Wake Up Call: Trump Lawyers Discuss Possible Mueller Interview, Report Says

Jan. 9, 2018, 1:17 PM

• Special Counsel Robert Mueller signaled he wants to interview President Donald Trump in the scope of his probe of Russian interference in the presidential election, and that is making Trump’s lawyers’ nervous. ( New York Times ) ( Washington Post )

• The SEC will likely look into Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich’s sale of a large chunk of company stock last year because it happened after the discovery that modern processors are vulnerable to hackers, securities lawyers say. ( Bloomberg )

• Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton doubled its market share with a slew of big-dollar deals in 2017 to claim the No. 3 spot on Bloomberg’s latest annual rankings of law firms representing principals, by M&A deal volume. The ranking shows a reshuffling at the top, with Skadden, which came in fourth last year, at No. 1, while Simpson Thacher came in second. Last year’s top three ranked lower. ( BLB )

• New York-based class action plaintiffs firm Milberg LLP said it is combining with Sanders Phillips Grossman, a mass torts and personal injury firm, to create Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman. The new national firm will represent individual plaintiffs and governments in areas including data breaches, securities fraud, antitrust, consumer fraud, and “pharmaceutical malfeasance” cases, among others, it said. ( American Lawyer )

• Apple Inc. faces a French criminal probe into allegations from consumer groups that it’s deliberately shortening the life of iPhones. ( Bloomberg )

• The white, male engineer fired by Google after he criticized its diversity policies claims in a class-action lawsuit that he and others at the internet giant were harassed over their conservative political views. ( Bloomberg )

Law Firm Business

• Stroock & Stroock & Lavan is launching a new practice group led by former U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin and former New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams to help clients do internal investigations into workplace sexual misconduct allegations. ( New York Law Journal )

• Texas-based Locke Lord said it appointed James Channo, a member of its firmwide executive committee who has been practicing in London for two decades, to manage its office in the city. Channo is co-chairman of the firm’s international transactions practice and leads its corporate practice group in London. He takes over from litigator Michael Collins, who had temporarily relocated from Dallas. ( LockeLord.com )

• Trial firm McKool Smith said F. Scott Kieff, a former commissioner of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. International Trade Commission during the Obama administration, joined the firm as a principal in its Washington office. ( MckoolSmith.com )

• Philadelphia-based Cozen O’Connor said litigator Mark A. Jacobson joined its business litigation group as a member in Minneapolis, where he will serve as the firm’s lead litigation attorney, focusing on complex commercial, antitrust, intellectual property and class action disputes while also working to expand the practice. Jacobson was previously at Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum, LLP, where he was the litigation department chairman. ( Cozen.com )

• Norton Rose Fulbright lost two partners in Houston, with Mayer Brown getting litigator Robert Harrell, and Lightfoot, Franklin & White getting commercial litigator Brian Cody Boyle for its year-old office in the city. On the upside for Norton Rose Fulbright, it got corporate, M&A and securities partner William D. Davis II at the expense of Baker McKenzie. ( Texas Lawyer )

Legal Market

• Companies faced with a massive computer chip flaw should act fast to reduce their liability instead of waiting for a software fix, cybersecurity attorneys said. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Mrs. Fields Brands Inc. and Interbake Foods LLC can’t claim attorneys’ fees in their courtroom battle over the marketing of the chain’s specialty cookies. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Deregulation under the Trump administration has been “very good for business,” but Trump’s penchant for populist themes seems “at times” to have negative impacts on companies he doesn’t like, said Frank Aquila, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. Video. ( Bloomberg TV via BLB )

• Multinational oil companies are finding that Trump’s “America First” tax overhaul is a mixed bag for them. ( Bloomberg )

Regulators and Enforcement

• The Justice Department’s decision to reverse a federal “hands-off” policy on state marijuana oversight is expected to further complicate efforts by pot-related businesses to obtain banking services. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• A Texas regulator’s emergency cease-and-desist-order against U.K.-based BitConnect is the latest sign of imminent enforcement actions against cryptocurrencies at both the federal and state level. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Bank of America has reached a $5 million settlement with the U.S. government on claims that its foreclosure practices violated the False Claims Act. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a Mississippi law that lets businesses and government workers refuse on religious grounds to provide services to gay and transgender people, in a case that in some ways represented the flip side of the Colorado wedding cake case. ( Bloomberg )

• A divided Supreme Court ordered a new look at a Georgia inmate’s death sentence after one of the jurors referred to the defendant using a racial slur and questioned whether black people have souls. ( Bloomberg )

• A patent owner can appeal a patent office decision that found Broadcom Corp. didn’t wait too long to file an administrative patent validity challenge, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• A federal appeals court closed the book on an effort by the Turtles to get royalties under Florida law from Sirius XM Radio Inc. for broadcasting “Happy Together” and their other 1960s-era hits. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• The Los Angeles Times can’t escape a state jury’s finding that it demoted a former longtime sports columnist because of his age and disability, a state appeals court ruled. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )


• The Trump administration has set a hard October deadline for states to enforce a requirement for travelers to have a new, technologically advanced driver’s license if they wish to board a plane. Privacy advocates are warning about potential Orwellian implications of the program. ( Bloomberg )

• The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has set up an intellectual property court to deal with the region’s growing number of IP cases. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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