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A second state considers allowing its law-school grads to skip the bar exam

Tue, 2014/01/14 - 5:45am
The Iowa Supreme Court will consider a proposal this summer that would allow graduates of Iowa’s two law schools to skip the bar exam if they practice law in the state. The grads would still have to pass an ethics exam, take a class on Iowa law and procedure, and…

9th Circuit OKs civil rights case over death of 2 dogs shot during execution of search warrant

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 5:45pm
A divided federal appeals court panel has reversed a summary judgment in favor of police in a civil rights case over two pet dogs shot to death during the execution of a search warrant at the plaintiff's home in a Las Vegas suburb. Reviewing the facts alleged by Louisa Thurston…

Woman is charged in courthouse theft of lawyer’s briefcase

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 4:40pm
A lawyer whose briefcase was stolen at a Louisville, Ky., courthouse on Friday morning got it back after authorities identified a suspect on surveillance camera footage. They contacted the suspect, Melissa Lynn Eaton, 32, through a friend who had accompanied her to court. She later returned the briefcase and its…

Despite years of slow demand for legal services, survey says BigLaw profits will rise 5% in 2014

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 4:14pm
Few expect a blockbuster year for BigLaw in 2014. But considering both that law firms and their clients are still recovering from the downward dive the economy took in 2008 and a lack of "seismic shocks to the legal industry" last year, the prospect of 5 percent growth in profits…

Dykema plans to hire more lawyers in growing Minneapolis office

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 3:45pm
A year ago, when Dykema opened an office in Minneapolis, it had two attorneys there. Now there are 10, and the 400-lawyer Detroit-based firm is planning more hiring, reports the Star Tribune. The firm expects to have an attorney roster of 25 in Minneapolis by the end…

‘Octomom’ charged with welfare fraud

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 3:05pm
A California woman famous for being the mother of octuplets is facing a felony welfare fraud case, accused of failing to report $30,000 in income last year from personal appearances and residual payments for videos. "Octomom" Natalie Denise "Nadya" Suleman, 38, was charged by the Los Angeles district attorney's office…

Lawyer is charged in claimed high-end wine-smuggling operation

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 1:40pm
A practicing Pennsylvania business lawyer has been criminally charged, accused of illegally operating a high-end wine-smuggling business from his home in Malvern. Arthur David Goldman, 49, is accused of selling the wine without a required state liquor license, Philly.com reports. More than 2,400 bottles of wine worth as…

Onetime king of foreclosure firm grossing up to $260M annually is disbarred

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 1:20pm
Once the Florida attorney in charge of a so-called foreclosure mill law firm operation that at one point handled as many as 100,000 foreclosure cases and grossed $260 million in 2009, David J. Stern has now been disbarred. However, others continue to clean up the mess that his firm made…

BP oil-spill settlement is upheld by 5th Circuit

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 11:48am
A federal appeals court has upheld the settlement in the 2010 Gulf oil spill over BP’s objections that a claims administrator’s interpretation of the deal was resulting in payments to businesses that suffered no injuries. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday, report the

Art museum gets Renoir painting that woman said she bought for $7 at flea market, judge rules

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 11:20am
A federal judge has ruled against a Virginia woman who claimed she purchased a small painting by a famous French impressionist for $7 at a flea market. How Marcia "Martha" Fuqua acquired the Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting doesn't matter, said U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in a Friday decision granting a…

SCOTUS to decide if Pom Wonderful may challenge competitor’s label under federal law

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 9:20am
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider Pom Wonderful’s right to challenge the labeling of a Coca-Cola juice product under federal trademark law. Pom claimed Coca-Cola’s pomegranate blueberry juice consisted mainly of apple and grape juice, report Reuters and the Wall Street Journal…

SCOTUS to consider right to challenge Ohio’s law barring political lies

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 8:36am
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider the right to challenge an Ohio law that makes it a criminal offense to tell political lies. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether two conservative groups could challenge the law, USA Today reports. The law…

Does Aereo’s Internet TV service violate network copyright? SCOTUS to decide

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 7:49am
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Aereo violates network copyrights when it uses miniature antennas to transmit TV programs over the Internet to its subscribers. The Supreme Court granted cert Friday afternoon, report the New York Times, the Washington Post,…

Only a handful of states allow conjugal prison visits; which one is dropping its program?

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 7:02am
A rally is planned in Jackson, Miss., this Friday to protest plans to end conjugal visits in the state's prisons. Prisoner commissioner Christopher Epps has said he plans to end the visits on Feb. 1 because of the cost and “the number of babies being born possibly as a result,”…

Lawyer questions outrage about cooked-cat allegations against her client

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 6:44am
A Minnesota lawyer doesn’t understand all the outrage over allegations that her client killed and baked his pet cat. Cody Mann, 28, of Monticello, was charged with animal cruelty and torture Wednesday, two days after police were called to Mann’s apartment to investigate a burning smell, the

How many women are among BigLaw’s new partners? At five firms, there are none

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 6:18am
Women make up about 45 percent of new associate classes, but only about 30 percent of the 493 new partners announced so far this year by America’s largest law firms. At five law firms, none of the new partners are women, the Am Law Daily reports.…

Judge censured for asking staffers to pray, run errands

Mon, 2014/01/13 - 5:49am
A Bronx County judge has been censured for asking staffers to participate in religious activities and to run errands for her. Judge Mary Brigantti-Hughes was censured by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, report the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, the

Internet car companies offer convenience, but lawyers see caution signs

Fri, 2014/01/10 - 6:19pm
Want to get a car ride just by pressing an app icon? New businesses like Lyft, Uber and Sidecar match drivers and passengers via smartphone technology. They claim they can get vehicles to your door in minutes. Unlike taxicabs and limousines, the companies don’t see themselves as common carriers, and…

300,000 W.Va. residents told not to drink water after chemical leak; US opens criminal probe

Fri, 2014/01/10 - 4:30pm
Don’t drink the water. Don’t wash, rinse, cook or bathe with it, either. That’s the message for some 300,000 West Virginians as the result of a Thursday leak from a 48,000-gallon tank at a chemical storage facility near the Elk River. Federal and state officials have already opened investigations into…

Indianapolis judge suspended pending disciplinary decision

Fri, 2014/01/10 - 4:00pm
An Indianapolis judge has been suspended with pay pending final action in a disciplinary proceeding against her. Marion County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Brown is facing possible removal for multiple violations of the state's judicial ethics code, according to Indianapolis Business News…