Wake Up Call: Shooting Claims Two Lawyers in California

• Philadelphia-based law firm Ballard Spahr has completed a merger that will bring 170 attorneys in Minnesota, Colorado, and South Dakota into its fold. The firm announced Tuesday it had combined with Lindquist & Vennum, a Minneapolis law firm known for middle-market deal making. (BLB)

• A group of 300 women across the entertainment industry and elsewhere have formed a group to fight allegations of systematic workplace sexual harassment in a new initiative dubbed Time’s Up. The group includes a number of lawyers from Big Law and other parts of the legal profession. (New York Times) (American Lawyer)

• Just about the only thing heating up in the eastern half of the U.S. right now is the debate between energy lobbying groups over what power source should be trusted to keep homes warm and the lights on. (Bloomberg)

• Debra Katz, founding partner at Katz, Marshall & Banks, discusses Supreme Court chief justice John Robert’s recent pledge to reassess how the federal judiciary handles sexual harassment claims. (Bloomberg Radio)

• A workplace shooting took the lives of two Southern California lawyers. Law enforcement authorities said that John Mendoza turned a gun on himself after opening fire on two of his former co-workers at a Long Beach law office. (The Recorder)

• Eversheds Sutherland is merging with the Dutch law firm Faasen & Partners, which has eight partners and 32 lawyers across two offices in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. (Law.com)

 

Litigation

• Sex is big business in dairy farming, which is why a battle is brewing in the U.S. over new technologies designed to make sure only milk-producing cows are born. (Bloomberg)

• Bank of New York Mellon is once again in the cross hairs of a proposed class action by retirement investors who say the company’s foreign currency transactions cheated them out of money. The latest lawsuit, filed Dec. 29 by a union worker covered by the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund, accuses the company of wrongly manipulating the rates used to convert retirement plan assets held in foreign currencies into U.S. dollars. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

Moves

• Seventeen lawyers from Lowenbaum Law, a labor and employment boutique firm in St. Louis that has closed, have moved to new firms. The majority joined Jackson Lewis in St. Louis, while two lawyers joined The Wagner Law Group in that firm’s St. Louis office. Business pressures motivated the closure, firm founder Michael Lowenbaum told Bloomberg Law Jan. 2. “It’s just harder and harder to compete with these national firms,” he said. “A lot of the clients want you to have an office where they are.” (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

2018

• Increased scrutiny of visa applications, greater enforcement, and a rollback of Obama administration regulations, programs, and guidance are likely to dominate immigration policy in 2018. “It’s really been the first administration where immigration has been a high priority” and “an area of personal interest to the president,” Austin Fragomen of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy in New York said. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• The next year promises to keep antitrust headlines coming as the DOJ prepares for a prominent merger trial, the White House stocks the FTC with new commissioners, and much more. Here’s what to expect in 2018. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)