Morning Docket

  • Uhh... thanks for the bonus?

    9th Circuit, Associate Salaries, Biglaw, California, Education / Schools, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Rudeness, State Judges

    Morning Docket: 05.15.14

    * The times are a-changin’ for Biglaw in many ways, and lawyers may soon see their starting pay take a dive because clients think they “continue to be too expensive.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Foley & Lardner plans to shutter its San Diego shop, following in the footsteps of other Biglaw behemoths. Not to worry, no one’s been laid off — that we know of, that is. [Am Law Daily]

    * Say hello to Alabama Law’s new dean, Mark Brandon. Maybe he’ll be the man to propel the school to a #5 ranking in a publication other than National Jurist. ROLL TIDE! [National Law Journal]

    * Earlier this week, an Idaho judge struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage, and now she’s refusing to issue a stay. Good on you, judge, but the Ninth Circuit may put those marriages in limbo for a while. [NPR]

    * Speaking of judges who’re refusing to stay same-sex marriage rulings, last night, the Arkansas Supreme Court turned down the state attorney general’s request to put a stop to marriage equality. [USA Today]

    * A lawyer working as Board of Education president in Mahopac, New York, resigned from his position after calling a PTA volunteer a “chubby wubby” at a school board meeting. That’s not very nice. [Journal News]

    0 Comments / / May 15, 2014 at 9:06 AM
  • Zach Warren

    4th Circuit, Biglaw, Crime, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Gay Marriage, Law Professors, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 05.14.14

    * Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may retire by the end of summer 2015, or she may retire by the end of summer 2017, or she may retire whenever she damn well pleases. For the love of God, please stop with this. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * The Fourth Circuit appears to be split on Virginia’s gay marriage ban. The Tenth Circuit appeared to be split on Utah’s gay marriage ban. We’ll give you three guesses on the eventual Supreme Court outcome. [New York Times]

    * Law deans lose their jobs when their schools drop in rank, and it seems Biglaw chairmen lose their titles when their firms post the worst single-year drop in revenue ever. Sorry Bingham McCutchen. [Am Law Daily]

    * Ex-D&Ler Zach Warren wants to sever his case from the likes of Joel Sanders and the Steves, using a “guilt by association” argument. The only thing he’s guilty of is being too cute. [National Law Journal]

    * The drama continues at Albany Law, where faculty members now face possible pay cuts or being put on unpaid leave following a “smear campaign” waged against Dean Penelope Andrews. [Albany Times Union]

    0 Comments / / May 14, 2014 at 9:06 AM
  • Oscar Pistorius

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Document Review, LSAT, Lunacy, Money, Morning Docket, State Judges

    Morning Docket: 05.13.14

    * Lawyers for Jones Day got a light spanking in court after sending out some of Detroit’s confidential negotiation documents to its creditors. Quick, blame the doc reviewers. Oh wait, you already did. Nice work. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Cynthia Brim, the judge declared “legally insane” who collected a $182K salary for months without working, was booted from the Illinois bench. She’s the first member of the state judiciary to be removed in a decade. [Chicago Tribune]

    * Massachusetts is instituting a $30,000 pay hike for state judges which will prime the pump for pension bumps and retirements. For the love of God, think of the poor ADAs next time, Massholes. [Boston Globe]

    * The power of diagramming compels you! If you’re studying for the LSAT, here are tricks you can use when trying to exorcise the demons from the logic games section. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Prosecutors want Oscar Pistorius to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in order to urge the court to consider an insanity defense, even though Bladerunner’s legal team doesn’t intend to mount one. [CNN]

    5 Comments / / May 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM
  • You might die on Mars, but you'd probably be employed.

    Basketball, Biglaw, Clerkships, Law Professors, Law Schools, Minority Issues, Morning Docket, Politics, SCOTUS, Sports, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 05.12.14

    * Due to the extreme polarization of SCOTUS, with its near constant 5-4 opinion line-ups, “it becomes increasingly difficult to contend … that justices are not merely politicians clad in fine robes.” Yep. [The Upshot / New York Times]

    * Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who first introduced the term “net neutrality” to the world, had two of his clerkships (Posner; Breyer) “arranged” by Professor Lawrence Lessig. If only we could all be so lucky. [New York Times]

    * We’re getting the sinking feeling that the lack of diversity in law school is one of those problems that everyone and their mother claims to be trying to fix, but the lack of momentum keeps it from ever truly improving. [National Law Journal]

    * When contemplating what law schools would have to do to get a bailout, this law professor has three ideas, and they involve changing her colleagues’ lives in uncomfortable ways. Well played. [Boston Globe]

    * Cole Leonard is struggling to decide between going to law school and going to Mars. Well, he’s more likely to have a job doing anything on Mars than here on Earth as a lawyer. HTH. [Dallas Morning News]

    * The L.A. Clippers have a new CEO, for the time being. Say hello to Dick Parsons, the former chairman of Patterson Belknap, a man who the world hopes is not quite as racist as his predecessor. [Am Law Daily]

    7 Comments / / May 12, 2014 at 9:23 AM
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

    Biglaw, Books, Death Penalty, Education / Schools, Kids, Law Schools, Mergers and Acquisitions, Morning Docket, Real Estate, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Tax Law

    Morning Docket: 05.09.14

    * If you want to become a Supreme Court justice, you can start by attending one of these three schools. The schools that produced the most justices are Harvard Law, Yale Law, and Columbia Law. [TIME]

    * Many of the transactional practice areas that took a bruising during the height of the recession, like corporate work, M&A, real estate, and tax, seem to be coming back. Sorry litigators. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Following Oklahoma’s botched lethal injection, another death row inmate has been given a new lease on life — for the next six months — while an investigation is being carried out. [Associated Press]

    * Members of the defense team for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev not only want their client’s comments after arrest stricken from the record, but they also want the death penalty off the table. Good luck. [CNN]

    * A lawyer was arrested after a school board meeting because he complained for too long about a graphic sex scene in a book his daughter was assigned to read for school. That’s typical. [New York Daily News]

    18 Comments / / May 9, 2014 at 9:03 AM
  • A Supreme cat fight?

    Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Education / Schools, Howrey LLP, Law Professors, Law Schools, Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.08.14

    * Footnote fight! Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been clashing with quite a few of her fellow Supreme Court jurists lately, aside from Chief Justice John Roberts. She recently inspired the wrath of Justice RBG herself. [New York Times]

    * After months of being poked and prodded for cash, 60 former Howrey equity partners have reached clawback deals with bankruptcy trustee Allan Diamond, and it looks like a few of them agreed to pay pretty hefty sums. [Am Law Daily]

    * Here’s a headline we could’ve told you was coming: “The US lawyer bubble has conclusively popped.” It’s not a terribly good decision to attend now, but if you do, people who can’t pay you need your help. [Quartz]

    * Cutting law school tuition may be a good idea to attract more students, but in the long run, it could hurt the schools, says Moody’s. Aww, let us shed some tears for those poor law schools. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Crim Law prof not guilty of… crime. Stephen Smith of Notre Dame Law was acquitted on a misdemeanor invasion of privacy charge, and the felony battery charge he faced was dismissed. [South Bend Tribune]

    * The University of Arizona will be the first school in the U.S. to offer a bachelor’s degree in law. The degree is being marketed to people who eventually want to have lots of law-related debt. [National Law Journal]

    2 Comments / / May 8, 2014 at 9:10 AM
  • Football: Jets-v-Eagles, Sep 2009 - 19

    BAR/BRI, Biglaw, Christopher Christie, Football, Job Searches, Labor / Employment, Law Schools, Morning Docket, New Jersey, Public Interest, Technology

    Morning Docket: 05.07.14

    * According to the latest Citi report, Biglaw was looking pretty good during the first quarter of 2014. Revenue was up by 4.3 percent — the best first quarter results since 2008. Hooray! [Am Law Daily]

    * Nice work if you can get it: Gibson Dunn, the firm hired to handle New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” investigation, billed about $1.1 million for roughly two weeks of work. [NJ.com]

    * A “perfect storm” of too many grads and not enough jobs caused the decline in law school enrollment. The solution is obviously online learning instead of lowering tuition. Yep. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

    * Spend your summer in a “nontraditional” job setting. This is some great advice to prepare yourself for not being able to get a job at a firm after graduation. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Our congratulations go out to Catherine Wauters of George Mason Law, winner of BARBRI’s inaugural public interest fellowship! (Our very own managing editor, David Lat, served as one of the judges.) [CNBC]

    * The latest football franchise to face the wrath of underpaid cheerleaders is the New York Jets. Members of the team’s “Flight Crew” say they make less than minimum wage to shake their pom poms. [Bloomberg]

    4 Comments / / May 7, 2014 at 9:13 AM
  • U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

    1st Circuit, American Bar Association / ABA, Asians, Bankruptcy, Biglaw, California, Judicial Nominations, Jury Duty, Law Professors, Malpractice, Morning Docket, Politics, S.D.N.Y., Technology, Trials

    Morning Docket: 05.06.14

    * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wants to know more about why Governor Andrew Cuomo shut down an anticorruption commission. [New York Times]

    * The ABA weighs in on the “unfinished business” controversy affecting bankrupt law firms, their lawyers, and their clients. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Better late than never: students and professors at UC Davis Law are pushing for the posthumous admission to the California bar of Hong Yeng Chang, who was denied a law license in 1890 solely because of his Chinese heritage. [Associated Press; South China Morning Post]

    * Speaking of late, a robber sent to prison 13 years late because of a clerical error just got released. [ABA Journal]

    * Drones could claim another victim: the First Circuit nomination of Harvard law professor David Barron. [How Appealing]

    * Who still wants a landline phone? The jury foreman in the latest Apple-Samsung battle, who is sick and tired of cellphones after the month-long trial. [The Recorder (sub. req.)]

    * Not such a Great Adventure: “Cadwalader To Pay $17M In Six Flags Malpractice Fight.” [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    1 Comment / / May 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM
  • sad woman lawyer

    Biglaw, Deaths, Gender, Intellectual Property, Job Searches, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Patents, Technology, Women's Issues

    Morning Docket: 05.05.14

    * When it comes to billing rates, starting at the junior level, female law firm partners are still lagging behind their male counterparts by an average of 10 percent less. Boo. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * Just in time for the graduation of one of the largest law school classes in history, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the legal sector is shedding jobs. That sucks. Sorry Class of 2014. [Am Law Daily]

    * Law school deans are dropping like flies. Since last week, at least three have announced their intention to leave their positions. We know of one more that we may discuss later. [National Law Journal]

    * If you want to work as an attorney, your odds are better if you go to a Top 50 law school. Seventy-five percent of Top 50 grads are working as lawyers, compared to 50% of all others. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * The verdict is in on the latest Apple v. Samsung patent case, and Apple is probably pretty miffed it was awarded only $120M this time, since lawyers for the company requested billions in damages. [Reuters]

    * Laura LaPlante, a 3L who was set to graduate from U. Chicago Law on June 16, RIP. [Chicago Tribune]

    5 Comments / / May 5, 2014 at 8:50 AM
  • Uhh... thanks for the bonus?

    Basketball, Biglaw, Confirmations, Federal Judges, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Sexual Harassment, Sports

    Morning Docket: 05.02.14

    * The Senate confirmed nine judges this week, the highest one-week total since the current session of Congress began. They even managed to confirm a “controversial” nominee. Congrats! [Legal Times]

    * If you need a reason for your merger-product firm’s poor financial performance, don’t use the verein structure as a scapegoat. Maybe your firms weren’t profitable to begin. Burnnnnn. [The Economist]

    * Skadden lawyers await the day they’re called upon to provide the NBA’s defense against a potential suit filed by Don Sterling. They’ll be ready, because Skadden’s the best brand in the world, yay! [Am Law Daily]

    * Mayer Brown is pulling out of the “comfort women” case, a decision one of its clients says is “totally crazy.” We suppose the firm was getting tired of being dragged through the mud. [Los Angeles Daily News]

    * A suspect is being held by police in the fatal hit-and-run of Judge Dean Pregerson’s son. He’s been charged with vehicular manslaughter, and is expected to be arraigned on Monday. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Fifty-five schools are being investigated for alleged violations of federal law in the mishandling of sexual assault and harassment cases. One professional school is on the list. Sup Harvard Law? [Huffington Post]

    0 Comments / / May 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM
  • Kathryn Ruemmler

    Andrew Cuomo, Basketball, Biglaw, Football, Free Speech, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Rankings, Sports, White House Counsel

    Morning Docket: 05.01.14

    * Boies Schiller announced it will be working with Hausfeld LLP for the limited purpose of creating a new practice group that will allow the firms to co-represent professional athletes. (Sorry, college athletes, you don’t count yet.) [Bloomberg]

    * It’s highly likely that departing White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler will return to her former stomping grounds at Latham & Watkins. Imagine how many pairs of shoes she’ll be able to buy with her Biglaw money. [Washington Post]

    * Governor Andrew Cuomo is so desperate to keep the Buffalo Bills in Western New York that he recently inked a $350K deal with Foley & Lardner to convince the team’s future owners to stay put. [Buffalo News]

    * The Above the Law Top 50 Law School Rankings are virtually ungameable, but Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency proposes a novel way deans can try: by lowering tuition. GASP! [Law.com (reg. req.)]

    * Marc Randazza, one of the preeminent lawyers on First Amendment rights (who happens to represent us from time to time), thinks what happened to Don Sterling was “morally wrong.” Interesting theory. [CNN]

    1 Comment / / May 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM
  • upskirt

    Attorney Misconduct, Basketball, Biglaw, Canada, Death Penalty, Election Law, Federal Judges, In-House Counsel, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Sports, Student Loans

    Morning Docket: 04.30.14

    * For the third year in a row, Skadden has topped the list of the Biglaw firms GCs love to pay, the firms with the best brands. Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins rounded out the top three. Congratulations! [PRWeb]

    * A federal judge struck down Wisconsin’s voter identification law yesterday, noting that it “only tenuously serve[d] the state’s interest in preventing voter fraud.” Ouch. Sorry about that, Scott Walker. [Bloomberg]

    * Hot on the heels of the release of the second annual ATL Law School Rankings, we’ve got a list of the law schools where graduates reportedly have the least amount of debt. We’ll have more on this news later today. [The Short List / U.S. News & World Report]

    * It was kind of like the night of the living dead in Oklahoma last night, where an execution was botched so badly the defendant attempted to rise up off the table. That must have been horrific. [New York Times]

    * Here’s an eligible bachelor alert: After being suspended from practice for six months for filming “upskirt” videos of women in public, this in-house lawyer has been reinstated. [Legal Intelligencer (reg. req.)]

    * Poor Justice Lori Douglas. Not only are her kinky S&M pictures floating around somewhere online, but the man who took them — her husband, Jack King — just died. RIP, good sir. [CTV Winnipeg News]

    * NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, a former Cravath lawyer, fouled L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of the league, but people are questioning whether his punishment was legal. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    2 Comments / / Apr 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM
  • You'll still get in, even if these weren't your grades.

    9th Circuit, Basketball, Confirmations, Constitutional Law, Gay Marriage, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Racism, Religion, Sports

    Morning Docket: 04.29.14

    * Michelle Friedland, a Munger Tolles partner, has been confirmed to the Ninth Circuit. Congratulations! This marks the first time in years that the court has had a full slate of 29 judges, which is also pretty cool for law nerds. [Legal Times]

    * L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is probably going to be flopping around just like LeBron now that the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, a former Cravath attorney, has launched a full court press against him. [Am Law Daily]

    * This is something completely new and different. The United Church of Christ filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over its ban on gay marriage saying it restricts its clergy’s religious freedom. [New York Times]

    * Dear Low Grades, High Hopes: You don’t need an addendum to your law school application. You’ll get in everywhere you apply — they’re desperate to fill their seats. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Singer-songwriter Paul Simon was arrested yesterday alongside his wife after she “picked a fight” with him. Given how “disorderly” things were, perhaps all he wanted to hear was the sound of silence. [CNN]

    2 Comments / / Apr 29, 2014 at 9:11 AM
  • Chris Kluwe

    Affirmative Action, Biglaw, Football, Gay, Gay Marriage, John Roberts, Morning Docket, Racism, SCOTUS, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 04.28.14

    * Meow! Last week, in a rare move, Justice Sonia Sotomayor let the world see that she’s not exactly the best of friends with Chief Justice John Roberts through her fiery dissent in the Schuette affirmative action case. [National Law Journal]

    * The Am Law 100 law firm rankings are out, and 2013 is being described as a “middling” year for most Biglaw firms. On the bright side, it looks like the big and rich got even bigger and richer. We’ll have more on this later. [American Lawyer]

    * Bingham McCutchen has settled a discrimination suit filed by Sleeping Beauty a former associate with a rare sleep disorder. We hope this lawyer will be able to sleep well on her new bed of cash. [Am Law Daily]

    * Secrets, secrets are no fun: The search for a new dean is on at George Washington University Law, but professors say they were “sworn to secrecy” on the candidates who’ve visited campus. [GW Hatchet]

    * “It’s not about me getting the money; it’s about showing the NFL you can’t do this.” Ex-Vikings punter Chris Kluwe may sue the team after being cut for expressing positive views on gay marriage. [NBC Sports]

    * Donald Sterling’s wife ain’t sayin’ V. Stiviano is a gold digger — she’s alleging V. Stiviano is a gold digger. This, plus the accusations of racism against Sterling, is a flagrant foul. [L.A. Now / Los Angeles Times]

    2 Comments / / Apr 28, 2014 at 9:17 AM
  • chobani

    Biglaw, Canada, Drinking, Gay, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Small Law Firms

    Morning Docket: 04.25.14

    * Mmm, the taste of money. Kirkland & Ellis and Ropes & Gray are assisting in TPG Capital’s $750M investment in Chobani, a Greek yogurt everyone (except me) absolutely loves. [Am Law Daily]

    * A partner from the DebtStoppers law firm was arrested earlier this week after he was accused of refusing to pay a $950 bar tab. Well, we guess that’s one way to stop debt. [RedEye Chicago]

    * The FBI raided an Ohio law firm this week, possibly in connection with a client’s murder outside its doors and one of its attorneys calling in a courthouse bomb threat. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

    * Canadian karma: As it turns out, graduates of the newly approved Trinity Western University Law School won’t be able to practice law in Ontario because of the school’s “abhorrent” anti-gay policies. [GlobalPost]

    * Tony Buzbee, regent of the Texas A&M System, donated $1M to Texas A&M Law to fund the Johnny Football Endowed Chair. Okay, not really, but it’d be a lot cooler if he did. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

    2 Comments / / Apr 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM
  • buff jill

    Associate Salaries, Bankruptcy, Boutique Law Firms, Duval & Stachenfeld, Football, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Midsize Firms / Regional Firms, Money, Morning Docket, Murder, Real Estate, Sexual Harassment

    Morning Docket: 04.24.14

    * The $160K-Plus Club welcomes its newest member: Duval & Stachenfeld, a real estate firm in NY, is more than doubling its starting salary for associates to $175K. Look for them recruiting at your “tier one” school soon. [New York Law Journal]

    * In this economy, bankruptcy firms are being hit hard: Stutman Treister & Glatt, a top L.A. firm that once assisted businesses like Lehman Brothers and Enron Corp. in their Chapter 11 proceedings, is closing up shop. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * It ain’t easy being dean at the law school with the best Biglaw prospects — oh wait, yes it is. Congrats to Gillian Lester, who will serve as Columbia Law’s fifteenth dean come January 2015. [Columbia News]

    * “Do I think he thought he was gonna beat it? Yeah.” The district attorney who brought charges against Stephen McDaniel thinks the law school killer was too big for his chainmail britches. [Macon Telegraph]

    * From catcalling to “jiggle tests,” NFL cheerleaders have to put up with a lot of really ridiculous stuff. Not being paid the minimum wage is one thing, but having to put up with being groped is quite another. [TIME]

    0 Comments / / Apr 24, 2014 at 9:10 AM
  • Ducklings USE

    Death Penalty, Football, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Patton Boggs

    Morning Docket: 04.23.14

    * Duck Season! Rabbit Season! Duck Season! Human Season! $275,000 lawsuit filed after duck attack. [KATU]

    * Following Moody’s downgrade of Vermont Law School, three other law schools see their credit join the ranks of junk bonds. [Tax Prof Blog]

    * Lobbying firms are making money again. Well, except for down-on-their- luck merger candidate Patton Boggs. [Washington Post]

    * Prosecution called off after the police lost the 100 Oxycodone pills in evidence. Sure. “Lost.” [The Journal News]

    * Much like the Raiderettes before them, a group of former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders are suing over their pay. Thankfully Donald Trump is threatening to buy the team, so this suit isn’t the worst thing happening to the Bills right now. [WHEC]

    * A sad account of how an alcoholic lawyer drank vodka by the quart while botching a death penalty trial. [Mother Jones]

    1 Comment / / Apr 23, 2014 at 9:11 AM
  • Jodi Arias

    Biglaw, Crime, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Election Law, Gay, Gay Marriage, Immigration, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, Nancy Grace, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, White House Counsel

    Morning Docket: 04.22.14

    * Retired Justice John Paul Stevens isn’t exactly too thrilled about the Supreme Court’s opinion in McCutcheon v. FEC: “The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate. It’s really wrong.” [New York Times]

    * Neil Eggleston, formerly a lawyer with the Clinton administration, has been named as replacement for Kathryn Ruemmler as White House Counsel. Please, Mr. Eggleston, we need to know about your shoes. [Associated Press]

    * The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office says the D&L trial could last for four months or more. Dewey know who one witness could be? Yup, the partner who allegedly shagged a spy. [Am Law Daily]

    * Thanks to the turn of the tide in DOMA-related litigation, a gay widower from Australia is petitioning USCIS to approve his marriage-based green card application, 39 years after it was first denied. [Advocate]

    * Here are three reasons your law school application was rejected: 1) you’re not a special snowflake; 2) your LSAT/GPA won’t game the rankings; and 3) LOL your essay. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * No, Jodi Arias didn’t get Hep C in jail and file a lawsuit to get a restraining order against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Nancy Grace. We have a feeling we know who did. We’ve missed you, Jonathan Lee Riches. [UPI]

    1 Comment / / Apr 22, 2014 at 9:08 AM