Wake Up Call: Crypto Startups Hire Ex-Cops, Regulators to Prepare for New Rules

• Crypto startups have hired former regulators, ex-prosecutors, national security officials, and other government authorities, a practice that could help them head off or prepare for stricter rules. (Bloomberg) The ways regulators plan to tame bitcoin. (Bloomberg)

• A new tax law provision intended to discourage the use of “hush money” in sexual harassment settlements could hurt harassment claimants as well as employers(Bloomberg Law)

• The SEC’s chief litigation counsel said the agency’s enforcement division is temporarily routing most of its contested enforcement to federal district courts rather than to its in-house administrative law judges until the U.S. Supreme Court resolves a controversy over those judges later this year. (Bloomberg Law)

 San Diego federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom President Donald Trump once accused of being biased against him because he’s “Mexican” and a “hater,” paved the way for construction of a section of Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S. southern border. (Bloomberg)

Trump’s allies created a new tax-exempt fund to cover legal expenses for administration officials and associates caught up in Russia probes led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and various congressional committees. (Bloomberg)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Ghadia said it’s “outrageous” that some companies including U.K. law firms Linklaters LLP, and Pinsent Mason, and accountantancy giant EY exclude their highest-paid partners when disclosing gender imbalances in staff pay. (BLB via Bloomberg)

• Holders of Noble Group Ltd.’s perpetual bonds hired law firm Latham & Watkins in their fight against the Hong Kong-based commodity trader’s $3.5 billion restructuring plan. (Bloomberg)

• An ex-Bryan Cave lawyer in New York who was convicted of fraud in the Maxim case has now been disbarred. (New York Law Journal)

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Mintz Levin said it expanded its technology practice with two hires from Morgan Lewis: William S. Perkins and Dinesh K. Melwani joined the firm as members in its corporate & securities section in Boston. (Mintz.com)

 

Guns

• Gun-rights advocates in Congress dug in Tuesday on their demand to expand the ability of individuals to carry concealed weapons across state lines as part of any legislation responding to this month’s massacre at a Florida high school, casting doubt on whether lawmakers will be able to pass any measure on firearms. (Bloomberg)

• Despite public outrage over the shooting, Wall Street analysts aren’t worried about the prospects of American Outdoor Brands Corp., the maker of the semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle used in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. (Bloomberg)

• How defective guns became the only product that can’t be recalled. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• The National Rifle Association sent FCC Chairman Ajit Pai a Kentucky handmade rifle but he said he doesn’t plan to use it. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Legal Actions

• In a win for Fox News, a Manhattan federal appeals court ruled that an online video-clip service can’t use material from traditional media companies free from federal copyright provisions. (Bloomberg)

• Google is fighting a businessman in a London court over whether people have the right to purge old convictions from online search results in the U.K.’s first so-called “right to be forgotten’’ trial. (Bloomberg)

• A California federal judge denied Wells Fargo & Co.’s request to dismiss a shareholder lawsuit triggered by the bank’s plummeting stock price after it admitted in 2016 to creating millions of fake accounts, starting the worst financial scandal in its modern history. (Bloomberg)

• Footwear maker Wolverine World Wide Inc. faces a batch of Michigan lawsuits related to its use of former Scotchgard chemicals that has also resulted in liability for 3M Co. (Bloomberg)

• The House passed legislation Tuesday intended to curb online sex trafficking, hours after the Justice Department objected that part of the measure may be unconstitutional. (Bloomberg)

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Deparment will seek reimbursement from Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson, and other opioid makers for tax dollars spent battling the public-health crisis linked to the pain-killing drugs. (Bloomberg)

• The U.S.’s main commodities regulator recently told its employees that they are allowed to invest in cryptocurrencies.  (Bloomberg)

• A federal auditor lost a whistleblower claim that a Department of Defense agency retaliated against him after he reported suspected misconduct, after a court agreed he would have been disciplined anyway for being insubordinate. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Russia Probes

With Robert Gates’ guilty plea in hand, Mueller now has a better view on the mystery of why Paul Manfort chose to become Trump’s unpaid campaign chairman even as he was having serious money problems. (Bloomberg)

• The U.S. government hasn’t done enough to deter Russia from using cyber and information operations to interfere again in American democracy, according to a spy chief in the Trump admnistration. (Bloomberg)

 

The Trump Administration

• Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser is said to have lost his top-level security clearance as part of a broader White House crackdown. (Bloomberg) The Washington Post reported that Kushner’s complex overseas business arrangements and business debts had raised concerns as foreign officials from at least four countries, including China, discussed ways to manipulate him. (Washington Post)

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Several U.S. Supreme Court justices expressed support for the government Tuesday in its fight with Microsoft Corp. over whether a decades-old law lets government investigators get digital information stored on overseas servers. (Bloomberg)

 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s disability benefit plan must pay $114,055 in attorneys’ fees and costs to a former employee who became disabled after she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, a federal judge ruled. (Bloomberg Law)

 A group of Enron Corp. investors can’t show UBS investment bank entities shared knowledge and acted together in a way that made them complicit in Enron’s 2001 fraud and collapse, a federal appeals court ruled. (Bloomberg Law)

• The Supreme Court overturned a ruling that had guaranteed periodic bond hearings, and the possibility of release, for thousands of foreigners who are being detained while facing deportation. (Bloomberg)

 • The Department of Homeland Security was hit by another adverse court order related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. (Bloomberg Law)

Technology

• Russian regulators have issued draft rules governing the use of biometric personal information, such as facial and voice recognition data, by banks and other companies to remotely identify individuals. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.