Wake Up Call: N.J. Firm Accused of Using Google AdWords to Divert Clients

• New Jersey law firm Helmer, Conley & Kasselman is suing another firm for allegedly using Google AdWords to hijack potential clients. Yesterday, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to block the alleged practices by two-lawyer firm Hark & Hark. (New Jersey Law Journal)

• Latest shot in the associate-pay wars: New York IP-litigation boutique founded by ex-Kirkland partner John Desmarais said it will pay first-year associates $210,000. That’s $20,000 better than the standard set by Cravath. (New York Law Journal)

• 21st Century Fox Inc. and its Cleary Gottlieb lawyers decided that Comcast Corp.’s offer for Fox’s entertainment assets would stir up more antitrust risks than Walt Disney Co.’s improved $71.3 billion deal, which Fox ended up accepting, according to a filing. (Bloomberg)

• Baker McKenzie has the top law firm brand in the Asia Pacific region for the second-straight year in Acritas’ latest survey. King Wood & Mallesons was second, and Herbert Smith Freehills came in third. (Acritas)

• The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision yesterday affirming the Trump Muslim travel ban is a big win for the president. (Bloomberg) A blistering dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor used the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop decision to accuse the majority of hypocrisy when it comes to hostility towards religion. (Bloomberg Law) Meanwhile, Justice Thomas took the opportunity to highlight the dangers of “nationwide injunctions” issued by district courts. (Bloomberg Law)

• A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite immigrant children who were separated from their families at U.S. border crossings, and to refrain from detaining parents without their children. (Bloomberg)

• Sidley Austin said a group of its lawyers are representing mothers who came to the U.S. seeking asylum and were separated from their children. (Sidley.com)

 

Uber Court Cases

• London’s 45,000 Uber drivers can breathe easier after a London judge granted the ride-hailing company a 15-month probationary license to keep operating in the city. (Bloomberg) In a California federal court, Uber’s Shook, Hardy & Bacon lawyers fought off a bid by a proposed class of Lyft Inc. drivers suing for profits they allegedly lost because of Uber’s use of spyware to snoop on rivals. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Uber, advised by Morgan Lewis, had its arbitration clause shot down by a federal appeals court, which said the clause isn’t conspicuous on the app, and customers weren’t reasonably notified of the agreement’s terms. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Sex harassment, including unwelcome texts, physical contact, and bullying, exists at big and small law firms, a survey of mostly female lawyers in Massachusetts shows. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Sedgwick, which closed down in January, could be on the hook for over $450,000 in a dispute with its former Chicago landlord. (The Recorder)

• Today’s Bloomberg Law In-House Forum in San Francisco, looking at challenges facing corporate counsel, will be kicked off by Uber CLO Tony West and feature speakers including Lyft’s corporate and commercial counsel, Whitney Hudak, and Alex Feerst, head of legal at blogging site Medium, among others. (BLB)

 

Laterals, Moves

• Haynes and Boone announced it expanded its international arbitration and litigation capabilities with a London-based team of four lawyers: Melanie Willems, who joins as a partner and will lead the practice; Markus Esly; who joins as partner; Robert Blackett, counsel; and Ryan Deane, associate. (HaynesBoone.com)

• Chicago-based litigation boutique Eimer Stahl said it recruited Kirkland & Ellis partner Alec Solotorovsky as a partner focused on complex litigation. (EimerStahl.com)

 

Legal Market

• Deloitte changed its U.K. legal status so that it can compete in the U.K. market for legal services, making it the last of the big accounting firms to do so. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

Legal Actions

• Sheppard Mullin-clients PepsiCo Inc. and related companies agreed to pay $5 million to settle claims that drivers didn’t receive breaks required by California law. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• When a businesses don’t pay workers minimum wages or overtime, they usually risk a government investigation or private lawsuit. In New York and California, they could risk criminal prosecution. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

Technology

• The judge in Volkswagen dealers’ “clean diesel” lawsuit against Bosch, a software supplier whose technology was used to help VW evade emission tests, rejected the dealers’ bid for “complete access” to documents during the discovery phase. (Legaltech News)

• Regulators in some jurisdictions have their eye on social media cryptocurrency campaigns where influencers get paid to promote ICOs by the entrepreneurs, and in some cases scammers, behind the offerings. (Bloomberg)

• The European Union’s proposed cybersecurity plan would allow companies to get products such as medical devices and connected cars certified across the bloc’s 28 member states. (Bloomberg Law)

• Apple Inc. and chipmaker Qualcomm Corp.’s smartphone patent fight in China will show how Chinese courts treat high-stakes intellectual property disputes between foreign companies. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.