California Pulse

  • Calif. Judges Get Guidance On When To Report Atty Misconduct

    California judges need not always report attorney misconduct to the state bar, according to the latest opinion issued by the California Supreme Court's ethics watchdog on Thursday, advising when judges are compelled to report attorney misdeeds.

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    US Can't Appeal Order To Give Avenatti's Tax Info To Trustee

    A California federal judge declined Wednesday to allow the U.S. to appeal a bankruptcy court's decision ordering Michael Avenatti's tax returns to be released to the trustee overseeing the estate of Eagan Avenatti LLP's bankruptcy, finding the decision to be unappealable, and Avenatti himself hasn't objected to the disclosure.

  • Paramount Faces Wolfman's 'Top Gun: Maverick' IP Dogfight

    The actor who played Henry "Wolfman" Ruth in the original "Top Gun" claims Paramount Pictures used his image in key scenes of the recent sequel "Top Gun: Maverick" without his permission and compensation, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in California federal court.

  • DraftKings Says Ex-Exec's $310K Attys Fees Bid Is Excessive

    DraftKings has told a California federal court that the "whopping" $310,000 in attorney fees requested by a former executive after the company shuffled the case back and forth between state and federal court is an unreasonable fee no "reasonable client" would pay.

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    Longtime Nixon Peabody Fashion Partner Joins DLA Piper

    DLA Piper has hired a longtime Nixon Peabody LLP fashion law partner who focuses her practice on intellectual property issues related to apparel and other industries, joining the firm's trademark, copyright and media practice, DLA Piper announced Wednesday.

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    Hanson Bridgett's Managing Partner On Her Second Term

    Hanson Bridgett's newly re-elected managing partner spoke to Law360 Pulse about taking over the firm during the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm's decision to provide maximum remote work flexibility, and why she thinks the future is bright for a midmarket firm in California.

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    'Loosey-Goosey' Standing Rulings Pose Threats To Judiciary

    Federal courts from the U.S. Supreme Court down are expanding their definition of standing, particularly in disputes over politically charged issues, with potentially troublesome results, creating privileged categories of plaintiffs, undermining public confidence in the judiciary, and enabling policymaking from the bench, according to experts.

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    Shook Hardy Launches Group To Provide DEI Guidance

    Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP has kicked off a diversity, equity and inclusion advisory practice group led by the former litigation and diversity leader for Coca-Cola Co.

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    Skadden Adds Latham Capital Markets Ace In Silicon Valley

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is expanding its Silicon Valley finance team, announcing Thursday it is bringing in a Latham & Watkins LLP capital markets expert as a partner in its office in Palo Alto, California.

  • Intapp Acquires Berlin-Based AI Co. Delphai

    Professional services company Intapp Inc. announced on Thursday the acquisition of delphai, a Berlin-based artificial intelligence company used for data automation, structure and analysis.

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    Cravath Exits Show No Firm Is Immune To Retention Concerns

    Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP is historically known for its rarity in partner exits, but three partners left the firm in January alone to join BigLaw rivals, a number that may end up jibing with prior years' departures but that some say could signal fresh challenges for the storied firm as it looks to retain talent.

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    Why Holland & Knight Revamped Its E-Discovery Tech

    After evaluating options and testing different tools for nearly two years, Holland & Knight LLP expanded its e-discovery technology stack with the addition of the cloud-based software Everlaw in January.

  • 2 Lewis Brisbois Executives Leave Amid Back-Office Shakeup

    Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP confirmed Wednesday that its chief financial officer and chief client relations officer are departing the firm as part of ongoing efforts to streamline back-office operations.

  • Charter Must Produce Docs Or Face Sanctions In OT Lawsuit

    Charter Communications ducked sanctions for its failure to turn over documents related to allegations that it misclassified trainee employees as overtime-exempt, but a California federal court warned the telecommunications firm that sanctions would be forthcoming if the requested documents were not.

  • 9th Circ. Affirms $90M Facebook Privacy Deal Over Objections

    A Ninth Circuit panel affirmed a $90 million class settlement on Wednesday to resolve allegations that Facebook illegally tracked logged-out users' browsing activity, calling two objectors' suggestion that the company faced $1.24 trillion in statutory damages "an unreasonable baseline that would violate due process."

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    Mark Geragos Owes LA Times $218K In Fees Over Libel Suit

    Attorney Mark Geragos must pay the Los Angeles Times $218,000 in attorney fees and costs after the paper defeated his libel suit challenging its coverage of a settlement for Armenian genocide victims, a California state judge said, rejecting Geragos' contention that the defendants "are seeking a windfall."

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    Rapid Response Team Releases AI Guidance For State Courts

    An artificial intelligence rapid response team created by state judiciary leaders has released interim guidance and resources to help state courts navigate AI technologies, the National Center for State Courts said Wednesday.

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    Carlton Fields Names New Leaders Of 3 Practice Groups

    Carlton Fields PA announced that three Florida-based attorneys were named leaders of the firm's business transactions, cybersecurity and privacy and intellectual property practice groups.

  • Messner Reeves Accused Of Losing Client's $700K Deposit

    Colorado-based Messner Reeves LLP is being sued in California state court by a Florida financing consultant that claims the firm failed to protect a $700,000 interest deposit it made as part of a client's business loan.

  • Cochran Firm Rachets Up Fee Fight With Ex-Associate

    The Cochran Firm California is escalating its ongoing dispute over attorney fees with a former associate, alleging in a new lawsuit that the now-departed lawyer lied to a managing partner about her relationship with a client with a lucrative claim.

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    Baker McKenzie Adds San Francisco Tax Pro From Boutique

    Baker McKenzie has hired a state and local tax lawyer in San Francisco who joins the firm to broaden its ability to work with clients on a range of California tax matters, the firm announced Wednesday.

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    Lawyer's Email To Stranger Opened His Path To Be GC

    In 1999, a young law firm associate in Wichita wrote an off-the-cuff email to a fellow law school alumnus he didn't know, but who had become general counsel of a golf company in Arizona.

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    Retired Orange County Probate Judge Joins JAMS Roster

    Alternative dispute resolution service JAMS is expanding its mediation team, announcing Wednesday that it is adding a former Orange County Superior Court judge with 24 years of experience on the bench as one of its mediators.

  • Kirkland Can't Get 'Invasive' Atty Info From 2 BigLaw Firms

    A California federal magistrate judge barred Kirkland & Ellis LLP from subpoenaing confidential personnel information from a former intellectual property associate's prior employers, Paul Hastings LLP and Fish & Richardson PC, in its defense against her discrimination suit, ruling that Kirkland's subpoena requests are "invasive," irrelevant and "amazingly broad."

  • Wagner Law Adds Atty With Union-Side Background In LA

    Benefits boutique Wagner Law Group added a partner with two decades of experience advocating for unions and workers to its ranks in Los Angeles, bringing on a veteran who said he'll still be "sticking up for employees" even though he'll no longer be representing labor.

Expert Analysis

  • A Model For Optimal Legal Tech Investment Strategy Author Photo

    Legal organizations struggling to work out the right technology investment strategy may benefit from using a matrix for legal department efficiency that is based on an understanding of where workloads belong, according to the basic functions and priorities of a corporate legal team, says Sylvain Magdinier at Integreon.

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    My Nonpracticing Law Job: Recruiter Author Photo

    Self-proclaimed "Lawyer Doula" Danielle Thompson at Major Lindsey shares how she went from Columbia Law School graduate and BigLaw employment associate to a career in legal recruiting — and discovered a passion for advocacy along the way.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Balance Social Activism With My Job? Author Photo

    Corporate attorneys pursuing social justice causes outside of work should consider eight guidelines for finding equilibrium between their beliefs and their professional duties and reputation, say Diedrick Graham, Debra Friedman and Simeon Brier at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Personality Tests And Machine Learning Applications In Law Author Photo

    Mateusz Kulesza at McDonnell Boehnen looks at potential applications of personality testing based on machine learning techniques for law firms, and the implications this shift could have for lawyers, firms and judges, including how it could make the work of judges and other legal decision-makers much more difficult.

  • AI Is Reshaping Lawyering: What To Expect In 2024 Author Photo

    The future of lawyering is not about the wholesale replacement of attorneys by artificial intelligence, but as AI handles more of the routine legal work, the role of lawyers will evolve to be more strategic, requiring the development of competencies beyond traditional legal skills, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

  • Embrace Active Voice In Legal Writing — In Most Cases Author Photo

    Legal writers should strive to craft sentences in the active voice to promote brevity and avoid ambiguities that can spark litigation, but writing in the passive voice is sometimes appropriate — when it's a moral choice and not a grammatical failure, says Diana Simon at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Help Associates Turn Down Work? Author Photo

    Marina Portnova at Lowenstein Sandler discusses what partners can do to aid their associates in setting work-life boundaries, especially around after-hours assignment availability.

  • How AI Legal Research Tools Are Shifting Law Firm Processes Author Photo

    Although artificial intelligence-powered legal research is ushering in a new era of legal practice that augments human expertise with data-driven insights, it is not without challenges involving privacy, ethics and more, so legal professionals should take steps to ensure AI becomes a reliable partner rather than a source of disruption, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Data Source Proliferation Is A Growing E-Discovery Challenge Author Photo

    With the increased usage of collaboration apps and generative artificial intelligence solutions, it's not only important for e-discovery teams to be able to account for hundreds of existing data types today, but they should also be able to add support for new data types quickly — even on the fly if needed, says Oliver Silva at Casepoint.

  • Bracing For A Generative AI Revolution In Law Author Photo

    With many legal professionals starting to explore practical uses of generative artificial intelligence in areas such as research, discovery and legal document development, the fundamental principle of human oversight cannot be underscored enough for it to be successful, say Ty Dedmon at Bradley Arant and Paige Hunt at Lighthouse.

  • Why I Use ChatGPT To Tell Me Things I Already Know Author Photo

    The legal profession is among the most hesitant to adopt ChatGPT because of its proclivity to provide false information as if it were true, but in a wide variety of situations, lawyers can still be aided by information that is only in the right ballpark, says Robert Plotkin at Blueshift IP.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Use Social Media Responsibly? Author Photo

    Leah Kelman at Herrick Feinstein discusses the importance of reasoned judgment and thoughtful process when it comes to newly admitted attorneys' social media use.

  • Yada, Yada, Yada: The Magic Of 3 In Legal Writing Author Photo

    Attorneys should take a cue from U.S. Supreme Court justices and boil their arguments down to three points in their legal briefs and oral advocacy, as the number three is significant in the way we process information, says Diana Simon at University of Arizona.

  • How Firms Can Stop Playing Whack-A-Mole With Data Security Author Photo

    In order to achieve a robust client data protection posture, law firms should focus on adopting a risk-based approach to security, which can be done by assessing gaps, using that data to gain leadership buy-in for the needed changes, and adopting a dynamic and layered approach, says John Smith at Conversant Group.

  • 5 Life Lessons From Making Partner As A Solo Parent Author Photo

    Laranda Walker at Susman Godfrey, who was raising two small children and working her way to partner when she suddenly lost her husband, shares what fighting to keep her career on track taught her about accepting help, balancing work and family, and discovering new reserves of inner strength.

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