Are lawyers really to blame for an unfair judicial system?
Black man gets pissed off at classmates who enjoyed Bob McCulloch at Missouri Law. Hilarity ensues.
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* A DOJ investigation concludes that the Ferguson Police Department and courts engaged in a “pattern and practice” of discrimination against African Americans. The investigation was conducted by the DOJ’s division of obvious things. [CNN]
* When police didn’t respond to his call fast enough, this guy tried to rob a convenience store to get the cops out there faster. And then they still didn’t come… [Legal Juice]
* King v. Burwell argument is almost here! Conservatives are really eager to take the law down. But would hurting Obamacare really hurt conservatives more in the end? [Bloomberg View]
* A California lawyer is proposing a new law to address homosexuality with “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.” I don’t think that’ll pass. [Huffington Post]
* Authorities still harassing family who trusted a 10-year-old to walk outside without a parent hovering over them. It’s hard to criticize helicopter parents when they’re only following the law. [Washington Post]
* Fascinating use of the Internet: a crowdfunding campaign to help refugee mothers and children secure release from government detention. [Go Fund Me]
* In this preview of Professor Nancy Leong’s latest videocast, she talks with Professor Jessica Clarke about how courts treat sexual harassment cases in same- vs. opposite-sex harassment. [TheRightsCast]
* “The reality is, the university has done a lot to be a part of the solution. This undoes a lot of that work.” Students and professors at St. Louis University School of Law are up in arms because Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor in the Ferguson case, is coming to speak at an event on police practices. [ABC News]
* “Travel by coach will make it impossible for the attorneys to work and or sleep effectively upon our arrival.” Defense lawyers for three suspected terrorists motioned for a judge to give them business-class seats on a plane while federal prosecutors bum it back in coach. [New York Daily News]
* SCOTUSblog has been denied a Supreme Court press pass, yet again. Lyle Denniston, the site’s main reporter, had to go to great lengths in an attempt to circumvent the high court’s new journalist credentialing process. [Associated Press]
* “I would really think long and hard before defying a federal court order.” SCOTUS declined to issue a stay that would keep gay marriage at bay in Alabama, but some judges are still refusing to marry gay couples. Thanks Roy Moore. [Los Angeles Times]
* Paul Weiss: lookin’ nice! In a look at some of the early numbers from the latest Am Law 100 rankings, the firm increased its gross revenue year over year by 10.9 percent, allowing Paul Weiss to finally break the billion-dollar mark in revenue. [Am Law Daily]
* Law firm suffers Viagra hack. If it persists for more than four hours… [Legal Cheek]
* An in-depth and frightening look at “Witness 40″ in the Ferguson Grand Jury proceedings: a bipolar woman with a long history of making racist comments who lived nowhere near Ferguson and testified only after Officer Wilson’s story was revealed — which she parroted back. Bob McCulloch thought this was a stellar witness. Bob McCulloch is also bad at his job. [The Smoking Gun]
* Charleston local government wants InfiLaw out of town. Is there anyone left who wants InfiLaw to take over Charleston? [TaxProf Blog]
* Congratulations to U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña on her confirmation as head of ICE. [International Business Times]
* Pet piercing will soon be illegal in New York, so get that dope nose ring for your dog today! [Lowering the Bar]
* Canadian “band” Skinny Puppy demands $660,000 from the U.S. government for using their music as torture material without permission. As a compromise can we just pledge to strap Dick Cheney down and force him to listen to 15 consecutive hours of Skinny Puppy and call it a day? [Gawker]
* Cleveland WR Andrew Hawkins pens a thorough, even-handed takedown of butthurt police union leaders demanding he apologize for taking the stance that police should try not to kill unarmed 12-year-olds. So apparently this is what the Browns are good at. [Talking Points Memo]
* David chats about the backstory behind Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link).
* Thanks to a former Skadden attorney’s failed attempt to kill himself, police were able to retrieve a suicide note — entitled “A Sad Ending to My Life” — that revealed the lawyer’s $5M Ponzi scheme. We may have more on this later. [Am Law Daily]
* “I’m not one who believes there are too many lawyers in the country,” says Dean Thomas Guernsey of Thomas Jefferson Law. Conveniently, only 29% of TJSL’s ’13 grads are working in full-time, long-term jobs as lawyers. Kudos! [U-T San Diego]
* The government just paid the least amount of money to legal services contractors since 2008. As far as Biglaw firms are concerned, Curtis Mallet-Prevost posted “significant losses,” receiving $2M less than it did in 2013. [National Law Journal]
* Because not everyone wears gas masks, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to keep police from using tear gas on peaceful protestors in Ferguson without first issuing “clear and unambiguous warnings.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Ladies and gentlemen, this is the main event of the evening! IT’S TIME! FIGHTING out of the blue corner, angry UFC combatants who are planning to use “renowned” antitrust firms to secure “hundreds of millions of dollars”! [Bloody Elbow / SB Nation]
What’s the number one thing we’ve recently learned about America’s grand jury system? It ain’t so grand.
* The NAACP Legal Defense Fund took to Twitter to name every unarmed person of color killed by the police since 1999. Gawker compiled short bios on each. [Gawker]
* Pillsbury just moved into a cozy little office. Emphasis on “little.” [The National Law Journal]
* Georgetown Law students of color raise similar concerns as Columbia students. Again, I don’t understand emotional trauma and I definitely think extensions should be measured in days and not weeks, but it strikes me all the people complaining about the extensions are just exposing themselves as bad students. If you think your neighbor getting 2 more days will hurt your grade, you’re the one with the studying problem. [Georgetown Law Coalition]
* And now Harvard. [Harvard Law Coalition]
* If you rent a refrigerator, you consent to an arbitrator hearing your case after a repairman robs and beats you. Sounds about right. [Public Justice]
* Uber ban after rape allegations. [Redline]
* The Supreme Court told BP that no matter how much it tried, it can’t slip out of its settlement agreement like an oil-soaked seagull. [Think Progress]
* Finally, in the wake of the Eric Garner case, it’s worth looking back at what Justice Marshall told us about police chokeholds. [Mother Jones]
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* Everyone’s “BFF” Anthony Elonis, of the Elonis v. U.S. case that’s currently before the Supreme Court, is facing additional scrutiny over a snarky note he sent to an ADA last year about burning a cross on the prosecutor’s lawn. Wow, he sounds like really a “fun” guy. [WSJ Law Blog]
* I was gonna go to class, but then I got high: DU Law is teaching a class about how to sell lots and lots of weed. Just kidding. According to the professor, the class is actually about the legal issues that come up when selling lots and lots of weed. [Cannabist]
* The HRC’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index is out, and noticeably absent from the list of Biglaw honorees is Boies Schiller. We suppose the firm forgot one of its name partners is helping to overturn gay-marriage bans across the country. [Am Law Daily]
* The University of Iowa College of Law is asking — nay, begging — the Supreme Court to block a retrial of Teresa Wagner’s claims of political bias discrimination. This is just one of the things law schools will do to keep their faculties liberal. [Associated Press]
* From Yale to Wayne State, law students are getting involved in protests to spread the word about social injustice in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. If you have a problem with this, someone from NYU might too. [National Law Journal]
* Winter break is the perfect time for undergraduate students to start working on their law school applications, but we’re more than willing to bet the future gunners out there have already sent all of theirs in. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
And just for good measure, an NYU law student composes a “parody” of the situation and it goes about as well as you’d expect.
* Some think SCOTUS should be the biggest issue of Election 2016. Why? Because most of the justices are old as hell, and they’ll only be older, more decrepit — and potentially more likely to retire — before or come voting time. [Washington Post]
* Deans from “middle-ranked” schools continue to question the results of the July 2014 bar examination. Sure, recent grads were part of the law school brain drain, but there’s no way they were “less able” than their older (and wiser) classmates. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Darren Wilson resigned this weekend, but it wasn’t because he killed an unarmed teenager in August. Wilson’s lawyer says his client quit because other Ferguson officers could’ve been harmed if Wilson remained on the police force. [Reuters]
* There’s only one thing that’s worse than a gunner, and that’s a septuagenarian gunner. At 73 years old, Jim Edwards is the oldest student at the Nashville School of Law, and he “view[s] what [he’s] doing as a calling from God.” Aww. [USA Today]
* This recent law school graduate may not have a job, but she figured out a creative way to make a small dent in her debt. She makes custom string art and sells it on Etsy. We’re willing to bet Texas Tech Law counts her as employed. [Dallas Morning News]
Ed. note: Above the Law will be dark on Thanksgiving and on a reduced publishing schedule on Friday, November 28, while we recover from turkey-induced comas.
* Holy backfire Batman! Florida desperately wanted to display a nativity scene in the State Capitol because it’s more important than making real laws. Now they’re probably going to be forced to display a scene from the Satanic Temple. [Slate]
* Researchers assert that college prestige has no bearing on the quality of the teaching. Would this carry over to law schools? [TaxProf Blog]
* The National Bar Association, representing predominantly African-American attorneys and judges, has issued a response to the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown shooting. [The National Bar Association]
* Speaking of Ferguson, apparently the investigator listed Darren Wilson as the “victim.” If you needed any more evidence of the power of semantics. [Lowering the Bar]
* The CATO Institute talks about the First Amendment and One, Inc. v. Olesen. It’s an hour-and-a-half panel discussion. Pretty impressive for a 24-word (plus one citation) decision. [C-SPAN]
* Is it a lie? Well, that depends on what your definition of “lie” is? [Dorf on Law]
* Are over the knee boots appropriate office attire? [Corporette]
* 8 women who left the law to follow their passions. [One 400]
On a day-to-day basis the American racial divide is still a canyon, broad and deep. How can we fix it?
* A Pennsylvania lawyer allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old girl in his office, and prosecutors have already reserved a “special place in hell” for him, and possibly a jail cell. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* “We feel like we’ve been left hanging in a really stressful time.” While Bingham McCutchen partners and top staffers made moves, less senior staffers were left crying and without a clue. [Am Law Daily]
* Since a grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s death, people are counting on the DOJ to come through for them. “I just don’t think Ferguson has a leg to stand on,” says one negative nancy law professor. [National Law Journal]
* After being down in the dumps for a while due to the recession, according to Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, law firm leaders are feeling more confident and optimistic about the economy — as one can see from these bonuses. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Grand juries rarely let someone go without an indictment unless it’s a cop. Apparently pigs do not make for ham sandwiches. Instead of wishing for another rubber stamp indictment, this may be a good time to demand that everyone benefit from such skeptical grand juries. [FiveThirtyEight]
* Well that’s an interesting name… [Legal Juice]
* Have you written a thank you note lately? Probably not. But you should. [What About Clients?]
* Maybe you should ditch that temp legal job and go into PR? [Law and More]
* Kinney Recruiting expands its operations to Chicago. [Kinney Recruiting]
Eyewitnesses in the Michael Brown case told too many different stories for a true bill.
* “Have a taste of this. It will do you good in so many ways.” Louisa Moritz, one of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, is interested in filing a class-action lawsuit against the comedian. [Fox News Latino]
* If you’re interested, here’s all of the testimony and evidence that was presented to the grand jury that resulted in no true bill for Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. [Associated Press]
* HBO hired a team of 160 lawyers to look at its film adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology. The power of thetans compels them to keep churning that bill, baby. [Hollywood Reporter]
* “The Constitution is not a math problem,” but it seems like the Supreme Court is playing a numbers game when it comes to its decisions having to do with same-sex marriage. What’s the magic number for SCOTUS to take a case? [New York Times]
* It’s official: Morgan Lewis has gobbled up most of Bingham McCutchen ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stick a fork in it, because Morgan Lewis is done — it’s now stuffed full of more lawyers than any other firm in the country. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Emerson Briggs III, an ex-partner at Hunton & Williams, is facing disbarment in D.C. over the child pornography he downloaded at work. Oh, how the mighty have fallen: he’s been working as a paralegal since being disbarred in New York. [Legal Times]
* Patricia Nesci, a law firm secretary, allegedly forged a judge’s signature on an order to show cause to keep herself from being evicted from her home earlier this month. She apparently did not get a Biglaw-style bonus from her former firm. [Syracuse.com]
* Before you submit your applications, you should try creating a budget to see just how financially screwed you’ll be during and after law school, and then compare it to your pre-law school budget. Try not to cry. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]