Wake Up Call: New Women Lawyers Network to Fight Bias

• This summer, serial entrepreneur Justin Kan set his sight on disrupting the legal profession. Kan famously sold Twitch — where people can watch other people playing video games — to Amazon for $960 million in 2014. Now he’s raised $10.5 million in series A funding to launch Atrium, a one-part law firm, one-part technology company, that aims to transform the way corporate legal services are delivered. Big Law Business interviewed the firm’s co-creator, Bebe Chueh, a legal tech entrepreneur, about work the firm is targeting and whether traditional large law firms should be concerned. (BLB)

• Accusing the Trump administration of an “assault on women’s rights,” the nonprofit National Women’s Law Center launched a Legal Network for Gender Equity for lawyers. (Huffington Post) (Washington Post)

• Days after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had to explain dropping a fraud investigation into Ivanka Trump after getting a political donation from her lawyer, he’s now on the hot seat for squashing a sex assault probe into movie producer Harvey Weinsten. (New York Times) Vance cited lack of evidence to back up an Italian model’s accusations against Weinstein, and denied the $10,000 contribution he got from Weinsten’s lawyer, David Boies, had anything to do with dropping the investigation. (Law.com)

• Weinstein added criminal defense lawyers to his legal team. (Hollywood Reporter)

• David Boies, of Boies Schiller Flexner, said he plans to continue representing both Weinstein and Weinstein Co., unless the two sue each other. (Am Law Daily) The allegations against Weinstein follow a familiar pattern: a corporate board completely failed to do its job, writes a Bloomberg Technology editor. (Bloomberg)

• A federal judge sentenced former Herrick Feinstein partner Harold Levine to 24 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the IRS. (New York Law Journal)

• Think a $2,000 billable hour is high? Morgan Stanley is said to plan to charge about $2,500 an hour for private meetings with its stock analysts, almost twice the rate of many top corporate lawyers, once new European Union financial rules kick in next year. (Bloomberg)

• A federal criminal probe into whether Uber Technologies Inc. stole driverless car trade secrets from Waymo could freeze a high-stakes trial between the two companies. (Bloomberg) Uber pushed the limits of the law under Travis Kalanick, its co-founder and former CEO. Now Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi must face the reckoning. (Bloomberg)

• Texas and Nevada law firms filed a suit in Nevada for a California college student who was struck by a bullet in the Las Vegas mass shooting. The suit names MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas, concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment, the Texas manufacturer of a device allowing a gun to fire rapidly, and the estate of shooter Stephen Paddock. (Texas Lawyer) (Bloomberg)

• Bump stock inventor Jeremiah Cottle built an empire on the sort of device that let the Las Vegas gunman fire up to 800 rounds a minute. Now he faces lawsuits and death threats. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• Legal tech startup Ross Intelligence announced it raised $8.7 million in funding, including participation by Dentons NextLaw Labs, for its plans to use machine learning to speed up and improve the relevance of legal research. The startup is working with 20 law firms on the project. (TechCrunch)

• California released proposed revisions that would ease regulations on testing of self-driving vehicles on public roads. (Bloomberg)

• Qualcomm Inc. was fined a record NT$23.4 billion ($773 million) by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission in the latest blow from regulators over the way the U.S. company prices mobile phone chips and patents. (Bloomberg via BLB)

 

 

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• U.S. Supreme Court justices suggested they may bar victims of overseas atrocities from using a centuries-old law to sue corporations for complicity. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Seventy-six companies urged the Supreme Court to support workplace protections for gay, lesbian and transgender employees. (National Law Journal)

• A Washington, D.C., federal judge significantly reduced the scope of a Justice Department warrant aimed at forcing website company DreamHost to provide information on visitors to a site used to plan anti-Trump protests during the inauguration. (NPR)

• The bribery case against New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez may be on the ropes. (Bloomberg)

• China’s high court barred its judges from taking jobs at law firms for three years after they resign. (Xinhua)

 

 

Legal Market

• The Veteran Administration’s new general counsel, James Byrne, was previously a counterintelligence expert for Lockheed Martin with the title of associate GC and chief privacy officer. (Disabled Veterans.org)

• President Donald Trump picked AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Myers is a lawyer by training and was previously general counsel of the company. (Nature)

• SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son is taking another run at his dream to create a U.S. mobile phone heavyweight through a merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, but a revived deal would be scrutinized by many of the same officials who batted down his last attempt. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Legal Actions

• Kobe Steel Ltd.’s legal problems in Japan and the U.S. are just beginning in wake of the company’s disclosure that it falsified data for years about the durability of aluminum and copper used in airplanes, trains and vehicles. (Bloomberg)

 

 

The Trump Administration

• A California lawyer with whom Trump exchanged insults in a fight over a California golf course is now a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but didn’t participate in that court’s ruling against Trump’s travel ban. (NPR via KANW-FM)

• Can Trump really follow through on his threat to shut down NBC? Only if he gets rid of the Constitution’s First Amendment, communications lawyers and other experts said. (Bloomberg)

• The White House said Trump plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, to succeed him as secretary of Homeland Security. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Technology

• Regulators worldwide are playing “whack-a-mole” with Bitcoin as they learn that it’s incredibly hard to control the explosive growth of money tied to no nation. (Bloomberg)

• An allegation in a class-action lawsuit against Chicago law firm Johnson & Bell that the firm was using an unsupported version of time-tracking software is the kind of revelation that can make a lawsuit difficult to defend, said a speaker at a recent legal tech conference in Minnesota. (Minnesota Lawyer)

• Tech start-up Intraspexion said it has been granted seven U.S. patents for an algorithm-based email scanner to help companies avoid discrimination and other lawsuits. (Engineering News-Record)

 

 

Legal Education

• Three out-of-state staff lawyers for Nevada’s attorney general got limited certification to do their jobs, provided they take the state’s bar exam, which they’ve now done. (Nevada Appeal)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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