Bloomberg Law
March 24, 2020, 12:37 PM

Wake Up Call: Above The Law Co-Founder Gets Trump-Touted Virus Treatment

Rick Mitchell
Rick Mitchell
Freelance Correspondent

In today’s column, more states’ stay-at-home orders diverge on whether legal services are “essential” during the Covid-19 pandemic; bankruptcy lawyers are in big demand during the crisis; a legal tech company started a $1 million fund to help small companies go remote during the pandemic; and major law firms seek delay in summer associate hiring.

  • Leading off, Above The Law co-founder David Lat is on a ventilator, sedated, and getting treated with a “very experimental” drug that President Trump has been touting. (New York Law Journal)

  • Columbia Law School told students that it is postponing its law firm summer associate hiring program to January, a change that looks likely to get followed by other schools seeking to respond to disruption caused by the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, a report says. Law firms said one reason they want the delay is that major schools’ decision to switch to pass/fail grading for the spring semester will complicate the hiring process. (

  • Law firms have a few more state and local government stay-at-home orders to wade through as they figure out which offices they can maintain skeleton crews in as they implement remote working schemes for lawyers and staff. After California, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania took different approaches in their orders, Michigan’s new stay-at-home order requires law firms to close but Indiana’s says they can stay open. Orders by New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Dallas, Texas, also take varied approaches to legal services. (American Lawyer)

  • As Covid-19 threatens to destroy businesses large and small, bankruptcy lawyers’ phones are ringing off the hook. (BLAW)

  • Legal tech operations platform Clio, which mainly targets small to medium size law firms, started a $1 million relief fund aimed at helping smaller firms adapt to the challenges of Covid-19, in particular the shift to remote work. (

  • The New York court system, one of the country’s largest and busiest, has stopped accepting non-essential filings and said it will begin holding virtual hearings via Skype in response to the coronavirus crisis. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)

  • Some firm Covid-19 resources: Dechert’s broadcast series on business impacts of Covid-19 includes a webinar looking at managing compliance with a federal liquidity rule for registered funds. (Dechert) Carlton Fields has a post on credit facilities during the outbreak. ( Squire Patton Boggs has a post on Covid-19 legal issues in China. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • As the government scrambles to consider Covid-19 testing and treatment solutions, Arnold & Porter has hired a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration deputy commissioner, Howard Sklamberg, as a partner in Washington in its life sciences & health care regulatory practice. Sklamberg, who arrives from Akin Gump, advises clients on FDA regulation and policy. He’s also a former deputy chief in the Department of Justice fraud & public corruptions section. He’s listed as a member of Arnold & Porter’s Covid-19 task force. (

  • And as Covid-19 spurs a surge in demand for advice on mass layoffs and other employment questions, Baker McKenzie poached three employment litigators from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ New York and Philadelphia offices. (American Lawyer)

  • A roundtable of prominent Los Angeles-based Big Law attorneys discussed the city’s evolving business and legal landscapes and how law firms are affected by and contributing to them. (

Laterals, Moves

  • Polsinelli launched a Latin America practice in Miami, which it said will be led by corporate shareholder Emil R. Infante, recruited from Holland & Knight. (Polsinelli)

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher bolstered its Latin America practice, grabbing Skadden Arps corporate and financial services counsel Jorge Kamine as a partner in Washington. Kamine, who’d been at Skadden for 13 years, was previously an attorney in The World Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean practice group and, earlier, spent time at energy law firms in Houston. (

  • Willkie also expanded its corporate finance practice in Paris, adding banking and finance lawyer Thomas Binet as a partner. He was previously a partner at Gide Loyrette Nouel. (

  • Paul Weiss hired the head of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s tax department, Robert Holo, as a partner in New York. A former federal appeals court clerk, Holo began his legal career at Paul Weiss. He joined Simpson Thacher in 1997 and became partner in 2001. (BLAW)

  • Boies Schiller Flexner lost two more partners, as veteran financial litigators Robin Henry and Motty Shulman moved to Fried Frank in New York. (New York Law Journal)

  • Mintz said Orrick capital markets and securities lawyer Melissa Frayer joined as a member in the firm’s corporate group, in San Francisco. She re-joins former SEC special counsel Andrew Thorpe who was a capital markets partner at Orrick and jumped to Mintz last month. According to her LinkedIn, Frayer has also been general counsel at Data Driven Safety, LLC, previously spent time at Fenwick & West and Covington & Burling. (

  • Aviation finance lawyer Mehtap Cevher Conti joined Hogan Lovells’ finance practice as a partner in New York. Arriving most recently from Arnold & Porter Kay Scholer, she advises banks, export credit agencies, aircraft lessors, and airlines on transactions for airlines and corporate lessors in multiple jurisdictions. (

  • Proskauer Rose’s M&A practice added corporate private equity partners James Lee and Jae Woo Park from K&L Gates in New York. According to his LinkedIn, Park earlier spent time at Goodwin Procter and Jones Day, and was an assistant GC at UTC Aerospace Systems. Lee was also previously at Goodwin, as a partner, and earlier at Schulte Roth & Zabel. (

  • Carlton Fields’ Miami office added insurance litigator J. Kent Crocker as an associate and member of the firm’s property and casualty insurance practice. He was previously a senior associate at Young, Bill, Boles, Palmer, Duke & Thompson. (

  • Squire Patton Boggs added two corporate partners in Perth, Australia, getting energy and competition specialist Simon Adams and commercial litigation, energy, and competition lawyer Caroline Brown, who join from Holman Fenwick Willan. (

  • Reed Smith said financial regulatory attorney Kiran Somashekara returned to the firm as a partner in its broker-dealer and investment adviser practice, based in Princeton, New Jersey. He arrives from McGuireWoods, where he was a partner, and was counsel at Reed Smith from 2014 to 2016. (

  • Katten hired a veteran in-house leader at real estate companies including iStar Inc. and Safehold Inc., Alec G. Nedelman, as senior counsel in Los Angeles. He’ll also advise the firm’s West Coast real estate group on business and talent development. (

  • Katten also grabbed Sidley Austin corporate transactions associate Bret T. Diskin as a partner in Chicago in its private equity practice. (

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at