Wake Up Call: Kavanaugh Racked Up Thousands in Debt Buying Baseball Tickets

July 12, 2018, 11:03 AM

• U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh listed just two assets worth a maximum of $65,000 on his 2017 personal financial disclosure, plus a debt of as much as $15,000. ( Bloomberg ) Kavanaugh invites all his former and current clerks to a Washington Nationals game every summer. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB ) That could account for some of the tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt the White House says the judge racked up by buying baseball tickets. ( Washington Post )

• Winston & Strawn lost a disqualification fight with client Netflix Inc. as a federal bankruptcy judge barred the firm from representing film studio Relativity Media in a bankruptcy dispute that would pit the law firm against Netflix. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• 2018 is on pace to be a record year for global M&A, with $2.1 trillion of transactions in the first half. But after five years of bumper activity, some dealmakers are wondering how long the party can continue. ( Bloomberg )

•Morrison & Foerstersaid veteran Justice Department prosecutor and trial counsel LisaPhelan, who served 16 years as chief of the DOJ’s National Criminal Enforcement and Washington Criminal I Sections of the Antitrust Division, is joining MoFo in Washington as a partner in its antitrust law practice and investigations and white collar group. ( MoFo.com )

• Kirkland & Ellis opened an office in Dallas, its second in Texas, ninth in the U.S., and 14th worldwide. It starts with six partners focused mostly on transactional work: Michael Considine and Alex Rose come from Jones Day; Kevin Crews from Weil; Thomas Laughlin and Lanchi Huynh of Vinson & Elkins; and Dilen Kumar of Winston & Strawn. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Managing partners at several of Boston’s largest law firms said they have a long way to go to fix problems in the #MeToo area. ( Boston Business Journal )

• An attorney who won an $8.6 billion award in an Ecuadoran court against Chevron Corp. over pollution of the Amazon rain forest later found to be obtained by coercion, fraud, and bribery has lost his law license. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )


• Class action plaintiffs aren’t likely to fare any better at the Supreme Court if Kavanaugh’s nomination is confirmed. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• These cases might give Kavanaugh recusal problems if they reach the Supreme Court. ( National Law Journal )

• Hundreds of Yale Law School students, alumni, and staff signed a petition urging the school to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. ( Law.com )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Trump’s pick for a seat on Brooklyn’s federal district court, Eric Komitee, earned $10.5 million in salary and bonus during a recent two-year period as general counsel for the hedge fund Viking Global Investors LP, according to his financial disclosure. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Law firms and individual lawyers in a fight over a secret grand jury report on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania have donated over $180,000 to election campaigns of state Supreme Court justices deciding whether to release the report. ( Philly.com )

• McKool Smith said it scored a “complete win” for itsclient, Texas surgeon Dr. Ford Albritton IV, in a patent battle with Acclarent Inc. over Albritton’s surgical device. ( McKoolSmith.com )

• Cooley said it helped Axiom Zen win dismissal of a lawsuit in which cryptocollectibles tech company Starcoin alleged Axiom Zen’s popular blockchain game CryptoKitties infinged its trade secrets by releasing characters resembling NBA star Stephen Curry. ( Cooley.com )

Laterals, Moves

• King & Spalding nabbed energy finance partner Carol M. Burke, from Reed Smith in Houston, Texas, joined by two other partners--Susan Berry and Kimberlee “Kim” Cagle. Plus more recent moves. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

•Morgan Lewis said litigator Kenneth Polite, a former New Orleans U.S. Attorney, will join its global disputes and investigations team Aug. 20 as a partner in its Philadelphia and New York offices. ( MorganLewis.com )

•Barnes & Thornburg added former Akin Gump lawyer Warren Biro as an associate in the firm’s entertainment, media and sports practice group in Los Angeles. ( BTlaw.com )

•Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies said Julia Ciarlo Hammond and Ryan F. O’Toole joined its Richmond, Virginia, office, coming from Eckert Seamans’ government affairs practice, where Hammond served as senior manager of government affairs and O’Toole served as government relations manager. ( Copublicstrategies.com )

•Holland & Knight said real estate attorney Luis Moreno Treviño joined the firm’s Mexico City office, coming from Thompson & Knight’s office in the same city, where he was a partner. ( Hklaw.com )

•Holland & Knight said environmental, health and safety attorney Beth Rothenberg joined its Jacksonville office as a partner. She was formerly a partner with McGuire Woods. ( Hklaw.com )

•Cozen O’Connor said transactional attorney Marnie R. Kudon joined its national real estate practice as a member in its New York office. Kudon was previously senior counsel at Locke Lord’s New York office. ( Cozen.com )

• Workplace law firm Jackson Lewis said inhouse veteran David S. Mohl joined the firm’s Atlanta office as a principal, expanding its disability, leave, and health management practice. He joins from The Hershey Company, where he was associate general counsel, and he was previously senior counsel at Cigna. ( JacksonLewis.com )

Legal Trends

• Uber Technologies is among companies using or planning to use continuous background checks of existing workers in addition to the routine pre-employment screening. Employment lawyers and worker advocates are urging caution about the emerging practice. ( Bloomberg )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.

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