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Wake Up Call: Saul Ewing Launches New Sports Practice

Dec. 13, 2019, 1:29 PM
  • Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr launched a 45-lawyer sports and entertainment practice, led by Minneapolis-based partner Al Coleman, who advises the Minnesota Vikings. The firm said litigators and other lawyers in the multidisciplinary practice will advise on matters ranging from sports and esports to video gaming and gambling. The firm said recent lateral hires have expanded the practice’s client list, which already includes the Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, International Speedway Corporation, and creators of game Candy Crush. (American Lawyer) (

  • Speaking of sports, 10 former National Football League players, including former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, were charged yesterday with cheating an NFL health care program for retired players out of millions of dollars. (BLAW)

  • A Philadelphia federal court dismissed antitrust claims against “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli’s former company, Retrophin Inc., and two partners, Mission Pharmacal Co. and Alamo Pharmacy Services Inc. yesterday. But the ruling suggested the suit, which alleges defendants schemed to block generic competition for the kidney drug Thiola, could be fixed and re-filed. The judge also ordered discovery to determine whether the court has jurisdiction over jail resident Shkreli, who’s represented by Fox Rothschild. Retrophin is represented by Cooley and Drinker Biddle & Reath. Mission and Alamo are represented by Norton Rose Fulbright US. Plaintiff Spring Pharmaceuticals LLC is represented by Winston & Strawn and Stevens & Lee PC. (BLAW)

  • The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s chief operating officer, Harold Kim, will take over as its president Jan. 1, when current president Lisa Rickard is set to step down. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Boies Schiller Flexner nominated two lawyers to serve as its next generation of managing partners, to take over when founder David Boies leaves. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Total law school enrollment is up, overall, but not for minorities, according to the American Bar Association’s annual fall enrollment data report released yesterday. (BLAW via BLB)

  • U.S. antitrust enforcers may sue to block Facebook Inc.'s plan to merge technology systems to enable messaging among users of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. The plan’s critics say the move would make it harder to break up Facebook in an antitrust case. (BN via BLAW)

  • Johnson & Johnson’s Kirkland & Ellis lawyers in an L.A. baby powder trial accused plaintiffs lawyers of attorney misconduct, alleging, among other things, that they provided false expert testimony. However, the judge rejected J&J’s motion for a mistrial and closing arguments started yesterday. (The Recorder)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Legal Market

  • A Virginia hotel operator that sued now-defunct LeClairRyan for malpractice in May has filed a $28 million claim in the firm’s bankruptcy and is seeking relief to allow it to continue its New Jersey state malpractice action. (American Lawyer)

  • The White House counsel is not the president’s “personal lawyer,” but, nevertheless, the counsel’s role is to “represent the president’s views,” said Jones Day partner Don McGahn, who left as President Trump’s top lawyer last year. McGahn spoke yesterday on a panel during the fourth annual Sidley Austin forum. (National Law Journal)

  • Texas-based global law firm network Lex Mundi published an employment law guide covering 50 jurisdictions worldwide, aimed at in-house counsel and member firm lawyers. (

  • Reed Smith published a report on key takeaways from its Oct. 10 energy commodities & conference in Houston, with reviews of presentations on such areas as litigation trends and risks for the the oil and gas industry and blockchain efficiency promises for energy and shipping. (Reed Smith)

  • South Carolina lawyer Edna Smith Primus has died at 75. In the 1970s, represented by the ACLU, she won her U.S. Supreme Court challenge to a professional reprimand, helping redefine free speech rights for lawyers and advocacy groups, the Times writes. (NYT)

  • An audio recording of a New York federal appeals judge having a lawyer tossed from a hearing for allegedly “discourteous” and “inappropriate” behavior elicited Twitter observations. (New York Law Journal)

Pro Bono

  • Baker Botts filed federal pro bono suits on behalf of a large group of San Francisco Bay Area residents challenging a federal agency’s proposed restrictions on dog walking in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (San Francisco Examiner)


  • Lowenstein Sandler represented Pamplona Capital Management on its $200 million growth equity investment into iFit, the connected fitness streaming platform owned by the parent company of NordicTrack, ProForm, and Freemotion. ( (

  • Fenwick & West represented, which provides software for automating back-office payment services to small-and medium-sized business, on its initial public offering, which was valued at about $216 million. (

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough hired former Winston & Strawn appellate and critical motions lawyer Christopher E. Mills, who most recently was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas. He joins the firm as a partner in Charleston, South Carolina. (

  • O’Melveny & Meyers promoted five lawyers to partner for 2020, including three women, across three U.S. offices and London. (

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • Rite Aid Corp., advised by Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius and Dickinson Wright, escaped a False Claims Act suit accusing the company of overbilling government health-care programs for prescription drugs. (BLAW)

  • A prolific class action professor, Linda Mullenix, sued the University of Texas at Austin yesterday alleging the school pays her significantly less than another, male, class action scholar with comparable experience. (BLAW)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at