Quoting a classic movie stoner against the actor that that played him.
* Based on reading the oral-argument tea leaves, it sounds like the Supreme Court is about to school the teachers’ unions (and public-sector unions more generally). [How Appealing]
* Ring in the new year by making the register ring: a slew of Biglaw firms have secured (presumably lucrative) engagements working on the proposed $32 billion merger between drug makers Shire Plc and Baxalta Inc. [American Lawyer]
* By a vote of 82-6, and after a wait of more than 400 days, the Senate just confirmed Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo to the Third Circuit, making him the first Hispanic federal judge from Pennsylvania to sit on that court. [Associated Press]
* Good news for fantasy-sports fans: it’s not (yet) “game over” for DraftKings and FanDuel, thanks to a stay issued by a New York appellate court. [Bloomberg News]
* And bad news for student-loan-saddled law grads (like our own Shannon Achimalbe) who were hoping that SCOTUS might make it easier to discharge such debts through bankruptcy. [Wall Street Journal via ABA Journal]
* Does Sean Penn face legal risk for his interview of El Chapo, the infamous Mexican drug lord? [ABA Journal]
* A former federal prosecutor just secured a six-figure settlement and reinstatement from the Justice Department. [National Law Journal]
* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara — who came so, so close to winning Lawyer of the Year honors — announced that Governor Mario Cuomo is off the legal hook for his controversial shutdown of the Moreland Commission, a panel aimed at investigating public corruption. [Law360]
* Avvo is starting to roll out a service featuring fixed-fee, limited-scope legal services through a network of attorneys (and Bob Ambrogi has the scoop). [Law Sites]
* Professor Peter J. Henning explores the implications of the end of the government case against hedge fund magnate Steve Cohen. [DealBook / New York Times]
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* British trainee lawyer arrested for Christmas Eve murder of a young teacher. [Legal Cheek]
* Judge John Gleeson is stepping down and returning to private practice. [New York Daily News]
* 31 law professors think this case about the right of publicity and video games should be heard by the Supreme Court. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Are Harvard Law professors unfairly going after a former student and alleged sexual assault survivor? [Huffington Post]
* Even people in liberal states should care about the erosion of reproductive freedom rights in Red States: NYC, joined by a coalition of other cities, has filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down Texas’s restrictive abortion law. [Jezebel]
* Looks like legal work won’t be outsourced to the robots any time soon. [New York Times]
* If you are on the criminal defense side of things, you’d always better be ready for a battle. [Katz on Justice]
* It’s the Miss Universe pageant lawsuit you’ve all been waiting for: attorneys at a Colombian law firm say they will be filing suit due to Miss Colombia’s crowning and de-crowning, noting “the crown is an acquired right that cannot be taken away from us.” [WGNO]
* The Federal Circuit handed down a major ruling yesterday, saying that the government can no longer bar the registration of offensive trademarks due to restrictions on free speech. This will likely be appealed to SCOTUS, but the Redskins must be pretty pumped. [Reuters]
* In an effort to avoid another Kim Davis fiasco (and to protect clerks’ religious beliefs), Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has signed an executive order directing that his state prepare new marriage licenses without the names of county clerks. [Associated Press]
* Lil Wayne may be a “motherf**kin’ cash money millionaire,” but he reportedly can’t spare the cash to pay his attorneys’ fees. This marks the second time in recent months that he’s been sued for allegedly failing to pay his lawyers what they’re owed. [SPIN]
* Lakeisha Holloway, the woman accused of using her car to mow down and kill a pedestrian and injure many others on the Las Vegas Strip, has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. [NBC News]
* New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is instating mass pardons for youthful offenders. [New York Times]
* The founding fathers were better about defending the rights of Muslims than (some) modern Republicans. [Washington Post]
* Preet Bharara’s latest target — the evils of auto-subscribing. [Law and More]
* Ah, the Christmas season. That time of the year when customer service is paradoxically at its best and worst. [That’s My Argument!]
Will the Supreme Court be capable of separating art from rap lyrics, or do they love opera too much?
If you freaked out over a viral video showing students eager to abolish the First Amendment, you’re probably a bigger threat to American democracy than those kids.
* Chicago Law Prof. Eric Posner proposes limiting the First Amendment — no, not over campaign finance reform, but because of ISIS. Ummm, okay? [Slate]
* What will happen in the legal profession in 2016? Here are 41 guesses. [Business of Law Blog]
* Overcoming the anxiety of starting at a new firm. [Attorney at Work]
* Did the 11th Circuit screw up this rule limiting doctors’ ability to speak with their patients about guns? [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
Will this law face the same fate as one in a neighboring state?
he litigation discovery process has never been as costly, complex and critical as it is today. With the experience of having reviewed nearly 100 million documents since 2014, Thomson Reuters and its Legal Managed Services team have identified the seven pitfalls most frequently experienced with current ediscovery solutions and what legal professionals should look out for when considering their ediscovery needs.
Somewhere some graduate thesis on The Character And Motivations Of Gollum Née Sméagol is about to become actually useful.
* Sometimes lawyers really can do good work. Let’s try and remember that this Thanksgiving. [Guile is Good]
* More people against marriage equality are blatantly disregarding the law. [Slate]
* Honestly, does this sh*t even surprise you anymore? Ben Carson doesn’t know much about who actually wrote the Constitution. [Talking Points Memo]
* Score 1 for the First Amendment and the good folks at Cartoon Network. [Gawker]
* Does mass surveillance even work to stop terrorism? [Pacific Standard]
* How much should your law firm spend on marketing? [Law Reboot]
Student free speech case inches closer to the Supreme Court.
This Term the Supreme Court could issue one of its most important rulings to date on the legal status of occupational speech — speech performed in the context of one’s occupation or profession.
* Eric Schneiderman sure is keeping busy. Now he’s investigating a troubled non-profit. [New York Daily News]
* Legal scholar Cass Sunstein is writing a book about Star Wars. What big questions should he tackle? [New York Magazine]
* Exploring the potential First Amendment implications for computers. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Thank goodness she didn’t! Justice Sotomayor talks about how she nearly pulled out of the confirmation process. [Daily Progress]
* Law firms? Slow to change? Go on… [Geek Law Blog]
* Speaking of law firms and change, here’s some advice on updating your website. [Law Reboot]
“Special snowflakes” are not born; they are made.
* Hey there 3Ls — need a handy excuse for why you didn’t do the assigned reading? Here’s some help. [Law Prof Blawg]
* One law review’s attempt to address diversity among its ranks. [Yale Law Journal]
* One Missouri Law School professor supports the protesting students, but with caveats. [Truth on the Market]
* Most lawyers DO have fulfilling careers — well, as long as you live in Texas. Hardly seems worth it. [TaxProf Blog]
* On the eve of yet another GOP
shitshowprimary debate, a question for the ages: Is Hillary Clinton to the right, politically, of Richard Nixon? [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* From an orphaned child refugee to a diplomat, an inspiring story. [Quartz]