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Michael Lewis' nonfiction book The Big Short, published in 2011, chronicled the 2008 financial crisis as seen through the eyes of some of the people involved in it, including the hedge fund managers who "shorted" (bet against) the market.

In one chapter of the book, Steven Eisman, one of Lewis' sources, meets Wing Chau, the owner of an investment firm that managed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). CDOs were investments comprised of portions of thousands of subprime mortgages; they were a key vector for the financial collapse.

When Eric Holder announced last month that he was done, finished, outta here, everyone wondered who the next Attorney General of the United States would be.

And they also wondered how President Obama would be able to push through someone who was as tough as Holder was on issues that -- well, let's say issues that the new Senate majority might not want the new AG to be investigating so much.

Well, wonder no more. President Obama has confirmed the rumors, nominating U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to the post. If confirmed, Lynch would be the second woman, the second African American, and the first African American woman to hold the post.

In a nonprecedential yet significant order, a panel of the Second Circuit vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment in Sharkey v. J.P. Morgan Chase and remanded for further proceedings.

Jennifer Sharkey was a manager in the Private Wealth Management division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Part of her job involved assessing client risk. One client in particular seemed fishy to her: She was unsure where his money was coming from, the client had a history of having millions of dollars go missing, and he didn't always provide the information she asked for.

Following two days of deliberations, a federal jury in Brooklyn found the Jordan-based Arab Bank liable for a series of suicide bombings in Israel and Palestine in the early 2000s.

Witnesses testified that not only did Hamas and other alleged terrorist organizations, like the Saudi Committee for the support of the Intifada al-Quds, use Arab Bank to transfer money to the families of suicide bombers, but Arab Bank knew that this was going on.

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, some lawyers have certainly benefitted from a bevy of lawsuits, on issues ranging from negligence to freedom of religion to whether Saudi Arabia was partially responsible.

Here are some highlights from 13 years of lawsuits in the Second Circuit:

The Cross at Ground Zero

In the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers, crews found two steel beams that had formed the shape of a Latin cross. They called it "the cross at Ground Zero" and it eventually got placed in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. An atheist group sued to get the cross removed from the museum, but the Second Circuit held that keeping the cross there didn't offend the Establishment Clause.

An atheist group has lost its appeal in the Second Circuit, where it sought to have "The Cross at Ground Zero" -- the well-known steel-beam cross from the World Trade Center wreckage in New York City -- removed from the September 11 museum.

"The Cross at Ground Zero" was a steel beam found among the debris of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that formed the shape of a Latin cross. It quickly became a rallying point.

After several years at the Ground Zero site, the cross was moved to a warehouse, where it remained with other artifacts from the site until it was moved to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Another one bites the dust. Earlier this year J.P. Morgan and the DOJ reached a $13 billion settlement, and yesterday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ and Citigroup have reached a settlement regarding federal investigations of mortgage securities.

The $7 billion settlement is much more than the $363 million Citi initially offered, and a bit more than half of the $12 billion the DOJ countered with, reports The Wall Street Journal. Let's take a look at the settlement in more detail.

Maybe you've practiced at a firm for a few years and you're ready for something different, or maybe you've always dreamed of arguing a case before the Supreme Court. But one thing's clear -- you've decided to start your own appellate practice.

So, go ahead and hang out a shingle, but if you think that's going to be enough to drive business, think again.

On Friday, the SEC filed civil charges against billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen for failing to supervise two employees, criminally charged with insider trading, that occurred on his watch.

Cohen, known as one of the most successful hedge fund managers, has an estimated net worth of $9 billion, and his company SAC Capital Advisors LP, oversees $15 billion, Bloomberg reports. Since founding SAC in 1992, he has seen a 25% return in his investments each year.

Bloomberg reports that Professor John Coffee, of Columbia Law School, noted: "The SEC is aiming at his kneecaps, not his jugular ...This is a little like catching John Dillinger entering a bank with a submachine gun and charging him with double parking."

When Judges Clash: 2nd Circuit Dissentals Edition

Judicial clashes can be pretty amusing, particularly because we expect judges to be stoic and unflappable. But clearly there has been some flapping on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Last August, a split Second Circuit panel upheld a high school field hockey coach’s 30-year sentence for attempting to produce child pornography. Circuit Judge Reena Raagi wrote the majority opinion, explaining that the sentence, which fell within the Guidelines range, was reasonable because “no limitation shall be placed on the information concerning the background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense which a court of the United States may receive and consider for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence” within the prescribed range.”

Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs dissented, arguing that the sentence unfairly reached beyond “the offense of conviction,” which “amounts to a single act of attempted sexting.”