Wake Up Call: SCOTUS Kicks Off New Term

• The U.S. Supreme Court opens a “momentous” new term today with a full staff and reinforced conservative wing and a case that could give employers a powerful new tool to prevent their workers from filing class-action lawsuits. (Bloomberg) (New York Times)

• A coalition of corporate lobbying groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to overturn a rule that makes it easier for aggrieved customers to file lawsuits against financial firms. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• President Donald Trump asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by two attorneys general accusing him of profiting from his office, in violation of the U.S. Constitution. (Bloomberg)

• Trump picked a Kirkland & Ellis employment litigation partner in Washington, D.C., Kate O’Scannlain, to manage 500 lawyers as the Labor Department’s solicitor.  (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• Equifax Inc.’s board of directors formed a special committee to review stock sales that top executives made days after the company found out it was hacked. King & Spalding, Equifax’s outside counsel, said it’s reviewing whether employees followed the company’s internal procedures for how breaches are handled. (Bloomberg)

• Philadelphia-based Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is fighting a $30 million lawsuit over an alleged conflict of interest at the firm. (Legal Intelligencer)

• Doug Emhoff, the Los Angeles entertainment litigator, who jumped from Venable to DLA Piper last week, said he doesn’t have a formal role or title at his new firm, “but I can’t unlearn the fact that I was a managing partner for many years.” (BLB)

• Zynga has appointed Phuong Phillips, a former associate general counsel of Tesla, as its new chief legal officer. And other in-house moves. (BLB)

• Herbert Kalmbach, President Richard Nixon’s personal attorney who paid “hush money” to Watergate burglars and later served prison time for breaking campaign-finance laws and selling ambassadorships, has died. He was 95. (Bloomberg)

 

 

SCOTUS

• One high-profile case, a challenge to partisan gerrymandering, could turn out to be the most game-changing decision by the court in the realm of politics since one person, one vote. (Bloomberg)

• In the Supreme Court’s term starting today it may decide if someone who uses a work computer or takes social media data without authorization can be found guilty of breaking a 31-year-old federal law originally designed to criminalize hacking. (Bloomberg BNA)

• With the Supreme Court set to consider whether employees have the right to bring class actions against their bosses, labor activists aren’t holding their breath. Instead, they’re pursuing a way around forced arbitration offered by California’s so-called Private Attorneys General Act. (Bloomberg)

• Pushed by the Trump administration, the court could achieve a “backdoor repeal” of workers’ rights laws. (Los Angeles Times)

 

 

 

Law Firm Business

• As New York-based Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy gets ready to move out of its financial district headquarters for new premises in Hudson Yards, the firm said it plans to shrink its staff of legal secretaries by offering voluntary buyout packages. (Above the Law)

• Big law firms and their partners are waiting for details on the new Republican tax plan promoted by Trump, to know if they will benefit from it. (New York Law Journal)

• Greenberg Gross, a 21-lawyer firm started four years ago by two Greenberg Traurig litigators, said it hired Becky James, a former chief of criminal appeals at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, to lead its appellate practice. James, who leaves her own boutique, previously spent three years as a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. (The Recorder)

• The personal injury law firm Cellino & Barnes no longer exists in California but it continues to exist in New York, amidst a legal feud between its two name partners. (Buffalo News)

 

Legal Market

• Capgemini, a France-based global consulting, technology and outsourcing services provider, named Maria Pernas as its group general counsel. Pernas was previously senior vice president and group general counsel at information technology company Atos, also a French company, and started her career as an external adviser at Price Waterhouse. (Capgemini.com)

• After William Emanuel was confirmed last week to the National Labor Relations Board he immediately faced an ethics challenge by a law firm related to his previous work at Littler Mendelson. (National Law Journal)

 

 

Legal Actions

• Citigroup Inc. and the wreckage of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. have resolved a fight over $2.1 billion that dates to the financial crisis. (Bloomberg)

• A former tax-return preparer at Clifford Chance is suing the elite U.K. firm for alleged “bullying.” (The Telegraph)

 

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• In a closely watched case, a former Barclays Plc trader who bragged about disrupting the western U.S. power market more than a decade ago dodged a $1 million fine by a U.S. regulator for alleged manipulation. (Bloomberg)

• After a San Diego-based outside attorney for a marijuana company was arrested in a raid, a local bar association and pro-marijuana groups expressed concerns that the county DA office is violating attorney-client privilege. (Slate)

 

 

The Trump Administration

• Trump recently made his 100th nomination to either a lower court vacancy or an open U.S. attorney post, putting him at a much faster nomination rate than recent presidents. (Business Insider)

• Tom Price’s resignation as secretary of Health and Human Services causes several problems for Trump. (Bloomberg)

• The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked for a two-month delay in a lawsuit to give the Trump adminstration time to consider changing a policy that bans churches, synagogues and mosques from receiving rebuilding aid. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• What’s up with the passel of recent New York City lateral moves of partners, counsel and associates in all practice areas? (Above the Law)

• Dechert continued its recent lateral hiring spree in London hiring former Kirkland & Ellis corporate partners Christopher Field and Jan Scobie. (Legal Week via American Lawyer)

• The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration named its deputy general counsel, Bill Roberts, to serve as interim general counsel. Its previous GC, Stuart “Stu” Williams, left to take a job as vice president for corporate development for Liberty Dental Plan of California. (News Service of Florida)

• London-based Kennedys Law hired DLA Piper insurance litigation partner Suraphon Rittipongchusit to lead its new office in Bangkok, Kennedys’ sixth office in Asia. DLA Piper partner, Supreedee Nimitkul, and senior associate, Tassanu Chutikanon, are also making the move. (The Lawyer)

 

 

Technology

• The investigations into Russia’s role in the 2016 election could force tech companies like Facebook and Google to reveal how their platforms work. (Politico)

• Google is scrapping a contentious search result rule for subscription news sites and giving them new tools to attract more paying customers. (Bloomberg)

• Starting this week, South Dakota prison inmates’ access to lawyers has been replaced by tablet PCs equipped with subscriptions to legal search engine LexisNexis, in what the Department of Corrections said is a cost-cutting move. (Daily Beast)

 

 

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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