Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: In-House Lawyer Hits Bond Giant Pimco With Bias Suit (Corrected)

Oct. 10, 2019, 12:33 PMUpdated: Oct. 10, 2019, 1:58 PM
  • A senior in-house counsel at bond giant Pimco filed a gender and racial discrimination lawsuit against the company in California superior court, according to the Financial Times. According to the report, her suit alleges that after she became pregnant, the company passed her over for promotions and other career opportunities. Pimco, whose full name is the Pacific Investment Management Co LLC, rejected the allegations. (Financial Times)

  • Former Republican South Carolina congressman Trey Gowdy is joining President Trump’s outside legal team to help with his impeachment fight. Gowdy, an ex-prosecutor, led a House committee that investigated the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. (NYT) Fox News said yesterday it terminated its relationship with Gowdy, who had been a contributor on the network. (Hollywood Reporter)

  • Ohio-based Oberlin College said it has hired a new legal team in its appeal of a $31.6 million defamation verdict against the school. The private liberal college said it hired two First Amendment attorneys from Ballard Spahr and appellate attorneys from Tucker Ellis, among others, for the case. According to reports, the verdict stems from a case in which a local bakery accused a black Oberlin student of shoplifting, sparking a fight, arrests, and campus protests. (Oberlin.edu) (Cleveland.com)

  • Dentons is the world’s biggest law firm by head count, with about 10,000 lawyers across its global network. Its bid to create a “national” U.S. firm by tying smaller firms into a legal entity could be a workable alternative to a more traditional law firm merger, industry watchers say. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Orrick recently launched a tool that could be described as an internal social network for sharing information and experiences related to legal technology. It’s part of the firm’s effort to get partners familiar with new legal tech tools. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Meanwhile, legal tech is facing a new obstacle in Europe, where a German regional bar association got a court to issue a ban on a contract platform, according to a report. (Artificial Lawyer) The French bar is already pushing for judicial analytics companies to be barred in the country. (BLB)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • As Harvard University tries to figure out how much money it got from child sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein, the university said it has hired Boston-based Foley Hoag to help its general counsel’s office investigate. (TheCrimson.com)

  • Former Trump attorney John Dowd set off debate, and some chuckles, by using Comic Sans font for his letter to inform House committee members that his clients—two Rudolph W. Giuliani associates—wouldn’t cooperate with their impeachment probe. (WaPo)

  • The 141-lawyer partner class recently announced by Kirkland & Ellis included 46 women, about a dozen Asians, but, apparently, only three black lawyers, according to a report. (American Lawyer)

  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s disciplinary board ordered a reprimand for a former managing partner of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin’s Harrisburg office, who was accused of pawing female lawyers at a bench-bar conference. (ABAJournal.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-House, Promotions

  • McDermott Will & Emery added two partners to its restructuring and insolvency group in Chicago, getting Skadden partner Felicia Gerber Perlman and King & Spalding partner Bradley Giordano. Perlman will serve as the co-chair of the practice. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Morrison & Foerster added private funds lawyer Nicholas Sheets as a partner in Hong Kong. He was previously based in New York at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. (MoFo.com)

  • Sidley Austin hired Proskauer Rose private equity lawyer Eleanor Shanks as a partner in London. (BusinessWire.com)

  • Blank Rome said former Philadelphia assistant prosecutor Taylor K. Lake joined the firm’s Philadelphia office as a litigation associate. (BlankRome.com)

Legal Actions, Decisions

  • Johnson & Johnson yesterday won a defense verdict from an L.A. jury in the latest mesothelioma trial over its baby powder. The California win came on the heels of an $8 billion punitive damages award against J&J’s Janssen unit in Philadelphia Tuesday, over its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. (The Recorder)

  • United Airlines Inc., advised by Littler Mendelson, won dismissal of a pilot’s claim that the airline discriminated against him due to his race and national origin. (BLAW)


  • A new free service in Chicago uses a chat bot to provide legal letters and other help to tenants fighting eviction from their apartments, or trying to get maintenance. (BlockClubChicago.org)

Legal Education

  • The Law School Admission Test council may be planning to overhaul the test’s analytical reasoning portion—better known as the logic games—as part of a legal settlement with two blind test takers. (Law.com) (ABAJournal)
(Item regarding Harvard's retention of Foley Hoag corrected to reference investigation of money received from Jeffrey Epstein.)

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com

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