* An octopus is a vertebrate under some statutes. A reminder that law will not bow to your precious “science.” [Lowering the Bar]
* It’s tempting to feast on the carcass of a collapsing law firm, but partners should take this advice before rushing into a lateral hire. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA ]
* The importance of not looking like a creep in front of a jury. [What About Clients?]
* Too often disasters slip out of our consciousness before the problem is truly solved. In that vein, consider donating to Nepal Earthquake relief. [Help Nepal Network]
* Modern Family star Ariel Winter wants to go to law school. Aw, that’s a shame — she seems so smart. [E!]
* Five major banks will plead guilty to felony charges over allegations they illegally manipulated the dollar/euro exchange rate and pay over $5 billion in fines. Attorney General Loretta Lynch described the scheme as “brazenly illegal.” [National Law Journal]
* Preet Bharara is making the rounds as a law school commencement speaker, find out why Lat calls him, “surprisingly entertaining for a prosecutor.” [Wall Street Journal]
* Despite release of several hundred pages of the report on CIA abuse and torture a federal judge will not require the disclosure of the full report citing evidence that Congress intended to “retain control” over it. [Legal Times]
* Stay at home moms with JD are now commanding “bonuses” from their spouses — at least on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. [American Lawyer]
* Bail is set at $1 million for each of the bikers arrested in Waco after the deadly brawl. [CNN]
* ConAgra Foods will plead guilty to criminal charges over a 2007 outbreak of salmonella that was traced back to peanut butter. [NPR]
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Why you gotta be so rude, Preet?
* “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing.” Even as class sizes get smaller and tuition gets lower, the law school brain drain continues. America’s best and brightest won’t be fooled into studying law when the job market is still so unstable, but others have been. [Bloomberg]
* Attorneys for California’s sex workers have filed suit to overturn the state’s ban on prostitution, claiming that “[t]he rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” Yeah, okay. [AP]
* “The simple story is that $160,000 as a starting salary at large law firms is less prevalent than it was immediately prior to the recession.” You can scream “NY TO 190K!” all you want, but starting salaries have remained flat. Sowwy. [DealBook / New York Times]
* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York has involved himself in an “escalating war of words” with members of the federal judiciary that he may come to regret. Will this “petulant rooster” be able to kiss and make up? [New York Times]
* Per a recently filed lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still hasn’t paid a single law firm for their representation in the Biogenesis case. He allegedly owes Gordon & Rees $380,059 in unpaid fees. Come on, A-Rod. You’ve got the cash. [New York Daily News]
* Infamous plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger of the $9.5 billion Chevron / Ecuador kerfuffle decided that if he can’t win his case in a court of law, he might as well try to win it in the court of public opinion. Check out his side of the story. [Law360 (sub. req.)]
Which outstanding individuals did the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) honor at its recent annual dinner?
* 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]
* Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was recently referred to as the “most dangerous man in American politics.” Why’s that, you ask? It’s because he’s “a federal prosecutor who doesn’t give a f*ck.” Damn straight. [BuzzFeed]
* Just when you thought the Alan Dershowitz sex scandal couldn’t get any more intense, the investigative sleuths over at Gawker found flight records that allegedly place the professor as a passenger on a billionaire bad boy’s pedo plane. [Gawker]
* Dewey know which former chairman of a failed firm had to beg to get a refund on his bail money because he couldn’t otherwise afford to pay the expert witnesses for his upcoming criminal trial? Aww. Poor, poor Steven Davis. [New York Law Journal]
* Fried Frank’s chairman says that completely pulling the firm out of Asia was a “difficult but necessary decision.” On the other hand, an ex-partner at the firm says this move had basically been “inevitable” since at least 2009. Hmm. [Am Law Daily]
* If you want advice on how to pick a “cost-efficient” law school, the first thing you should realize is that your scholarships may come back to bite you in the ass. Go on, read the fine print — after all, you want to be a lawyer. [U.S. News & World Report]
This morning, Silver told reporters, “I hope I’ll be vindicated.” We’ll see about that one.
Casetext is offering select students the opportunity to gain real entrepreneurial experience while in school as part of its law student ambassador program.
* A registered sex offender wins the lottery. $3 million buys a lot of windowless vans. [Orlando Sentinel]
* Judge to federal prosecutor: “You’re branded as a liar and you’ll remain a liar for the rest of your life.” [New York Observer]
* A New York lawyer has been arrested and charged with running down 5 people in Herald Square. Alcohol and crack pipes are involved. And topless selfies. Look, you’re going to see more on this from Staci in the morning, so just sit tight. [Inquisitr]
* If you want to live in a mansion, all you need to do is forge a few documents. [Gawker]
* The Supreme Court of Canada says cops can search your phone when they arrest you. But only to check the Habs score. [Ars Technica]
* Another installment of Posner on Posner. This time focusing on the First Amendment. [Concurring Opinions]
* This week we learned there’s a thing called “rectal feeding.” Professor Michael Dorf on why it’s totally a war crime. [Dorf on Law]
* How many law schools will close by 2020? [TaxProf Blog]
Are there really so few people committing crimes in Manhattan that they have to prosecute people who are committing maybe crimes?
Pregnant women deserve respect, but it seems this U.S. Attorney won’t give it to them.
* Alan Jacobs, Dewey’s bankruptcy trustee, says his clawback suit shouldn’t be stayed during the defendants’ criminal cases — after all, he doesn’t want their assets to dry up while they “scramble to defend themselves.” [New York Law Journal]
* Rengan Rajaratnam, Raj Rajaratnam’s little brother, was acquitted in his insider trading conspiracy case. It’s the first defeat in Preet Bharara’s financial crackdown against hedge funds. Tough break, dude. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Sore loser? Andrew J. Weinstock, the public defender who got into a fight with Judge John “I’ll Just Beat Your Ass” Murphy, resigned from his position in protest of the judge’s return to the bench. [WSJ Law Blog]
* There are many things nontraditional applicants should ask before going to law school, including, but not limited to, whether they’ll ever be able to find employment after graduation. [U.S. News & World Report]
* Oscar Pistorius’s attorney closed his defense of his client in the ongoing murder trial, and Judge Thokozile Masipa has adjourned all arguments in the controversial case until next month. [Bloomberg]