Throughout 2014, along with our friends at Good2BSocial, ATL once again researched the social media practices of law firms. Today we publish the first component of our findings: our second annual Social Law Firm Index, where we identify which specific firms are making the most effective use of social media.
* George Zimmerman was arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon. His lawyer said his client “has not been lucky with the ladies.” He hasn’t been lucky with being a decent human being, either. [USA Today]
* Lawrence McCreery, the Hawaii lawyer who licked a client’s ear and inspired the judge on his case to call him a “dirty old man,” has had his harassment conviction upheld on appeal. Get excited, he’s still got a law license, ladies. [Associated Press]
* We may soon see same-sex marriage bans in three states struck down, as the Fifth Circuit “appeared poised” to do so after oral arguments on Friday. Roberta Kaplan, our 2013 Lawyer of the Year, delivered a standout performance in arguing against Mississippi’s ban. [BuzzFeed]
* What do Sidley Austin, Baker & McKenzie, Reed Smith, Hogan Lovells, and Skadden Arps have in common? Their names were used in phishing emails to scam people out of their money. Some might say that’s business as usual. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* An arrest was made in the forcible rape of a woman — presumably a law student — that took place in the stacks of the Southern University Law Center’s library last semester. The accused rapist is currently behind held without bond. [WBRZ]
I became a lawyer without really understanding that the job cuts time off of your life. My work hours are long, I can’t see my family or friends, and I am constantly at the mercy of the partner or the client. On top of everything, at one point, I was paying 7% on my law school loans. […]
* Ted Cruz Goes To Jury Duty is the Ernest Goes To Camp of a new generation. [NBC News]
* Former Judge Mike Maggio has graced our pages with his disgrace before when he admitted to making racist and sexist remarks about Charlize Theron’s adoption. Well, he just pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. Looks like he’ll Geaux to prison. [Arkansas Times]
* Faced with allegations that it discriminated against a trans woman, Saks takes the curious legal stance that it had the legal right to discriminate. I’d say that takes balls, but… [Slate]
* A hearing board in Illinois just recommended a one-year suspension of former Sidley Austin and present DLA Piper attorney Lee Smolen. Maybe he could spend that time with his kids. [Legal Profession Blog]
* Fourth Circuit rules that you can’t set up unconstitutional barriers to abortion. Nothing to do with the woman’s rights of course, but because it might impact the doctor’s free speech. [Dorf on Law]
* Fired for wife-swapping. [Lowering the Bar]
* Technology and outsourcing have totally jacked the careers of Biglaw associates. You already knew this, but now there’s a paper! [TaxProf Blog]
These associates aren’t just disappointed; they’re angry.
If you are looking to move in the beginning of January, your finger should be pressing the call app in your phone.
* Squire Patton Boggs may be lobbying for Ebola drugs, but Reed Smith has launched a Global Ebola Task Force. Don’t worry, folks, the firm doesn’t want to “sensationalize” the outbreak. [Washingtonian]
* Hong Kong is great for lawyers interested in corporate misconduct. “I’ve barely had a weekend off for the last eight months,” says this partner who’s really excited about a not having a life. [Bloomberg]
* As we noted, New York is considering adopting the Uniform Bar Exam. Touro Law’s dean thinks the format change could be “jolting” for students, but the head of the NY BOLE doesn’t agree. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Wayne State Law is freezing tuition and giving a scholarship to incoming student that’s equal to a 14 percent tuition cut. That’s one way to combat a 13 percent drop in enrollment. [Detroit Free Press]
* Whittier Law is one of the “most challenged” when it comes to its graduates’ ability to obtain legal employment. Just one in four students gets to be a lawyer after graduation. [Orange County Register]
* “[T]he ‘superstar’ model of Supreme Court advocacy marketing is prevailing”: recent Supreme Court litigation has been dominated by Biglaw and boutiques, and five of them handled about half of last term’s cases. [WSJ Law Blog]
* It’s not a “done deal” yet, but Albany Law School is in serious talks with the University at Albany to form an affiliation by the end of the year. There’s been no word on whether Albany Law would remain a stand-alone school under the yet-to-be inked arrangement. [Albany Business Review]
* The dismissal of lawsuits concerning allegedly deceptive employment statistics at several Chicago-area law schools was affirmed by an Illinois appeals court. ::insert sad trombone here:: [National Law Journal]
* If you’re still thinking about applying to law school for some reason, you might find these tips on what not to write in a personal statement to be useful. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
* Amanda Bynes, one of our favorite fading starlets who was already on probation, was arrested this weekend on a DUI charge after stopping her car in the middle of an intersection. [Los Angeles Times]
Founded by Caren Ulrich Stacey, the OnRamp Fellowship is a re-entry platform that allows experienced, talented lawyers to return to the work force through a one year, paid training contract.
The adage that law turns slowly does not hold in eDiscovery. This year saw unprecedented sanction awards for falling behind the curve. Courts did not hesitate to engage with advanced and nuanced technological issues. For lawyers and other eDiscovery professionals who plan on maintaining basic competence, these cases and trends shouldn’t be overlooked. For a full exploration of trends and developments in this area of case law, check out this on-demand webinar.
Which firms are some of the most coveted Biglaw employers in major markets?
Airplanes / Aviation, Biglaw, Celebrities, Disasters / Emergencies, Divorce Train Wrecks, Entertainment Law, Health Care / Medicine, John Roberts, Law Schools, Mergers and Acquisitions, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court
* After forcing Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act could force for-profit corporations to pay for employees’ abortions, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed rather pleased with himself. [New York Times]
* Sidley Austin just hired a major M&A heavy hitter away from General Electric’s legal department. Congratulations to Chris Barbuto. We suppose he can make it rain as outside counsel now. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Because there’s no time too soon for an ambulance airplane chaser, the beginnings of the first lawsuit lodged against Malaysian Air after Flight 370′s probable crash was filed in court yesterday. [Bloomberg]
* UC Hastings and Iowa are the latest law schools to offer 3+3 accelerated degree programs. What a great recruiting tool for Iowa, which recently saw enrollment levels plunge by 40 percent. [National Law Journal]
* One month after the internet exploded with rumors of Gwyneth Paltrow having an affair with entertainment lawyer Kevin Yorn, the star announced her split from her husband. Coincidence? [New York Daily News]
* Valerie Ford Jacob, leader of Fried Frank since 2003, is stepping down from her post prior to her official 2015 departure date. At least she’s leaving on a high note, with the firm’s highest profits per partner ever. Yay. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* Ralph Lerner, the ex-Sidley Austin partner who billed extra car charges to his clients, claims he went into work on weekends to do work for free to make up for it. Aww, how nice of him. [Am Law Daily]
* When we first covered this in January, it was just a rumor, but now it’s officially set in stone. The deed is done: Buchanan Ingersoll is picking up Tampa firm Fowler White Boggs. [Pittsburgh Business Times]
* Many New York law schools moved in the recent U.S. News rankings, but not necessarily in the right direction. Four out of 15 schools moved up; the rest stayed the same or slipped. [New York Law Journal]
* Would you like damages with that? McDonald’s corporate and its franchisees are facing lawsuits filed by employees over their allegedly “stolen wages.” Class actions have been filed in three states. [Bloomberg]
* Virginia is for lovers — gay and straight alike. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen (E.D. Va.) just struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage (but stayed her ruling pending appeal). Happy Valentine’s Day! [Washington Post]
* The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, issued a major Second Amendment ruling. Is it correct, and what will happen next? Professor Eugene Volokh shares his thoughts. [Volokh Conspiracy; Volokh Conspiracy]
* Which leading law firms are trying to make the Comcast/Time Warner Cable monstrosity into reality? [American Lawyer]
* Did a Biglaw firm make a big-time mistake by blowing a deadline to appeal a $40 million verdict? [Law360 (sub. req.)]
* Speaking of screw-ups, making them in the e-discovery realm can be costly — a lesson that California is learning the hard way, to the tune of $32 million. [ACEDS]
* Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin thought he’d be acquitted; he thought wrong. [ABA Journal]
* George Washington wasn’t a member of the one of the 8 magic groups — but his story still illustrates the truth of The Triple Package (affiliate link), according to Washington biographer Logan Beirne. [Fox News]
* Authorities have made an arrest for the package bombing that killed a retired Tennessee lawyer and his wife. [CNN]