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Wake Up Call: Remote Contract Lawyers Slam Monitoring Software

Nov. 12, 2021, 1:27 PM

In today’s column, the Florida Bar’s governing board rejected proposals to allow non-lawyer ownership of firms and fee sharing; younger attorneys are leaving “disengaged” firms in search of constructive criticism; insurers are scoring big wins in Covid business interruption lawsuits.

  • Leading off, contract lawyers complain that facial recognition programs monitoring their work from home invade their privacy. The software, which became more common because of the spread of remote work during the pandemic, among other things crashes frequently, interrupts their work, and gets them criticized for harmless behavior such as holding a coffee mug, lawyers said. (WaPo)
  • With Big Law firms concerned about an exodus of associates, senior lawyers have shied away from giving younger attorneys constructive criticism. But that “disengagement” itself is pushing young lawyers to go elsewhere, a report finds. (The Recorder) Faced with a shortage of legal talent, some firms are shuffling lawyers from quieter practices to busy ones where need is greater. (Daily Report) The talent wars have some Big Law firms competing to recruit attorneys of color. Some firms are “all but promising” partnerships. (Business Insider)
  • A Nebraska federal judge criticized, then dismissed criminal charges against, U.S. marshals who had clashed with another judge over his authority to impose a Covid-19 vaccine mandate in his courtroom. (Law.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The Florida Bar board of governors unanimously rejected a proposals to allow non-lawyer ownership of firms and fee sharing between lawyers and non-lawyers. The board is still mulling a proposal to allow an expanded role for registered paralegals, a report says. (Florida Bar News)
  • Insurers are racking up big wins in Covid business-interruption cases. But insurance recovery lawyers say the fight isn’t over yet. (Law.com)
  • London Big Law firm Mishcon de Reya created a new “junior equity partner” tier aimed at increasing participation in the partnership, a report says. The partnership recently voted to take the firm public in an IPO. (UK Legal Week)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Fox Rothschild brought in veteran litigator Paul Richard Brown in Seattle as partner. He arrives from Karr Tuttle Campbell; Cole Schotz said real estate investment trust in-house lawyer Mike Perlmutter, who was an associate at the firm earlier in his career, rejoined in New York as a member; alternative firm Rimon PC grabbed intellectual property lawyers Ping Wang, Michael Ye, and John Murray as partners, from Morris Manning and Martin in Washington. All three previously worked together at Hunton Andrews Kurth. (RimonLaw.com)
  • Buchalter added three attorneys in San Diego. White collar defense and trial attorney Sanjay Bhandari joined as shareholder from McNamara Smith. Bryn Spradling joined as a shareholder in Buchalter’s corporate and health care practice from Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne, while Gary Spradling joined the health care practice as of counsel; alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS said retired California county court commissioner Renee E. Wilson joined its Orange County panel; retired Minnesota county district court chief judge Ivy S. Bernhardson joined its Minneapolis panel. (JAMSadr.com)
  • Legal tech startup Exterro hired e-discovery veteran Jenny Hamilton as its new general counsel. She was recently deputy GC at e-discovery services company HaystackID and previously spent close to 15 years at John Deere as head of its global evidence team. (GlobeNewswire) Perkins Coie white collar/investigations litigation partner Adam Schuman, a former federal prosecutor is taking a job as general counsel at New York-based digital asset investment and trading services company Menai Financial Group effective Jan. 1, 2022; former Obama Foundation general counsel Shawn Ray White, who recently left that job after about seven months, has a new job. The former Simpson Thacher & Bartlett corporate associate is now general counsel at the office that manages Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s assets and business activities, a report says. (Corporate Counsel)

Technology

  • In Kyle Rittenhouse’s murder trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the judge was apparently convinced by a defense argument that iPads’ zooming function can distort a video image and shouldn’t be allowed in the trial. (Gizmodo)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com