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Wake Up Call: Hollywood Trade Group Fires Top Lawyer Charged With Sex Abuse

Aug. 28, 2019, 11:54 AM
  • The Motion Picture Association of America dumped its general counsel Steven Fabrizio last week after his arrest in Washington, on charges of second-degree sex abuse and blackmail, according to reports. The association, whose board includes all the major film studios and Netflix, said it appointed associate general counsel Daniel Robbins as interim general counsel while it searches for a permanent replacement for Fabrizio. (Variety) (TheWrap.com)

  • Fabrizio, a copyright and content protection lawyer, had been at the MPAA since 2013 and had spent the previous 10 years at Jenner & Block, where he was a Washington-based partner and founded the content, media and entertainment practice. Earlier in his career he worked at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Proskauer Rose, and in-house at the Recording Industry Association of America. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Former Uber Technologies Inc. engineer Anthony Levandowski was charged by California federal officials with stealing driverless-vehicle technology from Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit. The 33-count indictment among other things will likely rekindle interest in the role former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick might have played, both in the alleged theft and the investigation that led to the charges. (BN via BLAW)

  • Latham & Watkins can keep representing actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, in their defense against criminal charges in the college admissions bribery case, a federal judge ruled. Prosecutors had argued that Latham’s work in an unrelated case for the University of Southern California, an alleged victim in the admissions case, could pose a serious conflict. (Associated Press via WGBH) Giannulli, who created the Mossimo clothing brand, and Loughlin, who starred on TV’s “Full House,” are accused of paying $500,000 in a scam to get their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC rowing team. (BN via BLB)

  • Cryptocurrency lending and borrowing company Cred said it hired Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s former financial technology team chief, Daniel Wheeler, as its new general counsel, based in San Francisco. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Bankrupt coal producer Blackjewel LLC, represented by Squire Patton Boggs, asked a court to approve its plan to terminate an employee health insurance plan, arguing that it lacks the money to cover additional medical expenses. (BLAW)

  • Jeffrey Epstein’s Steptoe & Johnson LLP lawyer, Reid Weingarten, urged a Manhattan judge to investigate the late accused pedophile’s death in a New York prison, expressing skepticism over authorities’ finding that Epstein committed suicide. Gloria Allred, a lawyer for several of Epstein’s accusers, also asked the judge to investigate. (New York Post)

Deals

  • Baker Botts advised BP Plc on the planned $5.6 billion sale of its entire business in Alaska to Hilcorp Energy Co., which turned to Kirkland & Ellis for the deal. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Fenwick & West had the lead role advising fitness startup Peloton on its recent initial public offering, while Latham & Watkins advised underwriters, according to a report. (The Recorder)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Arent Fox expanded its international trade practice in Washington, adding counsel Matthew Tuchband, who spent over 20 years in the Treasury Department’s Office of the Chief Counsel, most recently as deputy chief counsel for foreign assets control. Tuchband, who focuses on sanctions advice, was an associate at Crowell & Morning earlier in his career. (ArentFox.com)

  • Spurred by a spate of huge recent verdicts, attorneys on both sides of trials have increasingly turned to jury consulting services, including mock trials, targeted questionnaires, and focus groups, to prepare their cases. (LegalIntelligencer.com)

  • Two Texas law firms failed to convince a court that their ex-client’s fee dispute should go to arbitration. (Texas Lawyer)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • McGuireWoods added oil and gas dealmaker Patrick Knapp as a partner in the firm’s M&A practice, in its Dallas and Houston offices. Knapp spent close to four years in-house at a Texas energy industry company. (McGuireWoods.com)

  • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe added energy & infrastructure lawyer Hannah Roscoe as a partner in London, getting her from Herbert Smith Freehills. (Orrick.com)

  • Epstein Becker Green added tax attorney Tony Huber as a member in its health care and life sciences practice in its Newark, New Jersey, office. According to his LinkedIn, Huber, a certified public accountant, is a former M&A tax manager at Ernst & Young and arrives most recently from regional firm Moore & Van Allen. (EBGLaw.com)

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • A federal court gave a Republican Senate candidate who once ran a “revenge porn” website five weeks to explain how his appeal of a lawsuit challenging his repeat bans by Perkins Coie client Twitter Inc. isn’t frivolous. (BLAW)

  • Georgetown University workers are trying to keep their case over the school’s retirement plan alive, asking a federal appeals court not to toss the dispute. The school’s Mayer Brown lawyers argue the workers missed their deadline for the appeal. (BLAW)

  • Auto paint distributor FinishMaster Inc., advised by Jones Day, beat a California antitrust lawsuit by a rival that got multiple chances to patch its claims of a scheme to monopolize the San Francisco Bay Area market. (BLAW)

  • New York-based litigation boutique Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney advised Pro-Inspect, Inc. in the pipeline inspection company’s defense win at trial in Wyoming federal court against over more than $88 million in claims. Those claims stemmed from a 2011 explosion and fire at an oil refinery owned by Sinclair Wyoming Refinery Corporation. (HNRKLaw.com)

Technology

  • As Facebook pushes forward with its controversial plans to create a virtual token called Libra, it looks to be headed for a clash with Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, a crypto skeptic. (BN via BLAW)

Legal Education

  • A University of Texas School of Law first-year student says he got his parents to legally change his name to Atticus Finch, after he got inspired, at age seven, by the fictional lawyer of that name in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. (ABAJournal.com)

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; Molly Ward at mward@bloomberglaw.com

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