Good morning. BakerHostetler is keeping mum after removing its online profile for a Texas attorney and state legislator who is part of a group that has threatened to punish law firms over their abortion policies. We’ve got a deep dive on the lawyers representing Elon Musk and Twitter in their $44 billion fight. Plus, learn how much Apple is paying to resolve a class action over its laptop keyboards, and what’s driving a group of London Boies Schiller alums to expand into New York. Stay cool out there, folks.
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A Texas state lawmaker who was part of a legislative caucus that accused Sidley Austin of being “complicit in illegal abortions” is no longer listed on BakerHostetler’s website.
Sidley is among several law firms that have offered to cover the cost of travel for workers who need abortions.
The firm's webpage for Cody Vasut, a member of the Texas House of Representatives and the conservative Texas Freedom Caucus, became inaccessible after Reuters reported on his group's position on lawyers and abortion. Until then Vasut was listed on the Ohio-founded firm's website as "of counsel" in its Houston office.
Read more about Vasut and the legislation the Freedom Caucus is proposing.
Legal Leaders Case Study Compendium Volumes 1 - 4
14 examples of how leading in-house counsel have translated governmental, technological, or regulatory developments into practical implementations tangibly improving how their organisations operate. Case studies include:
- How One Legal Department Found the Metaverse
Corporate Legal Shared Services – A Success Story
- Reframing the narrative: from corporate shield to business partner
How many lawyers does it take to enforce a $44 billion acquisition deal? And, on the other side, to claim that the takeover target violated its end of the bargain?
Reporters Jacqueline Thomsen and Sara Merken spotlight the attorneys and law firms facing off in Twitter’s titanic against Elon Musk in Delaware Chancery Court. Twitter’s got Wachtell and Wilson Sonsini on its side. Musk’s team includes lawyers from Skadden and Quinn Emanuel.
We got our first glimpse of the action yesterday, when Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick approved Twitter’s bid for a fast-track trial to hold Musk to his plan to buy the social media company. McCormick set the trial for October, ruling against Musk’s push for an early 2023 proceeding.
South Carolina U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit by the U.S. Senate in a vote of 64 to 34. The Biden White House had considered Childs to succeed the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer but ultimately nominated then-D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Reuters)
An Indiana doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim threatened to sue Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita for defamation, filing a claim alleging that he made "false and misleading" statements about her handling of the case. Rokita's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reuters)
- Pallas Partners, the London-based law firm that a group of former Boies Schiller lawyers formed this year, opened an office in New York. Duane Loft, an 11-year veteran of New York-based Boies Schiller, will lead Pallas Partners' new office. (Reuters)
Former Obama-era U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch will lead a new practice at Paul Weiss focused on racial equity and civil rights audits. Other Paul Weiss attorneys involved in the effort include former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson; litigator Karen Dunn; and firm chairman Brad Karp. (Reuters)
Abortion pill maker GenBioPro hired its first-ever federal lobbying firm as the Las Vegas-based company faces new legal and regulatory pressure following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last month striking down the federal right to abortion. Emergent Strategies will focus work on matters including access to GenBioPro’s generic mifepristone drug. (Reuters)
That’s the amount Apple agreed to pay to settle a class action by customers who claimed it knew and concealed that the "butterfly" keyboards on its MacBook laptop computers were prone to failure. Apple, represented by Morrison & Foerster, denied wrongdoing as part of the deal. The plaintiffs’ lawyers at firms Girard Sharp and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith said they’d seek up to $15 million in legal fees as part of the settlement. The class attorneys expect a range of payments for customers.
Gibson Dunn contends that something is rotten in the state of Mongolia — and that King & Spalding is in the middle of it. Alison Frankel has the story of how these two eminent American law firms ended up facing off in international litigation that implicates the highest level of Mongolian politics, complete with a nasty fight over who has the authority to act on behalf of prosecutors purporting to fight corruption.
Professor Brian Quinn, of Boston College Law School, breaks down the arguments at Tuesday's initial hearing in the case over Musk's effort to walk away from his $44 billion Twitter deal. Watch the video.
"The reality is delay threatens irreparable harm to the sellers."
—Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, chief judge of the Delaware Chancery Court, who sided with Twitter in the first hearing in its lawsuit against Elon Musk and fast-tracked the trial. Musk was asking for a February trial date, but McCormick said Twitter deserved a quicker resolution. The trial is planned for October.
South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is expected to appear at the Colleton County, South Carolina courthouse for a bond hearing after he was charged in the murders of his wife and son. Murdaugh, who is also facing separate charges after he allegedly tried to have himself killed in an insurance scheme, was suspended from practicing law in September. Murdaugh is represented by attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin
The criminal contempt prosecution of former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon resumes in Washington, D.C., federal court before U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols. A prosecutor told jurors on the trial’s opening day that Bannon decided he was "above the law" in defying a subpoena from the congressional committee investigating last year's attack on the U.S. Capitol. Evan Corcoran, a lawyer for Bannon, said Bannon engaged with the committee in the belief that it would negotiate with his attorney and that the subpoena deadlines "were not fixed — they were flexible."
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams and U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn, the two top federal prosecutors in New York City, are scheduled to speak at a conference on cybersecurity at Fordham University Law School. Other panels will focus on cryptocurrency and privacy; cyber fraud prevention and supply chain risk analysis.
Court calendars are subject to last-minute docket changes.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi abortion clinic at the heart of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, dropped its bid to have the state's high court halt a near-total abortion ban after its building was sold. (Reuters)
Facebook owner Meta Platforms was hit with a trademark lawsuit in Manhattan federal court by MetaX, a company that creates immersive virtual-reality experiences. New York-based MetaX, represented by Pryor Cashman, told the court its "ability to operate as Meta has been eviscerated." (Reuters)
Tesla was found just 1% liable at trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, federal court in the death of an 18-year-old man whose Model S sedan slammed into a concrete wall. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said it was the first trial against Tesla, represented by Bowman and Brooke, over an accident involving its vehicles. (Reuters)
Pop artist Jeff Koons can’t escape a copyright lawsuit over his alleged misuse of a stone bench made for an Italian adult-film star, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield ruled. Koons, who is represented by Daniel Brooks of Scarola Zubatov Schaffzin, couldn’t show that sculptor Michael Hayden’s bench was not entitled to copyright protection or that Koons made fair use of it, the judge said. (Reuters)
Norton Rose Fulbright added Carsten Reichel as an antitrust partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. He arrives at the firm from the U.S. Justice Department. (Norton Rose)
Seyfarth brought on Ivan Smith as partner in the firm’s New York office from Buchanan Ingersoll. Smith’s practice is focused on labor and employment matters. (Seyfarth)
O’Melveny hired former federal prosecutor Sid Mody in the firm’s Dallas office as a white-collar partner. (O’Melveny)
McGuireWoods added Houston-based commercial litigation partner Jeremiah Anderson, who focuses on energy and construction disputes. He previously practiced at King & Spalding. (McGuireWoods)
Sullivan & Worcester said Joseph Segilia joined the firm’s New York City office as a partner. He previously was general counsel to cannabis company Unrivaled Brands. (Sullivan & Worcester)
Troutman Pepper picked up three new partners: Anna Altizer Dix joined the firm’s real estate practice from BakerHostetler, and Clayton Friedman and Michael Yaghi joined the firm’s state attorney’s general practice from Crowell.
- Littler brought on Eric Field as a Washington, D.C.-based shareholder focused on employee benefits. He earlier practiced at Akin Gump. (Littler)
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