California Pulse

  • GRSM50 Adds Employment Litigator From Calif. Solo Shop

    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, which is now going by the name GRSM50, is expanding its employment team, announcing Wednesday it is bringing on an employment litigator who previously ran his own firm to be a partner in the firm's San Diego office.

  • Eastman Denied Stay Of Inactive Status To 'Safeguard' Public

    A State Bar Court of California judge on Wednesday denied a request from Donald Trump's onetime attorney John Eastman to delay placing him on inactive enrollment while he appeals the recommendation for his disbarment, saying he hasn't shown that "he no longer presents a threat to the public."

  • Fed. Judge's Handcuffing Of Girl Was Misconduct, Panel Says

    The Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit found Wednesday that a California federal judge engaged in judicial misconduct when he ordered that a crying 13-year-old girl in his courtroom be handcuffed, issuing a reprimand for his actions and ordering that the judge not be assigned new criminal cases for three years.

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    How College GCs Are Dealing With Drama Of Protests

    New York City police descended on the Columbia University campus late Tuesday to arrest encamped protesters of the Israel-Gaza war, as general counsel for at least 20 universities across the nation grapple with how best to keep students safe while protecting everyone's free-speech rights.

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    Law Firms See Revenue Soar Amid Rate Hikes

    Law firm revenue soared by 9.5% during the first quarter of 2024, buoyed by a nearly comparable hike in billing rates compared to the similar period in 2023, according to a new report from Wells Fargo's legal specialty group.

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    CLO, Execs Ousted From Orthopedics Co. Seek Arbitration

    Three executives, including a chief legal officer whose alleged "repeated inappropriate and offensive conduct" led to his firing by spine and orthopedics company Orthofix Medical Inc. last year, have launched wrongful termination arbitration claims in California seeking severance payments and damages.

  • Former Calif. Law Student's ADA Suit Gets Tossed

    A California federal judge has thrown out a long-running suit by a former student at the John F. Kennedy College of Law's Northern California campus, who accused the university of failing to provide the pro se litigant with reasonable accommodations, finding the student received more help than he requested.

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    How BakerHostetler Made A Home In SF's Iconic Pyramid

    When BakerHostetler closed its new shop in San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, office leader Robb Adkins was concerned about recruiting. But the firm has since seen a five-old increase in attorneys and staff there, and recently signed a five-year lease renewal.

  • The Top In-House Hires Of April

    Legal department hires during the past few weeks included high-profile appointments at Sony Pictures, TikTok and IBM. Here, Law360 Pulse looks at some of the top in-house announcements from April.

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    Yoga Lawyer: A Way of Being In The (Legal) World

    More than a decade ago, a stressful job and a pile of physical ailments prompted attorney Cindy Pensoneau to take a deep dive into yoga. Today, she continues to work as both a lawyer and as a yoga teacher, illustrating the growing role that the ancient mind-body practice can play in improving attorney mental health.

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    GCs Help Companies Close The Gap On Mental Health Efforts

    While they wait for their companies to implement more wellness policies that reach the root causes of employees’ stress and burnout, some general counsel and chief legal officers are filling the gap to help their law teams feel more supported.

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    Here's Why This GC Went Public With Her Bipolar Diagnosis

    Kelly Rentzel, who has held several general counsel positions throughout her career, largely credits her law degree for giving her the confidence to talk publicly about her bipolar diagnosis — which is something she had contemplated for two decades before taking the initial steps that ultimately led her to a lectern.

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    Ex-Edison Energy GC, McDermott Atty Joins Troutman In LA

    Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP is expanding its West Coast infrastructure team, announcing Tuesday it is bringing in a McDermott Will & Emery LLP emerging energy technologies expert who was previously general counsel with Edison Energy Group to be a partner in its Los Angeles office.

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    Womble Bond Promotes UK Partner To Innovation Chief

    Womble Bond Dickinson in the U.K. has elevated partner and head of innovation Sam Dixon to chief innovation officer, the transatlantic law firm announced earlier this week.

  • 9th Circ. Says Calif. Bar Didn't Violate Student's Fed. Rights

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of an octogenarian law school student's claims that the State Bar of California violated his 14th Amendment protected rights when it refused to excuse his delay in taking a first-year exam, saying the California Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over admission matters.

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    A&O Shearman Faces Challenge To Unify Distinct Markets

    As the newly combined Allen Overy Shearman Sterling launches Wednesday, so far the signs are that the biggest merger in the sector in a decade may leave two distinct markets operating on either side of the Atlantic.

  • Conn. Firm Settles Copyright Feuds Over Website Photos

    The Connecticut consumer law firm Lemberg Law LLC and its managing attorney have agreed to settle two suits tied to a multistate copyright battle with a stock photo provider that arose in 2020 after the firm was accused of using images on its website without permission, and then countered that it was the victim of an extortion attempt.

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    Husch Blackwell Adds Labor & Employment Litigator In LA

    Husch Blackwell LLP announced Tuesday that it is expanding its labor and employment team, adding a litigator who ran his own firm for nearly a decade as partner to its Los Angeles office.

  • ABA Knocks Down 'Implausible' Data Breach Class Action

    The American Bar Association members suing the organization over a data breach have not identified any security measures the ABA failed to take, a New York federal judge said Tuesday when nixing what the organization called the members' "implausible" proposed class action.

  • Know Your AI Tools' Limits, Silicon Valley Arbitrators Warn

    All participants in an arbitration proceeding that incorporates artificial intelligence are responsible for understanding the tech's use and limitations, according to guidelines released Tuesday by the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center.

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    Squire Patton Taps Leader For New Insurance Disputes Group

    Squire Patton Boggs LLP has created a new practice that brings together its long-standing dispute work for insurance companies, naming a partner who represents some of the largest U.S. insurance companies to lead the new practice, the firm said Tuesday.

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    Return To Office Poses Pitfalls For Atty Mental Health

    As a therapist specialized in treating lawyers, Stacey Dougan hears a lot about law firm politics, addiction and the career's overwhelming demands. But lately, her clients have been bringing up a new source of anxiety: returning to the office.

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    Mid-Law Not Immune To Structural Mental Health Challenges

    Despite the common narrative that lawyers can trade higher pay for better well-being and work-life balance by moving to smaller firms, experts say that Mid-Law firms are generally facing the same industry pressures that contribute to long hours, stress and poor attorney mental health.

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    Ethics Probes Take Mental Toll On Solo, Small Firm Attorneys

    Facing a disciplinary complaint can take a toll on any attorney’s mental health. But for solo practitioners and small firm lawyers, who typically juggle all aspects of their business from handling client matters to administrative tasks like managing trust accounts, it can threaten to upend their lives.

  • Atty, Pot Entrepreneurs Get Conspiracy Claims Thrown Out

    A California state appeals court has thrown out claims against a group of attorneys and cannabis entrepreneurs that they were part of a "straw man practice" conspiracy to monopolize the San Diego cannabis market, finding the complaint failed to allege they did anything illegal.

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Expert Analysis

  • The Case That Took Me From Prosecutor To Defense Attorney Author Photo

    Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Penza, now at Wilkinson Stekloff, recalls the challenges of her first case as a civil defense attorney — a multibillion-dollar multidistrict class action against Allergan — and the lessons she learned about building rapport in the courtroom and with co-counsel.

  • The Importance Of Legal Macroeconomics Education For Attys Author Photo

    Most legal professionals lack understanding of the macroeconomic trends unique to the legal industry, like the rising cost of law school and legal services, which contributes to an unfair and inaccessible justice system, so law school courses and continuing legal education requirements in this area are essential, says Bob Glaves at the Chicago Bar Foundation.

  • What ABA Student Well-Being Standards Mean For Law Firms Author Photo

    While the American Bar Association's recent amendments to its law school accreditation standards around student well-being could have gone further, legal industry employers have much to learn from the ABA's move and the well-being movement that continues to gain traction in law schools, says David Jaffe at the American University Washington College of Law.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Build Rapport In New In-House Role? Author Photo

    Tim Parilla at LinkSquares explains how new in-house lawyers can start developing relationships with colleagues both within and outside their legal departments in order to expand their networks, build their brands and carve their paths to leadership positions.

  • What Attys Should Consider Before Taking On Pro Bono Work
    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Piper Hoffman and Will Lowrey at Animal Outlook lay out suggestions for attorneys to maximize the value of their pro bono efforts, from crafting engagement letters to balancing workloads — and they explain how these principles can foster a more rewarding engagement for both lawyers and nonprofits.

  • 7 Ways Attys Can Improve Their LinkedIn Summaries Author Photo

    Lawyers can use LinkedIn to strengthen their thought leadership position, generate new business, explore career opportunities, and better position themselves and their firms in search results by writing a well-composed, optimized summary that demonstrates their knowledge and experience, says Guy Alvarez at Good2bSocial.

  • How Law Firms And Attys Can Combat Imposter Syndrome Author Photo

    Imposter syndrome is rampant in the legal profession, especially among lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds, leading to missed opportunities and mental health issues — but firms can provide support in numerous ways, and attorneys can use therapeutic strategies to quiet their inner critic, says Helen Pamely at Rosling King.

  • The Law Firm Qualities Partners Seek In Lateral Moves Author Photo

    In 2022, partners considering lateral moves have new priorities, and firms that hope to recruit top talent will need to communicate their strategy for growth, engage on hot issues like origination credit and diversity initiatives, and tailor their integration plans toward expanding partners’ client base, says Gloria Sandrino at Lateral Link.

  • Small Steps Can Help Employers Beat Attorney Burnout Author Photo

    Lawyers are experiencing burnout on a massive, unprecedented scale due to the pandemic, but law firms and institutional players can and should make a difference by focusing on small, practical solutions that protect their attorneys’ most precious personal resource and professional commodity — time, says Chad Sarchio, president of the District of Columbia Bar.

  • The Evolving Role Of The Law Firm Legal Secretary Author Photo

    Technological shifts during the pandemic and beyond should force firms to rethink how legal secretaries can not only better support timekeepers but also participate in elevating client service, bifurcating the role into an administrative support position and a more elevated practice support role, says Lauren Chung at HBR Consulting.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Ace My Upcoming Annual Review? Author Photo

    Jennifer Rakstad at White & Case highlights how associates can emphasize achievements and seek support before, during and after their annual review, despite the pandemic’s negative effects on face time with colleagues and business development opportunities.

  • How Your Law Firm's Brand Can Convey Prestige Author Photo

    In order to be perceived as prestigious by clients and potential recruits, law firms should take their branding efforts beyond designing visual identities and address six key imperatives to differentiate themselves — from identifying intangible core strengths to delivering on promises at every interaction, says Howard Breindel at DeSantis Breindel.

  • How Dynamic Project Management Can Help Law Firms Author Photo

    Law firms looking to streamline matter management should consider tools that offer both employees and clients real-time access to documents, action items, task assignee information and more, overcoming many of the limitations of project communications via email, says Stephen Weyer at Stites & Harbison.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Successfully Switch Practices? Author Photo

    Associates who pivot into new practice areas may find that along with the excitement of a fresh start comes some apprehension, but certain proactive steps can help tame anxiety and ensure attorneys successfully adapt to unfamiliar subjects, novel internal processes and different client deliverables, say Susan Berson and Hassan Shaikh at Mintz.

  • A Road Map For Creating Law Firm Sustainability Programs Author Photo

    Amid demands from clients and prospective hires for greater sustainability efforts, law firms should think beyond reusable mugs and create programs that incorporate clear leadership structures, emission tracking and reduction goals, and frameworks for reporting results, says Gayatri Joshi at the Law Firm Sustainability Network.

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