* Steven Metro, an ex-managing clerk at Simpson Thacher who was accused of passing insider info about mergers and other business transactions to his law school buddy in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme, has pleaded guilty. He faces up to 20 years in prison. [Reuters]
* Remember Keila Ravelo, the Willkie Farr partner who allegedly stole millions from that firm and her prior firm, Hunton & Williams? It turns out her involvement in the $5.7 billion MasterCard/Visa antitrust settlement could ultimately become its kiss of death. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Chief Judge Morrison England (E.D. Cal.) says he and his colleagues are incredibly overworked, sometimes putting in more than 80 hours per week. It’s too bad it doesn’t make a difference — the court is at a “crisis point” in its backlog of cases. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Last summer, a federal judge ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional in California because an appeals process with the “slight possibility of death” was cruel and unusual. Here’s a real shocker: the Ninth Circuit overturned the decision. [New York Times]
* Embattled Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane is well past the point of having 99 problems, but there’s no end in sight. Former prosecutors have filed suit against her, alleging she retaliated against them for exposing her alleged criminal misdeeds. [Tribune-Review]
* The National Association for Law Placement released slightly improved jobs numbers for the law school class of 2014, so yay? [National Law Journal]
* Guess what? Prosecutors don’t like the Second Circuit’s higher threshold for insider trading cases and now they’d like the Supreme Court to do something about it. [Wall Street Journal]
* A group of merchants including Amazon, Wal-Mart and Starbucks want the $7 billion settlement negotiated over interchange fees with Visa, Mastercard and American Express in an antitrust case vacated due to attorney Gary Friedman’s alleged misconduct. [Law360]
* Don’t cha love it when media scandals become real life litigation? All your deflategate legal questions answered. [Stradley Law]
Target confirmed a report in the Wednesday edition of The Wall Street Journal of a settlement with MasterCard concerning claims of card-issuers arising from Target’s 2013 data breach.
* Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be the oldest member of the high court, but she’s still one bad ass bitch. She broke two ribs in June, and still fulfilled all of her duties on the bench. We <3 RBG! [Reuters] * While merchants will now be able to charge more when customers use credit cards, they might not get much else from this Visa / MasterCard settlement because of an American Express catch-22. [New York Times] * The Garden State just got a little greener (in a sticky icky way): starting today, doctors in New Jersey will be able to register their patients for the Department of Health’s medical marijuana program. [Star-Ledger] * After some highly questionable opposition from government officials, the city of Macon, Georgia, has approved the placement of a park bench in memory of slain Mercer Law grad Lauren Giddings. [Telegraph] * Kansas Law received a $1M donation to support scholarships. The dean is thrilled, because the school will be able to compete to attract and retain students who will someday be unemployed. [Lawrence Journal-World] * The verdict is in on who reigns as the highest paid TV personality. Even if you pee on her leg and tell her it’s raining, Judge Judy will be able to afford the dry-cleaning bill, because she’s loaded. [New York Daily News] * Even if you’re a ho fo’ sho, that doesn’t mean you can’t do business in a ho-tel, mo-tel, or Holiday Inn. An Australian court ruled that denying prostitutes rooms was discriminatory. [International Business Times]
Small-firm columnist Brian Tannebaum offers some practice advice about how to charge clients and how to communicate with them.
Another high-profile data breach exposed a lot of people’s personal information. I wish I were more shocked…