Wake Up Call: “Army of Lawyers” Ready to Back Possible SCOTUS Pick

UNITED STATES - MAY 09: Brett Kavanaugh testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be U. S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images)

• President Donald Trump is said to have talked to four federal appeals court judges as he vets potential replacements for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Amul Thapar, and Raymond Kethledge. White House Counsel Don McGahn is set to manage the nomination and confirmation fight for whomever Trump nominates next week. (Bloomberg)

• An “army” of Washington-based lawyers, former law clerks, and law students, is ready to back Kavanaugh if Trump picks him next week. Kavanaugh, a former Kennedy law clerk and White House lawyer for President George W. Bush, was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis. (National Law Journal) (Washington Post)

• The White House elevated two aides on trade and financial policy, former Venable partner Andrew Olmem, and Clete Willems, a former top U.S. trade attorney, to temporarily serve in top posts on the National Economic Council as disputes with the U.S.’s biggest trading partners heat up. (Bloomberg)

• Facebook, already under scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and regulators in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, says it’s now being probed by the FBI and SEC over the social network’s disclosures about the incident. (Bloomberg)

• Two veteran Brooklyn federal judges are hearing cases that could allow them to make the first move toward providing clearer rules for entrepreneurs using cyber-currencies, lawyers said. (Bloomberg Law)

• The National Collegiate Athletic Association must pay $40.8 million in attorneys’ fees for its work in an antitrust case involving former football and basketball athletes who challenged the NCAA’s practice of using their images for commercial purposes, a federal appeals court ruled. Law firms advising plaintiffs included Hausfeld; Boies Schiller; Venable, among others. Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila and Schiff Hardin advised the NCAA. (Bloomberg Law)

• Consumer electronics maker Maxell Ltd., represented by Mayer-Brown, won a $43 million patent infringement verdict against smartphone maker ZTE Corp. in a Texas federal court. (Texas Lawyer)

• Yelp Inc. can’t be forced by a state judge to remove a defamatory review of a law firm from its website, the California Supreme Court said. (Bloomberg)

• A former top appellate lawyer at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, Warren Postman, is switching sides to join plaintiff-side litigation boutique Keller Lenkner as a partner. (National Law Journal)

 

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Interpublic Group of Cos., one of the world’s largest advertising companies, agreed to acquire Acxiom Corp.’s marketing-services unit for $2.3 billion. Wilkie Farr & Gallagher said a team of its lawyers represented Interpublic Group.  (Bloomberg) (Nasdaq.com)

• Bradley Arant Boult Cummings said Amy Leopard, a partner in the firm’s Nashville office, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Health Lawyers Association. (Bradley.com)

• Arent Fox announced a firm-wide pro bono initiative to contribute to efforts to help reunite families who were separated at the southern U.S. border. (LawFuel.com)

• Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group, said it released “know-your-rights” materials in seven languages explaining the recent SCOTUS decision upholding the Trump Muslim travel ban. (MuslimAdvocates.org)

 

Laterals, Moves

• Carlton Fields said Miami litigator Justin Wales, chair of the firm’s blockchain and digital currency task force, was promoted to senior counsel. (CarltonFields.com)

• JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution services provider, said retired judge Peter Lauriat joined its Boston panel, coming off 29 years on the Massachusetts Superior Court. Before his appointment to the bench, he practiced law in Boston for 17 years. (JAMSadr.com)

• K&L Gates hired two energy lawyers in Houston, Texas, away from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, that firm’s last two lawyers in the city. (Texas Lawyer)

• Blank Rome said corporate finance lawyer Shadi Enos Jahangir joined the firm in L.A. as a partner in its finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy group and financial services industry team. Most recently she was a shareholder at Buchalter, and previously spent three years as an associate at Bingham McCutchen. (BlankRome.com)

 

Legal Actions

• Beam Suntory Inc., maker of Jim Beam whiskey, will pay nearly $8.2 million to settle SEC allegations its Indian subsidiary offered improper payments to gain a business advantage. (Bloomberg Law)

• State treasurers from California, Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are joining a push to persuade SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to uphold the agency’s longstanding position against mandatory shareholder arbitration clauses. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.