Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: Mueller Subpoenas Bannon in Russia Probe

Jan. 17, 2018, 12:47 PM

• Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed to meet with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or appear before a grand jury hearing evidence in Mueller’s Russia investigation, according to reports. Meanwhile, lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee said the White House is trying to use executive privilege to keep Bannon from answering many questions regarding their own inquiry. ( Bloomberg ) ( New York Times )

• Big law firms including Paul Hastings, Fish & Richardson, and WilmerHale, among others, have ramped up to handle an evolving new patent practice area: patent validity challenges that have quickly become the battleground for an increasing number of multi-billion dollar disputes. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Workplace litigators, racing the “Trump clock,” are settling more cases as labor agencies and federal courts fill up with business-friendly appointees. ( Bloomberg )

• Congress should provide a legal safe harbor for banks that provide services to state-legal marijuana businesses, 19 attorneys general said in a letter to House and Senate leaders. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• It took Uber three tries but a Los Angeles state judge finally approved a $7.75 million settlement that offers 1.6 million California drivers an average of $1.08 each to resolve one of several U.S. lawsuits challenging the ride-hailing giant’s contractor-based business model. ( Bloomberg )

Legal Market

• The Mulvaney-led Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it plans to rewrite an Obama-era rule intended to prevent payday lenders from saddling cash-strapped borrowers with expensive loans. ( Bloomberg ) Meanwhile, the agency’s succession fight continues in court. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Microsoft Corp., which has resisted U.S. law enforcement demands for emails stored in Ireland, told the U.S. Supreme Court that Congress should resolve the matter by updating privacy laws on digital data storage. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• The Justice Department said it plans to petition the Supreme Court to overrule last week’s appeals court ruling that forced the federal government to restart the so-called DACA program, which provides work permits to young, undocumented immigrants who were raised in the United States. The Trump administration wants to kill the program. ( Washington Post ) ( Bloomberg Law )

• A coalition of 22 Democratic attorneys general is asking a U.S. court to reinstate the so-called net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission last month. ( Bloomberg )

• Amidst mounting evidence of increased concentration and declining competition across the economy, a small group of policy wonks is mounting an attack on corporate consolidation. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

Law Firm Business/Moves

• Holland & Knight said former Blank Rome partner Cynthia Gausvik joined the firm as a partner in its private wealth services group, based in the firm’s Tysons, Virginia, office. ( Hklaw.com )

• Cole Schotz P.C. said David Dean, co-deputy chair of the firm’s bankruptcy & corporate restructuring department and a member of its litigation department, is moving from its Baltimore office to its Wilmington, Delaware, office. Dean said Delaware’s draw for complex litigation and bankruptcy cases from all over the country will allow him to boost his practice. ( Coleshotz.com )

• BakerHostetler said added securities litigation defense attorney Doug Greene as a partner in its national white collar, investigations and securities enforcement and litigation practice in Seattle. Greene, previously at Seattle-based Lane Powell, will be based in Seattle and lead BakerHostetler’s securities and governance litigation team. ( Baker.com )

• National workplace law firm Jackson Lewis said it added Megan Holstein to its disability, leave and health management practice group in Denver as a principal. Holstein comes from ReedGroup, a leave management services and products company, where she was vice president of compliance. ( JacksonLewis.com )

• Wiggin and Dana said it promoted Najia S. Khalid, already co-chair of the firm’s immigration & nationality law & compliance practice, to partner as of Jan. 1. ( Wiggin.com )

• Withers Bergman announced eight partner promotions as of Jan. 1, mainly in the firm’s private client and tax teams. It said attorneys Lian Fang, Eva Farkas-DiNardo, Theda Fisher, Elliot Galler and Vasiliki Yiannoulis rose to partner in its New York office, while James Dougherty was promoted in its Greenwich, Connecticut, office. In London, Jaime McLemore and Stephen Nerland got promoted. ( Withersworldwide.com )

• Be ready every day to quit or be fired to preserve your reputation and integrity, says Michael McAlevey, GE Aviation’s vice president and general counsel of legal operations and business development, in a recent interview. ( BLB )

Regulators and Enforcement

• The former head of New York foreign exchange trading at Barclays Plc’s investment bank was charged for his alleged role in defrauding a client with a front-running scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said. ( Bloomberg )

Russia Probes

• The Justice Department’s decision to give congressional Republicans access to documents about FBI investigations risks exposing sensitive sources or material and poses a critical early test for bureau Director Christopher Wray, current and former U.S. law enforcement officials say. ( Bloomberg )

The Trump Administration

• The administration, aiming to justify its immigration crackdown, released a study claiming that most people convicted in U.S. courts of crimes related to international terrorism are foreign-born. ( Bloomberg )

• Unit owners in the Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama accused the company of trying to bully them into abandoning their effort to dump the president’s hotel-management company. ( Bloomberg )

Happening in Courts

• Goldman Sachs gets another chance to defeat class action certification in a suit filed by the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System and other investors alleging it hid conflicts of interest when creating risky subprime securities before the financial crisis. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Read That Back Blog’s “Back in Business Edition” ( Read That Back Blog via US Law Week )

• “Punching In,” a look at upcoming labor and employment cases at the Supreme Court, and other labor and employment news from Washington, D.C. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• A federal judge hearing a challenge to the NCAA’s bar on pay for college athletes asked tough questions of both sides as she weighs whether to send the dispute to trial. ( Bloomberg )


• Bank of America Corp. has applied for or received at least 43 patents for blockchain, the ledger technology used for verifying and recording transactions that’s at the heart of virtual currencies, the most among major banks and technology companies. ( Bloomberg )

• Former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig, now CEO of IBM-owned Promontory Financial Group, talked to Bloomberg Law recently about the 2018 outlook for cryptocurrencies, blockchain, artificial intelligence and regulatory technologies. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Federal Communications Commission chief Ajit Pai proposed $500 million in new funding for building broadband in rural areas. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Legal Education

• Law school grads after the financial crisis came out with more debt, fewer job prospects, and more skepticism about their degree’s worth than did grads before the 2008-2009 downturn, according to a new survey. ( Law.com )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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