Business of Law

  • September 10, 2020

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Takes 3-Year Suspension For Insider Trading

    A former Hunton & Williams LLP attorney on Thursday was formally barred from practicing law until next summer after a drunken tip to his friend and investment adviser about a Pfizer Inc. acquisition led to his conviction for insider trading.

  • September 10, 2020

    Davis Polk To Abandon Strict Lockstep For Revised Pay Model

    Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP confirmed Thursday that it is moving from a partner compensation model based on seniority to one that takes into account other performance-related factors, calling the new pay model a "modified lockstep system."

  • September 10, 2020

    Bank Of The West Hires Ex-Regions Financial Atty As GC

    Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, has hired financial services industry veteran Hope Mehlman as general counsel and corporate secretary, the bank announced Thursday.

  • September 10, 2020

    Ropes & Gray Is Letting Incoming Associates Take A Year Off

    In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Ropes & Gray LLP is offering an optional deferral year to its incoming associates, giving them the option to participate in a firm-sponsored fellowship or take a year off to do anything they want, the firm confirmed Thursday.

  • September 10, 2020

    Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

    Mayer Brown made it on the legal lions list this week by helping to secure an order favoring foreign citizens who won green cards in the Diversity Visa lottery, while Edelson ended up among the legal lambs after a judge tossed its client's proposed data disclosure class action against Google.

  • September 10, 2020

    Pa. Justices Reject Diploma Privilege Petition

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday denied a petition asking that it consider axing the bar exam requirement and allow law school graduates to begin practicing on an emergency basis this year as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  • September 10, 2020

    Michigan Bar Prevails In Fight Over Mandatory Atty Dues

    A Michigan federal court declined to consider whether recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent has rendered compulsory bar membership unconstitutional, ruling against a challenge to the State Bar of Michigan and saying the constitutional question would be something for higher courts to weigh.

  • September 10, 2020

    EPA's Legal Leader Will Head Back To Private Practice

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's top lawyer said Thursday he's stepping down after more than two and a half years to return to private practice, while a Gibson Dunn alumnus will step up to fill his shoes.

  • September 10, 2020

    Senate Confirms Trial Judge Picks For Mich., Va., NY

    The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed nominees to the trial bench in Michigan, Virginia and New York, including the first Iraqi American federal judge, as part of a late-session push to fill court vacancies before Congress heads home for the fall elections.

  • September 10, 2020

    Ex-Jones Day Atty Says Nix Of Equal Pay Claim 'Erroneous'

    A former Jones Day associate suing the legal powerhouse over its parental leave policy said a D.C. federal judge misinterpreted the term "equal work" when he threw out her Equal Pay Act claim.

  • September 09, 2020

    Diploma Privilege Group Tells Calif. To Scrap Online Bar Exam

    California should do away with its bar exam altogether and permit law school graduates to be admitted to the California State Bar, a nationwide diploma privilege advocacy group said Wednesday, calling the Golden State's plan to administer an online exam in early October "impractical, infeasible and inequitable" in light of COVID-19.

  • September 09, 2020

    Jenner & Block Names Ex-Prosecutor As Litigation Co-Chair

    In Jenner & Block LLP's latest change to its leadership structure, the firm announced Wednesday that it elected partner Reid Schar, a former federal prosecutor known for his work on prosecuting ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges, as co-chair of its nearly 400-lawyer litigation department.

  • September 09, 2020

    NY Top Court Dubious Of Judge Fighting Removal For Sexism

    Judges in New York's high court on Wednesday heaped doubt on arguments by a trial judge accused of a history of bad behavior — including sexist comments and dodging taxes — as he made a last-ditch appeal to avoid being removed from the bench.

  • September 09, 2020

    Sens. Confirm BigLaw Alums To Federal Bench In Pa., Wis.

    The U.S. Senate, in two broadly bipartisan votes Wednesday, confirmed a onetime Arnold & Porter associate and a former Foley & Lardner LLP partner to federal trial courts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

  • September 09, 2020

    Veteran Atty Leaves Polsinelli To Form Employment Boutique

    Connie Bertram, a longtime employment lawyer who once settled a high-profile case accusing Proskauer Rose LLP of sex bias, has established her own boutique firm in Washington, D.C., that she says is the culmination of more than a decade of planning.

  • September 09, 2020

    Attys Ask JAMS For Bias Review After Judge's Racist Email

    The National Employment Lawyer Association has called on mediation and arbitration giant JAMS to review all discrimination cases overseen by a retired judge who was fired as a JAMS neutral after he shared a racist email that portrayed Black people as inherently inferior and to implement new organizationwide bias monitoring.

  • September 09, 2020

    Sens. Question Experience Of Trump's Young Judicial Picks

    Several of President Donald Trump's relatively young judicial nominees defended their experience and qualifications Wednesday at a Senate confirmation hearing, including a 33-year-old Jones Day associate who would be the youngest federal judge since 1986 and a Court of Federal Claims candidate who has never litigated a case.

  • September 09, 2020

    Troutman Pepper Hit With $5M Malpractice Claim

    Troutman Pepper should pay at least $5 million after it "succumbed to conflicts of interest" in its legal work for an e-commerce services company, several of the company's founders have contended in New York state court.

  • September 09, 2020

    Ogletree, Eversheds Sutherland Walk Back COVID-19 Pay Cuts

    Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC and Eversheds Sutherland confirmed Wednesday that they had rolled back the salary reductions they imposed earlier this year, joining several other BigLaw firms to take back austerity measures after months weathering the coronavirus pandemic.

  • September 09, 2020

    Trump Adds 20 Names To Supreme Court List

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday named 20 more possible U.S. Supreme Court nominees should he win reelection, a group that includes several of his recent conservative circuit court picks as well as some Washington insiders long linked with a high court promotion.

  • September 09, 2020

    Law Firm Leaders: Clark Hill's John Hern

    John Hern Jr. has served as CEO of fast-growing Michigan-based Clark Hill PLC for nearly two decades. Hern, who is stepping down as Clark Hill's CEO at the end of 2020, discusses the firm's growth, why the choice was made to do so through combinations, and how he approaches integration following a tie-up.

  • September 08, 2020

    Freeman Mathis Nabs 5 Partners As Thompson Coe Exits LA

    Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP announced Tuesday that it's scooped up nearly a dozen attorneys from Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons LLP, including five partners who are joining from Thompson Coe's recently shuttered Los Angeles office.

  • September 08, 2020

    Pa. AG Asked To Investigate Online Bar Exam Security

    More than 50 people waiting to take the Pennsylvania bar exam online in October asked the state attorney general to investigate the security of exam administrator ExamSoft Inc. on Tuesday, saying many applicants saw attempts from third parties to use their personal information soon after they downloaded the company's software.

  • September 08, 2020

    Holland & Hart Latest To Restore COVID-19 Pay Cuts

    Holland & Hart LLP announced Tuesday that it is reversing pay cuts and other austerity measures it instituted earlier this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including returning all employees' salaries and equity partners' third-quarter profit distribution to the full amount.

  • September 08, 2020

    Midsize Firms Weathering COVID-19 Better Than Expected

    Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, midsize firms are overall faring better than expected, but are still cautious about the future, according to a report released Tuesday by legal consulting firm Altman Weil Inc.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Dreamers Bring Important Perspective To Legal Industry

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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for the time being, and at this critical time in our nation's history, there are several actions that every law firm can take to increase the visibility of Dreamers, say Regina Calcaterra, Isidora Echeverria and Montserrat Lopez at Calcaterra Pollack.

  • Helping Clients Overcome Financial Hurdles Mid-Litigation

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    In perilous economic times like these, abandoning litigation in progress could be a tempting cost-cutting measure for companies, but lawyers can help clients evaluate two alternative financial arrangements to stanch the bleeding from expenditures while preserving valuable litigation assets, say Charles Agee at Westfleet Advisors and Collin Cox at Yetter Coleman.

  • Inclusivity Considerations For Law Firms Reopening Offices

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    While most law firms will focus on ensuring physical office spaces are as safe as possible for attorneys and staff members, it's equally important to consider the impact office reopening decisions will have on a firm's culture of diversity and inclusion, says Manar Morales at the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

  • NY High Court Case Could Upend Litigation Finance Industry

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    A ruling in favor of the defendant in Fast Trak Investment v. Sax, a case recently accepted by the New York Court of Appeals, could enable borrowers to avoid repaying litigation funders by claiming state usury law violations, say attorneys at MoloLamken.

  • Associates Can Prioritize Biz Development Despite Pandemic

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    Although many traditional business development activities are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, associates should seize the unique opportunities of this time to cultivate business by strengthening their personal and professional relationships, and developing new ones, says Jeremy Schneider at Jackson Lewis.

  • DACA Ruling Raises Bar For Assertions Of Agency Deference

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, blocking termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, is the latest in a line of rulings that refuse deference where an agency fails to follow Administrative Procedure Act rulemaking procedures, say Robert Wanerman and Stuart Gerson at Epstein Becker.

  • Opinion

    Attys Should Stop Using 2 Common Cannabis Industry Terms

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    Adopting the industry-preferred alternatives to the terms "marijuana" and "black market" will help lawyers show that they are sensitive to the historical and systemic harm done by the war on drugs to people of color, say Joshua Mandell at Akerman, Nicole Phillis at Davis Wright and consultant Yvette McDowell.

  • Opinion

    Let's Create An Ethical Obligation For Attys To Fight Racism

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    In this moment of national recognition of historical institutional racism, the American Bar Association must implement a model rule that explicitly declares efforts to fight racism and advance equality to be a matter of attorneys' ethics and professional conduct, say Marc Firestone at Philip Morris International and David Douglass at Sheppard Mullin.

  • 6 Considerations When Shopping For Legal Tech Software

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    When evaluating the vast range of legal technology options available today, law firms will want to make sure that firm intellectual property and client data stored in the software are encrypted, isolated, protected through backups and in compliance with the ever-growing list of data regulations, say Eric Tucker and Dorna Moini at Documate.

  • Berman Ouster May Not Be The End Of SDNY Drama This Year

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    While the dust appears to have settled after the surreal departure of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman from the Southern District of New York last month, the interim tenure of Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss bears close watch in this fraught moment leading up to the presidential election, say Danya Perry and Samidh Guha at Perry Guha.

  • Law Firm Strategies For Publicizing Laterals Amid Lockdowns

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    With business development dinners and social events no longer viable for new lateral hires, law firms need a refreshed game plan — one that fully exploits the digital landscape, say Andrew Longstreth and Jesse Dungan at Infinite Global and Michael Coston at Coston Consulting.

  • RPM Internal Probe Case Brings Privilege Lessons For Attys

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    A little-noticed case working its way through the D.C. federal courts — U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. RPM — could limit attorney-client and work-product protections in the context of internal investigations and should serve as a cautionary lesson for counsel sharing information with independent auditors, say Matthew Sloan and Danielle Dankner at Skadden.

  • Are Your Slack Communications Primed For E-Discovery?

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    With the increasing use of channel-based platforms such as Slack, Messenger and Teams in the work-from-home era, companies should assume they may be compelled to produce channel-based data in litigation and take proactive steps to protect sensitive information, say Jessica Brown and Collin James Vierra at Gibson Dunn.

  • 6 Dispute Prevention Steps As Lawsuits Rise Amid Pandemic

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    With the inundation of lawsuits resulting from the pandemic, now is an opportune time for companies and their advisers to implement prevention measures explicitly designed to break the dispute cycle early and to de-escalate possible legal actions as they form, says arbitrator and mediator Janice Sperow.

  • Opinion

    Time To Consider Percentage Rental Agreements For Lawyers

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    It has long been the law that attorneys cannot use percentage rental agreements because doing so would constitute an impermissible sharing of fees with nonlawyers, but such arrangements can help lawyers match expenses with revenues in lean times like now, say Peter Jarvis and Trisha Thompson at Holland & Knight.

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