* Here’s some JOLTing news: Megon Walker, the Harvard Law graduate who claims her life was ruined because the school accused her of being a plagiarist, just lost her defamation suit against her alma mater. [National Law Journal]
* “You have a party like this and it’s as though you’re handing out hand grenades as party favors.” Jeff Lake, a California lawyer, was arrested and faces social host liability issues thanks to his kid’s Playboy party. [Denver Channel]
* Congress is back in session, and President Obama resubmitted his nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, along with other judicial nods. She’ll be a “terrific attorney general,” so get this show on the road. [Legal Times]
* “How many clinics do you have to close before the court says, ‘Enough’?” Lawyers for abortion clinics and Texas state attorneys faced off before the Fifth Circuit over the
viabilityconstitutionality of the Lone Star State’s abortion laws. [New York Times]
* It’s a new year with new laws in effect, and it looks like 27 states, plus D.C., have made major moves with regard to weed, be it through the legalization medical marijuana or decriminalization of its possession. Do you know your rights? [CNN]
Now Orly Taitz is trying to drag Amal Clooney into the Birther movement.
Bar exam results from around the country are beginning to trickle in and the results are far from encouraging. The results from July 2014 were the lowest in recent memory, but many had hoped that the drop would prove to be only an aberration. This does not appear to be the case.
So now the real question is: How much longer will law students continue to stick with the major bar review companies that can’t seem to get them to pass?
How come law professors avoid speaking about affirmative action? How come we as a society can’t civilly debate the merits of affirmative action?
While President Obama was right about the consequences of heeding terrorist whims, he may have been wrong about whose responsibility it was to bear the burden of not heeding those whims.
* Rudolph sues for discrimination. This is why you should always let guys play in your reindeer games. [Bolek Besser Glesius LLC]
* Hot damn, Keith Lee. “ABA 509 Matriculant Data On All Ranked Schools.” That’s… wow. [Associate’s Mind]
* The Senate torture report may be an ugly, but there’s an argument that it hides a silver lining. [What About Clients?]
* What isn’t the D.C. Circuit doing today? [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* Bill O’Reilly invites on an “HLS student” — who is also a conservative commentator — to say a bunch of racial codewords under the guise of exam extensions. Look, I wouldn’t ask for an exam extension if my leg were caught in a bear trap, but you know what? I couldn’t care less if other people got extensions. Quit your whining (and appearing on TV) and go study for your own damn self! [Fox News]
* Everyone’s “BFF” Anthony Elonis, of the Elonis v. U.S. case that’s currently before the Supreme Court, is facing additional scrutiny over a snarky note he sent to an ADA last year about burning a cross on the prosecutor’s lawn. Wow, he sounds like really a “fun” guy. [WSJ Law Blog]
* I was gonna go to class, but then I got high: DU Law is teaching a class about how to sell lots and lots of weed. Just kidding. According to the professor, the class is actually about the legal issues that come up when selling lots and lots of weed. [Cannabist]
* The HRC’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index is out, and noticeably absent from the list of Biglaw honorees is Boies Schiller. We suppose the firm forgot one of its name partners is helping to overturn gay-marriage bans across the country. [Am Law Daily]
* The University of Iowa College of Law is asking — nay, begging — the Supreme Court to block a retrial of Teresa Wagner’s claims of political bias discrimination. This is just one of the things law schools will do to keep their faculties liberal. [Associated Press]
* From Yale to Wayne State, law students are getting involved in protests to spread the word about social injustice in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. If you have a problem with this, someone from NYU might too. [National Law Journal]
* Winter break is the perfect time for undergraduate students to start working on their law school applications, but we’re more than willing to bet the future gunners out there have already sent all of theirs in. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]
Please welcome new columnist Sam Wright (not his real name), who will be covering the world of public interest law.
* Some think SCOTUS should be the biggest issue of Election 2016. Why? Because most of the justices are old as hell, and they’ll only be older, more decrepit — and potentially more likely to retire — before or come voting time. [Washington Post]
* Deans from “middle-ranked” schools continue to question the results of the July 2014 bar examination. Sure, recent grads were part of the law school brain drain, but there’s no way they were “less able” than their older (and wiser) classmates. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Darren Wilson resigned this weekend, but it wasn’t because he killed an unarmed teenager in August. Wilson’s lawyer says his client quit because other Ferguson officers could’ve been harmed if Wilson remained on the police force. [Reuters]
* There’s only one thing that’s worse than a gunner, and that’s a septuagenarian gunner. At 73 years old, Jim Edwards is the oldest student at the Nashville School of Law, and he “view[s] what [he’s] doing as a calling from God.” Aww. [USA Today]
* This recent law school graduate may not have a job, but she figured out a creative way to make a small dent in her debt. She makes custom string art and sells it on Etsy. We’re willing to bet Texas Tech Law counts her as employed. [Dallas Morning News]
We at Kinney are running the search for a fantastic in-house opening in Singapore, at the leading and largest tech company in Southeast Asia. The spot will be filled by a US associate with at least three years experience in M&A, from a top Wall Street or equivalent US firm. Compensation will be competitive with what the new hire is earning at their top tier law firm.
On a day-to-day basis the American racial divide is still a canyon, broad and deep. How can we fix it?
* A breakdown of Thomas M. Cooley’s bar passage rate. It’s… about as depressing as you’d expect. [Third Tier Reality]
* Rapper being prosecuted on the argument that he benefitted from gang activity because the gang’s exploits made his rap music more popular. What the hell? [Popehat]
* The state of the clerkship hiring process gets mixed reviews from Yalies. [Yale Daily News]
* UNC is looking for a new dean. You know, if you’re interested in becoming a dean. [The Faculty Lounge]
* The Flash and res ipsa loquitur. [The Legal Geeks]
* Fun fact: people interested in the law also seem to love anchovy paste and Destiny’s Child. At least in the U.K. [Legal Cheek]
* The Marshall Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization devoted to criminal justice reform, just went online. Check ‘em out. [The Marshall Project]
* Don’t overdo it when you go about “thinking like a lawyer.” [Law and More]
* The long-running, racist soap opera in Manhattan state court takes a new turn. After playing a key role in the events that led to the ouster of the top aide to the New York County Clerk, Justice Milton Tingling has applied to be the new New York County Clerk. [WiseLaw NY]
* In light of Speaker Boehner’s new lawsuit over Obamacare, this is a good time to look back at this interview with Laurence Tribe evaluating Boehner’s chances. [Coverage Opinions]
* Barack Obama laid out his plans for an immigration overhaul last night, daring the members of Congress to pass a bill if they didn’t like it. Consider that to be a presidential burn. [New York Times]
* Who’s got the God View now? In an effort to stop pissing off its paying customers, Uber hired Harriet Pearson of Hogan Lovells to take a look at its data-privacy practices. [Bloomberg]
* Dean Jack Boger of UNC Law will be stepping down this summer. He says his journey to deanship started in hell and ended in paradise. We’re not sure law students ever get out of the hellscape. [Daily Tar Heel]
* South Texas College of Law launched an Oil & Gas Law Institute in the hope of making its graduates’ résumés look pretty enough to get them jobs. [Texas Lawyer]
* Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown, is in talks to resign ahead of a grand jury’s decision on whether or not to indict him. Wise choice? [CNN]
The President thinks that current immigration laws should be changed and Congress won’t change them. What to do?
Anna Nicole Smith, Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, California, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Marijuana, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Politics, Sexual Harassment, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, You Go Girl
* Bingham McCutchen canceled its partnership retreat, and their partner offer letters from Morgan Lewis must be accepted by today’s deadline — all while a prospective merger currently hangs in the balance. [Am Law Daily]
* Per Altman Weil’s 2014 Chief Legal Officer Survey, the work at in-house legal departments is about to grow exponentially, while the spend on outside counsel will decrease in turn. Uh oh, no bueno. [Corporate Counsel]
* “The attempt to have the defendant have any kind of humility has failed.” Due to “unsatisfactory” apologies to state employees, former judge Joan Orie Melvin will have to re-apologize for her crimes. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
* “A troubled law school is like Dracula: hard to kill.” In the wake of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s debt restructuring, it’s now obvious that law schools aren’t worth much at all. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Republicans are now in control in both the House and the Senate, but fear not, because the nation’s capital just legalized marijuana. That’ll help calm down the depressed D.C. Democrats out there. [CNN]
* Though it’s unlikely, thanks to this ruling, Anna Anna Anna Anna Anna Nicole’s lawyer/lover could be retried for allegedly giving illegally obtained prescriptions to the drug-addled model. [National Law Journal]
* Tinder’s cofounder apparently made a killing on her sexual harassment settlement with the company. Though no one admitted guilt, she reportedly took home “just over” $1M. Get it, girl. [Business Insider]
* Floridian women lawyers got their wish: Bad Judge, plagued by bad ratings, is getting canceled. [Daily Business Review]
* A round-up of write-ups about today’s oral arguments in the Israel / Jerusalem passport case. [How Appealing]
* Interesting reflections from Professor Glenn Reynolds on the controversial catcalling video.
[USA Today via Instapundit]
* Things are bats**t insane — literally — at this Utah courthouse. [Gawker]
* The D.C. Circuit gives the EPA its way on cross-state air pollution. [Breaking Energy]
* Election monitors from the Justice Department: possibly coming to a jurisdiction near you (including Bergen County, New Jersey, where I grew up). [BuzzFeed]
* Can cops force suspects to use their fingerprints to unlock their cellphones? Eric Crusius and Lisa Giovinazzo debate, after the jump. [Fox News]