Wake Up Call: London’s Women Lawyers Step Toward Greater Gender Parity

• London’s women trial lawyers won a small but symbolic victory: access to the men’s locker room where barristers don black gowns and white wigs, and agreements are occasionally struck. While the change may seem minor, it comes just as the U.K. appointed a female Supreme Court president, a first in a field dominated at the top by men. (Bloomberg)

• Website host company, DreamHost is using an online litigation crowdfunding platform to help pay its legal costs in fighting a Justice Department warrant aimed at seizing records of everyone who visited a website that was used to organize protests during President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (The Recorder) Editorial: the Justice Department’s warrant may violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. (New York Times)

• BTI Consulting Group released a report on the 10 Big Law firms that are most likely to get “unprompted” recommendations by corporate counsel. (Above the Law)

• Litigation hasn’t been a strictly losing operation for Deutsche Bank AG. The bank, which has posted two consecutive annual losses amid rising misconduct fines, is said to have booked a surprise windfall of more than 100 million euros ($117 million) in the first half related to an out-of-court settlement with a former billionaire who had sued the bank’s wealth management unit. (Bloomberg via BLB) Why Deutsche Bank is at the mercy of regulators. A Q&A. (Bloomberg)

• DLA Piper restructured its Asia leadership, naming three senior lawyers to lead its operations in the region. (Asian Lawyer via Law.com)

• “Man, what a ride,” says Venable partner J. Douglas Baldridge, the lawyer behind Taylor Swift’s win in her sexual harassment suit against a disc jockey she accused of grabbing her butt in at a pre-concert meet-and-greet in 2013. (Daily Report)

• FedEx chose a new general counsel last week, as did the construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. Disney’s highly-compensated ($11.1 million a year) GC will stay on for two more years and two medical companies appointed top legal officers. And other highlights from from the GC world. (BLB)

 

Legal Market

• Has the name “Google” become too generic to warrant protection? A man has petitionied the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his bid to nullify Google’s trademark for its name. (Ars Technica)

• Uber Technologies Inc.’s co-founder Travis Kalanick fired back at investor Benchmark, saying its lawsuit seeking to oust him from the ride-hailing company’s board is based on “a fabrication” and accused the firm of threats and intimidation. (Bloomberg) Uber may be able to force a feud over price-fixing claims with a Connecticut customer into private arbitration, a New York appeals panel ruled Thursday in a victory for the company’s efforts to settle disputes out of court. (Bloomberg) Uber’s turbulent 2017 so far. (Recode)

• U.K. firm Slaughter and May plans to review its process for evaluating associates. (The Lawyer)

• As Johnson & Johnson fights product liability lawsuits and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaigns for tort reform, they have an unusually close and reciprocal litigation and lobbying strategy. For starters, John Beisner, chairman of the mass torts practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, works for both of them. (National Law Journal)

• The National Football League could pay a legal price for freezing out quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who, despite his impressive player stats, can’t find a job after he protested the treatment of minorities in the U.S. last season by refusing to stand for pregame national anthems. (The Recorder)

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• The ACLU is being accused of having “blood on its hands” after a 32-year-old woman was run over and killed by an alleged Nazi sympathizer amidst clashes in Charlottesville between white supremacists and leftists. The  ACLU successfully sued the city of Charlottesville to allow the rally by white supremacists. (Vox.com) The president of the American Federation of Teachers uged U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and 50 state attorneys general to do more to fight hatred and bigotry in response to the violence in Charlottesville. (LGBT Weekly)

• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dropped claims against two former JPMorgan Chase & Co. traders accused of hiding more than $6.2 billion in trading losses as part of the “London Whale’’ case. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• U.S. prosecutors are recommending a three-year prison term for the former Volkswagen AG engineer who was the first person charged in the automaker’s diesel-emissions cheating scandal, citing his cooperation as a reason not to give him the maximum five years. (Bloomberg)

 

 

The Trump Administration

• In the contentious age of Trump, the nonpartisan American Bar Association is struggling to find a political voice. (New York Law Journal)

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Limited liabilty companies can’t use special litigation committees to manage derivative claims, unless their use is expressly written into the LLC’s operating agreement, a Manhattan appeals court found last week in an important ruling. (New York Law Journal)

• Walter “Chet” Little, the former Bradley Arant Boult Cummings and Foley & Lardner partner accused of insider trading, pleaded not guilty to the charges in court last week, with a co-defendant in the criminal case. (Am Law Daily)

• Roy Moore has been forced off the Alabama Supreme Court twice for judicial ethics violations. And now he looks like likely to win an election to replace Jeff Sessions as a U.S. Senator. (Above the Law) (New York Times)

 

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Pioneering cloud-based firm FisherBroyles added three home-based lawyers in a merger with virtual firm Ntellect Law. (The Recorder)

 

Technology

• As Monsanto fights to keep its weedkiller glyphosate on the European market, the global agrichemical giant is questioning a U.N. agency’s scientific findings linking the product to cancer in humans. (Politico)

• Proposed U.K. privacy rules would make it easier for people to delete embarrassing or erroneous information about themselves online, expanding a “right to be forgotten.” But there are exceptions for official information like medical records and internet archives maintained by the British Library. (Bloomberg)

• The IRS appropriately used $106.4 million in funding designated for cybersecurity enhancements and identity theft prevention, the agency’s watchdog said. (Blooomberg BNA via BLB)

• Apple’s new iOS 11 mobile operating system could stoke the company’s disputes with law enforcement, as it has a feature that could help users keep police out of their iPhones. And other IT security news. (Wired)

• An American man was arrested for allegedly using a hobby drone to smuggle 13 pounds of meth from Mexico. (Gizmodo)

 

Legal Education

• A new ABA task force is considering critical issues facing legal education, such as falling LSAT scores, shrinking bar passage rates, and a tough job market for law school graduates. (Associations Now)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Gabe Friedman.

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