* Happy tax day! Let’s take a moment to remember that the tax prep industry spends millions to keep taxes a confusing, unpleasant mess. [TaxProf Blog]
* “Since You Were Wondering, Judge Judy Is Having Amazing Sex” is the most goddamned horrifying headline of the year. [Morning After / Gawker]
* The dream juror: a guy whose whole schtick is getting unanimity. Chief Justice John Roberts reports to his local courthouse. [Washington Post]
* Sad news. “Mr. Fuzzy,” who traveled the Washington firms shining shoes, appears to have been found dead near the tidal basin. [Hill Now]
On this Tax Day, columnist Shannon Achimalbe looks at two payments that are not called taxes but feel like and have the effect of a tax.
David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers serves as an ideal case study on the requirements to innovate; a desire to learn, perseverance, and work ethic. I read it in route to a wonderful opportunity to serve as visiting lecturer for Professor and Parsons Behle & Latimer attorney Randy Dryer’s innovative Technology and Modern Litigation course at […]
* Not going anywhere for a while? Try a Snickers. Just don’t try to write it off as a business expense. [TaxProf Blog]
* Toilet cameras involve moral turpitude. This is an opinion that needed to be written. [Legal Profession Blog]
* Police decline to charge Dwight Howard with child abuse. He’d allegedly punished his child with his belt, which is nowhere near as bad as letting them walk outside alone (if you listen to Elie’s rants). [ESPN]
* There’s no bar exam too small for his analysis: North Dakota’s February results. [Bar Exam Stats]
* A look back at the Lincoln assassination 150 years later. Something like this would never happen today — probably because Lincoln would still be on the waiting list for Book of Mormon. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* I knew SeaWorld was in trouble when I saw a glossy commercial during primetime television explaining how great they are. And my instincts were right — they’ve been hit with three salacious lawsuits in a month. [The Dodo]
* Oh, the things you learn from lawsuits! Find out exactly how the WWE feels about your city. Getting dissed by Vince McMahon must sting. [411Mania]
* Protesters disrupt the Supreme Court to complain about Citizens United. Just two or three more of these and Alito is sure to break! [SCOTUSBlog]
* In completely unrelated news, TV spending in the Supreme Court race in Wisconsin has now topped $600,000. No risk of corruption there. [Brennan Center For Justice]
* Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has, at the last minute, refused to sign a new RFRA after watching Indiana blow up its own economy over the same law. In other news, Indiana Governor Mike Pence received a delightful gift basket today this morning with the message, “Thanks for taking the hit on this one — Asa XOXOXO.” [New York Times]
* Speaking of the RFRA kerfuffle, defending champion UConn is boycotting the Final Four in Indiana this weekend. Not qualifying for the tournament certainly helps. How about we hold off praising this “bold stance” until a team actually playing this weekend makes a symbolic show of support. [NBC Connecticut]
* After a season of reading about cops brutalizing unarmed kids for no reason, there’s a project in Baltimore trying to get the police to better connect with teens. Anything would help. [Washington Post]
* There’s a new .sucks domain name, more or less designed for the sole purpose of extorting money from companies and celebrities. I don’t see the problem, they extort money out of us all the time. [LXBN]
* Cool new tech. It’s like Google Glass for transactional lawyers, designed to instantly identify and highlight key provisions. OK this is an April Fools gag, but their real product actually operates on the same principle. [Kira Specs]
* Just because married couples can file jointly doesn’t mean they should. For that matter, just because couples can marry doesn’t mean they should. Think about it. [California Lawyer]
* Richard Hsu talks with Guy Kawasaki, the Chief Evangelist of Canva, and former Chief Evangelist of Apple. Evangelists just in time for the holiday! [Hsu Untied]
* What have we done? We wrote about a candidate for SBA President at the University of Miami School of Law with a cheesy campaign video and he won. And now he’s drunk with power. He’s instituting a mandatory dress code! His email is on the next page…
Miami Law Family,
First and foremost, congratulations to all of the newly elected Student Leaders. Today’s Passing of the Gavel ceremony was a huge success, and I look forward to working with you all during the upcoming school year.
It is now time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I recently surveyed a group of students about immediate issues they want the SBA to address. Without question, they felt that the biggest issue with the law school was that too many students wear flip flops and T-shirts to class. Thus, starting next Monday, April 6th, the SBA will be implementing a mandatory business casual/professional dress code for all full-time students. I know it may come as a shock, but my cabinet felt that this is a priority that needed to be addressed. We chose to make this our first order of business to demonstrate that we are here to work. This is clearly the first step to improve our bar passage rate, and I thank you for your understanding.
I will be following up with you all later this week about upcoming SBA matters. I know you all had a nice break from me spamming your inbox, but I’m back and better than ever.
Please see below for a detailed outline of what attire will be included/excluded from the mandatory dress code.
President, Student Bar Association
Oh, before I forget… THANK YOU to Outgoing SBA President Sara Solano. Miss Solano did a phenomenal job as President, and she left big shoes to fill, despite being much shorter than me. As for that mandatory dress code I mentioned….. April Fools!!!
In all seriousness- I cannot wait to work with all of the SBA E-board members, SBA Senators, administrators, and the student organization leaders. There is an SBA meeting tomorrow, 4/2/15, at 12:30PM in F309, where we will be appointing our Speaker of the Senate and discussing next year’s SBA Budget. As always, time will be allotted for general student body comments. We encourage you all to attend.
Your Student Leaders are going to be working hard to ensure that the 2015-16 school year will be one of the most successful year’s in Miami Law’s history. You’ve elected a great group of students.
If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas– or simply want to grab Icees & appetizers with me– please do not hesitate to call/text me. It’s my job is to serve you, but at the end of the day, I’m equally your colleague and friend.
Here’s to a good year,
Matthew Ryan David Deblinger
President, Student Bar Association
University of Miami School of Law
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]
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]
* 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]