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Nearly 30 law schools in the United States have or soon will offer a master's degree for nonlawyers -- up from just a handful two years ago. The programs differ slightly in name, structure and cost, but they generally are marketed to working professionals. Although the movement remains in its early stages, to administrators across the country it represents a promising counterpoint to waning interest in the traditional three-year J.D. degree. And while part of the incentive behind the trend is economic, the new direction also marks an effort to move legal education away from a one-size-fits-all model.
Eric Turkewitz, of The Turkewitz Law Firm and author of the New York Personal Injury Law Blog, offers dos and don'ts for first-time legal bloggers.
A paraplegic lawyer who has filed thousands of disability access suits is now facing a sex harassment suit by former employees, who also accuse him of something that has defense attorneys buzzing. The women say Scott Johnson sent them into businesses with cameras and measuring tapes, after which he would cite the findings in warning letters and filings, a potential violation of laws requiring plaintiffs to personally be denied access.
Although 2012 was the year of billion-dollar wins in patent cases, the largest award of this year so far has come in an antitrust case. A federal judge in Kansas has trebled the damages in a class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that Dow Chemical fixed prices for the chemical urethane. A jury returned a $400 million verdict in February, so the chemical giant is now on the hook for $1.2 billion.
The judge presiding over one of the most politically charged cases in recent New York City history says her 20 years on the bench have taught her to "appreciate more than ever the words 'judicial independence.'" Shira Scheindlin, in an interview during the bench trial over the constitutionality of police anti-crime stop, question and frisk policies, said there are too many judges who don't want to deliver controversial rulings.
Related story: Ground Is Shifting in 14-Year Litigation
In-house counsel tackled an increased number of class action lawsuits last year, but managed to tamp down legal spend by an average of $100,000 per matter, according to the 2013 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey. Three key strategies were found to make a big difference for in-house departments' efforts to control costs.