douglas, she of the infamous porn pictures, step down from the bench? Well, she has 324,100 reasons to stay. [Toronto Star]
* And what about Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg — should they leave while the Democrats still control the White House and the Senate? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* A legal challenge to gun control stumbles — on standing grounds. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Moral of the story: if you want to threaten opposing counsel, don’t do it over voicemail — unless you want to get censured. [ABA Journal]
* Dewey want more details about the lucrative contracts given to Stephen DiCarmine and Joel Sanders? Most definitely! [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* An interesting peek inside the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The S.D.N.Y.’s boss is a big fan of the Boss. [New York Times]
* Now that the merger between US Airways and American Airlines has been approved, US Airways CEO Doug Parker offers a behind-the-scenes look at his company’s response to the government’s antitrust lawsuit. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
Biglaw, Canada, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Guns / Firearms, Judicial Nominations, Law Schools, Minority Issues, Morning Docket, Politics, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Utah, White People
Ed. note: We’ll return to our normal publication schedule on Monday, December 2. We hope to see you at our holiday happy hour on Thursday, December 5 — for details and to RSVP (to this free event with an open bar), click here.
* Even in a post-nuclear world, Republicans can still block certain judicial nominees. [New York Times]
* A prominent Toronto lawyer has gone missing — and so, allegedly, has $3 million in client trust funds. [Toronto Star]
* Dewey see legal fees in the future for Stephen DiCarmine and Joel Sanders? Well, a $37 million lawsuit won’t dismiss itself. [Law360 (sub. req.)]
* Congratulations to Matthew Layton, the new managing partner of Clifford Chance. [The Lawyer]
* And congratulations to Ralph Pellecchio and Jim Wernz, who were married by none other than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who even helped them write their vows. [Talking Points Memo]
* Sure, let’s have the whole “is now a good time to go to law school?” debate again. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Especially if you’re a minority, since white people are losing interest in law school. [Am Law Daily]
* Congress can’t even get its act together about real guns, so perhaps it’s no surprise that limits on fake guns are set to expire soon. [New York Times]
* Harry Potter was convicted of obstruction of justice. Just because you’re a wizard doesn’t mean you’re above the law. [Daily Utah Chronicle]
On Thursday, April 23rd, Above the Law will be coming to the great city of Chicago. Local lawyers are cordially invited to join the entire ATL editorial team for a casual gathering from 6 to 8 p.m. at an undisclosed (yet stylish) watering hole in Chicago. Sign up and we’ll keep you in the Loop.
Come on out for some conversation, food, drink, and networking-type shenanigans. Did we mention free drinks? The event is sponsored by our friends at Kinney Recruiting.
Senator Harry Reid finally invokes the so-called “nuclear option” to get President Obama’s nominees on the D.C. Circuit. Here comes the combative spin.
While politicians in Washington fuss over the D.C. Circuit, what is being neglected elsewhere?
* The rocky relationship between McKenna Long & Aldridge and Dentons is being doubted by everyone, and it looks like Dentons may be on the verge of receiving the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech. [Daily Report]
* Stephen DiCarmine, Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former executive director and resident fashionista, just hired a criminal defense attorney. We trust this man — jailhouse stripes must be so hot right now! [Am Law Daily]
* Skadden cares about its people. The firm is trying to prevent a man who allegedly killed one of its legal secretaries, got high, and then ate six waffles from collecting funds from her 401(k). [New York Daily News]
* Just imagine if this article were written in true BuzzFeed listicle style. It’d probably be called something like “3,742 Words on Why Mary Bonauto Is the Most Awesome Marriage Equality Lawyer Ever.” [BuzzFeed]
* “I think it’s fair to say the hiring plan is kaput.” As we previously reported, the Law Clerk Hiring Plan is dead, and the heat is on to figure out a way to lure federal judges back to OSCAR. [National Law Journal]
A federal judge wants to bolster his clerking pool with the aid of some unemployed and desperate lawyer.
Here are some highlights for Chief Judge Kozinski’s remarks at Yale Law School yesterday.