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Wake Up Call: Trump’s SCOTUS Pick Kavanaugh Faces Confirmation Battle

July 10, 2018, 11:16 AM

• President Donald Trump yesterday named a pro-business, conservative Republican stalwart to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, and possibly create the most conservative court in generations. But first that pick, 53-year-old D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh, has to get through a contentious confirmation process. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB ) ( Bloomberg ) ( Washington Post ) Before becoming a judge, Kavanaugh clerked for Justice Kennedy, worked for Kenneth Starr’s independent counsel investigation of Bill Clinton, and was an aide to George W. Bush. He has deep ties to the Republican party and his decisions have been applauded by conservatives on topics including the Second Amendment, religious freedom, and campaign finance. ( New York Times ) ( Above the Law )

• Kavanaugh has heard at least 20 technology-related cases in his 12-years on the D.C. Circuit court, and, if confirmed he may encounter several technology and telecommunications-related cases during the high court’s next term. ( Bloomberg Law ) He’s decided several intellectual property cases and his views on administrative power and decision-making could be important in future patent cases.( Bloomberg Law ) Politicians and interest groups released statements reacting to the nomination. ( SCOTUSBlog )

• Meanwhile, Justice Department lawyer Scott Schools is leaving Washington for San Francisco, where he’s taken a job as Uber Technologies Inc.'s chief compliance and ethics officer, as that company faces at least five federal investigations. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Over in London, Shearman & Sterling is getting back its former corporate group co-chief, Ward McKimm, seven years after he left for Kirkland & Ellis. McKimm’s a “top-earner” capital markets partner in the City, and the latest exit from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer after that elite firm’s lockstep compensation overhaul. After leaving Shearman for Kirkland in 2011, McKimmjumpedto Freshfields in 2015. ( The Lawyer )

• In a sexual harassment trial that started yesterday in New York against Columbia Business School and a senior professor, the junior professor plaintiff is represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp name partner David Sanford. Sanford has also been representing several plaintiffs in gender bias lawsuits against Big Law firms. ( New York Law Journal )

• A coalition of 11 state attorneys general questioned fast-food restaurant chains on “no-poach” agreements that restrict franchisees from recruiting or hiring from other outlets in the same chain. ( Bloomberg Law )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Many firms hand all Supreme Court arguments to one attorney, but Orrick sent four attorneys to the lectern during the U.S. Supreme Court’s recently completed term—and they all won. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• A prominent critic of’s business practices, Lina Khan, is joining Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra’s office as the agency prepares to increase antitrust scrutiny of technology firms. ( Bloomberg via BLB ) Khan, 29-year-old Yale Law grad and director of legal policy at anti-monopoly think tank Open Markets Institute, reflects a “hipster antitrust movement.” ( Atlantic )

• Longtime Republican labor attorney Arthur Rosenfeld was due to start yesterday as head of the Labor Department’s union-auditing office. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Nissan Motor Co., the Japanese carmaker hit by a vehicle-inspection scandal last year, said it hired an outside law firm to investigate cases of misconduct involving falsified data about exhaust emissions and fuel economy. ( Bloomberg )

Laterals, Moves

• Ropes & Gray said it expanded its 350-lawyer New York office with the hire of capital markets partner Paul Tropp. He joins from Freshfields, where he served as head of the New York capital markets group. ( )

• Cozen O’Connor said attorney James L. Ansorge joined the firm’s midtown New York office as a government relations adviser in its Public Strategies group and as counsel within the law firm. He waspreviouslya government relations associate at Jackson Lewis. ( )

• Greenspoon Marder expanded its real estate practice group in New York with a three-lawyer team from Arent Fox. Joining are partners, Mark Fawer and Carolyn Austin, and associate, Jonathan Castellanos. ( )

• New York-based Pryor Cashman LLP said Karen Platt, a family law attorney, joined the firm’s New York office as partner. She was previously at Mayerson Abramowitz & Kahn, LLP, and is the seventh partner to join Pryor Cashman in the last 12 months. ( )

• Mayer Brown said it expanded its private credit group by getting partnerBeth Vogel for its Chicago office in its banking & financing practice. Vogel leaves Jones Day after nearly 12 years. Mayer Brown also said attorney Maru Ferre joined its global mobility & migration practice as counsel in Northern California. She arrives from boutique immigration firm Berry Appleman & Leiden. ( )

• Workplace law firm Jackson Lewis said Sharon J. Franklin joined the firm as New York-based chief operating officer, leading its team of managers for internal operations across 58 offices. She comes from Davis Polk, where her title was finance transformation lead. ( )

• Bradley Arant Boult Cummings said Joseph B. Mays Jr., a litigation partner in the firm’s Birmingham office, was elected a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. ( )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.