Michigan’s Supreme Court announced the state will shift its July bar exam to a one-day, fully online affair, making it one of the first states to commit to remote testing due to Covid-19.
New Strategy: The state, which has been hard-hit by coronavirus, will use an essay-based online exam, rather than the traditional two-day in-person test. Test-takers with disabilities will be permitted to take the exam in person, with proper health measures.
Breaking With Tradition: Michigan is one of the first states, following Indiana, to commit to an online bar exam, though other states like California are still open to an online option. The Michigan Supreme Court said it opted to go online because the state’s health department “cannot predict with certainty” whether an in-person test would be safe at any point in 2020.
Business of Law
M&A Legend Martin Lipton Warns of Coming Virus Lawsuit Wave
A push by Republicans in Congress to create stronger liability protections for businesses hammered by the Covid-19 virus won’t completely curb lawsuits over injuries and losses caused by the pandemic, famed M&A litigator Martin Lipton said.
Covington & Burling Defeats Suit by Guard Who Scuffled With Boss
A black former security officer with Covington & Burling lacks proof he was fired in retaliation for complaining about race discrimination, not for a physical altercation with his boss, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled.
Fox Rothschild Gets Worker’s Harassment Suit Moved to New Jersey
A former Fox Rothschild administrative assistant who says a former labor and employment partner sexually harassed her must pursue her suit against the firm and the lawyer in federal court in New Jersey, a New York federal judge ruled Monday.
Humana Tells Justices to Skip ERISA Attorneys’ Fee Battle
A decision declining to award attorneys’ fees to a patient who sued Humana Health Plan of Texas Inc. over denied benefits didn’t create a circuit split and shouldn’t be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the insurer told the justices.
Iowa Lawyer Suspended for Excessive Billing of Defender’s Office
An Iowa attorney working as a contractor for the state public defender’s office was suspended for a year by the state high court over billing for work she couldn’t have done and for excess mileage reimbursement.
Judiciary Queried Over Draft Policy Barring Federalist, ACS Ties
Rep. Jim Jordan, the top ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, is asking the federal judiciary’s policy making body to reveal information about how a draft plan to bar judicial membership in two leading legal organizations came to be.
Also in the News
Follow Bloomberg Law’s global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic on our Coronavirus Outbreak channel, and track the latest changes in the federal court operations with our interactive map.
Trump Picks Ex-Jones Day Partner as U.S. Attorney for D.C.
In today’s column, the “second hundred” biggest U.S. law firms kept pace with the top 100 firms in terms of financial growth, which might provide them a lift as they face the current crisis; New York lifted a ban on non-essential lawsuits for courts in about two dozen upstate New York counties; a U.K. court held England’s first trial via Zoom; President Trump’s daughter Tiffany graduated from Georgetown Law.
BLOOMBERG LAW ANALYSIS
ANALYSIS: Bloomberg Law 2020—Moving Forward and Looking Ahead
As we enter the second half of the year, businesses and their legal advisers are shifting focus from emergency response to short- and long-term planning in the face of deep economic uncertainty. Our legal analysts revisit our Bloomberg Law 2020 series through the lens of the economic downturn, providing their expert perspectives on the Global Impact of the recession, as well as the impact on Business & Industry, the Legal Markets, and the Transactional landscape.
ANALYSIS: Can Innovation Save Law Firms?
The Great Recession prompted changes to the legal industry that persist today, such as legal operations and the rise of offshoring, ALSPs, and alternative fee arrangements. If this recession dwarfs the last one, even more innovative change is needed. And innovation may now be law firms’ key to survival.
ANALYSIS: Litigation Finance Ready for Post-Covid Challenges
For the litigation finance industry, the question of the moment is how the Covid-19 crisis will impact the type, volume, and size of deals that are sought and funded. Despite probable negative impacts on the larger legal industry, litigation finance is arguably well-positioned to maintain its momentum as a growing industry even through the economic downturn.
ANALYSIS: What the Covid-19 Downturn Means for Lawyer Careers
Many recall the challenges associated with lawyer careers around the Great Recession. Now we are once again facing a significant economic downturn that is impacting the legal industry. We expect many of the same challenges to face attorneys, but things will be a little different this time around.
ANALYSIS: Will AFAs Become Standard Practice This Time Around?
The alternative fee arrangement is underused in the legal industry, despite regular predictions that its usage will increase. Will the current downturn flip the script on this, resulting in AFAs being the norm? As the legal industry increasingly turns to business practices, the answer may finally be yes.
ANALYSIS: Of Supply Chains, Contracts & Businesses That Pivot
What do businesses need to navigate he economic downturn? Which contract terms will provide the flexibility they need? And which businesses have successfully pivoted?
ANALYSIS: CFIUS Reforms Came Just in Time for Pandemic, Downturn
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) has pivoted quickly to a broader role. It already has a presidential block under its belt for the year. And with respect to special national security risks and concerns stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak and emerging economic crisis, the committee was already prepared.
INSIGHT: Leading Law Firm Committees Through Downsizing
Leaders of law firm committees are facing difficult decisions and tough downsizing planning in the economic downturn. Legal consultant Hugh A. Simons offers guidance on how to conduct the tough discussions, implement plans, and keep account of results in a humane, intelligent, and steadfast way.
CFIUS’s attention on Covid-19’s impact on cross-border transactions reflects longstanding worries about foreign strategies to acquire or steal critical technology through investment in a way that poses serious national security risks. Himamauli Das, senior vice president at K2 Intelligence FIN, examines five trends and offers best practices for companies doing international transactions.
INSIGHT: Ransomware Attacks Compound Covid-19 Business Worries
Cybercriminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to full advantage, increasing the frequency of attacks and using ransomware, causing more damage. Former DOJ Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Marshall L. Miller, now a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, says organizations need effective incident response plans and suggests steps to help prevent attacks.
INSIGHT: Expect Form 10-Qs Securities Challenges Due to Covid-19
Sidley Austin LLP attorneys predict the SEC will focus on financial reporting and disclosures of public companies to look for accounting or disclosure misconduct related to Covid-19. The commission may be most likely to open inquiries where a company’s accounting judgment has a significant or unanticipated effect on its financial reporting, results in press coverage, or is the subject of a submission to the SEC’s whistleblower program.
INSIGHT: Integrate Your Product, Legal Teams to Bridge Privacy Gaps
Organizations need a cohesive approach to privacy compliance where legal teams and other c-suite executives work together, Tapad’s Laura Koulet explains. She provides three key features necessary to implement a successful, fully integrated privacy program.
INSIGHT: Water Rights Litigation—Complex, Challenging, Probably Endless
Water rights are some of the most complicated legal issues today, with implications that have a direct impact on tens of millions of Americans. Gordon R. Schonfeld facilitated a round table discussion of the nation’s most pressing water rights issues—and why everyone from consumers to CEOs will be impacted by current and future legal maneuvering to control vital water resources.
Fish & Richardson announced that Scott Flanz has joined as an associate in its Litigation Group in New York from Skadden | Perkins Coie said that Sam Hong has joined the Technology Transactions & Privacy practice as a partner in Chicago from Kirkland & Ellis | Barnes & Thornburg has added Sarah J. Hawk as a partner in the Labor and Employment Department in Atlanta | Polsinelli hired veteran in-house health care lawyer Lori Oliver as a shareholder in Seattle | K&L Gates added commercial litigator J. David Bournazian as a partner in Orange County, CA; he joins most recently from Kutak Rock | Baker McKenzie’s Hong Kong office hired Shearman & Sterling finance counsel Kenneth Ching | Former Arent Fox litigation partner Martin F. Cunniff joined The Fields PLLC as a partner in Washington | Fox Rothschild added real estate partners Scott Kipnis and Nicholas B. Malito in New York (arriving from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis); the firm also added employment law attorney Jeffrey S. Horton Thomas as a partner in Los Angeles from Akerman.
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