• Facing public blowback over their vote to defang an independent ethics body, including critical tweets from Trump himself, House Republicans abandoned the measure. ( New York Times ) Inside the GOP debacle. ( Politico )

• Trump is said to be considering nominating Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, potentially positioning a top lawyer to banks and hedge funds to lead Wall Street’s main regulator. ( Bloomberg )

• It’s a done deal. National law firm Baker Donelson and Baltimore-based Ober Kaler have combined under the Baker Donelson name, with more than 800 attorneys across 25 offices in nine states and Washington, D.C. ( New Orleans City Business )

• ALM Media, the parent company of national legal trade publication The American Lawyer, is laying off several senior editors and other editorial staff, as well as some business-side employees, in cuts aimed at cutting salary costs. ( BLB )

• Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School, plans to leave her post at the end of the academic year after an eight-year tenure. A search for her replacement will start soon. ( BLB )



Legal Market

• Did Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars design the website for the newly formed Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP? Not to underestimate the power of the dark side, but we’d like to know who thought up that pulsating front page. ( BLB )

• The legal fallout from Bernard Madoff’s epic fraud includes an ironic twist: a road map for investors wanting to hold on to profits that seem too good to be true. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• A hedge fund that specializes in litigation funding is suing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, accusing the regulator, long vilified by Republican lawmakers, of exceeding its authority in an investigation of a 1983 terrorist attack and other probes. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• A new group, Women Owned Law, says it is the first national organization devoted exclusively to women legal entrepreneurs and aims to help women who run their own firms flourish. ( BLB )

• Two yoga companies ended 2016 tied up in knots over legal problems. ( Am Law Daily )



More on the Transition to a Trump presidency

• A bank run by Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, may have engaged in “widespread misconduct” while foreclosing on homeowners, according to a leaked 2013 memo written by lawyers in the California attorney general’s office. ( Bloomberg )

• Donald Trump isn’t relenting in his lawsuit against celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian over a scrapped restaurant at his Washington hotel, even if it means going to trial as the 45th U.S. president. Zakarian and chef Jose Andres both canceled planned restaurants there after Trump kicked off his presidential run by calling Mexicans “rapists.” ( Bloomberg )

• With the name of George Conway, a top litigator at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, being floated as a possible Trump choice for the next U.S. solicitor general, SCOTUS bar attorneys who know Conway’s career say he would be well qualified for the job. ( National Law Journal )


Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Merrick Garland’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination expired Tuesday after a record 293 days of inaction by the Senate. Douglas Ginsburg, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which Garland heads, saw his own Supreme Court nomination go up in smoke in the 1980s, but in Ginsburg’s case it was marijuana smoke, not Republican obfuscation. ( National Law Journal )

• Rebecca Green, a professor at William and Mary Law School, and Kimberly Robinson, a Supreme Court reporter for Bloomberg BNA, discuss how allegations of voter fraud and redistricting shaped the 2016 U.S. election. ( Bloomberg Radio )

• The wife of a convicted inside trader has chalked up a rare win over the FBI, with the agency agreeing to settle a lawsuit that claimed agents eavesdropped on her intimate conversations with her husband. ( Bloomberg )



Laterals and Moves

• Two more former partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s closing Asian branch have found new jobs, with ex-branch managing partner Rocky Lee landing at King & Wood Mallesons and ex-Cadwalader Hong Kong capital markets partner Stephen Chan going to Dechert. After Cadwalader announced plans to close its Beijing and Hong Kong offices by end of 2016, former Hong Kong partner Jeffrey Maddox went back to his old firm, Jones Day. ( Am Law Daily )

• London-based disputes boutique Signature Litigation has hired Latham & Watkins London litigation chairman Simon Bushell as a partner in the city. ( The Lawyer )




• Megyn Kelly, who publicly challenged Trump during televised debates last  year, is leaving her job as a Fox News anchor for NBC to host a daily daytime show and a Sunday news magazine program. ( New York Times )

• Inaccuracies and false reporting on previous cyberattacks could work against the Obama administration as it tries to support its election-hacking accusations against Russia. ( Politico )

• Trump expressed skepticism about the allegations against Russia, claiming to "know a lot about hacking.” He does have experience. After his hotel chain was hit by several data breaches, exposing 70,000 credit card numbers and personal information of its customers, it settled charges with the New York Attorney General that it failed to properly inform its guests of the hacks. ( BuzzFeed )

• Apple Inc. got a temporary win in federal court in its fight over touchscreen technology with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. ( The Recorder )

• Qualcomm, the world’s leading mobile chipmaker, said its new flagship processor will allow for thinner, more energy-efficient telephones. ( Financial Times )




Legal Education

• It remains to be seen if, given the changing political landscape, law students will care about a firm’s politics. But it seems like a bold move for K&L Gates to host a mid-afternoon party at its Washington, D.C., office to celebrate Trump’s inauguration. ( Above The Law )

• Legal education faces challenges but that doesn’t mean it’s in decline, says the new president of the Association of American Law Schools, Paul Marcus, a longtime professor at the College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Marcus spoke as the AALS convened its 111th annual meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday. ( National Law Journal )




• A top Australian intellectual property lawyer who is a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills’ Australian IP relationship firm was charged with indecent assault after allegedly grabbing a female jogger by the crotch, according to a local report. ( Daily Telegraph )

• Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem over graft allegations that are casting a pall over his leadership. ( Bloomberg )

• South Korean President Park Geun-hye refused to testify Tuesday in the impeachment trial that will decide her future, prompting the prosecutors to question why she has publicly denied the charges of corruption but will not do so before the court. ( Bloomberg )

• Over 1,100 law school professors across 48 states penned a letter urging the Senate to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general. ( Washington Post )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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