Wake Up Call: Judge Okays Facebook Photo-Scanning Case Seeking Billions

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

• Facebook could potentially be on the hook for billions of dollars in damages after a federal judge allowed millions of the social network’s users to proceed with claims that its photo-scanning technology violated an Illinois law by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent. (Bloomberg) Facebook is represented by Mayer Brown, while Jay Edelson of Edelson PC, and Shawn Williams of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd are representing plaintiffs. (The Recorder)

• The U.S. Supreme Court is due to hear arguments today in the “Wayfair” case, which could force online retailers to collect potentially billions of dollars in sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence. A tax lawyer at international law firm Rimon Law P.C. says in an amicus brief that the case could also prove a nightmare for Big Law firms, accounting firms, and other multistate service providers. (National Law Journal) A primer to “the tax case of the millenium.” (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he is leaving global giant Dentons and is talking to other global firms as he seeks “a new relationship.” (Law.com)

 • With less than a year to go to Brexit, business leaders are rejecting an effort by a group of U.K. lawmakers to engineer a second referendum on the subject. Paul Hardy, Brexit director at law firm DLA Piper, says businesses want “commercial predictability,” not politics. (Bloomberg)

• After an afternoon of pitched arguments over who should have the right to vet documents seized from President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, a federal judge in New York delayed a decision on whether to appoint an impartial “special master” to conduct the review. (Bloomberg) Cohen’s three recent clients included Fox News star Sean Hannity. (Bloomberg)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• L.A.-based Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton is the latest big firm to enter the Texas market, opening a new Dallas office with 18 lawyers, including 10 partners from six firms. (Texas Lawyer)

 • A Texas attorney may be able to recover millions of dollars in unpaid fees even though the oral agreements he entered into with his Gibson Dunn-represented client are unenforceable under Texas law, the Texas Supreme Court said. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

 Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Chicago-based litigation finance company Longford Capital said litigator Justin A. Maleson joined the firm as a director, coming from Jenner & Block, where he was a partner. (Longfordcapital.com)

Holland & Knight said Salvador Fonseca González joined the firm as a partner to head the firm’s litigation and arbitration practice in Mexico City. He was formerly head of the litigation and arbitration practice in Baker McKenzie’s Mexico City office. (Hklaw.com

• Cooley said it’s expanding its global specialist insurance & reinsurance practice with two East Coast-based counsels: Heidi Lawson as of counsel in Boston and Greg Hoffnagle as special counsel in New York. Both were members at Mintz Levin. (Cooley.com)

• Sideman & Bancroft said it hired tax attorney Travis W. Thompson for its tax and criminal defense group as an associate in San Francisco. He was previously at local firm William E. Taggart, Jr. APC. (Sideman.com)

• Michael Best & Friedrich LLP said veteran IP litigator Shane A. Brunner joined the firm’s litigation practice group as partner in Madison, Wisconsin. Brunner’s Linkedin page says the former Jenner & Block associate spent nine years as a partner at Merchant & Gould after leaving Michael Best in 2009, where’d been a partner over seven years. (MichaelBest.com)

• JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution services provider, said retired U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California Jay C. Gandhi is joining its panel in Los Angeles. (JAMSadr)

 

 Legal Actions

• A London appeals court is due to hear a high stakes fight between U.K. retailers and Visa and Mastercard. (Bloomberg)

• The former owners of a closed Kentucky printing facility, represented by Jackson Lewis, agreed to pay more than $625,000 to settle allegations by the U.S. government of systemic sex discrimination against women. (Bloomberg Law)

• New York University is the first of 18 prominent colleges to defend its retirement plans at trial, in a case that could shape how the remaining cases proceed. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

 Technology

 • An ex-UBS trader accused of ripping off traders by “spoofing” their high-speed computer algorithms is fighting U.S. fraud charges. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Legal Education

• A recent American Bar Association committee recommendation could mean the end of the LSAT’s status as the only standardized test accepted for ABA-accredited law school admissions. (The Recorder)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.