California Pulse

  • Ex-Calif. School Official Cops To Stealing $16M From District

    A former public school official pled guilty Thursday to embezzling $15.9 million from a Southern California school district that primarily educates students who are economically disadvantaged, according to federal prosecutors, who say the official spent the money on designer bags, expensive tequila and a house, among other things.

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    USC Law School Names Election Expert As 1st Black Dean

    The University of Southern California's Gould School of Law has tapped Franita Tolson to serve as its new dean, making her the first Black person and second woman to lead the school. 

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    Littler Announces New Affinity Group Leadership

    Management-side employment firm Littler Mendelson PC announced new co-chairs for its Bollo affinity group serving Black, African American, African and Caribbean attorneys and their allies on Tuesday.

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    Polsinelli Brings On Ex-Nelson Hardiman Healthcare Pro In LA

    Polsinelli PC announced on Thursday the hiring of a former partner at Nelson Hardiman LLP as a shareholder in its healthcare litigation and disputes practice out of its Los Angeles office.

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    Bankruptcy Partner Joins Saul Ewing In LA From Danning Gill

    Saul Ewing LLP has picked up a complex business bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency partner for its Los Angeles office who spent much of his legal career with Danning Gill Israel & Krasnoff LLP.

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    In Their Words: Founders On Being A Woman In Legal Tech

    Recently, the legal tech community was rocked by a LinkedIn post detailing sexual harassment claims by anonymous women attending industry conferences. Law360 Pulse spoke with five women founders about their work experiences and finding support from other women in the industry.

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    Law Firm Real Estate Report

    Recent announcements from Sidley Austin LLP and Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC about plans to move their offices in Dallas and Pittsburgh, respectively, were among the biggest real estate moves for law firms in March.

  • Sedgwick Trustee's Valuation Of Firm Flawed, Judge Told

    An accounting expert hired by two ex-partners fighting the Sedgwick LLP trustee's bid to claw back $1.1 million testified at the close of a three-day California bench trial Wednesday that the trustee expert's valuation analysis is "materially flawed" and took a "sledgehammer" to the law firm's book value.

  • Calif. Judge Decries DOJ's Broken Promises In Travel Ban Suit

    A California federal judge reprimanded U.S. Department of Justice attorneys for causing delays, breaking promises and hobbling the administration of justice while granting class certification to individuals who sought waivers to former President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting mostly Muslim-majority countries.

  • Eastman Should Be Disbarred, Calif. State Bar Judge Rules

    A State Bar Court of California judge on Wednesday recommended disbarring Donald Trump's onetime attorney John Eastman, who helped plan and promote the former president's strategy to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

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    How GCs Can Leverage AI And Mitigate Risks

    Experts at a cybersecurity summit for in-house counsel this week agreed that the best governance strategies for using artificial intelligence should balance the company's business and ethical culture with its tolerance for risk.

  • Calif. Rail Biz Attys Face DQ Bid Over Bad Faith, Info Breach

    A Black engineer accusing Pacific Harbor Line of workplace racial bias has urged a California federal judge to bar Buchannan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP from representing the railroad company, citing a sanctions bid against his counsel that had "no evidentiary basis" and "improper" communication with a paralegal for the engineer's legal team.

  • 3 Firms Vie To Lead Instacart Pre-IPO Action

    Levi & Korsinsky LLP, Pomerantz LLP and The Rosen Law Firm PA have each asked a California federal judge to lead a securities lawsuit against grocery delivery company Instacart for allegedly misrepresenting its growth potential in the lead-up to its initial public offering.

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    BigLaw Is Greater Part Of Litigation Funding Industry 'In Flux'

    The litigation funding industry is entering an era of "consolidation" and "shakeout" after years of rapid growth, exemplified by the fact that BigLaw firms made up a bigger slice of the industry's customer base than ever last year, even as the total value of new deals fell, according to a new report.

  • Misconduct In 'Fat Leonard' Case Sinks 3 More Guilty Pleas

    Alleged prosecutorial misconduct has set up three more defendants charged in relation to the U.S. Navy's "Fat Leonard" scandal to yank their original guilty pleas so they can plead guilty to much less serious charges.

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    Mitchell Silberberg Names DEI, Talent Development Director

    Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP announced Tuesday that it has appointed an experienced civil rights attorney and diversity, equity and inclusion consultant as the firm's first director of DEI and talent development.

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    Lateral Hiring Plummets As Post-COVID Talent Wars Cease

    Lateral lawyer hiring plummeted 35% overall in 2023 — marking the second consecutive annual decline and the softest market in 13 years, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association for Law Placement.

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    Willenken Names New Managing Partner

    Los Angeles trial boutique Willenken LLP announced Tuesday that it has tapped a new managing partner, litigator Kenneth Trujillo-Jamison, to lead the firm beginning January 2025.

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    By The Numbers: Diversity Of California Attorneys Grows

    Female and minority attorneys have made big gains in California over the past few decades, but white attorneys still make up nearly two-thirds of all lawyers in the highly diverse Golden State, according to a new report by the State Bar of California.

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    How Senior Associates Can Build Their Books Of Business

    As associates grow into their positions, there can come a point at which they realize that mastering the art of the legal brief or the deposition is not enough: They also need to learn how to attract and retain clients.

  • Indicted Exec Wants Suit Tossed For Prosecutors' Misconduct

    A former healthcare CEO indicted on novel insider trading charges is trying once again to have the case tossed from California federal court, this time accusing prosecutors of improperly contacting a represented party in a separate but related civil case, weeks after a previous attempt to duck the charges failed.

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    Meet The Calif. Atty Taking On Health Insurers' Use Of AI

    With the health insurance industry under scrutiny over its use of algorithms and artificial intelligence in the patient coverage review process, California appellate attorney Glenn Danas saw an opening for litigation with what he calls a "high outrage factor."

  • Girardi Fraud Trial Moved To Aug. 6

    A California federal judge has agreed to postpone disgraced California plaintiffs attorney Tom Girardi's trial to Aug. 6, setting the proceedings to begin 16 months later than originally required at the outset of the case.

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    Calif. Atty Tapped To Be RFK Jr.'s Running Mate

    Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced Tuesday that a Silicon Valley lawyer will be his running mate as the pair make a longshot bid for the White House this year.

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    K&L Gates Consumer Products Chair Joins Venable In LA

    Venable LLP said Monday that the co-chair of K&L Gates LLP's commercial litigation practice and chair of its consumer products and beauty and wellness practice groups has joined the firm's Los Angeles office as a partner.

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Expert Analysis

  • Confronting The Stigma Of Alcohol Abuse In Legal Industry Author Photo

    The pandemic has likely exacerbated the prevalence of problem drinking in the legal profession, making it critical for lawyers and educators to address alcohol abuse and the associated stigma through issue-specific education, supportive assistance and alcohol-free professional events, says Erica Grigg at the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Have Duty To Push For Immigration Court Reform Author Photo

    Attorneys must use their collective voice to urge federal lawmakers to create an Article I immigration court outside executive branch control, helping address the conflicts of interest, political influence and lack of adjudication consistency that prevent migrants from achieving true justice, say Elia Diaz-Yaeger and Carlos Bollar at the Hispanic National Bar Association.

  • Series

    ​​​​​​​Ask A Mentor: How Can 1st-Year Attys Manage Remote Work? Author Photo

    First-year associates can have a hard time building relationships with colleagues, setting boundaries and prioritizing work-life balance in a remote work environment, so they must be sure to lean on their firms' support systems and practice good time management, say Jenny Lee and Christopher Fernandez at Kirkland.

  • 5 Ways To Lead Lawyer Teams Toward Better Mental Health Author Photo

    Attorney team leaders have a duty to attend to the mental well-being of their subordinates with intention, thought and candor — starting with ensuring their own mental health is in order, says Liam Montgomery at Williams & Connolly.

  • How Your Summer Associate Events Can Convey Inclusivity Author Photo

    As law firms begin planning next year's summer associate events, they should carefully examine how choice of venue, activity, theme, attendees and formality can create feelings of exclusion for minority associates, and consider changing the status quo to create multiculturally inclusive events, says Sharon Jones at Jones Diversity.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Negotiate Long-Term Flex Work? Author Photo

    Though the pandemic has shown the value of remote work, many firms are still reluctant to embrace flexible working arrangements when offices reopen, so attorneys should use several negotiating tactics to secure a long-term remote or hybrid work setup that also protects their potential for career advancement, says Elaine Spector at Harrity & Harrity.

  • What I Wish Law Schools Taught Women About Legal Careers Author Photo

    Instead of spending an entire semester on 19th century hunting rights, I wish law schools would facilitate honest discussions about what it’s like to navigate life as an attorney, woman and mother, and offer lessons on business marketing that transcend golf outings and social mixers, says Daphne Delvaux at Gruenberg Law.

  • 4 Ways To Break Down Barriers For Women Of Color In Law Author Photo

    Female lawyers belonging to minority groups continue to be paid less and promoted less than their male counterparts, so law firms and corporate legal departments must stop treating women as a monolithic group and create initiatives that address the unique barriers women of color face, say Daphne Turpin Forbes at Microsoft and Linda Chanow at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

  • Opinion

    We Need More Professional Diversity In The Federal Judiciary Author Photo

    With the current overrepresentation of former corporate lawyers on the federal bench, the Biden administration must prioritize professional diversity in judicial nominations and consider lawyers who have represented workers, consumers and patients, says Navan Ward, president of the American Association for Justice.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Retire Without Creating Chaos? Author Photo

    Retired attorney Vernon Winters explains how lawyers can thoughtfully transition into retirement while protecting their firms’ interests and allaying clients' fears, with varying approaches that turn on the nature of one's practice, client relationships and law firm management.

  • Why I Went From Litigator To Law Firm Diversity Officer Author Photo

    Narges Kakalia at Mintz recounts her journey from litigation partner to director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the firm, explaining how the challenges she faced as a female lawyer of color shaped her transition and why attorneys’ unique skill sets make them well suited for diversity leadership roles.

  • For Asian American Lawyers, Good Mentorship Is Crucial Author Photo

    Navigating the legal world as an Asian American lawyer comes with unique challenges — from cultural stereotypes to a perceived lack of leadership skills — but finding good mentors and treating mentorship as a two-way street can help junior lawyers overcome some of the hurdles and excel, say attorneys at Paul Weiss.

  • Coping With Secondary Trauma From Pro Bono Work Author Photo

    As the need for pro bono services continues to grow in tandem with the pandemic, attorneys should assess their mental well-being and look for symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, while law firms must carefully manage their public service programs and provide robust mental health services to employees, says William Silverman at Proskauer.

  • How Firms Can Benefit From Creating Their Own ALSPs Author Photo

    As more law firms develop their own legal services centers to serve as both a source of flexible personnel and technological innovation, they can further enhance the effectiveness by fostering a consistent and cohesive team and allowing for experimentation with new technologies from an established baseline, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

  • Modernizing Legal Education Through Hybrid JD Programs Author Photo

    Amid pandemic-era shifts in education, law schools and other stakeholders should consider the wide geographic and demographic reach of Juris Doctor programs with both online and in-person learning options, and educators should think through the various ways hybrid programs can be structured, says Stephen Burnett at All Campus.

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