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.
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...
For all the attention being paid these days to mandatory arbitration of consumer financial disputes, there’s another unlikely battleground: roof shingles. Seriously.
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.
“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
It took five years for the government to decide to halt its securities fraud prosecution of international financier Benjamin Wey. But for his attorney, Haynes and Boone partner David Siegal, the problems with the feds' case were baked-in from the start.
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?
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.
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.
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.
In Stuart Newberger's legal practice, patience is essential. So when the Crowell and Moring partner logged a significant win in a terrorism suit against Sudan before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he shrugged off the fact that it came 17 years after his clients first came to him.
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?
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.
From Wolves to Horses to Dogs, This Big Law Partner Has Built a Practice Exclusively Defending AnimalsBy 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Veteran Texas litigator Mike McKool calls the breach of contract case pitting producer Quincy Jones against MJJ Productions and the estate of pop superstar Michael Jackson “one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever handled.”
How One Company (With Help From Sheppard Mullin) Has Raked in $145 Million from Enforcing Its Employment AgreementsBy 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.
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.
Maybe Sessions will be Janet Reno to Trump’s Bill Clinton: the AG who the president wishes would quit—but won’t.
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow said on Sunday that the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately be called on to decide the scope of presidential pardon power. If that happens, the justices will likely dust off one of the few cases in which the high court has ruled on the pardon power: the 1866 decision in Ex Parte Garland, involving one of the most prolific—and acerbic—advocates before the court: Augustus Garland.
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.
For a criminal defense lawyer, there’s no better feeling than winning exoneration for a deserving client. Just ask Willkie Farr and Gallagher partner Michael Schachter.
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.
“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."
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.
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.
Hogan Lovells partner Ty Cobb did his firm a big favor. He’s resigning.
Following a string of successful mortgage-backed securities cases against most of the banking industry, Philippe Selendy of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan notched another achievement this week.
PR 101 would advise anyone in crisis that addressing the media quickly is imperative. It’s not ideal Donald Trump Jr.'s story rapidly changed, but in short order, he leapfrogged the New York Times to get his message out there--and that counts.
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.
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.
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 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.
The American Lawyer is accepting submissions for this year’s contest through August 4. Here are some dos and don’ts from the editors.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan partner James Bernard led a fight to recover more than $1 billion in assets for creditors who obtained favorable rulings from U.S. courts for losses suffered in Iran-backed attacks
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.
To win a defense verdict in a $350 million trade secrets fight between the world’s two largest essential oil companies, Ballard Spahr partner Mark Gaylord first had to convince a Utah judge that the case boiled down to simple contract dispute.
Taking a price fixing class action to trial is not for the faint of heart.
Boris Feldman, a Silicon Valley litigator at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, has been on what you might call a crusade to drive all securities fraud class actions into federal court. And he just might succeed.
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.
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...
Hogan Lovells partner Neal Katyal scored a game changing win in a SCOTUS case that fundamentally alters the growing practice of mass tort litigation--starting right now. How'd he do it? Hint: “It’s not like I sit in my room and read the briefs.”
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.
“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.
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.
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?
It has been an eventful spring for Williams and Connolly partner Kannon Shanmugam. In April, his wife Vicki gave birth to their third son, Henry. In May and June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered two other bundles of joy: victories in both the cases he argued this term. "Two Supreme Court cases and a baby. I can't complain," Shanmugam said.
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.
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.
Orrick’s Lynne Hermle, an employment law trial specialist if there ever was one, has developed something of a sub-specialty recently. For the second time in the past eight months, Hermle this week convinced a Los Angeles jury to side with Elon Musk-led SpaceX in a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled former employee.
There’s a fine line between government settlements that promote justice and those that amount to windfalls for select non-profit organizations.
It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise: CrossFit will kick your butt in court.
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.
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.
Andrew Tulumello co-chairs Gibson Dunn and Crutcher’s sports law practice, so he’s familiar with the term “double play.” He pulled one off this week, bringing home two big victories for his clients, including a Supreme Court win.
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.
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.
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.
Defending JAMS Inc. and one of its neutrals over resume padding charges, these litigators soldiered through an unconventional three-week trial in San Diego Superior Court only to be faced with a possible jury deadlock.
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?
Trump Taps Kasowitz—but Why Stop There? Elevator Pitch Suggestions for Olson, Giuffra and WeingartenBy 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?
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.
It was a one-two punch for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett litigator Joseph McLaughlin, who racked up a pair of wins this week.
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll partner Joseph Sellers just won approval of a major settlement in a decades-old discrimination class action, for what he hopes is the last time.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
You might say Wilmer's William Lee and Joseph Mueller were in a good position heading into trial in Delaware on behalf of Intel Corp. The day it began, the judge compared their opponent’s case to someone “floating off into the inky blackness of space with no hope of survival or rescue.”
Good things come in threes for securities litigators at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, who racked up three wins in less than a week.
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.
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."
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.
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.
A federal jury in New Orleans deliberated for less than two hours before coming back this week with a defense win in the first bellwether trial over the blood thinner Xarelto. That’s a bona fide slam dunk--even for lead defense counsel Beth Wilkinson, who’s notched a streak of trial victories in her career.
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?
“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.
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?
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.
It all comes back to square one. That’s how Gibson Dunn appellate litigator Theodore “Ted” Boutrous Jr. describes his strategy for handling appeals—and it helped Travelers Insurance dodge a $36 million bullet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After appellate attorney Howard J. Bashman appeared in front of a panel of Pennsylvania Superior Court judges with a $55 million verdict against Honda at stake, he quickly jumped on his appellate blog, “How Appealing,” to say how well the arguments went, and to subtly dig the opposing counsel for alleged cell phone use in court.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a trial lawyer, sometimes backing away from a fight is the smartest move to make. That was the lesson that Sullivan & Cromwell partner Garrard Beeney said stuck with him as he argued his way to an $814.9 million arbitration win for BlackBerry that was handed down this week.
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.
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.
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.
When you are president, people like to sue you. A lot.