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Wake Up Call: Alabama’s Jones, a Lawyer With a Knack For Timing

Dec. 13, 2017, 1:36 PM

• Doug Jones unexpectedly beat Republican Roy S. Moore for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat vacated by U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions, and will be the state’s first Democratic senator in a quarter century. One of Jones’ law partners told the Times that Jones has a Forrest Gump-like knack for being where the action is. He made his mark as a former U.S. attorney in Birmingham, in particular by prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen in a deadly church bombing. ( Associated Press via Bloomberg ) ( New York Times ) ( Washington Post )

• As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to scrap net neutrality rules, Federal Trade Commission chief Maureen Ohlhausen told Bloomberg Law her agency is ready to step in to ensure internet service providers treat customers and outside content providers fairly, but it won’t add any extra staff for the job. Open-internet advocates say the FTC doesn’t have the legal clout or resources to handle the extra enforcement duties. ( Bloomberg Law )

• A lawyer found guilty of orchestrating a multi-million dollar stock scam lost his bid for high court review of his conviction. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• The Kraft Heinz Co. said New York-based Gibson Dunn partner Rashida La Lande will become its new global general counsel and corporate secretary in mid-January. She replaces Jim Savina, who is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.” ( Law.com )

• The market for lateral hires will likely remain strong, but unpredictable, in 2018, according to legal consultancy Major, Lindsey & Africa’s new report looking at legal industry trends. ( American Law Journal )

Legal Market/Actions

• A group of 17 Democratic state attorneys general told President Donald Trump they’re prepared to take matters into their own hands if the administration fails to enforce consumer-protection laws through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ( Bloomberg )

• Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to then-candidate Trump, filed a court brief against AT&T Inc.’s proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. ( Bloomberg )

• Dealmakers are predicting a strong M&A market in Europe in coming years, as U.S. activity is hamstrung by uncertainty over tax and regulatory policies. ( Bloomberg )

• Georgia’s Supreme Court suspended Barnes & Thornburg labor and employment partner John F. Myers for two years for billing fraud when he was at Seyfarth Shaw. Myers had faced possible disbarment. ( Daily Report )

• You can’t sue Trump for calling you a “real dummy” with “zero credibility,” a New York appeals court found, upholding the dismissal of a Republican political strategist’s defamation suit against the president. ( Bloomberg )

• The Boeing Co. has 11 former U.S. Supreme Court clerks working in its legal department, recruited through the years by executive vice president and general counsel J. Michael Luttig, himself a former clerk for Justice Warren Burger and later a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Facebook Inc. is changing its tax structure so that it will pay taxes in the country where sales are made, rather than funneling everything through its Irish subsidiary. The social media giant has faced pressure from the U.S. and Europe for its tax practices. ( Bloomberg )

Regulators and Enforcement

• Trump’s slow pace of hiring for key government jobs has left stand-ins occupying positions for so long that it may violate time limits on acting appointments, potentially resulting in enforcement actions and policy decisions being overturned in court. ( Bloomberg )

• New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy is pushing for New Jersey to have the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general, a job he expects to become high-profile as Trump meets resistance on immigration and civil-rights restrictions. ( Bloomberg )

Russia Probes

• Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, wants an investigation into leaks related to his interview last week with a congressional panel probing Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election. ( Bloomberg )

The Trump Administration

• Trump said he’ll end U.S. immigration programs that give preferences to the families of new residents and that allow people to enter a lottery for visas, policies the White House blames for a bombing in New York on Monday. ( Bloomberg )

• Ondray T. Harris, former deputy chief of employment litigation at the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration, is now leading a Labor Department office that audits federal contractors for workplace nondiscrimination and affirmative action compliance. ( Bloomberg Law )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the Federal Arbitration Act in a class action accusing AT&T of false advertising for its “unlimited” service plans. The court said the plaintiffs failed to prove that AT&T was acting for the state, a prerequisite for asserting constitutional violations. ( The Recorder )

• Former National Football League wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson scored a $2 million win in a California tax case. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club lost a legal battle in New York Supreme Court over $2.1 million in sales tax the state says it owes for in-house currency known as “Beaver Bucks.” The U.S. Supreme Court denied the club’s appeal in a related case Oct. 30. ( Bloomberg Law )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Increasing bar exam difficulty cuts both in-migration and out-migration, because lawyers don’t want to take the test and don’t want to give it up once they have taken it, according to a government report on the impacts of occupational licensing. ( Bloomberg )

• Five lawyers left Texas cloud-based firm Culhane Meadows to form a brick-and-mortar firm, Edwards Maxson Mago & Macaulay, with headquarters in Atlanta, and offices in Chicago, Dallas and New York. ( Texas Lawyer )

Technology

• Companies would be able to more easily interact with the Department of Homeland Security to battle cybersecurity incidents under a bill that passed the House by voice vote Dec. 11, former agency officials and cybersecurity pros said. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• A North Carolina county went public with its recent ransomware attack and decision not to pay a ransom, providing a rare look inside such crippling hacks, the vast majority of which are kept under wraps. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• With the European Union’s new privacy rules set to take effect in May 2o18, EU privacy regulators released new guidance on how countries outside the bloc can qualify as having adequate privacy laws to accept data transfers under the regime. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Bitcoin’s debut on Wall Street fed euphoria for some but the financial industry remains skeptical. ( Bloomberg )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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