Wake Up Call: S&C Partner to Join Goldman as Co-General Counsel

• Goldman Sachs Group hired Karen Patton Seymour from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as co-general counsel. Seymour was earlier in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, where she led the criminal division. As a federal prosecutor, she’s best known for winning a conviction against Martha Stewart in 2004.  She will jointly manage Goldman’s legal department with Greg Palm, who joined the bank from S&C in 1992. (BLB via Bloomberg)

• Uber Technologies Inc. is a taxi service not a technology platform, the European Union’s top court ruled today, hitting the ride-hailing company with a major set-back. The decision, which is final, was closely watched by the technology industry because it could set a precedent for how companies in the fast-growing gig economy are regulated across the 28-nation bloc. (Bloomberg) Uber also lost a bid to prevent two unions representing taxi drivers from taking part in the appeal of Transport for London’s decision to ban the company from operating in the city. (Bloomberg)

 • Facebook Inc. is on a collision course with one of Europe’s most powerful regulators as Germany’s federal antitrust watchdog attacked the way the social network giant scoops up information on how users surf to drive its advertising revenue. (Bloomberg)

• Former Jones Day partner Chaka Patterson quit his job as head of the civil division in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago amidst allegations that he was giving his old firm work at rates that “significantly” exceeded the municipality’s standard rate. (American Lawyer)

• Microsoft Corp. is eliminating a requirement that employees pursue sexual harassment and gender bias claims through arbitration instead of in court. It also endorsed a bipartisan Senate bill that would prevent companies from contractually requiring employees to settle these kinds of cases behind closed doors. (Bloomberg)

 

Law Firm Business

• Former National Labor Relations Board general counsel Richard Griffin has landed a new gig as of counsel at employee-side firm Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC in Washington, D.C. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Florida state Representative Carlos Trujillo, said that, if confirmed, he will withdraw from the law firm he founded and abandon his seat in the Florida House. He reported $837,113 annual income from his legal practice. (Daily Business Review)

• Trump lawyer Marc Kasowotiz is trying to get a woman’s state defamation suit against the president thrown out from a New York court. He’s using a technicality from a footnote in a 1997 federal sexual harassment suit against former President Bill Clinton. (Washington Post)

 

 

 

Legal Market

• Lockheed Martin is on the hook for $1.5 million in damages to a former employee who sued for age discrimination, but a New Jersey federal judge threw out the jury’s $50 million punitive damages award and ordered a new trial on punitive damages only. (New Jersey Law Journal)

• The huge Texas county that includes Houston has hired Houston plaintiffs firms to represent it in litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors. (Texas Lawyer)

• A former Uber in-house lawyer recently fired by the company is fighting Google subsidiary Waymo’s effort to force him to testify in the trade secrets litigation between the two companies. (The Recorder)

• Advisers to Sky Plc’s board are warning that if the U.K. government blocks 21st Century Fox Inc.’s 11.7 billion-pound ($15.7 billion) takeover offer, the British satellite carrier won’t be able to count on a bid from Walt Disney Co. (Bloomberg)

• The chair of a House telecom panel introduced a bill that would restore a number of net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission recently voted to end, but would also enshrine a considerably laxer net neutrality regime than had been in place before the agency vote. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

 

Legal Actions

• A New York appeals court allowed a lawsuit to proceed against CNN legal analyst Paul Callan alleging that he cost his former Manhattan firm, Callan, Koster, Brady & Nagler, millions of dollars by wooing away a client to his new firm. (New York Law Journal)

• Authorities in three countries are investigating a South African accounting scandal linked to global furniture retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV, and law firms are trying to get investors to join class actions targeting the company. A Q&A. (Bloomberg)

• The coming year may give government contractors and false claims whistle-blowers answers to some big legal questions. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• The Justice Department’s trustee unit overseeing bankruptcies filed a complaint against a California lawyer and her firm for its so-called “no money down” billing practices in Chapter 7 cases. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Chicken farmers are suing to reinstate an Obama-era rule that would have given them more clout in antitrust fights with agricultural corporations. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• Trump’s crackdown on immigration has meant more work both for immigration attorneys and their corporate clients, and longer case processing times and delays. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• The European Union’s executive arm launched a probe into concerns that two Dutch government tax rulings constituted illegal state aid to Inter IKEA group, allowing the Swedish retailer to avoid tax by shifting profits. (Bloomberg Tax)

• The SEC says Apple Inc. can keep off its ballot next year an investor request to consider linking executive pay to the company’s performance on diversity and other sustainability metrics. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Latham & Watkins grabbed two former Kirkland & Ellis litigation partners, getting Andrew Clubok in Washington, D.C., and Elizabeth Deeley in San Francisco. The firm said Clubok will be co-chairman of its securities litigation and professional liability practice. Both he and Deeley will join its complex commercial litigation practice.  (National Law Journal)

 

 

Technology

• According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. However, for cybersecurity professionals, it might as well be the year of the data breach.  (Bloomberg Law)

• Baker McKenzie lawyers for Russian cybersecurity firm Kapersky Lab filed a lawsuit arguing that the U.S. government’s ban of the company over alleged ties to Russia failed to follow due process. (Courthouse News Service)

• Skeptical British lawmakers grilled social media company executives on their progress tackling hate speech and violent extremism. (Bloomberg)

 

Legal Education

• University of Tulsa College of Law; Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School; and University of Cincinnati College of Law lead off this ranking of the 20 “cheapest” law schools in the United States. (Law.com)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.