Wake Up Call: Lawyers Will Have Plenty to Do in 2018

• President Donald Trump and many Democrats and Republicans in Congress all enter the new year spoiling for a fight. That means lawyers will have their hands full, digging into unresolved issues of 2017 and new ones, from tax overhaul, to government spending and immigration. (Bloomberg Politics)

• President Trump’s lawyers are “telling him what he wants to hear” to keep him from firing Robert Mueller, journalist Carl Bernstein told CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’

“There are many times he has expressed, I’m told by people in the White House, the desire to fire Mueller, the desire to pardon people under investigation including his family,” he said. “His lawyers are telling him what he wants to hear — that’s what I’m told — by lawyers in the White House, they’re telling him what he wants to hear to keep him from acting precipitously and to go off and fire Mueller in a rage, or fire (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein in a rage. They have an out-of-control client.” (CNN)

• U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed papers on Dec. 28 indicating that it had reached a settlement with Joel Sanders, the ex-financial chief of now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf. In May, Sanders was convicted of scheming to defraud investors in his former firm and he was later ordered to pay $1 million and perform 750 hours of community service. The SEC papers address a civil case against Sanders over his handling of Dewey’s finances. (New York Law Journal)

• Recruiting firm Boston Executive Search Associates Inc. is suing New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, saying it owes more than $937,000 for its work placing a restructuring partner in 2017. (Complaint via Bloomberg Law) (New York Law Journal)

• The trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is slated for April, 2018, but the cartel kingpin’s lawyers are seeking to postpone the proceeding for at least four months, claiming they’re having a hard time getting paid and need more time to ensure a fair trial. (Vice News)

• DLA Piper co-chair Roger Meltzer is bullish on business prospects for law firms in 2018. He said that he expects a rise in corporate transactional work due to “very robust capital markets” and an increase in M&A, including in the middle market. (Law.com)