Penn State

Some post-Soviet states kept Lenin statues up longer than Penn State kept JoePa’s.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is about to do what the Southeastern Conference (the “SEC” that actually takes down its targets) does every week on the recruiting trail: tell the NCAA to get bent.

Yesterday, Governor Tom Corbett filed a federal antitrust suit in Harrisburg alleging that the NCAA overstepped its authority in dropping the hammer on Penn State’s football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

Apparently the NCAA may not have quasi-governmental authority to take millions in direct fines from public institutions in an effort to protect its brand name.

Pennsylvanian officials are understandably miffed because Penn State is directly paying millions in fines and missing out on millions more in bowl revenue. Taxpayer dollars intended for the public education of students that had nothing to do with the scandal are being siphoned away from the state to finance programs at the sole discretion of the NCAA leadership and the majority is spent outside Pennsylvania.

The NCAA counters that the criminal activity at Penn State was enabled by a culture of winning-at-all-costs and only the NCAA can appropriately discipline the school for that mindset.

But really this lawsuit comes down to two parties, the NCAA and Corbett, making desperate PR moves to cover their own asses. Is that in poor taste? Sure. Is it in even worse taste that the NCAA and Corbett are using this tragedy for their own purposes? Well let’s look at what they’ve been up to….

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True story: looking for “kidnapping” stock photos revealed this and a bunch of softcore bondage stuff with pretty girls. That’s pretty sick, yo.

* Look, I’m only one man, I can’t refute it every time the New York Times advertises going to law school using terrible arguments. I mean, Dealbook just let a law professor tell people that this is a good time to apply to law school… because all the smart people aren’t taking the LSAT. I just don’t know what to tell people who are persuaded by that. [Dealbook / New York Times]

* Should kidnapping somebody and forcing them to repair your house after a dispute about the quality of their work be illegal? Or should we just call this “specific performance”? [Gawker]

* Florida legislators throw down with the governor over early voting. Will Florida governor Rick Scott relent? Or is he going to double down on suppressing the vote? [Think Progress]

* I’m really glad this didn’t happen at the Penn State Law School. I didn’t feel like being accused of baiting these sorority girls into having a racist party. [Yahoo!News via The Legal Satyricon]

* What constitutes a sham Senate session exactly? [Huffington Post]

* Are you a lawyer on a deferral or a fellowship looking for an interesting project to pick up? If so, check this out. [Idealist]

* Are you looking for something fun to do in New York City tomorrow night? If so, check this out. [Above the Law]

* In case you missed this yesterday during the Cravath bonus-mania-palooza, David Kappos, the director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, announced that he’d be stepping down from his position in January 2013. [Blog of Legal Times]

* And speaking of bonuses, somebody’s not probably getting one this year, because here come the lawsuits: Hewlett-Packard just got slapped with a securities class action suit as a result of the company’s allegedly fraudulent Autonomy acquisition. [Reuters]

* Will Penn State’s former general counsel be able to testify against Gary Schultz and Tim Curley in post-Sandusky criminal proceedings? Considering she’s “a key witness,” she better be. [Corporate Counsel]

* Of course Vermont Law School is considering offering voluntary staff buyouts, the school has a freakin’ $3.3M budget shortfall. In other news, they’ll be upping LL.M. programs to make up the cash. [National Law Journal]

* Paul Ceglia, the man who claims he owns half of Facebook, has been indicted on federal wire and mail fraud charges. He’ll appear in court this Wednesday, but who knows if he’ll have a lawyer by then. [Bloomberg]

* Jay Jaffe, law firm public relations pioneer, RIP. [PRWeek]


Penn State, which will one day be a case study in “brand damage,” has been struggling to figure out what to do with its two law school campuses. The school has one in University Park, it has another one in Carlisle, and it’s dealing with an over 20 percent drop in law school applications.

Not good times.

The University was thinking of consolidating some programs across its two campuses to eliminate redundancies. The school was considering focusing its traditional law school operations on the University Park campus, while using the Carlisle campus to tap into the international market for law students. It makes sense because law students from China evidently don’t read Above the Law (if they did, I’d be saving Twinkies from bankruptcy by myself), and so they don’t yet know the racket of paying for American legal education.

It was a solid economic plan, but apparently the politicians are pulling the public university in the opposite direction….

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* Oakland’s police chief is in trouble for filtering emails with a few key phrases into his junk folder. Big deal! Why would a police chief need to read messages about “police brutality,” “excessive force,” or “Occupy Oakland” anyway? [Legal Satyricon]

* Graham Spanier, the ex-President of Penn State, has been criminally charged with perjury, obstruction, child-endangerment, and conspiracy. The Sandusky child abuse butterfly effect continues. [ABA Journal]

* The story of lawyers, as explained by the characters in Twilight. [LawProfBlawg]

* The captain of the literal failboat says he was wrongfully fired. Come on dude, you crashed a freaking cruise ship. Not crashing is kind of the main part of your job. [Lowering the Bar]

* The headline to this story is: “When Choosing A Bank To Rob, Avoid The One Where Everyone Is Packing” Just click already. [Consumerist]

Karl Rominger

In the hours before Jerry Sandusky’s sentencing on Tuesday, one of his attorneys, Karl Rominger, was giving new meaning to the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small, medium, or large stuff.”

Was Rominger reviewing notes? Meditating? Naaah. He was out drinking with Penn State students! Specifically, he was on the prowl for some ladies.

A couple reporters from school publications were there to catch the action and some choice soundbites from Sandusky’s lawyer. Oh, and of course there are photos.

Giggedy… giggedy?

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Last night, on the eve of his sentencing hearing, Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s former assistant football coach, released an audio recording from jail, and in it he continued to proclaim his innocence. This morning, it was up to the trial judge, Judge John Cleland, to dole out punishment for the man who had been found guilty on 45 of the 48 counts of child sex abuse against him.

So what did the judge decide? Let’s find out….

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Sarah Jones

* “I don’t think that we even need to have a race box on the application.” Abigail Fisher is getting even more time in the spotlight thanks to this media interview, which is sure to be the first of many. [New York Times]

* “[T]hey didn’t do anything wrong civilly — and they certainly didn’t do anything wrong criminally.” Tell that to the prosecutors who are looking into the circumstances of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s epic fail. [Wall Street Journal]

* Lateral hiring in midsize/regional firms seems to be up for those with “real-world experience,” but the starting salaries aren’t anything to write home about — they’re still on the “low” side. [Connecticut Law Tribune]

* Jerry Sandusky’s sentencing hearing is today, and in addition to the tape he already released, he’s planning to read a statement before he receives what’s likely to be a life sentence. WE ARE… kind of tired of hearing about his supposed innocence. [CNN]

* “There are fewer interviews and fewer schools interviewing.” This week, would-be law profs who attend the AALS “meat market” will get a taste of what recent graduates have been experiencing. [National Law Journal]

* Sarah Jones, aka “The Dirty Bengals Cheerleader,” reached a plea agreement in her sexual misconduct case. She won’t get jail time, but she wants to go to law school. Same difference, amirite? [Washington Post]

* Alicia Guastaferro, the pageant princess-cum-alleged prostitute, will plead not guilty later this week. If Wife Swap had a “Where Are They Now” edition, this girl would assure good ratings. [Democrat and Chronicle]

Not so fast, Canellas…

* Yeah, about that huge bonus we were going to pay our ex-finance director — we realized how silly that was, so we’re not going to do that. Aww, don’t worry, Dewey & LeBoeuf, you’ll have plenty of other chances to look absurd. [Am Law Daily]

* Not only is Samsung suing Apple for patent infringement, but the company is also trying to get a do over by getting Judge Lucy Koh to throw out the original billion-dollar verdict over jury foreman Velvin Hogan’s alleged misconduct. [Bloomberg]

* “Small deals are easier to swallow, easier to integrate.” Regional firms like Carlton Fields and Adams and Reese are gobbling up smaller firms in what seems to be the latest trend in law firm merger mania activity. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Douglas Arntsen, the former Crowell & Moring associate who had to be extradited from Hong Kong after embezzling $10.7M from clients, pleaded guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. [New York Law Journal]

* It’s tough to come up with appropriate whistleblower jokes given the background here. We’ll play it straight: Mike McQueary filed a defamation suit against Penn State, and he’s seeking $4M in damages. [ABC News]

* Jose Godinez-Samperio, an undocumented immigrant, is fighting for the ability to practice law in Florida, but the members of the state Supreme Court are literally trying to make it into a “federal case.” [Washington Post]

I’m not a mathematician, but I am a diligent consumer of news. And based on a casual scan of recent headlines and stories that have dominated multiple news cycles, a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that every child in America is getting, or has gotten, raped. From a Catholic church that has exhausted anyone’s ability to be surprised to a football program arrogant enough to talk of a Grand Experiment, the institutions that have been sullied by serial child rape have also been ones that were previously thought of as bastions of strong moral fiber.

And to this Hall of Shame, we can now add the Boy Scouts of America. This Sunday, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé suggesting the Scouts should Be Prepared to get sued for all they’re worth. It could be a real Jamboree for plaintiffs attorneys.

After the jump, see if I can pull off the ridiculously difficult Pinewood Derby reference.

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