Wake Up Call: Winston & Strawn Hit by Gender Bias Suit

• IP lawyer Constance Ramos has filed a gender bias lawsuit against Winston & Strawn, the latest of several such suits targeting Big Law firms. Ramos, who left the firm in August to start her own California-based intellectual property boutique, was a Honolulu high school classmate of former President Barack Obama. (Law.com)

• Dentons is again the top global firm by headcount, followed by Beijing-based Yingke, and Baker McKenzie. (Am Law Daily)

• The U.S. Supreme Court removed a case over President Donald Trump’s travel ban from its argument calendar, raising the possibility a lower court will get the first look at a new version of the policy. (Bloomberg) The new version is “more polished” than earlier ones, but Trump’s litany of derogatory comments about Muslims before the election might still sink it, legal experts said. (Bloomberg)

• Several Big Law firms have adopted the Mansfield Rule for boosting ethnic and gender diversity in lateral hiring, but Goodwin Procter says it is the first firm to incorporate LGBT candidates into future iterations of the rule.(Goodwinlaw.com)

• The now-ex manager of Venable’s West Coast operations, Douglas Emhoff, said he has joined DLA Piper and will work out of its offices in Century City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Emhoff said his move was motivated by a planned merger by his friend Stuart Liner’s 60-lawyer L.A. entertainment law boutique with DLA Piper, and the election of his wife — former California Attorney General Kamala Harris — to the U.S. Senate. (National Law Journal)

• The legal and tech industries can use their “natural connection” to spur progress on diversity and gender equality in both sectors, says Oracle’s general counsel, Dorian Daley. In a recent conversation with BLB, Daley talked about joining the board of ChIPs, a non-profit dedicated to advancing women in technology, law and policy, what she called the “cascading effect of diversity,” and other subjects. (BLB)

 

Legal Market

• Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo said in a court filing that it is seeking $1.86 billion in damages in its lawsuit accusing Uber of stealing trade secrets, not $2.6 billion as Uber stated recently. (Ars Technica)

• Consumer advocate groups are planning a proposed Congressional bill that would exempt lawyers and law firms from liability in cases involving abusive debt-collection practices. Among other things, critics suggested the measure could benefit the former foreclosure firm, Trott Law PC, of the Michigan Republican U.S. Congressman who proposed it, Dave Trott. Trott argues the measure just clarifies existing law to keep the feds from interfering in legitimate litigation. (The Detroit News)

• The Trump administration’s increased scrutiny of Chinese investment in the United States is proving a boon for lawyers with expertise in regulatory matters related to potential national security risks raised by foreign investment transactions. (National Law Journal)

• Private “special prosecutors” pursuing criminal securities law charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton haven’t been paid for more than a year, but they hope they will be soon after a recent appeals court ruling. (Dallas News)

• Uber’s lawyer in France accused local prosecutors of bending rules to gain a criminal conviction against its UberPop unit, on the first day of the company’s appeal in Paris. (Bloomberg)

• Wells Fargo & Co. defeated claims in Minnesota federal court that it harmed workers’ retirement savings by keeping company stock in its 401(k) despite allegedly knowing that the stock value was artificially inflated. (Bloomberg BNA)

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it informed government cybersecurity officials about a hack into its database of corporate filings soon after it happened last year. (Bloomberg via BLB) SEC Chairman Clayton is due to testify before the Senate Banking Committee today. (Bloomberg BNA)

• Yelp Inc. in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission accused Google of skirting agreements with the government intended to curb anti-competitive behavior. That, Yelp said, raises questions about whether antitrust regulators should improve their monitoring of corporate behavior. (Bloomberg BNA)

• FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny said she wants to “revitalize” antitrust enforcement but she warned that renewed enthusiasm for the issue won’t solve every concern about dominant companies like Amazon.com and Google. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• U.S. prosecutors say former HSBC Holdings Plc foreign-exchange trader Mark Johnson used his “expert” skills to turn a large customer currency order into a multimillion-dollar profit for the bank. Johnson’s lawyer called fraud charges against his client “a governmental mistake.” (Bloomberg)

• Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for exchanging sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old girl, capping the spectacular fall of the former congressman. (Bloomberg)

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Hover Energy, a two-year-old Texas-based wind power and technology company, named as its general counsel Kelly Cope, a veteran in-house attorney at energy companies. (Corporate Counsel)

• Paul Compton, a partner in Birmingham law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, was nominated by Trump to be general counsel to the Department of Housing and Urban Development about six months ago. Representatives from nearly 30 housing groups told the Senate Compton’s confirmation is urgently needed to speed HUD’s response to recent storm disasters. (National Mortgage News)

 

 

Technology

• Trump appeared to violate Twitter’s rules with his recent tweet threatening violence against North Korea. But Twitter said the tweet will stay up because it’s “newsworthy” and of “public interest.” (Recode)

• How Russia’s election meddling became Facebook’s problem. A Q&A. (Bloomberg)

• A Miami federal judge gave a greenlight to a lawsuit that targets the government over its fees for using the federal courts’ Public Access to Court Electronic Records system. (Daily Business Review)

• Information technology and managed services company Alphaserve Technologies launched a program to help law firm tech leaders understand artificial intelligence and data analytics, and also to promote the company’s products and services. (Legaltech News)

 

 

Legal Education

• “Legal Scoop,” Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s new blog for law students, aims to simplify the process for landing a job at a large law firm, while helping the firm connect with top prospects. (Law.com)

• William R. Monat, a former president of Northern Illinois University who helped found its law school in 1979, died at age 95 in Jupiter, Florida. (Saulkvalley.com)

 

Miscellaneous

• A Nevada county voted to increase funding by $1.4 million for a program that provides attorneys to foster children in civil cases involving abuse or neglect. (Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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