• Justice Sonia Sotomayor

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.20.15

    * You’ve heard about what it’s like to be a Supreme Court clerk, but we bet you’ve never heard about what it’s like to be a Supreme Court intern. It’s apparently the “opportunity of a lifetime” to do errands and prepare lunch and meals for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. [Supreme Court Brief]

    * If you’re trying to file an effective brief with the Supreme Court, it’s best to write in “relatively short sentences, with a non-confrontational tone.” In other words, you really shouldn’t be trying to emulate Justice Scalia’s “jiggery-pokery” flair. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Wachtell Lipton may interested in going “big brother” on its associates, but when it comes to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm wants to steer clear of such voyeurism by doing away with clients’ quarterly reports. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * This judge didn’t play “just the tip” when it came to piercing his corporate veil: Paul Hansmeier of copyright-troll firm Prenda Law must pay sanctions to the tune of $64,000 after he drained cash from another one of his firms and then dissolved it. [Ars Technica]

    * Texas Tech Law is introducing a “brain-training” seminar for its first-year law students that will “maximize their brains’ performance.” One wonders if they took such a course before law school if they’d be enrolled in the same place. [Lubbock Avalanche-Journal]

    69 Comments / / Aug 20, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Grooms to be holding hands (photo by Tim Ryan Smith).

    Religion, Weddings

    Should Town And County Clerks Opposed To Gay Marriage Be Required To Issue Marriage Licenses To All Couples?

    Whatever happened to the noble tradition of resignation on principle?

    120 Comments / / Aug 18, 2015 at 5:40 PM
  • Supreme Court Clerk Hallway original

    Politics, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Clerks

    A New Trend Among Supreme Court Clerks?

    Why are so many former SCOTUS clerks flocking to Capitol Hill?

    30 Comments / / Aug 18, 2015 at 4:32 PM
  • Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty)


    Non-Sequiturs: 08.17.15

    * A look back at the impact Justice Scalia’s signature snarky style has had on the high court. [Jost on Justice]

    * Decry “big government” all you want, but this is a great use of its power: one Wal-Mart declared a public nuisance. [Law and More]

    * A horse! A horse! My law license for a horse! One attorney faces sanctions for his love of racing horses. [Legal Profession Blog]

    * The NLRB might have dashed Northwestern’s football players’ unionization hopes, but they still won a lot of concessions. [Fox Sports]

    * More than 50 days after the landmark Obergefell case, there are still pockets of the country where same-sex couples can’t get married. [BuzzFeed]

    * What can the RNC offer Donald Trump to GTFO of the Republican primary? [Funny or Die]

    19 Comments / / Aug 17, 2015 at 5:07 PM
  • Lucky in Kentucky

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.14.15

    * Judge Lance Mason, who was suspended from his duties earlier this year, recently pleaded guilty to charges related to a brutal attack made on his wife. He’ll be sentenced in September, and faces up to 36 months in prison. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

    * No one will be getting lucky in Kentucky under this clerk’s watch: Two months after SCOTUS declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, this state court clerk is still turning away gay couples and refusing to issue marriage licenses. [New York Times]

    * Per the latest report from Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group, even though this year started out well, the bank is revising its financial performance forecast, and not in a good way. Hopefully firms will be able to weather the latest monetary storm. [Am Law Daily]

    * Starting in mid-October, lawyers and law firms will be able to purchase .law domain names. A few influential law firms — DLA Piper, Skadden Arps, and SCOTUSblog-affiliated Russell & Goldstein — have gotten first dibs on them. Congrats! [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Law librarians at large and medium-sized firms feel underutilized and underpaid, and that’s unfortunate, because like Liam Neeson in Taken, they’ve got a very particular set of skills, skills they’ve acquired over a very long career. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    50 Comments / / Aug 14, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • The women of SCOTUS (Photo via Maia Weinstock)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.13.15

    * “When it’s convenient, we’re alumni; when it’s not convenient, we are not alumni.” Grads of Texas Wesleyan Law — which is now known as Texas A&M Law — are suing because the school won’t grant them new degrees or recognize them as alumni. Harsh, y’all. [Houston Chronicle]

    * The ABA Journal wants to know who you think the smartest judge in the U.S. is. Let’s hear it for the wonderful women of the Supreme Court: Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. [ABA Journal]

    * Now that same-sex marriage is legal across the country, it only seems logical that bans on adoptions by same-sex couples should be overturned. Mississippi will have Roberta Kaplan of Windsor fame to thank when its ban is struck down. [New York Times]

    * Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane has claimed innocence with regard to the criminal charges she recently racked up. She blames the entire ordeal on blowback from the state’s “Porngate” scandal. AG Kane has got one hell of a moneyshot. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Did you know that there’s such a thing as barbecue law? Further, did you know that a Biglaw attorney who serves as counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright who’s never handled a barbecue case has cornered the market on BBQ law books (affiliate link)? [Legal Times]

    70 Comments / / Aug 13, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • The Supreme Court of the United States (photo by Drew Havens).

    Money, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Top Supreme Court Advocates Charge How Much Per Hour?

    Appearing before the high court involves high billing rates — but that doesn’t make those rates unreasonable.

    20 Comments / / Aug 10, 2015 at 4:51 PM
  • Katy Perry (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.07.15

    * Graffiti artist Rime alleges that Katy Perry wore a dress designed by Moschino that ripped off some of his copyrightable work. This dark horse has injected herself into a lot of IP issues this year. Your lawyer fans thank you. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The Seventh Circuit is totally sorry about the case that it completely forgot about for the past five years. It seems that the court pleadings were “placed in the wrong stack” on remand from the Supreme Court in 2010. Congratulations, America: This is your justice system. Oopsie! [ABA Journal]

    * Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been charged with perjury, conspiracy, obstructing justice, and several other crimes in connection with a grand jury leak. She’s the second state AG to be criminally charged this week. Nice job. [USA Today]

    * Arizona Summit Law filed a motion to dismiss former employee and alumnus Paula Lorona’s pro se retaliation and consumer fraud lawsuit with prejudice. The school claims the complaint is pleaded deficiently. Well… you educated her. [National Law Journal]

    * Rapper Busta Rhymes was charged with second degree assault this week after he allegedly threw a protein drink at a gym employee. His lawyer calls the charge “a bunch of bull.” Hmm, we apparently should’ve listened when he told us he was dangerous. [MTV]

    13 Comments / / Aug 7, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Mmm, conspiracy.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.06.15

    * Another American doctor is accused of illegally killing another lesser-known lion in Zimbabwe, but this time, Biglaw is in the doctor’s corner. Apparently when you’re a hunter who’s become the hunted, you turn to Blank Rome. [Am Law Daily]

    * Where Dewey eat when allegedly conspiring to scam the firm’s creditors about its financial situation? According to testimony in the D&L trial, criminal activity reportedly tastes better when paired with fine dining experiences. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * At some point in the very near future, it’s likely that one or more new Supreme Court justices will need to be appointed, and some say that it’s obvious that Justice Don Willett, the Tweeter Laureate of Texas, is plotting a course to be a nominee. #blessed [Forbes]

    * The Fourth Circuit handed down an important opinion on cellphone location records, and it looks like the police need a warrant. Thanks for the circuit split. Quick, someone write a law review note before SCOTUS takes it. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * For some would-be law students, applying early decision may not be the right choice. After all, if you think you can get into ALL of the T14 schools, we bet you’d probably like to see if your huge ego is correct. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    9 Comments / / Aug 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Walter Palmer Lion buttface

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.05.15

    * “There are no bathrooms, no air-conditioning, no good food. You don’t usually get good cellphone reception, either, and you can’t just quit and go somewhere comfortable.” Surprisingly, this Biglaw partner isn’t talking about his firm’s working conditions. [Miami Herald]

    * It’s going to be difficult for U.S. authorities to prosecute Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed Zimbabwe’s beloved lion, Cecil. Bringing this guy down under the Lacey Act is going to be a real task. If only this were a Pixar movie with a happy ending. :( [Reuters]

    * SCOTUS justices are jet-setting across the world this summer, with RBG in South Korea and Vietnam, Roberts in Japan, Scalia in Italy, Kennedy in Austria, and Breyer in England. Let’s hope no one has to evacuate a plane via emergency chute. [National Law Journal]

    * If you’re considering applying to law school and you decide to visit one this summer, aside from students huddled in dark corners of the library who are crying over their employment prospects, there are a few things you should be looking for. [U.S. News]

    * The mother of Sandra Bland, the woman who hanged herself in a Texas jail cell last month, has filed a wrongful-death suit, alleging that her daughter shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place and was improperly supervised by guards. [New York Times]

    32 Comments / / Aug 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Yesterday's panel of four U.S. Solicitors General (photo via Justice Don Willett's Twitter feed).

    Department of Justice, SCOTUS, Solicitor General's Office, Supreme Court

    A Great Legal Job, Or The Greatest Legal Job?

    A wide-ranging discussion about the post of U.S. Solicitor General, which some consider to be the best legal job in the United States.

    13 Comments / / Aug 3, 2015 at 3:49 PM
  • Justice Antonin Scalia, mocking advocates of two-year law degrees.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.03.15

    * According to this former Supreme Court clerk, Justice Scalia’s judicial zingers are just like porn in that they’re “titillating, but over time they coarsen the culture of which they are a part.” (Plus, for what it’s worth, the jurist’s audience usually never gets a money shot.) [Washington Post]

    * Better late than never? The ABA dropped the hammer on law schools trying to game their employment stats with a new rule that’ll force them to report school-funded jobs as part-time unless certain length and salary reqs are met. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * The largest of D.C.’s largest law firms grew even larger over the past year, and thanks to a merger, an outsider firm — Morgan Lewis — managed to infiltrate the capital’s Big Four. Sorry, WilmerHale, but maybe 2016 will be your comeback year. [National Law Journal]

    * In other ABA news, the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar rejected a plea for academic credit for paid externships, because we apparently want to keep students as indebted as possible before they begin their professional legal careers. [ABA Journal]

    * A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Richard Lee, a known conspiracy theorist, who sought the release of the Seattle police department’s death-scene photographs from Nirvana star Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Hey! Wait! He’ll file a new complaint. [Seattle Times]

    7 Comments / / Aug 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Supreme Court 1

    2nd Circuit, Federal Circuit, Federal Government

    Second Circuit Reverses On Lawyer Professional Exemption Case: What In The World Is Happening?

    I have blogged about this matter several times, all the while applauding the lower court decision and employer’s legal position in the case, as I believed what these temporary lawyers were doing did constitute the practice of law.

    / Jul 30, 2015 at 3:00 PM
  • stat of the week image


    Stat Of The Week: SCOTUS Popularity At All-Time High, Low

    Public approval of the Supreme Court is both more volatile and more polarized than it’s ever been.

    14 Comments / / Jul 24, 2015 at 12:31 PM
  • Sam alito flag

    SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Justice Alito Doggedly Holds Onto Logic Of The Past, Elites

    Justice Alito just hasn’t changed on Citizens United.

    66 Comments / / Jul 21, 2015 at 11:27 AM
  • Demi Moore (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.21.15

    * Because sometimes the application of the law seems like an indecent proposal: Demi Moore is “in absolute shock” because she may be facing a lawsuit for negligent supervision due to a pool drowning that occurred at her home while she was out of the country. [Fox News]

    * “The bow tie is a manifestation of my unwillingness to become part of the rabble.” Male lawyers face harsh criticism about their fashion choices, too, and these New Jersey attorneys will wear their bow ties with pride, no matter what. [Bergen Record]

    * In a recent interview, Justice Alito critiqued his SCOTUS colleagues for adopting a seemingly limitless interpretation of the 14th Amendment: “I don’t know what the limits of substantive liberty protection under the 14th Amendment are at this point.” [Legal Times]

    * If you’d like to be a federal appellate judge by the age of 35, then Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit has some advice for you. First and foremost, know where to “peddle your wares” — get a job in Washington, D.C., ASAP. [Concurring Opinions via ABA Journal]

    * Managing partners, repeat this mantra: Don’t do a Dewey! Thanks to the D&L financial disaster, Biglaw firms have decided to cut back on or ditch bank loans completely and get by with a little help from their friends partners in times of need. [Wall Street Journal]

    18 Comments / / Jul 21, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • RBG Scalia

    Caption Contests

    Caption Contest Winner: If These Walls Could Talk… About SCOTUS Justices

    Find out who chose to decorate his home with wall art featuring the “hotttttest” SCOTUS justices of all time.

    19 Comments / / Jul 20, 2015 at 1:59 PM
  • books

    Books, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    Summer Reading For Supreme Court Justices

    Columnist Tamara Tabo offers customized reading recommendations for each member of the Court.

    18 Comments / / Jul 17, 2015 at 8:02 PM