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Wake Up Call: King & Wood Mallesons Elects New MP In EUME

Oct. 4, 2016, 12:02 PM

• King & Wood Mallesons said it has elected a new managing partner for Europe and Middle East, legacy Mallesons partner Tim Bednall in London. (The Lawyer)

Brevity is supposedly the soul of wit, but after a committee recently proposed cutting the word limit on briefs filed in federal appellate courts, from 14,000 down to 12,500 words, lawyers unleashed a flood of complaints. (New York Times)

• Under a recent state bar ethics ruling, Texas lawyers could theoretically face disciplinary action for identifying themselves on pleadings or other communication as working for firms organized as Swiss vereins, such as DLA Piper, Baker & McKenzie, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright and Squire Patton Boggs. (Texas Lawyer)

• Officials with the Republican National Committee said Monday they lodged a complaint with the District of Columbia Bar against one of Hillary Clinton’s attorneys and closest confidantes, the latest move to raise questions about what the GOP calls a cover-up over Clinton’s private e-mail system. (Bloomberg/Big Law Business)

• A home invasion and how one lawyer tried to kill another lawyer in a wealthy suburb. (Washingtonian)

Legal Market

• In an excerpt from her forthcoming book, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said there have been “ great changes " since she started law school in 1956, when women accounted for less than three percent of the legal profession, and only one woman had ever served on a federal appellate court. (Big Law Business)

• Law firm mergers tallied 43 through 2016’s third quarter, up one from last year’s level for the same period, as small acquisitions or combinations have dominated most recent merger activity, according to a recent report. (Texas Lawyer)

• Africa is a “ land of opportunity " for law firms, writes the Africa group director for Herbert Smith Freehills, which recently became the latest firm to set up in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Australasian Lawyer)

• U.K. firm Howard Kennedy has launched penalty system under which lawyers can be blocked from using their computers if they haven’t completed timesheets detailing their work for each day. (The Lawyer)

• California prosecutors may soon be called on to take a more active role in preventing and even rectifying wrongful convictions under new ABA-inspired professional conduct rules approved Oct. 1 by the state bar’s board of trustees. (Bloomberg BNA/Big Law Business)

• Nabarro, one of the firms in a proposed European three-way merger with CMS and Olswang, has put off its vote for two weeks to give partners time to review information about the deal. (The Lawyer)

• After a unit pleaded guilty to a bribery charge linked to dealings in Africa, Och-Ziff Capital Management LP will now try to get U.S. regulators to give it permission to go on with business as usual. (Bloomberg)

• A former official at CG Technology LP, formerly known as Cantor Gambling, faces as long as five years in prison after pleading guilty to taking part in an illegal gambling business. (Bloomberg)

• U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May plans no special considerations for British financial-services companies in the country’s negotiations to leave the European Union, as May wants to change the relationship between the government and the City of London. (Bloomberg)

Trump v. Clinton

• New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Friday slapped Donald Trump’s foundation with a “notice of violation” ordering it to stop soliciting donations in the state, effective immediately; and other legal new and partner moves. (Big Law Business)

• Rudy Giuliani has been clear that he supports Republican nominee Donald Trump in the presidential election, but few of Giuliani’s partners at Greenberg Traurig share his enthusiasm, according to recent campaign contribution data that shows far more donations from firm employees to Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival. (Law.com)

• A federal appeals court affirmed a court order throwing out a ban against Syrian refugees by Trump’s running mate , Mike Pence, citing the Indiana governor’s policy as discriminatory and based on terrorism fears that are “nightmare speculation.” (Law.com)

SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch bid by President Barack Obama’s administration to revive his plan to shield millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation. (Bloomberg)

• The Supreme Court sidestepped a pair of appeals of a decision that addressed a clash over the multibillion-dollar college sports business, refusing to consider whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association has violated federal antitrust law by restricting athlete compensation. (Bloomberg)

• The court agreed to hear a high-stakes free-speech case pitting retailers against credit-card companies, and that will scrutinize laws in 10 states that limit how merchants can describe the lower prices they charge for cash transactions. (Yahoo Finance)

• Although an appeals court this summer held that lawyers don’t have to tell clients about ethics advice they got from their firms’ in-house general counsels, the protection from that ruling is “narrow” and attorneys should think twice about potential implications before seeking such advice in-house, write a white-collar attorney. (Forbes)

• A California federal judge rejected major credit card companies’ petition to throw out an antitrust suit that claims they colluded to shift the liability for fraudulent transactions to retailers in so-called chip reader rules . (The Recorder)

• Two separate rulings in California federal courts last week strengthened plaintiffs lawyers’ ability under U.S. antitrust law to sue foreign companies over price-fixing claims, even when challenged transactions were made abroad. (The Recorder)

Laterals and Moves

• New York’s oldest law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft had a mixed batch of news Monday, losing two more attorneys to rival law firms as partners, while announcing a partnership with French restructuring firm Bremond & Associés. (New York Law Journal)

ExxonMobil Corp.said its vice president and general counsel, Jack Balagia, plans to retire as of Nov. 1 after more than 18 years. Randall Ebner, currently assistant general counsel, is likely to succeed him. (Oil and Gas Investor)

Technology

• Old habits die hard: Since important e-Discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure took effect in 2015, many courts have properly applied them but others have ignored them or failed to properly apply them, even after the U.S. Chief Justice highlighted them in his annual report. (Big Law Business)

• About 50 “prominent” U.S. lawyers from some 40 law firms are launching a coalition to address legal issues related to legal rights of innovators in technology for digital currency and distributed ledgers, according to a statement. (Blockchain News)

• Salesforce is buying data marketing company Krux for about $700 million in cash and stock. (Bloomberg)

• The recent announcement by Dutch-based bank group ING that it plans to eliminate almost 6,000 jobs and invest 800 million euros ($898 million) in digital platforms is the latest sign of the industry’s move to replace people with computers . (BloombergGadfly)

• China’s tech giants — Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — increasingly have a finger in every part of the economy but traditional players still dominate the selling of insurance policies. (BloombergGadfly)

• Facebook Inc. is making a second try at a Craigslist-rival feature called “ Marketplace ,” which will let users shop for things and post items for sale. (Bloomberg)

Legal Education

• Crime experts say police are closing in on the people who allegedly orchestrated the murder-for-hire of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel — his in-laws. (Law.com)

Miscellaneous

• Ward Bower, a “straight-shooting” legal consultant at Altman Weil in Philadelphia who studied the business of law, has died from a heart attack at age 69.

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Gabe Friedman.