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Wake Up Call: TV Networks Sue AT&T-Funded Streaming Company

Aug. 1, 2019, 11:34 AM

Williams & Connolly and Kirkland & Ellis are advising four major television networks suing New York-based Locast for “massive” copyright infringement. Locast, which says it boosts broadcast signals in New York City to places where reception may be blocked by tall buildings or other obstructions, calls itself a “non-profit.” But the federal complaint by ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox says the company is supported and used by Dish Network and AT&T Inc. to gain leverage over local broadcast stations. (BLAW)

Startup company Ex Parte uses court data and a proprietary ranking system to predict which companies, and their lawyers, will win appeals in patent cases. Attorneys at firms including Fish & Richardson and Sheppard Mullin are already using that analysis to help clients make settle-or-litigate decisions. Some observers predict the company’s algorithm-powered approach, or something like it, could one day shift how lawyers get hired. But not everyone’s convinced. (BLAW)

Speaking of patent disputes, Barnes & Thornburg is representing Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. in its legal fight to void three angioplasty device patents held by Shockwave Medical Inc., a Morrison Foerster client. Cardiovascular Systems’ three claims are headed for inter partes review by the U.S. Patent Trial & Appeal Board, which determined “a reasonable likelihood that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least one of the claims challenged in the petition.” (Portal.Unifiedpatents.com)

Big Law firms should be able to “coexist quite nicely” with Big Four accounting firms’ growing legal services arms, KPMG’s new global head of legal services, Stuart Fuller, says in a recent interview. But accounting giants’ ability to offer a “one-stop shop” for their clients’ professional services needs is a key advantage, he says. (Law.com)

A U.K. tribunal hit KPMG Audit Plc with a 3.5 million pound ($4.24 million) fine, a severe reprimand, and stricter reporting obligations in a professional misconduct finding stemming from the firm’s 2011 accounting work for Bank of New York Mellon London Branch and The Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd. (FRC.org)

A New Jersey judge yesterday threw out a lawsuit by Camden political boss George Norcross, who was seeking to kill a governor’s task force investigation into tax incentives handed out by the state Economic Development Authority. Governor Phil Murphy was represented by a Paul Weiss team led by partner Ted Wells in the case. (NJ.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • A former Winston & Strawn partner who is suing her old firm for alleged gender bias asked the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm a California state court ruling that kept her claims out of arbitration. (National Law Journal)

  • Silicon Legal Strategy, a 10-year-old startup-focused boutique based in San Francisco, has hired 14 associates from Big Law firms since 2016, attracting them with a client-focused approach and a lack of a billable hour requirement, among other things. (The Recorder)

Deals

  • Simpson Thacher advised LineStar Integrity Services, a Houston-based provider of energy pipeline maintenance and repair services, on two acquisitions aimed at expanding its compliance and technical services. Linestar, a portfolio company of energy-focused private equity company First Reserve, acquired Remote Operations Center LLC and The Compliance Group Inc., which were represented by DLA Piper. (Global Legal Chronicle) (PR Newswire)

  • Sidley Austin represented Texas Pacific Land Trust in its agreement to settle its Texas federal litigation and proxy contest with an investor group led by Horizon Kinetics LLC, SoftVest, L.P., and ART-FGT Family Partners, advised by Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. (Businesswire.com)

  • Goodwin Procter advised specialty pharmacy care company Shields Health Solutions on a deal in which it will get equity investments from drugstore chain Walgreens Co. and health care and technology-focused private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. (Businesswire.com)

  • In another health care related transaction, Milbank advised Munich-headquartered Hohnhaus & Jansenberger on a partnership with Cathay Capital Private Equity, in which Cathay’s Sino-French Fund II acquired shares in Hohnhaus & Jansenberger portfolio company medifa healthcare group, which focuses on medical technology. (Milbank.com)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Perkins Coie said emerging companies & venture capital lawyer Melanie Rubocki is its new managing partner for its Boise, Idaho, office, and will continue to lead the office’s business practice. (PerkinsCoie.com)

  • Intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson said the person who has led its technology investment for nearly two decades, Beau Mersereau, will lead the new Legal Technology Solutions Group that the firm recently spun off from its IT department. The new group will create new tools to improve the firm’s efficiency and effectiveness, it said. (PR Newswire)

  • Alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS added retired U.S. magistrate judge Peggy A. Leen to its panel in Las Vegas. (JAMSadr.com)

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • London-based international firm Withers won a U.K. Court of Appeals decision that allows its client, California resident Mary Jane Cowan, to claim part of her late husband’s 30 million pound ($36.3 million) estate. (Telegraph)

Technology

  • The Capital One Financial Corp. data breach will lead to increased regulatory and lawmaker scrutiny over the use of cloud-based data storage, but it is unlikely to derail the migration of banks’ data to off-site servers. (BLAW)

Legal Education

  • Two large-scale studies are evaluating how well the bar exam assesses the knowledge and skills new lawyers have to have to succeed. (Law.com)

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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