Wake Up Call: Former Shkreli Lawyer Convicted of Fraud

• With pharma bro Martin Shkreli in jail awaiting sentencing for his fraud conviction in August, his ex-lawyer, former Katten Muchin Rosenman partner Evan Greebel, may now also be facing jail time. A Manhattan jury yesterday found Greebel guilty of scheming with Shkreli to defraud a pharmaceutical firm of $11 million, when Greebel was outside counsel for the hedge-fund-manager-turned-drug-executive’s companies. (Bloomberg)

• The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’s owners are suing singer and songwriter Kid Rock for trademark infringement over his upcoming “Greatest Show on Earth” tour. The circus ended its nearly 150-year run in May 2017 but continues to license its trademarks for apparel, toys, and other products and services. (Bloomberg Law)

• Kmart Corp. will pay the government $32.3 million to put to rest claims its in-store pharmacies overbilled federal health-care programs for generic drugs, the Justice Department said. (Bloomberg Law)

• St. Louis is looking for payback after the NFL Rams football team left the city to return to Los Angeles in 2016. A judge gave a green light to a lawsuit by St. Louis city and county and the area’s convention and sports complex authority, which accuses the team’s billionaire owner and the National Football League of breach of contract and fraud over the move. (Bloomberg)

• Alabama Republican Roy Moore filed a lawsuit to block the state from certifying that Democrat Doug Jones won its special U.S. Senate election earlier this month. (Associated Press via Bloomberg)


Law Firm Business

• Quinn Emanuel’s new intellectual-property-focused office in Boston will handle traditional contractual disputes, competitor disputes, regulatory investigations, and other issues, said Patrick Curran, one of the three partners coming from Quinn Emanuel’s New York office to start the new Boston branch. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• U.K.-based Kennedys, which specializes in insurance law, has been grabbing lawyers leaving San Francisco firm Sedgwick, which is on the brink of closure. Now, Kennedys is making its latest move to expand in Latin America, signing an association deal in Puerto Rico with San Juan-based Colon & Colon, a boutique of four lawyers also focused on insurance. (American Lawyer)

• Law firms have made some progress on modernizing their billing systems, but they still have a long way to go, according to a recent report. (Inside Counsel)


Legal Market

• How will big retail companies’ inhouse legal teams prepare for changes in the fiercely competitive sector in 2018, such as M&A, product delivery, and other innovations, and corporate culture changes? Top inhouse counsel look at the year ahead. (Corporate Counsel)

• The Federal Communications Commission’s moves in 2017 to ease media ownership rules could lead to a surge of TV broadcasters consolidating stations and reshaping Americans’ access to local journalism. (Includes Podcast) (Bloomberg Law)

• The recently passed Trump tax overhaul has publicly traded partnerships–including private equity firms Apollo, Blackstone Group LP, and Carlyle Group LP–mulling whether to become corporations, to benefit from lower tax rates. (Bloomberg)


Legal Actions

• A Kentucky lawsuit accuses KKR & Co., Blackstone Group LP, and their founders of failing to deliver hedge-fund returns as advertised. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of state taxpayers and the Kentucky Retirement Systems’ pension plans by a group whose lawyers are advised by former Milberg Weiss Bershad & Shulman partner William Lerach, a now-disbarred class-action lawyer. (Bloomberg)


Regulators and Enforcement

• A policy that allows for halting of a union election if workers cry foul over their employer’s actions in the lead-up to voting could soon be revised by the National Labor Relations Board, which is set to return a Republican majority. (Bloomberg Law)

• As the Trump administration moves to loosen Obama-era pro-worker rules, the state of New York seems to be moving fast in the opposite direction. (Bloomberg Law)


Russia Probes

• President Trump has called former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn a “wonderful man,” but Trump’s lawyers are said to be ready to attack Flynn’s credibility if he gives evidence against the president or his senior aides to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election. (Washington Post)


Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• In a gripping wrench patent fight, an Illinois federal court threw out a jury’s verdict that Sears Holdings Corp. infringed a former business partner’s patents. (Bloomberg Law)

• A coalition of 11 mostly Republican-led states urged a federal appeals court to enforce Trump’s executive order punishing so-called sanctuary cities, which largely forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. (Bloomberg)



• Indian information technology outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. will have to defend itself at a U.S. trial over claims that it’s biased against American workers, a California federal judge ruled. (Bloomberg)

• U.S. and Canadian law firms and corporate legal departments look likely to increase spending on cybersecurity in 2018, according to a survey. (Legaltech News)

• With mutual assured destruction making nuclear warfare an unrealistic option, more nation states are fighting battles online rather than on physical battlefields and with malware replacing projectile weapons. (Bloomberg Law)


Legal Education

• Stanford Law grads had a 96 percent passage rate on the latest California bar exam in July, compared with the overall passage rate of 49.6 percent for first-time takers of the test at schools across the state.  How did grads of other schools fare? (Above the Law)



• William Graham, a former Williams & Connolly LLP lawyer and son of former Washington Post publisher Katharine “Kay” Graham, died on Dec. 20 in Los Angeles from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a report. (American Lawyer)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.