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Wake Up Call: Trump to Push Courts to Right With New Nominees

May 8, 2017, 12:27 PM

• President Donald Trump today is expected to announce a slate of conservative nominees to federal appeals courts as he pushes on with his plan to shift the nation’s judiciary to the right. ( Bloomberg )

• Brian Benczkowski, said to be Trump’s choice to lead the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, is a Kirkland & Ellis partner who focuses on white-collar defense. Benczkowski previously worked at the DOJ under George W. Bush and served on the Trump’s transition. ( National Law Journal )

•Some of the world’s biggest investors are working with Quinn Emanuel to prepare a fresh wave of litigation against banks accused of rigging foreign exchange markets. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Former U.S. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is due to testify today about her part in President Trump’s firing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. ( Politico )

• The man who won the French presidency Sunday, Emmanuel Macron, once called Brexit a “crime.” ( Bloomberg ) But Macron’s top economic adviser said today that, although the new president will be a tough negotiator, he wants pending Brexit talks to succeed, and will not seek to punish Britain. ( Bloomberg )

• French authorities are investigating a huge hack of Emanuel Macron’s email server on the eve of the country’s presidential election. ( Wired ) If Macron follows through on his campaign promise to crack down on fake news, that could create problems for websites and social media through which such information has spread. ( Recode )

• Jonathan Sallet, a former FCC general counsel who later became deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, has joined Steptoe & Johnson’s Washington, D.C., office. ( Broadcasting & Cable )

Law Firm Business

• Cleveland-based BakerHostetler has reunited two former Ohio federal prosecutors, where Steven Dettelbach, co-leader of the firm’s national white collar defense and corporate investigations team, recently hired Carole Rendon after she got the boot from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. When Dettelbach was U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio from 2009 to February 2016, he hired Rendon as his first assistant U.S. attorney. ( Crain’s Cleveland Business )

• After three straight months of decline, the U.S. legal industry added 1,100 jobs in April riding the rising tide as the country’s overall economy and employment improved for the month, according to preliminary federal government data released Friday. ( Am Law Daily )

• The crux of three women’s lawsuit against New York law firm Chadbourne & Parke is that the firm systematically underpays its female partners. ( New York Times DealBook ) As Chadbourne’s merger with Norton Rose Fulbright gets near to completion, the firm lost another partner in London. ( The Lawyer )

Legal Market

• The Legal Services Corp., the main U.S. funder for civil legal assistance, looks to be on track to keep its funding through September. But since Trump proposed eliminating all funding for the group earlier this year, its president, Jim Sandman has been on high alert. ( BLB )

• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is said to have ruled out bringing an enforcement action tied to Deutsche Bank AG’s losing nearly $550 million on mortgage-bond trades, after the lender’s own probe found no evidence of wrongdoing. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Attorneys for some Fox News Channel employees who have filed sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuits against the company says those employees are now trying to sway the British media-industry regulator’s probe of Murdoch-controlled Fox’s plan to expand its holding in British satellite-broadcaster Sky. ( Variety )

• The specter of fresh corruption scandals hangs over the annual gathering of world soccer leaders, two years after the FIFA Congress was shaken by the exposure of far-reaching fraud. ( Bloomberg )

• Some of the rarest cars in the world are at the heart of a London lawsuit embroiling an associate of one of China’s wealthiest men. ( Bloomberg )

• Lawyers for Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters are seeking a new trial after Walters’ conviction for insider trading last month. They contend the throwaway “bat phone” key to prosecutors’ case was not used for what prosecutors said it was used for. ( Las Vegas Review-Journal )

• PayPal Holdings Inc. was accused by victims of an alleged Ponzi scheme of failing to detect the fraud while processing more than $100 million in investments. ( Bloomberg )

The Trump Administration

• FCC chief Ajit Pai said national broadcaster CBS could get fined for broadcasting comedian Stephen Colbert’s profanity-tinged tirade against the man who gave Pai his job, Donald Trump. ( Bloomberg )

• Trump asked a federal judge to throw out lawsuits filed by two former supporters who blame him for “inspiring” their violence against protesters at one of his pre-election campaign rallies. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott pushed the state to the forefront of national debate over immigration Sunday night by signing a so-called “sanctuary cities” ban that empowers police to ask during routine stops whether someone is in the U.S. legally and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents. ( Associated Press via Bloomberg )

• Until Trump fills key vacancies at an energy regulator, at least $50 billion worth of energy projects are in limbo, unable to secure permits to begin construction. ( Bloomberg )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• One bond trader was sentenced to prison last month for lying to clients. Three others facing similar charges are on trial in a separate case ramping up on today. ( Bloomberg )

• Trump doesn’t talk much about his travel ban, but the legal fight over it continues to rage. ( Bloomberg )

• A three-judge federal appeals panel reversed a lower court’s decision that had blocked a subpoena by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for internal documents in its investigation of an accounting firm. Lawyers for the accounting firm have called the EEOC’s approach to the case “abusive.” ( National Law Journal )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• McDermott Will & Emery picked up three partners from King & Wood Mallesons’ Milan office. ( The Lawyer )

• Jeffrey Pagano has left Crowell & Moring, where he was a New York partner and former co-head of the firm’s labor and employment practice, for a smaller firm in Long Island, as part of his search for “another side to life” in his so-called golden years. ( New York Law Journal )

• Cooley has hired Adit Khorana away from Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr, where he led that firm’s West Coast technology transactions practice. Khorana is joining Cooley’s office in Palo Alto, California, to lead a similarly focused practice group in Silicon Valley. ( The Recorder )

• Lowenstein Sandler is losing Peter Fusco, a partner and co-chairman of its Brooklyn Entrepreneurship Center, who is leaving for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to lead that firms’ technology companies practice in New York. ( National Law Journal )

Technology

• Two Stanford University-linked attorneys have so far failed to convince a skeptical federal judge to unseal records stored in Northern California. The two want the information as part of their plan to illuminate how the government does domestic spying and pressures companies to help federal efforts to get around cryptography. ( Ars Technica )

• Uber Technologies Inc., in the midst of legal battle with Alphabet Inc. over self-driving car technology, is building a new artificial intelligence team in Toronto to help improve its autonomous vehicle software. ( Bloomberg )

Legal Education

• A former professor at the Appalachian School of Law has filed a federal lawsuit alleging, among other things, that the school failed to protect her from a male student who harassed her and that it retaliated against her for making complaints about him. ( Law.com )

Miscellaneous

• A House Republican chairman has told a dozen government agencies to exclude communications with his committee from requests made by news organizations, advocacy groups and others through the Freedom of Information Act. ( AP via Bloomberg )

• Judges and attorneys recently put on a mock Star Wars trial for elementary school students at an event hosted by Iowa Legal Aid. ( Daily Nonpareil )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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