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Wake Up Call: Microsoft’s New General Counsel Role Goes to Dev Stahlkopf

April 25, 2018, 11:15 AM

• Microsoft Corp. promoted deputy general counsel Dev Stahlkopf to the new position of general counsel and corporate vice president, in which she will report to the company’s president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith. Stahlkopf, who arrived at the company in 2007, practiced law at Perkins Coie and at Cooley. ( Corporate Counsel )

• The Securities and Exchange Commission fined the company previously known as Yahoo! Inc. $35 millionfor keeping its investors “in the dark” about a massive cyber breach for two years. It’s the regulator’s first fine targeting such conduct. ( Washington Post )

• Northerwestern University Pritzker School of Law named the first woman dean in its history. The Chicago school said veteran professor Kimberly Yuracko will take over Sept. 1 from outgoing dean Daniel Rodriguez. Yuracko specializes in employment law, gender equity, and anti-discrimination law. ( )

• Big Law firms posted their biggest revenue gains since the great recession in 2017, up 5.5 percent from the previous year to a record $91.4 billion, according to the American Lawyer.The top firms by gross revenue were Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins; Baker McKenzie; DLA Piper; and Skadden. ( BLB )

• Litigation finance company Lake Whillans hired Christopher Hagale, a former Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott litigation partner, as its managing director. Hagale’s former University of Chicago Law School classmate Garrett Ordower last year left Wachtell, where he was an associate, to join the company’s New York office. ( American Lawyer )

• Skadden of counsel Gregory B. Craig, who oversaw the firm’s controversial report on behalf of Ukraine’s government, abruptly left the firm yesterday. The Ukraine report has figured prominently in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. ( BLB ) ( Bloomberg )

• Talking Points Memo reported that fired FBI Director James Comey has another Skadden lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, as one of his personal attorneys, to help Comey handle his role as a potential witness in Mueller investigation. ( TPM )

• The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an administrative review system that has helped Google Inc., Apple Inc., and other companies shoot down hundreds of issued patents, but which drugmakers and independent inventors say unfairly upends established property rights. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals

• Minneapolis-based Robins Kaplan announced its national practice group chairs: Jason Pfeiffer for business litigation; Boston-based William Erickson for insurance and catastrophic loss; Christopher Larus, in Minneapolis and New York, for intellectual property and technology litigation; Tara Sutton, who is on the firm’s executive board, for mass tort litigation; and Peter Schmit for medical malpractice and personal injury. ( RobinsKaplan )

•Cozen O’Connor said public finance attorney Jonathan A. Ballan--who supervised financing of Yankee Stadium, a LaGuardia Airport terminal, and other big New York City projects--joined the firm as a New York partner and co-chair of its public & project finance practice group, coming from Dentons.( )

• Sidley Austin said Nathan Clukey joined the firm in Washington, D.C., as a partner in its tax controversy practice. He was formerly a partner at King & Spalding. ( Sidley )

• Buchatler added five attorneys to its months old Seattle office, including new office managing shareholder Jeffrey Frank. Frank, and new shareholders Brad Thoreson and Doug Prince, were previously partners at Foster Pepper. Sherman Helenese joined the office in November from Garvey, Schubert & Barer. Mitchell J. Olejko, a shareholder in Buchalter’s health care practice group, now practices out of both San Francisco and Seattle. ( Buchatler )

• Hunton Andrews Kurth promoted labor and employment lawyers Ryan M. Bates in Washington and Robert T. Dumbacher in Atlanta to partner. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Sexual Harassment

• Employees are using company hotlines to report sexual harassment more than ever thanks to the #MeToo movement. But for an employer to be able to adduce such hotlines as evidence of its efforts to prevent and address harassment, it matters how the calls are handled, worklaw attorneys said. ( Bloomberg Law )

• It could get easier to file sexual harassment claims in Minnesota courts under proposed legislation that would make the state the first to reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s “severe or pervasive” legal standard for such claims. ( Bloomberg Law )

Legal Actions

• Delivery drivers for Domino’s pizza franchisees in Colorado have filed three suits claiming they get shorted on compensation. Domino’s Pizza Inc., not named as a defendant in any of the lawsuits, benefits from a franchise system that shifts liability to franchisees, an attorney for the drivers said. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Companies facing federal employment discrimination lawsuits in New York City’s southern outer boroughs and Long Island have a tougher time getting the cases tossed early than they do other types of lawsuits. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Two former American Airlines Inc. workers want a federal court in Texas to let them proceed as a class in their lawsuit challenging how the airline managed their retirement savings. Kelly Hart & Hallman and O’Melveny & Myers represent American. Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns and Friedman Suder & Cooke represent the participants.( Bloomberg Law )


• Big businesses including AT&T are quietly trouncing cities in the fight over the future of the internet. ( Bloomberg )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.