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Afternoon Briefs: BigLaw's big bankruptcy bucks; polyamorous ties recognized

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Some BigLaw firms will earn big bucks in retail bankruptcies

Several large law firms will likely earn millions of dollars representing retailers such as Neiman Marcus, J. Crew and J.C. Penney in Chapter 11 bankruptcies. Kirkland & Ellis partners are billing up to $1,845 per hour. (

Town recognizes polyamorous domestic partnerships

The town of Somerville, Massachusetts, has approved a domestic partnership ordinance that recognizes polyamorous relationships. As a result of the change, city employees in polyamorous relationships can insure multiple partners. The change may also ensure that polyamorous partners can visit the hospital when one of them is sick. The town may be the first in the country to pass such a policy. (The New York Times, Wicked Local Somerville)

Man gets 15-year sentence after firing gun into grave

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after firing a gun into the grave of a murder victim during the burial service. Elston Stevenson, 57, was sentenced after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm. Before firing the gun, he allegedly said something to the effect of, “You ain’t [expletive]. You got what you deserved.” (WGN TV, U.S. attorney July 6 press release)

2 oil pipelines stalled after court rulings

Two oil pipeline projects are on hold as a result of court decisions. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled Monday that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down for an environmental review. The pipeline carries oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Also on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an emergency application by the Trump administration to allow construction of parts of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The pipeline would carry oil from Canada to Nebraska. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris had put the project on hold in April because the government didn’t properly consult with wildlife agencies. (The New York Times here and here, the Washington Post, NPR)

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