Thursday, September 16, 2010

LAW.COM Newswire Highlights September 16, 2010

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Another Record Year for Laterals?
The American Lawyer

Last week saw a deluge of press releases from law firms touting new partner hires. When asked about the bonanza of lateral announcements, one recruiter said with the close of the third quarter, partners have a better idea of how things are shaping up for themselves and their firms. Another recruiter notes that partners are moving to firms that are more flexible about meeting clients' demands. "People are no longer moving to amplify their comp," he says. "They're moving to survive."

Partial Settlement Reached in Pa. 'Sexting' Case
The Legal Intelligencer

One of the high school students at the center of a "sexting" controversy in Pennsylvania has agreed to a partial settlement of a civil rights suit that said her constitutional rights were violated when a principal confiscated her cell phone, found nude images she had taken of herself and turned over the phone to prosecutors. Under the terms of the settlement, the school district agreed to pay $33,000, but admitted to no wrongdoing. However, the plaintiff has not settled her claims against the county DA's office.

Specter's Last Stand: Requiring Cameras in the U.S. Supreme Court
The National Law Journal

Sen. Arlen Specter says it's full steam ahead for his effort to require the Supreme Court to allow televised broadcast of its proceedings, in spite of a newly announced experiment with camera access in lower federal courts. Specter dismissed the Judicial Conference's new pilot program for civil trials in district courts as a "will o' the wisp" that does not change his determination to pass his own legislation on cameras in the Supreme Court.

Hiring Professionals See Legal Jobs Holding Steady
The Recorder

The Robert Half Legal staffing agency reported Tuesday that its survey of 200 lawyers at firms and companies indicates increased business confidence and continued hiring for the rest of the year, with the largest boosts expected in bankruptcy, litigation and health care-related practices. At the same time, nearly 60 percent of respondents surveyed said they expect no change in their staffing levels.

DOJ, Tobacco Lawyers Back in Court Over Injunction
The National Law Journal

Government lawyers and attorneys for a group of tobacco companies met Wednesday to discuss how to implement a sweeping injunction lodged against the industry in 2006 by a federal judge who found the companies conspired for decades to conceal the health risks of smoking. The government's case against the tobacco companies -- including Philip Morris USA (whose parent company is Altria Group) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. -- has been held up in appellate courts since the injunction was issued.

Former Body Armor Company Executives Convicted of Fraud After Marathon Trial
New York Law Journal

The former head of a company that sold body armor to the U.S. military and to law enforcement agencies was convicted Tuesday of insider trading, fraud and obstruction of justice, bringing to a close an eight-month federal court trial. A jury convicted David H. Brooks, the founder and former CEO of DHB Industries, and Sandra Hatfield, the company's former chief operating officer, on 14 of 16 charges. According to the government, the defendants reaped nearly $200 million from schemes to defraud the company's investors.

'Willful Blindness' Jury Charge Proper in Tax Fraud Conviction, 3rd Circuit Rules
New Jersey Law Journal

A federal appeals court has upheld the tax fraud conviction of real estate magnate Charles Kushner's brother-in-law, finding use of a "willful blindness" jury charge satisfied a criminal tax offense's willfulness element. The instruction may, where warranted by trial evidence, "properly apply to a defendant's knowledge of his legal duties," the 3rd Circuit held. The court rejected a challenge by Kushner Cos. executive VP Richard Stadtmauer, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to assisting in the filing of false partnership tax returns.

Hire From Howrey Boosts Kasowitz Benson's Insurance Practice
New York Law Journal

As part of its continued push into insurance coverage litigation, Kasowitz Benson will add Howrey partner Robert H. Shulman, who was lead counsel to International Paper Co. in litigation against its insurance carriers that resulted in a $93.2 million jury verdict in his client's favor in 2001 and another for $383.3 million in 2003. Howrey has seen a number of partner departures nationally in recent months, including in the insurance coverage arena.

Pancake Restaurant Flips Out Over Prayer Center's IHOP Name
The Associated Press

A restaurant chain known for its pancakes is suing a Kansas City, Mo.-based church mission that promotes its belief in daily, continuous prayer. The International House of Pancakes accuses the International House of Prayer of trademark dilution and infringement. The restaurant chain says it has six registered trademarks for the IHOP acronym and has been using the initials since 1973.

Case Tests Whether Circulating News About an Expunged Conviction Is Libel
New Jersey Law Journal

If a criminal conviction is expunged, did it ever exist? That's what the New Jersey Supreme Court is being asked to decide, and its answer will determine whether someone who publicizes a conviction after expungement is committing defamation. An appeals court ruled last December that a truthful statement that a person has been convicted of a crime is not actionable, even if the conviction has been expunged. One lawyer representing an amicus called the case a "core First Amendment discussion."

Plaintiffs Lawyers Urge Court to Keep Injunction in Stem Cell Case
The National Law Journal

A federal judge's preliminary injunction that blocks funding for human embryonic stem cell research should not be put on hold while the Justice Department challenges the decision on appeal, attorneys for two adult stem cell researchers said Tuesday in court papers. DOJ attorneys want the August ruling stayed while the government fights the decision in the D.C. Circuit.

E-Discovery Sanctions: Not for Defendants Only
The Legal Intelligencer

According to Leonard Deutchman, Pension Committee and Medcorp are two extreme examples of a phenomenon that e-discovery observers will acknowledge if pressed to be honest and candid: The plaintiffs bar knows far, far less about e-discovery than does the defense bar.
Visit Legal Technology

Law Schools Give Cold Shoulder to Transparency Project
The National Law Journal

Just 11 law schools met the Sept. 10 deadline to respond to a request by nonprofit Law School Transparency for more detailed job statistics, with only three saying they were considering providing the requested data. Project co-founder Kyle McEntee insists he's not discouraged.
Visit News & Views

How Do You Know When It's Time to Leave Your Law Firm?
The Legal Intelligencer

So, how do you know when it is time to leave your law firm? Molly Peckman, Dechert's director of associate development, discusses some of the signs, but also suggests that you truly consider staying, first. And if you decide to leave, make sure "to stay until you go," she notes.
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The Careerist: Women Partners Get Paid Less -- Duh?
The Careerist

Check out some of the latest posts on the blog, The Careerist. Women Partners Get Paid Less -- Duh? And Maybe a Girl's Got to Be Manipulative: What Joan and Peggy of "Mad Men" Can Teach Us Plus Are Flex/Part-Time Options Holding Women Back?
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