Morning Docket

  • Loretta Lynch

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.26.15

    * Congratulations to Loretta Lynch, who cleared a divided Senate Judiciary yesterday. And now secret Kenyan Muslim Barack Obama is one step closer to whatever conservatives think he’s planning in their fever dreams. [National Law Journal]

    * Police made an arrest in the bizarre hatchet attack upon a lawyer in Massachusetts. The motive, according to authorities, stemmed from the lawyer representing one of the suspect’s family members in probate court. [The Patriot Ledger]

    * It may not be $2.6 billion in revenue like some firms, but congratulations to Paul Hastings for crossing the $1 billion revenue threshold. [The Am Law Daily]

    * South Korea legalizes adultery. If you didn’t think South Koreans were waiting for the legal go ahead to start screwing around, the market doesn’t lie. [New York Times]

    * Nice rundown from Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center: 5 myths about King v. Burwell. [Washington Post]

    * Prosecutors lodge a number of additional charges against Supreme Court protestors because there’s a surprisingly high number of distinct federal crimes for “standing up and chanting in protest.” [Legal Times]

    9 Comments / / Feb 27, 2015 at 9:07 AM
  • Kim_Kardashian LF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.26.15

    * Kim Kardashian is reportedly seeking law firm experience despite having no “legal training” or “redeeming qualities,” and she wants Amal Clooney to give her a hand. [Legal Cheek]

    * Do you remember Jennifer Gaubert, the New Orleans lawyer and radio host who hooked up with her cab driver… on video? She’s been sentenced. [Times-Picayune]

    * Supreme Court hears attorneys’ fees case. Baker Botts wants to get paid, yo. [Washington Post]

    * With three NFL teams publicly announcing their intention to build multi-billion dollar arenas in L.A., now’s a good time to mention that firms specializing in sports work have a pretty sweet business model. [The American Lawyer]

    * That was fast. Days after Dean Nora Demleitner announced that she was stepping down, Washington & Lee already has a new dean. [TaxProf Blog]

    * Jury slams Apple with $533 Million verdict. As they say, everything’s bigger in Texas. [The Litigation Daily]

    10 Comments / / Feb 26, 2015 at 8:33 AM
  • Morning Docket, Trials

    Morning Docket: 02.25.15

    * Smart women, foolish choices? Alexandra Marchuk might regret turning down a $425,001 offer of judgment from the defendants in Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi, in which she wound up getting a $140,000 verdict. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    * In other news from high-profile sexual harassment cases, the trial in Harvard Law grad Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against venture capital behemoth Kleiner Perkins got underway yesterday. [USA Today]

    * A guilty verdict and a life sentence in the “American Sniper” trial. [New York Times]

    * Embattled politico Sheldon Silver has turned to the talented Steven Molo in seeking to get the criminal charges against him dismissed. [New York Post]

    * J.J. Nelson v. Adidas: coming to a 1L Contracts casebook near you? [ESPN]

    * Law schools dropping the LSAT: a trend in the making? [BloombergBusiness]

    * The latest in Deidre Clark v. Allen & Overy: is plaintiff Deidre Dare ready for her close-up psychological exam? [New York Law Journal]

    * Is the job outlook for law school graduates brightening? Some thoughts from Jim Leipold of NALP. [National Law Journal via ABA Journal]

    * As he runs for Congress, what does Staten Island district attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. have to say about the Eric Garner case? [New York Times]

    23 Comments / / Feb 25, 2015 at 8:37 AM
  • Mary Jo White

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.24.15

    * Mary Jo White’s sizable net worth is causing sizable headaches over at the SEC. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * If you work at a law firm and take way too long to perform simple tasks in Microsoft Word or Excel, shape up: a new test, developed by former in-house lawyer Casey Flaherty, could expose your weaknesses — and lead to your work being discounted. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

    * More from Howard Bashman about the misadventures of Howard Shipley, the Foley & Lardner partner who might get spanked by SCOTUS for a bizarre filing. [How Appealing]

    * An S.D.N.Y. jury held the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization liable for supporting six terrorist attacks and issued a verdict of $218.5 million — an award that will under the law get tripled (collected remains to be seen). [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Wall Street banks and their law firms are getting serious about cybersecurity. [New York Times]

    * Thanks to Emily Kelchen for her review of Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), which she calls “a true legal thriller.” [Wisconsin Lawyer]

    13 Comments / / Feb 24, 2015 at 9:22 AM
  • Alexandra Marchuk and Juan Monteverde

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket 02.23.15

    * Welcome back my friends, to the case that never ends: attorneys for Alexandra Marchuk lodged a request for $1.4 million in attorneys fees after her Pyrrhic victory in the Faruqi & Faruqi case. [Law360]

    * In the wake of the Oscars, it’s worth remembering that David Boies is a movie producer. Next up for his shop, Boies/Schiller Film Group, a movie starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. Because their last movies together were so frigging fantastic. [The Am Law Daily]

    * Speaking of the Oscars, just how much will nominees be regretting that $160,000 swag bag come tax time? [TaxProf Blog]

    * Former Port Authority Chairman David Samson is under scrutiny for enjoying some untoward perks. Like the United Airlines flight route direct from Newark to Samson’s weekend home that was routinely bereft of passengers and ceased to exist days after Samson left the job. Something’s clearly suspect if someone is willingly flying United. [North Jersey.com]

    * We’ve previously discussed the benchslap potential for Howard Shipley over his unorthodox Supreme Court brief. Now his lawyers, including SCOTUS mainstay Paul Clement, have told the Court that it’s basically all the client’s fault. [Legal Times]

    48 Comments / / Feb 23, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • law_school LF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.20.15

    * It looks like some pretty big changes are going to be coming down the pipeline at Washington & Lee University School of Law. From faculty and staff layoffs to payouts from its endowment, this generally doesn’t look pretty. We’ll have more on this news later today. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * The 87th Academy Awards ceremony is this weekend, and you know what that means: IP lawyers are doing their damndest to protect the Oscars brand. Can you imagine the sheer number of cease and desist letters that have been going out? [National Law Journal]

    * Congratulations to Marci Eisenstein, who was recently elected to become the first woman to serve as managing partner of Schiff Hardin in the firm’s 150-year history. FYI, the firm’s most recent partner classes have been 2/3 women for the past three years. [Am Law Daily]

    * New Jersey Governor and would-be Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie made five firms really happy in 2014 thanks to all of the legal work he handed to them. Gibson Dunn, for example, earned $7.9 million from the Bridgegate affair. [Courier-Post]

    * Which state will be the next to legalize recreational marijuana? It may be Vermont, where Senate Bill 95 would allow those 21 and older to possess, use, and sell pot. Just think, you can save the environment and get high while you do it! [Huffington Post]

    17 Comments / / Feb 20, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Loretta Lynch (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.19.15

    * “Let’s face it: There are some people here that will not vote for her unless she says what they want her to say, that the president committed an illegal act by these [immigration] executive orders.” Loretta Lynch is having a tough time making Republican friends. [The Hill]

    * Some new details have been released on the investigation into DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt’s death. Per police records, he was stabbed in the back, and was found in his hotel room with “lubricant and condom” and an “enema.” We’ll have more on this development later today. [Legal Times]

    * The rankings are coming! THE RANKINGS ARE COMING! Rankings guru Bob Morse, the man who holds law school deans’ jobs in his hands, says the 2016 U.S. News Law School Rankings will be out on March 10. [Morse Code / U.S. News & World Report]

    * A patent lawyer with Asperger’s syndrome is suing Patterson & Sheridan for discrimination. In his suit, he claims that a prominent partner was allowed to continually harass him in a purported quest to drive him out. Ah, law firm life. [The Recorder]

    * The case against the ex-leaders of Dewey & LeBoeuf hinges on the testimony of the failed firm’s former employees. Defense attorneys, of course, are trying to get things barred from admission — including one defendant’s link to a mob member. [New York Law Journal]

    * “We’re still in the same position we’ve been in. There’s progress, but things are moving at a snail’s pace.” As we mentioned earlier this week, according to NALP, the percentage of women associates in law firms is up… but not by much. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * One of the best law schools in the country will have a brand new dean come this summer. Congratulations to Theodore Ruger, a longtime law professor who will assume the deanship at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in July. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    26 Comments / / Feb 19, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Justice Clarence Thomas

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.18.15

    * Could it be? Did Justice Clarence Thomas ask a question during oral arguments at SCOTUS? No, but he did ask a question at Yale Law during a presentation, noting that he doesn’t ask “irrelevant, useless questions” at the high court. [Legal Times]

    * Per NALP, gains were made by women and minorities in law firms for the first time in years, but be careful, because Jim Leipold is watching you: “Individual law firms should not be allowed to hide behind the national figures.” [National Law Journal]

    * Meet Judge Robert C. Brack of the District Court of New Mexico, who recently earned quite the accolade. Judge Brack has sentenced more defendants than any other federal judge in the past five years. He won’t be celebrating his achievement. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * This Georgetown Law professor, who happens to be the cofounder of one of the country’s largest litigation finance firms, wants to see a law firm IPO, but others wonder if lawyers would be able to ethically practice while reporting to shareholders. [Washington Post]

    * A Chadbourne & Park employee has been banned from ever working for another law firm again following his theft of $15,360 from C&P’s coffers. Not to worry, no client money was pilfered from the firm — the cash was taken from an open office account. [Am Law Daily]

    * If you haven’t heard, David Lat wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and “[w]riting the novel was almost therapeutic for [him] in a way” — he’s “kind of over” the fact that his résumé doesn’t include a SCOTUS clerkship. [Chicago Daily Law Bulletin]

    * Martha Africa, name partner of Major Lindsey & Africa, RIP. [San Francisco Chronicle]

    17 Comments / / Feb 18, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • lawyer snow angel

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.17.15

    * Following NBC’s announcement of his six-month suspension without pay, Brian Williams turned to Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly to save his career. The pair met when they were Supreme Court clerks — oopsie, we guess that’s another misrepresentation. [Am Law Daily]

    * “We weren’t about to ask them to risk life and limb to get in.” As Boston braces for yet another snowstorm, Biglaw firms are trying to figure out how they can continue to operate. Punxsutawney Phil is keeping the wheels of justice from turning. [National Law Journal]

    * The Supreme Court has granted Colorado an extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma which claims that its decision to legalize marijuana was unconstitutional. Puff, puff, pass this cert vote, SCOTUS. [Cannabist / Denver Post]

    * Regulators! Mount up… and then run away to your new Biglaw firms. Preet Bharara’s S.D.N.Y. roster is constantly changing thanks to the golden handcuffs large law firms offer, but Bharara still “love[s] all [his] children equally.” [DealBook / New York Times]

    * David Messerschmitt, the DLA Piper associate who was found dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room last week, is remembered by his colleagues as “someone so talented and so nice.” There have been no new breaks in his murder investigation. [Legal Times]

    14 Comments / / Feb 17, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Thanks, Davis Polk!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.16.15

    Ed. note: Due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, we will be on a reduced publication schedule today. We will still be publishing, but less frequently than usual. We will be back in full force tomorrow.

    * The news is in, and it seems that Davis Polk’s financial numbers were at record highs. The firm’s revenue beat the $1 billion mark for the first time ever, and its PPP rose to $3.29 million. No wonder its 2014 bonuses were so awesome! [Am Law Daily]

    * Yes, we know that William Mitchell Law and Hamline Law are merging to survive as a result of a quickly disappearing applicant pool. We’d really love to know how many other law schools are considering this as an alternative to closing their doors. [Star Tribune]

    * How are Nebraska and Oklahoma, which neighbor Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, handling the situation? Not well. Their AGs want SCOTUS to rule the weed law in the state where you can get Rocky Mountain High is unconstitutional. [PBS NewsHour]

    * Thanks to a recent ABA rule change, schools are beginning to admit students without LSAT scores. One of those schools is Iowa Law (ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News), but those students need to have done really well on other standardized tests. [Daily Iowan]

    * “How have I done as a judge today?” “Not bad, but you could do better.” Judge John Hurley had a run-in with an 80-year-old criminal defendant who wouldn’t stop calling him sweetheart. Flip to the next page to see the entertaining video. [NBC 6 South Florida]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mEQp33kr2O8#t=0

    32 Comments / / Feb 16, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • Amanda Knox

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.13.15

    * Amanda Knox, everyone’s favorite convicted/acquitted/convicted murderess, just got engaged to a musician she’s known since middle school. Aww, that’s cute and nice, but what we’d really like to know is where she’s registered for cutlery. [People]

    * Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote was postponed because per Chairman Chuck Grassley, she apparently submitted dissatisfying answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s post-hearing questions. Some says that she’s being held to a double standard… likely because she is being held to a double standard. [National Law Journal]

    * Yesterday afternoon, Judge Callie V.S. Granade ordered that probate judges in Alabama issue same-sex marriage licenses. Sorry Chief Justice Roy Moore, but you better get ready, because the tide of gay marriage is gonna roll. ROLL TIDE ROLL! [National Law Journal]

    * Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s not going to give up on women’s rights cases at the Supreme Court, despite the fact that she’s got male colleagues who “don’t fully appreciate the arbitrary barriers that have been put in women’s way.” [Bloomberg]

    * According to the latest report from Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, Biglaw firms, “across the board,” are doing better than they were last year, but the biggest Biglaw firms are doing the best, of course. We’ll have more on this later today. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would appoint legal representation to a fetus if its mother is brain dead. “You’ll hear what the family wants, and you’ll also give the pre-born child a chance to have a voice in court at that same time.” [Dallas Morning News]

    * New York Law School is launching a two-year law degree program, and students will only have to pay two-thirds of the $147,720 that they normally would have had to. For the record, not all two-year degree programs are cheaper. [Crain’s New York Business]

    43 Comments / / Feb 13, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Divorce Fight

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.12.15

    * With Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, and many lawyers waiting to pop the big question this weekend, we must let our readers know that nothing could possibly be more romantic than a prenuptial agreement. Eww, just kidding. [Total Return / Wall Street Journal]

    * On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you can’t stand your spouse anymore, you can stay for a Valentine’s weekend at the Divorce Hotel in upstate New York. For the low, low price of $5,000, you can check in married and check out single. [New York Post]

    * “Usually, people have told me, when you’re stopped, the officer says, ‘License and registration.’” Here’s a Supreme Court fun fact for you to keep up your sleeve: Chief Justice John Roberts has never been pulled over by a police officer in his life. [Slate]

    * According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, lawyers are the exception to the rule when it comes to pay growth stagnation. “Top earners gonna earn” — by 1,450 percent compared to the competition. [Wonkblog / Washington Post]

    * There’s a warrant out for Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who brought this wintry hell upon the Northeast. “He told several people that winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow!” [CBS Boston]

    9 Comments / / Feb 12, 2015 at 8:27 AM
  • That's. So. Gay.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.11.15

    * Today’s inspirational human being: An ordained minister in Alabama was arrested after offering to perform a same-sex marriage inside a probate judge’s office. She says she’ll do it again, even though she knows she’ll likely be rearrested for doing so. [USA Today]

    * Meanwhile, Judge Callie V.S. Granade will hear arguments on whether she must order Alabama judges to issue marriage license to gay couples. Granade is the one who ruled the state’s ban was unconstitutional in the first place. [New York Times]

    * Per Major Lindsey & Africa’s 2014 Partner Compensation Survey, women partners have finally beaten men when it comes to law firm compensation. Wait, no, that’s not true, it’s just an “anomaly,” and “[t]hese women might be outliers.” [The Careerist]

    * Blank Rome’s ex-chairman donated $5M to Villanova Law to establish an ethics and compliance center. You’re a few years too late, pal. The school could’ve used an ethics and compliance center to avert its admissions scandal. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * “The legal profession can benefit from more diversity. Should those students only attend low-ranked law schools? Absolutely not.” As we mentioned previously, law school diversity has improved, but only at the bottom. [National Law Journal]

    24 Comments / / Feb 11, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • airplane

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.10.15

    * “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]

    34 Comments / / Feb 10, 2015 at 9:08 AM
  • Adriana Ferreyr

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.09.15

    * People keep asking Justice Ginsburg how many women she thinks will be “enough” for the SCOTUS bench, and she keeps giving us the same amazing answer. Flip the page to find out what the Notorious R.B.G. thinks. [Mother Jones]

    * Law school deans gone wild! From sex scandals to rankings rumpuses, here’s a look at the crazy and sometimes criminal activities that law school administrators and faculty members have been accused of over the years. [National Law Journal]

    * “That’s it. Case dismissed. Your behavior is contemptuous.” Adriana Ferreyr, the on-again, off-again girlfriend of George Soros who filed a $50 million lawsuit over a $2 million apartment, allegedly went “berserk” in court… yet again. [Dealbreaker]

    * The job market would like to wish the legal profession a very unhappy New Year. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector lost 1,400 jobs in January, with overall jobs down by 4,500 since last year. [Am Law Daily]

    * “I felt like my head was just mush inside, and I thought, ‘I’m dying.'” Mary Margaret Farren, the former Skadden attorney who survived her ex-husband’s brutal attack on her life, recounts the flashlight bludgeoning that nearly killed her. [ABC News]

    * Is there no relief in sight for law schools? Moody’s says: “This continued decrease in student demand is consistent with our belief that the legal industry is experiencing a fundamental shift rather than a cyclical trend.” [Indianapolis Business Journal]

    (Flip to the next page to see how many women Justice Ginsburg thinks SCOTUS needs.)

    http://youtu.be/vJs1H5tQlDc

    62 Comments / / Feb 9, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Angry menager

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.06.15

    * Justice Ginsburg is concerned that “our system is being polluted” by the deluge of money that’s being dumped into election campaigns, including judicial elections. “Something is terribly wrong” and it needs to be fixed. [Legal Times]

    * A Suffolk Law professor says laptops should be banned from law school classrooms because of a recent study that says taking verbatim notes makes student comprehension suffer. But then they wouldn’t be able to play online! :( [ABA Journal]

    * “It is virtually inevitable that some or many of the carriers will challenge the rules.” It’s highly likely that net neutrality will be headed back to the courts, no matter what the Federal Communications Commission has to say about it. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “I think that a law degree is a worthwhile investment for students that have a goal. I don’t know if it’s good for students trying to figure things out.” Enrollment is down at Elon Law, but you should go if your goal is to be employed… eventually. [Pendulum]

    * “Trying to make a claim there’s negligence when there are lawful exemptions is very problematic.” Also problematic are the measles outbreaks across the country, and it may soon be harder for parents to opt out of vaccinations. [National Law Journal]

    4 Comments / / Feb 6, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Lindsay Lohan

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.05.15

    * Lindsay Lohan and her mom are suing Fox News with claims the TV network defamed them by saying “Lindsay Lohan’s mom is doing cocaine with her.” Legal experts are of the opinion the Lohans must be doing lines if they think they’ll win. [U.S. News & World Report]

    * A prospective juror in the Colorado movie theater massacre case was released after telling a judge she brought her unvaccinated grandchild to court and ripping her hair out. Well, that’s one way to get out of jury duty. [Aurora Sentinel]

    * Justice Elena Kagan says that if she hadn’t left her Harvard Law deanship to become solicitor general, she “[doesn’t] think [she] would be doing law, quite honestly.” The Supreme jurist says that “[i]t shows you how weird life can be.” [Supreme Court Brief]

    * Lawyers in New York are worried that if the state adopts the Uniform Bar Exam, the “gold standard” of having passed the tougher version of the New York exam will be devalued. Aww, sorry about your butthurt. Get well soon. [New York Law Journal]

    * Fresh off an 18-month tour of racking up insider trading convictions as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, Richard Tarlowe will join Paul Weiss to focus on white-collar criminal defense. Best of luck. [DealBook / New York Times]

    9 Comments / / Feb 5, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • A very 'special pen' for a very special lawyer.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.04.15

    * When we first reported on this former law school dean’s arrest for prostitution, we weren’t sure if he was the alleged john. Now we know: SMU Law’s John Attanasio allegedly offered to pay an undercover officer $100 for “specific sexual acts.” [Dallas Morning News]

    * It seems that a lawyer in Nebraska lost his “special pen” at the courthouse, and he’d really like it to be returned to him. It’s not just any pen — it’s a $500 Montblanc Meisterstück. Help this man get his prestigious pen back. [Omaha World-Herald]

    * The early numbers on Cadwalader’s ranking in the Am Law 100 seems to indicate that would-be chair James Woolery got the hell out while the getting was still good. The firm’s profits per partner dropped by 15.3 percent in 2014. Ouch. [Am Law Daily]

    * “Being in the law school business looked like a good idea. Those days are over.” Enrollment continues to decline at law schools across the country, and in Virginia, class sizes are about 20 percent smaller than they were in 2011. [Roanoke Times]

    * When it comes to the recent murder-suicide of two Tulane Law students, “[p]eople are really surprised and baffled about what happened” because they say there were no warning signs. If you’re depressed, please seek help. [New Orleans Advocate]

    * Given the fact that children’s vaccinations have become a topic presidential candidates are debating, you should know that almost half the states allow anti-vaxxer parents to opt-out. Thanks for the measles, everyone! [WSJ Law Blog]

    57 Comments / / Feb 4, 2015 at 8:53 AM