Chief Justice Roberts would like you to simmer down with all the political talk.
* Carmen Electra filed a federal suit against a strip joint, alleging that the gentleman’s club defamed her by using a scantily clad picture of her without her prior consent, thereby insinuating that she removes her clothing for money there or otherwise endorses its sexy services. [New York Daily News]
* Happy anniversary to our favorite SCOTUS monk: If Justice Thomas sticks to his usual routine when the Supreme Court returns from its winter break, he’ll have officially gone a decade without asking a question from the bench. [New York Times]
* Aloha! Just one week after receiving a $25 million donation and changing the name of the school, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law is losing its dean to Hawaii Pacific University, where he’ll serve as president. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* DLA Piper recently acquired Peltonen LMR, a Helsinki firm, bringing its grand total of Nordic offices to three. Unlike in the past, we hope that this time DLA Piper knows what country its new office is located in. Pssst… it’s Finland. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* If you’ve been waitlisted by the law school of your choice, we hope that you’re a particularly patient person, because you may be waiting to find out your academic fate until April, or worse yet, July. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
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* Fifty-six years ago today, a group of African-American students sat down at the whites only section of a lunch counter. Can you even imagine the BS talking heads and think pieces would spew if that event happened today? [Lawyers, Guns and Money]
* University of New Mexico Law School is ranked number 1… for public defenders and prosecutors. [Daily Lobo]
* Stanford Law Professor Barbara van Schewick is going after T-Mobile “Binge On” service, which allows users to watch streaming content from approved providers without using their data plan, saying it violates net neutrality. [Tech Times]
* Oyez, oyez! Anyone got a million-plus to buy a multimedia history of the Supreme Court? [Wall Street Journal]
* All the Iowa caucus coverage making you excited? You’d probably enjoy Wonkette’s Game Of US America Elections: The Game. [Wonkette]
* Utah State Senator Todd Weiler wants to do something — anything, really, — to stop the terrible moral decline caused by PORN. [Popehat]
* Lawyers are stuck in a rat race, and it could kill you. [Law and More]
* Get updated on the best in the legal tech world, before the Legaltech conference. [CodeX]
* If you’re going to be in San Diego for the ABA Midyear Meeting, come out Friday to “Blawgs and Listservs: Legal Publications in the Digital Age” to see Craft Beer Attorney Candace Moon, bankruptcy and fraud litigator Kathy B. Phelps, and our own Joe Patrice discuss the state of legal publishing and social media, with moderator Jordan Maglich of Ponzitracker. [American Bar Association]
After all, it’s a “YUGE” issue, as far as his base is concerned.
Justice Alito is more coherent than Kennedy, more conventional than Thomas, more consistently conservative than Roberts, and a lot further from retirement or death than Scalia.
* Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz has pledged to “spend whatever political capital is necessary” to create the most conservative Supreme Court in our country’s history. Uh-oh! Voters better elect him, or else we’ll be “one justice away from … unlimited abortion on demand.” [ThinkProgress]
* A shakeup at the top? More than 20 Schiff Hardin partners — including the firm’s former managing partner, practice group leaders, and an executive committee member — are leaving to start their own firm thanks to an apparent leadership dispute. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* On the seventh anniversary of his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, President Obama took action to address the gender pay gap. Companies with 100 employees or more must now include salary info on their annual EEO reports. [New York Times]
* Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s legal team filed the first of what’s sure to be many appeals: They’ve asked the First Circuit to overturn his conviction and death sentence, as well as an order that he pay more than $101M to his victims. [Reuters]
* For some reason, people are highly opposed to the ABA’s proposal to lift its ban on law students receiving pay for their credit-bearing externship positions. Yes, let’s continue to make indebted students pay for their experiential learning opportunities. [ABA Journal]
* “This is, since the recession, the most robust job growth we’ve seen.” Nearly all students who worked at Biglaw firms this past summer as associates received offers of full-time employment. Offer rates haven’t been this high in more than a decade. [National Law Journal]
* Mommy, wow! I’m a big kid now! Affluenza teen Ethan Couch was finally deported from Mexico and booked into a juvenile detention center. Today, we’ll see if he’ll be moved to a big-boy jail, and in February, we’ll see if his case is moved to the grown-up court system. [Associated Press]
* Sorry, Hillary Clinton, but President Obama has no desire to be on SCOTUS. According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, while Obama “would have plenty of ideas for how he would do a job like that,” he “may have other things to do.” [The Hill]
* It’s so hard to get execution drugs that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is asking state legislators for alternative methods for carrying out death sentences, like death by firing squad, electrocution, and hanging. Seems reasonable? [Reuters]
* Arizona is so eager to kill people it hired Alston & Bird to go up against the Food and Drug Administration in the state’s quest to obtain the release of a shipment of execution drugs that it had imported to the country from India this summer. [BuzzFeed News]
The words of a historic justice.
* Now that Rudy Giuliani’s in the news again thanks to his departure from his namesake firm, he’s letting his opinions be known on all sorts of things relevant to lawyers and law students. In fact, he thinks law school should be four years long. Go back into the woodwork, Rudy. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]
* After a decade on SCOTUS, Justice Samuel Alito hasn’t strayed from his conservative roots like some of his colleagues. He “has been every bit as conservative as conservatives could have dreamed — and as liberals would have feared.” [ABA Journal]
* Prior to Martin Shkreli’s arrest, prosecutors obtained a secret order nullifying attorney-client privilege in communications between the pharma bro and his Biglaw attorney. Per records, this case has been ongoing since before he outed himself as a d-bag. [Reuters]
* “Whether I want to marry or not, it should be my right to decide.” China’s first-ever lawsuit challenging its ban on same-sex marriage is expected to be heard in court today. In a country as conservative as China, this could be revolutionary. [New York Times]
* Shake those pom-poms, because the New York Jets have reached a settlement with the team’s cheerleaders in a lawsuit filed over alleged wage theft. The J-E-T-S will pay out $324,000, making it the fourth NFL team to settle such a suit. [New York Daily News]
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May the force be with the winner of our latest caption contest.
It wouldn’t be the first time a former president sat on the highest court.
Folks… we need to come to grips with the fact that Donald Trump is going to be our next president.
* Martin Shkreli’s hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been rescheduled due to this weekend’s blizzard. This will give the reviled pharma bro even more time to brush up on constitutional law. [CBS News]
* Uh-oh! Thanks to some “cash flow issues” — like partners not being paid on time — King & Wood Mallesons is currently in the process of raising capital and will be conducting a review of its overall financial structure. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]
* Cert denied! The justices of the Supreme Court may have bought these lawyers’ arguments and struck down a crucial part of the Voting Rights Act in the Shelby County case, but they’re certainly not buying their request for $2 million in legal fees. [Reuters]
* A hate crime without a resolution? Police are closing their investigation into the defacement of black professors’ portraits at Harvard Law without having found a perp. Maybe they decided to take Elie Mystal’s advice not to feed the trolls. [Boston.com]
* Florida State settled a lawsuit filed by Erica Kinsman, a former student who claimed Jameis Winston raped her, for $900K, but the school claims $700K of that amount will go to her legal team. Her lawyers, however, would politely beg to differ. [USA Today]
Ruth Vader Ginsburg finds your lack of contraceptive coverage for women disturbing.
* “I have standing to sue. Can you imagine if I did it? Should I do it just for fun?” Republican front-runner Donald Trump is floating a possible lawsuit against Ted Cruz over the senator’s eligibility to run for POTUS — because litigation is so much fun! [The Hill]
* Everyone likes to think Justice Antonin Scalia is a crazy curmudgeon, but one of his former SCOTUS clerks knows there’s a softer side to the man people love to hate. In reality, he’s “an incredibly warm and generous man” with a “wonderful sense of humor.” [Columbus Business First]
* A federal judge who’s had a change of heart about a lengthy sentence he gave to an admitted murderer says he and his colleagues need a way to give “second-look reviews” to adjust sentences for deserving prisoners. Would this work? [New York Times]
* If the ruling in this case catches on, New York attorneys may soon be able to serve people via Facebook. Of course, if your lawsuit winds up in a defendant’s “Filtered Messages,” he’ll never see it, but it’s still a pretty cool concept. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Charleston Law launched a new admissions program that will allow students to begin classes in the spring and graduate in two and a half years instead of three. Perhaps the goal here is to graduate students before the school closes for good? [ABA Journal]
* The Supreme Court may undo President Obama’s legacy… of executive actions. [Talking Points Memo]
* Speaking of United States v. Texas, it just may be Chief Justice John Roberts’s worst nightmare. [Slate]
* Today is a special anniversary: six years, the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United decision, and democracy hasn’t looked the same since. [Huffington Post]
* Interesting data analysis from Professor Derek T. Muller: as full-time law faculty numbers shrink, law school administrator numbers grow. [Excess of Democracy]
* Benghazi is getting a Michael Bay movie — and the congressional hearing is still raging on. [Rolling Stone]
* Attorneys for Daniel Holtzclaw, the Oklahoma City police officer convicted of raping eight women while on duty, have filed a motion seeking a new trial; they suspect discovery shenanigans on the part of the prosecution. [Gawker]
* Nope. Hillary Clinton may not be a radical, but she also isn’t a moderate Republican. [Lawyers, Guns and Money]
* Seven legal tech considerations for 2016, from lawyer and legal-tech enthusiast Steven J. Best. [Legal Tech Blog]
What do you get when you cross galactic supervillain Darth Vader with judicial superhero Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
* Criminal defense attorneys have been painted so poorly by Hollywood for such a long time that Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, the defense attorneys at the heart of Making a Murderer, “never expected to be viewed as hero[es] for just doing our job.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* All in a day’s work: When Ted Cruz wasn’t busy “[making] a lot of people really angry” during his Supreme Court clerkship, he was watching porn with Chief Justice William Rennquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. [New York Times]
* It seems like Ted Cruz has made prospective Biglaw donors angry as well. Although Sullivan & Cromwell hosted an event in his honor, his campaign contribution amounts from other firms are “humdrum,” with only one Texas firm on his side. [The Careerist]
* Thanks to a $25 million dollar donation from an alumnus, Villanova Law will now be known as the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Hopefully a new name will make people forget about the school’s scandal-plagued past. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* In light of last week’s sexism sanction from a federal judge, the editors of the ABA Journal want to know if you’ve ever heard sexist remarks while working as a lawyer. We’d like to know too. Email us for inclusion in our series on the subject. [ABA Journal]