This is creepy and disgusting. Poor kitty!
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.
* A look at the ethical issues that arise when Saul takes a detour into “elder law.” [The Legal Ethics of Better Call Saul]
* Guess the law firm whose D.C. managing partner just said, “You would be hard-pressed to find another law firm of almost 200 lawyers that gets less name recognition than we do.” [National Law Journal]
* Everything is bigger in Texas — including the number of lawyers (300!) behind the effort to overturn the one-year suspension of prominent capital defense lawyer David Dow. [Slate]
* Linda Greenhouse on the Supreme Court’s “identity crisis” on voting rights. [New York Times]
* President Obama recently authorized a study into whether student loan debt should be dischargeable in bankruptcy. For now, any changes made to the bankruptcy code will likely apply only to private loans, so it looks like many law school graduates won’t be declaring bankruptcy any time soon. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* As we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the across-the-board drop in law school applications has inspired some law schools to do crazy things like shortening the length of time it takes to get a degree and lowering tuition. Hmm, more law schools should go crazy. [U.S. News & World Report]
* In the wake of much criticism of its plan to eliminate the LSAT for some students to gain admission to Iowa Law, the school’s dean offers an explanation: it’ll help her school compete to attract students who would otherwise have gone to T14 schools. [The Gazette]
* Even though law schools are in trouble, a legislator in Texas is still lobbying the state to subsidize the creation of a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because he has a “hard time believing there are no jobs for attorneys out there.” [Cleburne Times-Review]
* If you find that law schools aren’t reacting quickly enough to the crisis at hand, there are other options for you out there. While law schools implode as their tuition skyrockets, it seems that those who have fled the law are now trying to become engineers. [Quartz]
* According to the latest data from NALP, summer associate hiring is up for the fifth year in a row. Hooray! But wait, don’t go licking each other’s popsicles just yet — some law firms (35 percent of them, in fact) actually reduced the number of offers they made. [National Law Journal]
* In response to outcry over bar exam reforms, this Dechert partner took time out of his day to wonder: “Is it too much to expect that future lawyers know the difference between a tort and a tenancy in common, or do we expect clients to pay them $400 an hour to learn it?” [Wall Street Journal]
* Now that oral arguments in King v. Burwell have concluded, it’s probably time you found out what’s at stake for you if you haven’t done so already, procrastinators. This is what will happen if SCOTUS strikes down Obamacare subsidies. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Edward Snowden is reportedly ready to return to the United States, provided, of course, that he’ll receive a “legal and impartial trial.” Attorney General Eric Holder has already promised Snowden that he won’t face the death penalty, so that’s a start. [CNN]
* An ADA in Texas apparently referred to defense counsel as a “motherf*cker” in front of jurors during a trial. We think now would be a great time to add this to the list of things that will get you kicked off a case. [Austin American-Statesmen via ABA Journal]
Opportunities abound in Texas.
* Amanda Knox, everyone’s favorite convicted/acquitted/convicted murderess, just got engaged to a musician she’s known since middle school. Aww, that’s cute and nice, but what we’d really like to know is where she’s registered for cutlery. [People]
* Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote was postponed because per Chairman Chuck Grassley, she apparently submitted dissatisfying answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s post-hearing questions. Some says that she’s being held to a double standard… likely because she is being held to a double standard. [National Law Journal]
* Yesterday afternoon, Judge Callie V.S. Granade ordered that probate judges in Alabama issue same-sex marriage licenses. Sorry Chief Justice Roy Moore, but you better get ready, because the tide of gay marriage is gonna roll. ROLL TIDE ROLL! [National Law Journal]
* Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s not going to give up on women’s rights cases at the Supreme Court, despite the fact that she’s got male colleagues who “don’t fully appreciate the arbitrary barriers that have been put in women’s way.” [Bloomberg]
* According to the latest report from Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group, Biglaw firms, “across the board,” are doing better than they were last year, but the biggest Biglaw firms are doing the best, of course. We’ll have more on this later today. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A Texas lawmaker has proposed a bill that would appoint legal representation to a fetus if its mother is brain dead. “You’ll hear what the family wants, and you’ll also give the pre-born child a chance to have a voice in court at that same time.” [Dallas Morning News]
* New York Law School is launching a two-year law degree program, and students will only have to pay two-thirds of the $147,720 that they normally would have had to. For the record, not all two-year degree programs are cheaper. [Crain’s New York Business]
Feast your eyes upon the ramblings of a pissed-off law student.
* There’s nothing like boner talk in federal court: Juan Monteverde of Faruqi & Faruqi reaffirmed his claim that he was too drunk to
get it up“consummate the act” during the time Alexandra Marchuk alleged he forced sex upon her. [Law 360]
* “There’s something deeply ironic about a judge seeking the right to ignore another judge’s ruling while crying ‘judicial activism.'” Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court wants judges to ignore a federal ruling on his state’s unconstitutional ban on gay marriage. [Reuters]
* Just days after the legal news media found out that Dentons would be tying the knot with Dacheng, the deal has officially been sealed. Talk about a shotgun wedding! Best wishes go out to 大成 Dentons for a happy, international marriage. [Am Law Daily]
* Elite litigation boutique Susman Godfrey will be consolidating its Dallas and Houston offices into one mega-office in 2016 after the firm’s lease in Dallas is up. Will all of the displaced attorneys remain with the firm? [Houston Business Journal]
* Can we talk… about wrongful death cases? A lawsuit has finally been filed against the outpatient endoscopy facility and physicians involved in the death of Joan Rivers, and details have been released as to the way the beloved comedian died. [CNN]
A goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to provide quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Now in its 5th year, how much progress has been made in Medicare and Medicaid? Download Wolter‘s Kluwer‘s Special Report Here.
Some high-performing associates at this firm received bonuses well above the Davis Polk scale.
* 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]
* 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]
Shall we start with the good news, or the bad news?
* Here’s some JOLTing news: Megon Walker, the Harvard Law graduate who claims her life was ruined because the school accused her of being a plagiarist, just lost her defamation suit against her alma mater. [National Law Journal]
* “You have a party like this and it’s as though you’re handing out hand grenades as party favors.” Jeff Lake, a California lawyer, was arrested and faces social host liability issues thanks to his kid’s Playboy party. [Denver Channel]
* Congress is back in session, and President Obama resubmitted his nomination of Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, along with other judicial nods. She’ll be a “terrific attorney general,” so get this show on the road. [Legal Times]
* “How many clinics do you have to close before the court says, ‘Enough’?” Lawyers for abortion clinics and Texas state attorneys faced off before the Fifth Circuit over the
viabilityconstitutionality of the Lone Star State’s abortion laws. [New York Times]
* It’s a new year with new laws in effect, and it looks like 27 states, plus D.C., have made major moves with regard to weed, be it through the legalization medical marijuana or decriminalization of its possession. Do you know your rights? [CNN]
* Per the Department of Education, Harvard Law sucks at handling sexual assault and harassment complaints. As it turns out, the DoE only found out about the misconduct because a faculty member from New England Law snitched on the Ivy League school. [Boston.com]
* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the penalties for pot possession. One state legislator wants to change that in the new year, and hopes his colleagues will puff, puff, pass his bill in favor of small civil fines instead of jail sentences. [VICE]
* “If the court has been waiting until the country is more comfortable with gay marriage, they’ve waited long enough.” The first SCOTUS conference of 2015 will focus on gay marriage cases. It’d be fabulous if they took one. [Supreme Court Brief]
* Latham and Fried Frank are going to be advising on Shake Shack’s initial public offering. Hungry attorneys working on the IPO will be disappointed to learn that their client doesn’t have any public offerings for consumption on Seamless. [Am Law Daily]
* The bankruptcy trustee for the late, great, defunct firm of Howrey LLP keeps lining up big settlements for its remaining creditors. This time, Wiley Rein will contribute $1 million to the failed firm’s coffers. Howrey like dem apples? [Wall Street Journal]
Your brain wants to see what pure advertising insanity looks like.
If you’re easily offended, then you might want to stop reading now.
* According to the results of the latest Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group survey, law firm managing partners are slowly but surely growing more confident with how the legal industry is turning out as time goes by. Hooray! [Am Law Daily]
* For what it’s worth, Ben Edelman’s threatening emails to Sichuan Garden weren’t his first time at the rodeo of douchebaggery. A few years back, the Harvard-educated lawyer sent similar emails to a sushi restaurant. Fun times. [Boston.com]
* The American Bar Association would like to know what you think the most successful law firm merger in history is. There are so many fantastic failures to rule out, but so few true triumphs in comparison. What’re your thoughts? [ABA Journal]
* The Senate has delayed the confirmation of Michelle Lee as the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until next year. Thus far, Lee’s would-be position has been open for almost two years. Wow, way to go, slowpokes. [Corporate Counsel]
* Started from the bottom now we’re here: this lawyer started out in the records department of his firm, and now, after 15 years of working there as an employee, he’s going to become a partner. Congratulations, dude! [Tex Parte Blog / Texas Lawyer]
* There are 3 types of logic games on the LSAT, and more power to you if you’re able to whiz your way through them. If you suck at logic games, learn how to conquer the mathiest part of the test. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]