Mergers and Acquisitions
* “It’s unconscionable, and I believe they have breached the fiduciary duty to the law school, to the students and to the public.” Appalachian Law is struggling, and some believe its trustees are preventing the school from saving itself. Will this be the first school to fold? [Inside Higher Ed]
* “We were all running this ATM machine called big law firms.” Before 2008, it was easier for large law firms to make money, but now, there’s an “insurmountable gap” in revenue between the industry’s heavy hitters and the rest of the pack. [Wall Street Journal]
* You’ll pry their job security from their cold, dead hands: William Mitchell Law professors know that layoffs may be coming thanks to the school’s planned merger with Hamline Law, and have filed suit to protect the Tenure Code. [Minnesota Public Radio News]
* Bonus season isn’t the only thing that Davis Polk has cornered the market on. According to the latest Bloomberg M&A rankings, the firm came out on top during the first quarter of 2015 when it came to advising on major deals. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* “Whatever happened to The New York Times’ fact-checker?” Here’s yet another harsh critique of Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon’s cringeworthy defense of law schools, and this time it’s from a fellow law professor. Ouch. [The Belly of the Beast via Am Law Daily]
* Jay Edelson of Edelson PC may be the “most hated person in Silicon Valley,” but he probably doesn’t care about being Liked — after all, he recently filed suit against Facebook over the social networking company’s face recognition software. [New York Times]
Opportunities abound in Texas.
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Is this a big blow to Kirkland & Ellis, or is K&E glad to see her go?
* Possibly the world’s most expensive sex. It doesn’t involve Ashley Dupré, but it does involve the American health care system. [Daily Telegraph]
* A possible preview of Justice Alito’s upcoming dissent in the marriage equality decision. [The Onion]
* Maybe on the more serious side, here’s Elizabeth Wydra charting the course of the Supreme Court and matrimony in anticipation of the upcoming marriage equality case. [Tampa Tribune]
* Why Best Value is a better alternative to LPTA. This is not a guide for prospective law students, but it could be. [Government Executive]
* A wide-ranging talk with Professor Khiara Bridges of Boston University School of Law about law, reproductive rights, and classical ballet. [Hsu Untied]
* Let the breakdown continue: California’s out of state bar exam pass rates. [Bar Exam Stats]
* The legal fiction that are Biglaw firms. [Think Outside the Bar]
* Looking for some CLE in L.A.? On Thursday, Judge Alex Kozinski and our own David Lat will be chatting about judging, clerking, ethics, and ambition. [Supreme Ambitions]
A lawsuit filed against Wachtell by a former client offers a window into the elite firm’s billing practices.
* As the year winds down to a close, we take a look back at the amazing time Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had. From her Hobby Lobby dissent to her subtle New Republic shade, the Notorious RBG’s 2014 was better than yours. [Bustle]
* When you’ve allegedly been driving drunk after a holiday party and have gotten into an accident, one of the things you say to the police upon your arrest should not be, “Come on, I’m a judge” — especially if you are one. [New York Post]
* After advising on 221 deals worth about $511 billion, Skadden Arps was the top dog in the M&A game in 2014. While taking a break from rolling around in money, the firm’s managing partner was heard thanking inversions. [MoneyBeat / Wall Street Journal]
* Although we haven’t heard what’s going on with associate bonuses at this firm, Wiley Rein bought itself a bonus subsidiary. Last week, the firm finalized its purchase of lobbying and communications group McBee Strategic. [Blog of Legal Times]
* While many law schools found their student enrollments getting smaller due to forces of nature in 2014, the University of Mississippi School of Law claims it decreased its class sizes intentionally. Oh, the places you’ll go! [Clarion Ledger]
* This just in: Now that the Fifth Circuit has refused to hear the Texas abortion case en banc, it looks like we may see a viable case about a major social issue being brought to Term before SCOTUS after all. [National Law Journal]
* Skadden came out on top of the Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and Mergermarket league tables for the highest transactional value of its mergers and acquisitions deals in 2014. Congrats on kicking the competition’s ass. [Am Law Daily]
* Per HBR Consulting, clients are winning the war when it comes to getting legal services on the cheap. Consider this a “call to action for law firms to reconsider the way they do business.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* The Elon University School of Law is completely revamping its academic offerings in order to offer a law degree that can be earned in 2.5 years, and for about $14,000 less. Nice work! [Triad Business Journal]
* Lindsay Lohan’s attorneys filed an amended complaint in her case against Grand Theft Auto’s publisher, this time going to far as to spell their client’s name correctly. [Hollywood, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]
As the Supreme Court begins its 2014-15 term this month, it will be considering a number of securities cases, including the Omnicare case, which is scheduled for oral argument on November 3rd, and three other cases in which petitions for certiorari are currently pending before the Court. As discussed below, these cases raise significant questions concerning the standards for claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, prosecution of insider trading, and the scope of disgorgement penalties in an SEC enforcement action. We also discuss IndyMac, another securities case that had been scheduled to be heard as the first case of the new term on October 6th, but was abruptly dismissed by the Court earlier this week.
* Justice Scalia spoke at CU-Boulder last night. For his sake, we certainly hope he didn’t speak about any issues that might someday appear before SCOTUS, lest he be asked to recuse. [Boulder Daily Camera via How Appealing]
* Another one bites the dust over at Main Justice: David O’Neil, the head of the criminal division, is stepping down in the wake of the BNP Paribas case, and will likely have many white-shoe law firm suitors. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Fox Rothschild picked up a 18-lawyer boutique firm in Texas, which will serve as the home of its first outpost in the Lone Star State. Energy law, surprisingly, wasn’t the driving factor. [Legal Intelligencer]
* “I have a heart and I have two kids.” That’s a pretty damn good reason for Biglaw attorneys to take a break from their corporate billable hours to represent undocumented children pro bono. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Scott Greenfield reviews Lat’s forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link). Of course, in SHG style, it contains a spoiler. Try to skip that clearly marked paragraph. [Simple Justice]
Biglaw bonuses this year were insane. In an industry that usually plays “follow the leader” when it comes to associate bonuses, this year felt more like a poker tournament.For a full recap of the 2014 bonus season, fill out this brief form and receive ATL’s Biglaw Bonus Poker infographic.
* Solicitor General Don Verrilli may be a frontrunner to replace Eric Holder as attorney general, but the competition seems to be stiff. Kamala Harris, anyone? [USA Today]
* FBI Director James Comey is annoyed by Apple and Google marketing their encryption prowess for privacy’s sake — it’ll “allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* White & Case just hopped aboard the onshore outsourcing train with its announcement that it would open a services center in Tampa, Florida. The move will create about 100 jobs, but we’d love to know how many it’s negating. [Tampa Bay Times]
* Slater & Gordon, the world’s first publicly traded law firm, has been on an “acquisition spree” in England. Earlier this month, it picked up patent practice, and now it’s in talks with a litigation shop. [Am Law Daily]
* “Law school is a major gamble,” and people are more informed, but that somehow isn’t stopping people from applying. This is a great article to read if you’re still considering going all in. [New York Observer]
Transactional lawyers: are the robots coming for your jobs?
7th Circuit, Andrew Cuomo, Benchslaps, Biglaw, Blogging, Erwin Chemerinsky, Fast Food, Gay, Gay Marriage, In-House Counsel, Law Professors, Mergers and Acquisitions, Morning Docket, New York Times, Police, Politics, Richard Posner, SCOTUS, Sports, Supreme Court, Tim Wu
* Judge Posner dished out a whole lot of benchslaps at yesterday’s Seventh Circuit arguments over Indiana and Wisconsin’s bans on same-sex marriage. [BuzzFeed]
* Major U.S. and Canadian law firms chow down on Burger King’s whopper of a deal with Tim Hortons. [Am Law Daily]
* A recent Delaware court ruling on attorney-client privilege might allow in-house lawyers to speak more freely about wrongdoing at their companies, according to Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon. [DealBook / New York Times]
* The corruption trial of former Virginia governor continues; yesterday Bob McDonnell’s sister took the stand. [Washington Post]
* A favorable evidentiary ruling for Aaron Hernandez. [Fox Sports]
* And good news for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, the two law professors running for governor and lieutenant governor of New York: the Times dissed their opponent, Andrew Cuomo, with a non-endorsement. [New York Times]
* I recently spoke with one of my cousins Joao Atienza of the Cebu Sun Star, about Above the Law and the world of legal blogging. [Cebu Sun Star]
* Utah appealed its same-sex marriage case to the Supreme Court, making it the first state whose law was smacked down by an appellate court to do so. Let the countdown begin. [National Law Journal]
* In the ruling that saved Alabama’s abortion clinics, Judge Myron Thompson likened the right to have an abortion to the right to bear arms. We can think of a few people who would take issue with that. [CNN]
* In case you’ve been wondering why tax inversions are hot right now, you can blame it all on some bicycling tax and M&A lawyers from Skadden — call them bikedudes at law, if you will. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Law schools tout the fact that their graduates are finding jobs in “J.D. Advantage” positions. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how much of an advantage a law degree actually offers in these jobs. [Am Law Daily]
* In a lawsuit peppered with crazy allegations, a law prof at Florida A&M claims in a gender discrimination complaint that male professors are “paid considerably more” than female professors. [Tampa Tribune]
Did he make a cheesy webpage about himself explaining how he’s going to be president? Oh, but he did.
Somebody get this guy some Advil.
* Justice Scalia criticized law schools. Here come the butthurt law schools. [Legal Times]
* Cass Sunstein on Rand Paul’s real father — Richard Epstein. [New Republic via PrawfsBlawg]
* Irony alert: Rick Santorum endorsed the judge who just legalized gay marriage in Pennsylvania. [Slate]
* What do you know? Donald Sterling is a dick. [Los Angeles Times]
* A follow-up on a previous item: does this look like a law student kneed so hard he lost a testicle? [Barstool Sports]
* In a development that should shock no one, it turns out the Chinese hackers may have been turning their attention to infiltrating law firms “which hold valuable intellectual property for their clients but often lack the security defenses of a larger corporation.” [Bits / New York Times]
* Model suing hair salon for $1.5 million for ruining her career. That sounds funny, but the story is actually kind of horrifying. [New York Post]
* Are we looking at an M&A boom in 2014? Frank Aquila of S&C thinks so. After the jump… [Mimesis Law]