* Steven Metro, an ex-managing clerk at Simpson Thacher who was accused of passing insider info about mergers and other business transactions to his law school buddy in a $5.6 million insider trading scheme, has pleaded guilty. He faces up to 20 years in prison. [Reuters]
* Remember Keila Ravelo, the Willkie Farr partner who allegedly stole millions from that firm and her prior firm, Hunton & Williams? It turns out her involvement in the $5.7 billion MasterCard/Visa antitrust settlement could ultimately become its kiss of death. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Chief Judge Morrison England (E.D. Cal.) says he and his colleagues are incredibly overworked, sometimes putting in more than 80 hours per week. It’s too bad it doesn’t make a difference — the court is at a “crisis point” in its backlog of cases. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Last summer, a federal judge ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional in California because an appeals process with the “slight possibility of death” was cruel and unusual. Here’s a real shocker: the Ninth Circuit overturned the decision. [New York Times]
* Embattled Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane is well past the point of having 99 problems, but there’s no end in sight. Former prosecutors have filed suit against her, alleging she retaliated against them for exposing her alleged criminal misdeeds. [Tribune-Review]
I hate keeping up with CLE as much as the next lawyer, but this is a pretty extreme avoidance strategy.
Who says you can’t get away with carelessness in Biglaw?
* It’s almost Halloween, so members of the legal profession had to have expected some spooky legal proceedings to occur this week. It seems that Lori Sforza, a witch priestess from Salem, has been granted a protective order against a well-known warlock. [Associated Press]
* Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would like to remove marijuana from the list of dangerous controlled substances that are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which would free up states to legalize it on their own terms. Stoners are really feeling the “Bern” now, in more ways than one. [Washington Post]
* Four federal lawyers spent weeks nailing down the legalities behind the killing of Osama bin Laden, and they weren’t allowed to ask Attorney General Eric Holder for help for fear of leaks to the press. They even had to do the legal research themselves! [New York Times]
* According to a new report by the National Association of Women Lawyers, there’s been no “appreciable progress” made for women in the nation’s largest law firms since at least 2006. This is extremely disheartening. Please do better, Biglaw. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* You know Walgreens is buying Rite Aid for $9.4B, but you might not have known which law firms were prescribing advice in the mega pharmacy merger. Skadden, Jones Day, Simpson Thacher, and Weil Gotshal got billable scripts. [DealBook / New York Times]
He missed a ton of classes in his last year of law school, but it all turned out okay for him in the end.
Stay tuned for a possible influx of more cold, hard cash in your paychecks, U.S. associates. Be sure to check the UPDATE to this report.
* Chris Christie argued passionately about national security with Rand Paul, noting that he was appointed a U.S. Attorney the very day before 9/11. Except, you know, he wasn’t and is completely lying. [Empty Wheel]
* Choose the right firm for you… with the help of these Legos. [The Careerist / The American Lawyer]
* A bipartisan bill hopes to replace loan default rates with a repayment metric. [Insider Higher Ed]
* The most predictable prison escape ever. [Lowering the Bar]
* John McAfee’s new security update includes a handgun — which he was arrested for carrying while high on Xanax after a “shootout” with police. He explains the whole thing on Facebook. [Gawker]
* Liberty Law has a new dean. [News & Advance]
* Pretty sure Key & Peele read the Elonis decision. [Key & Peele / Comedy Central]
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* Her dad’s the ringleader, he calls the shots; she’s like a firecracker, she makes it hot: Since “everything is working perfectly” under pop star Britney Spears’s conservatorship — which has been in effect for the past seven years — it’ll likely stay that way indefinitely. [Us Weekly]
* Well, that was fun while it lasted. The ABA did away with its year-old LSAT exemption rule in record time. Law schools will only have until 2017 to lard up classes with students who haven’t taken the exam. Good luck and Godspeed. [National Law Journal via TaxProf Blog]
* Simpson Thacher isn’t the only Biglaw firm that allegedly blew it when it came to turning hundreds of General Motors’ secured creditors into unsecured creditors. Mayer Brown is also facing twin class-action suits for this $1.5 billion boo-boo. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* Good news, everyone! The ABA approved a merger between Rutgers Law-Camden and Rutgers Law-Newark, and we’re going to look at this in a positive light because theoretically speaking, there’s now one less law school out there. [MyCentralJersey.com]
* “Are Law Schools Skewing Job Placement Numbers?” In a word, yes. Not to be a complete
pessimistrealist, but come on, you know most school-funded positions exist solely to prop up any given law school’s less-than-pleasing job statistics. [Bloomberg]
* When you’ve taken the lives of so many, no one cares about your sad life story. A Colorado jury inched closer to inflicting the death penalty upon convicted movie theater shooter James Holmes in the second phase of his trial’s penalty portion. [New York Times]
People watch short videos to learn pretty much everything. And they do it exactly when they need to learn – whether it’s to tie a bow tie an hour before a wedding or make a martini just before the party starts. Hotshot is bringing that concept to the legal industry. We think you should be […]
Opportunities abound in Texas.
It’s been a couple of months now. You’d think Cadwalader would make a move.
* Did two little kids get slapped with a lifetime gag order barring them from talking about fracking. But how will they explain their third eye? [The Guardian]
* Private equity firm TPG is suing its former PR man — former Bush spokesperson Adam Levine — for allegedly stealing confidential documents and threatening to leak them to the press. They probably showed where the Iraq WMDs were. [O’Dwyer’s]
* So maybe the blizzard of 2015 fizzled for New Yorkers. But winter’s not over yet — how do you interview in a snowstorm? [Corporette]
* “The Supreme Court’s Billion-Dollar Mistake”? Well, they’re still half a billion ahead of Simpson Thacher. [New York Review of Books]
* Suge Knight accused of murder. Not an archival story. [Los Angeles Times]
* An online CLE on the ethical issues of laterals and collapsing firms. Dewey know any firms who could have used this information? [Bloomberg BNA]
* On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to evaluate the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and this is perhaps the definitive article on how the justices have been preparing the nation for marriage equality. Get ready for some big gay weddings this summer. [BuzzFeed]
* Smile for the camera! Kent and Jill Easter, the infamous helicopter-parenting lawyers who went to jail for attempting to frame a volunteer at their son’s school on drug charges, found themselves at the center of a 20/20 story. [ABC News]
* With it being highly likely that the Supreme Court will declare bans on same-sex marriage by the states unconstitutional, people are wondering which justice will be the one the vote hinges upon. Could it be Chief Justice Roberts? [New Republic]
* Come on now, the swing vote in the same-sex marriage cases will obviously be Justice Kennedy. The legal tea leaves have been read, and with his majority opinions in Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor, the future has been foretold. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Steven Metro, the former managing clerk of Simpson Thacher’s New York office, was finally indicted after being charged with insider trading almost one year ago. If you’re interested, flip to the next page to see the juicy indictment. [Am Law Daily]
* In a new report, the Texas attorney general’s office concluded the forgivable faculty loan program at UT Law not only violated school rules, but also “set into motion a lack of transparency that ultimately led to a lack of accountability.” [Texas Tribune]
From distinguished to despicable, who should be Above the Law’s Lawyer of the Year for 2014? Please vote in our poll!
Which firm is acting the Scrooge this year?
So what other leading law firms will follow the Davis Polk bonus scale?
Firm decides to be a team player and match the Simpson scale.