Alexander Dubose Jefferson Adds Former Appellate Justice

Bill Boyce, a justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston for 11 years, has joined Alexander Dubose & Jefferson in the firm’s Houston office.

In addition to his experience on the bench, he practiced law for 18 years as an associate and partner at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

While in private practice he argued more than 60 cases in appellate courts throughout Texas and across the country, including the United States Supreme Court.  He has been board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate Law since 1994 and has served on the board’s appellate exam drafting committee.  He has been selected as Appellate Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

Read more about Boyce.



Federal Prosecutors Seeking Biglaw Bills as Part of Probe

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that federal prosecutors have requested records to determine if there was a financial relationship between a former Atlanta city attorney and the private law firm that guided the city’s response to numerous federal grand jury subpoenas.

The firm, Paul Hastings LLP, has earned millions over the past decade handling some of the city’s most sensitive matters for both former Mayor Kasim Reed and his successor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, according to the AJC’s Stephen Deere.

The review focuses on whether there were payments from the firm to Cathy Hampton, the city’s former top lawyer.

Read the Journal-Constitution article.



McGuireWoods Hit With Records Demand in Suit Over Energy Deal

Bloomberg Law reports that an importer-exporter who says two former partners and their attorneys at McGuireWoods LLP used dirty tricks to strip their joint venture of its assets has accused the law firm of sitting on the records he needs to prove it.

The complaint claims McGuireWoods won’t give Andrew J.C. Kunian any of the legal work it did setting up a deal to export natural gas from Texas to Chile on behalf of two companies he co-owned with Francis Smollon and Colin Williams.

Bloomberg’s Mike Leonard writes: “According to the Delaware complaint, Smollon and Williams ‘orchestrated Kunian’s freeze-out with the full knowledge, cooperation, substantial aid, and assistance of’ McGuireWoods.”

Read the Bloomberg Law article.



Alleged Phony Lawyer Arrested For Creating Fake Website With Cravath Bios

HandcuffsThe U.S. Department of Justice has reported that a Tennessee man was charged for allegedly creating a fake website for a six-lawyer New York City law firm, so he could dupe people into paying him for legal services.

John Lambert, 23, was charged with wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy. Lambert allegedly held himself out as a lawyer using a website that cut and pasted lawyer biographies from Cravath, Swaine & Moore, according to a report by the ABA Journal.

The criminal complaint says that Lambert and a co-conspirator, non-lawyers who allegedly created a fake law firm, collected more than $50,000 in payments through a PayPal account.

Read the ABA Journal article.




Perkins Coie Names William Malley Next Managing Partner

Perkins Coie announced that William Malley will become managing partner of the firm, effective July 1, 2019. Malley, who currently serves as the Washington, D.C. managing partner, will succeed John Devaney, who was appointed managing partner of the firm in 2014. Devaney will remain a partner in the firm’s litigation practice.

In a release, the firm said Malley was selected for the firm’s top leadership position following an extensive process that involved interviewing the firm’s partners and senior professional staff. He will work closely with Devaney and others at the firm to ensure a seamless transition and continuity in the day-to-day management of the 1,100-lawyer firm.

The firm said Devaney will return to the litigation practice he has had at Perkins Coie for the past three decades and will continue to manage the client relationships he has maintained while serving as managing partner.

Malley joined Perkins Coie in 2008 as a partner in the firm’s Environment & Natural Resources practice, where he advises public- and private-sector clients on navigating the environmental review process for major infrastructure projects. Over the last 25 years, he has served as lead environmental counsel to project developers on some of the largest transportation infrastructure projects in the United States and has been a thought leader on ways to streamline environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects. Malley also advises clients on emerging federal and state regulatory frameworks for autonomous vehicles. He co-leads the firm’s Infrastructure Project Development practice and its Autonomous Vehicles industry group.

Since 2010, Malley has served as managing partner of Perkins Coie’s Washington, D.C., office.

Before joining Perkins Coie, Malley was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP for nearly eight years. He started his legal career as an associate at Cutler & Stanfield LLP, where he was promoted to partner.

Malley earned his A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard University. He also received his M.Sc, with distinction from The London School of Economics and his J.D. from Yale Law School where he served as co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following law school, Malley clerked for José Cabranes, chief judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. He is a native of Buffalo, New York.



Former Baker McKenzie Chair Dies While on Leave for Exhaustion

Bloomberg Law is reporting that Baker McKenzie’s former global chair Paul Rawlinson died April 12, several months after taking a temporary leave of absence due to exhaustion.

Rawlinson was an intellectual property lawyer who led the firm’s global IP practice from 2004 to 2010, with such clients as Cisco, L’Oréal, British American Tobacco, and Eli Lilly. He was appointed global chair in 2016 and was based in London.

At the time of his leave announcement in October, a spokesperson said, “There are likely to be many factors that have contributed to his exhaustion, but we have to respect his privacy.”

Another Bloomberg article reports that during his time at head of the firm, Rawlinson pushed Baker McKenzie’s 6,000-plus attorneys in about 80 countries to embrace new technologies, such as a new type of video email.

Baker McKenzie called his death “unexpected,” though the cause has not been disclosed.

Read the Bloomberg article.



Madoff Victims May Proceed With Suit Against Attorney

Victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme convinced a federal magistrate judge April 11 that their class action against the attorney who represented them belongs in federal court, reports Bloomberg Law.

Investors claimed attorney Helen Chaitman of Chaitman LLP and Becker & Poliakoff LLP improperly represented clients with competing interests while at the two firms.

A magistrate judge found that the case shouldn’t be dismissed, writes Bloomberg’s Perry Cooper.

Read the Bloomberg Law article.



Estes Thorne & Carr Earns Spot on National Client Service List

Estes Thorne & Carr has earned a place on the 2019 BTI Client Service A-Team List.

Selection is reserved for firms and individuals that go above and beyond on the promise of outstanding client service. Attorneys cannot self-nominate, self-refer, or pay to be included. Selection to the list is based solely on unprompted feedback from GCs through in-depth telephone interviews.

In addition, firm founder Dawn Estes was singled out with a place among the BTI Client Service All-Stars, an elite group of just 335 attorneys nationwide.

Read about the award.



Fears Nachawati Adds Three Lawyers to Firm

Dallas-based Fears Nachawati announced the addition of three new attorneys.

Misty Farris has a background as an appellate and legal briefing attorney and works with the firm’s pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.

Ann Saucer is a litigator with experience in consumer protection, class-actions, environmental law, toxic torts, and pharmaceutical litigation.

Amy Shahan briefs substantive trial court motions and responses and litigates claims on behalf of victims who have used or been exposed to toxic substances, defective products, and pharmaceuticals.

Read more about Fears Nachawati.



Law Firms Weigh Retirement Rules as Baby Boomers Keep Practicing

Law firms are facing choices about how to grapple with the fact that many Baby Boomer lawyers—the massive generation born between 1946 and 1964—aren’t looking to leave their practices anytime soon, reports Bloomberg Law.

“Some firms have mandatory retirement ages and other limits on attorneys’ practices after a certain juncture. But plenty of them don’t,” points out Bloomberg correspondent Elizabeth Olson. “Whether to mandate retirement is complicated for law firms looking to continue positive relationships with longtime partners, while at the same time ensuring those partners’ client relationships are passed smoothly along to the next generation.”

 Read the Bloomberg Law article.



NY Lawyer Gets Four-Month Suspension for Aggressive Behavior

Bloomberg Law is reporting that a New York real estate lawyer was suspended for four months and ordered to undergo up to one year of counseling for aggressive litigation techniques.

Adam L. Bailey drew the sanction because he failed to apologize for his actions and because he had twice previously been admonished by the state attorney grievance committee for “excessively aggressive behavior while representing a client.”

Bailey’s conduct violated several state professional conduct rules, including threatening criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter and conduct that adversely reflects on counsel’s fitness as a lawyer, the court said.

Read the Bloomberg Law article.



How SEO Matters to Law Firms

Amy Boardman Hunt of Muse Communications, writing in the company’s blog, provides an overview of search engine optimization, or SEO, as it relates to the marketing of law firms.

She turned to Sarah Hadden of Words and Pictures Marketing for some expert advice.

Hadden answers questions such as: How does SEO work? What common SEO mistakes do you see people make? What’s your favorite piece of SEO advice? How do SEO concepts apply to clients who get their business through referrals, rather than organic searches? What are your favorite SEO tools? If content is so important, what’s the game plan for making sure it does the job? And, Why is SEO expensive?

Read the article.




Female Attorneys Sue Biglaw Firm Over ‘Fraternity’ Atmosphere, Allege Bias Against Women

Cleveland-based BigLaw firm Jones Day, which has struggled with its reputation in the past as a diverse and inclusive workplace, is being sued for gender, pregnancy and maternity discrimination to the tune of more than $200 million, reports Crain’s Cleveland Business.

“The firm’s admitted practice of pay confidentiality, combined with the “nearly absolute control” exercised by Jones Day’s Managing Partner Steve Brogan, has resulted in an opaque review system that allows bias and retaliation to run unchecked, Nilab Tolton, Andrea Mazingo, and four Jane Does say in their April 3 complaint,” writes Crain’s Jeremy Nobile.

“Jones Days’s fraternity culture presents female attorneys at Jones Day with an unpalatable choice: participate in a culture that is at best inhospitable to women and at worst openly misogynistic or forego any hope of success at the Firm,” the lawsuit states.

Read the Crain’s article.



BigLaw Firm Criticized for Lack of Diversity is Now No. 1 for Black Lawyers, New Report Says

Employment - hiringPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison took a hit on social media in December when a partnership promotion photo appeared to show just one woman and 11 white men.

The ABA Journal points out that the law firm later said the partnership class actually included one woman, one Latino and one LGBTQ partner, making it 25% diverse.

Now a new report released by the nonprofit group Lawyers of Color shows Paul Weiss with the highest percentage of black lawyers out of 400 law firms surveyed. The report says 8.27 percent of Paul Weiss’ lawyers are black. The average of black lawyers across the 400 firms surveyed was 3.2 percent.

Read the ABA Journal article.



NCAA Athletes’ Lawyers Seek $45M in Fees After Winning Pay Case

Bloomberg Law is reporting that the attorneys who won a major court ruling this month invalidating some caps on pay for NCAA college athletes are seeking nearly $45 million for their work on the case.

The attorneys are from the law firms Winston & Strawn, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Pritzker Levine LLP, and Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, according to Bloomberg’s Mike Leonard.

The request is based on fees of almost $30 million for hours spent on the complex antitrust class action, multiplied by 1.5 to reflect the case’s degree of difficulty and risk, according to the fee motion filed March 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Read the Bloomberg Law article.



Webinar: #ThinkTank – The State of the Legal Industry

High Performance Counsel will kick off its #ThinkTank series with the first quarterly briefing on the state of the legal industry  on April 12, 2019.

Faculty members recruited by the company will share their thoughts on just three questions – each designed to elicit actionable intelligence to equip the modern legal professional navigating the marketplace.

“We’ve created #ThinkTank to be a critical sounding board for those looking ahead – and looking to get ahead – in the modern legal industry,” the company says on its website. “Our annual #ThinkTank membership program provides exclusive access to #hipcounsel events, including our State of the Legal Industry Quarterly Briefings and Members Only published insights.”

Register for #ThinkTank.



Reichman Jorgensen Opens in DC With ITC Leader From Finnegan

Christine Lehman

Reichman Jorgensen has opened a new office in Washington, D.C., and named Christine Lehman as managing partner of the office.

An article in The American Lawyer reports that Lehman previously spent 20 years at Finnegan, Henderson, Farrabow, Garrett & Dunner, where she led that firm’s International Trade Commission litigation group and chaired its pro bono committee. She’s an experienced patent litigator with a specialty in cases at the ITC, where she served as an investigative attorney early in her career.

Reichman Jorgensen now has offices in Silicon Valley, New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Read the article.




How to Best Promote ‘Best Lawyer’ Honors

Some legal rankings and guides truly do a good job of identifying top-rate attorneys in various areas of practice, but others are simply brazen attempts to capitalize on a lawyer’s vanity in exchange for a fee, warns Bruce Vincent of Muse Communications.

“Knowing the difference between a reputable listing and one that holds no real meaning or value is key for effective marketing,” he writes. “Imagine spending money and time to promote your selection to a ‘best’ list only to find out that the other lawyers on the list have no business being there based on their level of experience or expertise.”

He explains the importance of learning how to spread the word about earning a spot on a top-lawyer list, because there is little chance that your honor will get noticed by your most important audiences. Then he offers suggestions on how to get real benefit from the honor.

Read the article.



Greenberg Traurig Elevates Four Attorneys in Texas

The Texas offices of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP have elevated Todd Basile and Adelaida Vasquez to shareholder, and Audrey Chang and Peter Lacina to of counsel.

Chang and Vasquez work in the firm’s Houston office, while Basile and Lacina work in the firm’s Dallas office.

Basile is in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice; Vasquez is in the White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice; Change is in the Corporate Practice; and Lacina is in the Litigation Practice.

See more information on the four.



Suit Against Lawyers of Mormon ‘Prophet’ Revived

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that former members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have provided enough evidence of misdeeds by their old lawyers for parts of a lawsuit to proceed, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

The Tribune‘s Nate Carlisle explains:

The former sect members must still prove their case in a Salt Lake City courtroom, the appeals court said. The Denver-based appeals court only considered the narrow issue of whether federal Judge Ted Stewart correctly dismissed a lawsuit filed against FLDS President Warren Jeffs and the law firm which used to represent his church, Snow Christensen & Martineau.

The plaintiffs, ex-Jeffs followers, contend the lawyers helped Jeffs find legal mechanisms to hide child rape as well as benefit from child labor, kick people out of their homes and separate them from their families, Carlisle writes.

Read the Salt Lake Tribune article.