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Smartphone data now important in litigation (access required)

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Smartphones are increasingly becoming not just useful tools for lawyers on the go, but potentially important factors in litigation. Requesting smartphone data as part of electronic discovery “is something lawyers should think about both from an offensive and defensive perspective,” advised Andrew Cosgrove, a partner at Redgrave LLP in Minneapolis.

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Diamond jock wants the diamond back (access required)

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Diamonds aren’t always forever. Just ask Matt Campbell. Back in 2004, the former USC All-American pitcher had finished his junior season when he was drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Royals with a reported $1.1 million signing bonus. The following year, he’d proposed to his college sweetheart. Fast forward three short seasons. The engagement was off and Campbell’s baseball days were over, cut short by a injury. And Robinson still had the ring — appraised at $26,000.

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More schools, fewer students (access required)

The laws of supply and demand may apply to legal education after all. Eight years ago, over 100,000 students applied to law school nationally, but this year, in the face of relentlessly downbeat news about the employment prospects for lawyers, applications have cratered. Only about 67,000 applicants are expected—but the number of accredited law schools is higher than ever.

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Hospital’s effort to block suit fails (access required)

In its tort reform act of 2005, the South Carolina legislature created new procedural hurdles for patients to clear before they could file suit for medical malpractice. On May 7, the South Carolina Supreme Court declined an opportunity to erect an additional one. After Willie James Fee died in the care of Piedmont Medical Center in 2009, his estate brought a medical malpractice claim against the hospital, alleging that its failure to monitor and treat Fee for bedsores and sepsis contributed to his death.

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Student loans and blithe self-confidence prop up law school enrollments (access required)

The atmosphere in law school admissions offices these days is downright dreadful. Applications to law school are down 15 percent from this time last year, according to the Law School Admission Council, and down by a third from eight years ago. The projected number of law school applicants for fall of 2012 would be the lowest since 1996, when there were 21 fewer law schools nationally and 16 percent fewer seats to fill. If applications remain depressed nationally, it will raise acceptance rates or reduce the total number of seats at law schools—and maybe both. But experts say two factors are mitigating what would otherwise by an even steeper drop: federal student loan money, and students’ unerring faith in their own ability to beat the odds.

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