Bar exam results from around the country are beginning to trickle in and the results are far from encouraging. The results from July 2014 were the lowest in recent memory, but many had hoped that the drop would prove to be only an aberration. This does not appear to be the case.
So now the real question is: How much longer will law students continue to stick with the major bar review companies that can’t seem to get them to pass?
* Thanks to Wonkette for pointing out that we were on this whole Ruth Baby Ginsburg thing last year. [Wonkette]
* Speaking of our legally themed Halloween costume contest, please send us your nominations. [Above the Law]
* Salacious allegations about a high-flying investment banker invite comparisons to The Wolf of Wall Street. [Dealbreaker]
* The Second Circuit puts a stop to a legal challenge to the stop-and-frisk settlement. [How Appealing]
* You’d expect a former lawmaker to have a better understanding of… the law. [Lexington Herald-Leader]
* The Wall Street Journal reviews Paul Barrett’s new book (affiliate link) about the never-ending Chevron/Ecuador litigation. [Wall Street Journal]
* Speaking of the Chevron/Ecuador matter, here’s more about the Canadian Bar Association’s controversial involvement, which Canada columnist Steve Dykstra covered earlier. [rabble.ca]
* Some thoughts from Jonathan Mermin on something lawyers see every day: bad arguments. [Green Bag]
* Here’s a great new resource for our fellow aficionados of appellate arguments. [Free Law Project]
* Some observers do not appreciate the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Delphic pronouncements on a slew of hot-button issues. [New York Times]
* The New York Court of Appeals does international banks a solid — but is it bad policy? [Reuters]
* Fired Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi hires Dentons to sue CBC, which dismissed him over allegations of sexual misconduct. [American Lawyer]
* Is post-Citizens United money polluting judicial elections? [New York Times via How Appealing]
* An Englishman sues Sotheby’s, alleging that the auction house negligently failed to inform him that a painting he sold through Sotheby’s was by Caravaggio and worth millions. [BBC]
* If you’re a lawyer looking for extra income, check out Avvo’s new service, which offers consumers on-demand legal advice for a fixed fee. [Law Sites via ABA Journal]
* Is it reversible error for a judge to refuse to ask voir dire questions related to sexual-preference prejudices? [Southern District of Florida via How Appealing]
The CFPB has issued a white paper on the manufactured housing market, including how manufactured housing is financed and the types of consumers who purchase or rent such housing. In the paper’s introduction, the CFPB explains that although manufactured housing only accounts for six percent of all occupied housing and a much smaller fraction of U.S. home loan originations, such housing is of interest to the CFPB because it is a source of affordable housing particularly for rural and low income consumers and may raise consumer protection concerns due to the nature of the retail and financing markets for such housing. The report relies on publicly available data, including HMDA data, proprietary data voluntarily provided to the CFPB and information obtained through outreach to industry groups, consumer groups, government agencies and “a variety of market participants and observers.”
The paper’s key findings include:
On July 23, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3–2 to significantly amend the regulatory framework of money market mutual funds (MMFs), particularly Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the 1940 Act).1 These changes come four years after the SEC last adopted several amendments to Rule 2a-7 and follow a lengthy debate surrounding MMF reform among regulators and industry participants. The amendments and related regulations will drastically alter the MMF industry and force MMFs and their boards of directors and advisers to make substantial changes to their product offerings, operations, and compliance processes.
* Apparently, heckling Carmelo Anthony can cost you your job. [Dealbreaker]
* There’s nothing the Supreme Court can do to stop cops who want to take a long time to release you from a stop, even if the Court wants to. [Simple Justice]
* I think we should just ask John Roberts to tell every state precisely how they are allowed to discriminate against black voters and be done with it. Just tell us the rules so we can start the GOTV campaigns. [Election Law Blog]
* Former Manhattan Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa gets a year in jail for purchasing a sham marriage to gain citizenship. The “for citizenship” part is what got her, because lots of politicians are in sham marriages. [Journal News]
* Judge Frank Easterbrook thinks that the new proposed length limit for appellate briefs is too short. Verbose litigators everywhere, rejoice. [How Appealing]
* I thought “spoofing” was bad for the market, but Matt Levine says cracking down on spoofing “helps” high-frequency traders, who I also think are bad for the market. You know why I’m not an SEC lawyer? Prosecuting people based on them being “bad” becomes untenable when everybody involved is rich. [Bloomberg View]
We at Kinney are running the search for a fantastic in-house opening in Singapore, at the leading and largest tech company in Southeast Asia. The spot will be filled by a US associate with at least three years experience in M&A, from a top Wall Street or equivalent US firm. Compensation will be competitive with what the new hire is earning at their top tier law firm.
* Mathew Martoma, the former Harvard law student who fabricated his transcript when applying for clerkships, gets nine years in prison for insider trading. [DealBook / New York Times]
* If Bingham McCutchen moves forward on merger talks with Morgan Lewis, a bunch of Bingham partners might bail. [American Lawyer]
* Congratulations to Judge Jill Pryor, who will join Judge Bill Pryor on the Eleventh Circuit. [Fulton County Daily Report]
* Can you be fired for medical marijuana in Colorado, where the drug is legal even for recreational purposes? [ABA Journal]
* Dewey have some good news for the embattled ex-leaders of the defunct law firm? [New York Law Journal]
* Home Depot is the latest major retailer to be hit by a data breach. [Washington Post]
Two observers of the legal industry argue that when it comes to legal spending, sometimes less is more.
* The Eighth Circuit axed a $900K jury award after a lawyer recounted her tale of sexual harassment by a law professor at Drake University Law during closing arguments. Well, that sucks, but we’d really love to know which professor this was. [ABA Journal]
* If flat is the new up, then mergers must be the new growth. The new year is upon us, and law firms are on track to either meet or break the merger record set in 2013. Thus far, 22 firms have announced mergers or acquisitions in 2014. [Washington Post]
* A lawyer in Minnesota who’s been in trouble with the bar quite a few times was recently charged with setting his girlfriend on fire. Yikes, someone’s way too excited about the Fargo mini-series. [Star-Tribune]
* Oscar Pistorius took the stand in his murder trial yesterday, revealing that when he killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, he was really trying to protect her. This case gives us the sads. [New York Times]
* Sorry we’re not sorry about the toupee: Paramount wants this Wolf of Wall Street suit dismissed since it’s undeniable the plaintiff was part of “bizarre travesty that was Stratton Oakmont.” [Hollywood Reporter]
* The federal judiciary is hiring for staff and public defender positions lost during the government’s sequestration throughout the better part of last year. Ready, aim, fire those résumés! [Legal Times]
* New York Biglaw firms always manage to find their way to the top of the Am Law 100 rankings. When all’s said and done, being so close to Wall Street definitely has its perks. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
* Absolutely no one should be alarmed about the fact that Kasowitz Benson’s profits per partner have dropped by 15 percent — well, no one but the equity partners, that is. Have fun with that. [Am Law Daily]
* The managing partner of Jacoby & Meyers is worried people will think his personal injury firm is going under, not Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy. Either way, those commercials won’t die. [New York Law Journal]
* A professor at George Mason University Law was pepper sprayed IN THE FAAAAAACE by an unknown assailant in his classroom yesterday afternoon. We’ll obvious have more on this story later. [ARLNow]
* La Verne is the first law school to offer flat-rate tuition. There will be no scholarships and no discounts. Students will pay $25K/year, nothing more, nothing less. This is, dare we say, wise. [National Law Journal]
* “Passion over pension.” Mekka Don, the Weil Gotshal corporate lit attorney turned rapper, just released his first CD, and it’s all about leaving Biglaw to follow his dreams. Go buy it here (affiliate link). [MTV]
Future sugar daddies beware: money can buy everything, but definitely not class.