Baker & McKenzie's Profits per Partner Top $1 Million Mark
New York Law Journal
Baker & McKenzie, the world's largest law firm, is set to announce today that it grossed $1.83 billion in its 2007 fiscal year -- a 20 percent increase in revenue. The firm will also report that, for the first time, its profits per partner were over the $1 million mark, up 22 percent from the year before. Chairman John Conroy attributed the results to a strategic plan the 3,600-lawyer firm adopted three years ago.
Solicitor General Sides Against SEC in Major High Court Securities Case
The American Lawyer
In the cage match of the securities bar, Solicitor General Paul Clement has sided with corporate interests over investors. Clement on Wednesday filed an amicus brief for defendants in a Supreme Court case that may decide whether lawyers, accountants and bankers can be sued by private investors for activities that arguably go beyond aiding and abetting corporate fraud. In an extraordinary turn of events, the case has exposed a rift between the SEC and the Bush administration and its Department of Justice.
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DRAM Case Yields $81 Million Fee Award
Northern District of California Judge Phyllis Hamilton on Wednesday approved attorney fees for plaintiffs lawyers who reached a $325 million settlement in a price-fixing case against companies that make Dynamic Random Access Memory computer chips. Lead plaintiffs attorneys say an estimated $81.5 million, or 25 percent of the total settlement, will be split as fees between some 40 firms that worked on the case, which was brought on behalf of companies that used the chips in their products.
New York City's Suit Against Gun Dealers Proceeds
New York Law Journal
A lawsuit by New York City charging 15 out-of-state gun retailers with facilitating the illegal sale of guns in the city will go forward following a federal judge's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss on personal jurisdiction grounds. In a 100-page decision, Judge Jack B. Weinstein set out in extensive detail statistics supporting the city's claim that the defendants "de facto serve" the New York market "through regular sales to straw purchasers, through multiple gun sales, or through internet sales."
9th Circuit Judges Challenge Government for More Candor on Wiretaps
In trying to sort out litigation over a federal wire-tapping program, three 9th Circuit judges wanted to know whether more candor by the government could make one suit go away -- and in another, they seemed inclined to dismiss it themselves. At a hearing on two cases over the post-9/11 spying, Judges Harry Pregerson, M. Margaret McKeown and Michael Daly Hawkins seemed offended by the government's invocation of the state secrets privilege but also unlikely to give plaintiffs lawyers everything they want.
Sharper Image Claims Reimbursing Customers Will Cause Bankruptcy
Daily Business Review
Financial experts for retailer Sharper Image are expected to testify today that the company could be pushed into bankruptcy if it is forced to pay up to $900 million to settle a class action being pushed by 27 state attorneys general and several plaintiffs attorneys. At a final fairness hearing today, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga must weigh Sharper Image's financial health against the demands of various plaintiff groups who want customers compensated for $300 air purifiers they say were ineffective.
N.J. Court: Malpractice Deadline Is Tolled by New Lawyer's Advice
New Jersey Law Journal
In an opinion that reminds matrimonial lawyers that there is no telling how long after a final judgment they can remain liable for malpractice, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a wife who agreed to an alimony settlement in 1994 could sue for malpractice almost 10 years later. Reinstating the claim, the panel said the cause of action did not accrue when the client had a premonition that something went wrong. It accrued when another lawyer told the client she might have a malpractice case.
Closing Attorneys See Red Over HomeBanc Mortgage's Bad Checks
Fulton County Daily Report
Dozens of Atlanta-area real estate closing attorneys are scrambling after receiving $20 million or more in bounced checks last month from HomeBanc Mortgage Corp. Although Georgia law requires lawyers to wait until checks have cleared before closing a mortgage, in practice most real estate closing attorneys don't wait for the money to clear, instead closing when they have a check in hand. Now, some attorneys face possible bar violations, and are digging into personal accounts to cover HomeBanc's mistake.
Federal Judge: Students Can Never Consent to Sex With Their Teachers
The Legal Intelligencer
A Pennsylvania federal judge has refused to dismiss a civil rights suit brought by a woman who claims she had a 10-month affair with her band teacher, finding that a high school student can never truly consent to having a sexual relationship with a teacher whose class she is taking. As a result, U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno said, "a teacher who has sex with a high school student who is assigned to his class discriminates against the student on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX."
Head of Va. Bar Association in Loan Dispute
Glenn Lewis is a prominent divorce lawyer in the Washington, D.C., metro area and president of the Virginia Bar Association, but he's had some trouble with his bank, BB&T, which sued Lewis and his law firm at the end of last year for failure to pay back two loans totaling close to $1 million. On at least one occasion last year the firm's payroll wasn't met, and Lewis' house was put in foreclosure. Adding to the turmoil, over the past three years, the Lewis Law Firm experienced a heavy turnover in its ranks.
Small Firm Finds New Ways to Encourage Business Development
Patrick Lamb is an anomaly: an attorney who thinks like a client, perhaps because legal business development is one of his specialties. At 33-lawyer Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd in Chicago, Lamb, as co-managing partner, saw an all-too-common imbalance: A small number of the partners were responsible for most of the financial success. So in order to enforce a marketing plan, Lamb convinced the partners to get tough. "We had used the carrot, and it didn't work," he says. "Now it was time for the stick."
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New Security Twist to Acquisitions Spurs More Work for Law Firms
The National Law Journal
A new law giving the U.S. government a seat at the deal table in a growing number of acquisitions of U.S. firms by foreign entities has created a flood of work for law firms helping companies assess the national security implications of proposed deals. "It fell into a sweet spot in the firm," said Covington & Burling's David Marchick. "We had the technical competence, and we have people who have worked in senior levels in half of the [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] agencies."
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Employment Litigation Gets Personal for Company Managers
The National Law Journal
Employment law is getting personal. An increasing number of executives, managers and other company leaders are being sued personally for their work-related decisions. The trend has put upper management on edge, and recent court decisions have added to this fear. Plaintiffs attorneys have some strategic reasons for naming individuals as defendants, but if they're looking for an easy fight, they may be mistaken. Going after executives can involve more money, more time -- and more lawyers fighting back.
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Thursday, August 16, 2007
LAW.COM Newswire Highlights August 16, 2007
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