• Monkey Selfie

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.29.15

    * PETA’s general counsel swears his organization isn’t monkeying around when it comes to asserting the IP rights of Naruto the selfie-taking monkey, but he may have to deal with a jungle of jurisdictional issues first. [Motherboard / VICE]

    * Mmmm, Dewey smell a mistrial? On the eighth day of deliberations in the criminal trial of D&L’s former leaders, the jurors likely made defense counsels’ hearts skip a beat when they asked the judge for instructions on what to do concerning their undecided colleagues. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Chief Justice John Roberts, who has voted conservatively in 85 percent of the Supreme Court’s most divisive 5-4 decisions, apparently isn’t conservative enough for our conservatives. It’s the damn Affordable Care Act. Thanks, Obama. [New York Times]

    * According to the latest Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2015, for the sixth year running, Baker & McKenzie has the most recognizable Biglaw brand in the world. DLA Piper will continue to “churn [those] bill[s], baby!” in second place. [PR Web]

    * Take the deal: Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who’s accused of hiding large sums used as hush money to conceal his prior sexual misconduct, is negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors. If he were convicted at trial, he’d face up to 10 years in prison. [Reuters]

    43 Comments / / Sep 29, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • Calling Ronda Rousey! (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.28.15

    * Jurors in the criminal trial for former leaders of Dewey & LeBoeuf have reviewed evidence for a full week already, and will return to court today for their eighth day of deliberations. At least the defendants will be able to keep killing time on Candy Crush. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * A federal judge denied the UFC’s motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit that was filed against it by current and former fighters over the organization’s monopolization of the MMA industry. It’s time to bring in an armbar submission artist to stop the UFC for good. [ESPN]

    * “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn.” Hot on the heels of his surprise resignation, House Speaker John Boehner has vowed to avoid a government shutdown and pass some legislation before his time is up. Well, it’s good to have goals. [Reuters]

    * Volkswagen can expect nothing less than a “tsunami” of lawsuits and legal proceedings thanks to its emissions scandal. On the bright side, Kirkland & Ellis is going to be able to reap the rewards of thousands of billable hours. [Chicago Tribune; Automotive News]

    * TV staffers who worked on “The Following” and “The Blacklist” filed suit against production companies Warner Brothers, NBC, and Sony, alleging they were forced to work 24 hours straight — and pee in bottles — without being paid overtime. [New York Post]

    22 Comments / / Sep 28, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Damn you, bar exam!

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.25.15

    * Why are so many law grads failing the bar exam? Law profs, a law dean, and a Biglaw recruiting specialist all have answers to this question… and only some of them come close to being satisfactory. [Room for Debate / New York Times]

    * Jurors in the Dewey & LeBoeuf trial have deliberated for five days thus far, and seem to be no closer to coming to a verdict than when they first started. They’re quibbling over thesaurus entries for the word “fake” (i.e., “fake income”). [Am Law Daily]

    * Thanks to the OnRamp Fellowship, more women lawyers are making a reentry into the legal profession through Biglaw firms than ever before. Participating firms now include Skadden Arps and MoFo, amongst others. Congrats! [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * Law school enrollment may be stagnant across the country, but at Colorado Law, it’s booming. The size of the school’s incoming class is 22 percent larger than last year’s was. What can we say other than students were sTOKEd to get in. [Boulder Daily Camera]

    * If you’re ever fired from your job, charged with insider trading, and the SEC wants access to your work phone, take heart in the fact that your personal passcode is just that — personal. The SEC can’t treat it as a business record thanks to this ruling. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Richard Cudahy Sr., longtime Seventh Circuit judge, RIP. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

    39 Comments / / Sep 25, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Tracy Morgan

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.22.15

    * In case you missed it, on top of her perjury and obstruction charges, Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane’s license to practice law was suspended. As a law professor attempting to make a sick burn noted, “She may be at this point our paralegal general.” [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Tracy Morgan made an appearance at The Emmys on Sunday night that earned him a standing ovation, but David Jay Glassman, the attorney representing the Walmart truck driver who hit the comedian’s car last summer, wasn’t applauding. Hmm, perhaps his wife suddenly got pregnant? [The Wrap via Yahoo!]

    * If the former leaders of failed firm D&L are convicted this week, we seriously hope that they’re not so disillusioned as to believe they’ll be shipped to a “Club Fed” facility. How long Dewey think these Biglaw alums will last at a place like Rikers? [Am Law Daily]

    * New Biglaw associates at some firms are being treated to a second college experience filled with orientation programs, resident advisers, summer reading, and even parties. (At least they get to drink champagne, not Franzia.) [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * The president of UMass says its law school will be fully accredited by the American Bar Association within one year’s time. Given that everyone gets a turn when it comes to ABA accreditation, this is one low-expectation-having educator. [Boston Business Journal]

    59 Comments / / Sep 22, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

    In-House Counsel, Trials

    Choosing Between Trial And Appellate Work

    Should you pursue a trial or appellate career? Follow your heart.

    26 Comments / / Sep 21, 2015 at 11:36 AM
  • Michelle Carter

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.10.15

    * “We saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and she just blew that tunnel up.” Massachusetts teen Michelle Carter was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend after she texted him numerous times, encouraging him to kill himself. If you haven’t seen them, her messages are chilling. [Associated Press]

    * “If you are a lawyer thinking about having sex with your client, you better think first.” Go ahead, argue that your client’s 30-day suspension from practice was “just” because the woman kept coming back for more. Maybe your judge won’t be as sarcastic. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

    * If you’re starting law school, you probably haven’t heard about the biggest law firm bankruptcy in history, and you likely don’t know what the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial is about. Here’s a listicle of reasons to doubt the prosecution’s case. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Biglaw firms are rethinking their office space at the same time as they’re building up their posh amenities. At the end of the day, associates may be forced to move to cubicles, but it’s all for the clients’ benefit, so hooray for them. *golf claps* [Commercial Observer]

    * Our congratulations go out to Alicia Ouellette, Albany Law School’s newest president and dean. We’re certainly hopeful that she’ll be able to handle the tenuous employment situation with the school’s tenured faculty better than her predecessor did. [Times Union]

    70 Comments / / Sep 10, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • Kim Davis (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 09.09.15

    * Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed over her refusal to give marriage licenses to gay couples, was released by order of Judge David Bunning — with a warning not to interfere with her deputy clerks’ duties. Hmm, yeah, she’s totally going back to jail. [New York Times]

    * The law school applicant pool is still dwindling after all these years, so it’s interesting to see which schools are offering students the biggest bribes scholarships and grants (some of which may later disappear) so they can fill the seats in their classes with asses. [Bloomberg via PreLaw]

    * This Montana Law professor claims that he was forced to retire from his teaching position early due to the school’s ongoing budget cuts: “I am the first full-time member of the law faculty upon whom the ax has fallen.” We’ll have more on this later. [Missoulian]

    * Hmm, what Dewey know about the standard of evidence for conviction in the D&L fraud trial? “Woulda, coulda, shoulda is fine for cocktail party conversation. In this courtroom and in any courtroom, the proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt.” [Reuters]

    * Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, who received an LL.M. in taxation from NYU School of Law, is making a $20 million donation to the school, its largest gift ever. We wonder how much he’s giving to his alma mater, Wayne State Law. [WSJ Law Blog]

    60 Comments / / Sep 9, 2015 at 9:02 AM
  • Grooms to be holding hands (photo by Tim Ryan Smith).

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.27.15

    * Should town clerks opposed to gay marriage be required to issue licenses to all couples? The Sixth Circuit says…. [How Appealing]

    * John H. Ray III, the African American ex-associate at Ropes & Gray who claimed the elite firm discriminated against him, loses in court again, this time before the First Circuit. [National Law Journal]

    * Vester Lee Flanagan aka Bryce Williams, the Virginia television broadcaster who killed two colleagues on-air before killing himself, was also no stranger to the legal system: he filed multiple lawsuits alleging racial discrimination. [New York Times]

    * Why are in-house lawyers more likely than their non-attorney corporate colleagues to fall for phishing emails? [ABA Journal]

    * Dewey know when the prosecution will rest in this seemingly endless trial? Probably today. [Wall Street Journal]

    * State judges get nasty with each other in Oregon. [Oregonian]

    * Federal judges around the country are advocating for a second look at how defendants get sentenced. [New York Times]

    * The Dilly in Philly: Paul Clement v. Ted Olson. [Am Law Litigation Daily]

    * A T14 law graduate turned “traveling artist” gets charged with criminal sexual assault in Chicago. [Chicago Tribune]

    * Speaking of sexual assault laws, Emily Bazelon explains how the St. Paul’s Rape Case shows why these laws must change. [New York Times]

    * Update: convicted Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes didn’t get just a life sentence, but 12 life sentences — plus 3,318 years on top of that. [CNN]

    * Linda Hirshman, author of the forthcoming book Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World (affiliate link), explains how Justices O’Connor, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor brought wisdom to SCOTUS (but where’s the love for Justice Kagan?). [Slate via How Appealing]

    59 Comments / / Aug 27, 2015 at 9:14 AM
  • Jared Fogle (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.19.15

    * This is a footlong you definitely don’t want (but it’s probably much more like a six-incher if he’s lucky). Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle is expected to plead guilty to child-pornography charges. We can’t wait to see what his plea deal with authorities actually entails. [CNN]

    * Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers filed a brief in favor of their client getting a new trial because his attack on the Boston Marathon apparently wasn’t a “crime of violence” within the meaning of the law he was sentenced under at trial. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “To achieve those solutions, wouldn’t it help if you had a free press?” Justice Ginsburg’s travels recently took her to Vietnam, where she spoke to a packed house about the country’s need for greater freedom of press to promote social justice. [Voice of America]

    * Here’s a little-known fact about Biglaw: many of its most well-known partners were “White House rejects.” For example, Willkie Farr, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Bracewell & Giuliani, and Davis Polk are all named after failed presidential candidates. [Am Law Daily]

    * A New Mexico criminal defense attorney charged with a slew of criminal offenses is representing himself in a trial having to do with his shooting of a man outside his office. His best defense thus far? The man was a “methed-out lunatic.” [Albuquerque Journal]

    167 Comments / / Aug 19, 2015 at 8:59 AM
  • Hulk_Hogan-RF

    Celebrities, Media and Journalism, Trials

    Gawker Body-Slams Hulk Hogan In Ongoing Litigation

    Gawker pins Hulk Hogan to the mat in the latest round of this bitter legal battle.

    32 Comments / / Aug 12, 2015 at 3:03 PM
  • Mmm, conspiracy.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.06.15

    * Another American doctor is accused of illegally killing another lesser-known lion in Zimbabwe, but this time, Biglaw is in the doctor’s corner. Apparently when you’re a hunter who’s become the hunted, you turn to Blank Rome. [Am Law Daily]

    * Where Dewey eat when allegedly conspiring to scam the firm’s creditors about its financial situation? According to testimony in the D&L trial, criminal activity reportedly tastes better when paired with fine dining experiences. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * At some point in the very near future, it’s likely that one or more new Supreme Court justices will need to be appointed, and some say that it’s obvious that Justice Don Willett, the Tweeter Laureate of Texas, is plotting a course to be a nominee. #blessed [Forbes]

    * The Fourth Circuit handed down an important opinion on cellphone location records, and it looks like the police need a warrant. Thanks for the circuit split. Quick, someone write a law review note before SCOTUS takes it. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * For some would-be law students, applying early decision may not be the right choice. After all, if you think you can get into ALL of the T14 schools, we bet you’d probably like to see if your huge ego is correct. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    9 Comments / / Aug 6, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Just when you thought practicing law was boring -- trial by combat!


    Is Trial By Combat Coming To NYC?

    Is this a fever dream caused by a dangerous combination of limoncello and binge watching Game of Thrones? Nope. It is an honest to goodness, real-life court filing requesting a trial by combat.

    17 Comments / / Aug 5, 2015 at 2:15 PM
  • Alexandra Marchuk and Juan Monteverde

    Boutique Law Firms, Small Law Firms, Trials

    Alexandra Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi: The End

    The parties have written the final chapter is this long-running saga.

    37 Comments / / Aug 5, 2015 at 1:15 PM
  • Britney Spears (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.04.15

    * Her dad’s the ringleader, he calls the shots; she’s like a firecracker, she makes it hot: Since “everything is working perfectly” under pop star Britney Spears’s conservatorship — which has been in effect for the past seven years — it’ll likely stay that way indefinitely. [Us Weekly]

    * Well, that was fun while it lasted. The ABA did away with its year-old LSAT exemption rule in record time. Law schools will only have until 2017 to lard up classes with students who haven’t taken the exam. Good luck and Godspeed. [National Law Journal via TaxProf Blog]

    * Simpson Thacher isn’t the only Biglaw firm that allegedly blew it when it came to turning hundreds of General Motors’ secured creditors into unsecured creditors. Mayer Brown is also facing twin class-action suits for this $1.5 billion boo-boo. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * Good news, everyone! The ABA approved a merger between Rutgers Law-Camden and Rutgers Law-Newark, and we’re going to look at this in a positive light because theoretically speaking, there’s now one less law school out there. []

    * “Are Law Schools Skewing Job Placement Numbers?” In a word, yes. Not to be a complete pessimist realist, but come on, you know most school-funded positions exist solely to prop up any given law school’s less-than-pleasing job statistics. [Bloomberg]

    * When you’ve taken the lives of so many, no one cares about your sad life story. A Colorado jury inched closer to inflicting the death penalty upon convicted movie theater shooter James Holmes in the second phase of his trial’s penalty portion. [New York Times]

    21 Comments / / Aug 4, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • plaintiffs lawyer 2 trial lawyer jury trial

    In-House Counsel, Litigators, Trials

    2 Outlines Of Witness Examinations: Learning From Mistakes

    It’s harder than you realize to draft witness examinations and many lawyers don’t realize the depth of their ignorance in this area, according to veteran litigator Mark Herrmann.

    32 Comments / / Jul 27, 2015 at 10:36 AM
  • Novak Druce's empty office?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.24.15

    * Most Biglaw firms are downsizing their office space, but Ropes & Gray just inked a deal to increase the size of its New York office by 40,869 square feet. It’ll occupy more than 300,000 square feet in Rockefeller Center. Hope the firm has lawyers to fill it! [Commercial Observer]

    * Yikes! Thanks to a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll, the newly formed Philly office of Novak Druce appears to have been left without a single lawyer. The firm decided to “refrain from commenting” on the departures. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * The same jury that found James Holmes guilty of several counts of murder in the Dark Knight movie theater massacre completed the first phase of sentencing and decided that aggravating factors existed for him to incur the death penalty. [Los Angeles Times]

    * A former court clerk in Indiana is suing because she claims she was fired for refusing to process same-sex marriage licenses, even though doing so went against her “sincerely held” religious beliefs. We may be seeing a lot more of these in the future. [Indy Star]

    * Per Texas prosecutor Warren Diepraam, medical examiners have ruled that Sandra Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging, and he has “full faith” in the autopsy results. The community remains outraged, and investigation into the case is ongoing. [NBC News]

    10 Comments / / Jul 24, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • Willie Nelson (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.22.15

    * “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys potheads.” Country singer-songwriter and OG stoner Willie Nelson says marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next decade. Who knows, maybe his cannabis-crazed dreams will come true. [San Antonio Express-News]

    * Where do lonely hearts go? To court. This ex-Illinois Law student was accused of stalking a classmate and barred setting foot on campus for a two-year time period. A new trial was ordered, and now he may be able to graduate. Yay? [National Law Journal]

    * Law firms of all sizes are merging at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue like this ad infinitum. Eventually, all of the fun is going to stop, and it’ll likely because there isn’t any more profitability to be had for these firms. Womp. [Am Law Daily]

    * Corporate legal departments are pushing for more diversity among their ranks, with companies like Xerox leading the way. NAPABA is hopeful that we’ll see 20 Asian-American lawyers as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies by 2020. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For a man who wanted to “get rich or die tryin,” things don’t seem to be working out so well: Bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was busy denying ownership of many of his luxury items in court this week. He says he rents, borrows, and leases most of his bling. [Associated Press]

    14 Comments / / Jul 22, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • John G. Balestriere

    Boutique Law Firms, Litigators, Small Law Firms, Trials

    Always Try Your Case — So Get The Trial Experience Any Way You Can

    One of the most basic practices of the best litigators is getting ready for trial immediately, no matter how far away or unlikely trial may seem — but that also means knowing what a trial involves.

    / Jul 17, 2015 at 2:29 PM