Daily Dicta by Jenna Greene

No Jerks Allowed: Who Made the Grade for 2017 American College of Trial Lawyers

By Jenna Greene |

Litigation can be a nasty business—but the very best lawyers are those who can win cases without being jerks. That’s the central premise of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which just inducted its newest members.

Q&A: Covington & Burling Partner Takes On Arpaio, Again

By Jenna Greene |

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio may no longer face jail time after being pardoned by the president, but a Covington & Burling partner is still fighting to keep his conviction intact


In Reed Smith Partner Suicide Suit, What Big Law Expert Would Have Said

By Jenna Greene |

“GSK was prejudiced by not being allowed to present this evidence to the jury to show that Mr. Dolin committed suicide because of his underlying anxiety and depression, which was heavily influenced by the stress and pressure he felt at work," company lawyers argued. Here's a look at what their expert would have said.

When Your Expert Witness Costs You a $54M Verdict (But Really, Blame the Judge)

By Jenna Greene |

Expert witnesses can make a case—or they can wreck it. Or both. Take the testimony of an expert who gave a federal jury in Chicago reason to award power tool maker Black & Decker $54 million in a trademark and trade dress suit. That is, until the judge tossed the verdict.

David Kendall.

Williams & Connolly’s David Kendall Is on the Hot Seat—and That’s Where He Belongs

By Jenna Greene |

Williams & Connolly of counsel David Kendall is used to clients like Bill and Hillary Clinton being on the hot seat. Now he’s going to have to take a turn himself. But that's a good thing.

Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in Chicago.

Give ‘Em Hell Judge Posner

By Jenna Greene |

As if I needed another reason to be a fan of Richard Posner, the newly-retired U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge is blasting the treatment of pro se litigants and vowing to help make the system work better.

Esther Kiobel.

Cravath in the Crosshairs

By Jenna Greene |

Who doesn’t love a good discovery fight? And this one involving Cravath, Swaine & Moore is a doozy, with ramifications that extend literally across the planet.

Jonathan Polkes.

Shout-Out: Weil’s $4 Billion Save

By Jenna Greene |

With $4 billion on the line, a team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges led by litigation department co-chair Jonathan Polkes scored a decisive summary judgment win on behalf of some of the biggest names in finance and real estate, beating back an investor class action that had been headed for trial.

Joshua Briones.

From Migrant Field Worker to Big Law Managing Partner—The Remarkable Journey of Joshua Briones

By Jenna Greene |

By the time he was 8 years old, Joshua Briones was rising before dawn to pick strawberries and cherry tomatoes, moving from town to town in California with his immigrant farm worker parents. Today, Briones, 44, is the managing partner of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo’s Los Angeles office and a lauded litigator. This is the story of his remarkable journey,

Thousands of protestors spill onto 7th Street in San Francisco after President Trump announced ending the Obama-era Deferred  Action for Childhood Arivals program.

Shattered Dreamers: Why Revoking DACA Is a New Low for the Trump Crowd

By Jenna Greene |

There is a legitimate policy argument that we should not reward people who flouted the rules by giving them a green card or path to citizenship. But that rationale collapses, utterly, when it comes to the Dreamers.

Leaping Laterals: Top Litigator Moves in August

By Jenna Greene |

August is a month for going to the beach, not joining a new law firm. Lateral moves slowed to a lazy crawl, but still, a handful of notable litigators started new gigs. Here are 10 that caught our eye.

Downton Abbey Meets Antitrust—and DOJ Comes up Empty-Handed

By Jenna Greene |

The beauty (or the terror, depending on your perspective) of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is that you never know where it’ll strike. One minute the feds are taking down multi-billion dollar international cartels. The next, they’re busting players in an industry that sounds more like a Downton Abbey plot device: heir location services

Dirty Fight, Clean Win—How Enviro Experts at Beveridge and Diamond Beat Arnold and Porter in Fight Over LA’s ‘Biosolids’

By Jenna Greene |

A decade-long legal fight between the City of Los Angeles and neighboring Kern County over, ahem, biosolids came to a close last week. It was a critical test case over what to do with what gets flushed down the toilet.

Herbert Wachtell.

Can Herbert Wachtell Save This Case?

By Jenna Greene |

You’ve heard of runaway juries. This is the case of the runaway arbitrator.

Jonathan Youngwood.

Shout Out: Simpson Thacher Strikes Again With Securities Fraud Win for Hotel Chain

By Jenna Greene |

Hotel chain La Quinta can rest easy after a team from Simpson Thacher and Bartlett got a would-be securities fraud class action in the Southern District of New York dismissed with prejudice on Thursday.

Left to right: Joe Arpaio and Donald Trump.

Why Pardoning Sheriff Joe Could Be the Scariest Thing Trump Has Ever Done

By Jenna Greene |

When President Donald Trump indicated on Tuesday that he plans to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, he signaled a frightening disregard for the judiciary and the rule of law.

Evan Greebel.

It Takes Two to Conspire … But Don’t Tell the AUSAs Prosecuting Martin Shkreli's Lawyer

By Jenna Greene |

Lawyers from Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher are mounting a full-throated defense of Evan Greebel, a former corporate partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman and Kaye Scholer who faces criminal charges in connection with his work for “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli.

These Baby Lawyers at Wilkinson Walsh May Soon Be Eating Your Lunch

By Jenna Greene |

If you had any doubt that 18-month-old Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz was here to stay as a litigation player, check out its class of seven new associates.

MIke Klisch, Cooley Godward

In ‘Especially Unpleasant and Nasty’ Suit, Carlton Fields Client Must Pay $18.5M Legal Bill from Cooley

By Jenna Greene |

Litigation is rarely nice. But sometimes it’s so ugly that you just have to stop and gawk. The antitrust battle between pharmaceutical manufacturing and marketing companies Procaps SA and Patheon Inc. is one of those cases.

Douglas Baldridge, front, heads in for the morning session in the civil trial for pop singer Taylor Swift, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Denver.

Litigator of the Week: Taylor Swift’s Lawyer Tells All

By Jenna Greene |

Forgive the tabloid headline. Venable partner J. Douglas Baldridge is actually quite discreet when discussing his famous client. But he spent last week litigating under a blinding media spotlight, with everyone from People Magazine and Inside Edition to The New York Times covering Taylor Swift’s six-day federal trial in Denver.

This Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 image shows s white supremacist carrying a NAZI flag into the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Your Move, Trump Lawyers. The Country Is Watching

By Jenna Greene |

Big law firms, the ones billing Trump full-freight—can make moral decisions about whom they choose to represent, whose agenda they want to help advance. Their response to the violence in Charlottesville? Crickets...

Example of faster shingle failure along a roof eave where more water is channeled and which accelerates the washing away of the asphalt saturating the paper fiber of the shingles. As the asphalt is lost the paper begins to visibly shrink and contract as seen in the foreground.

The Arbitration Fight You Didn’t Know Was Happening—And that Skadden Is Winning

By Jenna Greene |

For all the attention being paid these days to mandatory arbitration of consumer financial disputes, there’s another unlikely battleground: roof shingles. Seriously.

David Tulchin of Sullivan & Cromwell.

Hot Cross Buns: These Sullivan and Cromwell Litigators Show How to Grill a Witness

By Jenna Greene |

Trial was just four months away when a team from Sullivan and Cromwell led by David Tulchin and Thomas White parachuted in to save the day for medical device maker Micro System Engineering Inc.

Sidley Austin's Carter Phillips.

How Gibson Dunn (and T-Mobile) Saved a Sidley Client $32M

By Jenna Greene |

“I’ve never seen anything like this in 37 years of practice.” That’s how Sidley Austin chair Carter Phillips describes the way his client Sprint got off the hook for a $32 million patent infringement judgment last week

mushroom cloud

Five Legal Stories to Distract You From Thoughts of Armageddon

By Jenna Greene |

Here are five legal stories from around the web to get your mind off whether you should start building a bomb shelter. Hello boob photos, a plaintiffs lawyer having a temper tantrum, disastrous blind dates, celebrities with herpes and poop. See, aren’t you feeling better already?

This Big Law Litigator Is Defending Taylor Swift in DJ Groping Trial

By Jenna Greene |

Did a disc jockey fondle Taylor Swift's buttock? Venable partner J. Douglas Baldridge--whose usual caseload involves high-stakes IP, antitrust, First Amendment and real estate fights--is representing the pop superstar in a federal trial in Denver. And it's a circus.

Preet Bharara.

Preet Bharara is Unchained on Social Media—and He’s Awesome

By Jenna Greene |

The last thing the world needs is another $1,500-an-hour white collar defense lawyer in New York City—which is why it’s so refreshing that Preet Bharara has eschewed the lucrative and predictable embrace of a law firm.

Trump Hotel Washington DC

Stand and Deliver: CREW Takes Its Best Shot at Convincing Court Not to Toss Suit Against Trump

By Jenna Greene |

The legal dream team representing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington took a running leap at the hurdle of standing, filing a hard-hitting brief on Friday evening in their emoluments lawsuit against President Donald Trump.

Commercial Litigation is on a Downswing—But These Firms Are Coming Out on Top

By Jenna Greene |

Your suspicions are confirmed: commercial litigation has been on the decline for the last eight years. Who is grabbing the biggest pieces of the shrinking pie?

Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz.

Shout-Out: This is Why You Hire Beth Wilkinson

By Jenna Greene |

In late June, I wrote a column headlined “No Pressure Beth—Just $12 Billion on the Line as Containerboard Class Action Gets Closer to Trial.” The Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz founding partner delivered—big time.

Schiff Hardin's Bruce Wagman with dogs Kazi (left) and Tatu at his home in Stinson Beach.

From Wolves to Horses to Dogs, This Big Law Partner Has Built a Practice Exclusively Defending Animals

By Jenna Greene |

Schiff Hardin partner Bruce Wagman has the best client list ever: birds, cats, chickens, chimpanzees, cows, deer, dogs and more. Okay, technically they’re not his clients, because, well, animals can’t hire lawyers. But Wagman has carved out a unique practice defending and improving their lives.

Bad News, Bob. The ACLU Just Clobbered You With This Awesome Amicus Brief

By Jenna Greene |

This is the brief everyone wishes they got to write: the ACLU’s amicus submission siding with comedian John Oliver. It is truly and gloriously over the top.

Williams & Connolly

Why It's a Good Thing That Williams & Connolly Isn't Merging With Quinn Emanuel

By Jenna Greene |

The combined firm would have been a slightly terrifying, 1,000-litigator juggernaut. But that's not why I'm glad to hear they're not merging.

Summer Sizzle: July’s Top Lateral Litigator Moves

By Jenna Greene |

No sleepy summer doldrums. Across the country, big-name lawyers in practices including mass torts, IP, labor and employment and environmental litigation all found new homes. Here are the Lit Daily’s picks for 10 of the most notable lateral litigator moves in July.

Kirkland & Ellis associate Rob Bernstein.

The Kirkland Associate and the Case of the Bungled Pot Raid

By Jenna Greene |

If Spiderman was a lawyer, he might be a lot like Kirkland and Ellis associate Rob Bernstein. No, not the part about webs. But because when Bernstein saw something wrong, he jumped in to fight it--and what happened to this Kansas City family was seriously messed up.

How One Company (With Help From Sheppard Mullin) Has Raked in $145 Million from Enforcing Its Employment Agreements

By Jenna Greene |

Here’s a number to marvel at: $145 million. That’s how much interdealer broker TP ICAP has recovered in the last three years by enforcing its employee agreements in the United States, according to Stephen Goulet, general counsel for the Americas.

Brian Benczkowski testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to be Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

Should Your Clients Be Held Against You?

By Jenna Greene |

There’s a tendency by those outside the legal profession to conflate lawyers with their clients, to assume that if you represented someone, you must personally be aligned with their interests or find them sympathetic. The latest target: Kirkland and Ellis white-collar defense partner Brian Benczkowski.

Janet Reno in 1997 and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017

Hang in There, Jeff Sessions

By Jenna Greene |

Maybe Sessions will be Janet Reno to Trump’s Bill Clinton: the AG who the president wishes would quit—but won’t.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Shout-Out: Wilson Sonsini’s $1B Save

By Jenna Greene |

A trial team from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati delivered a $1 billion save for client Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. after a federal jury in Boston on Friday sided with the company in a patent fight over its generic version of the blood-thinner Lovenox.

Robert Giuffra of Sullivan & Cromwell.

Shout-Out: Sullivan and Cromwell—and Bob Giuffra—Strike Again

By Jenna Greene |

Facing firepower from a top securities class action firm, Sullivan and Cromwell partners Robert Giuffra Jr. and Matthew Schwartz on Thursday racked up a win on behalf of department store Kohl’s Corp. and two of its executives in Wisconsin federal court.

New Tactic in Climate Change Litigation Could Cost Energy Companies Billions. Or Not.

By Jenna Greene |

“This type of state common law climate litigation has been a long time coming, and these cases may well represent the first of a slew of similar cases nationwide."

Scott Balber of Herbert Smith Freehills.

This Suit Says Everything About Latest Lawyer in Trump-Russia Scandal

By Jenna Greene |

A person’s choice of counsel can speak volumes. Consider Ike Kaveladze, the “eighth person” at the now-infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. He's tapped Scott Balber, counsel of record in one of the most ridiculous lawsuits of all time. Hint: It involved Donald J. Trump, Bill Maher and an orangutan.

The Actor by Pablo Picasso

Some Nazi-Era Art Cases Are Easy—But Not This One

By Jenna Greene |

When it comes to disputes over the ownership of artwork that changed hands during the Nazi era, it’s hard not to sympathize with the plaintiffs—descendants of Jews who were persecuted or slaughtered during the Holocaust. But a case pending in the Southern District of New York tests just how far these claims can go.

Ty Cobb.

Ty Cobb, Jamie Gorelick and the Art of the Graceful Exit

By Jenna Greene |

Hogan Lovells partner Ty Cobb did his firm a big favor. He’s resigning.

L-R Marc Kasowitz and Alan Futerfas

This is Why No One Wants to Represent the Trumps

By Jenna Greene |

Having a bad day? Hate your job? Take some solace in the fact that at least you don’t represent a member of the Trump family.

When Lawyers are CEOs, Good Things Happen (Most of the Time)

By Jenna Greene |

Move over philosopher-kings—let’s hear it for the lawyer-CEOs. A new study of publicly traded companies headed by chief executives who also have law degrees found that such companies don’t get sued as often, and when they do, the consequences of litigation are less severe.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

Consumer Financial Protection Agency Kills Arbitration—and It Feels Good

By Jenna Greene |

In one of the more surreal actions to come out of Trump-era Washington, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday finalized a rule that bars banks, credit card issuers and the like from using arbitration clauses—the ones buried in the fine print of hundreds of millions of contracts—to block class actions.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown.

Brown to Step Down, Handing Trump Another High Profile Judicial Vacancy

By Jenna Greene |

Judge Janice Rogers Brown is retiring—and won’t take senior status--giving President Trump the opportunity to fill a vacancy on what is often called the second-most powerful court in the nation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Lateral Report: 10 Notable Litigator Moves in June

By Jenna Greene |

It’s not just hot outside—the market for lateral litigators heated up in June, with multiple big-league moves. Just ask Latham and Watkins or Shearman and Sterling or Davis Polk and Wardwell.

Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz.

No Pressure—Just $12 Billion on the Line as Containerboard Class Action Gets Closer to Trial

By Jenna Greene |

Taking a price fixing class action to trial is not for the faint of heart.

Michael Daugherty.

Flimsy FTC Data Breach Action Gets Appellate Test. And It's Not Pretty

By Jenna Greene |

Hungry litigators on the prowl for the Next Big Thing have been talking for ages about data breach litigation. Now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit is a case that’s sure to shape the data security landscape: the knock-down, drag-out, hair-pulling, eye-gouging fight between the Federal Trade Commission and LabMD.

ex-Arizona Cardinals cheerleader Megan Welter

What Do You Get if You Mix a Cheerleader, Justice Kennedy, Simpson Thacher and My Worst Nightmare? This Column.

By Jenna Greene |

Why is lawyer rating site Avvo in a fight with an ex-cheerleader? And what's up with all the Justice-Kennedy-Might-Retire speculation? How did Simpson Thacher defeat class cert? All this and more...


A Blast From the (Smoky) Past: Are Opioid Suits the New Big Tobacco?

By Jenna Greene |

As states, cities and counties pile on to sue opioid manufacturers for fueling drug addiction, it's got a familiar feeling: the suits against big tobacco.

An advertisement for Trump University.

How a Nagging Flaw Could (and Should) Un-Do the Trump U Settlement

By Jenna Greene |

“A classic Catch-22.” “A Hobson’s choice.” “Deeply problematic.” That’s how a dozen top law school professors describe the Trump University fraud settlement in an amicus brief. It’s a strong argument—and it may be enough to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reverse U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s March 31 approval of the settlement.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission building

In Suing to Block Merger of Fantasy Sports Sites, FTC Resists the Trump Steamroller

By Jenna Greene |

Antitrust is not especially political. But there's a perception that Republican administrations tend to be more willing to say yes to corporate mergers. The FTC, however, just issued an emphatic “no," filing suit on Monday to block the merger of two fantasy sports sites.

From Baker Botts to the Bench and Back: When Being a Judge Isn’t the Ultimate Job

By Jenna Greene |

Becoming a judge is supposed to be the brass ring, the crowning glory of a legal career. So what makes someone give it up to go back to private practice?

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) questions Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and Sessions’s alleged meetings with Russian officials, on June 13, 2017.

Girl (Senator) Interrupted: Women Litigators Feel Kamala Harris’ Pain

By Jenna Greene |

For the second time in a week, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was interrupted by her male colleagues, who told the former prosecutor from California to back off aggressively questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. For women litigators, it’s a depressingly familiar dynamic.

James Hurst.

20 Years, 5 Trials, and It’s Still Not Over: This Case is Like ‘Groundhog Day’ for Kirkland’s Hurst

By Jenna Greene |

In some ways, winning a $26 million jury award for age discrimination in 2002 against Abbott Laboratories was the worst thing that could have happened to former sales manager David Jelinek and his legal team. Because after the verdict was reversed on appeal 12 years ago, they’ve been chasing it ever since. And it’s not working.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions (Gulp) is Right—It’s a Problem to Dole Out Settlement Money to Third Party Groups

By Jenna Greene |

There’s a fine line between government settlements that promote justice and those that amount to windfalls for select non-profit organizations.

CrossFit Clobbers Competitor with Sanctions in False Advertising Case

By Jenna Greene |

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise: CrossFit will kick your butt in court.

U.S. President Donald Trump sits during a meeting with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam's prime minister, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Trump hasn't yet decided whether to keep the U.S. in the landmark Paris agreement on climate change but is leaning toward exiting the accord, according to two people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg

Worst. Client. Ever.

By Jenna Greene |

For such a frequent litigant, Donald Trump sure does stink at being a client. It’s a standard instruction, for god’s sake. Don’t talk about your case. Keep your mouth shut and let your lawyers do their thing.

L-R Paul Clement and Todd Cosenza.

When Not Even Paul Clement Can Save Your ($10 Billion) Case

By Jenna Greene |

Not even the former solicitor general could save a $10 billion fraud suit against Barclays Bank PLC. It was a big victory for Willkie Farr and Gallagher—and a nice illustration of why you don’t change horses in mid-stream.

Leaping Litigators: Top 10 Lateral Moves in May

By Jenna Greene |

It’s getting hot outside, and the lateral litigator market is heating up too. High profile real estate and IP litigators found new homes in May, with MoFo and Fried Frank among the winners.

Scales of Justice: When Slack Fill Cases Aren’t Totally Stupid

By Jenna Greene |

Of all the injustices crying out to be righted, slack fill ranks pretty low. But that hasn’t stopped plaintiffs lawyers from bringing a flurry of cases against food and drug companies for under-filling their packaging, leaving empty, non-functional “slack fill” space. But not all cases are created equal.

San Francisco Gold Rush, the 49ers cheerleaders.

Plaintiffs Fumble on Cheerleader Suit

By Jenna Greene |

When a lawsuit involves an antitrust conspiracy with nearly $1 billion on the line, when the case has been covered by media including ABC News, Time Magazine and the Associated Press, when it involves the epitome of a sexy topic—cheerleaders for god’s sake—that’s not usually when a federal judge will urge counsel to let junior associates have a crack at oral argument.

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

This Federal Judge Is the King of Backlogs—But He’s Not the Only One

By Jenna Greene |

Poor U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin. The West Virginia judge had the biggest backlog of any federal judge in the country, with 20,139 cases pending for more than three years, according to a new report. Who else is in the slow lane?

(Clockwise from top left) Ted Olson, Robert Giuffra, Reid Weingarten and Marc Kasowitz.

Trump Taps Kasowitz—but Why Stop There? Elevator Pitch Suggestions for Olson, Giuffra and Weingarten

By Jenna Greene |

President Donald Trump will reportedly hire Marc Kasowitz as outside counsel to assist in the Russia probe. But why have just one first-chair litigator? Theodore Olson, Robert Giuffra Jr. and Reid Weingarten are also said to be in the running to join the team. What might their elevator pitches sound like?

Jamie Gorelick, left, and Robert Mueller, right.

Robert Mueller, Jamie Gorelick and the Wilmer Problem

By Jenna Greene |

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III seemed like the perfect pick for special counsel. Except until last week, he was a partner at Wilmer Hale—where his colleague in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, a fellow member of both the strategic response and regulatory and government affairs groups, was Jamie Gorelick. Jared Kushner’s lawyer. This could be a problem. A big one.

Joe McLaughlin of Simpson Thacher.

Shout-Out: A Pair of Wins for Simpson Thacher Class Action Star

By Jenna Greene |

It was a one-two punch for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett litigator Joseph McLaughlin, who racked up a pair of wins this week.

Shout-Out: Kirkland Wins Dismissal of Suits Blaming Facebook for Terror Attacks

By Jenna Greene |

A team from Kirkland & Ellis led by partner Craig Primis persuaded a federal judge in New York to toss a pair of suits alleging that Facebook Inc. supports terrorist organizations by allowing the groups to use its platform.

Alex Jones and Akin Gump sign

Akin Gump Prevails Over Alex Jones in Chobani Defamation Suit

By Jenna Greene |

Lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld made short work of conservative radio host Alex Jones, who attacked their client Chobani yogurt for “importing migrant rapists.”

President Donald Trump, left, and White House counsel Don McGahn, right.

The Case for Giving White House Counsel Don McGahn the Boot

By Jenna Greene |

Amidst rumors of an impending White House staff shakeup, there’s a new name on the potential hit list: White House Counsel Donald McGahn. It might not be such a bad idea.

Kentucky Family Court Judge W. Mitchell Nance

Judge Who Won’t Hear Gay Adoption Cases Faces Removal Bid (Or Is He Just Being Honest?)

By Jenna Greene |

Judicial bias is a tricky thing. It shouldn’t exist, of course—donning a black robe should confer superpowers that remove all traces of prejudice from the human mind. But in the real world, it’s not so simple. Which is why a complaint filed on Tuesday against a Kentucky judge raises some difficult questions.

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2011, file photo, Gigi Jordan, the multimillionaire mother charged with killing her autistic 8-year-old son, appears in Manhattan Supreme court in New York. Jordan was sentenced Thursday, May 28, 2015, to 18 years in prison. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Millionaire Mom Who Poisoned Son Loses $225M RICO Suit

By Jenna Greene |

It was a sad, sordid case, and it came to a merciful end on Friday, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dismissed it with prejudice, handing a win to lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

An Open Letter to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius: I Hope You Know What You’re Doing

By Jenna Greene |

Just wondering—did you as a firm by chance notice how the president treated Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week? Did it give you pause before staking the reputation of your 144-year-old firm on a pledge that Trump has no financial ties to Russia, nope, no siree?

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Shout-Out: A Triple Play for Securities Litigators at Wilson Sonsini

By Jenna Greene |

Good things come in threes for securities litigators at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, who racked up three wins in less than a week.

James Comey, left, and Rod Rosenstein, right.

Rod Rosenstein’s Deal with the Devil

By Jenna Greene |

How did Rod Rosenstein, who for two weeks basked in the glow of being one of the few Trump appointees that Democrats didn’t despise, agree to go along with this? Was this the price of being the DAG? Calling Faust—Mephistopheles has a very attractive political appointment for you.

Why This Loss for the Legendary David Boies Is a Gain for the Rest of Us

By Jenna Greene |

If David Boies and co-counsel from Skadden had prevailed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday, the government would have owed their clients at least $18.3 billion for claims that an amicus called "a stunning example of avarice."

Confidential Settlement? Not This Time, as Judge Unseals $20M Payment in Waterslide Death

By Jenna Greene |

It’s almost a given: the more horrific the injury, the more appalling the negligence, the more likely the inevitable lawsuit will settle on confidential terms. And so went the lawsuit against a Kansas City, Kansas amusement park, where 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated on a waterslide last year. Until The Kansas City Star got involved, that is.

Four Top Litigators Compete for Bragging Rights and a $40,000 Prize: Who Gave the Best Closing Argument?

By Jenna Greene |

Talk about a jury of your peers. Four of the top litigators in the country went toe-to-toe Friday at the annual meeting of the litigation section of the American Bar Association in San Francisco, competing before hundreds of attendees to see who gave the best closing argument. Each lawyer ponied up $10,000 to compete.

Rating the ABA Conference Swag

By Jenna Greene |

What do you give a lawyer who has everything? Besides a Ferrari, that is. For the stalwart vendors who exhibit at legal conferences, it’s a dilemma.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington during his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Attorney General, on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

When Laughing During a Congressional Hearing Is a Crime—But a Police Shooting Is Not

By Jenna Greene |

The same day that Justice Department lawyers won a criminal conviction against Desiree Fairooz for laughing during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Jeff Session, they also announced that they didn’t have enough evidence to bring charges against the Louisiana police officers involved in the shooting death of Alton Sterling. Is this how it’s going to be, Mr. Attorney General?

There’s the Kushner Standard for a Security Clearance—and Then There’s Everyone Else

By Jenna Greene |

“No one has a ‘right’ to a security clearance,” the U.S. Supreme Court held 30 years ago in a rare case addressing the issue. Unless, apparently, your name is Jared Kushner.

Federal Judge Dares Plaintiffs Lawyer: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

By Jenna Greene |

Add this to the list of things judges don’t like: When they make an erudite ruling from the bench dismissing a suit—and five seconds later are told by the plaintiffs’ lawyers that there’s a new witness, and could they please re-file the case? Yes, apples are juicy and delicious, but how many bites do you get?

Spring Awakening: The Top 10 Lateral Litigator Moves in April

By Jenna Greene |

Nothing like a mega-merger to shake up the legal market. Some of the biggest lateral litigator moves this month have come before the impending nuptials of Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis landed a huge catch, and a trio of Big Law litigators launched a trial boutique.

Freight train with coal in forest

Shout-Out: Kirkland and Crowell Score $109M for Railroad Clients

By Jenna Greene |

Litigators from Kirkland & Ellis and Crowell & Moring scored a $109 million win for their railroad clients in a contract fight with FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. over transporting coal.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III, Northern District of California

Trump Blasts ‘Unelected’ Judge, But Who Has the Real Immigration Chops?

By Jenna Greene |

I admit, I have a judge crush on William Orrick III, whose place in my affection was cemented when he blocked President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities. And while he may be a "single, unelected judge," it's a good bet that he knows more about immigration law than the entire White House staff.

Alex Jones and Akin Gump sign

Akin Gump in the Crosshairs of Conservative Radio Host Alex Jones for Chobani Suit

By Jenna Greene |

Radio host Alex Jones is telling millions of listeners that Akin Gump was actually founded by George Soros--or as Jones calls him, the “Nazi collaborator demon.” That's how Jones explains the firm's representation of yogurt maker Chobani, which just sued him for defamation. Ridiculous? Yes. But a little bit scary too.

When the Second Circuit Says It’s OK to Call Your Boss a ‘Nasty Mother F---er‘

By Jenna Greene |

Is this the death of workplace civility? Open season against employers on Facebook? If you add “#Union” to a post, are you now free to say whatever horrible things you like? Calm down, not so fast. The Second Circuit offered a far more nuanced answer in upholding a controversial decision by the NLRB.

David Sochia.

McKool Smith MP on Market Doldrums, Winning on a Budget and Why Alternative Fees Aren’t the Answer

By Jenna Greene |

These are not the best of times for the business of litigation. The market is stagnant, with clients shying away from bringing new suits, keeping more work in-house and pushing back hard on costs. In a Q&A, McKool Smith managing partner David Sochia, an accomplished litigator who has taken on the mantle of law firm strategist, shares insights on how to thrive.

On her 16th birthday, Makenzie Wethington suffered major injuries from a skydiving accident in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

Payday for 16-Year-Old Girl Whose Parachute Malfunctioned

By Jenna Greene |

Ah personal injury law. Where you take your worst fears and put a price tag on them. Here’s a particularly vivid nightmare: What’s it worth when your parachute doesn’t open? When you plummet 3,000 feet to the ground and somehow survive, but with multiple injuries? That was the question before an Oklahoma federal judge last week after a Texas girl’s 16th birthday celebration went horribly awry.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan

Bad News for Trump: Latest Travel Ban Case to Feature Live Testimony

By Jenna Greene |

Here’s a travel ban case with a twist: live witnesses in court. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. will allow testimony from witnesses including a Sheppard Mullin partner. The move seems distinctly advantageous to the plaintiffs, represented by an army of lawyers from Arnold & Porter.

Michael Imbroscio, left, and Paul Schmidt, right, of Covington & Burling.

The Massive Accutane Litigation Just Fell Apart After Judge Boots Expert ‘Hired Guns’

By Jenna Greene |

Any litigator knows a case can rise or fall on the testimony of an expert witness. A New Jersey state judge made that abundantly clear when he skewered the plaintiffs’ two experts in a long-running fight over the acne drug Accutane, banning their testimony and handing a huge win to Hoffman La Roche and Covington & Burling.

Why is Flying So Terrible? Blame These Antitrust Lawyers

By Jenna Greene |

You don’t have to be beaten and dragged off a flight to conclude that flying coach is a miserable experience these days. Wondering who to blame? Here’s a suggestion: antitrust lawyers--and yes, we're naming names. The ones who rammed through airline mergers--and the ones at DOJ who took the bait.

Lisa Bloom attends the world premiere of 'UNITY' at the DGA Theater on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

Forget Paul Weiss: Lisa Bloom Wants NY State to Investigate ‘Cesspool’ Fox News

By Jenna Greene |

Arguing that Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison will not conduct an independent inquiry, high-profile plaintiffs lawyer Lisa Bloom on Tuesday asked the New York State Division of Human Rights to investigate sexual harassment at Fox News.

Surgical Gowns

A World of Hurt for King & Spalding in $454M Trial Loss

By Jenna Greene |

Say ouch. Kimberly-Clark Corp. and spin-off Halyard Health Inc. were hit with a $454 million fraud verdict in Los Angeles federal court on Friday in a lawsuit over surgical gowns that allegedly failed to protect medical personnel from infection.

President  Donald Trump.

A Tour of Trump Lawsuits: Flipped Out, Freaked Out and Just Plain Daffy

By Jenna Greene |

When you are president, people like to sue you. A lot.

L-R Lawrence Spiegel and Greg Litt, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & From, New York.

Shout-Out: Skadden Scores in FIFA Ethics Fight

By Jenna Greene |

A team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom convinced soccer’s international governing body to lift a one-year ban on Saoud Al-Mohannadi, vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation and Qatar Football Association.

Judge Gary Thomas in 1986. He was appointed to the Marin County bench by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1972. (Marin Independent Journal archives)

Prosecutor Left Paralyzed in Infamous Courthouse Hostage Fight Dies

By Jenna Greene |

The metal detectors, bag searches and armed bailiffs that are standard in courthouses today—this is where it started. In a courtroom in San Rafael, California in 1970 where a horrifying hostage standoff left a judge dead and an assistant DA paralyzed. But Gary Thomas, who went on to become a judge, was never bitter. "I feel blessed," he said.

Snapchat Logo

Ex-Snapchat Exec Goes Scorched Earth in Dispute with Company

By Jenna Greene |

A man who worked briefly at Snapchat before he was fired is making explosive claims that the company misled investors about user metrics in an effort to inflate its valuation before going public--never mind that the dispute is subject to (confidential) arbitration.

In Priest Sex Abuse Cases, a Sickening Calculation—and the Right Answer

By Jenna Greene |

Shouldn’t any diocese that turned a blind eye to pedophile priests be punished monetarily? But what if that means that church goes bankrupt, with no assets left to pay the victims? Is that justice? A federal bankruptcy judge in Minnesota wrestles with the issue.

Lateral Report: The Few, the Proud, the March Movers

By Jenna Greene |

There weren’t many run-of-the-mill lateral litigator moves in March, the kind where a mid-level partner at Big Firm A moves to Big Firm B, spouting something about platforms and synergy. Instead, the most notable March moves were propelled by something extra.

At Tesla, Doozy of a Lawsuit Met With Doozy of a Response

By Jenna Greene |

No namby-pamby ‘no comment’ for the electric car maker when it was hit with an employment discrimination lawsuit this week. Instead, Tesla practically litigated its entire case in a press release.

Deanna Rice, counsel at O’Melveny & Myers.

Behind an O’Melveny Lawyer’s SCOTUS Debut: Two Years, Four Moot Courts and a Plan of Attack

By Jenna Greene |

You always remember your first, whether it’s a kiss, a car, a parachute jump—or for a select few, your first argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, O’Melveny & Myers counsel Deanna Rice will join the legal profession’s most elite club.

Keystone Approval: Bittersweet for Sidley Team?

By Jenna Greene |

All but lost in the hubbub over the failure of health care reform was news that the federal government on Friday formally greenlighted the Keystone XL Pipeline. Great news for TransCanada Corp., but perhaps bittersweet for its lawyers at Sidley Austin. A stellar team of litigators was poised to break new legal ground with two novel challenges.