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Wake Up Call: Company Bets on Facial Recognition Tech for Law Firms

July 10, 2017, 12:18 PM

• The eDiscovery tech company Advanced Discovery said it is feeling optimistic about the market chances of facial recognition technology it originally developed for a law firm. The company said it filed a patent for the software, which allows going through thousands of faces on videos from years-long time periods. ( Legaltech News )

• Fried Frank, O’Melveny & Myers and Clifford Chance U.S. have the best Big Law summer associate programs in the country, according to Vault’s latest annual survey of junior associates. ( Above The Law )

• Roberta Kaplan, the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner best known for persuading the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, has left to start a litigation boutique she says will be more flexible to negotiate billing rates and fee arrangements. The new firm has four other lawyers so far, from Paul Weiss and elsewhere, and expects to have 12-14 by the fall. ( BLB , Am Law Daily )

• Right after Norton Rose Fulbright completed its merger with Chadbourne & Parke last week, a federal judge ruled that Norton Rose can be added to a $100 million gender bias suit filed against Chadbourne last year. ( New York Law Journal )

• David Rogers, head of McDermott Will & Emery’s labor, employment and benefits practice, is leaving with a team of nine other partners to join Winston & Strawn. Rogers, who as one of McDermott’s most senior partners was considered for the position of firm chairman last year, was said to disagree with at least some of the firm’s recent decisions regarding de-equitizations and layoffs. ( BLB )

• The top banking aide to U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Milan Dalal, is said to be leaving Capitol Hill to join the Washington office of law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where he will advise financial services firms and other companies on policy and regulation. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Donald Vieira, a former chief of staff in the U.S. Department of Justice’s national security division, has left Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Washington, D.C., office to join Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. ( Am Law Daily )

• A Manhattan federal judge rejected a suit by eDiscovery services company DTI Global accusing a team of four of its former sale agents of taking key trade secrets to a rival company, LDiscovery. ( BLB )

Law Firm Business

• On the heels of its three-way merger with Olswang and Nabarra, European firm CMS opened an office in Monaco. ( The Lawyer )

• Connecticut’s struggling capital, Hartford, recently hired law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP to evaluate its options, which include bankruptcy. ( Bloomberg )

Legal Market

• Munich prosecutors arrested a former manager at Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit as part of their criminal probe in the diesel emissions scandal as they said they were targeting individual suspects for the first time in the investigation. ( Bloomberg )

• Two weeks after losing a $218 million jury verdict to Kansas farmers over alleged mishandling of marketing of its genetically modified seed, Swiss agri-chem giant Syngenta AG reached a confidential settlement of a similar suit with a Nebraska farmer. Syngenta, acquired in June by China National Chemical Corp in a $43 billion deal, next faces a $600 million class action by Minnesota farmers. ( Bloomberg )

• The business world is watching with intense interest as AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner remains stuck in bureacratic and political limbo. ( New York Times DealBook )

• A lawyer for the New York Times told a Manhattan judge that Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the paper should be thrown out because the paper made “an honest mistake” when it linked the former Alaska governor to a 2011 shooting that severely wounded Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six people. ( New York Post )

The Trump Administration

• President Donald Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz asked a judge to throw out a former The Apprentice contestant’s sexual harassment suit against Trump, arguing that the president has presidential immunity and that the suit is a “private witch hunt.” ( Politico )

• A U.S. judge in Hawaii denied the state’s request for clarification on the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban and said the matter should be taken up with the Supreme Court. ( Bloomberg )

• Trump’s eldest son said he met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer shortly after his father clinched the Republican nomination for president, hoping to get dirt on Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton that would help the Trump campaign. ( New York Times )

• Ethics experts are stepping up calls to strengthen the top U.S. ethics agency after its director Walter Shaub, who criticized Trump’s potential conflicts of interest, announced his resignation. ( Bloomberg )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• As the latest bellwether ignition defect case against General Motors is set to kick off Monday in a Manhattan federal court, GM’s trial team includes several Kirkland & Ellis lawyers, while the plaintiff has lawyers from Weitz & Luxenberg and Hilliard Munoz Gonzales. ( New York Law Journal )

• The “fascinating” legal argument by “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli in his criminal fraud trial might just win over the jury in the case. In a nutshell, it asks, so what if Shkreli allegedly lied to investors, if none of those investors lost any money? ( Washington Post )

• Eli Lilly & Co. won a patent dispute with Actavis at the U.K.’s top court, marking a victory in a long-running legal campaign to defend its third best-selling drug, Alimta, from rival products. ( Bloomberg )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Foley & Lardner poached Dentons partner Jaikaran “Jai” Singh as a partner for its consumer law, finance and class action practice in San Diego. Singh is the latest of several former McKenna Long & Aldridge partners to leave Dentons in the aftermath of the two firms’ 2015 rocky tie-up. ( The Recorder )

• Slaughter and May partner Miranda Leung retired after 26 years at the firm. ( The Lawyer )


• Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car division, dropped three of four patent-infringement claims in its lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. over the startup’s autonomous vehicle program. ( Bloomberg ) Alphabet CEO Larry Page was ordered to submit to questioning by Uber in the lawsuit, which focuses mainly on trade secrets. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Several legal tech companies are integrating with Amazon’s computer-based voice assistant, Alexa, to enable voice controlled commands. But the technology behind Alexa is still a work in progress, and its cybersecurity and legal implications aren’t yet clear. ( Legaltech News )

• Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, have operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. rethinking their strategies on the contintent. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

Legal Education

• A former Campbell University Law professor, Amos Jones, accused the North Carolina-based school of a long history of racial discrimination, alleging he was passed over for tenure and his contract was not renewed at the school because he is black. The school’s dean denied the allegations, saying that Jones never applied for tenure. ( The News & Observer )


• Amnesty International urged China to end its “ruthless crackdown” on human rights lawyers and activists. ( Amnesty International )

• Lawyers in a $100 million sex-abuse lawsuit against Michael Jackson’s former companies are searching around the world for the person who first accused the singer of sexual molestation, hoping they can persuade him to testify. ( Fox News )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.