• Die Judge Ransom Font

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.13.15

    * According to a recent survey conducted by Altman Weil, Biglaw managing partners and chairs say that overcapacity and a lack of work for their partners is putting a dent in their overall profitability. Please don’t take the easy way out here — the weather is way too nice for layoffs. [Am Law Daily]

    * Beverly Cochran, the wife of Judge Edward Najam of the Indiana Court of Appeals, was charged with obstruction and false reporting after allegedly carving “die judge” on their front door in the hope that her son-in-law would be arrested. [WBIW via ABA Journal]

    * When Harvard Law alums say their business education “was a joke,” you know you’ve got a problem. Law schools are finally coming around to the fact that their graduates don’t have a clue about business, and some of them are trying to fix that. [Bloomberg Business]

    * Nicole Eramo, UVA’s associate dean of students, has filed a $7.5 million defamation suit against Rolling Stone for tarring and feathering her in the magazine’s now discredited campus rape story. She’s also upset this “unflattering” photo was published. [CNNMoney]

    * Say aloha to admission to the University of Hawaii School of Law without an LSAT score. We figure that a few more schools will decide to try this program out since the ABA recently indicated its regrets about introducing the initiative in the first place. [KHON2]

    32 Comments / / May 13, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • UMass-Law-hats-540x286

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.11.15

    * UMass School of Law has a burgeoning deficit of $3.8 million, so instead of attempting to increase enrollment, the school has decided to cut its class size to 72 students. Hmm, we have a feeling those “cuts” aren’t intentional. [Boston Globe]

    * Reddit’s Ellen Pao may have lost her gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins, but she sure as hell doesn’t want to pay the nearly $1 million in “grossly excessive and unreasonable” court costs that the venture-capital firm has requested. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * It’s no shocker that members of the T14 have the most competitive LSAT scores in the country, but you may be surprised by which two schools had the absolute lowest median LSAT scores. Hint: Cooley isn’t one of them. [Short List / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Baltimoreans will surely be pleased by this news: Officers in the Freddie Gray case filed a motion to get their charges dismissed, and have asked that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recuse herself for her “overzealous prosecution” and conflicts of interest. [Baltimore Sun]

    * Jury selection is complete for the criminal trial of failed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former top brass. “It’s a very diverse jury,” with jurors ranging from members of the unemployed to day traders. Best of luck to Joel and the Steves — they may need it. [Am Law Daily]

    * MVP? No, MVD! A UNH Law prof will teach a college course called “Deflategate: The Intersection of Sports, Law and Journalism” because a dean thought it would be a great way to use pop culture to hook undergrads on the law. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

    20 Comments / / May 11, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • Aww, the ABA wants you back, LSAT.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.05.15

    * Ever argued about weed before SCOTUS? Ever argued about weed before SCOTUS… while high? The Supreme Court asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. to weigh in on the marijuana border wars suit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska against Colorado. [Denver Post]

    * Well, that was quick! After enacting this rule just last year, the ABA now wants to put a stop to law schools using an exception that would allow up to 10 percent of their entering classes to consist of students admitted without having taken the LSAT. [ABA Journal]

    * Landon Thomas, a 2014 NYU Law graduate, has been missing for more than a week. He was last seen in Harlem on April 27. His friends and family have set up a Facebook page to aid in the search. If you have any information, please call the police. [DNAinfo]

    * Corinthian Colleges, a higher education system that ran an employment falsification scam that was eerily similar to what law schools were once doing, has gone belly up, and Biglaw firms are swooping in like vultures to get in on the action. [Am Law Daily]

    * After being convicted on 30 federal charges last month, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed some emotion for the first time during the penalty phase of his trial, where he was seen wiping a tear while his aunt sobbed on the stand. [TIME]

    22 Comments / / May 5, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • partner car

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.20.15

    * Here’s a very important lesson for all of the lawyers reading this: thinking about work while you’re on the way to work doesn’t mean that you’re actually working. This novel argument failed miserably for a Biglaw partner trying to get out of a huge insurance claim. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Justice Scalia isn’t very fond of the media’s coverage of SCOTUS: “They don’t like conservatives on the court, or anywhere else for that matter. They do a lousy job. You can’t expect them to do a good job.” Wow, tell us how you really feel. [Arkansas Online]

    * “Enough! Enough! Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job.” After months of watching his pick for attorney general wait around thanks to political gridlock, President Obama has finally had it with this sh*t. [New York Times]

    * Good news, associates! If you leave your law firm job for a Supreme Court clerkship, you’ll likely still be able to receive that gigantic SCOTUS hiring bonus — to the tune of $300,000 plus! — if you return to the firm you left when it’s over. [National Law Journal]

    * “Hard questions have to be asked at law schools whose modest reputations and forgiving admission standards do not ensure their graduates gainful employment.” High LSAT scores are down, bar failure is up, and law schools still say it’s not their fault. [Bloomberg]

    71 Comments / / Apr 20, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.17.15

    * “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing.” Even as class sizes get smaller and tuition gets lower, the law school brain drain continues. America’s best and brightest won’t be fooled into studying law when the job market is still so unstable, but others have been. [Bloomberg]

    * Attorneys for California’s sex workers have filed suit to overturn the state’s ban on prostitution, claiming that “[t]he rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” Yeah, okay. [AP]

    * “The simple story is that $160,000 as a starting salary at large law firms is less prevalent than it was immediately prior to the recession.” You can scream “NY TO 190K!” all you want, but starting salaries have remained flat. Sowwy. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York has involved himself in an “escalating war of words” with members of the federal judiciary that he may come to regret. Will this “petulant rooster” be able to kiss and make up? [New York Times]

    * Per a recently filed lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still hasn’t paid a single law firm for their representation in the Biogenesis case. He allegedly owes Gordon & Rees $380,059 in unpaid fees. Come on, A-Rod. You’ve got the cash. [New York Daily News]

    * Infamous plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger of the $9.5 billion Chevron / Ecuador kerfuffle decided that if he can’t win his case in a court of law, he might as well try to win it in the court of public opinion. Check out his side of the story. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    49 Comments / / Apr 17, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Gun 2nd amendment

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.03.15

    * Even more law schools are doing away with their LSAT requirements. Let’s give a great big welcome to Drake Law and St. John’s Law, who are joining the likes of SUNY Buffalo Law and Iowa Law. Woohoo, welcome aboard the bandwagon, folks! [U.S. News & World Report]

    * Judge James W. Haley Jr. of the Virginia Court of Appeals held a drunk intruder at gunpoint while he waited for the police to arrive. This unwanted houseguest was only wearing one shoe as he wandered through the judge’s home. Oopsie! [Free Lance-Star]

    * Well, that was quick. Fried Frank has hired away James “Jamie” Wareham, DLA Piper’s $5 million man, about four years after he lateraled to the firm from Paul Hastings. April Fools’ Day was his last day at the firm… or was it? J/K, it was for real. [Am Law Daily]

    * J. Michael Farren, the ex-White House lawyer who was convicted of attempting to murder his wife and sentenced to 15 years in prison, is now facing the loss of his law license. This should really be the very least of his worries. [Connecticut Law Tribune]

    * The U.S. Marshals Service has increased the reward for tips related to the shooting of U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg. Now you’ll get $50,000 if you’ve got information that’ll lead to arrests and convictions of the suspects who shot a federal jurist. [Detroit News]

    12 Comments / / Apr 3, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Amanda Knox

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.30.15

    * Talk about a Friday news dump! In case you missed these high-profile rulings, Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder charges in Italy (for the second time), and Ellen Pao lost her discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Use this slideshow to compare how North Carolina law schools are doing in terms of job placement. Duke was on top, and NCCU was dead last. Bonus: There were very few school-funded jobs to strip out of the data — the numbers were just that bad on their own. [Triad Business Journal]

    * LSAC doesn’t want to to adopt new disability accommodations for the LSAT because they “show a complete disregard for the importance of standardized testing conditions.” It’d rather show a complete disregard for applicants’ disabilities. [National Law Journal]

    * Widener? I hardly know her! Thanks to the ABA, this saying has new meaning in legal circles. With the law school regulator’s blessing, Widener Law’s Delaware and Harrisburg campuses will officially become two separate schools effective July 1. [News Journal]

    * Following blowback over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana Governor Mike Pence says he’ll push for legislation clarifying that the controversial law isn’t intended to support discrimination against the LGBT community. Suuure. [Indy Star]

    113 Comments / / Mar 30, 2015 at 9:07 AM
  • Supreme Court pretty Small

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.24.15

    * Justice Anthony Kennedy says that while the Supreme Court is trying to attract more minority law clerks, lower court judges have it easier because they can recruit from local schools. Some justices have an Ivy League addiction, and thus, a diversity problem. [Legal Times]

    * The next step in the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, the lawyer who will someday be the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, isn’t likely to occur until at least mid-April. Why the wait? SENATE SPRING BREAK, WOO! [Reuters]

    * Give me maple syrup, or give me death: According to legal experts from the National Constitution Center, even though Republican candidate Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he still counts as a “natural born citizen” who’s eligible to be president. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Foley & Lardner partner Howard Shipley avoided a supreme spanking from SCOTUS over his submission of a garbled cert petition last year, but the high court took the opportunity to remind all lawyers to write “in plain terms.” [National Law Journal]

    * How badly do you want to go to a top law school? Exactly how desperate you are to feel the warm and gentle embrace of prestige? How hard can you gun? Would you be willing to take the LSAT three times? [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    47 Comments / / Mar 24, 2015 at 9:11 AM
  • Red-tailed hawk. Photo by Greg Hume.


    Non-Sequiturs: 03.20.15

    * People are dogging this, but I wholeheartedly approve. Kids need to learn that Republicans will kill any idea no matter how benign while somehow making it about abortion. It’s an important life lesson. [NH1]

    * Sometimes the help of a friend actually makes the situation worse. That’s why I make it my policy not to help. [Science of Relationships]

    * A second suspect picked up in the triple murder involving America’s Next Top Model Mirjana Puhar. Investigators plan to give him a hot mic and wait for him to take a bathroom break. [Gawker]

    * LSAC’s having a big day. After law school applications hit a 15-year low, we get the news that LSAC has changed their licensing agreement to kill LSAT PrepTest PDFs. That’ll help. [LSAT Blog]

    * When you think about it, contract lawyers are living out the white-collar version of the Industrial Revolution. And doing about as well as the first Proletariat did. [Law and More]

    * Someone thinks the country doesn’t have to be run by lawyers. This is a dangerous idea that could take down the empire we’ve all built. Thankfully it’s coming from the Transhumanist Party presidential candidate. So I think we’re safe. [Motherboard / Vice]

    * That’s not how you use Swiss cheese… [Legal Juice]

    * A new podcast discusses religious liberty bills with Professor Marci Hamilton, Verkuli Chair in Public Law at Cardozo. [RJ Court Watch]

    * Another call to do something nice and simple so you aren’t the kind of lawyer people joke about. [What About Clients?]

    * On that note, here’s a cavalcade of lawyer jokes explained. Until things get too real. [LFC360]

    28 Comments / / Mar 20, 2015 at 5:03 PM
  • yale law school

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.17.15

    * A ballsy decision dripping with prestige? It seems that a few too many students at Yale Law School requested access to their student admissions evaluation records under FERPA, so instead of handing them over, Yale deleted them. [New Republic]

    * Here’s some good news for women attorneys visiting clients in Massachusetts jails: you’ll no longer be forced to lift up your shirt and shake out your bra if your underwire makes the metal detector go off. Instead, you’ll get felt up a pat down. [Boston Globe]

    * According to early data culled for the Am Law 100 rankings, from revenue to profits per partner to revenue per lawyer, Winston & Strawn posted record financial results in 2014. Perhaps the days of no-offers and layoffs are long gone for this firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * Just because more people took the LSAT in February, it doesn’t mean that the law school crisis is over. It does, however, mean that law school administrators may soon be wishcasting the year-over-year growth of their first-year classes. [National Law Journal]

    * Rahul Gupta, the graduate student who used the tried and true “my girlfriend did it” defense during his trial for the fatal stabbing of a Georgetown Law student, was convicted on first-degree murder charges yesterday. He’ll be sentenced on April 16. [WJLA]

    24 Comments / / Mar 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • arrogant partner LF


    Non-Sequiturs: 03.13.15

    * The law school ranking for the career-oriented: which law schools produce the most Biglaw partners? [TaxProf Blog]

    * Uh oh. More students took the LSAT in February. The bubble begins anew. [LSAT Blog]

    * The saddest part of this story is that it’s impossible to be surprised about it: the NYPD is going into the Wikipedia entries of Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, and other police brutality victims and making selective edits. [Colorlines]

    * Judge throws out “Lebellus” cause of action. [Lowering the Bar]

    * Most people understand the criminal justice system is broken. Fewer understand how busted the civil system is. [LFC 360]

    * Speaking of the broken civil justice system, it looks like class actions are an endangered species, according to Professor Brian Fitzpatrick. Maybe CrowdSuit can help. [SSRN]

    8 Comments / / Mar 13, 2015 at 4:58 PM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.12.15

    * President Obama recently authorized a study into whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. For now, any changes made to the bankruptcy code will likely apply only to private loans, so it looks like many law school graduates won’t be declaring bankruptcy any time soon. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the across-the-board drop in law school applications has inspired some law schools to do crazy things like shortening the length of time it takes to get a degree and lowering tuition. Hmm, more law schools should go crazy. [U.S. News & World Report]

    * In the wake of much criticism of its plan to eliminate the LSAT for some students to gain admission to Iowa Law, the school’s dean offers an explanation: it’ll help her school compete to attract students who would otherwise have gone to T14 schools. [The Gazette]

    * Even though law schools are in trouble, a legislator in Texas is still lobbying the state to subsidize the creation of a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because he has a “hard time believing there are no jobs for attorneys out there.” [Cleburne Times-Review]

    * If you find that law schools aren’t reacting quickly enough to the crisis at hand, there are other options for you out there. While law schools implode as their tuition skyrockets, it seems that those who have fled the law are now trying to become engineers. [Quartz]

    29 Comments / / Mar 12, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Use your imagination...


    Non-Sequiturs: 03.10.15

    * “A senior Queens judge allowed a bawdy Viagra-themed light-switch cover to remain in his courtroom for at least a year — even after a female lawyer complained that it was inappropriate for court.” Obviously, there will be a contingent trying to write this off as “just a joke” and asking everyone to “relax,” but seriously, how is ANY joke lightswitch cover appropriate in a courtroom? Let alone a penis switch. [NY Post]

    * Teen burglars started sniffing the powder they stole thinking it was cocaine. Instead, it was cremated ashes. It’s part Cocaine Cowboys and part Six Feet Under. [The Smoking Gun]

    * No one can predict how much tuition will rise over the next several years. But this offers the next best thing: an interactive tool to chart how much each school’s tuition has changed over the last few years. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * We’ve featured some of Richard Hsu’s interviews in this space. The Recorder sat down with the Shearman & Sterling partner to discuss his podcast. [The Recorder]

    * Elie went on HuffPo today to discuss the phenomenon of law schools dropping the LSAT. [HuffPo Live]

    * Former Wilmer litigator and 10th Circuit clerk John Ford has a new book out called The Cipher (affiliate link). It’s about the NSA harassing an innocent American citizen. Or as the rest of us call it, “a Tuesday.” [Amazon]

    * In sad news, Dave Frohnmayer, former Oregon Attorney General, dean of Oregon Law School, and President of the University of Oregon passed away at 74. On a personal note, he was extremely supportive when I resuscitated the South Eugene debate program (where his daughters had earlier debated) before I went off to law school. Rest in peace. [The Oregonian]

    * Have you ever wondered about litigation finance and thought, “if only someone would make a cartoon to explain it all to me” then you’re in luck. [LFC360]

    22 Comments / / Mar 10, 2015 at 5:20 PM
  • Photo by Drew Havens.

    Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 03.04.15

    * Meet David King of King v. Burwell, the epic Obamacare case to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today. [New York Times]

    * And meet the two legal heavyweights who will be arguing the case before SCOTUS. [Politico via How Appealing]

    * Meanwhile, another Supreme Court has put a stop to same-sex marriage down in Alabama — for now. [Buzzfeed]

    * General David Petraeus reaches a plea deal, requiring him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine (but no prison sentence). [Washington Post]

    * It’s not as sexy as Obamacare or marriage equality, but the collection of state sales tax on out-of-state purchases made online is a pretty important issue — and Justice Kennedy wants SCOTUS to revisit it. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]

    * In the wake of a leadership shake-up, Cadwalader is beefing up its Houston energy practice — but is that a wise idea, with the price of oil spiraling downward? [American Lawyer]

    * Finally, something that Elie Mystal and Jordan Weissmann can agree upon: dropping the LSAT is a bad idea. [Slate]

    * A jury of eight men and 10 women will start hearing arguments today in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, defendant in the Boston Marathon bombing. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]

    * Legal ethics guru Monroe Freedman, RIP. [ABA Journal]

    14 Comments / / Mar 4, 2015 at 8:54 AM
  • Its a trap

    Law Schools, LSAT

    Killing The LSAT Is A Bad Deal For Students

    Removing the LSAT requirement is just the latest law school trick.

    111 Comments / / Feb 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM
  • Morning Docket, Trials

    Morning Docket: 02.25.15

    * Smart women, foolish choices? Alexandra Marchuk might regret turning down a $425,001 offer of judgment from the defendants in Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi, in which she wound up getting a $140,000 verdict. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    * In other news from high-profile sexual harassment cases, the trial in Harvard Law grad Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against venture capital behemoth Kleiner Perkins got underway yesterday. [USA Today]

    * A guilty verdict and a life sentence in the “American Sniper” trial. [New York Times]

    * Embattled politico Sheldon Silver has turned to the talented Steven Molo in seeking to get the criminal charges against him dismissed. [New York Post]

    * J.J. Nelson v. Adidas: coming to a 1L Contracts casebook near you? [ESPN]

    * Law schools dropping the LSAT: a trend in the making? [BloombergBusiness]

    * The latest in Deidre Clark v. Allen & Overy: is plaintiff Deidre Dare ready for her close-up psychological exam? [New York Law Journal]

    * Is the job outlook for law school graduates brightening? Some thoughts from Jim Leipold of NALP. [National Law Journal via ABA Journal]

    * As he runs for Congress, what does Staten Island district attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. have to say about the Eric Garner case? [New York Times]

    23 Comments / / Feb 25, 2015 at 8:37 AM
  • LSAT 2 RF

    LSAT, Public Interest

    What Should A Prospective Public Defender With A Middling LSAT Score Do?

    Law school can be expensive, and sometimes mid-tier law schools may be a worse investment than one lower down the food chain.

    24 Comments / / Feb 24, 2015 at 11:35 AM
  • Damn Dewey dollars...

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.16.15

    Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual. We will be back in full force tomorrow.

    * The news is in, and it seems that Davis Polk’s financial numbers were at record highs. The firm’s revenue beat the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and its PPP rose to $3.29 million. No wonder its 2014 bonuses were so awesome! [Am Law Daily]

    * Yes, we know that William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law are merging to survive as a result of a quickly disappearing applicant pool. We’d really love to know how many other law schools are considering this as an alternative to closing their doors. [Star Tribune]

    * How are Nebraska and Oklahoma, which neighbor Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, handling the situation? Not well. Their AGs want SCOTUS to rule the weed law in the state where you can get Rocky Mountain High is unconstitutional. [PBS NewsHour]

    * Thanks to a recent ABA rule change, schools are beginning to admit students without LSAT scores. One of those schools is Iowa Law (ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News), but those students need to have done really well on other standardized tests. [Daily Iowan]

    * “How have I done as a judge today?” “Not bad, but you could do better.” Judge John Hurley had a run-in with an 80-year-old criminal defendant who wouldn’t stop calling him sweetheart. Flip to the next page to see the entertaining video. [NBC 6 South Florida]

    32 Comments / / Feb 16, 2015 at 9:08 AM