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Wake Up Call: Moonves Hires O’Melveny Litigation Star as CBS Investigation Looms

Aug. 23, 2018, 11:25 AM

• CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves brought on some star power to represent him as the network conducts an internal investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him. Moonves hired O’Melveny & Myers litigator Daniel Petrocelli, who’s fresh off a big antitrustwinlast June for AT&T, which successfully fought off the Justice Department’s effort to shoot down its acquisition of Time Warner. ( Variety )

• Morgan Lewis reached into McDermott for a second time in a month to expand its intellectual property practice, this time getting a nine- partner patent prosecution and litigation team in Orange County, California, that will eventually also include over 40 of counsel, associates, technical specialists, patent agents, and docketing personnel. Morgan Lewis said the partners include Mark J. Itri, Christopher D. Bright, Michael G. Dreznes, M. Todd Hales, Soyeon Pak “Karen” Laub, John D. Magluyan, Andrew D. Mickelsen, and Nathan S. Smith, and a ninth partner making the move later this week.

Earlier this month Morgan Lewisgrabbedseven McDermott IP partners with a focus on science and tech, in Chicago, Washington, and California. ( MorganLewis )

• Law firms had their best revenueperformancesince the recession in 2017. The extra revenue could come in handy as firms should anticipate facing more potentially costly charges of gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment in the near future. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• When ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen yesterday pleaded guilty to tax fraud and other crimes, he also implicated President Donald Trump in a crime. That could be a big problem for Trump, but Cohen’s guilty plea could also guarantee his own lawyers get paid. Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis yesterday started a campaign on crowdfunding site GoFundMe to help pay Cohen’s legal fees, raising tens of thousands of dollars of the $500,000 target in about 11 hours. ( CNBC ) ( National Law Journal )

• Davis said Cohen doesn’t want to “dirtied” by a presidential pardon. ( Washington Post ) But Trump could pardon Cohen even if his ex-lawyer doesn’t want that clemency, said a Washington-based attorney who specializes in the subject. ( National Law Journal )

• Paul Manafort may have so far escaped conviction on 10 out of 18 fraud counts brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, but the judge in the case can still consider those counts when sentencing the former Trump campaign chief for the eight convictions. ( Bloomberg Law )

• ALM yesterday announced its ranking of the top 50 verdicts from January 2017 through April 2018. No. 1 was a Dallas Jury’s Texas-sized $8 billion verdict against JP Morgan Chase Bank, in September 2017, for mismanaging a family estate. A Texas probate judge this month chopped that award down to $7.1 million. ( National Law Journal ) ( Bloomberg )

• Chicago-based firm Keller Lenkner and Fort Lauderdale-based Zebersky Payne have hooked up to file a federal class-action suit that accuses big pharmaceutical companies including Purdue Pharma Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. of opioid-related “misconduct” that allegedly pushed up the price of medical insurance in Florida. ( Daily Business Review )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Mayer Brown advised Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. in its agreement to buy specialty insurer Navigators Group Inc. for about $2.1 billion in cash. Sidley Austin represented Navigators Group in the deal. ( Bloomberg )

• BakerHostetler said it advised Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. in its acquisition of website PaperRater.com, which offers students a suite of writing services that include AI-based scoring, writing revision tools, and a plagiarism checker. BakerHostetler said the sellers in the deal were represented by Cincinnati-based Dinsmore and Shohl. ( MarketWatch )

Kavanaugh Nomination

• Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s expansive views on presidential power will likely come under a microscope to an even greater extent after Trump’s former lawyer implicated the president in campaign finance crimes yesterday. ( Bloomberg Law )

Legal Actions

• A recent National Labor Relations Board decision could be the starting point for expanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that employers can ban workers from filing class actions. ( Bloomberg Law )

Technology

• Lawyers have remarkably little guidance on the ethical implications of using cryptocurrency, even as some of them are already accepting cryptocurrency for payment, according to recent panel. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• The law firm business model may be the biggest obstacle to rapid adoption of artificial intelligence and other innovative technology, but that model will change, eventually, because it’s unsustainable in today’s market, according to a recent panel. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.

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