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Wake Up Call: Senate Confirms Perkins Coie Partner Miller to Appeals Court

Feb. 27, 2019, 12:25 PM
  • Perkins Coie’s appellate practice chief Eric Miller won confirmation yesterday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, becoming the first appeals judge confirmed this year and the first to clear the chamber without support of both home-state senators. Miller’s appointment by President Donald Trump was opposed by Democrats. That was to be expected. But the subsequent political fight over his nomination was exacerbated by the Republican majority’s decision to scrap the century-old “blue slip” tradition for circuit nominees. (BLAW)

  • A federal appeals court affirmed AT&T Inc.'s $85 billion merger with Time Warner, the latest defeat for an effort by Makan Delrahim, the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, to undo the deal and get tough on “vertical” mergers. (BN via BLB) Sidley Austin appellate veteran Peter Keisler, representing AT&T in the case, won against former Jones Day associate Michael Murray, now a top DOJ antitrust lawyer. (National Law Journal)

  • Back in 2017, President Trump’s hostility for CNN, a Time Warner unit, led then-Kirkland & Ellis lawyer William Barr, a Time Warner board member, to question whether the Justice Department’s case was politically motivated. Now attorney general, Barr has said he is recused from the case. (BN)

  • Trump said he will nominate Interior Department principal deputy solicitor Daniel Jorjani as solicitor for the department. Jorjani, among other roles, has previously been a top lawyer for groups linked to Koch brothers companies, and worked in the Interior Department under George W. Bush. (BLAW)

  • Foley & Lardner said former NBA Development League VP and general counsel Bobby Sharma joined the firm as special adviser to its sports industry team, based in New York. Sharma, who, among other previous roles, spent a year as a Cravath litigator, is currently chairman of Blue Devil Holdings, an international sports, media and entertainment investment company, and recently co-founded the esports advisory firm Electronic Sports Group. (

  • New York-based Shearman & Sterling is the latest Big Law firm to open an office in Seoul, South Korea. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Facebook Inc. and other big companies are fighting lawsuits alleging that their collection of face scans, fingerprints, and other biometric data violates Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), and a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision could spur more such suits. (BLAW) Detroit-based Dykema said it formed a dedicated team to defend Illinois companies against BIPA suits. (Dykema) Meanwhile, Shook, Hardy & Bacon recruited two Chicago-based privacy attorneys from Baker & Hostetler to help handle a surge in BIPA class actions. (American Lawyer)

  • Fortune has a profile of Jay Edelson, whose Chicago-based law firm has filed hundreds of class-action lawsuits against tech giants like Google, Uber, and Amazon for allegedly misusing the personal data of their users. (Fortune)

  • Baker McKenzie grabbed Milbank veteran transactional lawyer Mark Mandel, who joins the firm as a member of the firm’s North America corporate & securities practice. Mandel’s 30-year career includes about two years as a partner at Morrison & Foerster and five as a Skadden associate. He’s a former counsel in the Ontario Securities Commission. (

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • Alabama-based Bradley Arant Boult Cummings can’t dump its longtime client to represent the opposing party in a patent infringement lawsuit, a federal court ruled. (BLAW)

  • Florida-based Greenspoon Marder said it is advising innovative capital markets firm Inveniam Capital Partners on the Florida component of a first-of-its-kind digital tokenization of four real estate assets for a total of $260 million. (Bitcoin Exchange Guide) (

  • About a year after entering the Seattle market, L.A.-based Buchalter said it has relocated to a “permanent” space in the downtown Seattle US Bank Centre at 1420 5th Avenue, Suite 3100. The firm also announced three new hires in the office. (Buchalter)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler nabbed veteran Akin Gump patent litigator Barbara L. Mullin as a special counsel in New York. (

  • Reed Smith said former Illinois state tax official and prosecutor Paul Bogdanski joined the firm as a partner in its state tax practice in Chicago, arriving from accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP. (

  • Florida-based Holland & Knight said real estate attorney Sara Bernard joined its Orlando office as a partner, arriving from Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel. (

  • Michael Best added litigator Victoria Lovato as senior counsel in its Denver office. She was previously a director at S&D Law, and earlier in her career worked as general counsel to the Colorado Medical Board. (

  • Management-side worklaw firm Littler added compliance consultant Chris Gokturk as a principal in its Tysons Corner, Virginia, office. With a background in math and computer science, Gokturk advises employers on systemic discrimination risks, and helps them develop, implement and defend affirmative action programs. She joins from NT Lakis, LLP. (

  • Detroit-based Clark Hill said healthcare and transport attorney Noelle Natoli joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as a member in its healthcare law and transportation practices. She arrives from Foley & Mansfield, where she was a partner and chair of the elder law and transportation practices. (

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • Last week a divided U.S. Supreme Court saved intellectually disabled Bobby James Moore from execution. Skadden represented Moore. DLA Piper filed a 2018 amicus brief in the case in November 2018 on behalf of the American Bar Association. (BLAW)

  • Lockheed Martin Corp., represented by Ogletree Deakins, asked an appeals court to affirm the dismissal of a suit alleging it fired two employees in retaliation for their reports of potential fraud under a NASA contract. (BLAW)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at