Some recent survey findings on American perceptions of the tax system.
* And meet the two legal heavyweights who will be arguing the case before SCOTUS. [Politico via How Appealing]
* Meanwhile, another Supreme Court has put a stop to same-sex marriage down in Alabama — for now. [Buzzfeed]
* General David Petraeus reaches a plea deal, requiring him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine (but no prison sentence). [Washington Post]
* It’s not as sexy as Obamacare or marriage equality, but the collection of state sales tax on out-of-state purchases made online is a pretty important issue — and Justice Kennedy wants SCOTUS to revisit it. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* A jury of eight men and 10 women will start hearing arguments today in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, defendant in the Boston Marathon bombing. [How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* Legal ethics guru Monroe Freedman, RIP. [ABA Journal]
If the thought of opening a solo practice is both exciting and scary, we have a treat for you. New Solo, a podcast dedicated completely to solo practitioners, is here to help. Each month, host Adriana Linares interviews distinguished guests who share insights and information on how to successfully run your own law firm.
Watch Judge Posner have to deal with a pro se crazy — in person.
* Welcome back my friends, to the case that never ends: attorneys for Alexandra Marchuk lodged a request for $1.4 million in attorneys fees after her Pyrrhic victory in the Faruqi & Faruqi case. [Law360]
* In the wake of the Oscars, it’s worth remembering that David Boies is a movie producer. Next up for his shop, Boies/Schiller Film Group, a movie starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. Because their last movies together were so frigging fantastic. [The Am Law Daily]
* Speaking of the Oscars, just how much will nominees be regretting that $160,000 swag bag come tax time? [TaxProf Blog]
* Former Port Authority Chairman David Samson is under scrutiny for enjoying some untoward perks. Like the United Airlines flight route direct from Newark to Samson’s weekend home that was routinely bereft of passengers and ceased to exist days after Samson left the job. Something’s clearly suspect if someone is willingly flying United. [North Jersey.com]
* We’ve previously discussed the benchslap potential for Howard Shipley over his unorthodox Supreme Court brief. Now his lawyers, including SCOTUS mainstay Paul Clement, have told the Court that it’s basically all the client’s fault. [Legal Times]
As marijuana businesses seek to capture as many deductible expenses as they can, they run the real risk of the IRS disagreeing and finding themselves audited or hit with a penalty.
* 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]
Deep down inside, each and every tax lawyer is really a rock star.
Ugh. Leave it to tax gurus to introduce uncertainty to your holiday revelry.
* How are Nevada and Idaho officials reacting to yesterday’s Ninth Circuit ruling striking down gay marriage bans in those states, and how soon might marriages get underway? [BuzzFeed]
* In other LGBT legal news, New York City is likely to make it easier for transgender individuals to amend their birth certificates. [New York Times]
* Good news for Joan Orie Melvin, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice turned convicted felon: her unorthodox sentence has been stayed (again). [How Appealing]
* Eduardo Leite, who has led Baker & McKenzie since 2010, gets another two years at the helm of Biglaw’s biggest firm. [American Lawyer]
* Cravath associate Micaela McMurrough scores a victory in tax court for artists. [New York Times]
* The ABA has issued a new opinion addressing ethical issues raised during the sale of a law practice. [American Bar Association]
* Why do lawyers blog? Tim Baran of Rocket Matter talks to 23 of us. [Legal Productivity]
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
* Well here’s a headline: My Solo Practice Ended My Marriage. [Law Firm Suites] * Pennsylvania Attorney General claims officials sent and received porn via state email accounts for years, “including top state jurists and 30 current employees of the state Attorney General’s Office.” If the AG’s office is swapping porn at all hours, somehow […]
* Per the First Circuit, plaintiffs who successfully challenge the Defense of Marriage Act in court aren’t entitled to attorneys’ fees. The Department of Justice had no comment. [National Law Journal]
* Florida Coastal Law finished second-to-last in bar passage for the July 2014 exam, with 58% of grads passing. It was one of Florida Coastal’s worst performances to date. [Florida Times-Union]
* ASU Law got a $10M donation, its largest ever. “The remarkable thing about it is we didn’t ask him for it,” says the dean, which is a slightly better response than Drexel’s dean had. [The Republic]
* Much to his defense team’s chagrin, accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial will remain in Boston. The media spectacle is set to begin in January 2015. [New York Times]
* Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame was indicted on tax fraud charges to the tune of $8.9M. He pleaded not guilty yesterday afternoon. There aren’t tanning beds in jail. [Asbury Park Press]
* In light of today’s vote on Scottish independence, here’s an article on the opportunities for the legal industry if Scotland breaks free. [Business For Scotland]
* What are the biggest pet peeves of corporate counsel. Surprise, surprise, billing “surprises” makes the list. [ALM]
* Attorney General Holder is offering bigger payouts to Wall Street whistleblowers. Start saving your emails low-level finance folks! [Legal Times]
* Later today, Baker Hostetler’s John Moscow will try to convince Judge Griesa that he shouldn’t be disqualified for breaching the confidentiality of a prior client. [Law Blog / Wall Street Journal]
* As if Bingham didn’t have enough trouble, Akin Gump swept in and poached a gaggle of lawyers in Europe. [Law360]
* Skadden is really good at inversions. Elie would like to thank them for their work undermining American society. [The Am Law Daily]
* Yale Law is teaching students basic financial literacy. While some are hailing this program, my question is: how are kids getting to 20-something without learning this stuff already? [Yale Daily News]
* Lawyer busted for impersonating a Transformer. On that note, what would be the best name for a Transformer lawyer? Atticus Prime? L-Woods? Paddotron, who transforms into a clock that only measures tenths of an hour? [Jonathan Turley]
* Did you think your studying for the MBE could have used more original songs as study aids? Well, if so, you’re in luck because there’s an app called Study Songs that sets legal rules to music to help you remember. [Bar Exam Toolbox]
* New York courts are getting more and more fed up with the lack of relief available when lenders flaunt the law. [New York Law Journal]
* We’ve talked about litigation financing in the abstract before, but how can litigation financing help injured workers specifically? [LFC360]
* A former U.S. Attorney pleads guilty to not paying his taxes for years. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
* In sad news, Sher Kung — part of the trial team that took down the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and recently of Perkins Coie — was killed on in a cycling accident on Friday. [Seattle Times]
The full tapestry of wacko tax fraud theories is a lovely thing to behold….
* Utah appealed its same-sex marriage case to the Supreme Court, making it the first state whose law was smacked down by an appellate court to do so. Let the countdown begin. [National Law Journal]
* In the ruling that saved Alabama’s abortion clinics, Judge Myron Thompson likened the right to have an abortion to the right to bear arms. We can think of a few people who would take issue with that. [CNN]
* In case you’ve been wondering why tax inversions are hot right now, you can blame it all on some bicycling tax and M&A lawyers from Skadden — call them bikedudes at law, if you will. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Law schools tout the fact that their graduates are finding jobs in “J.D. Advantage” positions. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how much of an advantage a law degree actually offers in these jobs. [Am Law Daily]
* In a lawsuit peppered with crazy allegations, a law prof at Florida A&M claims in a gender discrimination complaint that male professors are “paid considerably more” than female professors. [Tampa Tribune]
* “I don’t care if it’s legal, it’s wrong.” President Obama is pointing the finger at companies using cross-border mergers to avoid U.S. taxes, and he wants to put an end to corporate tax inversions. [Bloomberg]
* Thomas Christina of Ogletree Deakins is the lawyer behind the recent circuit split on Obamacare’s state versus federal health insurance subsidies. Blame him or praise him, it’s up to you. [WSJ Law Blog]
* “I think I missed being in the courtroom more than I missed politics.” John Edwards, acquitted in 2012, is making court appearances again, but this time as a lawyer, not as a defendant. [Am Law Daily]
* A lawyer from Georgia hunts alligators in his spare time, and keeps the taxidermied head of one he caught right on his desk. He says it’s “a great conversation piece,” but that’s a pretty nasty paperweight. Eww. [Daily Report via ABA Journal]
* In a face-off with Alec Baldwin, a judge asked the actor to apologize. The combative Baldwin said he’d rather pay a fine, but if he can “[b]e a good boy,” his biking charge will be dropped. [New York Daily News]
* Judge Emmet Sullivan (D.D.C.) wants the IRS to explain, in a sworn declaration, how exactly it lost Lois Lerner’s emails. [WSJ Law Blog]
* And the fun for the IRS continues today in the courtroom of Judge Reggie Walton (D.D.C.), as reported by Sidney Powell, author of Licensed To Lie (affiliate link). [New York Observer]
* Speaker John Boehner wants to take the Republicans’ crusade against Obamacare to the courts. [New York Times]
* Andrew Calder, the young M&A partner that Kirkland & Ellis snagged from Simpson Thacher for a reported $5 million a year, is already bringing in big deals. [American Lawyer]
How the cupcake crumbles: the once-successful venture of an NYLS grad and her husband needs a rescue.
* “Duke University is not and never has been in the business of producing, marketing, distributing, or selling alcohol.” Some bros down in Durham disagree. [ABA Journal]
* If you see something… sue someone? The ACLU and Asian American civil rights groups, together with some help from Bingham McCutchen, have filed a legal challenge to the Suspicious Activity Reporting database. [New York Times]
* Congrats to David Hashmall, the incoming chair of Goodwin Procter — and congrats to outgoing chair Regina Pisa, the first woman ever to lead an Am Law 100 firm, on her long and successful leadership. [American Lawyer]
* A group of investors might end up devouring Crumbs, the cupcake-store chain founded by New York Law School grad Mia Bauer that suddenly shut down this week amid talk of a bankruptcy filing. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]