* Student suspended for “terroristic threat” because he brought Sauron’s ring to school. If we outlaw magic rings, only outlaws will have magic rings. [Lowering the Bar]
* Elizabeth Wurtzel is getting a boob job. Oh, and she has cancer. But her essay makes it clear that she’s way more focused about moving to a D cup. [Vice]
* Remember when Eric Holder ended the scheme that let federal and local law enforcement divvy up forfeiture proceeds? Well, not so fast my friend. [LFC360]
* Federal judges investigating an extramarital affair between a prosecutor and an ATF agent. Because the only one who’s supposed to get rogered in the criminal justice system is the defendant. [The Florida Times-Union]
* A freelance lawyer focusing on legal ethics raises ethical concerns. How meta. [Legal Research and Writing Pro]
* Guess who didn’t file an amicus brief in King v. Burwell? Does the Chamber of Commerce think this argument is just too dumb to stake their reputation? [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* Law school grad wants to pay someone to actually teach him or her how to practice law. Because obviously the last $150K+ didn’t do it. Since this may get taken down, we’ve got a screenshot of the post on the next page. [Craigslist]
Apparently no one brushed up on legal ethics over the break.
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This morning, Silver told reporters, “I hope I’ll be vindicated.” We’ll see about that one.
* Here’s some JOLTing news: Megon Walker, the Harvard Law graduate who claims her life was ruined because the school accused her of being a plagiarist, just lost her defamation suit against her alma mater. [National Law Journal]
* “You have a party like this and it’s as though you’re handing out hand grenades as party favors.” Jeff Lake, a California lawyer, was arrested and faces social host liability issues thanks to his kid’s Playboy party. [Denver Channel]
* Congress is back in session, and President Obama resubmitted his nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, along with other judicial nods. She’ll be a “terrific attorney general,” so get this show on the road. [Legal Times]
* “How many clinics do you have to close before the court says, ‘Enough’?” Lawyers for abortion clinics and Texas state attorneys faced off before the Fifth Circuit over the
viabilityconstitutionality of the Lone Star State’s abortion laws. [New York Times]
* It’s a new year with new laws in effect, and it looks like 27 states, plus D.C., have made major moves with regard to weed, be it through the legalization medical marijuana or decriminalization of its possession. Do you know your rights? [CNN]
This insane advertisement goes where no lawyer has dared to go before.
* Per recent reports, human rights attorney Amal Clooney was threatened with arrest after she pointed out major issues with the Egyptian justice system in a paper sponsored by the International Bar Association. She was able to escape because officials feared the wrath of George Clooney. [The Telegraph]
* Uh oh! It looks like Alan Dershowitz got himself mixed up in a lawsuit involving a salacious underage sex scandal. In his own defense, the famed Havard Law prof said, “It’s a completely, totally fabricated, made-up story. I’m an innocent victim of an extortion conspiracy.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* The price of the billable hour may have risen by more than 10 percent over the course of the last four years, but according to the chairman of one Biglaw firm, “[t]he question is: Is anybody paying that?” Hahaha, yeah right. [National Law Journal]
* That was quick. The Bitcoin Foundation hired a global policy counsel who lasted there for less than a year. It seems the policy and regulation aspects of the digital currency’s existence were viewed as a “distraction.” [DealBook / New York Times]
* Chicago Biglaw and midsized firms are brushing up on their Mandarin language skills because Chinese investment in the Windy City hit more than $3 billion last year. FYI, senior associates, these firms may have a job for you. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Did she get SLC punk’d? Another woman was just nabbed for allegedly pretending to be a lawyer. It seems that Utah resident Karla Carbo reportedly impersonated a member of the bar at least three times in the past six months. [New York Daily News]
* In his year-end report, Chief Justice Roberts wrote about the high court’s belated adoption of the latest technological advances, but promised SCOTUS briefs and filings would be online… next year. [New York Times]
* It’s been recommended that J. Michael Farren, the former White House lawyer who attempted to murder his ex-wife — a former Skadden Arps attorney — be disbarred in D.C. Apparently the bar considers a conviction for something like this a big no-no. [Legal Times]
* Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s terrorism trial for his involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings will begin in Boston on January 5, despite his legal team’s best efforts to avoid the inevitable. At least fangirls won’t have to travel to admire him. [Bloomberg]
* Here’s one law prof’s thoughts on Harvard Law’s lame response to sexual assault complaints: “I believe … that Harvard University will be deeply shamed at the role it played in simply caving to the government’s position.” Well then. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Remember the Idaho prosecutor who recited the lyrics to “Dixie” during closing arguments at a black man’s trial? The defendant’s conviction was overturned because the prosecutor “inject[ed] the risk of racial prejudice into the case.” [NBC News]
* “People asked me what I want as an epitaph: He tried.” Mario Cuomo, the three-term New York governor and Willkie Farr alumnus who was once considered to replace Supreme Court Justice Byron White, has passed away. RIP. [New York Times]
Whoa! The lawyers at this firm must have been pretty shocked by the unexpected news.
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
This lawyer has done crowdfunding right. Learn from her model.
If you like to practice law, you probably shouldn’t do something like this to a judge.
Although poetry may be the best way to make passive-aggressive complaints about your case, the next time you’re considering writing a four-page, 60-line email riffing on a classic holiday poem, you might want to consider your audience.
What was this partner thinking when he filed this off-the-wall petition with the Supreme Court?
Can counsel raise the prospect of litigation finance to its client? If so, can counsel refer its client to particular litigation funders?
* Which law schools are most conservative? Most liberal? [FiveThirtyEight]
* Elie’s new job as “deal judge.” [Dealbreaker]
* Lawyer suspended amid accusations that he sexted three clients with nude photos of himself and told one “she could ‘ride bareback’ with him.” [ABA Journal]
* Duquesne says it denied professor tenure because she was bad at the whole “teaching” part of her job. Whoa! When has that ever mattered to tenure? [TaxProf Blog]
* Josh and Jess sit down with Judge Matthew Sciarrino to talk about the new Star Wars trailer. I don’t know. Looks kind of boring. We need George Lucas to spice it up with a Special Edition version. [The Legal Geeks]
* Prosecutor recites “Dixie” at closing argument of a black man’s trial. [Idaho Statesman]
Will Teresa Giudice have to flip a table to get justice?
Scantron* A modest proposal for a new course evaluation form. [LawProfBlawg]
* An interview with former Senator George Mitchell. Did you know he turned down Justice Breyer’s seat because he wanted “to pass significant health care legislation.” The appropriate 90s response is to cue Nelson Muntz. [Coverage Opinions]
* George Washington may have doomed your smartphone privacy. But if it makes you feel any better he probably didn’t mean to. [Redline]
* California lawyers are 35 percent more in debt than they were 6 years ago. [Cal Lawyer]
* “He sent three clients explicit text messages that included photographs of his erect penis.” Fun addendum: if you read the full opinion, because the associate wrote off his time for sex that was, rightly, the firm’s 8.4 violation! I hope they weren’t the ones who turned him in. [Legal Profession Blog]
* A panel of legal analysts weigh in on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General and discuss what her nomination means in the context of civil rights. [RH Reality Check]
* Do you need a live CLE lecture? Pick up 12 credits and grab some drinks with some ATL editors afterward. [Above the Law]