What do the biggest patent trial in history, the biggest U.S. M&A deal and the biggest bankruptcy of 2012 have in common? The answer is Morrison & Foerster — and the skills, dedication and confidence of lawyers who continually give new meaning to the term “high stakes.”
With more than 1,000 lawyers in key technology and financial centers in the United States, Asia and Europe, Morrison & Foerster advises financial institutions, investment banks, Fortune 100, technology and life science companies. MoFo’s lawyers share a singular commitment to providing clients with the exceptional service that has become our calling card. It’s why Autodesk, Genentech, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Novartis, Oracle, UPS and Yahoo! entrust our lawyers with their most critical matters. And it’s why MoFo is consistently ranked among the very best in the legal industry.
The American Lawyer
For 10 years running, The American Lawyer has named Morrison & Foerster to its prestigious A-List. Only 20 firms within the Am Law 200 are named to the annual list, and MoFo ranked #10 in 2013. Equally impressive, and showing remarkably consistent progress over the last decade, MoFo ranked seventh overall on a cumulative list based on rankings over the last 10 years.
The BTI Consulting Group recognized Morrison & Foerster as a 2013 Brand Elite Firm. Based on unprompted feedback from more than 500 in-house counsel at some of the world’s largest organizations, MoFo stood out as one of a small group of firms that, according to BTI, “have it all in the eyes of clients.”
Chambers and Partners
In March, Chambers Global named Morrison & Foerster its 2013 USA Law Firm of the Year. “The US-based giant,” the editors said in announcing the award, “has experienced one of the most successful years in its long and illustrious history.” Last year the firm was involved in the global smartphone disputes that culminated in one of the most closely watched patent trials of our time. We also had a leading role advising both ResCap in its landmark restructuring and the Chapter 11 trustee for MF Global. At the 2013 Chambers USA Awards for Excellence held in New York on May 23, Morrison & Foerster was named Intellectual Property Firm of the Year and Bankruptcy Firm of the Year for our work on these and other noteworthy matters.
August 1, LTN ran an article headlined “Judge Orders Bickering Lawyers to Solve Their E-Discovery Dispute” and it got me thinking about what we’re doing here. It’s a story about two companies who sound identical to me and about how six people left one to join the other one and drama ensued. And, somehow, in that drama, e-discovery became part of the plot-line. So, I’d just like to take a moment to bring what we do back from the electronic, intellect-centered, thought-leader-y places that blogs like this one tend to inhabit. I’m talking about bringing e-discovery down to Earth, where the humans do whatever humans do. Are you still with me?
Great. I chose to read this story, frankly, because it had the word “bickering” in the headline. What a great word. So descriptive, so condescending. I stayed with the story because it reminded me of why this blog matters and also why it doesn’t. It does matter that we think about the proper use of technology in legal review because all legal decisions – if the system works – are ultimately responses to the evidence. And, more and more, the evidence is documentary and the documents are electronic. Basic stuff, right?
It does not, however, matter what we think of best practices in making sense out of your documents, if you’re more engaged with fighting the other side than you are with discovering the truth.
So, why I’m here? You know that we have products and services – solutions – that we would like you to purchase. We know that you have expenses and burdens – problems – that you would like us to solve. No one on either side of these sentences is here just for the intellectual exercise.
One of the great pleasures I take in writing these articles is that they are not written for academic purposes. I’m not writing so that you will write about what I’ve written. But, still . . . I get caught up in the experience of communicating the great information I have to share and “evangelizing” the great solutions we have. I lose touch with the fact that, behind every e-discovery project, there were human characters making human choices and stepping on the toes of other human characters who reacted in kind.
I am a fan of great science fiction and great fantasy and great escapism, but what I really respond to are stories that talk about my life with a clarity I can’t muster because I’m frankly just too smashed up against the window. And this is one of those stories: two environmental consulting and engineering firms about whom I know nothing are at war. They are at war not so much because of their technology – about which I know nothing – but because they are comprised of people. Real people who did things that irritated, angered and threatened each other. In this case, six of these real people left one environmental consulting interest and went to its rival environmental consulting interest. Trade secrets, the Claimant states, went with them.
I have a two-year-old daughter who loves the Octonauts. In one of my favorite episodes (please skip to 8:22 in this SFW link), the brave Octonaut medic Peso Penguin finds himself caught in the crossfire between two warring tribes of anemone. The anemones, identical except in color, sting each other repeatedly with non-lethal but painful blows. Each fights for its place on either side of a single rock on a beach. They can’t kill each other and they can’t move on either. While they receive the blows, it is Peso in the middle, trapped in their crossfire, who really suffers. This is how I imagine Judge Beeler feels in this case.
Since suit was filed in June 2012, one side claimed that it had reviewed 55,000 documents and that only 8% were responsive. Meanwhile, it claims that it had turned over 200,000 documents. How many of those could have possibly been responsive? The other side, for its part, claimed nearly 400 misappropriated trade secrets in its suit. J. Beeler’s opinion ordered that they focus on only FIVE of them. 5. Out of 400. Digital Miners, friends, I’m the canary here and I’m running out of oxygen just trying to do the math. What’s clear is that the agreed-upon search terms were over-broad, the claims over-reaching, and the judiciary figure over-annoyed. It’s August 2013 and the parties are still tossing non-lethal barbs at each other instead of pulling apart the issues and actually discussing what was stolen, if anything, and what value needs to be repaired, if any.
And, what’s clear is that the problem isn’t about eDiscovery or technology but about human abuse or neglect of eDiscovery or technology. The second page contains a single paragraph and a concluding sentence which sum up everything my recent writing has tried to convey. I quote it here in full (with identifying names removed), so that you don’t have to click if you don’t have the time:
[An associate representing one side] told LTN that the two sides have previously spoken about the possibility of using technology-assisted review, but that nothing had been decided. “I had a good experience with predictive coding in another case of mine,” said [an attorney working on the case]. “I thought it was very effective at culling documents to produce documents in response to one other.”
[The other side] did not respond to a request for comment.
I’m reminded of a famous book on training entitled No Bad Dogs. The implication is that there are only bad owners. E-Discovery is a just a set of tools and a set of problems, neither good or bad. No matter how good our tools are – and I direct you again to my company’s solution, where you will find a host of documents about the solution and free videos about how to use it – the problem will remain that there are humans behind all of the technology who are either abusing the system or simply failing to learn how to properly use it.
Eric Killough is the virtual canary AccessData has released into your digital mine. He is a JD, a CEDS, and a librarian. He thinks about electronic discovery probably more than he should. Please join him here, at Twitter, at LinkedIn, and at his own blog. He’ll be happy to meet you.
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In her closing plenary address at LegalTech New York 2013, back in January, FBI special agent Mary Galligan warned that “[w]e have hundreds of law firms that we see increasingly being targeted by hackers.” For those in attendance, and for those who read the resulting tweets and blogposts in the newscycles that followed, this was not un-remarkable. In fact, this was chilling: the kind of stuff that keeps those with vested interested in a law firm’s virtual document stores awake. (Not that they get much sleep anyway.) Galligan, the special agent in charge of cyber and special operations for FBI, was a last minute addition to the speaking roster after a late drop-out from NYC’s chief of police. I suspect that few who attended really had any expectations about what they would hear, but this certainly was not it. This was a dire warning indeed. “We all understand,” she continued, “that the cyber threat is our next great challenge.”
OK, fast forward a few months, in May of this year, Galligan was interviewed by NYLJ. Perhaps hoping that Galligan would say something printworthy about the woefully continued vulnerability of law firms, the iterviewer asked a perfectly reasonable question: “Are law firms equipped to handle the threat?”
Galligan had a surprising response:
Law firms are taking cyber security extremely seriously. As a result of their concerns, the FBI has done a significant outreach program to law firms to give them best practices, and to respond when they have an incident. The FBI recommends things like understanding their network, where their data is, patching all their vulnerabilities and having an inventory of all their software.
This canary sees a surprise in each sentence here, so I’d like to take them one-by-one:
1) It surprises me to learn that law firms, only a few months since her initial incendiary statement, are now all taking the matter seriously. No law firm I’ve ever worked for or with has been able to pull-off a quick turn-around like that on anything that did not immediately effect the balance sheets. And the isssue Galligan brought to our attention in January was not of the quick-fix variety. It was a cultural problem owing to perceptions of priorities and expertise within the firm walls. For such a straight shooter, this is an uncharacteristically empty statement including the unquantifiable terms “extremely” and “seriously”.
2) It surprises me to learn that the FBI has been so busy to respond to incidents when they happen, if the firms have become so serious about attending to their security. Security solutions have existed for years and, as events like Black Hat remind us, for every shady Anonymous hacker out there, there is a dedicated ex-hacker working to beat them all. The ability to defend themselves has existed for years, it surprises me to learn that so many law firms, if they are serious about the threat, need the assistance of the FBI and that the FBI is able to assist them all.
3) Finally, it really surprises me to learn that – after all’s been said – the recommendations are that the firms understand their networks, where the data is, what software they’re using and where the holes are. If firms still need to understand their networks, etc., how can they possibly be taking the threat seriously? When I was in digital kindergarten, these recommendations were right there next to “wash your hands after flushing”.
I know, this was a brief interview in broad daylight and I didn’t expect it to dive into sensitive materials. But, still, it troubled me. And I think it should trouble you too …
But, what does this have to do with E-Discovery?
Well, as a result of E-Discovery, law firms collect and hold enormous stores of client data, right? Still, it is no secret that cyber-security is not one of their core competencies. In fact, most law firms and, thus, most attorneys’ electronic files are not well protected. Indeed, most firms (and most small- to-medium-sized businesses in general) simply can’t (or won’t) provide the resources necessary to vigilantly protect their highly sensitive, confidential, documents. Many firms are not even aware that they have suffered a breach until well after the incident, when an agency like the Federal Bureau of Investigation informs them that their client’s data has been found on a server in another country as a result of a security compromise linked back to the firm.
So, what data is being targeted? How about every conceivable form of documented intellectual property? For instances:
• Proprietary knowledge around an invention: specifications, lab notebooks, draft patent applications.
• Financial details concerning a merger or acquisition (even transactions that never fully materialized).
• Details about an organization’s inner-workings – details typically shared with attorneys during many different types of litigation.
The bottom line is that clients generally do not approach law firms when things are going well and they have no sensitive issues. They seek counsel when they are engaged in either deeply sensitive and highly expensive conflicts, which tend to generate correspondingly sensitive information that is of potentially great value to third parties.
So, what do you do? ASK FOR HELP
AccessData has been in the business of detecting, preventing and, when that fails, helping businesses recover from cyber threats for nearly three decades. We understand that the threat continues to evolve at a rapid pace and that answers to and anticipations of the threat require constant and vigilant development as well. In order to find out more about how AccessData is helping organizations deal with cyber security threats, please take a moment to visit us here. And contact our Professional Services department and allow us to assess your needs and provide managed security options.
To quote Special Agent Galligan (the scary, January 2013 version) one last time: “The cyber threat is too big for any of us to fight alone.”
Eric Killough is the virtual canary AccessData has released into your digital mine. He is a JD, a CEDS, and a librarian. He thinks about electronic discovery probably more than he should. Please join him here, at Twitter, at LinkedIn, and at his own blog. He’ll be happy to meet you.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
The first sign of a deal flow pick up, from the very low depths of 2012 (a very down year in Hong Kong/China) was around last November. There was a marked improvement in deal flow activity then, although it was still a mediocre market. Back in December 2012, there was some cautious optimism for boom times to perhaps return in the second half 2013, but during the first quarter of this year, while the market was improved over 2012, there was not a continued pick up in the market. Part of it was of course the double holiday season of western new year followed by Chinese new year, but that happens every year. The feeling in the market even as recently as one month ago was not very positive regarding the Hong Kong/China market making a big rebound in the second half 2013. However, in the past few weeks we have seen an across the board increase in deal flow, including at all the top US firms that are established in Hong Kong/China.
Late last year and earlier this year we already saw pretty good hiring activity for US associates in M&A in Asia. Now we are starting to see US capital markets hiring again. The larger US capital markets teams in Hong Kong are likely not going to need new hires for a while longer because they were overstaffed during the downturn (and also some of these firms added new HK local cap markets teams in the past couple of years which added to staffing sensitivities), but a number the smaller US cap markets teams are hiring again. We have seen steady M&A hiring in Hong Kong/China in the past 8 months and that is only increasing now. FCPA / White Collar is turning into a real source of hiring US associates in Hong Kong/China. We see this area continuing to grow for years to come and most firms with such a practice in the US will eventually have that practice on the ground in their Hong Kong/China offices. This is a long-term trend.
Just in the past couple of weeks, we have a number of new US associate openings in Hong Kong/China, including: 5 new openings in US capital markets; 4 new openings in PE / M&A or M&A; 2 new openings in FCPA / White Collar; and one new opening in project finance. We also have a couple of new US associate openings in Singapore this week.
If the Hong Kong/China markets continue to improve then it will be much easier for US partners there to get clearance to make lateral hires. We could see a pretty busy lateral hiring market in Hong Kong/China by late summer / fall.
Like most law firms, Seyfarth Shaw was always looking for opportunities to improve its efficiency and better support the work of its trial lawyers.
“When I arrived at Seyfarth in 2005, most of the litigators used Microsoft Word on an ad-hoc basis to track details of a case or create case chronologies,” recalls Annette Tyman, a partner in Seyfarth’s Chicago office. “We’d sort through various facts and issues in depositions, and then input that information into Word so we could begin to construct a case roadmap.”
“While we were already doing things like fact assessment and issue management, we were now able to do so in a more efficient manner with a tool like CaseMap,” said Tyman.
And that was only the beginning.
Today the firm uses CaseMap as a “powerful repository for all of our firm’s knowledge about an individual matter in litigation.” It helps litigators to see the “big picture” in a case while revealing vital links in case information that might otherwise go undiscovered using just legal pads, Post Its® and various PC notes or records.
By using these industry-leading, innovative and integrated technology solutions, the firm is able to:
• Save time by organizing the facts and issues of a case in a more efficient manner
• Make critical connections faster and share them with the entire team
• Drive greater efficiency and cost-savings by utilizing integrated, innovative technologies
• Expedite training and software adoption across all office locations of the firm
• Create compelling, polished presentations with unprecedented ease and speed.
The benefits from using the CaseMap suite were so clear and immediate that the firm took the software on the road to expand Seyfarth’s use of the powerful tool, and to ensure all of their litigators could use CaseMap effectively and to their fullest advantage.
“As soon as we show them actual examples of how their partners in other offices have used the software in their cases, most of them adopt CaseMap for their own future matters,” says Lori Chavez, Director of the Litigation Information Management Office.
To hear more about Seyfarth’s experience with CaseMap Suite—and to learn how you can apply these best practices in your firm— read the free, full-text Seyfarth Shaw case study.
Looking for a great job? In this environment it can be tricky. You need every tool at your disposal. If you haven’t heard, JD Match is the first online service that helps introduce law students to law firms and vice versa. It matches law students and clerks to AmLaw firms based on mutual interest. And, get this – it’s free for students (firms pay the freight).
Get discovered by (more) great firms
Member students and clerks have a greater chance of being discovered – even by firms you may not be aware of.
But that’s not the whole story. Just by creating a profile on JD Match, you immediately make yourself visible to law firms that are in the market for the very qualities you bring to the table.
Whenever firms search JD Match for people with your attributes, your profile comes up.
And your chances aren’t restricted to OCI season—firms use JD Match to find profiles like yours all year round.
JD Match can only expose you to more firms, improving your odds of getting a good job.
“You can’t have enough tools to help make the right job match.”
— Member Student
You can find more great firms
JD Match gives you the power to search for firms by size, geographic region and type of firm. You can also search for the many wonderful regional and mid-sized firms that just don’t have the resources to visit all the schools they’d like to due to the expense and increasingly compressed OCI.
And, JD Match gives those firms access to a nationwide pool of candidates, including you.
“It was common sense and easy to do.”
— Member Student
How does it work?
JD Match’s patent-pending matching algorithm and other, sophisticated never-before available features give you unprecedented control over your part in the recruiting process.
Studies show that the law school you attend has a direct and immediate impact on your starting salary after law school, and, to make matters even more critical, that starting salary differential carries through to subsequent years. And what is the primary factor in law school admissions decisions? Your LSAT score. Even a 5 point increase in your score (from, say, 155 to 160) can increase your starting salary by over $30,000, and gaining 5 points—and typically more—from proper LSAT preparation is commonplace. The question, then, is not whether you should study for the LSAT, but what method of studying will be most effective.
PowerScore has been preparing students for the LSAT for over 15 years. We are the publishers of the renowned LSAT Logic Games Bible and LSAT Bible Series, and we have helped countless students achieve their LSAT and law school goals. If you are taking the LSAT, PowerScore can help you prepare, whether your preference is self-study, an online or in-person course, or one-on-one tutoring. Regardless of approach, our methods have proven successful year after year; students have seen their scores improve by ten, fifteen, even twenty points or more, resulting in a tremendous increase in their potential salary. Read these comments to see what some of our students have had to say about their PowerScore experience.
LexisNexis and OverDrive®, the digital library solutions provider chosen by 22,000+ libraries, schools and colleges worldwide, have joined forces to provide a library management solution that suits evolving legal research requirements, including mobility, simplified library management, and space and budget reductions.
This innovative new service offers legal professionals access to the largest collection of authoritative legal eBook content plus these benefits:
Reduce Your Library Costs: With LexisNexis® Digital Library, overhead and administrative costs for maintaining a print library are reduced dramatically. Adopt an easy-to-use platform that requires minimal staff resources so your organization can make the most out of your library budget. Plus, multi-year purchase options let your library lock in savings.
Empower Your Librarians: Your firm’s librarians will have more time to conduct value-added research. They’ll have greater insight into what resources the staff actually uses so they can make adjustments to the collection quickly using a single website. Librarians can gain greater control, which can lead to better library utilization and increased strategic value to the firm.
Increase Anytime, Anywhere Productivity: Give your lawyers and staff around-the-clock access to the library on all major devices. Combine the benefits of a physical book with online functionality — understand the big picture when investigating an unfamiliar topic, and streamline research with intelligent links to online research. Plus, researchers can carry several books on a single device without the added bulk.
Add Titles From Other Publishers: Because the new LexisNexis Digital Library is publisher-agnostic, users can add titles from other publishers and centrally manage their library — eliminating the inefficiency of using multiple platforms or sites to manage an entire collection.
Flexible eBook Lending: Powering 22,000 library and school partners worldwide with more than 70 million check-outs since 2003, the OverDrive lending platform is time tested. With unrivaled device compatibility, 24/7 platform support, and no additional hardware required, you’ll leverage the experience of the world’s leading digital lending provider and gain peace of mind.
AdmissionsDean is now the most popular law school applicant tracking site on the Internet! The real power of AdmissionsDean is unleashed when users register (anonymously) and input basic information about themselves, like their LSAT score(s), undergraduate GPA and the law schools to which they have applied. Registered users can then track specific law schools and applicants to see who is getting admitted, wait-listed and rejected by which schools so you can better assess your own chances. Tracking applicants also helps you identify law schools that may not currently be on your radar screen, but should be.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.