Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Decades 25 Biggest Legal Stories

On Dec. 14, 2009, the National Law Journal published an article on the 25 most important legal decisions of the decade. That article is available here. So what are some of them? The National Law Journal lists the top 3 as follows:

1. War on terror tests the limits of law
From telecommunications to transportation, from immigration to interrogation, from detention to rendition, the war on terrorism strained the conventional framework of American law. It triggered new statutes, the expansion of old ones and, in critics' views, transgressed others.

2. For associates, a time of thrills and chills
Between 2000 and 2009, law firms doled out jaw-dropping bonuses, lavished benefits like never before and hiked first-year salaries to a point that drew the envy of federal judges. The decade also featured mass job cuts, pay reductions and a decided shift in power for recent law graduates, many of whom, at the decade's conclusion, were clamoring for even part-time work at living-wage levels.

3. Accounting scandals flood the courts

Lax corporate oversight combined with an intense desire to keep company stock prices high created a climate that allowed executive after executive to cross the line. Faced with a barrage of high-profile scandals, prosecutors responded by making corporate fraud a priority. But in their eagerness to get tough.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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