Morning Docket

  • Sorry, summers, but this is going away soon.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.30.15

    * Which Biglaw firm is going to be changing up the way that it recruits new attorneys? That would be Quinn Emanuel. It’s planning to majorly scale back on summer associates and do something completely different. We’ll have more on this news later today. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * An undergrad who once had high hopes for law school decided to ditch his legal aspirations in favor of stand-up comedy. His mom is mad since it’s a “path that has no specific stability.” She obviously hasn’t read up on law school job stats lately. [Indy Channel]

    * Justice Kennedy should consider trading in his robes for a superhero’s cape, because he just swooped in to the rescue, again. With a 5-4 vote, SCOTUS stayed the Fifth Circuit’s decision regarding the closure of the majority of abortion clinics in Texas. [NPR]

    * Damn you, Dewey leaders! Per recent testimony in the criminal trial of the failed firm’s former top brass, but for news of the criminal probe spreading like wildfire throughout the profession, D&L could’ve merged with any number of firms to save itself. [Am Law Daily]

    * Some pretty major firms think they have better things to spend their Biglaw bucks on than donations to legal aid organizations. Only five firms were willing to publicly disclose more than $1 million in donations. [DealBook / New York Times via American Lawyer]

    10 Comments / / Jun 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Lawyers can juggle too!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.29.15

    * The Dissent World: This is what happens when justices start being real… and stop being polite. Conservative SCOTUS justices weren’t interested in playing nice last week in their dissents. Just how much “personal dissension” is there among their ranks? [POLITICO]

    * “I knew I was a workaholic and law wasn’t for me, but the circus is.” A law school graduate who only goes by Paz is now working as a world-class juggler. Law school career services officers would really like to know if this is considered a J.D. Advantage position. [Grand Forks Herald]

    * A new nickname is being bandied about for John Roberts: “Umpire in Chief.” During his confirmation hearings, he said judges should be more like baseball officiants, and you could say that last week, all he was doing was calling balls and strikes. [New York Times]

    * SCOTUS may have issued a landmark ruling on gay marriage, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over as far as gay rights are concerned. Protip: Next time you make a historic decision, let lawyers know what level of scrutiny is being applied. [National Law Journal]

    * Some think what SCOTUS did with gay marriage was “simply putting its imprimatur on a practice that was already legal in more than two-thirds of the states.” People wonder whether the highest court will do the same with marijuana legalization. [24/7 Wall St.]

    16 Comments / / Jun 29, 2015 at 8:52 AM
  • Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.26.15

    * Step right up and place your bets, because there are still five major cases left on the Supreme Court’s docket. With two decision days remaining, we’ve got same-sex marriage, execution methods, emissions, Congressional redistricting, and guns on tap. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * A Chicago attorney was arrested this week after a kiddie porn stash was allegedly found in his home. Good thing he resigned from his firm before being arrested. He probably wouldn’t have been able to meet his billable hours requirements while sitting inside of a jail cell. [Chicago Sun-Times]

    * California lawmakers passed the harshest mandatory vaccination requirements in the country — which include a ban on religious exemptions — and they’re waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the bill. Anti-vaxxers must be losing their minds. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Sorry to harsh your mellow, but Lloyd’s of London is now refusing to insure marijuana businesses due to conflicts between state and federal laws as to their legality. Current policies will not be renewed, and no new contracts will be issued. [Insurance Journal]

    * The ABA Journal wants to know about the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen a co-worker do while on the job or in court. This is a pretty easy answer here at ATL. I’ve seen Elie Mystal dancing around without his shirt on more times than I can count. [ABA Journal]

    25 Comments / / Jun 26, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • Silly partners.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.24.15

    * Partners at this law firm tried a threesome, but it didn’t exactly work out as expected, so now they’re scaling it back to just one at a time. (And by this, we of course mean that Porter Scott’s three co-managing partners plan was a no-go.) [Sacramento Business Journal]

    * More than 40 class-action suits have been filed since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, with many litigants alleging that they were “duped” into its purchase. Maybe one of them will pack a better punch than the so-called “Fight of the Century.” [National Law Journal]

    * Just because one Biglaw firm went under, in part, because of its brand-spanking new administrative hub, that doesn’t mean your firm shouldn’t consider opening one. The risk might be worth the reward of saving millions in expenses. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * Concordia Law launched a media campaign to attract students, touting the fact that it’s been kind of provisionally approved by the ABA as its selling point. It’s new slogan is likely “Meh, we’re good enough for the ABA, so we’re good enough for you.” [Idaho Statesman]

    * Here’s some good news for the people who are actually considering taking the D.C. bar exam instead of just waiving in like the rest of civilized society: the D.C. Court of Appeals will finally allow you to type the essay portion of the exam on your laptops. [Legal Times]

    23 Comments / / Jun 24, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Hillary Clinton

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.23.15

    * Hillary Clinton is making a mad dash for Biglaw bucks to support her presidential run. This week, she’ll be at an event hosted by Sullivan & Cromwell, and next week, she’ll be at an event hosted by a Chadbourne & Park partner. Ooh la la, fancy schmancy! [Bloomberg Politics]

    * Dewey know why this firm failed? Back before D&L declared bankruptcy, the firm’s most successful rainmakers were asked to give up half of their gigantic salaries in an attempt to stave off the worst… but they didn’t want to. We suppose that’s the way the cartel crumbles. [Am Law Daily]

    * Bickel & Brewer, the fearsome Texas litigation boutique, recently broke up, and now it’ll simply be known as Brewer. John Bickel, who invoked the firm’s partnership retirement clause, is now ensconced as senior counsel at Fish & Richardson. [Texas Lawbook]

    * This career services dean is here to tell you a tale about law school job stats. You see, law schools don’t have an unemployment problem — instead, they have a “J.D. Advantage” problem (aka, jobs they took because they couldn’t get lawyer jobs). [Huffington Post]

    * This is yet another reason why people are considering Fordham’s Fashion Law LL.M.: “Every designer should have a minimum degree of legal literacy, if only to know when to seek a legal opinion — and to avoid being sent to sit at the kids’ table.” [New York Times]

    20 Comments / / Jun 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Not my corner office! (Image via Shutterstock.)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.22.15

    * Everyone’s a winner at Nixon Peabody, especially the millennials! The firm is doing away with the corner-office model in favor of office space reminiscent of that of tech companies, where everyone’s offices — from paralegals to partners — are the same size. [Washington Post]

    * A former North Dakota Law student is suing the school, as well as several administrators and professors, because he alleges they dismissed him via email in May due to problems with his application. Man, that’s almost as harsh as a break-up text. [WDAZ]

    * Justice Kennedy knows a lot of people who are gay, but that doesn’t mean he’ll recognize a constitutional right to same-sex marriage just because of his circle of friends and colleagues. He’ll likely do it because he knows “how meaningful this is.” [New York Times]

    * The Supreme Court is currently considering an emergency appeal out of Texas after the Fifth Circuit refused to stay a decision that would all but close the vast majority of abortion facilities in the state. Give this law the good old coat hanger, SCOTUS. [Associated Press]

    * Last week, Justice Kennedy basically invited litigants to challenge the constitutionality of solitary confinement because it “exacts a terrible price.” Step right up and become one of the first to test the power of the SCOTUS swing vote on this issue. [Los Angeles Times]

    * “Having a woman leader is no longer exceptional.” The number of women law school deans is on the rise. They make up 40 percent of incoming law school leadership, and currently comprise 30 percent of all law deans. Nice work! [National Law Journal]

    * After pleading guilty to a felony count of vehicular manslaughter back in March, California lawyer Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti was recently sentenced to four years in prison for killing a cyclist while driving high on prescription drugs Xanax and Suboxone. [Daily Mail]

    27 Comments / / Jun 22, 2015 at 8:49 AM
  • See ya, Judge.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.19.15

    * Ouch! The Florida Supreme Court just unanimously told a lower court judge to STFU and GTFO. Judge Laura Watson, who was elected to her position in 2012, was summarily ousted from the bench for shady conduct that took place before her judgeship commenced. [Sun Sentinel]

    * The ABA postponed making a decision on whether it’ll approve a merger between Hamline Law and William Mitchell Law. Not to worry, everything will be okay. Come on, as if the ABA would let a failing law school completely crash and burn. [MPR News]

    * We mentioned this week that Hank Greenberg won his A.I.G. bailout suit, but we didn’t get around to the part where Davis Polk got quite the judicial spanking from an “irritated” judge — and the firm wasn’t even named as a defendant. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Uh oh. It looks like Ellen Pao just got “powed.” Judge Harold Kahn has tentatively ruled that Pao must pay about $276,000 in trials costs to Kleiner Perkins. (Special thanks go out to ATL commenter Paul Harvey for this clever little quip.) [Digits / Wall Street Journal]

    * Micah Green, a prominent lobbyist at Squire Patton Boggs, is headed for greener pastures at Steptoe. He’s the latest rainmaker to leave, which makes us wonder if the firm will be satisfied with only being able to make it drizzle. [PowerPost / Washington Post]

    19 Comments / / Jun 19, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • John Stamos (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.15.15

    * From Fuller House to the Big House? Actor John Stamos was arrested for driving under the influence and briefly hospitalized this weekend. Listen, Uncle Jesse, we know you’re still a celebrity, per se, but as Joey Gladstone would say, you really need to cut it out, capice? [Variety]

    * “You’re right, I am the man.” Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder received a warm reception during his keynote at the American Constitution Society convention’s opening gala this weekend when an audience member shouted out, “Eric Holder, you the man!” [Legal Times]

    * Lawyers, here’s a useful practice pointer on “reverse sexism.” Per a new study, men on three-judge panels of federal appellate courts tend to “view women as damsels in distress who need their protection,” but are much harsher on male litigants. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * More law schools are opening solo incubators and firms, boosting their employment stats and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way. Rutgers Law lost $100K, but it’s a small price to pay to make it look like your grads get “jobs.” [Associated Press]

    * “Time to engage counsel?” This is the question that parents are being forced to ask themselves in the face of legal liability waivers for post-prom parties. Seriously? Man, am I glad I was in high school before parents became contractual killjoys. [New York Times]

    25 Comments / / Jun 15, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • 'And then I said I didn't know they were prostitutes.'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.12.15

    * If you’re having girl problems, he feels bad for you son, he’s got 99 problems, but an aggravated pimping charge ain’t one. Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted on his latest sex scandal charges by a French court. [Bloomberg Business]

    * “Justice may be blind, but she still sees it our way 88.4% of the time.” Humblebrag? Quinn Emanuel may kick ass at winning trials, but its percentage of “wins” advertised on airport signage has gone down by 3.9% since 2008. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Which Biglaw firms had the greatest percent changes in headcount in the first half of 2015? With a 29.2 percent drop, McKenna Long & Aldridge is leaking lawyers like a sieve. Irella is in second place, with attorney headcount down by 22.8 percent. [Am Law Daily]

    * Say hello to the National Cannabis Bar Association, an organization that’ll help you get some higher education as you navigate through the haze of marijuana laws. If you want to learn more, then come to our marijuana law event next week in Denver. [ABA Journal]

    * If you’d like to strengthen your law school application, then you may want to consider getting to know some current professors and alumni from the school of your choice. That way, you can suck up while you’re sucking up. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    15 Comments / / Jun 12, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • growing tax

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.10.15

    * The number of law school applicants and applications continues to plummet, with applicants down by 2.5 percent and the volume of applications down by 4.6 percent since last year. For the love of God, students are staying away for a reason. Do some research, people. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Lawyers may be thanking their lucky stars for loan repayment programs like IBR and PAYE, but when their cancellation of debt income comes back to bite them in the ass in the form of a “tax bomb” as early as 2032, they’re going to be crying for mercy. [TaxProf Blog]

    * If the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage, life could devolve into chaos for gay and lesbian couples. Sure, SCOTUS could do that, or “a giant meteor could fall on [your] head in the next five seconds,” but one is more likely to happen than the other. [AP]

    * You had one job, Dean Cercone… ONE JOB! After recommending against accreditation back in May, the ABA convened this week to officially deny provisional accreditation to Indiana Tech Law. Its handful of students will be so disappointed. [Indiana Lawyer]

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty in his sex scandal cover-up case and was released on $4,500 bond. Interestingly enough, the judge has volunteered to remove himself due to some potential issues over his impartiality. [New York Times]

    7 Comments / / Jun 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • police crime tape

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.09.15

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, most recently of Dickstein Shapiro, finally found a lawyer to represent him in his sex scandal cover-up. His new lawyer may not be “the brightest guy in the world,” but he does do white-collar defense at Sidley Austin, so there you go. [National Law Journal]

    * Oopsie! A Tennessee lawyer is currently being held on $15 million bail because he allegedly solicited an undercover police officer to kill his estranged wife. He even gave the guy a “down payment for the murder.” We wonder how much he thought his spouse was worth dead. [Nashville Sun Times]

    * In times like these, you’re going to need a great network in order to get a job after law school, and some schools are superior to others in that department. Check and see if your alma mater made the grade on this ranking. [Business Insider via GraduatePrograms.com]

    * Concordia Law just received the gift that keeps on giving from the ABA — provisional accreditation. The news came just in time for its nine remaining third-year students to graduate and take the bar exam (everyone else transferred out). [Idaho Statesman]

    * Kalief Browder, a man used as an example of our broken justice system, was sent to Riker’s Island when he was 16 years old. He never had a trial, and was never convicted, but still spent three years in jail. He recently committed suicide. RIP. [New York Times]

    18 Comments / / Jun 9, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • Jennifer Lopez (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.08.15

    * After a particularly bootylicious performance in Morocco that was aired on live TV, singer Jennifer Lopez is facing a lawsuit which alleges that she “disturbed public order and tarnished women’s honor and respect.” Her first affirmative defense: Dat ass tho. [Newsweek]

    * Our congratulations go out to Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett (@JusticeWillett) for achieving the rare and prestigious honor of being recognized as the “Tweeter Laureate of #Texas.” Way to dole out judicial wit and humor 140 characters at a time, Your Honor. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Howrey gonna pay our creditors if we can’t cash in on unfinished business? A judge recently overturned this failed firm’s bankruptcy court win, noting that since “[t]he law firm defendants performed the work; they deserve the pay.” [Dow Jones Business News]

    * Sorry, job hunters, but despite what you may have heard about the boom years being back, the legal job market is stuck in a “pattern of anemic growth,” and it’s been that way since the Great Recession. Please give your mother our condolences. [Am Law Daily]

    * It’s only a matter of time before the majority of U.S. states legalize marijuana, and Illinois may be the next in line to do so. If you’re thinking about joining the green rush and want to learn more, come to our marijuana law reception next week. [Chicago Tribune]

    15 Comments / / Jun 8, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • ArrowGoingDown

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.05.15

    * Per Dean David Herring, applications have tanked at New Mexico Law (ATL #18) — we’re talking a 30% drop over the past five years. Wait, no, nevermind, the school’s assistant admissions dean says things are great. Oops? [Albuquerque Journal; Albuquerque Business First]

    * Gov. Chris Christie thought he was through with the Bridgegate scandal, but oh, how wrong he was. His former deputy chief of staff’s lawyers want to subpoena Gibson Dunn’s work product, but the firm claims it doesn’t exist. [Talking Points Memo]

    * ¡Ay dios mío! This week, a New York appellate court ruled that Cesar Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, should be eligible to practice law in the state, completely sidestepping federal law and a Justice Department brief to the contrary. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Concordia Law is getting a second chance at obtaining provisional accreditation from the ABA. This would’ve been way more helpful before the majority of its third-year students transferred to an accredited school so they could take the bar exam. [Idaho Statesman]

    * The ex-GC of Zara has filed a discrimination suit against the fashion retailer, claiming that he was fired because he’s Jewish, American, and gay. Apparently senior executives used slurs as ugly as the company’s clothes. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    12 Comments / / Jun 5, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Game of Loans

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.04.15

    * If you’re having trouble making payments on your law school debt, don’t fall prey to a loan-relief scam. You may already be six figures in the hole, but you should take this quiz to see if you’re about to lose your shirt — yet again. [U.S. News & World Report]

    * For the second time in two years, the ABA will reconsider whether law students should be able to receive pay for credit-bearing externships. Come on already, give these people a chance to make a buck before they graduate. [National Law Journal]

    * Here’s an important memo for Judge Mark Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama: Just so you know, if you don’t resign on August 1 as promised, the House Judiciary Committee is probably going to bring impeachment proceedings against you. HTH. [Daily Report]

    * It’s not a merger (yet), they’re just “exploring synergies”: Albany Law School and SUNY Albany will affiliate in order to help students from both schools. Check out the memo, complete with an exploding fellowship offer for new students. [Albany Business Review]

    * Vice is suing a small business named Virtue Marketing, alleging trademark infringement. Apparently the media company’s in-house marketing agency is also called Virtue. Hey, Vice, just change the name to Greed and you’ll be set. [THR, Esq. / Hollywood Reporter]

    12 Comments / / Jun 4, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • grade inflation

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.03.15

    * C. Michael Kamps, the man who filed a pro se suit against Baylor Law with claims that he was denied admission because his GPA predated grade inflation, recently lost his bid to get SCOTUS to review his case. It’s too bad — he seems like a total gunner. [ABA Journal]

    * If you thought that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the biggest celebutante justice on the Supreme Court, then you’d be dead wrong. According to Professor Rick Hasen’s research, it’s Sonia Sotomayor who’s stealing the spotlight at the high court. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Senator Elizabeth Warren, the queen of taking Wall Street to task, now has her sights set on SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White. In a 13-page letter, the politician called the former Debevoise partner’s tenure “extremely disappointing.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s arraignment was rescheduled from this Thursday to next Tuesday. No reason was given for the change, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that there’s still “no attorney of record” on the case. [National Law Journal]

    * Many doctors are hoping that tort reform will save them from litigating their malpractice cases, but there’s an easy alternative. In order to be sued less often, doctors should try to talk more to their patients. What a novel concept. [The Upshot / New York Times]

    21 Comments / / Jun 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Damn Dewey dollars...

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.02.15

    * McDermott Will & Emery poached six partners from K&L Gates as part of its Dallas office “re-launch.” Their poor paralegals: Right now, the lawyers are working in temporary offices, and don’t have access to land lines. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Dean Paul Mahoney of UVA Law announced he’ll be stepping down from his position on June 30, 2016, after eight years of dedicated service to the school. Law students, please lower your collars to a half-pop in light of this news. [UVA Today]

    * Dewey think these defendants are full of themselves? The former leaders of this failed firm had insane and enviable compensation packages, but that doesn’t mean their multimillion-dollar guarantees weren’t justified — or even deserved. [Am Law Daily]

    * Experts speculate that the Justice Department’s case against FIFA could strengthen its global power, but of course, that will hinge on whether Loretta Lynch can get RICO charges to stick for conduct that took place overseas. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * After months of going back and forth on their urge to merge, Hiscock & Barclay completed its combination with Damon Morey. The new 275-lawyer firm will be known as Barclay Damon, and could possibly become a member of the Am Law 200. [Syracuse.com]

    * Legal marijuana business need lawyers and bankers, but those willing to advise them are few and far between. If you want to join the green rush and learn how to help these people comply with the law, come to our marijuana law reception later this month. [Forbes]

    15 Comments / / Jun 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.01.15

    * A litigant with a Supreme pimp hand? Darius Clark, the man whose child-abuse case — which is currently before SCOTUS — will determine whether teachers may testify of behalf children, was indicted for allegedly running a prostitution ring from jail. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

    * Judge Mark Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama was arrested last summer on domestic violence charges after his wife confronted him about an alleged affair with a law clerk. What a gent! He’ll be resigning from the bench August 1. [USA Today]

    * You can roll your eyes at Rand Paul all you want, but several key parts of the Patriot Act expired shortly after midnight because the Senate was unable to reach a deal to extend it. (FYI, DOJ may still use grandfathered privacy-poaching techniques.) [New York Times]

    * “Nothing changes. The system is disgusting. There is no due process.” Do you want to read the story that made Cuba’s government ban an American legal journalist from any further coverage of the country’s court system? Of course you do. [Daily Business Review]

    * “I can’t preserve caution in my delight with Ruth.” This is what retired Justice David Souter wrote about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s performance after her first week on the bench. He already knew back then that she was no-no-no-NOTORIOUS. [Boston Globe]

    * Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who recently resigned from Dickstein Shapiro following his indictment, was allegedly paying a former student “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to keep quiet about past sexual abuse at the politician’s hands. [New York Times]

    * Beau Biden, former state attorney general of Delaware, major in the Delaware Army National Guard’s JAG Corps, and son of Vice President Joe Biden, RIP. [Washington Post]

    56 Comments / / Jun 1, 2015 at 9:07 AM
  • Lindsay Lohan (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.29.15

    * It may have taken two years, but Lindsay Lohan finally completed her community service for her reckless driving conviction. In other news, for the first time in almost eight years, the Hollywood has-been is off probation. Yay! [Los Angeles Times]

    * A former staff attorney at Drinker Biddle was suspended from practice after overbilling his time doing doc review work by just a tad — 418.5 hours, to be exact. He owes the firm $12,500 to be paid in monthly installments of $100. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * An ex-assistant dean and a professor at Cleveland-Marshall Law filed suit against Dean Craig Boise, claiming he retaliated against them after they assisted the faculty in unionizing. This, after they were offered raises of $0 or $666. [Northeast Ohio Media]

    * Someone’s allegedly been a very bad boy: Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted by a federal grand jury for lying to the FBI in an attempt to conceal payoffs to a third party to cover up his “prior bad acts.” We wonder what those “bad acts” were… [BuzzFeed News]

    * We bet you didn’t know that if you get convicted for sex on the beach you’d have to serve jail time and register as a sex offender. Protip: Don’t let 3-year-olds catch you doing the dirty in public. You’ll regret it for life (or until you win an appeal). [Bradenton Herald]

    27 Comments / / May 29, 2015 at 9:02 AM