The Brief No. 49: Moscow Mules

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August 7, 2019


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Kentucky Mule: Social media continues to impact the legislative process, or at least how the public understands and consumes it. After Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell blocked a bill to strengthen election security (hours after Mueller testified that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that Russia and other foreign governments were already at work on 2020 interference) #MoscowMitch and related permutations began trending on Twitter and other media. The usually unflappable majority leader made a rare response on the senate floor. The cold war era hashtags continued with #LeningradLindsey trending after Senator Lindsay Graham advanced a bill on asylum to the Senate waiving procedural rules. Sounds like these senior senators (and anyone concerned with 2020 election security) could use a drink—we recommend a Moscow Mule. (easy enough to make with shaking hands, 2 oz vodka + ginger beer + fresh lime juice. Sub bourbon for a Kentucky Mule.)

Hold my Beer Moscow Mule: International tensions were turned up another notch in business and basic human existence this past week as North Korea launched 3 test missiles and the US pulled out of the US-Russia nuclear treaty signed by Reagan and Gorbachev. As the international community worried about nuclear missiles that could hit Europe within minutes and a break down in diplomacy that could obliterate all life on earth, POTUS diverted attention with an announcement that the US would impose new tariffs on China effective September 1. The US stock markets fell sharply as businesses and consumers panicked about the rising cost of goods currently manufactured in China and experts warned this move would most likely harm deal negotiations and cause “long-term economic tension”.

CA Bar Tip-Slip: Day 1 of the CA bar exam was July 30, and six days before the exam the California bar sent a letter to select Deans of CA law schools inviting them to observe exam grading and revealing the exam topics. Upon realizing their mistake and to prevent any exam takers from having a distinct advantage, the CA Bar provided the exam topics to all registrees. The California Supreme Court is investigating the incident further, and some are intimating the leak might not be so bad considering CA’s painfully low pass rate

Back to School Goodies for Lawyers: Getting nostalgic for the smell of fresh trapper keepers and pencils as back to school season approaches? We’ve rounded up some alternatives for your grown up job. New tools have been released by major industry players, meaning they’ll be more likely to make it to a big firm near you than the usual legal tech goodies. Bloomberg has announced an automated brief analyzer slated for a September release as LexisNexis released Context for Courts to make researching court-specific rulings and details less tedious. Axiom spin-off Knowable and LexisNexis announced a joint venture in contract review + analytics. For lucky lawyers at ReedSmith a new lifestyle heavy perks plan is being rolled out— others in the industry will likely be watching to see if lawyers feel comfortable taking advantage of the perks without repercussions and if the plan helps to attract and retain top talent.


Trapped on a long flight in the middle seat (those armrests are yours, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) and want to zone out and catch up on what you’ve missed on Netflix? We recommend Knock Down The House, following the efforts of a grassroots group challenging entrenched political insiders and their 4 outsider candidates in the 2018 election. At the heart of our legal system is the lawmaking process and the legislators we elect. We’re intrigued by potential and emerging trends and if and how they will impact our legal system and society?

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