Wake Up Call: Cravath Tops Law Firms on ‘Prestige’ Ranking

• Cravath, Swaine & Moore stayed atop the Vault 100 prestige rankings for law firms for a second-straight year, as law firm “associates clearly haven’t forgotten that the firm is responsible for industry-wide associate raises last year.” to $180,000. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which Cravath supplanted at No. 1 last year, stayed at No. 2 on the rankings, which are based on a survey of associates at Big Law firms. (Above The Law)

• A group of senators led by Minnesota Democrat Al Franken wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to urge him to block AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner Inc. Their letter contends the deal would concentrate control of popular content and lead to “higher prices, fewer choices, and poorer quality services for Americans.” (Ars Technica)

• In a Washington, D.C., speech today, Google’s general counsel Kent Walker plans to urge lawmakers to update laws on how governments access customer data stored on servers located in other countries, Reuters reports. Walker’s push comes as technology firms face mounting legal uncertainty, both in the United States and worldwide, about how to comply with government requests for foreign-held data. (Reuters via New York Times)

• Latham & Watkins continued its hiring tear yesterday, announcing that Leslie Caldwell, who directed the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force as an assistant attorney general in the Obama Administration, will join the firm’s white collar practice group in San Francisco. A former Morgan Lewis partner, Caldwell served as a federal prosecutor on both coasts, in Brooklyn and later leading the San Francisco office’s criminal division and securities fraud section under then-U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller. (BLB)

• The fall of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and other big changes hitting his company, started with a former engineer’s blog post about her “very, very strange year” at the company. (Recode) • As Travis Kalanick was in Chicago interviewing a candidate to be his deputy at Uber Technologies Inc., two venture capture partners were on a plane to hand deliver investors’ letter that they wanted the CEO gone. (Bloomberg)

• Law firm Jackson Lewis and Merchants Information Solutions agreed to pair their services for businesses that suffer data breaches, to help them deal with a tangle of state and federal rules. Under the arrangement, subscribers to Merchants’ SmartIDentity for Business Program can contact Jackson Lewis’ cybersecurity experts and breach coaches for legal advice if a data incident occurs. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• The SEC accused Arista Power Inc., its general counsel, Michael Hughes, its CEO and another person with securities fraud in a scheme to conceal the public company’s financing and its money troubles. (Corporate Counsel)

• From the AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, in June in New Orleans, to Justice at the Opera with Justice Ginsberg, in August in New Mexico: the Big Law Business summer events calendar. (BLB)

 

 

Legal Market

• A U.K. Serious Fraud Office decision to charge Barclays Plc and four of its former executives this week could be a last hurrah for the embattled agency, targeted for closure by Prime Minister Theresa May. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• The president of the Washington State Bar Association resigned amidst charges that she used credit cards belonging to two law firms to pay for personal spending including travel, a gym membership and political donations. (Spokesman Review)

• The federal government is using private law firms to collect unpaid student loans. (NPR)

• As Ivanka Trump expands her role in the White House, U.S. trademark officials have steadily granted initial approval to a stream of new products bearing her name — intimate apparel, lounge wear and athletic clothing. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

The Trump Administration

• President Donald Trump’s biggest legacy will be a reshaped court system that will probably be conservative for a long time. (Atlantic)

• Trump has replaced traditional forms of White House communication with direct but one-way messages via Twitter and speeches to friendly audiences. (Washington Post)

 

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to act on Trump’s bid to reinstate his travel ban, which would suspend entry from six mostly Muslim countries for 90 days. A look at what to expect. (Bloomberg)

• A federal judge on Wednesday began trying to find 16 New Jersey residents who can be fair and impartial jurors in the September corruption trial of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and a top donor. (Bloomberg)

• Big business wants the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold curbs on employee class actions, and now it has the White House on its team. (National Law Journal)

• In a key ruling last year, the Supreme Court left an opening for defendants to “pick off” class actions by depositing funds in lead plaintiffs’ accounts. But so far defendants’ attempts to use that loophole have made little progress in federal courts. (National Law Journal)

• A fatal plane crash in Colombia during shooting for a Tom Cruise movie has set off several lawsuits, including one in Atlanta federal court where one insurance company suing another for at least $450,000 in legal bills. (Daily Report Online)

 

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Stroock & Stroock & Lavan’s corporate practice co-leader and private funds group chairman, Lior Ohayon, is leaving for Willkie Farr & Gallagher as a partner, while corporate lawyer, Armando Ramirez, already left for McDermott Will & Emery. The exits come a few months after Stroock lost about 10 lawyers from its corporate group. (New York Law Journal)

 

 

Technology

• News Corp., publisher of the Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, is holding “very advanced” discussions with Facebook Inc. about subscriptions to its content online, Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson said. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Legal Education

• A Florida court set a Jan. 22, 2018, trial date for one of two men accused of killing Florida State University law professor Dan Markel in 2014. (Law.com)

• Opinion: As legal education faces a crisis of falling enrollment and bar-exam scores, the idea of law-firm ownership might sound tempting. But it would not work in practice, would not address the glut of lawyers on the market, or fix lack of diversity in the profession. (Above The Law)

 

 

Miscellaneous

• Boris Becker was declared bankrupt by a British court on Wednesday after the former tennis player failed to pay a long-standing debt. (Bloomberg)

• A Georgia judge jailed two lawyers who got into a fistfight in his courtroom while representing clients in a child custody hearing. (Florida-Times Union)

• Ever since it sank in battle off the coast of Colombia in 1708, the Spanish galleon San Jose has awakened conflicting claims, luring lawyers, guns and money. (Bloomberg View)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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