Business of Law

  • September 03, 2020

    2nd Atty Ordered To Keep Representing Donziger

    A New York federal judge on Thursday ordered a second attorney for Chevron foe Steven Donziger to continue representing him for his upcoming trial, saying an email from the attorney, Martin Garbus, seeking to bail from acting as Donziger's counsel does not relieve him of his duties.

  • September 03, 2020

    Shoplet's Ex-GC Admits Stealing $6M, Faces 3 To 9 Years

    The former top attorney for Shoplet admitted in a New York state court Thursday to pocketing millions using the online retailer's PayPal account, part of a plea deal that will leave the lawyer broke as he faces up to nine years in prison.

  • September 03, 2020

    Watchdog Finds Prosecutor Aided Friend Facing DOJ Probe

    The Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday said it had found that an assistant U.S. attorney had provided personal services to a friend under federal investigation, including asking the head of the local Federal Public Defender's Office to provide the friend with a "strong defense attorney."

  • September 03, 2020

    Supreme Court Plans To Issue New Rule For Sealing Records

    The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday it's examining the institution's current practices for sealing court records and that it plans to issue a new rule soon on the matter.

  • September 03, 2020

    Hawaii Braces For In-Person Bar Exam As Virus Cases Soar

    As states around the country navigate the question of how — or whether — to hold a bar exam during the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii is set to go ahead with its in-person exam next week despite a climbing infection rate and widespread concern about the risks of the event.

  • September 03, 2020

    DOJ Environment Chief To Take Helm At Civil Division

    The top environmental lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice will soon be doing double duty, taking over for the departing head of the Civil Division while maintaining his role atop the Environment and Natural Resources Division.

  • September 03, 2020

    Women Say Progress At GC Level Remains Too Slow

    New data shows there are 291 female general counsel in the 2019 Fortune 1000 — the highest number on record — but top in-house leaders are disappointed by the slow progress, which some fear could be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • September 03, 2020

    Coronavirus Litigation: The Week In Review

    Travelers dodged a downtown Los Angeles restaurant's bid for coverage of claims stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Trump campaign urged a Pennsylvania federal court to adjust its order halting a challenge to the state's use of drop boxes for collecting mail-in votes the same week the state's highest court agreed to consider the protocols.

  • September 03, 2020

    Kelley Drye Unwinds Some COVID-19 Pay Cuts

    Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has joined the ranks of law firms rolling back some of the austerity measures enacted earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying Thursday that it will begin partially restoring salary adjustments for affected attorneys and staff.

  • September 03, 2020

    Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

    Wilkinson Walsh secured the top legal lions spot with a D.C. Circuit win on behalf of a federal judge conducting an inquiry into the DOJ's request to drop a case, while White & Case and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz ended up among the legal lambs after failing to recover billions in damages for their respective clients after the collapse of Anthem's merger with Cigna.

  • September 03, 2020

    Fla. Eases Bar Restrictions On Addiction, Mental Illness

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday changed state bar rules to no longer treat members with a history of drug, alcohol or psychological issues as a separate class of "conditionally admitted members."

  • September 03, 2020

    Legend In Law: Amgen's Jonathan Graham

    Graham, a former Williams & Connolly LLP partner who is now the head lawyer at one of the top U.S. biotech firms, has been named a Burton Awards Legend in Law, a distinction reserved for the top general counsel in the nation.

  • September 03, 2020

    Skadden, Nixon Peabody Latest To Trim Staff Amid COVID-19

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Nixon Peabody LLP are the latest firms to lay off staff, the two firms confirmed Thursday, joining several other BigLaw firms that have trimmed their workforces as the coronavirus continues to take its toll on the legal industry.

  • September 03, 2020

    Diversity Is Key In Calif. Boutique Merger With Meyers Nave

    A commitment to diversity and a well-timed email from the managing principal of the firm persuaded the founder and owner of a Southern California employment law boutique to merge her practice with the California firm Meyers Nave.

  • September 03, 2020

    Fla. High Court Won't OK No-Exam Path To Bar Admittance

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a petition for an emergency rule allowing recent law graduates to practice without having to pass the bar exam, saying that the proposed six months of supervised practice can't substitute for bar exam passage.

  • September 02, 2020

    Trump Taps FaegreBD, DOJ Alum For Claims Court

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced another pick for a judgeship on the Court of Federal Claims, saying he would nominate Faegre Baker Daniels alumnus and former federal prosecutor Stephen A. Kubiatowski for the post.

  • September 02, 2020

    Donziger Ties 'Beyond Repair,' Atty Says In Bid To Exit Trial

    Andrew Frisch, the New York defense lawyer who has been added back to the defense team of Chevron foe Steven Donziger in a criminal contempt trial starting next week, told a federal judge Wednesday there is simply no way he can represent his former client as their relationship is "beyond repair."

  • September 02, 2020

    In Dissent, 9th Circ. Judge Rips Fees Equaling $6,700 An Hour

    A split Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday affirmed the approval of a $14.5 million attorney fee award resolving proposed class claims alleging Bank of America's overdraft fees violate usury laws, with a dissenting judge criticizing the deal for awarding class counsel fees that come out to $6,700 per hour.

  • September 02, 2020

    Fox Rothschild Takes Aim At Ex-Aide's Graphic Sex Bias Suit

    A former Fox Rothschild legal aide's suit alleging the firm tolerated an environment rife with sexual misconduct and gender bias lacks any legal basis, the firm told a New Jersey federal judge Tuesday, reiterating its stance that the bulk of her claims should be tossed.

  • September 02, 2020

    LA Labor Partner Wins Bid To Arbitrate Sex Harassment Suit

    Los Angeles-based law firm Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs APLC and the head of its labor and employment practice persuaded a state judge Wednesday to order arbitration of a former associate's claims that the partner sexually harassed her and the firm failed to investigate his behavior.

  • September 02, 2020

    Longtime Dechert Antitrust Co-Chair Heads To Steptoe

    Steptoe & Johnson LLP announced Wednesday it has hired former Dechert LLP antitrust practice co-chair Michael L. Weiner to join its competition practice in New York as a partner.

  • September 02, 2020

    Law Firm Layoffs May Pick Up Speed This Fall

    More law firms will likely follow suit after Baker McKenzie announced both layoffs and pay increases this week, with firms moving away from the pandemic stopgap measure of pay reductions as the year wanes and instead making strategic cuts to areas that are no longer needed, busy or profitable, experts say.

  • September 02, 2020

    Legend In Law: Southern Co.'s Jim Kerr

    Kerr, who modernized the major utility's legal department, handled major acquisitions and led diversity efforts, has been named a Burton Awards Legend in Law, a distinction reserved for the top general counsel in the nation.

  • September 02, 2020

    Ex-Immigration Judges Say NJ Court Risking Public Health

    More than 30 former immigration judges voiced support for New Jersey lawyers' lawsuit seeking to stop in-person hearings at Newark Immigration Court during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the court needs to prioritize people's health over case completion numbers.

  • September 02, 2020

    Gordon & Rees Launches Cannabis Practice Group

    Gordon & Rees LLP is the latest large law firm to formally establish a cannabis and hemp practice group, with leaders in Texas and California and some 45 attorneys stationed across the U.S., the firm announced this week.

Expert Analysis

  • Confronting Mental Distress In The Legal Profession

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    Even before the pandemic, troubling data about mental distress among lawyers pointed to a profession in crisis, but addressing the challenge requires a better understanding of the causes, says Jonathan Prokup at Cigna Corp.

  • Opinion

    Litigation Finance Investments Are Not Risk-Free Loans

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    The Ninth Circuit's certification order last week in Fast Trak v. Sax presents an important opportunity for the New York high court to affirm the consensus among courts — litigation finance transactions are not loans subject to usury laws, say Wendie Childress and William Marra at Validity Finance.

  • Opinion

    How White Privilege Helped Me Succeed In BigLaw

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    The white, male power structure has eased the path for lawyers like me for far too long, and we should now be responsible for dismantling this systemic bias within the legal industry, says Scott McLaughlin at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • Keys To A Thriving Biz Development Culture At Your Law Firm

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    As law firms continue to experience the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever that they reduce reliance on just a few rainmakers and foster a culture that makes business development a way of life for everyone — from junior associates to senior partners, says Elise Holtzman at The Lawyer's Edge.

  • How Video Mediation Can Help Us Serve Clients Better

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    Mediation in recent years has largely devolved into a kind of arbitration without due process — where a mediator reads briefs, decides where the case should settle, and drives parties toward that single-minded result — but online mediation can be steered in a different direction, says mediator Jeff Kichaven.

  • Mental Health Efforts Will Support Diversity In Legal Industry

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    The stigma of discussing mental health struggles during these tough times is especially profound for attorneys of racial and ethnic minorities, but law firms and in-house departments can change the narrative, says Patricia Silva at Lathrop.

  • Civility Could Be Litigators' New Normal Even Post-Pandemic

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    The past few months of lockdown have given rise to some profound patterns — litigators are more cooperative and less adversarial — and as the activities of courts and tribunals resume, lawyers should consider continuing to devote more time and resources to resolving disputes instead of fighting them out, says Matthew Vafidis at Holland & Knight.

  • Law Firms Must Beware Risks In Nontraditional Financing

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    Law firms in today's financial crisis may be looking at nontraditional arrangements such as portfolio funding or factoring to provide liquidity and cash support, but firms must first consider lawsuits brought against Pierce Bainbridge and other recent developments, says Katherine Toomey at Lewis Baach.

  • 2 Tested Alternatives To Unavoidable Court Delays

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    Those seeking resolution in commercial disputes that are stuck in an unavoidable but lengthy court backlog due to the pandemic must consider the advantages of arbitration and mediation over court proceedings, says former U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin now at Stroock.

  • Opinion

    Minn. Ruling Represents Sensible Stance On Legal Finance

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    The Minnesota Supreme Court's Maslowski v. Prospect Funding Partners decision this week reaffirms that the doctrine of champerty is archaic, impedes important litigation finance activity, and should be abolished in the handful of states where it remains alive, says Andrew Cohen at Burford Capital.

  • Best Practices For A Paperless Law Practice

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    A significant challenge in practicing law remotely is the use and handling of documents without paper, because common digital tools such as email or even secure file transfer applications are problematic, say attorneys at Baker McKenzie.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Must Address Racial Injustice With Radical Candor

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    The legal industry is uniquely positioned, and indeed obligated, to respond to the racial disparities made clear by the recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but lawyers must be willing to be uncomfortable, says Tiffani Lee at Holland & Knight.

  • How Lawyers Can Network Better, Virtually And In Person

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    The current decrease in formality and increase in common ground due to the work-from-home environment can make it easier to have a networking conversation, says Megan Burke Roudebush at Keepwith.

  • Practical Tips For Presenting Your Case To Litigation Funders

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    One mistake that attorneys commonly make when presenting a case to a third-party funder is focusing almost exclusively on liability and giving short shrift to the damages analysis — resulting in an aspirational damages estimate that falls apart under scrutiny, say Cindy Ahn and Justin Maleson at Longford Capital and Casey Grabenstein at Saul Ewing.

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

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