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News for, and by, our local legal community, curated and created by the Santa Clara County Bar. The opinions expressed in this blog are the authors' own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, its members, its employees, or its governing board.

 

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Chemerinsky Named Law Dean at UC Berkeley

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 18, 2017

Erwin Chemerinsky will be the next dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

The school announced Wednesday that Chemerinsky, a preeminent constitutional law expert and founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, will assume the deanship on July 1 for a five-year term.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

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The 2016 Law Grads Hiring Report

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The American Bar Association has released detailed data on the employment of the law school class of 2016, and there’s both good and bad news.

These Law Schools Aced the 2016 Job Market
Duke Law School sent a higher percentage of 2016 graduates into law jobs than any other school, according to new employment data from the American Bar Association.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

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May 16 Digest

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 16, 2017

California’s Bar Exam Results Are Absolutely Abysmal

The results are in from the February 2017 administration of the California bar exam, and they are not pretty.

According to a press release from the State Bar of California, the overall passage rate for the February 2017 exam was 34.5 percent, while the passage rate for first-time takers was 39 percent. The passage rate for retakers was a shockingly low 33 percent. For the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at the results for the past few administrations of the California bar exam.
Read the full story at Above The Law

 

ABA Counters Trump's Transgender Directive in Appeals Court

The consequences of discrimination follow transgender students and their classmates into the legal profession, warned the American Bar Association in an amicus brief that urged a federal appellate court to find that such unfairness violates federal civil rights.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

Use of Noncompete Clauses Grows Even as More States Move to Limit Them

Noncompete clauses in employment contracts can be risky, and even law firms that use them find themselves fighting over what the wording means and how legally restrictive the clauses can be.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

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May 15 Digest

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 15, 2017

SCOTUS to States: Keep Out of Arbitration Agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday continued its streak of pro-arbitration rulings, reaffirming in a closely watched nursing home case that states may not impose rules that single out, overtly or otherwise, arbitration agreements for negative treatment.

The 7-1 ruling came in Kindred Nursing Centers v. Clark, a seemingly narrow case that could have broader ramifications for the nursing home industry in particular and businesses in general that look to the Federal Arbitration Act to protect arbitration agreements from invalidation under state laws.
Read the full story at Inside Counsel


What the 9th Circuit Is Saying About Trump's New Travel Ban

The lead lawyer for the Department of Justice defending President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting travel from six predominantly Muslim countries began his argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by focusing on standing.

But Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall was again called to defend Trump's motivation for the order and answer allegations that it discriminates against Muslims.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

Alice Fisher of Latham Considered for FBI Director—But Who Is She?

Washington corporate defense lawyer Alice Fisher interviewed on Saturday to be the next FBI Director, after the agency was shocked by the firing of James Comey last week. Fisher’s among the reported top contenders.

The National Law Journal has done comprehensive coverage of Fisher, the former Bush-era Criminal Division chief-turned law firm leader, over the years, since she’s been a major name in public service at the U.S. Justice Department and private practice at Latham & Watkins.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal 

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What's Next For Ex-FBI Director James Comey?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Citing his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey.

The decision marks only the second time an FBI director has been fired by the president in more than three decades. The sudden news, announced via a White House press release, shocked lawmakers, political pundits and the legal community.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

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May 9 Digest

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Trump Set to Nominate 10 Federal Judges

President Donald Trump will announce a batch of conservative federal judicial nominees on Monday, the New York Times reported Sunday night.

The nominations, which begin a push to reshape the federal bench, are expected to include picks for five federal circuit court seats, four federal district court vacancies and an appointment to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

Law Schools Play Prominently in Trump’s Judicial Nominations

The legal academy is well represented in President Donald Trump’s initial slate of federal judicial nominees, unveiled Monday.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

Solicitor General Nominee Faces Scrutiny for Travel Ban Recusal

On the eve of his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Solicitor General-nominee Noel Francisco is the focus of a lawsuit seeking information about his participation in the legal battle over President Donald Trump's travel ban.

American Oversight, a transparency advocacy group, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Tuesday demanding documents that could shed light on Francisco's recusal, followed by his "unrecusal," in the case.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

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Juror Appreciation Week

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 8, 2017

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May 1 Digest

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017

Invigorated Justice Ginsburg Says 'I Love My Job'

An exuberant U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg exclaimed "I love my job" at a public appearance Thursday, sounding not at all like someone who is even beginning to consider retirement.

Nourished by a standing ovation from hundreds of Georgetown University students, Ginsburg emphasized the positive, recounting stories from her early years as a lawyer fighting for gender equality for the American Civil Liberties Union. Ginsburg has been a popular speaker at college campuses nationwide for years. 
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

United Settles With Passenger Forcibly Removed From Flight

Lawyers for the United Airlines passenger notoriously dragged off a plane April 9 announced they've reached a settlement that avoids a lawsuit they threatened to bring.

The terms of the settlement — which United Airlines called "an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident" — are confidential, though the statements released Thursday said it's "for the injuries" Dr. David Dao suffered when forcibly removed from the flight. The settlement comes the same day United issued a report detailing the events leading up to the incident and promised changes going forward.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

Defense lawyer in rape case tells jurors that women are good at lying; defendant is acquitted

A defense lawyer in a Tennessee rape case is under fire for telling jurors during closing arguments that women are especially good at lying.

Lawyer Steve Farese made the statement during closing arguments on Thursday in the rape trial of wealthy Memphis-area businessman Mark Giannini, the Memphis Commercial Appeal and Local Memphis report.
Read the full story at ABA Journal

 

Work-at-home law firm attracts BigLaw refugees

A law firm that allows lawyers to work from home and keep 80 percent of their billings is attracting talent from larger law firms.

The virtual law firm, Culhane Meadows, has grown from four lawyers at its inception four years ago to more than 60, the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) reports.
Read the full story at ABA Journal

 

Conservatives seek to stop law school's civil rights center from filing lawsuits

The Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina’s law school will be barred from filing lawsuits if conservatives on the university’s policy-making board get their way.

Conservatives say lawsuits depart from the university’s educational mission, but former law dean Gene Nichol sees another motivation, The Associated Press reports. He tells the wire service in an email that the proposal is “strictly, certainly and undoubtedly ideological.”
Read the full story at ABA Journal

 

Sotomayor sees 'disturbing trend' of failing to intervene on behalf of victims of police shootings

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday complained about a “disturbing trend” in which the U.S. Supreme Court appears more likely to intervene on behalf of police officers than the people they shoot.

Sotomayor lobbed her complaint in a dissent from a cert denial (PDF) in an excessive force case. The dissent, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, included a footnote that read, “Some commentators have observed the increasing frequency of incidents in which unarmed men allegedly reach for empty waistbands when facing armed officers.”
Read the full story at ABA Journal

 

Supreme Court Says Cities Can Sue Banks Over Housing Discrimination

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in a key Fair Housing Act case that Miami has standing to claim in court that it was harmed by the discriminatory lending practices of banks—but it must meet a high standard of proof to establish causation.

The 5-3 ruling found that Miami’s damages—including diminished property taxes and higher costs of city services—fell within the “zone of interest” of the housing law.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

DC Circuit Judge Warns Ruling Could 'Destabilize' Most Arbitration Awards

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invoked a rare exception in a ruling Friday that “threatens to destabilize” arbitration awards in future cases, a federal appeals judge said in her dissent.

The D.C. Circuit, divided, ruled for the National Railroad Passenger Corp.—Amtrak—in a dispute over the firing of an officer named Sarah Bryant. An arbitrator said Bryant, fired for misconduct in 2012, should receive reinstatement, with back pay and lost seniority. A Washington federal trial judge later vacated that award.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

 

Stay-at-Home-Rainmakers: A Growing Threat to Big Law

Work from your house. Set your own billable rate. And keep 80 percent of the money from every matter you originate and handle.

That’s the sales pitch Culhane Meadows, a firm with no office space that opened in 2013, has used to attract a horde of Big Law refugees. In less than four years, the cloud-based firm has grown from four lawyers in Texas to just under 60, working from their home offices in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York and Washington, D.C.
Read the full story at Legal Tech News

 

State Releases Results of February Bar Exam

Of the 4,162 who sat for the February exam, 1,822 passed the test, for a passage rate of about 44 percent, an increase of 4 percent from the February 2016 exam.

For first-time test takers who graduated from American Bar Association accredited law schools, the passage rate was 71 percent—an increase of 4 percent from last February, according to the Board of Law Examiners.
Read the full story at New York Law Journal

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Law Day 2017 Panel Discussion

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 27, 2017

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April 26 Digest

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In First, 4th Circuit to Livestream Travel Ban Hearing

 

Lawyers who cheered the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s live broadcast of oral arguments in President Donald Trump’s first travel ban case now have another show to look forward to after the Fourth Circuit said it will live livestream oral arguments in its case next month.

In an order issued Wednesday, the court granted a request from CSPAN to broadcast the audio, acknowledging “heightened public interest” in the case. The Fourth Circuit will skip the usual three-judge panel and hear the case en banc.
Read the full story at Law.Com


Trump Tweets About Judges Become Fodder in 6th Circuit Confirmation

Hours after President Donald Trump criticized a California judge for blocking his executive order on sanctuary cities, the president's first nominee for a circuit court of appeals judgeship told senators those swipes, even coming from a president, wouldn't influence his decisions.

Amul Thapar, currently a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, was nominated to fill a spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Democratic senators showed up to prod the nominee on his legal views and pressed Thapar to address the president's recent criticism of judges.
Read the full story at Law.Com


Rosenstein Pegged to Bring Experience, Stability to DOJ

Rod Rosenstein has his work cut out for him now that he’s officially U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ right-hand man.

Attorneys are looking to Rosenstein, a lifelong public servant, to bring a dose of stability to the U.S. Department of Justice after the U.S. Senate confirmed him 94-6 as the deputy attorney general Tuesday. President Donald Trump’s Justice Department has already hit a series of speed bumps during its first few months, including the sudden firing of 46 President Barack Obama-era U.S. attorneys, failed attempts to defend the president’s immigration executive orders and Sessions' recusal from an investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal


Gorsuch's 'Burping Boy' Dissent Arrives at the Supreme Court

Justice Neil Gorsuch may face his first recusal when the justices in May take up a petition that involves—and features prominently—one of his most famous dissents: the case of the burping 13-year-old student.

Gorsuch, formerly a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in July wrote a dissent in A.M. v. Holmes. His colleagues in that case voted in support of immunity over the arrest of a student in New Mexico for allegedly disrupting a physical education class.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal


Federal Circuit Rejects 5th Amendment Plea in Driverless Car Feud

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has dissolved its stay of discovery in the Google-Uber autonomous car intellectual property case.

A three-judge panel ruled that U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California did not err by rejecting Uber Technologies Inc.'s and Anthony Levandowski's request to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Read the full story at The National Law Journal

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more Calendar

8/7/2018
Barristers' Annual Judges Luncheon

8/14/2018
Knowing When To Accept A Case and When It's Time To Say Goodbye.

8/23/2018
Disability and ERISA Issue Spotting for Labor Law Attorneys

Recent Recognitions
Hon. Julie A. Emede2017 Outstanding Jurist of the Year
Susana Inda2018 Barrister of the Year

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