Trademarks

* Beware of “affluenza” — the condition where rich kids believe that their wealth shields them from consequences. One kid with affluenza was convicted of four counts of manslaughter and got… probation. Great way to teach him that there are consequences. I don’t doubt being a hyper-privileged douche contributed to his criminal behavior, but let’s see if the judge is equally lenient to the next kid in this courtroom who argues that poverty contributed to his crimes. [Gawker]

* In America people complain about law reviews sharing outlines for free. In the U.K., they’re selling notes on eBay. If you’re buying notes off the Internet, perhaps law school isn’t your bag. [Legal Cheek]

* Do Twitter mentions reflect the scholarly significance of a professor’s articles? No. [TaxProf Blog]

* Here’s some terrifying stuff that lawyers want for Christmas. It’s not quite our gift guide. [The Spark File]

* The word “spin” is apparently trademarked. This is the company that did it and enforces its trademark against gyms with uncertified spin classes. [Racked]

* Law school applications are in free fall. Too bad all these people are going to miss out on that sweet $1 million law degree. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

* Mental health remains a seriously undiscussed problem in the legal industry. [Law and More]

* TSA now confiscating prop guns off stuffed animals. [Lowering the Bar]

* A Chinese law professor lost his job for writing an article advocating constitutional rule. If you think this is a harsh response, remember this government used to throw tanks at people over less. [Washington Post]

* Speaking of China, next month the CBLA is hosting a panel discussion about the expanded use of the FCPA, specifically with regard to China. [CBLA]

They told me, if I could sit on the stage so nobody climbed over me, I could drink beer till the show was over.
Gimme Shelter

Hells Angels are the Kleenex of biker gangs. Sure, there are the Mongols, the Outlaws, the Warlocks, the Diablos, the Cool Ranch Doritos. But all of those gangs take up relatively little space in the collective imagination. And one of those gangs isn’t even a gang. It’s a corn chip!

Anyway, the Angels’ ubiquity in popular culture means that when anyone anywhere thinks of roving gangs of motorcycle-riding degenerates, they think of the Angels. Hunter Thompson, Altamont, Sonny Barger and the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test placed the gang at the forefront of that fashion trend known as the 60s. And as Atticus Finch quipped, “Even bellbottoms need a lawyer.”

So it was that the New York Times banged out an extra-long feature on the gang and their litigious ways over the long weekend.

That last sentence was the closest I could get the words “gang” and “bang” together. Let’s see if I have better luck later in this post….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hells Legal Guardian Angels”

* Tim Tebow’s trademark will become invalid if “Tebowing” is not used in commerce. That might suck for him, but right about now Tim Tebow should be more concerned about whether “Tim Tebow” is going to be used in commerce. [The Official Review]

* Law school groups take to Facebook to advertise a panel on medical marijuana. A drug dealer litters the page with ads for drugs. Hilarity ensues. [Facebook]

* The Honorable Felicia Mennin may not understand time, but she does realize that “wearing jeans and a pea coat” does not a street walker make. [Jezebel]

* The mind behind Courtoons has a new iPhone App that lets you violently destroy the obnoxious 3 a.m. email from that partner. [iPhone JD]

* There’s a Philadelphia-based Instagram account, rats215, that posts witness statements to grand juries as an “anti-snitching” measure. This will end well. [Gawker]

* Dude who can set his water on fire is getting sued for defamation by… the people who made his water flammable. [Nation of Change]

* We’ve written before about Judge Ken Anderson and his career as a prosecutor where he just put innocent people in jail. Well now he’s going to jail. [Huffington Post]

* The on-going Wyoming Law scandal got heated when Dean Easton showed up to a Town Hall meeting to call out University President Bob Sternberg. [Wyoming Star-Tribune]

I’m always amazed when lawyers send clearly bogus DMCA notices. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out that doing so ends badly. I’m doubly surprised, however, when it comes from big companies that should know better. And, I’m quadruple surprised when one of these companies that should know better sends a completely bogus DMCA notice to a company that absolutely understands why the notice is bogus, and is also in a position to make the world know all about a company’s bogus DMCA notice. That’s what we have here. You see, this morning, Office Depot decided to send a DMCA to Reddit.

Yes, to Reddit….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Office Depot Sends World’s Worst DMCA Notice To Reddit”

* In 1967, Hunter S. Thompson explored the wild and crazy world of the Hell’s Angels. In 2008, FX premiered Sons of Anarchy. In 2013, the Hell’s Angels are filing intellectual property suits. Hard. F**king. Core. [Houston Chronicle]

* Who’s your favorite Disney princess? I’d say RBG. [Women You Should Know]

* Some folks are scared that recent FERC settlements are too aggressive and could “unravel the entire power market.” That’s either hyperbole or the scariest thing in the universe ever. [Breaking Energy]

* Loyola Law School started a fashion law program to serve this burgeoning industry. Pretty interesting stuff. And if you want to meet Staci Riordan, the woman responsible for setting up this program, join our Staci Zaretsky in L.A. on November 12, when she hosts a panel of fashion law experts including Riordan . It’s dueling Stacis! [Fashionista]

* The discriminating woman’s guide to buying pearls. I figured y’all just pulled identical necklaces out of a drawer like Marge Simpson. [Corporette]

* In cases of sex abuse, the expert witness is incredibly important. [The Expert Institute]

* Here’s a look at what may be next for Judge Scheindlin, who gave interviews revealing her bias because she said stuff like the government is not entitled to deference and should be forced to make its case. Oh my God, IMPEACH!!! [Ramblings on Appeal]

* Speaking of Judge Scheindlin, Elie was on HuffPo Live today discussing the ruling. Video embedded after the jump (around 11:08)….

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Here at Above the Law, we’ve brought our readers great responses to cease and desist letters on multiple occasions (see e.g., here and here). It’s about time we shared an epic cease and desist letter with you.

This C&D letter is of great importance to those of you watching the World Series and rooting against the Boston Red Sox. The American Mustache Institute (yes, that exists) allegedly sent this creative piece of genius to Ed Weiss, who serves as the team’s general counsel. It seems the AMI objects to the team’s display of facial hair, claiming that hirsute players — like Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and David Ross — have “harness[ed] facial hair towards athletic excellence,” thereby infringing upon AMI’s trademark on the “Sexually Dynamic Mustached American Lifestyle.”

This is something you’ll definitely want to read…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This May Be The Best Cease And Desist Letter Ever Written”

* Stop bullying the judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They don’t cave to just any government data request — they make changes to about 25 percent of them. But uh… they don’t like to talk about the other 75 percent. [Bloomberg]

* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the number of Biglaw firms with failing grades for diversity. Hunton & Williams, Patton Boggs, and Thompson Coe are by far the worst offenders of all 19 large firms, with ZERO minority partners. [Texas Lawbook]

* A contract attorney is currently facing criminal charges for felony overbilling (which isn’t actually a real crime, but it’d be cooler if it was… plus it would make lots of lawyers from DLA Piper cry). [Radio Iowa]

* Well, at least one school got the message about the tuition being too damn high. Iowa Law is reducing tuition for out-of-state students by about $8K in the hopes of filling more seats. [Des Moines Register]

* Amanda Knox, more commonly known as Foxy Knoxy, says that she’s no “femme fatale,” but she’s being portrayed, again, as a “sex-obsessed she-devil” after already being acquitted of murder. [Reuters]

* Fashion designer Christian Louboutin was seeing red over the use of his trademark red soles in anti-Islam political messages, so he sued over it, and this time, he won. Rejoice, fashionistas! [New York Magazine]

So a lot of clients are jerks.

We all know it, it’s why lawyers are so terrible: we spend all our time taking out how awful some client is on others. But no one ever calls out the client in public, because we’re either too nice or too interested in keeping our business to ridicule our gravy train.

But then there are some lawyers who are big enough and important enough to become the Honey Badger and just rip clients on the radio.

Maybe this is one more advantage of being part of Skull & Bones….

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Lady Gaga

* You skip over the footnotes when you’re reading for class, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn’t think you should. She’s a proponent of the most important footnote in all of constitutional law. [New Yorker]

* New York will modify its pro bono requirement for LL.M. students to allow public service completed outside the country. Well, so much for closing the state’s justice gap. [New York Law Journal (sub. req.)]

* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the government-initiated trademark infringement actions over “Don’t Mess With Texas.” Like “I <3 NY," the Lone Star State's slogans are off limits. [New York Times]

* WUSTL Law Dean Kent Syverud didn’t mind advocating for halving professors’ salaries. He just stepped down to become Syracuse University’s president — for much higher pay. [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

* You can sue Lady Gaga for overtime pay all you want, but you do not want to face her wrath. The pop star is due in court in early November where she’ll tell a judge “exactly what f**king happened.” [Daily Mail]

There’s a very cool group out there called the Hacker Scouts, which was started last year, trying to get kids interested in cool hacking stuff:

Hacker Scouts is a national non profit organization, founded in the Fall of 2012 in Oakland CA, that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education, skill building and community engagement with the aspiration to help our children develop skills in the areas they are truly interested in, abilities that would allow them to dream big and create big. A variety of experts and mentors from the community ensure a well rounded and high level of attention and skill building for all ages through accessible programs that meet the different needs of our young makers. Hacker Scouts provides open source material and a support program for Hacker Scout programs globally.

Awesome, right? Definitely the kind of thing that should be encouraged. But, then the Boy Scouts of America went ballistic and threatened the Hacker Scouts with trademark infringement claims…

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