Wake Up Call: Quinn Emanuel Announces Boston Office With IP Focus

• Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan said it is opening a new office in Boston with three IP litigators, to tap into the city’s “high-tech hotbed.” The firm said in a Dec. 26 press release emailed to BLB that three partners from its New York office with strong ties to Boston–Steven Cherny, Patrick Curran, and Sandra Bresnick–will start the office.

• Apple Inc. hit a bad legal stretch just before Christmas. IPhone users raced to courthouses, infuriated by an Apple software update that slowed down the operation of their smartphones. (Bloomberg via BLB) In another case, a judge granted sanctions against the company for dragging its feet turning over documents in the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit accusing Qualcomm Inc. of forcing Apple to use its chips exclusively. (Bloomberg)

• Companies announced about $361 billion of mergers and acquisitions this month, making it the busiest December in at least 12 years. (Bloomberg)

• President Donald Trump’s 11-nation refugee ban ran into a familiar obstacle last week in Seattle. U.S. District Judge James Robart, who blocked Trump’s travel ban in January, partially blocked the new measure on grounds that it violates federal rule-making requirements. (Bloomberg)

• “I think I love you,” but I’m afraid I left you out of my will: Did David Cassidy really intend to disinherit his daughter? (Bloomberg Law)

• China’s TCL Communication, the world’s seventh largest smartphone maker, got a Christmas present worth millions when a California federal judge slashed by more than half the rates for so-called FRAND royalites the company pays to Swedish telecom company Ericsson on wireless patents. (The Recorder)


Law Firm Business

• Eversheds Sutherland and London elite firm Slaughter and May won lead lead roles in Royal Dutch Shell’s acquistion of 100 percent of energy provider First Utility. (The Lawyer) (Financial Times)

• DLA Piper said international tax-planning lawyer Lewis Greenwald joined the firm’s New York office as a tax partner. (DLA Piper)

• A few years ago, Barnes & Thornburg partner Larry Mackey, a former federal prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing case, married the ex-wife of a former client, who is now in prison on a securities fraud charge. Now that ex-client, Keenan Hauke, a former investment manager and owner of now-defunct hedge fund Samex Capital Advisors LLC, is accusing Mackey of incompetently representing him because of an alleged secret relationship with Hauke’s then-wife. (American Lawyer)

• Polsinelli hired veteran intellectual property lawyer Fabio Marino and four other attorneys away from McDermott Will & Emery, expanding its IP practice in the Silicon Valley. It said Marino will be managing partner of its Silicon Valley office and chair of its IP litigation practice group. Marino’s Linkedin page lists him previously at McDermott Will & Emery, as were four the other attorneys picked up by Polsinelli: Lucas Dahlin, Barrington Dyer, Nitin Gambhir, Teri H.P. Nguyen. (IP Watchdog) (Linkedin)


Legal Market

• BakerHostetler was hired to help investigate alleged financial mismanagement that has stalled a project to rebuild lower Manhattan’s St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was destroyed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11. (New York Times)

• The Chinese owner of Volvo Cars is set buy a $3.8 billion stake in truckmaker Volvo Group, making it the biggest shareholder in that company in a possible prelude to unifying the two Swedish automakers. (Financial Times)


Legal Actions

• The Senate’s self-driving vehicle bill will have to wait until 2018, barring any last-minute maneuvers to attach it to what is expected to be a stripped-down continuing resolution, the bill’s author said. (Bloomberg Government via BLB)

• Lawyers have questions about the implementation of Alabama’s Red Tape Reduction Act of 2013. (Bloomberg Tax)

• U.S. legal fights over Christmas nativity scenes, and a Norwegian court order to kill more than 100 reindeer. (Bloomberg View)


Regulators and Enforcement

• Democratic state lawmakers around the country are responding to the Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of net neutrality rules with legislation that would mandate similar requirements. (Bloomberg Law)

• The Senate confirmed two academics for SEC seats, filling out the five-member commission for the first time since 2015.  Republican Hester Peirce, a scholar at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, and Democratic Robert Jackson, a law professor at Columbia Law School, were confirmed. (Bloomberg Law)

• Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd., the world’s biggest builder of oil rigs, agreed to pay $422 million to end a U.S. bribery probe. (Bloomberg)


Russia Probes

• Rick Gates, the indicted former campaign aide to Donald Trump, must explain to a judge why a video of him shown at a fundraiser and comments by a supporter didn’t violate a court order requiring Gates to refrain from discussing his criminal case in the news media. (Bloomberg)


The Trump Administration

• Trump has to renominate several of his Labor Department nominees who didn’t get confirmed by the Senate at the close of the year’s session. (Bloomberg Law)

• Trump used Twitter to jump on reports that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe plans to retire in a few months after some congressional Republicans accused of him of bias against the president. (Bloomberg)

• Lawyers for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s second in charge, Leandra English, told a federal judge that Trump undermined the agency’s independence by appointing White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as its temporary head. (Bloomberg)

• Restrictions in Trump’s third travel ban on people from six mostly Muslim countries, Venezuela and North Korea were largely struck down by a San Francisco federal appeals court, raising uncertainty as the fight heads for a final showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court. (Bloomberg)


Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• A U.S. privacy group doesn’t have the legal right to seek a court order to block Trump’s election-integrity commission from collecting voter data because it doesn’t meet the necessary requirements, a federal appeals court ruled. (Bloomberg)

• A former Peruvian soccer official was acquitted of U.S. charges that he accepted bribes from sports-marketing companies for media rights to professional tournaments. The acquittal amounts to a mixed verdict for the U.S. government, which won convictions against the former heads of Brazil’s soccer federation and South American soccer on Friday. (Bloomberg)

• A Manhattan federal jury convicted two technology entrepreneurs who rose to prominence in the years before the financial crisis of manipulating shares in a digital-video software startup at the center of a complex fraud that spanned from China to Dubai. (Bloomberg)



• Deere & Co. Senior Counsel Kristin Esche discusses how multinational companies can protect their legal communications. She spoke to Bloomberg Law Oct. 16 on the sidelines of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual meeting in Washington.  (Video) (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.