• Black tape at Harvard Law School.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.27.15

    Ed. note: We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. As we mentioned before Thanksgiving, we’ll be on a reduced publication schedule today.

    * Randall Kennedy, one of the African-American Harvard Law School professors whose portraits got marked with black tape, shares HLS alum Elie Mystal’s reaction to the incident: he is unimpressed. [New York Times]

    * In other Harvard Law news, an HLS librarian got arrested after police claim he tried to arrange a sexual meet-up with a deputy posing as an underage girl in Colorado (site of a librarians’ conference). [Boston Globe]

    * Former Supreme Court clerk Brianne Gorod argues that SCOTUS can and should decide Texas’s challenge to President Obama’s executive action on immigration this Term (i.e., before the 2016 election). [Constitutional Accountability Center via How Appealing]

    * Ohio State law student Madison Gesiotto is not happy with how administrators responded when one of her conservative columns prompted a threat from a fellow student. [Washington Times]

    * The SEC just dropped its civil insider trading case against former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager Michael Steinberg. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Let’s rank the top 10 women Supreme Court justices! Oh wait, there are only four…. [National Law Journal]

    * Linda Greenhouse offers her reflections on “Sex After 50″ (at SCOTUS). [New York Times via How Appealing]

    * The father of Paul Walker is suing Porsche for negligence and wrongful death over the 2013 car crash that killed Walker, of “Fast and Furious” fame. [AP via WSJ Law Blog]

    17 Comments / / Nov 27, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Atheist


    Non-Sequiturs: 11.25.15

    Ed. note: Happy Thanksgiving! Above the Law will be dark tomorrow for the holiday and on a reduced publishing schedule on Friday, November 27.

    * This is one way to make sure atheist voices are heard… and immediately mocked. [Indy Star]

    * A roundup of fun and wacky recent cases. [Texas Lawyer]

    * A practical guide for lawyers looking to embark on annual planning. [Associate’s Mind]

    * Finally, resolution on Judge Ashley Tabaddor’s lawsuit against the DOJ after the DOJ ordered her off all cases involving Iranians based on her heritage. [PAAIA]

    * It’s the holidays, so take time to catch up with friends — just make sure you do it in this incredibly photogenic way. [The Onion]

    * John Kasich takes a swing at the big dog, Trump. This is one time that invoking Godwin’s Law doesn’t seem like hyperbole. [YouTube]


    15 Comments / / Nov 25, 2015 at 2:09 PM
  • kitty-genovese

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.18.15

    * Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the lateral raids of lawyers from competing law firms. Wilson Elser just poached 11 litigators from Lewis Brisbois, including the firm’s regional managing partner, who now holds the same title at his new firm. Ride ’em, cowboy! [Houston Business Journal]

    * “I think almost 50 years of paying for those crimes is enough.” Winston Moseley, the man convicted of killing Kitty Genovese in an infamous case that came to define the meaning of bystander apathy, was recently denied parole for the eighteenth time. [AP]

    * We love an underdog story: On the topic of lateral moves, it seems like Greenberg Traurig has a habit of “cherry picking” top talent from higher-ranked law firms like Davis Polk, White & Case, and McDemott Will & Emery. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * When it comes to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s in-house judges, Chairman Mary Jo White says that while its court system could be “modernize[d],” it’s still a fair process — for the SEC. The house usually wins in these proceedings. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * How old is too old to be a judge? Pennsylvania voters are going to be asked this question next year when a referendum on a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution to raise the judicial retirement age from 70 to 75 hits the ballot box. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    48 Comments / / Nov 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • 923-facepalm

    Biglaw, Malpractice, Trials

    Which Biglaw Firm Just Got Hit With A $200 Million Malpractice Verdict?

    Everything’s bigger in Texas — including the malpractice verdicts.

    50 Comments / / Nov 17, 2015 at 10:49 AM
  • Got debt?


    Non-Sequiturs: 11.16.15

    * Is Andrews Kurth facing a possible mega-malpractice judgment? If you know more, please drop us a line. [MahanyLaw]

    * Elsewhere in Texas, a UT law student stands accused of leading an intimidation campaign against a professor of Israel studies. [Legal Insurrection]

    * Advice from our columnist Keith Lee on how to write an excellent legal memo. [Associate’s Mind]

    * Did Michigan prosecutors pressure the state’s crime lab to falsely classify the origins of THC the lab was testing? [The Intercept]

    * An interview about interviews: Richard Hsu interviews Bryan A. Garner about Professor Garner’s famous series of interviews with Supreme Court justices. [Hsu Untied]

    * Does your employer offer assistance with student loan repayment as an employee benefit — and should it? [Tuition.io]

    1 Comment / / Nov 16, 2015 at 6:16 PM
  • Justice Antonin Scalia (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.16.15

    * DraftKings and FanDuel aren’t going to take a knee and allow New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to rip away their gamblers clients. Both daily fantasy sites have refused to stop conducting business in New York, and have instead filed suit against Schneiderman with some hefty Biglaw backing. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * During a recent speaking engagement at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Justice Antonin Scalia explained why he writes such scathingly quotable dissents: “I’m writing dissents mainly for you guys—for law students. I know it will be in the casebooks.” [University of St. Thomas NewsRoom]

    * SCOTUS granted cert in a challenge to Texas abortion laws, and some wonder how this decision will affect other states’ laws. If the justices don’t think these restrictions represent an undue burden, then women may as well hang up their ovaries and go home. [Reuters]

    * We’ll have to rely on old faithful, Justice RBG, to raise the torch for women. She recently sat down for tea with Gloria Steinem to discuss women’s rights. “Ruth is better at getting along with people with whom we profoundly disagree,” says Steinem. [New York Times]

    * The “least sexy” part of a merger? If you want to know what took the Dentons / Dacheng merger so long to be formalized, Dentons CEO Elliott Portnoy says it had to do with website, logo, communications, and marketing issues. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    27 Comments / / Nov 16, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • ban comic sans

    Crime, Rank Stupidity

    Comic Sans: The Perfect Font For A Subpoena… If You’re As Dumb As This Clerk

    Welcome to Montgomery County, Texas — the town(s) that fonts forgot.

    25 Comments / / Nov 12, 2015 at 2:29 PM
  • No, you can't take pictures in that courtroom.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.11.15

    * A person of interest in the shooting of Texas Judge Julie Kocurek has been apprehended and arrested — not for the shooting, mind you, but for a completely unrelated crime. Judge Kocurek continues her steady recovery after being seriously injured not by a bullet, but by shrapnel and glass. [Austin American-Statesman]

    * Barnes & Thornburg partner Vincent “Trace” Schmeltz may be sanctioned for tweeting pictures that he took of the evidence that was presented during a trial. He claims he didn’t see the huge sign outside the courtroom prohibiting “photographing, recording or broadcasting.” [Chicago Tribune via ABA Journal]

    * Schneiderman, Schneiderman! Bans sports-betting wherever he can! New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order against DraftKings and FanDuel, saying the daily fantasy sites constituted illegal gambling. [New York Times]

    * Dentons finally formalized its merger with Dacheng Law Offices yesterday, thus making it the official largest law firm in the world. At 6,600 lawyers strong, just think about how many scandals we’ll be able to cover in 2016. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * According to the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, more women are being welcomed into the ranks of partnership at major firms. Out of 118 firms, women made up 34.4 percent of new partner classes. Let’s celebrate that less-than-50-percent benchmark! [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Fred Auston Wortman III, the Tennessee attorney who tried to murder his estranged wife, Staci, by lacing her toothpaste with poison, and later hired an inmate to do the deed after his plan failed, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. [Commercial Appeal]

    * Here are three ways you can balance your law school applications with your college responsibilities, but to be honest, if you’re having trouble balancing these things, then perhaps you don’t belong in law school. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    62 Comments / / Nov 11, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • dog ate homework


    Non-Sequiturs: 11.10.15

    * Hey there 3Ls — need a handy excuse for why you didn’t do the assigned reading? Here’s some help. [Law Prof Blawg]

    * One law review’s attempt to address diversity among its ranks. [Yale Law Journal]

    * One Missouri Law School professor supports the protesting students, but with caveats. [Truth on the Market]

    * Most lawyers DO have fulfilling careers — well, as long as you live in Texas. Hardly seems worth it. [TaxProf Blog]

    * One NYU Law professor, Jason M. Schultz aka @lawgeek, is moving on up. He’ll be advising the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on IP and innovation. Congrats! [Twitter]

    * On the eve of yet another GOP shitshow primary debate, a question for the ages: Is Hillary Clinton to the right, politically, of Richard Nixon? [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * From an orphaned child refugee to a diplomat, an inspiring story. [Quartz]

    14 Comments / / Nov 10, 2015 at 5:01 PM
  • Julie Kocurek RF

    Crime, State Judges

    Judge Shot In Her Driveway, Retaliation Suspected

    Was this judge shot in retaliation for a case before her?

    31 Comments / / Nov 9, 2015 at 2:05 PM
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 11.04.15

    * Fans of this man’s dopey mugshot grin will be sad if they’re deprived of another jailhouse picture, but lawyers for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton want their client’s securities fraud indictment to be tossed over what they claim was a faulty grand jury investigation. [Reuters]

    * Friday is apparently “Love Your Lawyer Day,” and the ABA recently passed a resolution to commemorate this special day every year. Biglaw firms can show their love for lawyers by announcing bigger, better bonuses! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Alabama thinks the legal fees and costs that are being requested by attorneys in the state’s landmark same-sex marriage decision are “entirely excessive” and should be “cut dramatically.” It’s not like these lawyers had to “reinvent the wheel” or anything. [AL.com]

    * “I may be known in tiny corners of the tubes of the Internet, but I am not well-known to the American public generally.” One-issue Democratic candidate Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School is dropping out of the presidential race. [Boston Globe]

    * It’s high time you joined the green rush, lawyers: although Ohioans voted against legalizing marijuana yesterday, more and more states are adding ballot measures for the legalization of marijuana or medical marijuana to be voted on in 2016. [Washington Post]

    * “I’m glad Houston led tonight to end this constant political-correctness attack.” In other election news, voters in Texas repealed an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance that would’ve prevented bias related to several important areas in life. [New York Times]

    14 Comments / / Nov 4, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Taylor Swift (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 10.30.15

    * “Say you’ll remember me, getting groped in a nice dress…” Uh oh! This pop star seems pretty pissed! Taylor Swift has filed a countersuit against a radio DJ who sued her because he claims he was fired for inappropriately touching the singer backstage at a concert. [Rolling Stone]

    * Charleston School of Law has a new president, and hopefully his tenure will be less wrought with disaster than that of his predecessors. He says he’ll be paid one whole dollar per year as his salary until he can turn things around. [Charleston Post and Courier]

    * At a speaking engagement at Santa Clara Law earlier this week, Justice Antonin Scalia proclaimed that the Supreme Court has been “liberal” throughout the entirety of his 30-year tenure. We’d like to beg His Honor’s pardon; that can’t be true. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * As this article so eloquently puts it, “[t]he Supreme Court is about to climb back into Americans’ bedrooms.” Today, the high court will review several petitions from non-profit groups that want to be exempted from ACA’s contraception mandate. [USA Today]

    * Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the number of firms that are trying to enter the market. To establish a presence in the Lone Star State, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is saying howdy to some new partners and merging with Crouch & Ramey. [ABA Journal]

    16 Comments / / Oct 30, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • Give me a better degree! (Image via Shutterstock)

    Law Schools

    What To Do When A Law School Doesn’t Want You? File A Lawsuit About It!

    The plaintiffs in this lawsuit certainly seem pretty whiny.

    23 Comments / / Oct 13, 2015 at 11:29 AM
  • Waco bikers

    Crime, Free Speech, Politics, Texas

    The DA Who Is Trying To Shut Up 177 Arrested Waco Bikers Won’t Shut Up

    The prosecutor’s verboten public comments illustrate why comprehensive protective orders like this one are, and should continue to be, disfavored.

    20 Comments / / Oct 9, 2015 at 6:02 PM
  • cutting jobs


    Nationwide Layoff Watch: Attorney Jobs Slashed Due To Dismal Market

    Which firm is cutting its attorney headcount now?

    18 Comments / / Oct 8, 2015 at 11:32 AM
  • Racism

    Racism, Texas

    7 Handy Tips For The Gaslamp And Other (Allegedly) Racist Nightclubs

    Tips from Tamara Tabo for a Houston nightclub embroiled in a race-related controversy.

    42 Comments / / Sep 28, 2015 at 2:19 PM
  • Texas LF

    Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Sponsored Content, Texas

    Texas: The Final Frontier?

    A confluence of factors is pushing Texas to become the final—or at least the next—frontier of law firm expansion in the U.S.

    / Sep 25, 2015 at 4:32 PM
  • 'Please don't fall asleep, RBG!'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.24.15

    * Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be in attendance during Pope Francis’s Congressional address. Here’s hoping a certain someone doesn’t nod off in the middle of it. [National Law Journal]

    * This courthouse clerk is accused of trying to go out with a little too much style after being fired from his job. He allegedly tossed thousands of pages of court documents in the garbage before leaving the building, and he now faces up to 10 years in prison. [Houston Chronicle]

    * Lawrence Mitchell, the former dean of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, was supposed to return to the school this year after taking a sabbatical. Instead, he resigned. When it comes to this creeper, maybe that’s a good thing. [Cleveland Scene]

    * Sorry to burst your bubble, law schools, but if you think spending millions to complete major building projects during a serious downturn in applicants will result in a “Field of Dreams” type of situation, you’re flat-out wrong. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Good news, everyone! Thanks to this appeals court decision, registered sex offenders in Wisconsin will now be able to take pictures of children in public. Child predators have never, ever been so excited to assert their First Amendment rights. [WSJ Law Blog]

    25 Comments / / Sep 24, 2015 at 8:58 AM