California Pulse

  • Calif. Bar Approves Plan To Expunge Nondisbarment Records

    The State Bar of California approved a plan to automatically expunge records of attorney disciplinary actions after eight years, so long as there was no disbarment and the lawyer stayed out of trouble — a move designed to bring greater fairness to the state's attorney disciplinary system.

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    Law360's Legal Lions Of The Week

    Haynes and Boone LLP and Lubin & Enoch PC lead this week's edition of Law360's Legal Lions, after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously determined that federal courts do not have discretion to toss a case once it's decided that the claims belong in arbitration.

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    McDermott Adds Dechert Blockchain Ace In Calif. Offices

    McDermott Will & Emery LLP is growing its transactions team, announcing Friday it is bringing in a Dechert LLP blockchain and digital assets expert as a partner in its Orange County and Silicon Valley offices.

  • Voir Dire: Law360 Pulse's Weekly Quiz

    The middle of May marked another action-packed week for the legal industry as former President Donald Trump's hush money trial continued and BigLaw firms expanded their reach in the U.S. and abroad. Test your legal news savvy here with Law360 Pulse's weekly quiz.

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    Trial Firm Ellis George Adds Former LA Prosecutor, Ex-Mayor

    Ellis George LLP is expanding its team, announcing Thursday it is bringing in a litigator who is a former deputy district attorney, a former mayor and former legal counsel to litigation finance company Omni Bridgeway as a partner in its Los Angeles office in Century City.

  • $2B Default Recommended For Making Fair Trial 'Impossible'

    Years of lies should put a pair of Chinese electronics companies on the hook for over $2 billion in default judgment, a special master told a California federal judge, adding that their yearslong no-show and disregard of U.S. counsel advice to retain documents have rendered a fair trial "impossible."

  • Judge OKs Plan For Those Hit By Rescinded Trump Travel Ban

    Immigration advocates who sued the federal government said they were celebrating "a glimmer of hope" this week after a federal judge OK'd a plan that would require immigration officials to reconsider visa applications for people denied entry into the U.S. because of a Trump-era travel ban affecting individuals from Muslim-majority countries.

  • Smollett Atty Says Attackers' Defamation Suit Must Fail

    An attorney who represented "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett asked an Illinois federal judge Wednesday to end claims that she defamed two brothers accused of attacking Smollett by suggesting they wore "whiteface," arguing it was an unimportant detail that meshed with their own descriptions.

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    Lowenstein Sandler Pro Bono Head Leaves Legacy Of Service

    As she winds down her tenure leading Lowenstein Sandler LLP's Center for Public Interest this month, Catherine Weiss is leaving behind a legacy as a fierce public advocate for immigrants and reproductive rights at a time when public interest law as a whole faces new challenges.

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    Calif. Bar Halts Plans To Develop New Bar Exam

    The State Bar of California has shelved a plan to develop its own online bar exam, a shift that could save the cash-strapped organization up to $4 million per year, but drew opposition from law school deans concerned about its ambitious rollout timeline.

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    Deepfake Rule Proposals Navigate 'Perfect Evidentiary Storm'

    As federal judiciary officials explore how to handle evidence faked by artificial intelligence, attorneys are divided over the need to change evidence rules, with some worried that current rules are not up to the challenges posed by deepfakes, and others fearful that altering them might do more harm than good.

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    Nelson Mullins Adds 6 London Fischer Attys, Plans LA Office

    Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP announced Thursday it has brought on six litigators from London Fischer LLP on both coasts, with four of them set to join a new downtown Los Angeles office and the other two coming aboard in New York.

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    Baker Botts Grows IP Group With Perkins Coie Atty In Calif.

    Baker Botts has welcomed a Perkins Coie LLP partner to its Palo Alto, California, office, strengthening its intellectual property department with a litigator whose clients include Chinese and Taiwanese technology companies, the international law firm announced Thursday.

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    From 'Deadhead' To Womble Bond's Next Chair And CEO-Elect

    Merrick Benn, a global finance partner at Womble Bond Dickinson and a member of the firm's global board, is preparing to take over as U.S. chair and CEO. Here, Benn talks to Law360 Pulse about his goals for the new position and how the Grateful Dead influenced his career trajectory.

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    Norton Rose Taps Texas Atty As Co-Head Of Regulatory Group

    Norton Rose Fulbright has selected the former leader of its Austin, Texas, shop to fill the role of co-head of the firm's U.S. regulation, investigations, securities and compliance practice.

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    Mayer Brown Recruits Akin Gump Public Policy Pro In LA

    Mayer Brown LLP has brought back a public policy and regulatory expert from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he spent over a decade leading its California public law and policy practice.

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    Haynes Boone Adds Sheppard Mullin RE Finance Pro In Calif.

    Haynes and Boone LLP continues to grow its Orange County office, announcing Wednesday that a Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP real estate finance ace is joining the office in Costa Mesa, California, as a partner.

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    Brown Rudnick Taps Kasowitz Vet As Biz Development Leader

    Brown Rudnick LLP has hired the former chief marketing and business development officer at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, who joins the firm to continue helping elevate its attorneys' work and the firm's overall business operations.

  • 'Not Enough Money': Atty. Objects To Plan For Dead Law Firm

    An attorney representing a small group of creditors of failed California debt relief law firm Litigation Practice Group raised concerns at a hearing Wednesday that once the bankruptcy estate pays professional fees and administrative claims, little money will be left.

  • 'Excellent' Altria MDL Deal Earns Attys Fees Above Benchmark

    A California federal judge on Wednesday awarded $13.65 million in plaintiffs' attorney fees as part of tobacco giant Altria's $45.5 million deal resolving consumer claims in multidistrict litigation alleging the company helped fuel a youth vaping crisis created by e-cigarette maker Juul, saying the "excellent result" merited fees above the normal 25% benchmark.

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    Airbnb CLO Ron Klain To Help Biden Prepare For June Debate

    Ron Klain, former White House chief of staff to President Joe Biden who now leads the legal department at Airbnb, told Law360 Pulse on Wednesday that he plans to help his former boss prepare for his upcoming debate in June.

  • Monsanto's $23M False Ad Deal Challenged At 9th Circ.

    Counsel representing a certified class of Missouri consumers urged the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to reverse Monsanto's nationwide $23 million settlement resolving consumer false ad claims over risks associated with its Roundup weedkiller, arguing that Monsanto hid the settlement from the Missouri plaintiffs and that the class is effectively "getting absolutely nothing."

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    BCLP Taps Slew Of New Office, Sector Leaders

    Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP on Wednesday elevated three longtime partners into leadership roles in its Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles offices, the firm said in an announcement that also named a spate of new sector leaders and a new co-head of its Seattle outpost.

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    Womble Bond Names 'Fearless Leader' As Chair, CEO-Elect

    Womble Bond Dickinson announced Wednesday that global finance partner Merrick Benn has been elected U.S. chair and CEO, for a three-year term effective Jan. 1.

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    Reed Smith Launches Emerging Technologies Practice

    Reed Smith LLP announced the launch of a practice group focused on helping clients with the legal complexities posed by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and fintech.

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Expert Analysis

  • AI Is Reshaping Lawyering: What To Expect In 2024 Author Photo

    The future of lawyering is not about the wholesale replacement of attorneys by artificial intelligence, but as AI handles more of the routine legal work, the role of lawyers will evolve to be more strategic, requiring the development of competencies beyond traditional legal skills, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

  • Embrace Active Voice In Legal Writing — In Most Cases Author Photo

    Legal writers should strive to craft sentences in the active voice to promote brevity and avoid ambiguities that can spark litigation, but writing in the passive voice is sometimes appropriate — when it's a moral choice and not a grammatical failure, says Diana Simon at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Help Associates Turn Down Work? Author Photo

    Marina Portnova at Lowenstein Sandler discusses what partners can do to aid their associates in setting work-life boundaries, especially around after-hours assignment availability.

  • How AI Legal Research Tools Are Shifting Law Firm Processes Author Photo

    Although artificial intelligence-powered legal research is ushering in a new era of legal practice that augments human expertise with data-driven insights, it is not without challenges involving privacy, ethics and more, so legal professionals should take steps to ensure AI becomes a reliable partner rather than a source of disruption, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Data Source Proliferation Is A Growing E-Discovery Challenge Author Photo

    With the increased usage of collaboration apps and generative artificial intelligence solutions, it's not only important for e-discovery teams to be able to account for hundreds of existing data types today, but they should also be able to add support for new data types quickly — even on the fly if needed, says Oliver Silva at Casepoint.

  • Bracing For A Generative AI Revolution In Law Author Photo

    With many legal professionals starting to explore practical uses of generative artificial intelligence in areas such as research, discovery and legal document development, the fundamental principle of human oversight cannot be underscored enough for it to be successful, say Ty Dedmon at Bradley Arant and Paige Hunt at Lighthouse.

  • Why I Use ChatGPT To Tell Me Things I Already Know Author Photo

    The legal profession is among the most hesitant to adopt ChatGPT because of its proclivity to provide false information as if it were true, but in a wide variety of situations, lawyers can still be aided by information that is only in the right ballpark, says Robert Plotkin at Blueshift IP.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Use Social Media Responsibly? Author Photo

    Leah Kelman at Herrick Feinstein discusses the importance of reasoned judgment and thoughtful process when it comes to newly admitted attorneys' social media use.

  • Yada, Yada, Yada: The Magic Of 3 In Legal Writing Author Photo

    Attorneys should take a cue from U.S. Supreme Court justices and boil their arguments down to three points in their legal briefs and oral advocacy, as the number three is significant in the way we process information, says Diana Simon at University of Arizona.

  • How Firms Can Stop Playing Whack-A-Mole With Data Security Author Photo

    In order to achieve a robust client data protection posture, law firms should focus on adopting a risk-based approach to security, which can be done by assessing gaps, using that data to gain leadership buy-in for the needed changes, and adopting a dynamic and layered approach, says John Smith at Conversant Group.

  • 5 Life Lessons From Making Partner As A Solo Parent Author Photo

    Laranda Walker at Susman Godfrey, who was raising two small children and working her way to partner when she suddenly lost her husband, shares what fighting to keep her career on track taught her about accepting help, balancing work and family, and discovering new reserves of inner strength.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Turn Deferral To My Advantage? Author Photo

    Diana Leiden at Winston & Strawn discusses how first-year associates whose law firm start dates have been deferred can use the downtime to hone their skills, help their communities, and focus on returning to BigLaw with valuable contacts and out-of-the-box insights.

  • Resume Gaps Are No Longer Kryptonite To Your Legal Career Author Photo

    Female attorneys and others who pause their careers for a few years will find that gaps in work history are increasingly acceptable among legal employers, meaning with some networking, retraining and a few other strategies, lawyers can successfully reenter the workforce, says Jill Backer at Ave Maria School of Law.

  • Law Firm Guardrails For Responsible Generative AI Use Author Photo

    ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence tools pose significant risks to the integrity of legal work, but the key for law firms is not to ban these tools, but to implement them responsibly and with appropriate safeguards, say Natalie Pierce and Stephanie Goutos at Gunderson Dettmer.

  • Opinion

    We Must Continue DEI Efforts Despite High Court Headwinds Author Photo

    Though the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down affirmative action in higher education, law firms and their clients must keep up the legal industry’s recent momentum advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the profession in order to help achieve a just and prosperous society for all, says Angela Winfield at the Law School Admission Council.

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