Wake Up Call: Allegations Against CEO Add to CBS Legal Quagmire

The CBS Corp. Television City studio complex in Los Angeles in 2017. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

• New sexual misconduct allegations against CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves complicate the already messy legal situation the network faces in a corporate control battle with Shari Redstone. The company, which hired Proskauer Rose to investigate allegations against anchor Charlie Rose last year, hasn’t said who will handle the new investigation into Moonves. (Bloomberg) (New Yorker)

• Cravath is said to be considering a move from its current headquarters in midtown Manhattan’s Worldwide Plaza in New York to more modern premises. (Bloomberg)

• Facebook got hit with a shareholder suit in New York Friday after its stock value plunged $100 billion the day before. (New York Law Journal) Meanwhile, a California federal judge appointed two lawyers to lead more than 30 class actions filed against the social media giant over Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of user data. (The Recorder)

• Purdue Pharma last week said it hired former Frito Lay GC Marc Kesselman to become its senior vice president and top lawyer. He will replace Marla Barton who only had the job since February. The company, which also hired a new board chairman, is among opioid makers and distributors facing more than 800 lawsuits over their alleged roles in creating an epidemic of addiction and overdoses. (Bloomberg)

• Fragomen, Buckley Sandler, and Littler Mendelson make up the top three in American Lawyer’s latest ranking of firms with the highest  percentage of female equity partners. (American Lawyer)

• New York-based Milbank, Sullivan & Cromwell, Washington-based Covington & Burling, and Cravath are among Big Law firms offering $190,000 salaries to first-year attorneys. A few boutiques are doing the same. (U.S. News & World Report)

• Most Big Law firms spend their summers wooing law students with lunches, parties, and other firm outings. This year Orrick tried something different: a hackathon in which six teams of summer associates brainstormed proposals to ease the transition from law school to Big Law. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Florida-based Holland & Knight said 12 lawyers joined its new Philadelphia office, bringing the total number of lawyers there to 24. The firm also added one lawyer each to its Los Angeles and New York offices. (Hklaw.com)

 

Kavanaugh Nomination

•  Brett Kavanaugh’s five summer associate positions at prestigious law firms included a stint at the firm then known as Pillsbury Madison & Sutro and came during his first year in law school in 1988. And other “tidbits” from responses by President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire. (SCOTUSblog)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Peter C. Wright spent 19 years at Dow, one of the world’s largest chemical makers, and once described himself in a court deposition as “the company’s dioxin lawyer.” Now he’s Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund toxic cleanup program. (New York Times)

• A federal court approved the formula for calculating fees for class counsel in a settlement worth at least $56 million over robocall violations. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Laterals, Moves

• Workplace law firm Jackson Lewis said management-side attorney Gillian P. Yee joined the firm’s Detroit office as a principal. She comes from Ogletree Deakins where she was a shareholder. (JacksonLewis.com)

• Southern California-based Buchalter announced the promotions of litigators Oren Bitan and Paul J. Fraidenburgh to shareholders. Bitan handles matters in the business, real estate, banking, receivership law, consumer product, and commercial litigation industries. Fraidenburgh focuses his practice on representing transportation industry clients in complex litigation and regulatory affairs. (Buchalter)

 

Legal Actions

• Marijuana is still illegal under federal law and, as a result, the cannabis industry businesses lack clarity over how their intellectual property rights will hold up if challenged in federal court. Nonetheless, U.S. pot businesses are racing to stake claims to patent and trademark protections. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Technology

• London-based Linklaters and Clyde & Co are the first international law firms to join a Singapore government program aimed at helping the legal community to adapt to technological change and innovation. (American Lawyer)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.