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Wake Up Call: Weinstein Co. Folds, Cites Failed Talks With Abuse Victims

May 16, 2019, 11:40 AM
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore lawyers for The Weinstein Company moved to abandon its bankruptcy reorganization case and wind up the business, citing failure by TWC and the creditors committee appointed in the case to successfully mediate the sexual abuse claims of alleged victims of disgraced movie kingpin Harvey Weinstein. (BLAW)

  • New York’s attorney general and several plaintiffs suing Weinstein are trying to block TWC from hiring new litigation counsel related to the bankruptcy proceedings, according to a report. (Hollywood Reporter)

  • One in three female lawyers reports being sexually harassed at work, according to a new survey of 6,980 attorneys in 135 countries. The president of the International Bar Association, which did the survey, said law firms advising companies on sexual harassment run the risk of looking like hypocrites, given the legal profession’s own problems. (BN via BLB)

  • A former Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht partner, fired for alleged sexual misconduct, is making counter accusations against the firm and its founder. (American Lawyer)

  • Legal technology companies looking to become the sole sources of cutting-edge tools for law firms and legal departments are expanding their products and buying vendors. (BLAW)

  • Lawyers have been slow to take up legal AI tools, but as investors pour cash into the legal tech market, some attorneys looking for new paths are switching jobs mid-career, while others are jumping into legal tech gigs straight out of law school. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Some New York firms are starting to feel the pinch from those associate pay hikes handed out last year. (New York Law Journal)

  • A Georgetown University student sued to block the school from punishing him for his father’s bribery of a tennis coach to obtain a “recruited” recommendation that helped him win admission to the prestigious college. (BN via BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • Morrison & Foerster launched its 2019 “quick guide” to initial public offerings for real estate investment trusts, which last year raised about $3.3 billion, according to one estimate. (MoFo.com)

  • MoFo client VMware, a software virtualization company majority owned by Dell Technologies, is acquiring BitRock, Inc., doing business as Bitnami, which provides tools for packaging, deploying, and updating software. No terms were disclosed. (TechCrunch.com)

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals is paying $70 million upfront to collaborate with Goodwin client Kymera Therapeutics in a four-year deal for research to find drugs that drive the elimination of disease-causing proteins. (FierceBiotech)

  • DLA Piper said it advised Atlanta-based software startups SalesLoft, FullStory, and online identify verification startup EvidentID, in venture capital transactions. (DLAPiper.com) (Atlanta Small Business Network)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton added three partners in Washington. It added intellectual property lawyers Robert M. Masters and Jonathan R. DeFosse from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where Masters was head of the IP litigation group. DeFosse earlier spent close to 13 years litigating at Shearman & Sterling, including two years as partner. Antitrust and competition lawyer Bevin Newman joins the firm’s antitrust and competition and healthcare practices, leaving Jones Day after close to 24 years. (SheppardMullin.com)

  • Kramer Levin added tax attorney Mayer Greenberg as a partner from Stroock, & Stroock & Lavan, where he worked for nearly 30 years. He advises on tax implications of complex transactions. (KramerLevin.com)

  • Carlton Fields added two construction lawyers in Tampa. Litigator Edward Kuchinski who left the firm after nine years in 2005, returns as of counsel from a local firm. Architectural expert Laura Jo Lieffers joins as an associate, from a local firm. (CarltonFields.com)

  • Fox Rothschild added litigator Mitchell S. Kim in the firm’s L.A. office as a partner. He arrives from Ropers Majeski Kohn Bentley. (FoxRothschild.com)

  • Business and real estate firm Newmeyer & Dillion said litigator Paul Tetzloff took over as its managing partner at the beginning of the year. (NewmeyerandDillion.com)

  • Veteran intellectual property attorney Mike Okada was named general counsel and senior vice president of IP licensing and legal affairs at San Jose, California-based Immersion Corp. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Philadelphia-based Axalta Coating Systems hired in-house veteran Brian Berube as its senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, starting July 15. Berube arrives from Cabot Corporation, where he has been since 1994, most recently as senior VP and general counsel. (Corporatesecretary.com)

Legal Actions

  • President Trump granted a full pardon to Conrad Black, the British, Canadian-born former media magnate, who was convicted in the U.S. of obstruction of justice and theft. (Financial Times)

  • As they seek to block House Democrats subpoenas for Trump financial records, the president’s lawyers are “parroting” arguments made by Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan. (Politico)

  • Ex-Trump lawyer John Dowd, a former partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, registered as a lobbyist. (National Law Journal)

Technology

  • A Chinese company has to face some claims alleging its bluetooth-controlled sex toys secretly collect and transmit highly sensitive personally identifiable information, a federal court ruled. Edelson P.C. represents consumers in the case. (BLAW)

Legal Education

  • Seton Hall University said its law school received a $500,000 gift from law firm O’Toole Scrivo, to sponsor an advanced trial advocacy workshop, named a after current law professor. (Seton Hall)

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; Molly Ward at mward@bloomberglaw.com

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