Wake Up Call: How Uber’s Law Department Kept Cops in the Dark

• Uber’s law department developed a tool, dubbed “Ripley,” that allowed the company to remotely lock down office computers during police raids, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Businessweek. Some say Uber’s use of that system to shield sensitive information, frustrating dozens of foreign raids into late 2016, may have constituted obstruction of justice. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• Apple Inc. may stand to get a tax boost of as much as $4 billion from a potential loophole in President Donald Trump’s hastily assembled tax overhaul, while Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. may also make out nicely, according to a Harvard Law School professor. He said Alphabet Inc., Amgen Inc., and General Electric Co. are among companies whose fiscal calendars keep them from getting the windfall. (Bloomberg)

• Former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon hired Quinn Emanuel partner William Burck, a former federal prosecutor, to represent him before the House Intelligence Committee investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. (BLB)

• Quinn Emanuel also landed Christopher Landau, a prominent U.S. Supreme Court and appellate advocate, who was previously at Kirkland & Ellis. Quinn Emanuel recently hired Alex Spiro, a noted criminal trial lawyer formerly with Brafman & Associates. (BLB)

• Quick note: Wake Up Call will be off Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but back to normal schedule on Tuesday.

 

 

Trump Administration

• Trump’s vulgar comments on immigration from certain countries prompted outrage, distracting attention from his rejection of a bipartisan deal to resolve an impasse over immigration. (Bloomberg) (Washington Post) (New York Times)

• A federal judge decided in favor of the Trump administration in the battle over leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but the fight goes on over who controls the agency. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• A shareholder lawsuit against top executives of Zillow Group Inc. could provide new signals about the direction of CFPB enforcement under Trump. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

Legal Market

• Perkins Coie advised in the acquisition of Seattle-based on-demand legal services group Avvo Inc. in media and software services company Internet Brands Inc. (American Lawyer)

• A coalition of five major movie studios, with Netflix and Amazon, filed a lawsuit against the maker of a streaming device that allegedly facilitates copyright infringement. (Bloomberg Law via BLB) Munger, Tolles & Olson is representing the coalition. (The Recorder)

• General Motor’s new self-driving Chevrolet Bolt gets rid of the steering wheel and pedals, and won’t allow a human driver to take over. (Bloomberg) Should human beings be able to take the wheel from self-driving cars? Policymakers nationwide are debating that question. (Bloomberg Law)

• Intel faces what appears to be its first shareholder suit in response to CEO Brian Krzanich’s stock sales and the subsequent revelation of the Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Sullivan & Cromwell Chairman H. Rodgin Cohen says it’s just a matter of time until U.S. regulators launch a sweeping response to bitcoin. (Bloomberg)

• Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. are facing heat from shareholders who say the companies need to do more to combat sexual harassment of women on their platforms. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Facebook said it’s making major changes to its flagship social network to fight fake news and other problems. (Bloomberg)

 

Law Firm Business

• Goodwin Proctor hired Bernard Guinyard to be its new head of diversity and inclusion. He spent five years in a similar role at Ropes & Gray. (American Lawyer)

• Recent moves, promotions and other news from intellectual property law firms and other IP-related organizations. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

 

Legislation

• The House voted Thursday to extend the government’s authority to spy on foreigners’ digital communications, hours after Trump sowed confusion over the bill with a tweet. (Bloomberg)

• The new federal tax on the investment income of universities with endowments of more than $500,000 per student flunks the First Amendment test, writes constitutional scholar Noah Feldman. (Bloomberg View)

 

Legal Actions

• The former head of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., Jeffrey Katzenberg, agreed to settle, for $3.5 million, an investors’ lawsuit over a side deal he made when Comcast Corp. bought DreamWorks in 2016. (Bloomberg)

• Centene Corp. rushed to fill the void when many bigger insurers gave up on Obamacare, but a lawsuit alleges that the fast-growing insurer’s coverage is less robust than advertised. (Bloomberg)

• Hewlett-Packard Co. is the latest major company to defeat a lawsuit by workers who say they lost out on retirement savings by investing in company stock. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• A London trader who was fired after arguing with her boss when he used her online chat account to do deals while she was at lunch is suing her former employer. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Russia Probes

• How did a Trump partner in a Manhattan real estate deal end up with toxic mining riches from Kazakhstan? The answer could come up in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• Republican Representative Devin Nunes has used his position as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to raise questions about government investigations into Trump-Russia ties. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

 

 

Technology

• Companies should prepare for the possibility that, after Brexit, they may not be able to rely on European Union approval of the U.K.’s privacy regime to legally transfer data from the EU to the U.K., the European Commission said. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• After the massive cyber attacks that hit Equifax Inc., Yahoo Inc., and Uber last year, data breaches remain a top concern for chief information security officers in 2018, according to a report. (Bloomberg Law)

• Who’s on the hook when companies lose employee data? An increasing number of legal battles across the country, one involving Coca-Cola, are trying to answer that question. The answer, so far, is it depends which court you’re in. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• A tech company linked to the hacking of the U.S. Democratic Party in a disputed dossier about Trump is selling its internet domain name, which happens to include the same three letters some traders use as shorthand for bitcoin. (Bloomberg)

• Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel made an offer to purchase some assets of Gawker Media LLC, the news and gossip site he helped bankrupt in 2016 by secretly funding a lawsuit, said a person familiar with the offer. (Bloomberg)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.