• 6:26 PM
    Nov 8, 2013

    A Good Week For Alumni Giving

    NYU Law School trustee Jay Furman

    With law school tuition rising faster than inflation, debt-mired graduates sometimes end up chasing corporate law gigs even when their hearts lie elsewhere.

    Well, policy wonks enrolled at New York University School of Law are in luck. A new scholarship program bankrolled by an alumnus with a soft spot for all things legal is going to provide three-year, full-tuition rides for selected students who want to pursue careers in public policy.

      Read More »

  • 5:04 PM
    Nov 8, 2013

    SAC Pleads Guilty, But Deal Is Far From Done

    Bloomberg News

    Judge Richard J. Sullivan was right. SAC Capital Advisors LP’s plea hearing Friday was a ”different story” than its civil settlement conference a few days earlier, which wrapped up in about 20 minutes with the judge wondering why he was even involved.

    Hedge-fund giant SAC pleaded guilty Friday, accepting responsibility for insider trading by at least six of its employees over the past 10 years, an admission that could cost the firm $1.8 billion in civil and criminal penalties. But our colleague Christopher M. Matthews reports that U.S. District Judge Laura Swain deferred until March a decision about whether she would accept the plea deal and allow the settlement to go forward.

    If she rejects the deal terms, SAC could withdraw its guilty plea, in which case it would once again be under federal indictment. Judge Swain said she wanted to take time to review the plea agreement and a report to be filed by the federal probation office, among other things, before making a decision. Read More »

  • 2:32 PM
    Nov 8, 2013

    Proposed Tweak to Law Would Pull Shield From Generic-Drug Makers

    By Brent Kendall and Thomas M. Burton

    It was perhaps the most gut-wrenching ruling of the Supreme Court’s last term: The justices, by a 5-4 vote, threw out a $21 million judgment won by a New Hampshire woman who suffered severe injuries allegedly caused by taking a generic drug.

    As we wrote in JuneKaren L. Bartlett, who took an anti-inflammatory drug for shoulder pain, suffered severe burns over much of her body and is nearly blind.  Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the court’s opinion against Ms. Bartlett, said the case arose of tragic circumstances, but sympathy didn’t relieve the court “of the responsibility of following the law.”

    Five months later, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing to change the regulations that were at the heart of the Supreme Court’s ruling, a move that could open up generic drug makers to greater potential legal liability.

    Read More »

  • 1:08 PM
    Nov 8, 2013

    DC Appeals Court Nixes Use of FBI Bug in Maryland

    Brown marmorated stink bug adult on peach. 
    Chris Bergh

    Can a federal judge in Washington, D.C., sign a warrant allowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to bug a truck in Maryland?

    Federal judges generally are barred from authorizing the placement of surveillance of equipment outside their district, but Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 makes an exception for “mobile interception devices.”

    Other courts have held that the exception allows a federal judge to authorize the placement of a mobile interception device anywhere in the U.S., not just in his or her district. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit read the exception more narrowly. Read More »

  • 8:59 AM
    Nov 8, 2013

    Legal Jobs Report: October

    The legal services sector shed 900 jobs in October, ending three consecutive months of growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest monthly report.

    Legal jobs in October numbered 1,129,200 — more than 50,000 fewer than the 10-year high of 1,180,000 set in May 2007. The sector has added 4,100 jobs over the last 12 months.

    Overall, U.S. payrolls advanced by 204,000 jobs last month, topping economists’ forecast for an increase of 120,000. Read More »

  • 8:36 AM
    Nov 8, 2013

    Discrimination Ban Passes Senate; Missouri Judge Gets Second Chance

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    The Law Blog rounds up the morning’s legal news.

    An Apology from the Oval Office: President Obama said Thursday he was sorry that thousands of Americans were losing their health insurance, expressing regret that the Affordable Care Act hadn’t lived up to his promise. WSJ

    Discrimination Ban Passes Senate: The Senate passed legislation Thursday banning workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers, nearly two decades after a push for such protection began in Congress. WSJ Read More »

  • 5:35 PM
    Nov 7, 2013

    For every judge like Jed Rakoff, who appears to believe that the judiciary should play an aggressive role in approving — or rejecting — civil settlements, there is a judge like Richard J. Sullivan, who seems to wonder what all the fuss is about.

    On Wednesday, Judge Sullivan of the federal district court in Manhattan approved the civil portion of the $1.8 billion settlement between the Justice Department and hedge-fund group SAC Capital Advisors LP. SAC representatives are scheduled to appear in court again Friday, to wrap up the criminal prong of the case.

    At the outset of the hearing on Wednesday, Judge Sullivan said he planned to approach the settlement in a different fashion than Judge Rakoff did in a proposed deal between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2011. In that instance, Judge Rakoff startled the SEC by rejecting the agency’s proposed settlement with the bank in a civil fraud case. Read More »

  • 4:15 PM
    Nov 7, 2013

    ‘Public Safety’ Exception to Miranda Warnings Arises in LAX-Shooting Case

    In this handout photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Paul Ciancia 23, poses for a mug shot photo on an unspecified date and location.
    Getty Images

    By Joe Palazzolo and Tammy Audi

    The airport shooting in Los Angeles has rekindled a now-familiar debate over the circumstances under which the government may question a criminal suspect without first advising him of his right to a lawyer.

    The local U.S. attorney’s office has taken what legal experts describe as an aggressive interpretation of an exception to the Miranda rule in investigation of Paul Anthony Ciancia, the suspect in a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport last Friday. Read More »

  • 2:14 PM
    Nov 7, 2013
    Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels
    Getty Images

    Two professional athletes scored in bankruptcy court this week when a judge allowed them to continue chasing after their former financial adviser, a man they’ve accused of cheating them.

    Judge Christopher B. Latham of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Diego lifted the shield of bankruptcy that was protecting financial adviser Bill Clay Crafton Jr. from the arbitration proceedings that two of his former clients—retired NFL player Aaron Shea and current Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels—launched last year.

    Read More »

  • 12:17 PM
    Nov 7, 2013

    ACLU, LA County Come to Blows Over Legal Fee Issue

    A woman sits handcuffed after arriving at the Los Angeles County women’s jail in Lynwood, California April 26, 2013.

    Legal fees and public records requests are two favorite obsessions here at Law Blog — luckily for us, a recent lawsuit filed in Los Angeles focuses squarely on both.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Los Angeles resident Eric Preven have sued the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors over the county’s apparent refusal to disclose legal bills for lawsuits over alleged mistreatment of prisoners in jails run by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

    The group said in a statement last week that lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department cost Los Angeles County $37 million in the 2011-2012 fiscal year– “not including the costs the County paid to private lawyers to defend LASD,” which ACLU said would likely add “millions of dollars to the total.”

    Read More »

About Law Blog

  • The Law Blog covers the legal arena’s hot cases, emerging trends and big personalities. It’s brought to you by lead writer Jacob Gershman with contributions from across The Wall Street Journal’s staff. Jacob comes here after more than half a decade covering the bare-knuckle politics of New York State. His inside-the-room reporting left him steeped in legal and regulatory issues that continue to grab headlines.

    Comment or tip? Write to Jacob.Gershman@wsj.com or lawblog@wsj.com

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Must Reads

  • SAC Plea Deal Ties Judge’s Hands

    Typically, a federal judge has considerable leeway in whether to approve the terms of a guilty plea. But that isn't the case in the deal announced Monday between the government and hedge-fund group SAC Capital Advisors.

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    Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, a legal writing professor at Marquette University challenged her students to write a story in six words.

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