Wake Up Call: Manafort Could Face As Much as 20 Years, Mueller Says

• President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who pleaded “not guilty” yesterday to fraud, money laundering, and other charges stemming from the Russia probe, could be sentenced to almost 20 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines if convicted, special counsel Robert Mueller said. (Bloomberg)

• Jeff Sessions defended his work as U.S. attorney general after Trump assailed him for not ordering the Justice Department to investigate the agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in its Russia probe. (Bloomberg)

• For labor and employment practitioners, Illinois federal judge Robert W. Gettleman may be best known for his ruling dismissing Illinois state employees’ lawsuit in Janus v. AFSCME, the high-profile case over the fate of mandatory public sector union fees. Read the latest Know Your Judge column. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 • Months after the huge Equifax hack, two SEC commissioners expressed disappointment that the agency didn’t break new ground with its new interpretive guidance for public companies preparing disclosures about cybersecurity risks and incidents. One commissioner called the new recommendations mostly a “rehash” of 2011 guidance, and she made suggestions for improvements. (Bloomberg Law)

• Expanding a crackdown on fraudulent initial coin offerings, the SEC has subpoenaed firms it suspects of violating securities laws. (Bloomberg)

 

Russia Probes

• Mueller is said to be interested in a period of weeks last summer when Trump seemed set on pushing Sessions out of his job. (Washington Post)

• Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s longest serving advisers, will resign, the White House said a day after she testified to congressional investigators probing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. (Bloomberg) During the session, Hicks reportedly said she told “white lies” for Trump, and she criticized Paul Manafort. (Bloomberg)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Forty-two percent of women working in law firms have been subjected to sexual harassment, according to a survey of 1,000 lawyers and business services staff working in U.K. top 100 firms. (The Lawyer)

• Sovereign debt lawsuits have become larger, less likely to be settled early, while law firms representing sovereign defaulters are getting smarter as they accumulate experience in similar cases, according to a recent paper. (Bloomberg)

• Tarter Krinsky & Drogin said it launched a new corporate investigations practice headed by veteran New York-based litigation partner Anthony Dougherty, a certified fraud examiner. (Tarterkrinsky.com)

• King & Spalding said it expanded its intellectual property bench in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area by hiring IP litigator Thomas Friel as a partner in its Palo Alto and San Francisco offices. Friel was previously a partner with Cooley, where he lead its IP litigation group. (KSLaw.com)

 Cozen O’Connor said a longtime prosecutor with the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, Michael J. Stackow, joined the firm’s institutional response group as counsel based in Philadelphia. (Cozen.com

 

 Guns

Trump stunned lawmakers from both parties yesterday by endorsing comprehensive legislation to expand background checks, raise the age limit for purchasing some firearms and keep the mentally ill from obtaining weapons. (Bloomberg)

• Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said it would end sales of assault-style rifles, while Dick’s and Walmart both said they would make the minimum age for gun purchases 21. (Bloomberg)

• YouTube’s new moderators, brought in to spot fake, misleading, and extreme videos, stumbled in one of their first major tests, mistakenly removing some clips and channels from right-wing, pro-gun groups. (Bloomberg)

• A social studies teacher barricaded himself inside a classroom at a Georgia high school on Wednesday and fired a handgun, sending students running outside or causing them to hunker down in darkened gym locker rooms. (Associated Press via Bloomberg)

 

Legal Market

• Bank of America Corp. dismissed two staffers for holding back information as it examined a complaint of inappropriate sexual conduct by Omeed Malik, a former prime brokerage executive. Malik is represented by Mark Lerner of Kasowitz Benson Torres. (Bloomberg)

• The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office was for decades seen as relatively toothless, but it has had some big recent successes against corporate wrongdoers. But with Brexit talks going poorly, some in the U.K. government say that crackdown is especially inconvenient. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• Provisions in the new Trump tax law will likely spur factories to increasingly replace workers with automation. But tax incentives and credits could spur companies to hire humans, said Robert Kovacev, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Video. (Bloomberg Tax

• Trump’s tax law has international tax advisers wrapping their heads in cold towels to figure out what the reforms mean for how the U.S. taxes transactions with the rest of the world. (Bloomberg Tax)

 

 Legal Actions

• Federal prosecutors looking into bribery at the highest levels of college basketball said recent leaks of court documents detailing payments to players could endanger their investigation. (Bloomberg)

• The drug distributor McKesson Corp. filed papers in Oklahoma state court Feb. 27 seeking to get the Cherokee Nation’s lawsuit against it moved to federal court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma. (Bloomberg Law)

 • A federal lawsuit says the president of a private Baptist college in Louisiana refused to okay the hire of a football coach because of what he called the applicant’s “Jewish blood.” (Associated Press)

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• Programs helping companies comply with workplace safety regulations offer the most effective worker protection while not unduly harming businesses, said House Republicans. (Bloomberg Law)

• Alabama recently joined the growing list of states that impose taxes or fees on the ride fairs of Uber and other transportation network companies. (Bloomberg Law)

• Two Los Angeles doctors allegedly used fraudulent studies to persuade people to get Lap-Band surgery for weight loss and duped insurers into helping to pay the bills in what U.S. prosecutors called a $250 million scheme. (Bloomberg)

 

 

The Trump Administration

• More than 30 aides to Trump lost their access to top secret intelligence. (Bloomberg)

• New York’s banking regulator has asked Deutsche Bank AG and a pair of local lenders to provide information about their relationships with Jared Kushner, his family and the Kushner Cos. (Bloomberg)

 

 Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• A remorseful Martin Shkreli promised the judge who’s going to sentence him next week that he’ll be “more careful, open and honest” if she doesn’t impose a long prison term on him. (Bloomberg

• The U.S. Supreme Court appears divided on the right of people to wear “Make America Great Again” hats or #metoo buttons when they vote. (Bloomberg)

• A woman who alleges she was rejected for full-time employment by Southern New Hampshire University because she was pregnant can go forward with her pregnancy bias lawsuit against the school, a federal judge ruled. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.