Wake Up Call: Dead Law Firm’s Estate Can’t Collect Fees, CA Court Says

• The estate of failed law firm California firm Heller Ehrman LLP has no claim on fees stemming from legal matters unfinished when the firm went out of business, the California Supreme Court ruled. The decision has been eagerly awaited by California law firms, especially those who had hired partners from bankrupt firms. (BLB) (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Related Cos.’ $25 billion Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s West Side sued a labor organization for the right to cut ties with a handful of unions that, it claims, have bilked it out of more than $100 million with inflated worker hours and other corrupt practices. (Bloomberg Law)

• Mine operators that don’t pay their safety and health fines could be forced to shut down and still pay their miners salaries until their penalties are paid, under a new federal mine policy. (Bloomberg Environment)

• Martin Shkreli should be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for defrauding investors in two hedge funds he operated and for scheming to hide his control of a drug company he founded, prosecutors said. (Bloomberg)

• President Donald Trump nominated Andrew Maunz, a senior litigation attorney at the Social Security Administration, to be a member and vice-chair of a panel aimed at protecting federal workers. (Bloomberg Law)

• The New York Stock Exchange and its sister markets were fined $14 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for a series of rule violations. (Bloomberg)

• Kirkland & Ellis’s support network for lawyers and their families is likely part of the firm’s long-term competitive goal, insiders said. (BLB)



 Lawyers and Law Firms

• Seyfarth Shaw said it appointed Chicago-based partner Steven R. Meier as chair of its corporate law department. He is also co-chair of its tax department. (Seyfarth)

Law firm Honigman said it established an academy in its downtown Detroit headquarters to provide local, public high school students with a broad overview of life at a corporate law firm, in partnership with the United Way, and TutorMate. (Honigman

• Lawyers can’t blog about a client-even when the information is already public-unless the client gives authorization, the American Bar Association’s latest ethics opinion says. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Locke Lord said Los Angeles partner Phillip Hosp was appointed by Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek to serve on the Pasadena Center Operating Company’s board of directors. (LockeLord)

• Lawyers and other highly paid professionals are eyeing a loophole in the new Trump tax law as a way to supersize their tax savings. (Bloomberg)


 Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

 Sidley Austin LLP said Marie Manley joined the firm as a London-based partner and leader of its life sciences team in the city. She was previously at Bristows LLP. (Sidley.com)

• BakerHostetler said it added a three-lawyer group to its privacy and data protection practice team in Atlanta, getting Janine Anthony Bowen, John Hutchins, and Christopher Wiech from LeClair Ryan. (Bakerlaw.com)

• Littler, the management-side labor and employment firm, said it added attorney Devjani Mishra as a shareholder in its New York office. She was previously executive director and global employment law counsel for Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Littler.com)


 Legal Market 

 • Maria Contreras-Sweet’s group is pulling out of its deal to buy the troubled Weinstein Co. film and TV studio after learning Weinstein’s liabilities were higher than the $225 million previously thought. (Bloomberg)



Legal Actions

• The Justice Department sued California over its immigrant sanctuary policies. (Bloomberg)

• Porn star Stormy Daniels claims her nondisclosure pact with Donald Trump about their purported affair isn’t valid because Trump never signed it. (Bloomberg)

• New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan filed a lawsuit over Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s plans to move the Los Angeles Clippers to a new home in Inglewood, California. (Bloomberg)

• The producer of the “Wolf of Wall Street” agreed to pay $60 million to settle claims it financed the movie with money siphoned from a Malaysian state investment fund. (Bloomberg)

U.S. bitcoin investors’ California class-action lawsuit potentially worth $1 billion could threaten Switzerland’s future as a launching pad for initial coin offerings. (Bloomberg)

• The 26-year-old entrepenur behind last year’s Freyre festival fiasco in the Bahamas is prison bound after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges. (Bloomberg via BLB)


 Labor Law

• Businesses will soon be able to self-report overtime and minimum wage violations and avoid litigation, under a new initiative  Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta unveiled at a congressional hearing yesterday. (Bloomberg Law)

• The National Labor Relations Board’s top attorney, Peter Robb, wants to work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to balance federal protection of offensive speech with workplace discrimination law prohibitions against harassment. (Bloomberg Law)

• Acosta and a bipartisan House group are pushing a legislative fix for the Labor Department’s tip-pooling controversy. (Bloomberg Law)


Regulators and Enforcement

• A FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary and an Ohio-based maintenance contractor are facing more than $200,000 in proposed safety fines after an accident at a power plant near Pittsburgh killed two workers and injured four. (Bloomberg Environment)

• Congressional Democrats want information on the side businesses of top aides of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. (Bloomberg Law)





The Trump Administration

• A top Republican fundraiser for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign learned last week that his email accounts had been hacked, sowing concerns that document leaks could roil another national U.S. election cycle. (Bloomberg)

• Trump comments notwithstanding, the U.S. is opening the door to allowing elephant hunters to bring tusks and other animal parts into the country as trophies. (Bloomberg Environment)





Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• A Maryland federal court’s ruling that the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was lawful increases chances the issue will wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Bloomberg Law)

• Two Indian reservation schools in South Dakota can’t move forward with their lawsuit accusing American United Life Insurance Co. of mishandling the schools’ 401(k) plans, a court ruled. (Bloomberg Law)




 BlackBerry Ltd. is suing Facebook Inc. for patent infringement. (Bloomberg)

• Yahoo agreed to pay $80 million to settle a securities fraud suit. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • Former Anonymous hacker Hector Monsegur avoided a long prison sentence by cooperating with the government, and today he has a successful cybersecurity career. But he’s haunted by the past. (Bloomberg)



Legal Education

• A federal judge held the Law School Admission Council in civil contempt for violating court-ordered rules meant to help disabled test takers gain accommodations on the council’s Law School Admission Test. (The Recorder)

• Growing up in the Navajo Nation, Ethel Branch had a lot of questions about injustices she saw. That spurred her to study law, and eventually to become the Navajo nation’s attorney general. (Harvard Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor/Casey Sullivan.