Photo by Joshua Gates Weisberg-Pool/Getty Images
Photo by Joshua Gates Weisberg-Pool/Getty Images

Wake Up Call: Brooklyn Jury Convicts Arent Fox Partner of Insider Trading

• A Brooklyn federal jury convicted Robert Schulman, an Arent Fox patent prosecution and intellectual property litigation partner in Washington, D.C., of insider trading linked to Pfizer Inc.’s $3.6 billion acquisition in 2010 of King Pharmaceuticals Inc. Arent Fox said Schulman has been booted from the firm. (New York Law Journal)

• In a move that illustrates how the professional services market is changing, about half of General Electric’s tax department —once described as as ‘the world’s best tax law firm’ — is moving to PwC in April. (BLB)

• President Donald Trump and his team spent weeks working on a second travel ban after judges nationwide shot down the first one last month. Now federal judges in two states have stopped the revised one in its tracks, too. Hawaii U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson slammed the order for discriminating against Muslims, handing the administration another setback on a core campaign issue. Trump vowed to fight. (Bloomberg) • The latest court setback shows that Trump’s tweets are going to “haunt” his presidency. (Wired)

• Dentons is set to start a U.K. patent prosecution and opposition practice staffed with a team of Olswang lawyers who are leaving that firm ahead of its merger with CMS and Nabarro. (Legal Week) Meanwhile, Dentons is cutting jobs on both sides of the Atlantic (Legal Week) and is said to be eliminating the role of managing associate after review in its U.K. offices. (The Lawyer)

• Major companies including AT&T Mobility Service, Uber Technologies Inc., Kmart Corp., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Neiman Marcus will be watching a case the U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled on its fall docket, looking at whether workplace arbitration agreements that ban class-action law suits violate federal labor law. On Tuesday the National Labor Relations Board released a list of about 75 disputes involving companies across the retail, banking, health care and technology sectors whose outcomes could hinge on how the court rules. (National Law Journal)

 

 

Legal Market

• Adidas AG and its U.S. subsidiary have aggressively litigated to protect the company’s three-stripe trademark, filing almost 50 lawsuits over the past five years. Now, fast-fashion seller Forever 21 has filed a lawsuit in L.A. federal court arguing that the Germany sports apparel company should not be allowed to claim that “Adidas, alone, has a monopoly on all striped clothing.” (Bloomberg)

• German prosecutors raided offices of Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand as investigations into the manipulation of diesel engines continue to weigh on the automaker more than a year after revelations of emissions cheating. (Bloomberg)

• U.S. “trade relationships and trade arrangements” aren’t going to disappear under Trump, said Dean Pinkert, who recently left the International Trade Commission after ten years as a member. BLB talked to Pinkert about his new job at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, the outlook for international trade under Trump, and what he describes as an obligation to consider trade and technology’s impact on “ordinary people.” (BLB)

• China is emerging as the World Trade Organization’s unlikely champion amid Trump’s threats to weaken it. Since its entry into the WTO in 2001, China has developed a network of diplomats and lawyers capable of using WTO rules to its advantage in trade disputes. (Bloomberg)

• Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters isn’t holding back in his defense against government claims that he made $43 million illegally on tips provided by a golfing buddy. (Bloomberg)

 

 

President Trump’s First 100 Days

• James McDonald, a federal prosecutor from Manhattan, is expected to be named as the next enforcement chief of the Commodities Future Trading Commission, the main U.S. derivatives regulator, according to two people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

• On Tuesday the Trump administration nominated Eric Hargan, a Greenberg Traurig shareholder in the firm’s Chicago office, to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Columbia Law graduate, Hargan has extensive experience in corporate and health law, and held various roles under the George W. Bush administration. (National Law Journal)

• Trump’s first budget would slash State Department funds while sharply hiking funds for defense and law enforcement. (Politico)

• Trump says he will have “good stuff” to prove his claims that former President Obama had his phones wiretapped during the campaign. Meanwhile, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, said his panel has seen no such evidence. (Bloomberg)

• Health insurer Anthem Inc. sought changes to the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act when its chief executive officer talked with Trump on Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he almost certainly will oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination and urge other Democrats to do so, though he’ll make a final decision after next week’s confirmation hearing. (Bloomberg) Democrats’ decision to oppose Gorsuch on grounds that he takes the side of corporations to the detriment of workers is a “truly terrible idea.” (Bloomberg View)

• Poor claims rates in class action settlements are increasingly drawing the scrutiny of courts, the government, and other critics. (National Law Journal)

• An H.J. Heinz Co. security guard traded company stock based on confidential information obtained from his employer, according to a civil complaint filed in Manhattan federal court by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Bloomberg)

• Lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Morrison & Foerster have already started fighting in Alphabet Inc.’s trade-secret theft suit against Uber Technologies Inc. over driverless car technology. (The Recorder)

• In a recent dissenting opinion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas questioned the power of Congress to regulate business in foreign countries. (The Daily Signal)

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Bank of America Corp. Vice Chairman Gary Lynch, the Wall Street lawyer brought in to help the lender clean up its financial crisis-era mess, is retiring April 1, at age 66. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Holland & Knight said Thomas M. Reynolds, who served 10 years representing western New York’s 26th district in U.S. Congress, and Sally Vastola, his chief of staff, have joined the firm as senior policy advisers in Washington, D.C., along with two other lawyers, all of whom were previously at Nixon Peabody. (Hklaw.com)

• The U.K. government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, has promoted in-house lawyer Davinder Mann to lead its legal department. She was previously a managing associate at Linklaters in its global energy and infrastructure project finance practice. (Gov.UK)

• Partner promotions slowed this year at Atlanta’s largest law firms, after hitting a peak last year. (Daily Report)

 

 

Technology

• The U.S. government on Wednesday accused Russia of masterminding hacks that affected about 500 million Yahoo! Inc. users. Here’s how the hackers pulled off the feat. (Bloomberg) The U.S. indicted four people in the case, but Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, is the only one likely to see trial. (Bloomberg)

• The American Bar Association is holding one of the largest legal tech gatherings of the year this week in Chicago. (Above The Law)

• In a meeting with automakers in Detroit Wednesday, Trump started a process for rolling back fuel economy standards imposed by the Obama administration. (Ars Technica)

• Hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen is trying to teach computers to think like top traders. (Bloomberg)

 

Legal Education

• Barbara McQuade got forced out last week as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, one of 46 federal prosecutors to be shown the door in the Trump administration’s purge of Obama-era holddover. McQuade seems to have landed on her feet, quickly getting a job at the University of Michigan Law School. (National Law Journal)

• Campus police are investigating what the dean of University of California, Hastings called an apparent act of anti-Semitic vandalism at the San Francisco-based school’s College of the Law. (The Recorder)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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