Ed. note: Above the Law will not be publishing on Monday, May 25, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
* The settlement deal between Target and Mastercard over the 2013 data breach is dead after failing to garner the requisite issuer support. Proposed settlement: $19 million. Years of protracted litigation: Priceless. [Credit Union Times]
* High school teacher who admitted she and another teacher had a threesome with a 16-year-old student got off — well, legally — with a slap on the wrist. Folks are starting to wonder if her dad being a sitting district judge had anything to do with that. [Times-Picayune]
* On a similar note, Mama June of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo… fame? Is she famous? Whatever. The point is Mama June is toying with suing the TLC Network because they canceled her show over a child molester, but haven’t nuked 19 Kids and Counting in the wake of its brewing molestation scandal. When you consider these hit shows starring inbred hillbillies with molestation issues, remember that TLC stands for “The Learning Channel.” [TMZ]
* Lawmakers pushing back against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to appoint an independent monitor to investigate police-related civilian killings. One skeptical State Senator proclaims, “What I do know is that it treats police officers different than other citizens.” Yes, because right now the police get the same kid gloves grand jury presentations the rest of us do. [Capital New York]
* Texas prosecuted 115,782 truancies in a year, levying hefty fines and doling out jail time to kids as young as 12. Well hello there prison-industrial complex! [Al Jazeera America]
* Are the Yankees and A-Rod gearing up for arbitration… or settlement? I don’t know, why wouldn’t you want to put a warm, likeable guy like him in front of a panel? [Concurring Opinions]
* Judges must be the loneliest people on social media… [The Daily Record]
* Merely complaining to your boss is enough to trigger anti-retaliation provisions according to the Second Circuit. So feel free to call up that partner you hate… [JD Supra]
* Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich isn’t the only politician who will be joining Dentons. After Dentons completes a merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge, former DNC Chair Howard Dean will also be working for the largest law firm in the world. YEEEAAAH! [The Intercept]
* Now that New York has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam, other states are considering it. Hurry up, because the UBE will “break down the long persistent barriers that keep lawyers from moving” — which isn’t a bad thing. [National Law Journal]
* In half a century of reproductive and gay rights cases, it’s worth noting that “arguments based on a right to privacy have tended to weaken and crack; arguments based on equality have grown only stronger.” Let’s see what SCOTUS does in June. [The New Yorker]
* All six of the Baltimore police officers who were arrested following the death of Freddie Gray have been indicted on homicide and assault charges. Despite the fact there’s now an indictment, the officers’ lawyers are calling the prosecution’s case weak. [New York Times]
* “Can you #trademark a #hashtag?” It’s somewhat of a tricky issue for people who are trying to register their marks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but these attorneys from IP powerhouse Morrison & Foerster have a pretty good explanation. [Law.com]
Some lawyers are best-served beavering away in the firm where they have worked since law school. For most legal careers, though, there come inflection points where a change of job can open a whole new world of opportunity. Recognizing whether your career has reached such an inflection point, and then knowing whom to trust to help […]
* Judge settles sexual harassment case brought against him by his former court reporter for $744,000. Why would you ever harass a court reporter? It’s not “he said-she said” when she’s got a verbatim transcript. [Missoulian]
* Elizabeth Wurtzel talks about Biglaw inefficiencies. Branding the billable hour “inefficient” may not be earth-shattering commentary, but it’s Elizabeth Wurtzel, so maybe Salon will pick it up or something. Then we’ve really got the ball rolling. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* Teacher eats live hamster in front of children to teach them “how dear life is.” Makes sense. [Legal Juice]
* Uncle Sam. Always wanting to go in the backdoor. [LXBN]
* College sued over forced vaginal examinations. Ummm… what? [CNN]
* Vermont has banned litigation financing for a year. Was there some compelling reason? Nope, businesses just told the legislature that letting people bring merited claims would be “bad” so they banned it. DEMOCRACY! [LFC 360]
* Crowdfunding police abuse lawsuits. You may have seen their ads running 24/7 on cable news a few weeks ago. Oh, wait, that wasn’t an ad? [KPCC]
* What do this elderly couple in Seattle and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. have in common? [Seattle Times]
* Yale asked some of its graduates to go on camera and explain what they’ll be doing after graduation. Their answers may vary from those at the Florida Coastal graduation.
I feel like this is the best series of lawyer ads on YouTube
* UMass School of Law has a burgeoning deficit of $3.8 million, so instead of attempting to increase enrollment, the school has decided to cut its class size to 72 students. Hmm, we have a feeling those “cuts” aren’t intentional. [Boston Globe]
* Reddit’s Ellen Pao may have lost her gender discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins, but she sure as hell doesn’t want to pay the nearly $1 million in “grossly excessive and unreasonable” court costs that the venture-capital firm has requested. [WSJ Law Blog]
* It’s no shocker that members of the T14 have the most competitive LSAT scores in the country, but you may be surprised by which two schools had the absolute lowest median LSAT scores. Hint: Cooley isn’t one of them. [Short List / U.S. News & World Report]
* Baltimoreans will surely be pleased by this news: Officers in the Freddie Gray case filed a motion to get their charges dismissed, and have asked that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recuse herself for her “overzealous prosecution” and conflicts of interest. [Baltimore Sun]
* Jury selection is complete for the criminal trial of failed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former top brass. “It’s a very diverse jury,” with jurors ranging from members of the unemployed to day traders. Best of luck to Joel and the Steves — they may need it. [Am Law Daily]
* MVP? No, MVD! A UNH Law prof will teach a college course called “Deflategate: The Intersection of Sports, Law and Journalism” because a dean thought it would be a great way to use pop culture to hook undergrads on the law. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
* If you think the federal government is preparing a military takeover of Texas… you might be a redneck. And you might also be Governor Greg Abbott. [Forbes]
* Elie says it’s time to end the expansive powers of arrest, for the good of everyone. [New York Daily News]
* Most of the 2016 presidential hopefuls are breaking the law. It’s good practice for if they win. [LFC 360]
* Not to dismiss the important point made in this article about substandard housing and the dangers of lead paint, but I think there may be other lessons to learn from Freddie Gray. [Washington Post]
* Satanic Temples are taking this RFRA thing and running with it. [Jezebel]
* Over in the EU, Louis Vuitton failed to win back the trademark it claims on its checkerboard pattern. [Fashionista]
* I’ve not read this yet, but here’s a collection of Legal Notices To Superheroes. Per the description, “A Letter to Superman from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services” has a lot of promise. [Amazon (affiliate link)]
* And remember to vote for the winner of the 2015 ATL Law Revue contest. Voting concludes Sunday at 11:59 p.m. EST. [Above the Law]
Studies have found that 63 million Americans qualify for Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal assistance. These lower-income persons may have serious legal needs, and when they do they completely mess up the courts smooth operations. In a survey of trial judges, more than 60% of the judges reported that unrepresented litigants had errors in procedure. 78% […]
Don’t you feel safer knowing these people are serving the public?
* Hillary Clinton vows to end the era of mass incarceration. Just one of many things Bill Clinton left his mark on that she wishes you’d forget. [Huffington Post]
* Protesters arrested on Monday in Baltimore weren’t even charged until today and are being held functionally without bail. Because at this point the most important industry in Baltimore is “being the setting of The Wire: The Ride.” [Gawker]
* It’s cute when non-lawyers find out there was a person named “Learned Hand.” [io9]
* At 10:00am tomorrow, the Constitutional Accountability Center is live-streaming a panel, “Home Stretch at the Supreme Court.” Amy Howe of SCOTUSBlog is moderating and panelists include Yaakov Roth of Jones Day, Elizabeth Wydra Chief Counsel of CAC, and Paul Smith of Jenner & Block, who incidentally argued Lawrence v. Texas. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* New York Law School has a beautiful building and have been renting out space to Rochester’s Business School to make a quick buck on the side. Now they’re going to offer joint programs with the business school, maybe their grads can find jobs in other fields. [Crain’s]
* Chief Justice Roberts doubted the marriage equality arguments, instead championing the importance of letting legislatures decide. Like, if the Senate passes a law unanimously we should respect that intent, right? Derp. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]
* From Amanda Devereux: 13 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Lawyer. [Cosmopolitan]
* Everything you need to know about videotaping the police. [Concurring Opinions]
Know your rights while filming the cops.
It’s about time that we focused more on how law enforcement officers deal with the mentally ill, according to columnist Renwei Chung.
* That was quick! It turns out that David Aylor, the lawyer who once represented Michael Slager, the recently fired South Carolina police officer charged with murdering Walter Scott, kicked his client to the curb when he saw the damning video of the shooting. [Daily Beast]
* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the number of federal weapons charges county court-at-law judges rack up in a single indictment. Seventy-year-old Judge Tim Wright faces up to 70 years in prison for allegedly selling guns illegally and trafficking them to Mexico. Yeehaw! [TWC News]
* Hot off its merger with Dacheng last quarter, Dentons is kicking off the second quarter of 2015 by merging with McKenna Long & Aldridge. Thanks to back-to-back mergers, Baker & McKenzie is now second to Dentons in terms of attorney headcount. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Warner Norcross & Judd refused to take up the defense of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban before SCOTUS — but that didn’t stop the firm’s head of appellate litigation from getting involved. He’s now on a leave of absence from the firm. [National Law Journal]
* For those of you who are interested, here’s the ABA Journal’s question of the week: “What was the first moment you knew you wanted to be a lawyer?” For many lawyers, the question can be answered thusly: “When I realized I couldn’t be a doctor.” [ABA Journal]
Next time a black person tries to tell you about cops, maybe you should listen.
Didn’t see that coming, did you?