Guns / Firearms
This is the kind of violence the Founders could support.
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* Cops arrest a stormtrooper in Massachusetts. See, J.J. Abrams! This is what happens when you have a black stormtrooper. [Lowering the Bar]
* Litigation finance crosses a new threshold: Gerchen Keller announces that it now has $1.4 billion in assets. [Am Law Daily]
* Deep look at Rob Billot whose career as a corporate lawyer took a wild turn when he decided to take on DuPont for the last 16 years. [New York Times Magazine]
* Are you going to San Diego ComicCon? Are you willing to cosplay to participate in a mock trial? These folks want to talk with you. [The Legal Geeks]
* Americans lost their minds — one way or the other — over President Obama’s tears yesterday, but they’re a well-established part of advocacy to be handled lightly. Or you could just bawl over everything and see if that works. [Law and More]
* Let’s check in at the AALS Conference. Yep, everything seems perfectly normal over there…
That’s the CALI.org booth if you’re visiting the show (photo grabbed off Twitter).
* If you haven’t been watching Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, then you’re missing Dean Strang’s turn on the catwalk. The compassionate defense attorney has turned into an “unlikely sex symbol.” Are you part of the #StrangGang? [The Guardian]
* Sometime later today, President Barack Obama will announce a sweeping package of executive actions related to gun restrictions. Stay tuned, grab your popcorn, and get ready for some hardcore constitutional litigation. [Washington Post]
* Happy New Year! We’re not even a full week into 2016, and the first Biglaw merger has already been announced. Lewis Roca Rothgerber has picked up Christie Parker & Hale, a 40-lawyer Southern California IP boutique. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Hipsters, thou shall be avenged sevenfold: The Justice Department has filed suit against Volkswagen in the wake of the automaker’s massive emissions scandal. The DOJ is seeking billions in damages over VW’s air-pollution violations. [New York Times]
* According to Ethan Couch’s lawyer, it may be weeks or months before the affluenza teen returns to the United States. A judge issued a temporary stay in his case after Couch argued that being deported from Mexico would somehow violate his civil rights. [CNN]
* Robert Wonsch, an Oklahoma process server, was arrested after allegedly coercing his female clients into performing sex acts in exchange for lowering his fees. He’s now facing several criminal counts. Good Lord, talk about ineffective service of process… [Reuters]
* Dale Bumpers, President Clinton’s impeachment defense lawyer, RIP. [New York Times]
This law student was shot twice in the neck and torso after repeatedly banging on the wrong door.
* Everyone was under the impression that Dickstein Shapiro and Bryan Cave would be tying the knot by the year’s end, but instead, it looks like their brief love affair has turned into a bad romance. Oh no! Will Dickstein Shapiro be left at the altar? [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “The idea they own the name ‘blue’ for a manual for legal citations is ridiculous.” A rival citation guide to The Bluebook will be released in 2016, using the name “BabyBlue.” Since a Biglaw IP attorney is involved in the copyright clash, this is already more exciting than techciting. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who was too rich to realize his actions had consequences, was apparently also too rich to realize he shouldn’t hide out in a ritzy vacation locale in Mexico while on the run from police with his mother. Damn you, affluenza! [CNN]
* If you’re looking for a law firm where you can take time off whenever you want and still earn a healthy paycheck, then look no further than Ashton KCJ Lawyers in England. That’s a perk we’re sure attorneys in the U.S. would love their firms to adopt. [Mirror]
* Annie, get your gun: Gun-toting Texans are going to have a very happy new year, because come January 1, 2016, the state’s new open carry law will go into effect. The open carrying of handguns had previously been banned in the state since 1865. [RT]
* Jeffrey Feulner, founder of the Men’s Divorce Law Firm, was charged with domestic violence battery after he allegedly attacked his wife. She filed for divorce three days later — and presumably used a more woman-friendly lawyer as counsel. [Orlando Sentinel]
* “[W]e refuse to be distracted by disgruntled employees or frivolous lawsuits.” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is being accused of firing a handful of prosecutors due to their political associations in a newly filed lawsuit. [Baltimore Sun]
* Texas Wesleyan wants to dismiss a suit filed by its “disavowed” law school grads because it says its obligation “ended with their graduation,” so it doesn’t need to grant them alumni status with Texas A&M Law. Harsh. [Courthouse News Service]
* Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy will soon sign an executive order banning those on the federal no-fly list from purchasing guns in the state. Professor Eugene Volokh thinks that this policy is constitutionally controversial. Do you agree? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Vinson & Elkins is moving its Dallas headquarters to a fancy $200 million building, where it’ll fill up 80,000 sq ft of office space in 2018. How nice for you! Now be nice to your associates and announce your Cravath bonus matches. [Dallas Morning News]
* What’s the best way to get out of paying millions of dollars to lawyers who you hired to perform complex legal work? If you’re hurting for cash, then take a cue from this New Jersey firm and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to ditch your drama. [Bergen Record]
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.
Court denies cert in a gun regulation case. Amazing!
* A person of interest in the shooting of Texas Judge Julie Kocurek has been apprehended and arrested — not for the shooting, mind you, but for a completely unrelated crime. Judge Kocurek continues her steady recovery after being seriously injured not by a bullet, but by shrapnel and glass. [Austin American-Statesman]
* Barnes & Thornburg partner Vincent “Trace” Schmeltz may be sanctioned for tweeting pictures that he took of the evidence that was presented during a trial. He claims he didn’t see the huge sign outside the courtroom prohibiting “photographing, recording or broadcasting.” [Chicago Tribune via ABA Journal]
* Schneiderman, Schneiderman! Bans sports-betting wherever he can! New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order against DraftKings and FanDuel, saying the daily fantasy sites constituted illegal gambling. [New York Times]
* Dentons finally formalized its merger with Dacheng Law Offices yesterday, thus making it the official largest law firm in the world. At 6,600 lawyers strong, just think about how many scandals we’ll be able to cover in 2016. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* According to the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, more women are being welcomed into the ranks of partnership at major firms. Out of 118 firms, women made up 34.4 percent of new partner classes. Let’s celebrate that less-than-50-percent benchmark! [WSJ Law Blog]
* Fred Auston Wortman III, the Tennessee attorney who tried to murder his estranged wife, Staci, by lacing her toothpaste with poison, and later hired an inmate to do the deed after his plan failed, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. [Commercial Appeal]
* Here are three ways you can balance your law school applications with your college responsibilities, but to be honest, if you’re having trouble balancing these things, then perhaps you don’t belong in law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
* On Friday night, Judge Julie Kocurek, the presiding felony judge for Travis County, Texas, was shot outside her home. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to stable, and some say that she may have been a target of retaliation. We may have more on this terrible news later today. [American-Statesman]
* Apparently it takes podcast stardom to get a post-conviction hearing these days: A Maryland judge has agreed to reopen the case against Adnan Syed, the man whose murder conviction received an in-depth look during the first season of “Serial.” [CNN]
* Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector added 700 jobs in October, bringing the industry to its highest level of employment all year. Don’t get too excited — we’re still a long way from reaching pre-recession era glory. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* It took almost 10 years without putting anyone to death, but California has finally proposed a one-drug alternative to its three-drug lethal injection protocol after it was struck down as unconstitutional in 2006. Was this worth the wait? [WSJ Law Blog]
* Following a much-deserved public excoriation from our very own Elie Mystal, Mizzou Law’s Student Bar Association has decided to do away with its absurd social media policy. In a media statement, the SBA even agreed that it was “poorly written.” [Huffington Post]
* After a recent vote, the Florida Bar flat-out rejected a supposedly “controversial” proposal for bar reciprocity. Attorneys in the Sunshine State absolutely, positively do NOT want you practicing law there if you haven’t taken the Florida bar. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Tomorrow, Oscar Pistorius will be released from prison after having only served a fifth of a five-year sentence for killing his girlfriend, a law school graduate. He’ll begin a stint of house arrest, and he’s not allowed to have guns there… for very obvious reasons. [UPI]
* The case of the missing mistrial? After four weeks of deliberation, and after having acquitted the defendants of a slew of lesser charges, the jury in the criminal trial against the ex-execs of Dewey & LeBoeuf will enter a new month without a full verdict. [Reuters]
* The Nebraska Legislature voted to abolish the death penalty in the state, but supporters of capital punishment have forced a November 2016 referendum vote instead. Not to worry, “[n]obody’s going to be executed in Nebraska anytime soon.” [New York Times]
* This week, Connecticut’s Appellate Court will hear cases at the state’s most famous — and most prestigious — law school. Don’t get too excited, Yalies, because this has nothing to do with you. In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of this place. [Associated Press]
The prosecutor’s verboten public comments illustrate why comprehensive protective orders like this one are, and should continue to be, disfavored.
America’s triumphs and tragedies may be connected.