Law Firm Mergers
Even if you’re not a New York firm, some of your associates will be unhappy if you pay a fraction of the Davis Polk scale.
* There’s nothing like boner talk in federal court: Juan Monteverde of Faruqi & Faruqi reaffirmed his claim that he was too drunk to
get it up“consummate the act” during the time Alexandra Marchuk alleged he forced sex upon her. [Law 360]
* “There’s something deeply ironic about a judge seeking the right to ignore another judge’s ruling while crying ‘judicial activism.'” Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court wants judges to ignore a federal ruling on his state’s unconstitutional ban on gay marriage. [Reuters]
* Just days after the legal news media found out that Dentons would be tying the knot with Dacheng, the deal has officially been sealed. Talk about a shotgun wedding! Best wishes go out to 大成 Dentons for a happy, international marriage. [Am Law Daily]
* Elite litigation boutique Susman Godfrey will be consolidating its Dallas and Houston offices into one mega-office in 2016 after the firm’s lease in Dallas is up. Will all of the displaced attorneys remain with the firm? [Houston Business Journal]
* Can we talk… about wrongful death cases? A lawsuit has finally been filed against the outpatient endoscopy facility and physicians involved in the death of Joan Rivers, and details have been released as to the way the beloved comedian died. [CNN]
Litigation finance is a funding tool many companies are considering to help cover the fees and expenses related to major legal claims. We at Lake Whillans Litigation Finance have compiled a list of questions to help you determine if your client is a candidate for litigation finance.
* Dentons is on the verge of finalizing a mega-merger that would make the combined firm the largest in the world, beating out even Biglaw behemoth Baker & McKenzie. Which law firm is Dentons wooing this time? [Wall Street Journal]
* “We say law school is expensive, but it’s not expensive for everybody.” People who do poorly on the LSAT finance their classmates’ schooling, and thanks to this chart, now we know what the cost of a low LSAT score really is. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
* Senate hearings for Loretta Lynch are scheduled to begin next week, but thus far, she’s only received eight letters in support of her nomination for AG. Eric Holder, who is apparently far cooler than she is, received tons of ’em. Aww. [National Law Journal]
* The next edition of the Am Law 100 will soon be released, but until then, Am Law is sating our desire for rankings with little tidbits of interesting information. This just in: Apparently Weil Gotshal posted a major, double-digit increase in PPP. [Am Law Daily]
* Nixon Peabody has had the urge to merge for quite some time, and now the firm has finally found a willing partner. If everything works out, the firm will gobble up Ungaretti & Harris, and everyone will be a winner! [Crain’s Chicago Business]
* “There is a large overhang of unemployed law graduates looking for jobs. Whether employers will hire them over 2015 grads is hard to predict.” Which is the lesser of two evils: dumber law grads or law grads with huge résumé gaps? [CBS News]
* According to the results of the latest Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group survey, law firm managing partners are slowly but surely growing more confident with how the legal industry is turning out as time goes by. Hooray! [Am Law Daily]
* For what it’s worth, Ben Edelman’s threatening emails to Sichuan Garden weren’t his first time at the rodeo of douchebaggery. A few years back, the Harvard-educated lawyer sent similar emails to a sushi restaurant. Fun times. [Boston.com]
* The American Bar Association would like to know what you think the most successful law firm merger in history is. There are so many fantastic failures to rule out, but so few true triumphs in comparison. What’re your thoughts? [ABA Journal]
* The Senate has delayed the confirmation of Michelle Lee as the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until next year. Thus far, Lee’s would-be position has been open for almost two years. Wow, way to go, slowpokes. [Corporate Counsel]
* Started from the bottom now we’re here: this lawyer started out in the records department of his firm, and now, after 15 years of working there as an employee, he’s going to become a partner. Congratulations, dude! [Tex Parte Blog / Texas Lawyer]
* There are 3 types of logic games on the LSAT, and more power to you if you’re able to whiz your way through them. If you suck at logic games, learn how to conquer the mathiest part of the test. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]
Edwards Wildman is no stranger to mergers, but this tie-up with Locke Lord could be different.
* “[I]t’s hard to find anybody as handsome as Antonin Scalia.” Some would beg to differ, but as it turns out, legal scholar Bryan Garner can brown-nose with the best of them. [WSJ Law Blog]
* In a lawsuit filed against real estate database Zillow, a former employee claims she was subjected to the “most heinous acts of sexual harassment imaginable” and “sexual torture.” That’s just lovely. [LAist]
* Law firm merger activity is still going strong as 2014 winds down to a close. Aside from big-name tie-ups like Bingham / Morgan Lewis and Locke Lord / Edwards Wildman, other firms like Verill Dana also had the urge to merge. [Am Law Daily]
* “Does it really surprise me? Not all that much.” University of Memphis School of Law students are on high alert during finals time after one of their own was almost robbed at gunpoint across the street from campus this week. Yikes. [WMC Action News 5]
* In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Above the Law’s managing editor, David Lat, wrote a book called Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), and it’s been receiving rave reviews. If you dig clerkship lit, you should try to check it out. [National Law Journal]
When will the merger go into effect, and how big will the post-merger firm be?
ATL Academy For Private Practice Volume 1 – Getting Started offers a mix of deeply informed, sometimes contrarian, but always thoughtful insight into meeting the challenges of starting and optimizing your own practice. Click here to download.
How many legal professionals from Bingham are being allowed aboard the Morgan Lewis lifeboat — and on what terms?
* When Loretta Lynch still worked at Hogan & Hartson (now known as Hogan Lovells thanks to a merger), her colleagues described her as a warm person without “a political bone in her body.” That said, best of luck to her in D.C. [National Law Journal]
* The D.C. Circuit upheld the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive opt-out plan for religious employers, but since “[t]he court is wrong,” we can count on a at least a few organizations that’ll refuse to comply. Gee, thanks a lot, Obama. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Some call the latest Biglaw tie-up “law-firm Darwinism,” but hey, “[i]t’s not like [Bingham’s] a wounded gazelle and we are pouncing on them,” says a too coy Morgan Lewis lawyer. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Fashion law may be a $985 billion global industry, but only five law school courses on the topic exist in the U.S. Why? “There’s no defensible reason except that fashion is perceived as a frivolous subject.” [AFP]
* This woman plans to appeal a $1 billion divorce settlement award because it’s not “fair and equitable.” In her defense, she did get a very small percentage of her ex-husband’s multibillion-dollar wealth. [People]
* Wage and hour laws have never been so sexy: Thanks to this court ruling, Rick’s Cabaret is going to have to make it rain on thousands of strippers to the tune of more than $10 million. [New York Times]
* Loretta Lynch, America’s would-be attorney general, has been flying under the radar for years, and now senators are searching to find something, anything at all really, that could possibly be wrong with her. [Legal Times]
* “[T]his is the best period of time that we have seen in a long time.” According to Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group, Biglaw’s revenue, hours, and profits all rose in the first nine months of 2014. Nice work! [Am Law Daily]
* Biglaw mergers and acquisitions are now on pace to meet or beat last year’s record, and company legal departments are pretty pissed off about it, especially since “[l]arge firm views on conflicts [tend to] drive [GCs] crazy.” [Reuters]
* Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attended the groundbreaking of Arizona State Law’s new campus, and even shoveled some dirt in honor of the school named after her. [Arizona Republic]
* What’s the price on being blackballed? Condé Nast settled its unpaid intern class-action lawsuit yesterday for $5.8 million, which will result in $700 to $1,900 payouts per aggrieved intern. [Fashionista]
* Look, ma, no Justice Kennedy! Over the dissent of Justices Scalia and Thomas, the Supreme Court quickly lifted its earlier stay on allowing same-sex marriages to go forward in Kansas. [USA Today]
* Sources say were it not for Bingham McCutchen’s malpractice settlement with the former owner of the Dodgers, Morgan Lewis would’ve walked away from the potential merger deal. #blessed [Am Law Daily]
* Mathew Martoma, the would-be lawyer who was expelled from Harvard Law for faking his transcripts, was denied his bid for bail pending appeal on an insider trading conviction. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start: The ex-general counsel to Occulus VR started his own firm and angel investment company to address the needs of video game companies. [Gamasutra]
* New York is holding off on adopting the Uniform Bar Exam, at least for a little while longer, mostly because “the[re] is just not enough turnaround time to do it for July ’15.” Hooray? [New York Law Journal]
* With all this net neutrality talk, one of the biggest fans of the cause is Justice Antonin Scalia. He may not be tech-savvy, but he may yet save the internet. [National Law Journal]
* And the partners rejoiced? Bingham McCutchen approved a Morgan Lewis merger, and now the firm waits for its valiant rescuer to ride in upon its trusty steed. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A new study says the way to close the law school gender gap is to adopt gradeless grading policies similar to those of top law schools. Honors for everyone, yay! [Stanford News]
* LSAT prep company Test Masters Educational Services Inc. — not to be confused with TestMasters — must pay about $927K in legal fees, because as it turns out, some people were confused. [Legal Times]
* A Texas state representative submitted a bill calling for a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because there aren’t enough lawyers there. Unemployed lawyers, you know what to do. [Action 4 News]
Law firm mergers are often bad ideas; if you’re going to do one, do it right.