ABA Journal

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Supreme Court will hear Jack Daniel's appeal over parody dog toy 'Bad Spaniels'

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a parody dog toy called “Bad Spaniels” is entitled to protection from trademark infringement and dilution-by-tarnishment claims by Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc.



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Meet the two Texas attorneys behind the Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Dalia Castillo-Granados had just begun her fellowship with the St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance, a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, when she met Yasmin Yavar in 2008.



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Ohio lawyer is accused of tossing poop-filled Pringles can into parking lot of victims advocacy center

An Ohio lawyer has been accused in an ethics complaint of depositing his feces into a potato chip can and then tossing it into the parking lot of a victims advocacy center.



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Lawyers struggle to make headway with growing immigrant backlog

The virtual courtroom of immigration Judge Thomas Mulligan of New York City’s Varick Street court was not exactly a well-oiled machine on a recent August morning. The judge was occupied with master calendar hearings, the docket where respondents—they would be called “defendants” in other settings—acknowledged and answered the government’s charges.



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Lawyer used deceptive 'mobile claim center' to solicit Hurricane Ian clients, Florida Bar alleges

A lawyer is denying allegations that she solicited Hurricane Ian clients using a truck designed to look like an operation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or a state-run site. The lawyer said the Florida Bar’s petition for her emergency suspension is based on “a clear misunderstanding of the underlying facts and circumstances in this matter.”



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Deborah Ferguson fights to protect ballot initiative process and other rights in Idaho

“I read a quote recently that said we should think hard about what we owe each other as citizens and human beings,” Deborah Ferguson says. “I believe that.”



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Lawyer's testimony about client’s threat to 'bust a cap' in prosecutor warrants reversal, appeals court says

A trial court erred when it allowed a lawyer to testify about a client’s alleged threats against a prosecutor during two private conversations in the courthouse hallway, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has ruled.



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ABA Legal Ed council advances proposal to make law school admissions tests optional

Updated: The council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has advanced a proposal to make standardized admissions tests optional at accredited law schools.



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Veteran prosecutor is appointed as special counsel to oversee 2 ongoing probes involving Trump

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced the appointment of a special counsel to oversee two ongoing investigations involving former President Donald Trump.



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Federal judge blocks Florida's ban on 'woke' instruction by public universities

A federal judge in Florida has barred Florida education officials from enforcing provisions in a law that ban advancement of critical race theory by professors at public colleges and universities.



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Convicted welfare fraudster had no Second Amendment right to own gun, 3rd Circuit says

A man who pleaded guilty to understating his lawn-mowing income to obtain $2,458 in food stamps had no Second Amendment right to own a gun, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.



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Pass rates for first-time bar-takers decrease; are online classes the cause?

Aspects of law school remote learning during the pandemic, including open-book tests, are being blamed by some for first-time bar pass rate decreases in at least 31 jurisdictions.



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3 law schools ranked in US News top 10 will no longer participate in its rankings

Updated: Three law schools—Yale, Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley—will no longer participate in rankings by U.S. News & World Report, even though they have long snagged top spots.



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Lawyer who missed deadline to watch son's professional baseball debut gets no sympathy on appeal

Updated: A California lawyer was unable to get his client’s case reinstated when a federal appeals court rejected his excuse for missing a court deadline—that he was in Illinois to see his son’s professional baseball debut.



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Lawyer can see Billy Joel but not Knicks at Madison Square Garden as result of judge's ruling

Updated: The Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. can ban a lawyer from buying tickets to New York Knicks or New York Rangers games following his lawsuit against the venue. But it has to honor any valid ticket that he presents for concerts at that location or for any shows at related venues, a New York judge has ruled.



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Ordinance banning pit bulls in city limits didn’t violate dog owners' constitutional rights, 8th Circuit rules

A federal appeals court has upheld a Council Bluffs, Iowa, ordinance that bans pit bulls within city limits.



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Small law firms have reason for 'cautious optimism,' new Thomson Reuters report says

Despite concerns about an economic downturn, many small law firms are bullish about their prospects and expect moderate-to-high growth in the next three years, according to a report published Thursday.



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Feeling the holiday stress? The ABA is offering a number of wellness events

With the holidays quickly approaching, lawyers and legal professionals may be looking for tips to counter anxiety and stress, set boundaries with family and at work, or focus more on their overall well-being as they say goodbye to this year and hello to 2023. The ABA is offering CLE programs in November and December that fit the bill.



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1st Circuit upholds law making it a crime to ridicule people with false statements

A federal appeals court has upheld a New Hampshire law that makes it a misdemeanor to make knowingly false statements that subject another person to “public hatred, contempt or ridicule.”



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Murder conviction upheld for man who rigged shotgun booby trap to guard his shed

A state appeals court has upheld the murder conviction for a Southwestern Illinois man who was convicted for killing a trespasser with a shotgun booby trap set up inside his shed.



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ABA helps find permanent homes for Afghan evacuees stuck in Abu Dhabi, other parts of the world

“Since my childhood, I wanted to serve the society and people honestly, and I found lawyering to be a field that could connect me to my dreams,” Afghan refugee Qari Abeera Ziayi says. “So I chose the field of law, and for a long time, I served people a lot through law.” Ziayi left her country in October 2021, and through a foreign organization that assisted female lawyers facing danger in Afghanistan, she was brought to Emirates Humanitarian City.



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Lawyer is disbarred and suspended after he is accused of billing over 24 hours per day

A West Virginia lawyer has been sanctioned after he was accused of billing more than 24 hours in a day, multiple times, for his representation of indigent clients.



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Slowdown signals 'rocky road ahead' for large law firms, but midsize firms make gains, Thomson Reuters report says

Law firm profitability slowed in the third quarter of 2022, according to new data released Monday, as large firms faced rising expenses driven by higher wages and overhead costs.



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Supreme Court should decide Camp LeJeune case and fix Feres doctrine 'chaos,' Thomas argues

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued Monday that the Supreme Court should have decided an appeal filed by the widow of a service member who died from leukemia after his alleged exposure to toxins and contaminated water at Camp LeJeune.



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