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Wake Up Call: Ex-MoFo Office Manager Accused of Misusing Firm Credit Card

Jan. 21, 2020, 1:17 PM

In today’s column, President Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off in the Senate today; Bayer AG may be close to settling over 75,000 Roundup cancer claims. Four major California law schools could be headed for big tuition increases; and a San Francisco cloud-based firm poached partners from three Big Law firms to expand abroad.

  • Leading off: A federal criminal case accuses a former Morrison & Foerster office manager of using a firm credit card to make more than $400,000 in unauthorized payments and transfers to a personal PayPal account. (National Law Journal)

  • With Donald Trump’s impeachment trial formally opening in the Senate today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed procedural rules that could give the president’s lawyers the speedy acquittal they’ve demanded. (Bloomberg News) Trump’s nine-member legal team includes celebrity lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr who, among other things, had connections to accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. (BN)

  • Former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas has emerged as a key figure of interest in the sprawling Ukraine political scandal that produced the impeachment charges against Trump. Parnas’ lawyer is Manhattan-based criminal defense and cannabis business lawyer Joseph Bondy. (New York Law Journal)

  • Cloud-based firm Rimon recently hired three Big Law partners around the world in its quest to be “white-shoe law firm 2.0.” The San Francisco-founded firm got Berlin-based corporate partner Dirk Hamann from Herbert Smith Freehills; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher banking and finance partner Richard Ernest in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Baker McKenzie capital markets attorney Andrew Reilly joined in Sydney. (The Recorder)

  • Bayer AG may be only weeks away from settling more than 75,000 cancer claims over its Monsanto Roundup weed-killer. (BN via BLAW)

  • Law schools at four major University of California law schools could see big tuition increases in the next three years under a measure the University of California Board of Regents is due to vote on tomorrow. (The Recorder)

  • McDermott Will & Emery grabbed Cole Scotz bankruptcy lawyer David Hurst to expand its restructuring and insolvency practice as a partner based in Wilmington, Delaware. (MWE.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • American Lawyer recently interviewed Reed Smith’s global managing partner and executive committee chair, Sandy Thomas, asking him about the firm’s decision last year to convert to the U.K.'s alternative business structure, known as the ABS; and about its new Dallas office and wellness initiatives, among other subjects. (American Lawyer)

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan was hired by Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation to help defend it against a former Philadelphia police officer’s lawsuit that alleges she was defamed by documentary the company produced about a hip hop artist. (Legal Intelligencer)

  • Alexandria-based intellectual property firm Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt promoted partners Yuki Onoe and Daniel J. Pereira to co-heads of the firm’s chemical patent prosecution group. (Oblon.com)

Deals

  • Covington & Burling represented India-based Piramal Enterprises Limited on its $950 million deal to sell healthcare industry analytics company Decision Resources Group to Clarivate Analytics plc, which was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell. (PRNewswire.com)

  • Sidley Austin and Holland & Knight advised a consortium of equity investors on its recent investments in New York City-based natural gas plants. The consortium was led by APG Asset Management, reinsurer Munich Re’s asset manager acting for investors from within the Munich Re Group, and Clal Insurance Company. (APG.NL) (SWFInstitute.org)

Pro Bono

  • Midwest-based Faegre Baker Daniels, which is merging with Drinker Biddle & Reath, hooked up with Wabash College’s pre-law society and nonprofit Indiana Legal Services, to start an innovative free legal clinic focused on rural areas in the state. (Journal Review)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • Viken Detection, which specializes in x-ray imaging and analytical devices for homeland security and other public safety environments, said it hired veteran in-house leader Jonathan Decker as general counsel. Decker’s a former Ropes & Gray corporate lawyer and was most recently vice president and associate general counsel at CIRCOR International Inc., which designs, manufactures, and markets engineered valves, pumps, instrumentation and pipeline products and services. (Businesswire.com)

  • U.K. elite firm Clifford Chance poached Akin Gump corporate counsel Michael Bonsignore in Washington. He’s a transactions expert who previously was director of corporate development and mergers and acquisitions for two renewable energy companies sponsored by SunEdison. (CliffordChance.com)

Legal Actions

  • A federal judge recommended holding as many as three separate trials this year for the remaining parents in the U.S. college admissions scandal. (BN via BLAW)

  • The jury is set in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial for rape in Manhattan. (New York Law Journal)

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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