Good morning. Ketanji Brown Jackson will speak today from the White House, after yesterday's historic confirmation vote that will make her the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a federal labor board’s set a deadline for Amazon to formally object to a new union at one of its New York warehouses. The 5th Circuit revived the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for federal employees; the Boy Scouts defeated the Girl Scouts’ trademark lawsuit; and Google’s lawyers are set to face off today against the DOJ’s bid for sanctions in an antitrust case. Hooray — it’s Friday. Let’s go!
Our colleague Nimitt Dixit is co-writing The Daily Docket while Diana Novak Jones is on parental leave. Were you forwarded this email? Subscribe here.
Ketanji Brown Jackson, confirmed in a historic vote to become the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, will deliver public remarks today at a White House event with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Jackson will not be sworn in until Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom Jackson was a law clerk, steps down after the court’s term ends in late June.
U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Democrat of Georgia, said that “seeing Judge Jackson ascend to the Supreme Court reflects the promise of progress on which our democracy rests.” New York Attorney General Letitia James called Jackson “an inspiration to millions, including Black girls who will finally see themselves represented on America’s highest court.”
Since the Supreme Court’s founding in 1789, all but three of its 115 members have been white. Jackson will become the sixth woman justice ever. For the first time, four women justices will be serving together. Jackson will join the court from the D.C. Circuit, the one-time home of three of the nine members of the court: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.
Amazon has until April 22 to provide evidence to the NLRB in support of its objection to a new union at one of its New York warehouses, which the retailer said was formed by threatening workers unless they voted to organize.
Eric Milner, an attorney representing Staten Island’s Amazon Labor Union from Simon & Milner, dismissed Amazon's claims as false and said they would be overruled. "To say that the Amazon Labor Union was threatening employees is really absurd," he said. "The Amazon Labor Union is Amazon employees."
Amazon also faces a shareholder vote calling for an independent audit of its treatment of warehouse workers, after the SEC turned down the company's request to skip the resolution. Meanwhile, top NLRB lawyer Jennifer Abruzzo is asking the labor board to prohibit businesses from requiring workers to attend meetings discouraging unionization, reports Daniel Wiessner.
An attorney who was fired from New York City's Law Department after confronting Mayor Eric Adams about mask policies for small children said she does not intend to pursue litigation, days after she said she was lawyering up. Daniela Jampel said she decided against taking action in order to avoid putting her family and others "through a protracted legal battle." (Reuters)
The 5th Circuit became the first federal appeals court to take up claims that President Joe Biden's firing of Trump-era NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb was illegal and rendered subsequent actions by the agency invalid. Exela Enterprise Solutions asked the court to invalidate an NLRB complaint against it, because it was issued in February 2021, a few weeks after Robb was removed from office. (Reuters)
The D.C. Court of Appeals disbarred an attorney who was accused of misusing cash that seven U.S. military veteran clients paid to retain him, while also failing to provide them promised legal services. (Reuters)
That’s the daily fine New York’s attorney general asked a state judge to impose on Donald Trump for not turning over documents she subpoenaed for her civil probe into the former U.S. president's business practices. Attorney General Letitia James is seeking a court order holding Trump in contempt. Trump has denied wrongdoing. The U.S. Justice Department meanwhile has begun an early-stage investigation into Trump's removal of official presidential records to his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration in February said it had recovered about 15 boxes of White House documents from Trump's Florida residence, some of which contained classified materials.
Selendy Gay Elsberg co-founder Jennifer Selendy has thrown herself into a complex effort to rescue hundreds of at-risk schoolgirls after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Recently returned from a trip to Pakistan where about 170 girls and their families remain in limbo, the complex commercial litigator told Jenna Greene about her ongoing work to evacuate the schoolgirls. Even as much of the world’s attention is focused on the conflict in Ukraine, Selendy remains determined to make sure they reach safety in Saskatoon, Canada.
Video: Why some states are targeting prescription drug laws
From COVID-19 to abortion and treatments for transgender youth, a look at states' initiatives to legislate drug use and how they may clash with federal law. Watch here.
"There’s no law that says a university can’t sell slots to the highest bidder."
—Stephen Larson, a lawyer for former University of Southern California water polo coach Jovan Vavic, said during closing arguments in the second "Varsity Blues" college admissions trial that it was part of Vavic's job to raise money for his team and recruiting wealthy parents' children in order to do that was "proper." Prosecutors allege Vavic took $200,000 to mislead USC admissions officials into believing that unqualified high school students belonged on his water polo team. But Larson said much of that money was used to support his team. How prosecutors argue Vavic crossed a line.
What to catch up on this weekend
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., will weigh the U.S. Justice Department’s push to sanction Google over a program that the government alleges has improperly shielded internal communications from discovery. The quarrel has emerged as a flashpoint in the DOJ’s lawsuit accusing Google of breaking antitrust laws in its search business. Google’s lawyers at firms including Williams & Connolly and Wilson Sonsini have said the company has cooperated with the DOJ and handed over more than 4 million documents.
A former counselor at a Florida private school will be sentenced after admitting he secretly took college placement tests for the children of wealthy parents as part of the college admissions scandal known as “Varsity Blues.” Mark Riddell was charged stemming from his role in the scheme that prosecutors said allowed wealthy parents to use cheating and bribes to help their children secure spots at prominent universities. Riddell’s defenders, including a team from Faegre Drinker, asked U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton to impose a sentence of one to two months in prison.
A Washington, D.C., jury will begin deliberations in the second jury trial stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. The defendant, former Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson, faces a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding, but he asserts he only briefly went into the building to retrieve a friend. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper is presiding over the trial. Last month, a jury found the first defendant to head to trial guilty on all five charges, including bringing a gun onto Capitol grounds. Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden in D.C. issued the first acquittal in a criminal trial stemming from the attack. Matthew Martin, a former U.S. government contractor from Santa Fe, waived his right to a jury trial and let McFadden determine the outcome of the prosecution.
Court calendars are subject to last-minute docket changes.
A divided 5th Circuit panel revived the Biden administration’s mandate that federal employees be vaccinated against COVID. The panel said a Texas trial judge did not have power to hear the case, since federal employee workplace grievances are taken through the Civil Services Reform Act before the Merits Systems Protection Board.
Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks and ex defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans Ray Horton have joined former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores' lawsuit alleging discrimination against Black candidates for top-level coaching and management jobs in the National Football League, according to an amended complaint. (Reuters)
The Boy Scouts of America’s use of the word “scouting” without reference to gender does not violate the Girl Scouts’ trademark rights, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled. U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the Girl Scouts’ lawsuit over the term was based on fear of competition. Girl Scouts said the group plans to appeal the decision. (Reuters)
U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola rebuked 3M’s effort to force all plaintiffs to pay filing fees immediately in a bid to pare down the massive multidistrict litigation over claims that the company’s military-issue earplugs caused hearing damage. "It is hard to divine what defendants, in good faith, hoped to accomplish here," Rodgers wrote. (Reuters)
Bacardi cannot sue the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office directly over the IP regulator’s renewal of a Cuba-owned trademark that the liquor giant uses on American rum, a Virginia federal court ruled. U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady said Bacardi’s only recourse in its long-standing dispute with Cuba over the “Havana Club” mark was to ask the PTO to cancel Cubaexport's registration. (Reuters)
Kirkland hired antitrust attorney Alasdair Balfour as a partner in the firm’s London-based competition practice. Balfour comes from Allen & Overy. (Reuters)
- Fox Rothschild added Fruqan Mouzon to the firm’s Morristown, N.J., office as a partner in the litigation and cannabis practices. Mouzon previously chaired the cannabis group at McElroy Deutsch. (Fox Rothschild)
King & Spalding added Jarno Vanto as a partner to its data, privacy and security practice in New York. Vanto was most recently a partner at Crowell. (King & Spalding)
Haynes and Boone brought on litigator Cristen Rose as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Rose joins from Paley Rothman. (Haynes and Boone)
Shearman & Sterling said Samuel Cooper joined the firm in Houston as a litigation and commercial arbitration partner. Cooper formerly practiced at Paul Hastings. (Shearman & Sterling)
Quarles & Brady said partner Frank DeGuire rejoined the firm’s public finance group in its Milwaukee office. He formerly was general counsel to Meridian Industries. (Quarles & Brady)
Nelson Mullins said Rita Piel joined the firm’s mergers and acquisitions team in Baltimore as a partner from Rifkin Weiner Livingston. (Nelson Mullins)
Rimon brought on trial litigator Michael Lazaroff as a partner in the firm’s New York office. Lazaroff joins from Reed Smith. (Rimon)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate-related rules represent a comprehensive new set of disclosure requirements, write Lance Dial, Erin Martin and Kirstin Gibbs of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The earlier lack of clear directives resulted in a fog of disclosures with limited comparability, consistency and reliability, the authors said. Read more about opportunities for asset managers and what’s next.
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