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Wake Up Call: Trump Company Hires Criminal Defense Veteran

April 8, 2021, 12:39 PM

In today’s column, a Facebook group of Georgia lawyers is vowing to aid people charged under the state’s new voting law; online travel company Expedia elected a Softbank in-house leader to its board of directors and audit committee; female attorneys who started their own legal tech firms say Silicon Valley’s sexism is worse than Big Law’s.

  • Leading off, the Trump Organization brought on veteran New York criminal-defense lawyer Ronald Fischetti, 84, to represent it as Manhattan prosecutors probe the business dealings of former President Donald Trump and his company. Fischetti was earlier a law partner in a firm with Mark Pomerantz, who’s now a partner at Paul, Weiss. Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor, is on leave from the firm and in February was sworn in as a special assistant district attorney to lead Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s investigation of allegations of bank, tax, and insurance fraud. (WSJ)
  • Pro-Trump Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has his own legal problems linked to criminal allegations against him by whistleblowers, but that hasn’t stopped him from leading Republican fights against the Biden administration. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Law firms have been mostly quiet about Georgia’s new voting law, which Democrats say restricts voting, but a group of hundreds of Georgia lawyers on Facebook is reportedly ready to fight it, in particular by helping people charged under a provision of the law that makes it a misdemeanor for non-election workers to provide food and water to voters at polls. The group, Georgia Lawyers Against Voter Suppression, has 479 members as of early Thursday morning. “There is an army of us ready to fight for anyone charged with this ridiculous law,” said the group’s founder. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Reed Smith is representing Walgreen Co. in its ethics complaint that asks a judge to disqualify Crowell & Moring in an arbitration proceeding in which Crowell is representing insurance carrier Humana Inc. against Walgreens. (National Law Journal)
  • A trend of immigration lawyers using online short-form video site TikTok to drum up work is stirring debate among attorneys about the ethical boundaries of social media advertising. (Mother Jones)

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • Former Radisson Hospitality Inc. general counsel Jenny Lindstrom took a job as the first chief legal officer for health care technology company Mitesco Inc.; Seattle-based travel giant Expedia Group, Inc. said its board of directors elected SoftBank Group deputy general counsel Patricia Menendez-Cambo as a member of Expedia’s board and audit committee. (Sec.gov)
  • Davis Wright Tremaine hired former Japan Display Group general counsel Ulysses Hui as a partner in Silicon Valley. He was earlier in his career an intellectual property associate at Orrick and Perkins Coie, and litigation associate at Quinn Emanuel; New York-founded Desmarais LLP got veteran IP litigator Gabrielle Higgins as a partner from Ropes & Gray in San Francisco; Eversheds Sutherland grabbed IP lawyer Jeff Guise as a partner in San Diego. (Eversheds Sutherland)
  • Dykema named partner Jarrod Smith, a Michigan state bond counsel, to lead its public finance practice group; Michael Best said national security and defense expert Bob Harward, a retired vice admiral and U.S. Navy SEAL, joined Michael Best Strategies’ board of advisers; Blank Rome’s government relations unit added a group of four principals and two senior advisers in Washington that advises clients on in the transportation industry; Baker Botts named four partners to be new chairs of its environmental, safety & incident response team: Lily Chinn in San Francisco; Nadira Clarke in Washington; Matt Kuryla in Houston; and Paulina Williams in Austin. (BakerBotts.com)

Technology

  • After getting out of Big Law, which has its own diversity problems, female legal tech startup founders say the face more sexism from their investors and clients in Silicon Valley, according to a report. (Business Insider)

Legal Education

  • Many law schools have made progress supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and nonbinary students but the progress hasn’t been as good for faculty, according to this report; Notre Dame School of Law is getting criticized for reportedly pressuring accepted applicants to submit their non-refundable deposits early and warning scholarship recipients they may lose their scholarship offer if they also make deposits at other schools. (Above the Law)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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