Wake Up Call: Trump Lawyers Want Him to Refuse Mueller Interview: NYT

• The New York Times is reporting that President Donald Trump’s lawyers want him to refuse to sit down for a wide-ranging interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, a move that could trigger a month’s long legal battle. (New York Times) Meanwhile, Trump has five days to decide whether to release a Democratic memo countering the Republican memo’s claim of misconduct by the FBI and Justice Department in the Russia investigation, a week after he backed full disclosure of the GOP document. (Bloomberg) Constitutional scholar Noah Feldman writes that, even though the Republican memo lacked punch, Trump has won the first round of the “memo wars,” by making the Russia probes look political. (Bloomberg View)

• Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Trade Commission, Paul Weiss antitrust counsel Joseph Simons, vowed that, if confirmed, he would review criticism that the agency has been too easy on letting mergers through. (Bloomberg)

• If prosecutors win an order forcing Martin Shkreli to forfeit $7.4 million, the government could become part-owner of a pharmaceutical company that notoriously raised the price of an AIDS-related medication by 5,000 percent. (Bloomberg)

• Most open general counsel jobs at big banks went to women in 2017 though, across the Fortune 500 women remained underrepresented as GCs. (BLB)

• Lawyers advising the booming cryptocurrency and token industry may soon face a reckoning from the federal government, former SEC officials said. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• The Labor Department inspector general is investigating the agency’s handling of a tip pool regulation, following a Bloomberg Law report that the DOL buried internal estimates on the proposal’s impact on workers. (Bloomberg Law)

• A former Arent Fox intellectual property partner was sentenced to seven years for his conviction in $2 million money-laundering scheme. (American Lawyer)



Russia Probes

• Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is said to be planning to skip a closed-door interview with a U.S. House committee that subpoenaed him to appear for its Russian investigation, but he has agreed to be interviewed by Mueller. (Bloomberg)

• Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said the FBI is blocking release of key portions of a memo he wrote calling for a criminal investigation of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier of unverified allegations on Trump. (Bloomberg)



Law Firm Business/Moves

• Cooley LLP fintech partner Marco Santori helped pioneer a tool to help initial coin offerings comply with securities laws and now he is leaving to lead a cryptocurrency services startup. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Detroit-based Dykema said it hired healthcare attorney Richard Cheng, as a member, and corporate finance attorney Rick Daniel, as senior counsel, in the firm’s Dallas office, which has added 11 attorneys in the past eight months. Daniel was previously a shareholder at Polsinelli PC, while Cheng was previously at a large regional firm and also served as GC and vice president at two healthcare companies, Dykema said. (Dykema.com)

• Dykema said it also hired Sedgewick’s Cinthia Granados Motley as a member in its Chicago office, where she will serve as director of the firm’s global data privacy and information security practice group. At Sedgewick, Motley was co-chair of the firm’s cybersecurity and privacy practice. (Dykema.com)

• BakerHostetler said it added veteran energy litigation and regulatory lawyer Glenn Benson as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Benson, who has over 20 years of experience representing oil and gas producers before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state public service commissions, was previously at Davis Wright Tremaine. (BakerHostetler)

• JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution provider, said it hired 25-year Paul Hastings partner Stephen Sonnenberg in New York, where he will serve on the JAMS Resolution Center as an arbitrator, mediator and special master. (Jamsadr.com)



Legal Market

• Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan has vowed to quadruple or quintuple the agency’s work-site enforcement efforts. There are early signs the ICE under Trump is actually trying to combine the approaches of its two predecessors. (Bloomberg Law)

  • A loophole in Trump’s hastily passed tax law is sparking a creative renaissance in the tax planning profession. (Bloomberg)

• Broadcom Ltd. is pressuring Qualcomm Inc.’s shareholders to accept a sweetened offer in what could be the largest-ever technology deal. (Bloomberg)

• Several federal agencies are working to speed permitting of infrastructure projects, even though it remains to be seen whether Congress will act on Trump’s related request to move things along. (Bloomberg Law)


Legal Actions

• Auction house Sotheby’s is suing a New York art collector who allegedly refused to honor his $6.5 million offer for an untitled 1982 Keith Haring painting. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• The Federal Communications Commission and a group of broadcasters asked a federal appeals court not to halt the agency’s relaxation of broadcast ownership limits. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, known for his early investments in Uber and Airbnb, is dropping a lawsuit against a Washington-based research firm he accused of engaging in a smear campaign against him. (Bloomberg)





Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito cleared the way for Pennsylvania’s new congressional voting map. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• A Las Vegas judge will now allow claims against certain members of Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s board to go forward in the long legal battle with ousted director and shareholder Kazuo Okada. (Bloomberg)

• Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch got more criticism for his writing, this time for his choice of dictionary. And more from this week’s Read That Back Blog. (Read That Back Blog via US Law Week)




• On the first day of Waymo’s  trade-secrets trial against Uber Technologies Inc. the Alphabet subsidiary played a pair of self-promoting videos for jurors. Uber’s lawyers protested unsuccessfully to the judge that the videos are mostly infomercials intended to bias the jury. (Bloomberg)

• Google internal emails released at the trial show the company was worried about losing its lead in driverless car technology. (Bloomberg)

• Lauri Love, a U.K. computer activist accused of hacking into U.S. government computers and stealing data, won his appeal against his extradition to America. (Bloomberg)

• The dawn of the driverless car–promising a utopia of stress-free commutes, urban playgrounds and the end of parking hassles–threatens to complicate the calculus for anyone buying property. (Bloomberg)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.