Above the Law

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Significant Case Developments

P.F. Chang’s Seeks Dismissal of Data Breach Class Actions, Arguing the Existence of an Express Contract and Lack of Damages Preclude Claims
Lewert v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-04787 (N.D. Ill.).

As we described in July and September, P.F. Chang’s was hit with three putative class actions following its announcement of a point-of-sale data breach. On August 29, P.F. Chang’s moved for dismissal of the first two cases, now consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois. In their complaints, plaintiffs John Lewert and Lucas Kosner alleged that by failing to safeguard customer information, P.F. Chang’s breached an implied contract and violated consumer protection laws. The plaintiffs did not bring a breach of express contract claim. P.F. Chang’s argues that the plaintiffs acknowledge the existence of an express contract by alleging that “a portion of the services [they] purchased” at P.F. Chang’s was “compliance with industry-standard measures” for data security and that they were “deprived of the full monetary value of [their] transaction.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cybersecurity Litigation Monthly Newsletter”

What can I get you?Millennials are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore! Or get that reference!

Well, at least one is. The always entertaining “millennial op-ed” showed up in a business magazine this morning. After reading an entire Crain’s Business feature full of anecdotal evidence from millennials about how “screwed” they are in the current job market, a different millennial wrote an op-ed citing anecdotal evidence about how she’s… unscrewed.

While the feature piece focused on young people who were bartenders, nannys, and “perma-students,” the counter-narrative comes from a millennial who is 2L in law school. And everything is going to work out for her, don’t ya know…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Future Biglaw Millennial Thinks She’s Better Than Debt-Free Millennials”

John Roberts Chief Justice John Roberts* Does Chief Justice Roberts care enough about avoiding the appearance of partisanship that he’ll sink challenges to Obamacare? [Huffington Post]

* Wow. In 1938, they arrested a woman for wearing pants to court. [LA Times]

* LSAT takers were down AGAIN. It’s now down more than 40 percent since 2009. Maybe someday soon it really will be a good time to “Apply to Law School Now!” [Excess of Democracy]

* Don’t go to jail in Alabama. Just a general rule. [Mother Jones]

* Interesting. LexisNexis is partnering with Microsoft to create a cloud-based system for small law firms. [PR Web]

* The remains of famed athlete Jim Thorpe will remain in the Pennsylvania town where he was buried, ruled Judge Richard Caputo. His family wanted the remains returned to his birthplace. Even in death this guy is getting jerked around. [Associated Press via ABC News]

* Speaking of sports, Oklahoma State is suing New Mexico State alleging that its mascot looks “confusingly similar” to OSU’s mascot. There are only so many ways to depict a cowboy. Compare and contrast. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]

* Man Okie State is litigious all of a sudden. Oklahoma State is suing the University of Texas for poaching the former Cowboys Offensive Line coach to be the Longhorns’ Offensive Coordinator. I can see the deposition now. Imagined transcript after the jump…. [ESPN]

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Non-Sequiturs: 10.23.14″

Gold Pen with Signature Line of Document

Most large venture deals require that the Company’s outside legal counsel issue a customary legal opinion, addressed to the investors in the financing, in order to give the investors comfort that the company’s legal affairs are in order. For companies that have been represented since formation by large regional or national counsel with venture capital experience, this requirement generally is not overly burdensome. However, where counsel has not represented the company since formation or is unfamiliar with VC deals, the legal opinion can become an expensive part of the process and a potential delay in the timing of the financing. Below is a short primer on why VCs require legal opinions and the process and cost typically required for a law firm to issue such an opinion.

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Michael Allen

Michael Allen

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts Lateral Link’s team of expert contributors. Michael Allen is Managing Principal at Lateral Link, focusing exclusively on partner placements with Am Law 200 clients.

When an Am Law 50 partner filed for divorce in 2010, she had no idea she was ending not only her marriage, but also her tenure as a Biglaw partner. The career she built on three degrees and over thirty years of hard work, ended unceremoniously as a casualty of a rancorous divorce.

What went wrong? It’s no secret that Biglaw firms scarcely differ from large corporations when it comes to employees’ personal matters. They tend to take a laissez-faire approach, unless they are pressured to protect the firm’s image or assets. The managing partner of the local office explained to her that it would be important to the firm that the partner’s productivity or the office atmosphere not be impacted by the divorce, but was otherwise unconcerned with the proceedings.

Jaffe & Clemen’s ace divorce attorney, Frisco Fayer, explicates that “[m]ost modern big firms recognize the need to support their partners and they do so whenever possible. That said, the demands placed on a divorcing partner by his or her career are not going to disappear. The partner’s clients are still going to expect the same level of service and the other partners in the firm are still going to be interested in maintaining billable hours.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Divorce Can Tragically End Your Biglaw Practice”

halloween pumpkinsHalloween is a little more than a week away, and once again, everyone in the legal community is getting excited for a weekend full of debauchery in their favorite naughty costumes.

For the fifth year in a row, we here at Above the Law are soliciting legally themed costumes for our annual Halloween contest. We’re continually impressed with how creative lawyers and law students can be outside of their natural habitats.

Have you got what it takes to top the winners of years past? We hope so!

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Above The Law’s 5th Annual Legally Themed Halloween Costume Contest”

student-loan-debtAverage law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Borrowers: An Infographic”

chicago-sales1As part of a nationwide tour, Above the Law is coming to the great city of Chicago.

Join preeminent law firm management consultant Bruce MacEwen, Katten Muchin Chicago managing partner Gil Sofer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. assistant general counsel Jason Shaffer for a panel discussion (sponsored by Pangea3) on the evolutionary and market forces bearing down on the law firm business model. Come on by Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m., for thought-provoking discussion, food, drink, and networking.

Space is limited and there will be no on-site registration, so please RSVP below:

Say farewell to 4 Times Square.

Say farewell to 4 Times Square.

Biglaw is getting less big when it comes to office space. As we recently mentioned, law firms are spending less on their real estate. They’re renting smaller spaces, often outside the central downtown areas they’ve traditionally favored. As the American Lawyer put it, “[a]s a result of tightening market conditions, some firms are gravitating to ‘unorthodox’ locations in areas right outside the central districts they usually prefer.”

Consider the move that Skadden Arps just announced for its Manhattan headquarters. It’s going to an area that is certainly “unorthodox,” perhaps downright icky….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: Skadden Makes A Major Move”

retakerIt’s 12:01 a.m. Your phone dings as an email arrives from the Board of Law Examiners. The results are here. You nervously open the email and quickly scan through until you see, “We regret to inform you …” Why bother reading any further, you know what it says. A rush of emotion pours over you. Anguish. Embarrassment. Anger. Then questions start popping up. What am I going to tell my parents? Why didn’t I study harder? What is wrong with me? What do I do now?

Over the coming days, people will tell you how Hillary Clinton failed the bar or that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo failed several times, but that won’t make you feel better. You’ll get words of encouragement from friends and family, but that will only make things worse. What you need is a plan…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ask The Professor: What Happens If You Fail The Bar Exam?”

  • Fall 2013 OCI Schedule

    from the firm

    8/5: University of California, Berkeley
    8/14: Washington University
    8/16: Harvard Law School
    8/16: University of Michigan
    8/19: John Marshall
    8/20: University of Colorado, Boulder
    8/22: Northwestern University
    8/23: Loyola University
    8/29: University of Chicago
    9/3: University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
    9/3: IIT Chicago-Kent
    9/10: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

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