From distinguished to despicable, who should be Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2013? Please vote in our poll!
Barack Obama, Constitutional Law, Department of Justice, Election Law, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Health Care / Medicine, Law Schools, Morning Docket, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Shira Scheindlin, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court
* People have “greatly underestimated how powerful a jurist Justice Sotomayor would be,” and now that one of her concurrences flies directly in the face of Obama’s NSA tactics, we’ll get to see how powerful she really is. [MSNBC]
* Here’s a fun end-of-the-year roundup: President Obama’s Top 10 Constitutional Violations of 2013. Fifty internet points shall be awarded to the first person who correctly guesses how many are related to Obamacare without looking. [Forbes]
* Following Judge Shira Scheindlin’s stop-and-frisk spanking, the Southern District of New York changed its rules on case assignments in order to increase transparency. Related-case judge-shopping just got a whole lot harder. [New York Times]
* Wiley Rein is defending its fee request in the Voting Rights Act case, and says the Department of Justice is “[tying] itself in knots” trying to find a way to get out of paying the piper. Harsh. [Blog of Legal Times]
* These are four ways you can overcome a low GPA when applying to law school, but really, the best way to overcome a low GPA is to not apply at all. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
* “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA.” Now that he’s unleashed all of America’s deep dark secrets, Edward Snowden just wants to Google like a regular guy. [Washington Post]
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
Prosecutors have more or less looked the other way when it comes to the activities that sparked the financial meltdown. Judge Rakoff offers his explanation of what’s gone wrong.
Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Canada, Department of Justice, Election Law, Gay, Jed Rakoff, Law Professors, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Native Americans, Partner Issues, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Wall Street
* Despite his hatred of 3L classes like “Law and Unicorns,” Justice Scalia believes that the third year of law school is necessary — perhaps a necessary evil, but still necessary. [Memphis Daily News]
* “[T]his excuse — sometimes labeled the ‘too big to jail’ excuse — is disturbing, frankly….” The eminently quotable Judge Rakoff is at it again, this time with harsh words for the DOJ. [New York Times]
* According to the latest survey from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, managing partners think that 2014 will be better than 2013. This means bonuses will be the same next year. [Am Law Daily]
* Attorneys from Wiley Rein are fighting for $2 million in fees in the wake of their SCOTUS win in the Shelby County Voting Rights Act case. The firm’s quest has been called “absurd.” [National Law Journal]
* “The record is utterly devoid of any evidence of criminal intent or intentional misconduct.” It turns out that Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, the attorneys accused of malpractice by the Miccosukee Indians, weren’t bad after all. [Daily Business Review]
* Rather than pegging its value at $1 million, a professor from a fourth-tier law school is promoting the “non-economic value” of a law degree. Can “cultural capital” repay your loans? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* “[N]o law school in Canada should be allowed to weed out gay students.” Too bad. Trinity Western University, the law school that bans gay “sexual intimacy,” received preliminary approval. [Globe and Mail]
* Law school specialization and you: follow these three simple steps to help you decide which niche you’ll be unable to find a job in after you graduate. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
Airplanes / Aviation, Antitrust, Attorney Misconduct, Canada, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Federal Judges, Guns / Firearms, Legal Ethics, Morning Docket, Politics, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court, U.S. Attorneys Offices
* What led the Senate Democrats to go nuclear? [New York Times]
* Should Justice Lori Douglas, she of the infamous porn pictures, step down from the bench? Well, she has 324,100 reasons to stay. [Toronto Star]
* And what about Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg — should they leave while the Democrats still control the White House and the Senate? [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* A legal challenge to gun control stumbles — on standing grounds. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Moral of the story: if you want to threaten opposing counsel, don’t do it over voicemail — unless you want to get censured. [ABA Journal]
* Dewey want more details about the lucrative contracts given to Stephen DiCarmine and Joel Sanders? Most definitely! [Am Law Daily (sub. req.)]
* An interesting peek inside the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The S.D.N.Y.’s boss is a big fan of the Boss. [New York Times]
* Now that the merger between US Airways and American Airlines has been approved, US Airways CEO Doug Parker offers a behind-the-scenes look at his company’s response to the government’s antitrust lawsuit. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
A federal judge tells prosecutors to use Photoshop to remove an item from a picture. But is changing the totality of the image the same as excluding prejudicial evidence?
A goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to provide quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Now in its 5th year, how much progress has been made in Medicare and Medicaid? Download Wolter‘s Kluwer‘s Special Report Here.
1st Circuit, Anthony Kennedy, Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, Federal Circuit, Federal Judges, Gay, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Michael Jackson, Morning Docket, Office of Legal Counsel, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Sex, Small Law Firms, Supreme Court, Trials, U.S. Attorneys Offices
* U. Penn. Law doesn’t need to toot its own horn about kicking off its visiting jurist program with a Supreme Court justice — we’ll do it on the school’s behalf: toot f-ing toot for Justice Kennedy. [National Law Journal]
* President Obama nominated former OLC attorney and current HLS professor David Barron for a First Circuit vacancy, and a Western New England alum for a district court judgeship. Congrats! [Boston Globe]
* The Senate confirmed Todd Hughes for a seat on the Federal Circuit without any opposition. This is what progress looks like: Hughes will be the first openly gay federal appellate judge in U.S. history. [BuzzFeed]
* Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is pretty pissed that federal budget issues are allowing his office to get outgunned by wealthy financial firms. [DealBook / New York Times]
* “It seems a very coordinated effort of smugness.” As we reported previously, lawyers from the small firm representing Michael Jackson’s family think O’Melveny & Myers is full of d-bags. [Los Angeles Times]
* Sorry, but you can’t bang your clients. Well, that’s not completely true. You can bang your clients, but you have to bang them before there’s a legal relationship to keep banging them ethically. [Daily Report]
* DOJ busts giant fortune telling ring. You’d think they would have seen that coming. [Lowering the Bar]
* Today’s New York Times points out that Judge Kopf penned an eloquent post regarding his reaction to the news that Shon Hopwood — a man Kopf sentenced to a lengthy prison term — is poised to clerk for Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the D.C. Circuit. Funny, it seems like I read that news before… [New York Times]
* The government just doesn’t know what documents Edward Snowden stole. That’s part of the reason British authorities stopped David Miranda. That and the Brits love irony. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* The message here is not bad per se, but to all the law school apologists spreading it around based on the quote, “Yeah, I know, the legal market sucks, blah blah blah. But you don’t need thousands of jobs. You just need one,” well, that’s not a sustainable model. For students that is. [Medium]
* In the midst of cracking down on the NYPD, Judge Scheindlin also issued a new opinion on e-Discovery. IT-Lex provides an in-depth review. [IT-Lex]
* Another sign of the discrimination against women in business — women lag far behind in the commission of high-level corporate fraud. [Law and More]
* BP has taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal to complain about how much money they’ve had to spend cleaning up that one time they catastrophically devastated an ecosystem through their own recklessness. It’s the most recent curious PR move on BP’s part…
After trying to evict a woman based on a client’s faulty documents, a judge makes the firm pay. And the parade of kvetching lawyers begins.
Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Boalt Hall, Deaths, Elena Kagan, Federal Judges, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Money, Morning Docket, S.D.N.Y., SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology, Townsend and Townsend and Crew, United Kingdom / Great Britain
* According to Justice Elena Kagan, the rest of her colleagues are Supreme technophobes. Because “[t]he court hasn’t really ‘gotten to’ email,” they still pass handwritten memos to each other. [Associated Press]
* “[I]f we don’t get some relief we might as well close our doors.” Thanks to sequestration, budget cuts to the federal judiciary have resulted in layoffs in the Southern District of New York. Sad. [New York Law Journal]
* Kodak’s Chapter 11 reorganization was approved by Judge Allan Gropper, who called the affair “a tragedy of American economic life.” He must’ve had fond memories of getting other people’s pictures. [Bloomberg]
* Bankruptcy lawyers for corporate debtors are going to have to crack down on churning their bills. Starting in November, they will be subject to additional rules, and even (gasp!) fee examiners. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda (because of course his surname is Miranda), has lawyered up after his unusual nine-hour detainment at Heathrow airport this weekend. [Am Law Daily]
* So long, Nuts and Boalts: Christopher Edley, dean of Boalt Hall, is taking a medical leave and cutting short his term as the school’s leader at the end of the year. [Bottom Line / San Francisco Chronicle]
* “We’ll take him.” Indiana Tech Law School opens today, and its founding dean is very excited to add a 33rd student — one who was admitted yesterday — to the school’s inaugural class. [National Law Journal]
* Eugene Crew, co-founder of the firm once known as Townsend and Townsend and Crew, RIP. [Recorder]
It is now considered unconstitutional to stop and frisk New Yorkers solely on the basis of race.
The indictment that the Justice Department just filed against SAC Capital is something to behold.
Mayor Bloomberg’s “math” lesson doesn’t help him as much as he might hope.
Let’s fast forward to Justice Alito rolling his eyes.