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Wake Up Call: Two Firms Offer Paid Leave to Get Covid Vaccines

March 29, 2021, 12:00 PM

In today’s column, several more Big Law firms on Friday stepped into the latest competition for associate bonuses; a Brooklyn judge threw out a plaintiff’s suit because her lawyer refused to wear a mask; former Trump White House policy adviser Stephen Miller is starting a legal group to fight the Biden administration.

  • Leading off, as law firms get ready to reopen their offices after pandemic closures, several firms last week announced policies aimed at helping employees and lawyers get vaccinated against Covid-19. Dechert told its global lawyers and professional staff they will be able to get up to eight hours of paid time off to get vaccinated. U.S. personnel can get the same benefit at Norton Rose Fulbright, according to a report. Hogan Lovells and Robinson & Cole told U.S. personnel that they don’t need to take personal time off to get a vaccine. Meanwhile, Davis Wright Tremaine, which in February said it will require staff to get vaccinated to return to the office, is still the only big firm to take that position. (American Lawyer)
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, DLA Piper, Ropes & Gray, and Proskauer Rose on Friday said they will pay associates special bonuses of up to $64,000, depending on year of seniority, matching the bonus scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell earlier this month. They’re the latest firms to match Davis Polk, which largely beat the scale set by Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, of up to $40,000 based on seniority. The firms have all said they will pay out bonuses in spring and fall installments. (Above the Law)
  • A Brooklyn judge threw out a plaintiff’s car crash personal injury case after her lawyer refused to wear a mask. (New York Post)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Houston-based litigation firm Susman Godfrey joined Dominion Voting Systems’ legal team, including husband-wife-run law firm Clare Locke, in Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News over Fox’s alleged role in touting false 2020 election claims impugning the company. (CNN)
  • The founder of Chicago-based plaintiffs firm Edelson, Jay Edelson, says that, when he started his own firm, he wanted to avoid the “suffocating” traditional legal atmosphere of firms he worked at earlier in his career. His firm, focused on consumer, tech, and privacy related class-action lawsuits, takes a less stodgy approach. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  • Georgia’s Asian American bar groups are leading a fundraising initiative in response to the March 16 spa mass shootings in Atlanta that killed eight people, including six Asian Americans. (Daily Report)
  • Former Trump White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, known for far-right immigration and other positions, is starting a legal group. Miller’s not a lawyer, but the group, America First Legal, aims to help organize Republican attorneys general to fight Biden administration initiatives. (Politico)

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • Cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network hired Paul, Weiss corporate transactions and funds counsel Ron Deutsch as general counsel and head of mergers & acquisitions; Minnesota-based newspaper The Star Tribune interviewed Radisson Hotel Group’s new general counsel and executive vice president of the Americas, Tanya Taylor, the first African American to hold that role at the company. (StarTribune)
  • DLA Piper added litigation partners Lyn Pruitt, Adria Conklin, and Mary Catherine Way in Dallas. They specialize in advising and defending pharmaceutical and medical device clients and arrive from Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard; Akerman added corporate and intellectual property litigation partner Adam Massaro in Denver. He was previously at Lewis Roca; after 35-plus years at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, commercial litigator Stephen Younger moved to Foley Hoag as a partner in New York. (New York Law Journal)

Legal Education

  • The law school at City University of New York has been called the most diverse law school in the country, but a fight over a proposal for early tenure for a white professor and a comment on race led the school’s dean to “cancel herself.” (NYT)

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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