* Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was recently referred to as the “most dangerous man in American politics.” Why’s that, you ask? It’s because he’s “a federal prosecutor who doesn’t give a f*ck.” Damn straight. [BuzzFeed]
* Just when you thought the Alan Dershowitz sex scandal couldn’t get any more intense, the investigative sleuths over at Gawker found flight records that allegedly place the professor as a passenger on a billionaire bad boy’s pedo plane. [Gawker]
* Dewey know which former chairman of a failed firm had to beg to get a refund on his bail money because he couldn’t otherwise afford to pay the expert witnesses for his upcoming criminal trial? Aww. Poor, poor Steven Davis. [New York Law Journal]
* Fried Frank’s chairman says that completely pulling the firm out of Asia was a “difficult but necessary decision.” On the other hand, an ex-partner at the firm says this move had basically been “inevitable” since at least 2009. Hmm. [Am Law Daily]
* If you want advice on how to pick a “cost-efficient” law school, the first thing you should realize is that your scholarships may come back to bite you in the ass. Go on, read the fine print — after all, you want to be a lawyer. [U.S. News & World Report]
* Fried Frank is closing down its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices because they were costing the firm more money than they were bringing in. What’ll happen to the lawyers who work there? Most of them will be huòdé dìyù. [Am Law Daily]
* Not everyone can match the New York market when it comes to Biglaw bonuses. According to disputed rumors, associates in some practices of at least one Chicago law firm didn’t receive any bonus at all. Which firm? [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* We often complain that women are getting the short end of the stick in Biglaw, but today we’ve got a nice little caveat. At some large law firms in at least one city, more women are making partner than their male counterparts. [National Law Journal]
* UVA hired Pepper Hamilton to consult on its inept handling of sexual assault cases while O’Melveny & Myers deals with its Rolling Stone gang rape allegations. Collars shall be half-popped until the school gets serious about these issues. [Newsplex]
* Whittier Law, home to one of the worst full-time, long-term employment rates in the country, hopes to give grads a “legal leg-up” with its new solo incubator program — because “[e]ducation and training doesn’t end when they graduate.” [Daily Pilot]
* Wet Seal joined the ranks of teen retailers like Deb and Delia’s when it dumped lots of locations and filed for Chapter 11. New code provisions might’ve sped things along, but like, being a debtor-in-possession is totally uncool. [DealBook / New York Times]
We’ve all heard how dysfunctional entry-level legal recruiting is: Inordinate expense, decisions made on the briefest of subjective impressions with opacity all around, and what do firms reap for all their efforts? Shocking attrition rates among junior associates. It’s time for a conference on what could work better, and this is it.
* Per the Department of Education, Harvard Law sucks at handling sexual assault and harassment complaints. As it turns out, the DoE only found out about the misconduct because a faculty member from New England Law snitched on the Ivy League school. [Boston.com]
* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the penalties for pot possession. One state legislator wants to change that in the new year, and hopes his colleagues will puff, puff, pass his bill in favor of small civil fines instead of jail sentences. [VICE]
* “If the court has been waiting until the country is more comfortable with gay marriage, they’ve waited long enough.” The first SCOTUS conference of 2015 will focus on gay marriage cases. It’d be fabulous if they took one. [Supreme Court Brief]
* Latham and Fried Frank are going to be advising on Shake Shack’s initial public offering. Hungry attorneys working on the IPO will be disappointed to learn that their client doesn’t have any public offerings for consumption on Seamless. [Am Law Daily]
* The bankruptcy trustee for the late, great, defunct firm of Howrey LLP keeps lining up big settlements for its remaining creditors. This time, Wiley Rein will contribute $1 million to the failed firm’s coffers. Howrey like dem apples? [Wall Street Journal]
Bonus reports from several different law firms — mostly good news.
What will the controlling bonus scale be now that Davis Polk has beaten the market?
What’s going on at Fried Frank, which has seen significant lateral losses lately?
* Because it’s been such a long time since the NFL has had a scandal, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is accused of sexual assault in a new suit. The Cowboys claim the suit is nothing but a money grab. No one knows a money grab like a franchise owner milking a new stadium partially financed by taxpayers. [USAToday]
* Dean Frank Wu explains why Hastings will survive the end of law schools. [SF Weekly]
* A pair of IP litigators, James W. Dabney and Stephen S. Rabinowitz, have jumped from Fried Frank to Hughes Hubbard. Will others be following Dabney & Rabinowitz out of Fried Frank? [Hughes Hubbard]
* “Lawyer’s ‘Torture Porn’ Past Pops Up in Pa. Governor’s Race.” OK, let’s see what you’ve got here. [Greedy Associates / FindLaw]
* An interesting breakdown of the legal scholars with the widest network of co-authors. Think of these as the most promiscuous scholars around. Actually, no. Don’t think that. [Ryan Whalen]
* Etsy sides with the USPTO and bans sales of anything branded “Redskins” on its platform. I’m not sure how smart this is since the economic teeth of the USPTO decision was to allow sites like Etsy to sell massive quantities of otherwise trademark-infringing stuff until Washington relented and opted for a new trademark-protectable name. [Etsy]
* Don’t throw peanut butter in my neighborhood (though I don’t understand the blotter… there’s no Bodega at that location). [Legal Juice]
* Lest you think law school is reasonably priced: “New IBR and PSLF provide benefits large enough that high earnings still result in nearly $100,000 in loan forgiveness for typical levels of debt for law school graduates. A lawyer earning at the 50th percentile with that debt level stands to have $147,282 forgiven, which is more than he borrowed…” [New America Education Policy Program]
* Keeping in touch with your inner child to relate to witnesses as humans. [Katz Justice]
* Closing out this football-heavy NS, friend of the blog Mitchell Epner discusses why Roger Goodell won’t (and shouldn’t) survive the fallout of the Ray Rice scandal. Check out the video after the jump… [CNBC]
* Valerie Ford Jacob, leader of Fried Frank since 2003, is stepping down from her post prior to her official 2015 departure date. At least she’s leaving on a high note, with the firm’s highest profits per partner ever. Yay. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Ralph Lerner, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who billed extra car charges to his clients, claims he went into work on weekends to do work for free to make up for it. Aww, how nice of him. [Am Law Daily]
* When we first covered this in January, it was just a rumor, but now it’s officially set in stone. The deed is done: Buchanan Ingersoll is picking up Tampa firm Fowler White Boggs. [Pittsburgh Business Times]
* Many New York law schools moved in the recent U.S. News rankings, but not necessarily in the right direction. Four out of 15 schools moved up; the rest stayed the same or slipped. [New York Law Journal]
* Would you like damages with that? McDonald’s corporate and its franchisees are facing lawsuits filed by employees over their allegedly “stolen wages.” Class actions have been filed in three states. [Bloomberg]
Are you a junior to mid-level corporate/finance associate who has been contemplating a move to (or within) Washington, DC? In response to increased deal activity requiring “NY (or like-kind) trained” corporate associates, the Washington, DC corporate/finance market is experiencing an unusually high demand for your skills. Read more, and check out www.g-s.com.
Every time an associate says, “I don’t believe in higher bonuses,” there’s a would-be Boies-level bonus someplace that falls down dead.
According to the ATL Insider Survey, which practice areas and law firms offer the best (and the worst) hours?
* It’s just business as usual: Amid accusations of liberal court-packing, D.C. Circuit nominee Nina Pillard faced questions on abortion and religion during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. [USA Today]
* Biglaw isn’t as dead as we’ve been told and made to believe. Some of the largest firms are actually doing quite well, says American Lawyer’s editor-in-chief, who’d like her job to retain some meaning for now. [Am Law Daily]
* Fried Frank knew that it’d take a banker to pull the firm from its monetary funk, so it picked up David Greenwald, deputy general counsel of Goldman Sachs, to act as co-chair through 2015. [New York Law Journal]
* With the change in SEC policy, from allowing companies to use neither-admit-nor-deny language, to forcing them to admit guilt in “egregious” cases, lawyers may soon be very busy. [Corporate Counsel]
* Raj Rajaratnam is a firm believer in the “three strikes and you’re out” theory of law. A month after the Second Circuit affirmed his insider trading conviction, he’s asking for a rehearing en banc. [Bloomberg]
4th Circuit, Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, California, Constitutional Law, Crime, Gay Marriage, Health Care / Medicine, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Murder, Music, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, State Attorneys General, Supreme Court, Trials
* You’ve seen Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg give Justice Antonin Scalia the finger in prose, but now you can hear what it would sound like in operatic form as composed by a recent law school graduate. [NPR]
* The Fourth Circuit upheld Obamacare’s employer mandate against Liberty University, calling it a constitutional tax, just like the individual mandate. Now’s a perfect time for a sip of Campari. [WSJ Law Blog]
* The Fried Frank toner bandit was sent to the slammer, but alas, it’s unlikely that the firm will be able to recover any of its losses. Too bad, it could use the cash after its 2012 performance. [Am Law Daily]
* Crisis? What crisis? The dean of UC Davis Law refuses to trim class size, but that doesn’t really matter — the application cycle is handling the situation quite nicely. [Sacramento Business Journal]
* Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane won’t defend the state against a lawsuit seeking to overturn its ban on same-sex marriage. She’s choosing the people over politics. [New York Times]
* With his trial quickly drawing to a close, George Zimmerman is growing increasingly worried about his future. Let’s face it, even if he’s acquitted, living in hiding isn’t a very good look for him. [ABC News]
Which firms had the biggest revenue and the highest profits per partner last year, according to the latest Am Law 100 rankings?
* “Yes, it is true.” Justice Scalia admitted in a speech this week that he was guided to the right by his colleague, Justice Thomas, who’s apparently “a very stubborn man.” [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* It’s about time to say so long to your ticking tax time bomb: in President Obama’s proposed budget for 2014, he eliminates taxes on forgiven loan debt under all IBR plans. [Bucks / New York Times]
* “I am the luckiest man in the world.” Larry Macon, an Akin Gump partner from Texas, had nearly finished the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded, but lived to tell his tale. [Am Law Daily]
* Because sometimes you need to steal $374K worth of copy toner. This ex-Fried Frank staffer pleaded guilty to grand larceny, and is looking at up to 15 years in jail. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
* Judge Victor Marrero isn’t a fan of SEC policy, but when it comes to this civil insider trading case, SAC Capital may get to walk away without admitting or denying anything. [DealBook / New York Times]
* This Yale Law graduate is suing Brooks Brothers over a three-button suit, and wants $2K for the 90 minutes he spent arguing over it in the store. Who is the $1320/hour man? [New York Daily News]