Wake Up Call: NFL Accuses Lawyers of Aiding Fraudulent Concussion Claims

Photographer: Richard Sheinwald/ Bloomberg News

• The NFL filed a lawsuit accusing law firms and doctors of aiding widespread fraud in the estimated $1 billion concussion settlement the league reached with retired players and asked a judge to name a special investigator. The league’s move comes after lawyers representing hundreds of players accused the NFL of deliberately denying and delaying payments of potentially millions of dollars to hundreds of players. (ABA Journal)  (New York Times) (Wall Street Journal)

• Big law firms in the U.K. are facing outrage from members of Parliament and other critics after only nine of the country’s biggest 25 firms included information on their highly paid partners in gender pay-gap data they were required to report by law. It turns out the omission, which is legal, can make the difference between about a 20 percent pay gap without the partner data, and a more than 60 percent gap with it. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• Mayer Brown said former London senior partner Jeremy Clay will be its next global managing partner, replacing Ken Geller. (The Lawyer)

• Amazon.com and other online retailers are watching as the U.S. Supreme Court gets ready to hear arguments in a case that could force them to collect billions of dollars in sales taxes. (Bloomberg via BLB

• President Donald Trump took the extraordinary step of asking a judge to block his own Justice Department from viewing evidence about his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, seized last week in an FBI raid. Cohen faces a criminal investigation in the case. (Bloomberg via BLB

• As Trump’s re-election campaign continues to raise millions of dollars, some of that money has been used to pay Cohen’s legal fees. To date $834,669 has been used to cover legal consulting, including $347,813 to Jones Day, the campaign’s main legal counsel. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Kirkland & Ellis is reported to have poached two more lawyers from Cravath, Swaine & Moore, as Cravath and other firms continue to see exits linked to partner dissatisfaction with their traditional lockstep compensation models. K&E secured former Cravath litigation chief Sandra Goldstein for its New York office, accompanied by litigation associate Stefan Atkinson. (New York Law Journal)

• Baltimore-founded Venable upgraded its San Francisco office for a third time, as it continues to expand on the West Coast. (The Recorder)

• Buchalter said five attorneys joined the firm’s energy and natural resources group in San Francisco, coming from Alcantar & Kahl. Evelyn Kahl, Michael Alcantar and Nora Sheriff joined as shareholders, while Donald Brookhyser became of counsel and Katherine Morsony joined as an attorney. (Buchalter)

• Well-known gay rights lawyer David Buckel burned himself to death in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in protest over ecological destruction. (Associated Press via Bloomberg)

 

 Legal Actions

• University retirement plans should be protected from a series of lawsuits attacking how the plans are managed, the plans’ lawyers  and their allies told a federal appeals court. WilmerHale lawyers argued for retirement plan service provider TIAA and Mayer Brown lawyers for higher education industry groups. Goodwin Procter LLP represented the  U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Benefits Council, which filed a joint brief in the case. 

The underlying suit, involving the University of Pennsylvania’s retirement plan, is one of 17 class actions to hit colleges challenging how they manage their retirement plans. (Bloomberg Law)

• Sandwich shop chain Potbelly Corp. announced a settlement with Privet Fund Management, LLC and some affiliates, relating to expansion of Potbelly’s board. Sidley Austin and Mayer Brown represented Potbelly, while Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen represented Privet. (Global Newswire

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

 • The IRS treats virtual currencies like bitcoin as property for tax purposes, not as foreign currency. But that could change as the agency consders updating its investor guidance on that treatment, Lisa Zarlenga, co-chair of Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s Tax Group, said in a recent video interview. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Technology

• One of the first general counsels in Major League Baseball and Los Angeles Dodgers’ top lawyer, Sam Fernandez, said technology is throwing big changes at lawyers in the sport, such as dealing with legal issues related to social media. (Corporate Counsel)

• Uber added a former Homeland Security secretary to its safety board and announced more frequent background checks and a partnership with a 911 startup aimed at improving safety for riders. But the ride-hailing giant is still not allowing law enforcement to review a driver’s full criminal history before pairing them with passengers, said Jean Christensen.  Christensen, a partner at Wigdor LLP, is the the lead attorney for the group of Jane Does suing Uber(Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.