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Wake Up Call: Biden Won Election, Bush V. Gore Litigator Says

Nov. 13, 2020, 2:22 PM

In today’s column, the U.K. legal sector surged to a “record” September for revenues, but uncertainty remains; Florida-based Akerman posted record revenues for its fiscal 2020, which recently ended; white-collar defense lawyers say they expect an increase in enforcement work under a Joe Biden presidency.

  • Leading off, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher litigation partner Ted Olson was U.S. solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration. He’s also the litigator who successfully argued for then-candidate Bush in the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore. On Thursday, Olson told a Federalist Society panel that, in his view, the 2020 election is over and Joe Biden is the president-elect. (National Law Journal)
  • Election attorneys at Porter Wright said late Thursday they are withdrawing from a controversial Trump campaign lawsuit challenging mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • The U.K. legal sector shrugged off the Covid pandemic to have its strongest September ever, posting revenues up 2%, year on year, to reach 3.1 billion pounds ($4.1 billion), and up 23% from August 2020, according to a report citing U.K. government data. One observer said law firms could still have a difficult fourth quarter. (Global Legal Post)
  • Miami-based Akerman said its diverse practice line-up and flexible collections helped it post gross revenues up 6.5% to a record $467.4 million for its fiscal 2020, which closed Oct. 31. The firm also said it is ending its Covid pay cuts and will give bonuses to employees to reimburse the amount of salary they lost during the cuts. (Daily Business Review)
  • Portland, Ore.-based Stoel Rives was among firms that recently reversed or reduced pay cuts made early in the pandemic, when their outlook was much bleaker than it is today. Now the firm said it’s also retroactively restoring pay, so that lawyers and staff get full compensation for the year. The firm said it’s also maintaining bonus pools originally budgeted for 2020, to be paid in mid-December. (Above the Law)
  • A Texas federal judge postponed a jury trial after a lawyer and jury member tested positive for Covid. (BLAW)
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore is getting skewered over a recent change to its vacation and sick-time policy, halving the number of unused days that can be carried from one year to another. (Above the Law)
  • A New York county Supreme Court judge set a Dec. 7 hearing date and granted expedited discovery for a lawsuit challenging the state court system’s decision to force out 46 older judges as part of about $300 million in Covid cost cuts. (New York Law Journal)
  • An Amazon.com Inc fulfillment center on Staten Island had better Covid-19 protection for its mostly White managers than for its Black and Hispanic line workers, a New York federal lawsuit alleges. (BLAW)

Biden Transition

  • White-collar defense lawyers say they expect to get more enforcement work under a Biden presidency. (American Lawyer)
  • In an Arizona court, an attorney for President Trump’s re-election campaign contradicted the president’s claims of election fraud, instead citing “good faith errors” during the ballot count. (Newsweek)
  • Snell & Wilmer recently withdrew from their role in an Arizona case alleging voting improprieties. (Above the Law) (Reuters)
  • Trump administration lawyers who have “abused” their roles by aiding the president shouldn’t get jobs at big firms and universities, a group of law students and new attorneys contend. (BLAW)
  • Above the Law says you “have to watch” this video targeting Jones Day over its support of Donald Trump. (Above the Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • WilmerHale lawyers for Harvard University won a victory in a Boston federal appeals court, which ruled Thursday that the school’s “racial-balancing” admissions decisions don’t intentionally discriminate against Asian-Americans. But the case is far from over. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • The Justice Department said former U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta used “poor judgment” when, as the top prosecutor in southern Florida, he approved a generous plea deal with the late child-sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. But the DOJ said Acosta didn’t commit “professional misconduct.” (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • DLA Piper and Fox Rothschild asked a Florida federal judge to dismiss a would-be class suit alleging the two firms knowingly aided and abetted a $170 million Ponzi scheme. (BLAW)
  • Fueled by the Black Lives Matters protests over the summer, eight Big Law firms have made appointments for high-level positions for diversity & inclusion in the last month. (American Lawyer)
  • Law firms in Japan are expanding their diversity measures to attract women lawyers. (Law.com International)
  • A Pittsburgh attorney was suspended for defrauding his insurance company after damaging his car on a race track. (Legal Intelligencger)
  • Cooley advised e-commerce platform and retail seller Pharmapacks on a $250 million investment it received from The Carlyle Group, putting Pharmapacks’ enterprise value at around $1.1 billion. (PRNewswire.com)

Laterals, Moves

  • Paul Hastings’ Paris office lost M&A and private equity partner Edith Boucaya to French firm Hoche Avocats, according to a French-language report. According to her LinkedIn, Boucaya was at Paul Hastings for close to 10 years and earlier spent four years at Hogan Lovells as a corporate associate. (LeMondeduDroit.fr)
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati said Beau Buffier, the former chief of the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s antitrust bureau, is joining its New York office. He’s also a former Shearman & Sterling partner. (BLAW)
  • Lowenstein Sandler said white collar criminal defense lawyer Mark Schamel joined the firm’s Washington office as a partner. He arrives from Womble Bond Dickinson, where he was a partner. (Lowenstein.com)

In-House

  • Tru Kids Brands, the New Jersey-based parent of Toys R Us, hired veteran in-house leader Anand Shah as its general counsel and chief business development officer. He was earlier corporate counsel at Toys R Us, spent time as an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and arrives most recently from food company Ferrero, where he was assistant GC for North America, assistant secretary, and data privacy officer for U.S. (ROI-NJ.com)
  • American International Group Inc. said its general counsel, Luciana “Lucy” Fato, will take on the additional role of global head of communications and government affairs. (BLAW)

Technology

  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe said its new directory, “The Observatory,” tracks over 600 legal tech products. It’s aimed at helping law firms and legal departments understand what’s available in the market. (Bloomberg Law)
  • Boies Schiller Flexner lawyers for former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang filed a brief supporting plaintiffs who are suing Google in California federal court, arguing that personal data is property under California law. (The Recorder)
  • Legal services firm Epiq acquired Hyperion Global Partners, a Texas-based legal operations and technology consultancy. (Artificial Lawyer)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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