Wake Up Call: LGBT Groups Vow to Sue Over Trump Transgender Ban

• President Donald Trump tweeted that he will ban transgender people from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. military, reversing a decision by former President Obama. (Bloomberg) The ban is “doomed” in the courts, writes Harvard legal scholar Noah Feldman, as several civil rights and LGBT organizations said they are ready to sue to block it. (Bloomberg ViewNewsweek) Advocacy group GLAAD called Trump’s announcement the fruit of lobbying by anti-LGBTQ organizations. (LGBT Weekly) A 2016 Rand Corporation study shows the ban may affect a small percentage of the 1.3 million active duty service members currently enlisted. (ABC News)

• Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick hired former San Francisco U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and corporate criminal defense lawyer Walt Brown, both at Orrick, to represent him as the ride-hailing giant heads toward a trial in Waymo’s trade-secrets lawsuit over driverless technology. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Waymo claims Uber had an accomplice in the theft of invaluable driverless technology trade secrets–the ride-hailing giant’s own lawyers at San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster. (Bloomberg via BLB) Three key legal developments happening now will contribute to determining who owns the rights to technology underpinning a driverless car market that could be one day be worth trillions of dollars. (Legaltech News)

• U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said in New Zealand that he thinks rapidly advancing technology poses one of the biggest challenges for the high court, and that the court’s confirmation process has become too politicized. (Associated Press via Bloomberg) Among his concerns, technology that allows police to “see through walls,” which Justice Neil Gorsuch has also said raises Constitutional questions. (National Law Journal)


Law Firm Business

• Portland, Oregon-based firm Stoel Rives said it is laying off 17 administrative staff in a “proactive modernizing” of the firm, which employs about 800 people. (Am Law Daily)

• The massive Wells Fargo customer data breach was due to an outside lawyer’s eDisovery error, according to an affidavit by the New York-based principal at law firm Bressler, Amery & Ross. (New York Law Journal)

• Merger activity is running at a record pace for U.S. law firms, driven by cross-border tie-ups. (Am Law Daily)

• Baker McKenzie’s new managing partner for its home office in Chicago, Regine Corrado, is a former part-time lawyer who advocates for parental leave policy. Now a partner in the firm’s corporate and securities group, Corrado says she takes being a role model for younger female lawyers “very seriously.” (Am Law Daily)

• Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s joint managing partner Chris Pugh is leaving that role less than half way into his five-year term, returning to his disputes practice at the London-based firm, which is overhauling its management. (Legal Week)






The Trump Administration

• Courts have assumed that a president has virtually unlimited power to pardon anyone for a federal crime, but the question of a president’s power to pardon himself has never been seriously discussed. (Daily Beast)

• The Justice Department’s argument that Trump’s business activity while in office does not violate the Constitution’s emoluments clause is “fragile” and “symptomatic of a weak grasp of American constitutional history in general,” argues a study by a Georgetown University Law Center associate dean. (National Law Journal)

• Republican Trey Gowdy acted behind closed doors like a “second attorney” on the defense team for Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, during questioning Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee, said the top Democrat on the panel. Kushner is represented by Abbe Lowell, a leading criminal defense lawyer. (Bloomberg)



Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Prosecutors wrapped up their fraud case against Martin Shkreli after weeks of testimony that depicted the Retrophin Inc. co-founder as a Ponzi schemer who stole money from his hedge-fund investors to launch his drug company. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Why the European Union’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the EU, is a key Brexit battleground. A Q&A. (Bloomberg)

•  New York Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam committed suicide by drowning herself, New  York City’s medical examiner official said in an official statement, three months after the judge’s body was found in the Hudson. (New York Daily News)




Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Cozen O’Connor continued expansion of its real estate practice group, hiring Francis “Frank” Halm as a member in its Minneapolis office. With about 30 years experience handling real estate matters, Halm, who comes over from Nebraska-founded Kutak Rock, will advise on operation and management of commercial real estate, corporate governance, and litigation, and continue to represent international and national real estate companies, among other matters. (Cozen.com)

• Morgan Lewis said it hired intellectual property litigator Shaobin Zhu as a partner for its Shanghai office.  Zhu’s LinkedIn page indicates he was previously a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, where he spent nine years. (Morgan Lewis) (LinkedIn)

• Jones Day added two partners for its labor and employment practice, getting Amanda Sommerfeld from Winston & Strawn for its Los Angeles office, and Dorsey & Whitney partner Joseph Hammell for its year-old office in Minneapolis. (Am Law Daily)

• U.K. elite firm Linklaters hired Christopher Kellett for its private equity practice in Germany, months after Kellet retired from Clifford Chance, for which he was head of private equity in Frankfurt. (The Lawyer)





• More public companies described “cybersecurity” as a risk in their financial disclosures in the first half of 2017 than in all of 2016, suggesting that board and C-suite fears over data breaches may be escalating. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• In a warning aimed at cryptocurrency startup fundaisers, the SEC said regulations that apply to investments such as stocks also apply to some initial coin offerings, which have used to raise more than $1 billion this year. (Wired) What’s next for cryptocurrencies? (Bloomberg)

• Greenberg Traurig shareholder Flora Perez led a legal team advising Pennsylvania-based BioTelemetry Inc., which specializes in cardiac monitoring tech, in its $280 million acquisitiom of Switzerland’s LifeWatch AG, a health care technology company. (Legal Intelligencer)

• An advocacy group urged the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether Verizon Wireless violated net neutrality rules by slowing down Netflix and YouTube videos on its mobile network. (Ars Technica)

• Victims of ransomware attacks paid out $25 million in the last two years, according to a report by Google, Chainalysis, UC San Diego, and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. (The Verge)


Legal Education

• First-year enrollment of Asian Americans at U.S. law schools is down 40 percent since 2009, according to a recent study from Yale Law School and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. (HuffPost)



• Comedian James Corden’s musical take on Trump’s ban of transgenders in the military. (Mashable)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.