Wake Up Call: Senate Confirms Rod Rosenstein as Deputy AG

April 26, 2017, 12:14 PM

• The Senate voted 94-6 to confirm Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general, making the federal prosecutor the new face of the U.S. investigation into Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election and whether anyone associated with President Trump played a role. Attorneys are looking to Rosenstein, a lifelong public servant, to bring some stability to the Department of Justice, but he will have his work cut out for him. ( Bloomberg ) ( National Law Journal )

• A group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter is said to have won the auction for the Miami Marlins baseball team with a $1.3 billion bid. Proskauer Rose is advising the Marlins, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is said to be representing the Jeter-Bush group. ( Bloomberg ,Am Law Daily )

• Trump got another smack down on immigration policy Tuesday, when a San Francisco federal court blocked his administration from withholding funds from so-called sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal agencies to deport undocumented immigrants. ( Bloomberg )

• With Chadbourne & Parke headed for a merger with Norton Rose Fulbright, Chadbourne is losing the chairman of its intellectual property practice in New York, as Paul Tanck heads to Alston & Bird. ( Am Law Daily )

• The internet and the world of online gaming have brought an entirely new dimension to the sports business, says Irwin Raij, a former Foley & Lardner partner who advised Guggenheim Baseball Management in its $2 billion acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the largest deals ever for a sports franchise. Hired this month at O’Melveny & Myers as co-chairman of the firm’s sports industry practice group, Raij recently talked to BLB about that move, and the interface between sports and entertainment law. ( BLB )

• Somebody got around the ban on electronic devices in the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. A ringing cell phone during an oral argument left Justice Stephen Breyer red-faced, amusing some of his peers. ( Western Journalism )

Legal Market

• Makan Delrahim, President Trump’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, has promised to step aside from issues involving his past work as a lobbyist, particularly his lobbying for Anthem Inc. in its effort to merge with Cigna Corp. That recusal could help with expected questions from lawmakers in his Senate confirmation hearing set for today. ( Bloomberg BNA via BLB )

• A $400 million lawsuit against media conglomerate Vivendi claims it has stiffed the creators of the legendary rock ’n’ roll mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap by “fraudulently underreporting” revenues owed to them. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

• Eleven current and former Fox News employees filed a class-action race-bias lawsuit accusing the company of turning a blind eye for years to systemic abuse of workers with darker skin in an attempt to cover for the alleged behavior of Bill O’Reilly and others. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Snap Inc. and other stock issuances from the first quarter may signal that the U.S. initial public offering market is rebounding, with energy and technology sectors showing promise. ( Bloomberg BNA via BLB )

• Greenberg Traurig advised Orlando-based Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, in its purchase of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino from Carl Icahn in a $375 million joint venture with two partners. ( Daily Business Review )

• A checklist of where the U.K. and EU currently stand on Brexit. ( Bloomberg )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Justice Neil Gorsuch may face his first recusal when the U.S. Supreme Court in May considers a petition that prominently cites one of his dissents: the case of a 13-year-old student arrested for disrupting his class by burping. ( National Law Journal )

• Uber Technologies Inc.'s engineer Anthony Levandowski cannot claim a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, a California federal appeals court ruled in the Google-Uber autonomous car intellectual property case. ( The Recorder )

• The California federal judge in the Volkswagen diesel emissions litigation rejected motions for “non-class counsel” to get a slice of the $175 million in attorney fees in the case, but he lifted an injunction that had blocked law firms from suing their own clients for payment. ( The Recorder )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Cozen O’Connor said it has hired away a nationally ranked construction practice of four lawyers from Pepper Hamilton for its construction law group, to be headed by Bruce W. Ficken. Ficken, Raymond L. DeLuca, the group’s vice-chairman, and James M. Kwartnik, Jr., are joining Cozen as “members,” while Jeffrey R. Mullen joins as an associate, with all four based in Philadelphia, the firm said. ( Cozen O’Connor )

• Three former partners at Baker Botts LLP — Kevin Jordan, Walter Lynch and Michael Cancienne — have launched a new Houston-based civil trial boutique called Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne PLLC. Attorneys Amir Halevy and Susan Thomas are also joining the new firm from Baker Botts, with Halevy joining as an associate, and Thomas as special counsel. ( Houston Business Journal )

• DLA Piper’s chairman of cross-border litigation for the Americas, Todd Toral, is leaving for Jenner & Block where he will be a Los Angeles-based partner for complex commercial litigation. Toral, who handles bank disputes and private equity matters, said he was attracted to Jenner & Block by its strong practice in Japan, and its embrace of his pro bono work. ( The Recorder )

• Reed Smith is launching a so-called agile, or flexible, working policy in London, after consulting partners and heads of business services. ( The Lawyer )

• Holland & Knight said it got veteran banking and finance attorney Jason DelMonico as a Boston-based partner in its financial services practice group, to the detriment of Riemer & Braunstein in the same city. ( HKlaw )

• King & Spalding has grabbed six life sciences lawyers from Norton Rose in Austin, Texas, including three partners specialized in tort, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation — Lana Varney, Lisa Horvath Shub and Stephen Huffaker — plus, counsel Holly Kipp and associates Oliver Thoma and Ashley Crooks. ( Texas Lawyer )

• London-based firm Ashurst reported that just four women figure in its latest 19 partner promotions, well short of its target of 40 percent of promotions being female by 2018. ( The Lawyer )


• So-called virtual law firms that let lawyers work from home and set their own billing rates are increasingly competing with “traditional” Big Law firms for work from major clients. Some cloud-based firms claim revenue gains as high as 60 percent per year, but at least some parts of the legal market remain skeptical. ( Am Law Daily )

• A team approach is needed to achieve cost-effective ediscovery that gets through the invisible wall between lawyers and staff, writes a former Big Law partner. ( Above The Law )

• Lawyers, law professors, innovators: The American Bar Association recently released its list of 10 women making an impact in the field of legal technology. ( ABA Journal )

• Google is making a rare, sweeping change to the algorithm behind its powerful search engine to demote misleading, false and offensive articles online. ( Bloomberg )

• Researchers at UC Berkeley are working on four problems that have to be solved in order for humans and robots to work together. Video. ( Wired )

Legal Education

• Four third-year students at Harvard Law School are calling on the school to clarify what information it collects about whether applicants have been accused or found guilty of sexual assault, and how it considers that information. ( Harvard Crimson )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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