This Weeks News

Second Circuit Upholds Ban on Private Investment in Law Firms

By Andrew Denney and Ben Hancock |

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected an attempt to loosen restrictions on private investment in the legal industry, dismissing arguments that ethics rules impinge on lawyers’ First Amendment rights.

Uber headquarters in San Francisco

In Uber Appeal, Another Test for Digital Arbitration Pacts

By Andrew Denney |

A Second Circuit panel, reviewing a decision from Judge Jed Rakoff, is parsing just how prominently arbitration agreements must appear on an app or website for their terms to be enforceable.

Chadbourne & Parke offices in Washington, D.C.

Chadbourne, Plaintiffs Trade Blows in Batch of New Filings

By Brian Baxter |

Three current and former female partners seeking certification of a gender bias class action against Chadbourne & Parke saw the firm file its response opposing that motion late Thursday. Chadbourne’s managing partner Andrew Giaccia and retired partner Mary Yelenick, who is among those suing the firm, also both filed court papers in the case.

Court interpreter Edward Luk in Manhattan Civil Court

State Courts Outline Plans to Improve Interpreting Services

By Jeff Storey |

A new report says despite improvements in the past 10 years, the task of providing effective interpreting services remains a "daunting" one: last year, the courts used more than 300 court-employed and 700 per diem interpreters in more than 90,000 cases to interpret for 115 different languages.

David Ganek, cofounder of Level Global

Circuit Mulls Hedge Fund Founder's Claim That Flawed Raid Wrecked His Fund

By Mark Hamblett |

The lawyer for David Ganek insisted March 24 that the government allowed a lie in a search warrant affidavit and then compounded the problem with a highly publicized raid that wrecked his hedge fund in an insider-trading case.

Joseph Forstadt

Joseph Forstadt, Retired Stroock Partner With Record of Public Service, Dies at 77

By Rebecca Baker |

Joseph L. Forstadt, a retired partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan who held a wide array of roles in city government for nearly 50 years, died Thursday night after suffering a severe stroke the previous weekend.

Woman checking Heart rate Exercise Workout fitness Outdoor Smart watch Sport equipment

NY AG Settles With 3 Mobile Health App Makers on Misleading Claims Charges

By Kristen Rasmussen |

The developers of three popular health-related mobile apps have agreed to settle allegations that they potentially harmed consumers by making misleading claims about the accuracy of the technologies' results, the New York Attorney General's Office announced Thursday.

Verdict Against Company in Employee's Crash Upheld

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

A $12 million verdict upheld this week in New York County Supreme Court holds a health center liable for the injuries of a pedestrian struck by one of its employees running a company errand.

Law Firms Invited to Take Part in Survey

The New York Law Journal invites all law firms to participate in a 2017 financial survey that helps compile the NYLJ100.

Court Employees to Receive Botein Awards for Excellence

Four Unified Court System employees will be recognized today "for outstanding contributions to the administration of justice" at this year's Bernard Botein Award ceremony.

DA Investigator Has Charge Upgraded in Fatal Crash

A prosecutor's investigator who moonlights as a part-time police officer was arraigned Friday on an upgraded charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident after a teenager he is accused of hitting with his county-owned vehicle died.

Jon Corzine

PwC Settles Midtrial in MF Global Accounting Malpractice Case

By Mark Hamblett |

The multibillion-dollar fight between the bankruptcy administrator for MF Global and PricewaterhouseCoopers has been settled midtrial.

Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton testifies before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs during his confirmation hearing to become the next Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington.  March 23, 2017.

Jay Clayton, SEC Chair Nominee, Grilled Over Wall Street Ties

By C. Ryan Barber |

Fending off questions about his lucrative law practice and potential conflicts of interest, Jay Clayton, the Sullivan & Cromwell partner who was nominated to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, on Thursday defended his private sector experience as an asset and said he was "committed to showing no favoritism to anyone in this position."

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel logo

Kramer Levin's Partner Profits Reach Nearly $2M

By Scott Flaherty |

The 320-lawyer firm reported $353 million in gross revenue, a 6 percent increase over the $332 million that it posted in 2015. Revenue per lawyer also rose to $1.1 million.

Women Take Charge in Fox Rothschild Changing of the Guard

By Lizzy McLellan |

Fox Rothschild is installing a half-dozen new office managing partners, including in the firm's largest offices, effective April 1.

Bronx County Hall of Justice

Judge Says DA Withheld Evidence, Orders New Trial

By Andrew Denney |

Citing the Bronx District Attorney's Office failure to disclose an informant's testimony in the 1995 slaying of a retired police officer, a judge has ordered a new trial for a man who has spent 20 years in prison for the crime.

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Court Finds Consultants' Emails Are Public Records

By Andrew Denney |

A state judge said cloaking the informal relationship between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Jonathan Rosen, co-founder and principal of BerlinRosen, with the deliberative privilege exemption "impermissibly" broadens the exemption and runs counter to the public interest.

The Court of Appeals in Albany

Court Declines to Weigh In on Overturned Conviction

By Jeff Storey |

The Court of Appeals on Thursday set the stage for a second trial of a Washington County man for killing his mother, stepfather and stepbrother after it found lacked jurisdiction to consider the mixed question of law and fact presented by whether Matthew Slocum's right to counsel had been violated during a police interrogation.

Robert Ortt

State Senator, Predecessor Face Corruption Charges

State Sen. Robert Ortt of Niagara County pleaded not guilty Thursday in Albany to charges that, as mayor of North Tonawanda, he arranged for a no-show job for his wife in order to pad his salary. Former Sen. George Maziarz also pleaded not guilty to charges that he used campaign money to secretly pay an ex-staffer accused of sexual harassment.

Marc E. Kasowitz.

Judge Disqualifies Kasowitz and DLA Piper in Contract Dispute, Citing Conflicts of Interest for Both Sides

By Scott Flaherty |

A recent disqualification ruling found that neither Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman nor DLA Piper should be representing their respective clients in a contract dispute both sides had conflicts of interest.

Global Law Firms and Vereins: The End of the Affair?

By Chris Johnson |

In the inexorable march toward greater global consolidation, will law firms steer clear of the verein structure?

2 States, 2 Levels of Punishment in Attorney Discipline Case

By Andrew Denney |

An attorney who was disbarred in New Jersey for misappropriation of client funds has received a lighter sanction—three years' suspension—in New York, where he is also licensed to practice, for the same incident of misconduct.

Appeals Court Set to Eye Uber's Drive to Steer Price-Fixing Dispute to Arbitration

By Andrew Denney |

Whether users of Uber's ride-hailing app have proper notice that they are waiving their right to a jury trial when they register and later decide to sue the company's service will be a central issue in oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday.

Judge Rules Favoring Board-Certified Doctors Is Not Discriminatory

By Mark Hamblett |

The decision to favor board-certified psychiatrists is a legitimate, nondiscriminatory answer to claims of age discrimination and retaliation against the Department of Veterans Affairs, a federal judge has ruled.

Some of Varsity Brands' designs.

Did SCOTUS Miss Chance to Fine-Tune IP Protection for Apparel?

By Scott Graham |

While the U.S. Supreme Court's copyright decision on cheerleader uniforms strengthens IP protection for fashion designers, some copyright lawyers said the high court missed a golden opportunity to provide more clarity.

Prosecutors Find Refuge in Law School Posts

By Karen Sloan |

What's a federal prosecutor forced to resign by a new president to do? Rub elbows with the next generation of lawyers, apparently.

Stephen C. Robinson

Ex-Judge, Now at Skadden, Appointed to City Panel

By Mark Hamblett |

Stephen Robinson, a former Southern District judge who is partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was named by Mayor Bill de Blasio to be the representative on the Handschu Committee, created to ensure the NYPD complies with guidelines for investigations into political activity and terrorism.

Taa Grays

MetLife Counsel Appointed to Judicial Conduct Panel

By Rebecca Baker |

Taa Grays, the vice president and associate general counsel for information governance at MetLife, Inc., has been appointed to serve on the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

DA Investigator Charged in Hit-and-Run Collision

Authorities say an investigator for the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office has been charged in an accident that has left a teenager in critical condition.

Gov. Cuomo

Attorneys Gain Key Roles in Cuomo Administration

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that several attorneys were among more than two dozen newly appointed staff members to his administration.

On the Move

Troutman Sanders has announced that Stuart Caplan and Andrew Schifrin have joined as partners and Winston & Strawn welcomes Robert Heller to the firm's tax practice, among other announcements.

FILE - In this July 17, 2016 file photo, Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as Rick Gates listens at back left. Emails obtained by The Associated Press shed new light on the activities of a firm run by Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. They show it directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Manafort Probes Put Skadden's Ukraine Work in Spotlight

By Brian Baxter |

Paul Manafort Jr., a lawyer and former top campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, is once again in the spotlight. Hacked text messages involving one of his children, an ex-associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, are revealing more details about his work in Ukraine and the firm's role for one of his key clients.

Firing of Needle-Averse Pharmacist Not Wrongful, Circuit Rules

By Andrew Denney |

Rite Aid Pharmacy was within its right to fire a pharmacist at its store in Utica who refused to give immunization shots to customers because he suffers from a fear of needles, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

McDermott, Reed Smith Recruit Fund Formation Partners

By Meghan Tribe |

A pair of investment funds partners are on the move in New York. McDermott Will & Emery has hired Fried Frank partner Ian Schwartz to head its investment funds group, while Reed Smith added King & Wood Mallesons partner Parik Dasgupta, an international investment funds pro who re-joins dozens of former colleagues at the firm.

Judge Rejects Wife's Request for $32M Recovery of Husband's Forfeiture

By Mark Hamblett |

The wife of former Jenkens & Gilchrist partner and now federal prisoner Paul Daugerdas has lost her bid to recover millions of dollars that a judge ordered her husband to forfeit for his massive tax fraud scheme.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Ends Laches Defense in Patent Cases

By Scott Graham |

To the surprise of no one, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled laches is not a defense to patent infringement suits that are brought within the Patent Act's limitations period.

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Former US Attorney Bharara to Teach at NYU Law School

By Andrew Denney |

Former Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired earlier this month after refusing to resign at the Trump administration's behest, has taken a position with New York University School of Law as a distinguished scholar in residence.

Town Justice Censured for Misconduct on Bench

By Rebecca Baker |

Hastings Town Court Justice Michael Clark dismissed or reduced defendants' charges without telling prosecutors, imposed conditions on a defendant's release with no legal basis, and increased a defendant's bail from $3,500 to $5,000 without explanation, the Commission on Judicial Conduct said.

NYPD officer

Legal Aid Argues in Court Over Release of NYPD Data

Until last year records on whether police officers have been disciplined were accessible to the media. But NYPD lawyers halted their release, citing the need for stricter compliance with state privacy laws.

Puerto Rican Bar Celebrates Citizenship Centennial

More than 100 guests attended a celebration sponsored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association commemorating the centennial of American citizenship for Puerto Rico residents.

California Startup Plays Matchmaker to GCs and Outside Counsel

By David Ruiz |

Globality is trying to solve a common problem that general counsel face when companies expand into new jurisdictions.

Morrison & Foerster's Washington, D.C. offices. July 23, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

MoFo's Financials Took a Dip in 2016

By Rebecca Cohen |

After ticking upward in 2015, Morrison & Foerster saw its financial performance slide last year. Gross revenue at the firm fell 3.5 percent, to $945 million, as revenue per lawyer and profits per partner also dropped to $990,000 and $1.41 million, respectively.

Ex-Judges and Prosecutors Ask to Join Case on Cross-Racial Identification

By Andrew Denney |

High-profile members of New York's legal community are seeking to become amici parties in a criminal case that addresses the issue of jury instructions on cross-racial eyewitness identification, which is set for arguments before the state Court of Appeals next month.

Claire Gutekunst, incoming president of the New York State Bar Association, outside the association's offices near the Court of Appeals in Albany.

Bar Groups Gear Up to Preserve Legal Services Funding

By Rebecca Baker |

New York bar groups are joining law firm leaders and the American Bar Association to stop President Donald Trump's plan to defund the Legal Services Corp.

Stephen DiCarmine, left, and Joel Sanders outside the courtroom during their 2015 trial

Dewey Execs Urge Dismissal as Finance Director Ends Testimony

By Scott Flaherty |

As a key government witness wrapped up his testimony Monday in the criminal case over Dewey & LeBoeuf's collapse, defense lawyers urged a New York judge to throw out indictments against two former firm executives, arguing that prosecutors had hamstrung their efforts to defend their clients in court.

Judge Neil Gorsuch appears March 20 at his confirmation hearing.

Gorsuch's Rulings in Focus as Confirmation Clash Unfolds

By Tony Mauro |

Democratic senators, repeatedly raising the blocked elevation of Merrick Garland, set a critical tone Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch got underway in Washington on Capitol Hill.

New York AG Adding Firepower in Bid to Confront Trump

By Andrew Denney |

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is adding boots to the ground in his multifront battle with the Trump administration.

Rolando T. Acosta

Three Hispanic Judges to Sit on NY High Court

By Rebecca Baker |

For the first time, three judges of Latino descent will sit on the Court of Appeals Tuesday when First Department Justice Rolando Acosta will sit in for Judge Eugene Fahey, joining Judges Jenny Rivera and Michael Garcia.