Pennsylvania

  • Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffrey

    DUI / DWI, Election Law, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs, Pornography, Pro Se Litigants, State Judges, Television, Trademarks

    Non-Sequiturs: 10.27.14

    * After being temporarily suspended as part of “Porngate” for trafficking in “highly demeaning portrayals of members of various segments of the population, including women, elderly persons, and uniformed school girls,” Seamus McCaffrey retires from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. [Philadelphia Daily News]

    * A group of women lawyers in Miami has called for NBC to cancel Bad Judge because it “depicts a female judge as unethical, lazy, crude, hyper-sexualized, and unfit to hold such an esteemed position of power.” Indeed there’s no place for depicting women judges that way on TV. Especially when Miami is perfectly capable of depicting them that way in real life. [Crushable]

    * Epic trademark infringement. [Legal Cheek]

    * Crazy pro se guy slapped down in Canada. [Lowering the Bar]

    * While almost everyone else is seeing lower applications, USC Law saw a 5 percent bump. [USC Gould School of Law]

    * Stanford and Dartmouth in hot water over election law charges in Montana. Apparently piercing the imaginary veil of non-partisanship in judicial elections is the problem and not the whole idea of judicial elections in the first place. [Montana Standard]

    5 Comments / / Oct 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM
  • Attractive businesswoman holds magnifying glass, isolated

    eDiscovery

    Are Attorney-Expert Communications Discoverable in Pennsylvania? (Almost never) — Some Clarity from the Appellate Courts

    In Pennsylvania, testifying experts usually are not deposed before trial; typically, their written reports are provided in advance of trial and delineate the substance and scope of their testimony. Attorneys often wish to communicate with their client’s expert and comment on drafts of the reports. Until April 2014, the law was not clear whether these communications were discoverable. This uncertainty made it problematic and potentially perilous for a party’s attorney to communicate with the party’s testifying expert, particularly in advance of the disclosure of the expert’s report. In Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hosp. of the Sisters of Christian Charity, No. 2014 WL 1688447 (Pa. Apr. 29, 2014), the Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania took up the issue of the discovery of attorney-expert communications and split 3-3. This left intact the Superior Court’s bright-line rule preventing discovery of attorney-expert communications—a rule now to be applied by Pennsylvania trial courts.

    / Oct 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM
  • MI+PA+Supreme+Court+Judge+Seamus+McCaffery-RF

    Email Scandals, Pornography, State Judges

    Court Kicks Supreme Court Justice To Curb In ‘Porngate’ Decision

    It turns out trading porn is the least of the allegations against Justice McCaffrey….

    29 Comments / / Oct 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM
  • Justice Joan Orie Melvin

    9th Circuit, American Bar Association / ABA, Art, Biglaw, Blogging, Gay, Gay Marriage, Gender, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Sentencing Law, State Judges, Tax Law

    Morning Docket: 10.08.14

    * How are Nevada and Idaho officials reacting to yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling striking down gay marriage bans in those states, and how soon might marriages get underway? [BuzzFeed]

    * In other LGBT legal news, New York City is likely to make it easier for transgender individuals to amend their birth certificates. [New York Times]

    * Good news for Joan Orie Melvin, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice turned convicted felon: her unorthodox sentence has been stayed (again). [How Appealing]

    * Eduardo Leite, who has led Baker & McKenzie since 2010, gets another two years at the helm of Biglaw’s biggest firm. [American Lawyer]

    * Cravath associate Micaela McMurrough scores a victory in tax court for artists. [New York Times]

    * The ABA has issued a new opinion addressing ethical issues raised during the sale of a law practice. [American Bar Association]

    * Why do lawyers blog? Tim Baran of Rocket Matter talks to 23 of us. [Legal Productivity]

    3 Comments / / Oct 8, 2014 at 8:59 AM
  • 'Why is your keyboard so sticky, Your Honor?'

    Email Scandals, Pornography, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns

    Supreme Court Justice Involved In ‘Porngate’ Scandal

    Which Supreme Court justice allegedly traded sexually explicit emails with his colleagues?

    29 Comments / / Oct 3, 2014 at 11:15 AM
  • sexual harassment

    Commencement, Gay Marriage, General Counsel, Law Reviews, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Politics, Sexual Harassment, Small Law Firms

    Morning Docket: 05.22.14

    * Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett, who really wants to win his reelection vote in November, won’t appeal the decision striking down the state’s ban on gay marriage, making him the third governor to concede after a major loss in court. [Bloomberg]

    * Sen. Ted Kennedy finally received his diploma from UVA Law, albeit posthumously. The school’s registrar kept it for more than half a century — they didn’t have his address. Lucky guy never received donation letters, either. [National Law Journal]

    * An associate is suing her former boss for six figures after he allegedly sent her erotic emails about his fantasy workplace affair. Her fantasy of loan repayment may come true if she wins this case. [Oregonian]

    * Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell gave some pretty great advice to recent graduates at GW Law: “Be someone [your boss] can talk to, rather than someone she can give orders to.” [Corporate Counsel]

    * The New Mexico Law Review is dedicating an upcoming issue to articles related to Breaking Bad, which officially makes it one of the only law reviews whose pages will be read by human beings. [WSJ Law Blog]

    3 Comments / / May 22, 2014 at 8:59 AM
  • Sexism

    Biglaw, California, Department of Justice, Gay Marriage, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Patton Boggs, Sexism, Television

    Morning Docket: 05.21.14

    * A DLA Piper partner was cleared by the firm in connection with a string of sexist emails exchanged with a client because real lads don’t get in trouble for such trifling behavior. We’ll have more on this later. [Am Law Daily]

    * Patton Boggs partners started voting on the firm’s merger with Squire Sanders yesterday. Apparently there’s at least one partner who will not be allowed to join the new firm because of prior conduct. Sucks to be you, guy. [Reuters]

    * “It’s the best way to prepare for a whole variety of things.” Right now is one of the best times to go to law school, say California law school deans who really need to get asses in empty seats. [Daily Transcript]

    * ““We are a better people than what these laws represent.” Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was struck down yesterday, making it the 14th victory in a row for the marriage equality movement. [Bloomberg]

    * Showtime just bought a law firm comedy about “four smartass, workaholic associates” in Biglaw trying to make partner and avoid being murdered by the office serial killer at the same time. Uh, yeah. [Deadline]

    2 Comments / / May 21, 2014 at 9:16 AM
  • This 'real' housewife needs a real lawyer.

    Attorney Misconduct, D.C. Circuit, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, New Jersey, Old People, Perverts, Reality TV, SCOTUS, Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 09.12.13

    * The debt “vultures” are still circling Argentina’s carcass, but later this month, the justices of the Supreme Court will convene to decide whether or not they’ll take up the country’s bond case. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Judge Robert Wilkins managed to sail through his D.C. Circuit confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee with great ease, but let’s see what happens when he gets to the full Senate. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * An in-house attorney in Pennsylvania was suspended from the practice of law for six months because he attached a camera to his shoe to secretly film up women’s skirts. What a classy dude. [Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.)]

    * Massive open online courses are trending in the world of higher education, and some law schools — e.g., Harvard and Northwestern — decided to get on the bandwagon while the getting’s good. [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * “I’m prepared to drop everything and go to law school,” says the man appealing his age discrimination suit against Baylor Law School because his GPA predates grade inflation. [Texas Lawyer (sub. req.)]

    * The man who represented cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey was arrested for the unauthorized practice of law. We bet these “reality” TV stars wish they had a real lawyer. [Bergen Record]

    3 Comments / / Sep 12, 2013 at 9:17 AM
  • It's Alito time, Phil! (via Getty Images)

    Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Celebrities, Constitutional Law, Eugene Scalia, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Law Schools, LSAT, Military / Military Law, Morning Docket, Phil Alito, Police, Samuel Alito, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Shira Scheindlin, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 08.22.13

    * The NSA has violated the Constitution for years, you say? And it’s been misleading the FISA court about all of its domestic spying activities? As of this moment, the NSA is on double secret probation! [New York Times]

    * Imagine how the New York stop-and-frisk case would have turned out if it had been before SCOTUS. The “human toll of unconstitutional stops” may not have been weighed so heavily. [Opinionator / New York Times]

    * “[N]o one has a crystal ball,” but right now, it’s highly likely that the Supreme Court will take up another gay marriage case. Perhaps it’ll be the one that’s currently unfolding in Pennsylvania. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * According to a recent survey conducted by Randstad, about 60 percent of lawyers are proud to be members of the legal profession, which is impressive(!) considering how unhappy they are. [The Lawyer]

    * Birds of a feather really do flock together. Philip Alito, son of Justice Samuel Alito, will join Eugene Scalia, son of Justice Antonin Scalia, at Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * Even though the vast majority of his race-based claims were dismissed on summary judgment, this “token black associate” still has a respected Biglaw firm up against the Ropes. [National Law Journal]

    * Law school applications are plummeting, but top law schools haven’t started scraping the bottom of the barrel — their applicants’ LSAT scores have remained relatively competitive. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female.” Considering (s)he was just sentenced to 35 years in prison, Bradley Chelsea Manning sure picked a great time to make this announcement to the world. [Chicago Tribune]

    * You dare call the Duchess of Dumplins racist and sexist? When it comes to Paula Deen’s new legal team from Morgan Lewis, five are women, and four are black. Take that, Lisa Jackson. [Am Law Daily]

    4 Comments / / Aug 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM
  • Martin Lipton?

    Attorney Misconduct, Clerkships, Deaths, Drugs, Education / Schools, Gay, Gay Marriage, Legal Ethics, Martin Lipton, Money, Morning Docket, Murder, Police, Privacy, SCOTUS, Sentencing Law, Shira Scheindlin, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

    Morning Docket: 08.16.13

    * Former SCOTUS clerks earn more money for having clerked at the high court than SCOTUS justices earn for their yearly salaries. Consider how ridiculous that is. [The Economist]

    * As it turns out, the National Security Agency oversteps its legal authority thousands of times each year, but that’s only because it’s a “human-run agency.” [Washington Post]

    * Federal judges have come together to bemoan sequestration. “We do not have projects or programs to cut; we only have people.” Eep! Don’t give them any ideas. [National Law Journal]

    * Ready, set, lawgasm! The comment period for proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure opened up yesterday, and yet again, e-discovery rules are on the table for debate. [Forbes]

    * NYU professors want Martin Lipton to step down from the school’s board of trustees, but the Wachtell Lipton founding partner has had a honey badger-esque response — he don’t give a s**t. [Am Law Daily]

    * As was widely expected, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s army of New York City lawyers will soon take the first step to appeal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s stop-and-frisk ruling. [New York Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * A West Virginia judge was federally indicted for attempting to frame his secretary’s husband with drug charges. Did we mention that the secretary is the judge’s ex-lover? Quite dramatic. [Charleston Gazette]

    * Consortium: Not just for straight couples. A same-sex couple in Pennsylvania is trying to appeal the dismissal of a loss of consortium claim in light of the Supreme Court’s Windsor ruling. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * Christian Gerhartsreiter, aka poseur heir Clark Rockefeller, was just sentenced to 27 years to life in prison in a California cold-case murder. Maybe Lifetime will make a sequel to that god-awful movie. [Toronto Star]

    * Jacques Vergès, defender of notorious villains and perpetual devil’s advocate, RIP. [New York Times]

    16 Comments / / Aug 16, 2013 at 9:11 AM
  • Pencil

    Bar Exams, California, Women's Issues

    Bar Exam Day One: No Right To Tampons Or Pencils, But Valets Are Okay

    Gender and technological discrimination abounds during the first day of the bar exam.

    32 Comments / / Jul 31, 2013 at 10:49 AM
  • Howard Dean

    5th Circuit, American Bar Association / ABA, Biglaw, Cellphones, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Eric Holder, Gay Marriage, Headhunters / Recruiters, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Texas

    Morning Docket: 07.31.13

    * Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the legal wrangling: Eric Holder’s use of the VRA’s “bail in” provision to circumvent the SCOTUS ruling in Shelby may prove to be trouble. [National Law Journal]

    * The Fifth Circuit upheld warrantless cellphone tracking yesterday, noting that it was “not per se unconstitutional.” We suppose that a per se victory for law enforcement is better than nothing. [New York Times]

    * The pretty people at Davis Polk are fighting a $1.4 million suit over a headhunter’s fee with some pretty ugly words, alleging that the filing “fails both as a matter of law and common sense.” [Am Law Daily]

    * Howard Dean is rather annoyed that he’s had to go on the defensive about his work for McKenna Long & Aldridge after railing against Obamacare. Ideally, he’d just like to scream and shout about it. [TIME]

    * The ABA is concerned about Florida A&M, and sent a second warning about the school’s imminent failure to meet accreditation standards. Well, I’ll be damned, the ABA actually cares. [Orlando Sentinel]

    * Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is suing to prevent a clerk from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. A silly little lawsuit won’t stop this guy from doing what he thinks is right. [Legal Intelligencer]

    17 Comments / / Jul 31, 2013 at 9:15 AM
  • shopping spree

    Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, Crime, Divorce Train Wrecks, Legal Ethics, Money, Morning Docket, Oral Sex / Blow Jobs, Partner Issues, Shopping, Shopping For Others, Trials

    Morning Docket: 07.26.13

    * Want to know another thing that’s causing Biglaw to implode? All of these huge partner compensation spreads we’ve told you about are creating a “star culture,” and even law firm partners are capable of jealousy. [Am Law Daily]

    * It looks like Charleston School of Law is the latest institution of legal education to be enticed and swallowed up into the for-profit InfiLaw System. Will a sale be next? We’ll have more info on these developments later today. [Post and Courier]

    * Sorry, but in Pennsylvania, you cannot represent clients on a quid pro blow basis. You could get suspended for a year, like this guy. Wonder what his retainer agreement looked like. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * The sole minority juror from the George Zimmerman trial — the one who was liable to allow the jury to be hung — is now telling the world she thought the acquitted “got away with murder.” [ABC News]

    * Lawyers for accused kidnapper Ariel Castro are considering a deal offered by prosecutors that takes the death penalty off the table. He might be able to enjoy some ribs in prison if he’s there for life. [CNN]

    * Neiman Marcus settled a case with a divorcée whose ex-husband was allegedly cheating on her with a saleswoman. You really can return anything, up to $1.4 million in value! [FDLuxe / Dallas Morning News]

    3 Comments / / Jul 26, 2013 at 9:10 AM
  • copy machine

    4th Circuit, Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, California, Constitutional Law, Crime, Gay Marriage, Health Care / Medicine, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Murder, Music, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUS, State Attorneys General, Supreme Court, Trials

    Morning Docket: 07.12.13

    * You’ve seen Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg give Justice Antonin Scalia the finger in prose, but now you can hear what it would sound like in operatic form as composed by a recent law school graduate. [NPR]

    * The Fourth Circuit upheld Obamacare’s employer mandate against Liberty University, calling it a constitutional tax, just like the individual mandate. Now’s a perfect time for a sip of Campari. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The Fried Frank toner bandit was sent to the slammer, but alas, it’s unlikely that the firm will be able to recover any of its losses. Too bad, it could use the cash after its 2012 performance. [Am Law Daily]

    * Crisis? What crisis? The dean of UC Davis Law refuses to trim class size, but that doesn’t really matter — the application cycle is handling the situation quite nicely. [Sacramento Business Journal]

    * Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane won’t defend the state against a lawsuit seeking to overturn its ban on same-sex marriage. She’s choosing the people over politics. [New York Times]

    * With his trial quickly drawing to a close, George Zimmerman is growing increasingly worried about his future. Let’s face it, even if he’s acquitted, living in hiding isn’t a very good look for him. [ABC News]

    11 Comments / / Jul 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM
  • iphone

    3rd Circuit, 7th Circuit, Biglaw, Blackberry-Crackberry, Cellphones, Gay Marriage, Guns / Firearms, In-House Counsel, Insider Trading, iPhone, Law Professors, Law Schools, LSAT, Morning Docket, Sentencing Law, Trials

    Morning Docket: 07.10.13

    * “Can you imagine if a law firm had a breach? We wouldn’t work with them again.” In-house counsel are pissed that outside counsel CHECK THEY EMAILS on cellphones. [Am Law Daily]

    * Matt Kluger’s 12-year insider trading sentence was upheld by the Third Circuit. All of the Biglaw firms he’s worked at, most recently Wilson Sonsini, must be so proud. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * Shots fired: a tax law professor decimates Seton Hall in prose over its decision to possibly kick untenured junior professors to the curb due to budget considerations. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Do yourselves a favor, and don’t worry about how to “demystify the LSAT experimental section” during the test — unless you want a crappy score. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * Pass the ammunition? After facing a court-mandated deadline from the Seventh Circuit, Illinois is now the last state in the country to have legalized the concealed carrying of firearms. [Chicago Tribune]

    * Now that SCOTUS has punted on the question of gay marriage, other plaintiffs are stepping forward to sue for the right to wed. Next up, a challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on equality. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * James “Whitey” Bulger let f-bombs fly across the courtroom during his trial yesterday when his former partner took the stand to testify against the mob boss. Once a Masshole, always a Masshole. [CNN]

    18 Comments / / Jul 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM
  • sex offenders LF

    Biglaw, Crime, Google / Search Engines, Law Schools, Sex, Summer Associates

    Top Law Firm Fires Summer Associate After Learning Of His Criminal Past

    Which firm did he work at, where does he go to law school, and what was his crime?

    83 Comments / / Jun 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM
  • Jodi Arias

    Biglaw, Commencement, Crime, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Morning Docket, Murder, Sentencing Law, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Trials

    Morning Docket: 05.10.13

    * Growth was “steady” for New York’s top firms, with Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps leading the pack in terms of gross revenue — which wasn’t surprising, considering their Am Law 100 gross revenue ranking. [New York Law Journal]

    * Dewey know when we’ll be able to stop using this pun? Hmm, at this rate, probably never. Steve Otillar and Citi recently settled their dueling suits over the ex-D&L partner’s capital contribution loan to the failed firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * Cahill Gordon was supposed to investigate the Rutgers basketball scandal, but the firm cited a conflict of interest, so Skadden Arps stepped in. [Insert the joke of your choice here. I don’t like or watch this sport.] [Reuters]

    * Surely you’ve heard about Justice Orie Melvin’s sentence by now. As it turns out, shaming a judge like you’d shame your dog online might not be enforceable… which is too bad. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

    * When we last spoke about “controversial” commencement speakers, we didn’t bring up the fact that Nancy Pelosi would be pulling double duty at UC Davis and Baltimore. Thoughts? [National Law Journal]

    * She’s got a death wish: the aggravation phase of the Jodi Arias trial was postponed at the last minute yesterday, and some think it’s because of the interview she gave after the verdict was announced. [CNN]

    0 Comments / / May 10, 2013 at 9:06 AM
  • Football, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Politics, Prostitution, Sports, Texas

    Morning Docket: 03.05.13

    * Pennsylvania prosecutors are “outraged” that the new Attorney General is investigating how the office dropped the ball in the Sandusky case. Their frustration is understandable… looking into obvious wrongdoing seems to be a new concept for them. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * New charges brought in the Florida A&M Band hazing case. Twelve defendants will now face felony manslaughter charges. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Nixon Peabody’s annual firm cook-off just concluded. This is a much better firm morale boost than, say, writing a firm theme song. [ABA Journal via Capital Business / Washington Post]

    * A plan is in the works for a new University of Texas system law school. On the one hand, the new school could improve the diversity of the Texas bar. On the other hand, no one in the state was saying, “Wow, we’re really suffering from a dearth of lawyers.” [The Daily Texan]

    * A model depicted in the opening credits of Mad Men has filed suit, alleging that the show is using her image without permission. The show has used the same opening for six years. Looks like someone just got Netflix! [The Wrap]

    * According to the escort who made the allegations, she was paid to falsely claim that she was hired by Senator Menendez. [Washington Post]

    4 Comments / / Mar 5, 2013 at 9:08 AM

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