Andrew Harrer (Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Andrew Harrer (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Wake Up Call: Trump’s CFTC Pick May Signal Change on Dodd-Frank

• U.S. President Donald Trump plans to nominate J. Christopher Giancarlo to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the derivatives trading that set off the financial crisis. Unlike Trump, Giancarlo has said he supports the core reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act. (New York Times DealBook) A Republican member of the CFTC, Giancarlo took over as the agency’s acting chairman in January. (Bloomberg BNA) Giancarlo worked as a law firm partner for about eight years, at Giancarlo & Gleiberman, and the now-defunct Thelen Reid. (Linkedin)

• More than 14 months after it accepted it, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear Microsoft v. Baker, which considers options available for plaintiffs when a district court refuses to certify a class-action. (SCOTUS Blog)

• Multinational companies’ transatlantic transfers of personal data could be in for another jolt today. An Irish court’s decision expected in a battle between Facebook Inc., Ireland’s data protection regulator and an Austrian privacy activist could void a key legal mechanism that companies have been using in recent months make such transfers. (The Recorder)

• Mary Yelenick, a longtime Chadbourne & Parke partner and onetime head of its product liability group, filed a declaration in Manhattan federal court, in which she detailed her accusations of systemic gender discrimination at the firm. (BLB)

• Boies Schiller & Flexner is disbanding its 20-lawyer corporate practice, the bulk of whom are headed for the larger competitor, Paul Hastings.“It’s much more practical in today’s environment to have a boutique litigation shop than a boutique corporate practice,” said David Boies. (BLB)

 

Law Firm Business

• Litigation finance company Burford Capital Ltd. reported its after-tax profits jumped 75 percent in 2016, compared with the previous year. (Am Law Daily)

• Perkins Coie had strong financial growth in 2016, with client successes across most of its practice areas, the firm’s managing partner said. The Seattle-based firm posted gross revenue up 4.3 percent to $781 million, while profits per equity partner rose 7.3 percent to a record $1.18 million. (Am Law Daily)

• Oops. A mistake by White & Case in a sensitive arbitration is to said to have cost a client about $400,000. (The Lawyer)

 

Legal Market

• The Obama administration in its final year spent a record $36.2 million to defend its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to analysis of new data on transparency in government. (Associated Press)

• Paul Fishman, the former top New Jersey’s federal prosecutor who prosecuted the political scandal known as Bridgegate, criticized the Trump administration’s handling of his forced resignation. Fishman was one of 46 prosecutors ordered to resign over the week or be fired. (Bloomberg via BLB)

•Jess Rowland, the former EPA official in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup, has become a central figure in more than 20 lawsuits in the U.S., accusing the company of failing to warn consumers and regulators of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (Bloomberg)

 

President Trump’s First 100 Days

• A report that Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 may “take the wind out of the sails” of some of the president’s critics, said John Klotsche, a former chairman of the executive committee of law firm Baker & McKenzie and a former senior adviser to the IRS commissioner. (Bloomberg)

• Lawyers for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups asked a Texas federal judge to block a retirement-savings advice rule implemented under the Obama administration, to allow time for an appeal and for federal regulators to decide whether to delay implementation. (National Law Journal)

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The Trump administration was summoned to appear before the Seattle federal judge who blocked its original travel ban to make its case against temporarily halting its second, less Draconian order. The new order, which blocks new immigrants and refugees from six mostly Muslim countries, is set to come into force Thursday. (Bloomberg)

• Several other courts around the country are slated to hear challenges to the order after its implementation. (National Law Journal)

• An administrative body for the federal courts Tuesday requested five new seats for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a couple of days ahead of Thursday’s congressional hearing that will consider the idea of splitting the court. (The Recorder)

• If U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch gets confirmed by the Senate, he’ll have to give up his gig as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, a post he was appointed to by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in 2016. His confirmation hearing is scheduled to start March 20. (Bloomberg BNA)

•  In a 2010 speech, Gorsuch gave a dire picture of civil litigation in the U.S., particularly what he described as a trend toward too much discovery and not enough trials. (National Law Journal)

• Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could be deposed as New York seeks to question top Exxon Mobil Corp. executives in a probe into the accuracy of the company’s statements about climate change. The New York attorney general alleges Exxon did not disclose an email alias used by Tillerson when he was Exxon’s CEO. (Bloomberg)

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Dechert has poached a team of six energy lawyers from Vinson & Elkins, led by Xiao Yong, Vinson’s China head in Hong Kong. (The Lawyer)

 

Technology

• Social media networks that don’t put in place take-down mechanisms for hate speech or “fake news” could get hit with fines of up to 50 million euros ($53.1 million) under a proposed German draft law. If passed, the bill would be the stiffest regulation Facebook faces in any country where it operates. (Bloomberg)

• The top engineer at the center of Alphabet’s lawsuit against Uber for alleged theft of self-driving system designs had contacts with the ride-hailing company as far back as the summer of 2015, according to the Google parent company’s timeline in the case. ( Recode.net)

• Electronic discovery and litigation support provider Advanced Discovery said it has integrated Ipro’s Automated Digital Discovery product into its own software and workflows. (LegalTech News)

• A controversial plan to fix bitcoin’s network congestion suffered a setback after attackers used a newly discovered bug to crash the software. (Bloomberg)

• Thousands of files that WikiLeaks dumped on the internet last week, claiming they came from the CIA, could prove to be the group’s most destructive disclosure for U.S. national security, if they are authentic. (Bloomberg View)

 

Legal Education

• Loyola Chicago University School of Law has appointed longtime faculty member Michael Kaufman to take over as dean effective immediately after he had been serving in the position on an interim basis. (National Law Journal)

 

Miscellaneous

• The Justice Department unsealed a new indictment charging  an admiral and seven other Navy officials with corruption and other crimes in a four-year-old scandal known as the “Fat Leonard” bribery case. (Washington Post)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Gabe Friedman.

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