Wake Up Call: O’Reilly Ouster Said to Be Influenced by Paul Weiss Report

• In deciding to give Fox News’ top-earning host the boot, Rupert Murdoch, chairman and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox Inc., and his sons, were said to be swayed by findings from Paul Weiss’ internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations targeting Bill O’Reilly. (Bloomberg) Accusations flew Wednesday between lawyers for O’Reilly and those representing women who made the allegations. (Am Law Daily) Morality and money: why O’Reilly was really fired. (The Atlantic)

• Litigator Kerrie Campbell is expected to find out today if she will be expelled from Chadbourne & Parke’s partnership. In August, Campbell filed a $100 million gender discrimination suit against the firm and the two sides have been sparring in Manhattan court ever since. (Am Law Daily)

• Martin Shkreli, the smart-aleck former pharmaceutical executive facing federal charges that he defrauded investors in hedge funds he ran, won a tactical victory as a federal judge ruled that he would be tried separately from his former lawyer. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Fox Rothschild is still banking on its new cannabis practice, despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’  hostility to the legalization of pot by states. Sessions remarked last year that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” (BLB) Meanwhile, Canadian pot companies are gearing up for “medical exports.” (Bloomberg)

• Trustees at Costa Mesa, California-based Whittier College said it will close the half century-old Whittier Law School, after failing to find a less drastic solution to its problems. The law school, which had the lowest bar exam passage rate among the state’s 21 ABA-accredited schools in July, said the decision will reduce choice for students with diverse backgrounds and abilities. (Inside Higher Education) (The Recorder)

• London-based elite firm Linklaters plans to get rid of metric-driven individual partner targets as part of a global strategy “refresh” that calls for increased focus on team performance. (The Lawyer)

 

Legal Market

• When Volkswagen AG is sentenced in the U.S. on Friday for rigging emissions tests, it will get a court-appointed monitor to make sure it stays in its lane. That person, according to two people familiar with the matter, is Larry Thompson, a former chief of the government’s prosecution of Enron who more recently served as chief counsel for PepsiCo Inc. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Despite hundreds of whistle-blower reports received over several years, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency failed to notice red flags that Wells Fargo employees were opening millions of sham bank and credit card accounts without getting customers’ consent, according to a report. (New York Times DealBook)

• Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, private equity manager Blackstone Group LP and other law and financial firms hired 15 of the 26 high-ranking Securities and Exchange Commission officials who left the agency since January 2016. Government watchdogs say they are worried about a negative impact on SEC regulation and enforcement linked to this “revolving door.” (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority started 70 insider-dealing investigations in 2016, more than double any other year in the last decade, a bright spot in an otherwise turbulent 18 months since Mark Steward took over at the four-year-old regulator. (Bloomberg)

• Theranos Inc investors accused the company of threatening to file for bankruptcy protection if they don’t agree to give up their rights to sue the firm over its flawed blood-testing business. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• U.S. prosecutors are committed to finishing open Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases and investigating new ones faster, a high-level U.S. Department of Justice official said. That would be good news for inside counsel, but the DOJ has made such promises before, attorneys said. (Corporate Counsel)

 

 

 

President Trump’s First 100 Days

• President Donald Trump’s hospitality businesses hurt workers in Washington, D.C., New York City and elsewhere by illegally benefiting from his presidency to siphon revenue from competitors’ operations, a federal lawsuit alleges. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Google Inc. filed a sealed motion to address questions raised by a judge in an administrative hearing between the company and the U.S. Department of Labor over its alleged failure to submit data on its hiring practices. Attorneys said the judge’s request for the sealed briefing is “exceptionally rare” in administrative cases, and could have been to protect Google’s confidential or privileged information. (The Recorder)

• As the U.S. Supreme Court took up a major religious-rights case, justices from across the ideological spectrum voiced support for a Missouri church that was denied state funds for a new school playground surface. (Bloomberg)

• An interview with Stuart Banner, a law professor who heads U.C.L.A.’s Supreme Court clinic and a former clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Banner said he had helped with oral arguments by others at the U.S. Supreme Court, but never actually argued one himself. Now he has, and in a winning cause. (National Law Journal)

• Thirteen law professors with expertise in common-law torts joined an amicus brief in support of a state Supreme Court appeal that seeks to hold makers of the AR-15 assault rifle liable for the Sandy Hook school massacre. (Connecticut Law Tribune)

 

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• U.K. elite firm Allen & Overy has reportedly made 22 men and only two women partner in its latest global promotions round. (The Lawyer)

• Cooley is getting Troy Zander, a venture debt finance partner at DLA Piper in Silicon Valley and San Diego, a few months after DLA Piper made Zander managing partner of its offices in San Diego. (The Recorder)

• Looking for help considering potential cases to invest in, litigation funder Lake Whillans has hired Garrett Ordower, a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, as a managing director starting May 1. (Am Law Daily)

 

 

Technology

• Companies have typically had a big lead on regulators in the use of data analysis technology for cases involving compliance and enforcement. But recently, big name regulators including the SEC and FINRA have been pouring money into cutting-edge analytics tools for supervision and examination, and companies risk getting left behind. (Legaltech News)

• Google, which gets most of its income from advertising, is said to be readying an ad-blocking function for the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome web browser. (Wall Street Journal)

• Consumer watchdog groups’ push for transparency in sponsored Instagram posts appears to be having an effect, as the Federal Trade Commission said it sent 90 letters to celebrities and brands reminding them of FTC guidelines for social media endorsements. (BuzzFeed)

• Ditch your iPad for a Chromebook, and other tips. A big recent spike in searches of phones and laptops by U.S. border police in airports has pushed lawyers to take steps to protect personal and client data on their devices. (Above The Law)

 

 

Legal Education

• In a digital pilot that could lead to pencil-free LSAT exams, the body that conducts the Law School Admission Test will hold a nationwide exam in May in which 1,000 prospective law students will take the test on tablet computers. (Law.com)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

[UPDATED: This report has been updated to correct the characterization of a vote to expel Kerrie Campbell from Chadbourne & Parke’s partnership.]