Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images
Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Wake Up Call: Women Lawyers Suing Over Unequal Pay Face Backlash

• The proposed class-action lawsuit filed this week against Sedgewick illustrates that women lawyers are increasingly suing to contest gender discrepancy in pay, but the risk remains high that attorneys taking such action will face backlash. (The Lawyer)

• Partners at King & Wood Mallesons’ European and Middle East arm will commit over 14 million pounds ($18.4 million) in a major capital boost as part of plan to strengthen  the firm’s business in the region. (American Lawyer)

• Requiring arbitration doesn’t violate lawyers’ constitutional rights to access the court system, a three-judge panel for District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. (National Law Journal)

• Maybe 15 or 20  firms should have followed the Cravath-inspired pay hike for first-year associates to $180,000 as a way to attract top talent, but for the other firms it was an irrational move, says University of Indiana Maurer School of Law professor Bill Henderson, and chief strategy officer for Lawyer Metrics. He spoke during a recent audio program, starting at about 5:00. (Above the Law/Thinking Like a Lawyer)

• Facebook Inc.’s future cash flows and results could suffer a blow as much as $5 billion if it loses a battle with the IRS over new U.S. tax liabilities related to the transfer of its global operations to Ireland in 2010. (Bloomberg Technology)

 

Legal Market

 

• U.S. federal prosecutors are said to be investigating whether individuals at Mossack Fonseca & Co., the law firm that triggered the “Panama Papers” scandal, wittingly helped the firm’s clients evade taxes or hide money. (Wall Street Journal)

• Advised by Bentham Europe and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System has served a subpoena on Volkswagen AG for discovery evidence as part of its effort to recoup losses stemming from the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal. (Financial Times)

• Wells Fargo & Co. is under U.S. investigation into whether it violated the law by repossessing cars owned by members of the military, according to two people with knowledge of the probe. (Big Law Business/Bloomberg News)

• Wall Street banks are said to be facing new pressure from federal regulators on their lending standards for risky corporate loans just as credit markets roar back. (Bloomberg News)

• Oracle’s $9.3 billion deal to buy NetSuite, a cloud company, poses many potential conflicts of interest for Oracle’s chairman, Lawrence J. Ellison, who is making a pile of cash for himself on the deal. (New York Times Dealbook)

• Puerto Rico extended contracts worth $3.2 million with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and other restructuring advisers after it defaulted on nearly $1 billion of principal and interest on July 1 and federal lawmakers passed legislation to oversee the island’s finances. (Bloomberg News)

• The record 3 billion euro ($3.33 billion) fine that European regulators hit truck makers last week for colluding to fix prices and delay rollout of cleaner engines could theoretically lead to related civil damages of as much as $180 billion, although actual damages are likely to be much less, an attorney estimates. (American Lawyer)

 

SCOTUS and other courts

• Political robocalls are protected under the First Amendment, an Arkansas federal judge ruled, striking down a 35-year-old state law. (WSJ Law Blog)

• A  divided California Supreme Court Thursday sided with a plaintiff in a major arbitration-related appeal, voting 4-3 to rule that an arbitrator, rather than a court, should decide whether a California car dealership’s arbitration clause permits employees to arbitrate on a class-wide basis. (The Recorder)

• Another California court case shows the state is still grappling with the issue of what happens to profits when partners at a bankrupt law firm go elsewhere. (Big Law Business)

• A former deputy district attorney failed to prove his allegations that he was forced out of his job for supporting a judge who ran against the current DA in a 2006 election, a federal court ruled. (Big Law Business)

• John Hinckley Jr.’s acquittal on charges linked to his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan led to a major narrowing of the insanity defense, experts said. (Wall Street Journal)

• It took 30 years of extraordinary legal efforts to spring Hinckley from confinement in a psychiatric hospital. (National Law Journal)

• David Jaros, a professor at the University of Baltimore Law School, and Douglas Colbert, a professor at the University of Maryland Law School, discuss Maryland prosecutors’ decision Wednesday to drop charges against all remaining officers still awaiting trial in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray. Audio. (Big Law Business/Bloomberg Radio)

• An indirect result of an international arbitration panel’s recent ruling on China’s dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea is that U.S. and other coastal nations could lose millions of square nautical miles of ocean that are now in their exclusive economic zones, experts said. (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

• Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has petitioned the U.N. Human Rights Committee asking for protection from alleged abuses by a judge supervising a broad corruption case targeting the state-owned oil company Petrobras. (Financial Times)

 

Laterals and Moves

• Hertz Global Holdings appoints a new executive vice president and general counsel, while Fifth Third Bank parts ways with their GC, citing a conflict of interest. Plus other laterals and moves. (Big Law Business)

• Orrick’s Houston office opened in January but is already up to 42 attorneys. This week the firm added Gabriel Salinas from Mayer Brown as a partner in Orrick’s M&A and private equity practice and Latin America team. (Big Law Business)

 

Technology

• Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz said U.S. tax law that allows Apple Inc. to hold a large amount of cash abroad is “obviously deficient” and called the company’s attribution of significant earnings to a comparatively small overseas unit a “fraud.” (Bloomberg Technology)

• China’s biggest search engine company warned that its revenues will be hit by the country’s new restrictions on online advertising. (Bloomberg Technology)

•  The traditional way of looking at a law library is based on books, but five trends are driving a push for law firm libraries to increase use of analytics from the tech world. (Legaltech News)

• Technological advances have brought an end to the era of spacious law firm libraries and file rooms and may do the same for the billable hour, write two attorneys at a California appellate boutique. (Big Law Business)

• DropBox launched a new “team folder” for its business users as part of a release of new tools to ease IT administration of collaborative work. (Information Week)

• A detailed explanation of the technological and other facts behind the scandal over Hillary Clinton’s emails. (Techcrunch)

• A French company has approached Uber Technologies Inc. and others seeking investments for its plans to build battery-powered flying taxis that are piloted by robots a few inches above the Seine and transport as many as five people at a time. (Bloomberg Technology)

• New results show Google’s cloud investments are starting to bear fruit. (Wired)

Miscellaneous

• When Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo partner John Bauer is not litigating patent cases, he likes to race his Porsche at 150 miles per hour. (American Lawyer)

• Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, Thursday released a statement complaining of “mischaracterizations” and “distortion” in a New York Times article about a employee’s sexual harassment complaint against the fund. (New York Times DealBook)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Gabe Friedman.

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