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Wake Up Call: Jail-Bound Ex-Willkie Chair Faces Uncertain Future

Oct. 11, 2019, 11:44 AM
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher doesn’t seem to have lost any big clients as a result of former rainmaker and firm co-chair Gordon Caplan’s arrest and conviction in the U.S. college admissions scandal, but the firm is not saying one way or another. As for Caplan, he has been suspended from the New York bar and is scheduled to serve a one-month prison sentence that ends Dec. 6. What he’ll do after that is still an open question, according to a report. (American Lawyer)

  • President Donald Trump has two Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough lawyers on his legal team defending him in the House impeachment investigation into his contacts with Ukraine. They are former Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy and Jon Sale, a former special Watergate prosecutor who co-chairs Nelson Mullins’ white-collar defense practice. (National Law Journal)

  • Conservative attorneys group Checks & Balances yesterday published a letter by 16 of its member lawyers calling for an “expeditious investigation” of the allegations against Trump in the Ukraine scandal. (

  • Two lawyers who’ve worked for Trump are linked to the two men arrested by the FBI yesterday and charged with illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. elections. According to reports, the two men, real estate developers Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are business associates or clients of Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. They’re represented by former Trump lawyer John Dowd. (NYT) (WaPo)

  • Several law firms have already created positions dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion for attorneys and staff. Now, JAMS says it’s the first alternative dispute resolution services provider to do that. It said it hired lawyer Joanne Saint Louis as the organization’s new diversity program manager, based in Atlanta. She was previously at the American Arbitration Association. (

  • has taken a step into legal services industry with its new IP Accelerator service, reports Above The Law. The dedicated IP Accelerator site says it can connect businesses with intellectual property law firms offering “competitive rates” to help companies, especially SMEs, cut the time it takes to get obtain IP rights for their brands. (Above The Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The nonprofit Legal Services Corporation announced $4.23 million in grants to 30 legal services organizations from its program for funding technology projects aimed at improving low-income Americans’ access to legal assistance and information. (

  • California lawyers’ licensing fees are set to triple under a new law. (BLAW via BLB)

  • A Nashville-based litigation finance advisory and brokerage, Westfleet Advisors, added two vice presidents and legal counsel. It said former New Jersey assistant U.S. attorney Barry Kamar, who was earlier an SEC enforcement attorney, joined in New York. Former Ice Miller associate Michael Perich, who was previously at litigation finance firms Burford Capital and Gerchen Keller Capital, joined in Chicago. (

  • Barnes & Thornburg is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Columbus, Ohio, branch, which has grown from two labor and employment practitioners to 24 lawyers across most of the firm’s practice areas. (


  • Health services company MEDNAX Inc., advised by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and McDermott, Will & Emery, announced an agreement to sell its MedData business, for undisclosed terms, to Frazier Healthcare Partners, which was advised by Goodwin Procter. (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

  • Hain Celestial Group, an organic and natural food firm advised by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, sold its Arrowhead Mills and SunSpire brands to Chicago-based Hometown Food Company for $15 million. (PR Newswire)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • Akin Gump hired patent litigators M. Andrew Holtman and C. Brandon Rash from boutique firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner to join its intellectual property practice in Washington. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Haynes and Boone said former Vinson & Elkins corporate and energy lawyer Michael Freeman joined the firm in Dallas as a partner, arriving most recently from Winstead P.C. (

  • Barnes & Thornburg’s Washington office added financial and regulatory litigation partner David S. Slovick, a former senior enforcement attorney at both the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. He joins from Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York, where he was counsel. (

  • U.K. litigation finance company Augusta hired insurance industry in-house leader Frances Coats as its new general counsel. (Litigation Finance Journal)

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • The first case in a multidistrict opioid litigation will start Oct. 21 in Ohio, despite efforts by that state’s attorney general to halt or delay the proceedings. The case pits some of the nation’s largest companies in the drug supply chain against two Ohio counties seeking $8 billion over the industry’s role in the opioid crisis in those communities. (BLAW)

  • Time spent as a federal court clerk counts toward the legal experience requirement to run for Kentucky attorney general, a state court ruled. (BLAW via BLB)


  • A new California law bars use of facial recognition software in police body cameras for three years. New Hampshire and Oregon have similar bans. (BLAW)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at