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What were the 10 biggest stories about the legal profession in 2013, according to readers of Above the Law?
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.
* Remember the chimps seeking habeas? Well, bad news: they’re staying in custody, per an order from Judge Ralph A. Boniello III. Now their freedom is up to the Army of the 12 Monkeys. [Wired]
* Elizabeth Coker has announced she is seeking the office of Polk County Criminal District Attorney. While some may disagree, I think this is a great idea. She’s been directing the litigation strategies of prosecutors for some time now. So why does a judge drummed out of office for texting prosecutors think she should go back into public service? Prayer. Of course. [Polk County Today]
* Judge Steven Rhodes is overseeing the Detroit bankruptcy. He’s not taking any guff off anyone, including an investment banker who pledged that it was “very important” that his firm help the city, prompting Judge Rhodes to point out, “What’s very important to you is to make money.” He’s also a badass rhythm guitarist. [Associated Press via Yahoo!]
* A Colorado judge has declared that a discriminating baker can no longer prevent gay couples from buying wedding cakes. It’s unclear if he’s ordering the baker to stock those stupid plastic cake toppers in groom & groom format. [Consumerist]
* Proofreading law school exams. This article is aimed at law students, but maybe it should be directed toward a certain St. John’s professor… [Law School Toolbox]
* George Zimmerman’s girlfriend wants him out of jail. She originally told police that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun in her face. That’s Princess Bride-level true love s**t right there. [Slate]
* Michigan State celebrated putting Ohio State in its place by setting “at least 57 fires.” Can someone holding a sign encouraging people to “Burn the Couch” be held liable? A better question is whether West Virginia can sue Michigan State for stealing their hillbilly intellectual property? [PrawfsBlawg]
* Sadly, Akerman partner Richard Sharpstein was found dead in his home today. He was 63. [Daily Business Review]
* A few tipsters sent this one in. They claim it’s a law student acting like a jerk trying to buy cigarettes in a drug store. The sound is spotty, so none of us could figure out exactly what was going on, but it’s worth it for the guy who yells: “Yeah, tell him! Tell him when you were born!” Video after the jump….
* Good news if you’re a better golfer than your buddies: if you play in New Jersey, you’re not liable when another member of your group injures someone with an errant ball hit into the proverbial lumber yard. On the other hand, you’ll have to be in New Jersey. [The Legal Blitz]
* Hank Greenberg continues his effort to throw roadblocks in the way of the NY AG investigation into AIG. Now he’s accusing the AAG on the case of ethical lapses, which is only fair since that’s what everyone else is accusing Greenberg of. [NY Daily News]
* It’s official: Biglaw fees are unreasonable. At least by South Florida standards. [South Florida Lawyers]
* A Nevada judge was charged with misdemeanor manslaughter in the death of a bicyclist. If convicted, he could spend up to six months in jail. I’d like to imagine this would play out a lot like when Rorschach went to prison. [Associated Press]
* Congratulations to Jennifer J. Johnson on being named the new dean of Lewis & Clark. Try to avoid any censorship scandals! [Lewis & Clark]
* If you’re in NYC tomorrow evening, the New York City Bar Association is hosting a free event titled “The First Amendment in an Age of Terror” featuring Professor Jonathan Hafetz of Seton Hall University School of Law; James Goodale of Debevoise & Plimpton; Judge Robert D. Sack; Spencer Ackerman, the U.S. National Security Editor for The Guardian; and Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union. [New York City Bar Association]
* Syracuse College of Law students have an early Law Revue video for us. Strap in for a Mariah Carey parody that involves a baby getting a hatchet to the face. That sounds way darker than it really is. Video embedded below….
Watch one man fly off the handle about the tyranny of paying $26.
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.
* Harvard Law’s Langdell Library hosts a bevy of legal treasures. Including the personal lunchbox of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. [The Harvard Crimson]
* Per a new survey, watching the Kardashians makes one twice as likely to want an aggressive lawyer. When I have to watch the Kardashians I become an aggressive lawyer. [Avvo]
* The Supreme Court spent Cyber Monday denying review to two cases challenging the imposition of sales taxes on Internet purchases. [The Blog of the Legal Times]
* New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman cracked down on fake Yelp reviewers. Apparently, reviewers who gave a pet groomer 4 stars are a bigger priority than the reviewers who gave subprime-backed securities AAA ratings. [Corporate Counsel]
* Not exactly breaking news, but Philly has caught on that law firms are merging because the market is so terrible with a new piece on the merger craze. Specifically, they’re looking at the planned merger of BakerHostetler and Philly’s own Woodcock Washburn L.L.P. we mentioned last week. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Lakers guard Steve Nash’s ex-wife is battling him for child custody. She’s hired a Phoenix law firm whose most famous attorney is jacked up NFL ref Ed Hochuli. For now Hochuli isn’t working on the case directly. For now. [TMZ Sports]
* Congratulations to Kobre & Kim on being named Law Firm of the Year by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. [Newsday]
* Who says Civil Procedure isn’t sexy? Some UNLV Law students take to YouTube to bring (Civ Pro) SexyBack. [You Tube]
* Amanda Bynes is deemed mentally competent to stand trial. I’d seek a second opinion. [TMZ]
* Male bosses are more popular than female bosses according to Gallup. This probably reveals persistent chauvinism in the workplace, but given Gallup’s track record the last couple of elections, female bosses may well be beloved. [The Careerist]
* Competing construction experts tussle over the proper way to build a parking garage. The correct answer is: in a way that doesn’t fall down. [The Expert Institute]
* Jay Edelson and Chandler Givens offer their second installment addressing how to fix the legal profession. This time the target is the law school model. Join the revolution! [Legal Solutions Blog / Thompson Reuters]
* Here’s Corporette’s Suit of the Week! [Corporette]
* If you’re representing a defense contractor, it’s a lot easier to export their wares these days. But the system isn’t fully reformed yet. [Breaking Defense]
* The Society for Chinese Law is hosting an evening of food and drinks featuring a panel of professionals from major law firms. [Society for Chinese Law at Columbia Law School]
* For those who missed (or only followed along on Twitter) the FedSoc debate between Professor Randy Barnett and Judge Wilkinson on whether judges are too deferential to legislatures, the full video is available after the jump. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* The shutdown has shuttered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. I’m not really comfortable living without those regulators. [Breaking Energy]
* Don’t bother Goldman Sachs’s general counsel with your silly little questions [Dealbreaker]
* The decisions you make in your twenties are rarely life-threatening. So get out there and make some atrocious life-decisions, kids! [Legal Cheek]
* Lawyer sent to prison for plotting to help a client hide jewels. That sounds way dirtier than it is. [ABA Journal]
* In scary news, Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son was brutally beaten. [TMZ]
* In case you missed our round-up, here are ten more highlights from a recent interview with Justice Scalia. He’s apparently a big Duck Dynasty fan, which explains a lot. Video embedded after the jump… [Bloomberg Law via YouTube]