Sentencing Law

  • Grooms to be holding hands (photo by Tim Ryan Smith).

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.27.15

    * Should town clerks opposed to gay marriage be required to issue licenses to all couples? The Sixth Circuit says…. [How Appealing]

    * John H. Ray III, the African American ex-associate at Ropes & Gray who claimed the elite firm discriminated against him, loses in court again, this time before the First Circuit. [National Law Journal]

    * Vester Lee Flanagan aka Bryce Williams, the Virginia television broadcaster who killed two colleagues on-air before killing himself, was also no stranger to the legal system: he filed multiple lawsuits alleging racial discrimination. [New York Times]

    * Why are in-house lawyers more likely than their non-attorney corporate colleagues to fall for phishing emails? [ABA Journal]

    * Dewey know when the prosecution will rest in this seemingly endless trial? Probably today. [Wall Street Journal]

    * State judges get nasty with each other in Oregon. [Oregonian]

    * Federal judges around the country are advocating for a second look at how defendants get sentenced. [New York Times]

    * The Dilly in Philly: Paul Clement v. Ted Olson. [Am Law Litigation Daily]

    * A T14 law graduate turned “traveling artist” gets charged with criminal sexual assault in Chicago. [Chicago Tribune]

    * Speaking of sexual assault laws, Emily Bazelon explains how the St. Paul’s Rape Case shows why these laws must change. [New York Times]

    * Update: convicted Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes didn’t get just a life sentence, but 12 life sentences — plus 3,318 years on top of that. [CNN]

    * Linda Hirshman, author of the forthcoming book Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World (affiliate link), explains how Justices O’Connor, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor brought wisdom to SCOTUS (but where’s the love for Justice Kagan?). [Slate via How Appealing]

    59 Comments / / Aug 27, 2015 at 9:14 AM
  • Jamyra Gallmon and David Messerschmitt

    Biglaw, Crime, Sentencing Law

    David Messerschmitt’s Murderer Gets Sentenced

    How long of a prison sentence did Jamyra Gallmon receive for the murder of DLA Piper associate David Messerschmitt?

    / Aug 21, 2015 at 1:48 PM
  • Shayna Hubers

    Murder, Sentencing Law

    Woman Who Murdered Lawyer Gets Stiff Sentence For Slaying

    How many years in prison was she sentenced to?

    29 Comments / / Aug 17, 2015 at 3:31 PM
  • Jay Z (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.17.15

    * This October, rappers Jay Z and Timbaland will have to testify in a lawsuit concerning copyright infringement and improper music sampling. We’ll see how “Big Pimpin'” they really are when we find out which lawyers and law firms are repping them. [Page Six / New York Post]

    * This judge apparently doesn’t appreciate fighting words in pleadings. “Do you want to fight me? Is that what you want?” A West Virginia magistrate judge challenged a litigant — one who previously called the magistrate a “fat sweaty slob” in motion papers — to come to his house and “see what happens.” [Charleston Gazette-Mail]

    * An ex-Texas judge was sentenced for his side job of smuggling guns into Mexico and selling them. He faced up to 70 years when he pleaded guilty to two felony counts in May, and was handed his 18-month sentence on Friday. Yeehaw! [Austin American-Statesman]

    * The Idaho College of Law will begin to host first-year law school classes at its Boise campus starting in 2017. The Boise campus now serves 1Ls, 2LS, and 3Ls, but not to worry, this flyover law school’s main campus isn’t going anywhere. [Idaho Statesman]

    * Julian Bond, civil rights icon, SPLC board member, former NAACP chair, RIP. [NYT]

    24 Comments / / Aug 17, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Themis statue and handcuffs

    Crime, Sentencing Law

    Criminally Yours: Punishment Worse Than The Crime

    Whoever still believes that people who commit crimes get away with a mere slap on the wrist just don’t know much about how the law works.

    14 Comments / / Aug 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM
  • Robot Lawyer

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.10.15

    * Hot on the heels of the news that the majority of students enrolled in California’s “failure factories” unaccredited law schools drop out before graduation, legislators are pushing for the state bar to do something about it before even more prospective students are conned. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Robots will be coming for your jobs more quickly now thanks to the largest law firm in the world. Dentons invested an untold sum in Ross, an app that will inevitably replace first-year lawyers by utilizing super computer Watson’s artificial intelligence to perform legal research. [Globe and Mail]

    * Slowly but surely, the legal industry is making a comeback in terms of headcount. Sure, the entire profession is only employing 3,500 more people now than it was at this time last year (sorry about that, law school grads), but it’s still an improvement. [Am Law Daily]

    * Just because it doesn’t look like the Securities and Exchange Commission has been doing anything doesn’t mean that lawyers at the agency have been twiddling their thumbs. They’ve got some major things in the works, they swear. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * “I wonder how it feels to save the life of a mass murderer? Good job.” In a shocking verdict, convicted Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes was sentenced to life in prison. All it took was one holdout juror to take the death penalty off the table. [Reuters]

    13 Comments / / Aug 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Novak Druce's empty office?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.24.15

    * Most Biglaw firms are downsizing their office space, but Ropes & Gray just inked a deal to increase the size of its New York office by 40,869 square feet. It’ll occupy more than 300,000 square feet in Rockefeller Center. Hope the firm has lawyers to fill it! [Commercial Observer]

    * Yikes! Thanks to a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll, the newly formed Philly office of Novak Druce appears to have been left without a single lawyer. The firm decided to “refrain from commenting” on the departures. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * The same jury that found James Holmes guilty of several counts of murder in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre completed the first phase of sentencing and decided that aggravating factors existed for him to incur the death penalty. [Los Angeles Times]

    * A former court clerk in Indiana is suing because she claims she was fired for refusing to process same-sex marriage licenses, even though doing so went against her “sincerely held” religious beliefs. We may be seeing a lot more of these in the future. [Indy Star]

    * Per Texas prosecutor Warren Diepraam, medical examiners have ruled that Sandra Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging, and he has “full faith” in the autopsy results. The community remains outraged, and investigation into the case is ongoing. [NBC News]

    10 Comments / / Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Themis statue and handcuffs

    Crime, Drugs, Sentencing Law

    Criminally Yours: Obama’s Pardons Are A Band-Aid On The Problem, But At Least A Start

    Obama’s week of initiatives with regard to drug sentencing is a great start, much awaited and much needed, but it’s a drop in the bucket.

    6 Comments / / Jul 20, 2015 at 11:58 AM
  • jury

    Crime, Sentencing Law, White-Collar Crime

    Kozinski On Juries, Sentencing, and Justice

    Judge Kozinski has some ideas for fixing our criminal justice system.

    6 Comments / / Jul 16, 2015 at 9:52 AM
  • student-loan-debt-e1414612604341

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 06.17.15

    * With student loan forgiveness earning public approval, the other shoe had to drop. Critics campaigning that any escape is “welfare.” If you were grasping for the proper pejorative it’s “Homecoming Queen.” [Concurring Opinions]

    * Hot mic alert! Lawyer broadcasts during recess that prosecutor is “in my pocket.” Only to the extent the prosecutor is now up your ass. [ABA Journal]

    * Maybe there’s hope for sentencing reform: 130 former judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials sign a letter advocating for the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015. The key is “former.” I’ll bet while they were running for office harsh sentencing was a-OK. [Sentencing Law and Policy]

    * Using the show Serial to teach good brief writing. [Legal Writing Pro]

    * Had you considered the marriage equality dimensions of Kerry v. Din? Me neither. But Professor Dorf did. [Verdict]

    * Law schools are increasingly hiring deans from within. Just another way of keeping Elie out of that dean’s job he wants so badly. [The Faculty Lounge]

    * What to do when hiring a contract attorney? Hm. Look for fear and desperation? Oh… oh, you’re being serious about ethics and stuff. [Daily Report]

    * The best description of the conservative argument in King: “the card says ‘Moops.'” [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia02fGpUQfU

    10 Comments / / Jun 17, 2015 at 5:05 PM
  • Thomas "Haller" Jackson IV

    Crime, Sentencing Law

    Haller Jackson, Former Federal Law Clerk, Pleads Guilty To A Sex Offense

    What drove him into this situation, and what will happen to him next?

    61 Comments / / May 29, 2015 at 3:02 PM
  • Osmar_Schindler_David_und_Goliath

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 05.13.15

    * The New Jersey legislature is considering a law decriminalizing slingshots. Finally, New Jersey’s leaders looked at a map and realized the word “Philadelphia” looks suspiciously like “Philistines.” [NJ.com]

    * The case for drone-based graffiti. People have complained of drones invading the privacy of innocents for a while now and nothing’s happened. Now that drones can deface corporate property, what do you bet regulation comes fast and furious. [The Legal Artist]

    * Over a quarter of Harvard Law grads don’t practice law. [Tax Prof Blog]

    * Sentencing reform may be coming, but that’s not going to keep private prison companies from raking in the cash. [Sentencing Law and Policy]

    * Professor Campos on the role of government subsidies on the rising cost of higher education. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * As a follow-up, here are even more tips for 0Ls researching law schools. [Law and More]

    * A legal analysis of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Apparently creating a genocidal death machine is not frowned upon as much in the Marvel Universe as it might be here. [Law and the Multiverse]

    12 Comments / / May 13, 2015 at 5:06 PM
  • will-work-for-food

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.14.15

    * Georgetown Law is teaming up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to open a low bono law firm. The firm will provide two things for those in need: affordable legal services and jobs to bolster GULC’s employment stats. [Am Law Daily]

    * Michigan Law will provide summer funding for all of its 1Ls for law-related internships — but there’s a catch. The cash is a loan, and students may have to pay it back if they earn Biglaw money the following summer. [Michigan Law]

    * Judge Jed Rakoff sounded off on the judicary’s problem with mass incarceration at a recent conference at Harvard Law, calling for his colleagues and bar associations across the nation to take a stand for the accused with a gentler justice system. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * “It’s positive news. I think it indicates there’s some slight opening of financial services to marijuana-related businesses.” Some banks have finally decided to provide services to weedpreneurs, but others are leaving marijuana moguls high and dry. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Students should seriously consider going to law school in a state where they plan to practice law.” Unless you like wasting your time, you’d do well to listen to this advice, even if you’re going to a school with national name recognition. [U.S. News & World Report]

    42 Comments / / Apr 14, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • Jodi Arias

    Murder, Sentencing Law

    Breaking: Jodi Arias Gets Sentenced

    What could be the final chapter in the Jodi Arias story has finally been written.

    26 Comments / / Apr 13, 2015 at 1:55 PM
  • Justice Clarence Thomas

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.18.15

    * Could it be? Did Justice Clarence Thomas ask a question during oral arguments at SCOTUS? No, but he did ask a question at Yale Law during a presentation, noting that he doesn’t ask “irrelevant, useless questions” at the high court. [Legal Times]

    * Per NALP, gains were made by women and minorities in law firms for the first time in years, but be careful, because Jim Leipold is watching you: “Individual law firms should not be allowed to hide behind the national figures.” [National Law Journal]

    * Meet Judge Robert C. Brack of the District Court of New Mexico, who recently earned quite the accolade. Judge Brack has sentenced more defendants than any other federal judge in the past five years. He won’t be celebrating his achievement. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * This Georgetown Law professor, who happens to be the cofounder of one of the country’s largest litigation finance firms, wants to see a law firm IPO, but others wonder if lawyers would be able to ethically practice while reporting to shareholders. [Washington Post]

    * A Chadbourne & Park employee has been banned from ever working for another law firm again following his theft of $15,360 from C&P’s coffers. Not to worry, no client money was pilfered from the firm — the cash was taken from an open office account. [Am Law Daily]

    * If you haven’t heard, David Lat wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and “[w]riting the novel was almost therapeutic for [him] in a way” — he’s “kind of over” the fact that his résumé doesn’t include a SCOTUS clerkship. [Chicago Daily Law Bulletin]

    * Martha Africa, name partner of Major Lindsey & Africa, RIP. [San Francisco Chronicle]

    17 Comments / / Feb 18, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • Barrett Brown

    Free Speech, Media and Journalism, Technology

    Can You Be Prosecuted For Sharing A Link? The Troubling Case Of Barrett Brown

    The prosecution of a prominent activist and journalist raises very real and serious First Amendment concerns.

    30 Comments / / Jan 23, 2015 at 8:06 PM
  • rock concert

    Non-Sequiturs

    Non-Sequiturs: 01.14.15

    * Judge really, really works hard to make classic rock references in this opinion. Guess he Can’t Get Enough of his Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy. [South Florida Lawyers]

    * Trouble in paradise? Well, no. But trouble in D.C.: American University law professor accuses George Washington Law of predatory poaching. [TaxProf Blog]

    * America should offer a $200 tax credit for political contributions. As always, you can buy more tax loopholes with higher contributions. [Los Angeles Times]

    * Baby justices are hatching from their eggs. [The Onion]

    * New York City Council member is looking to cap Uber’s surge pricing at 2x. Or, you know, people could use the function on the app that tells you how much you’re going to be charged. [Gawker]

    * Continuing analysis of the California Bar Exam results. In case you were wondering how the correspondence and distance learning schools performed. [Bar Exam Stats]

    * The Supreme Court hands down an interesting sentencing law opinion today. Finally, I got a FantasySCOTUS prediction (mostly) right! [Sentencing Law and Policy]

    * If lowly work were considered cool, we wouldn’t have all those annoying stereotypes sitting next to us. [Law and More]

    1 Comment / / Jan 14, 2015 at 5:35 PM
  • Judge Jed Rakoff

    Crime, Sentencing Law, White-Collar Crime

    Overpunishment, Rationality, And Rakoff

    A look at one federal judge’s proposal to reform the criminal justice system and the responses it has generated.

    32 Comments / / Jan 8, 2015 at 10:14 AM