* Next time on Nancy Grace: A recent graduate of Michigan State Law allegedly got a master’s degree student from the school pregnant twice before he left the country. The woman allegedly murdered one of the babies, and the other is now missing. [Detroit Free Press]
* I’ll just leave this right here so I won’t get fined. It looks like a partner from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton helped Marshawn Lynch trademark his nickname “Beast Mode” — a trademark that may lead to Lynch getting a $100,000 fine from the NFL. [Am Law Daily]
* In other trademark news, Taylor Swift got approval for catchphrases from her album. “Nice to Meet You, Where You Been?” Her IP lawyers “Could Show You Incredible Things,” but you could’ve been getting down to “This Sick Beat.” [WSJ Law Blog]
* Gibson Dunn earned $459,000 for successfully challenging Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, which was apparently a “sharp cut” in the fees the firm initially requested for star litigator Ted Olson’s time. Poor Teddy. [National Law Journal]
* According to Am Law’s latest Lateral Partners Survey, there was a 7 percent increase in lateral moves — 2,736, to be precise — between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Guaranteed pay packages, though, seem to be a thing of the past. [American Lawyer]
* The K&L Gates Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, a clinic that’s perhaps better known as the firm’s revenge porn project, is assisting a California law student whose nude pictures and videos were allegedly put online by an ex. [DealBook / New York Times]
Alecia Schmuhl, the alleged brains behind the attack, apparently has a history of making threats against law firm bosses.
I became a lawyer without really understanding that the job cuts time off of your life. My work hours are long, I can’t see my family or friends, and I am constantly at the mercy of the partner or the client. On top of everything, at one point, I was paying 7% on my law school loans. […]
What could allegedly have driven this couple to these extremes?
A lawyer wearing a diaper makes this case even more sensational than it already is.
* Morgan Lewis approves the Bingham deal, with 227 of the roughly 300 Bingham partners moving over as full partners. Morgan Lewis is calling it a “mass lateral move,” which is the nice way of telling the remaining 70+ partners (and whatever associates and staffers they don’t care to include) to enjoy early retirement. [American Lawyer; WSJ Law Blog]
* A follow up report on the horrific story of the lawyers accused of stabbing a managing partner and his wife. [Washington Post]
* Justice Scalia realizes that strict constructionists are just jerks. [The Onion]
* When the title of the story uses the phrase “super-drunk judge”… [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
* Judge Posner took a detour into Jewish theology, apparently based on scholarly research from “Google” and “Wikipedia.” In his defense though, he thought he was citing the well-known Hebrew texts of “Elgoog” and “Aidepikiw.” [The Jewish Daily Forward]
* It may sound like a terrible horror movie, but “Darkhotel” is actually a campaign of cyberattacks against business executives logging in from their high-end hotels. [Internet, Information Technology & e-Discovery Blog]
* Um, Florida State may care so much about their (number 3) football team they gloss over criminal activity. And this article is NOT about Jameis Winston. [New York Times]
* Linda Greenhouse. Damn. “In decades of court-watching, I have struggled — sometimes it has seemed against all odds — to maintain the belief that the Supreme Court really is a court and not just a collection of politicians in robes. This past week, I’ve found myself struggling against the impulse to say two words: I surrender.” [New York Times]
* If you’re in L.A. tonight, check out the 6th Annual Justice Jam, celebrating “A Tradition of Advocacy” at 5:30 p.m. at La Plaza De Cultura y Artes. The event benefits Community Lawyers, Inc., an organization working to promote access to affordable legal services for low- and moderate-income individuals. [Community Lawyers, Inc.]
Sources allege that the criminal activity occurred after one of the invaders was let go from the firm.
* President Obama suggested he may be able to nominate a new SCOTUS justice before he leaves office in 2017. When reached for comment, Justice Ginsburg noted: “Bitch, please.” [POLITICO]
* Chief Justice John Roberts has been asked to stay the Fourth Circuit’s decision as to Virginia’s same-sex marriage case, lest the state truly become a place for all lovers. [National Law Journal]
* Whitey Bulger is appealing his conviction, claiming he didn’t receive a fair trial because he wasn’t allowed to testify that a prosecutor who had since died once promised him immunity. Aww. [WSJ Law Blog]
* On the whole, school rankings matter generally, but law school rankings can be truly meaningful when it comes to getting a job after graduation. Don’t believe me? Check out these graphs. [Forbes]
* “They’re not the one if this fails will have a law degree that we cant do anything with.” Students at Concordia Law are starting to feel the pain of attending a yet-to-be accredited law school. [KBOI 2]
* Cleary Gottlieb lost some historic cases during the first half of 2014, including one for $50 billion, but not to worry, “the firm is proud of the work Cleary lawyers do every day.” [Am Law Daily]
* The Fourth Circuit is refusing to issue a stay in Virginia’s gay marriage case, so the state will be for all lovers starting next week unless SCOTUS decides to step in. [National Law Journal]
* Thomas M. Cooley Law School has now officially become the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. If only a new name could clear its reputation. [MLive.com]
* It’s not every day that a law student with a criminal history is arrested on murder charges, but Tuesday was that day for one student. We’ll have more on this later. [San Antonio Express-News]
* “Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it.” Google sure is optimistic about Glass, but several states aren’t, and have already proposed driving bans. [WSJ Law Blog]
Is there ever any excuse for coming down like this on an underaged drinker?
The adage that law turns slowly does not hold in eDiscovery. This year saw unprecedented sanction awards for falling behind the curve. Courts did not hesitate to engage with advanced and nuanced technological issues. For lawyers and other eDiscovery professionals who plan on maintaining basic competence, these cases and trends shouldn’t be overlooked. For a full exploration of trends and developments in this area of case law, check out this on-demand webinar.
* Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may retire by the end of summer 2015, or she may retire by the end of summer 2017, or she may retire whenever she damn well pleases. For the love of God, please stop with this. [Legal Intelligencer]
* The Fourth Circuit appears to be split on Virginia’s gay marriage ban. The Tenth Circuit appeared to be split on Utah’s gay marriage ban. We’ll give you three guesses on the eventual Supreme Court outcome. [New York Times]
* Law deans lose their jobs when their schools drop in rank, and it seems Biglaw chairmen lose their titles when their firms post the worst single-year drop in revenue ever. Sorry Bingham McCutchen. [Am Law Daily]
* Ex-D&Ler Zach Warren wants to sever his case from the likes of Joel Sanders and the Steves, using a “guilt by association” argument. The only thing he’s guilty of is being too cute. [National Law Journal]
* The drama continues at Albany Law, where faculty members now face possible pay cuts or being put on unpaid leave following a “smear campaign” waged against Dean Penelope Andrews. [Albany Times Union]
4th Circuit, Anna Nicole Smith, Biglaw, Christopher Christie, Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Gender, In-House Counsel, Law Schools, Morning Docket, New Jersey, SCOTUS, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court, Women's Issues
* Sonia Sotomayor has been dubbed as the “people’s justice” in a law professor’s article recently published in the Yale Law Journal Online. If only RBG had appeared on Sesame Street, the title could’ve been hers. Sigh. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]
* It’s a “procedural game-changer”: Virginia’s class action lawsuit against same-sex marriage has been stayed pending the outcome of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in the case that struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage. [Legal Times]
* “They’re certainly going to be very careful about biting the hand that feeds them.” Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, the firm behind the “Bridgegate” report that cleared Gov. Christie of wrongdoing, received $3.1M from New Jersey last year. [New Jersey Star-Ledger]
* Now that approximately 60 percent of compliance officers are women, in-house insiders are starting to wonder if the position is being reduced to “women’s work” — and not in a good way. [Corporate Counsel]
* Everyone involved in this case is dead, but it’s been hanging in the courts for more than a decade. Soon we’ll find out if Anna Nicole Smith’s ex-stepson will be sanctioned in the grave. [National Law Journal]
Small-firm columnist Carolyn Elefant shares her thoughts on one firm’s new approach to business development.
Ken Cuccinelli’s latest endeavor seeks to give gun owners peace of mind that they can use their guns without worrying about defense costs.
What could have prompted an alleged assault by a Yale grad and former Biglaw associate?
* Virginia is for lovers — gay and straight alike. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen (E.D. Va.) just struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage (but stayed her ruling pending appeal). Happy Valentine’s Day! [Washington Post]
* The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, issued a major Second Amendment ruling. Is it correct, and what will happen next? Professor Eugene Volokh shares his thoughts. [Volokh Conspiracy; Volokh Conspiracy]
* Which leading law firms are trying to make the Comcast/Time Warner Cable monstrosity into reality? [American Lawyer]
* Did a Biglaw firm make a big-time mistake by blowing a deadline to appeal a $40 million verdict? [Law360 (sub. req.)]
* Speaking of screw-ups, making them in the e-discovery realm can be costly — a lesson that California is learning the hard way, to the tune of $32 million. [ACEDS]
* Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin thought he’d be acquitted; he thought wrong. [ABA Journal]
* George Washington wasn’t a member of the one of the 8 magic groups — but his story still illustrates the truth of The Triple Package (affiliate link), according to Washington biographer Logan Beirne. [Fox News]
* Authorities have made an arrest for the package bombing that killed a retired Tennessee lawyer and his wife. [CNN]
Animal Law, Attorney Misconduct, Baseball, Biglaw, California, Contracts, Death Penalty, Disasters / Emergencies, DUI / DWI, Kids, Lateral Moves, Law Professors, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs, Television
* Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, has left Akin Gump’s dugout. He hopes to hit it out of the park and slide into his new home at Jackson Lewis. Please, no more baseball references. [Am Law Daily]
* Thanks to Virginia, the electric chair may be making a comeback when drugs for lethal injection aren’t available. OMG, that’s so freakin’ lame. Bring back the breaking wheel or death by disembowelment. [Gawker]
* A lawyer won’t have to pay an ex-law student $1M after making a hyperbolic challenge in a TV interview. Better luck reading the Leonard v. Pepsico case next time, pal. [Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]
* Protip: when you’ve been suspended for your “contemptuous attitude,” bragging that one of the judges who disciplined you thinks you’re “probably the best DUI lawyer” isn’t smart. [Santa Barbara Independent]
* If you watch The Walking Dead, you’ve probably wondered if all of the killing was legal — because you’re a lawyer, and you can’t enjoy anything anymore. Here’s your answer, from a UC Hastings Law prof. [GQ]
* If you’d like your chickens to live a life of luxury before you eat them and their eggs, then you’re going to love this law in California. If not, you can move to Missouri. See Elie squawk about it here. [ATL Redline]
* Ian Whittle, a recent George Mason Law grad, took a break from watching the saddest Super Bowl ever to save a little girl from drowning in a pond. Check out the news coverage, after the jump. [CBS 6 WTVR]