Courts Litigation

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert arrives at the federal courthouse in Chicago for his arraignment on federal charges in his hush-money case, on June 9, 2015.

Hastert is a Hypocrite, Says Sex Registry Reform Group

By Roy Strom |

Decades after Dennis Hastert’s alleged sexual abuse of high school wrestlers he coached, the then-Speaker of the House helped pass a tough-on-sex-crimes law known as the Adam Walsh Act.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Veterans Affairs Improperly Rejected Vets' Emergency Medical Reimbursements

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims recently held that the Department of Veterans Affairs had been using an invalid regulation since 2009 to deny reimbursement to veterans for emergency medical costs incurred outside of the V.A. health care system.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

The Unusual Condition the SEC Imposed on a Whistleblower's Award

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission awards a $275,000 whistleblower award. But there's a catch: The funds must be used to address "any monetary obligations" that remain unpaid from an unspecified final judgment against the whistleblower. Similar language has not appeared in any of the 19 previous final orders approving whistleblower awards, according to a review of whistleblower program documents posted on the agency's website.

Sandro Jorge, left, a senior associate at Couto Graça and Associados in Mozambique, and Witney Schneidman, right, chair of Covington's Africa initiative and a senior international adviser at the firm.  Jorge is the first fellow in an initiative this year to link Covington to the LEX Africa law firm alliance.  April 7, 2016.

Covington Sends Off First Fellow From Africa

By Katelyn Polantz |

Covington & Burling's fellowship program allows the firm to dip a toe into the corporate investments in Africa that international law firms like Dentons, Hogan Lovells and DLA Piper have pursued for legal work. Many firms already have their own offices in South Africa or partnerships with firms in Africa. Now, Covington houses an African lawyer for three months, building connections through him or her to firms and lawyers in Africa and gaining another strategic counseling voice to present to clients.

Ted Olson.

D.C. Circuit Poised to Disrupt Consumer Protection Bureau Power Structure

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal appeals panel in Washington on Tuesday appeared ready to disrupt the organizational structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which vests power in the hands of a single director. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Ted Olson argued that the bureau's structure violates separation of powers.

Glenbrook Hospital, part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Battle Opens Between FTC and Chicago Hospitals Over Proposed Merger

By Roy Strom |

Lawyers fighting over a hospital megamerger in Chicago went to battle in federal court Monday at a hearing that will likely determine the fate of the proposed $7 billion health care system.

Anat Maytal.

Deaf Lawyers to Join Supreme Court Bar in Mass Ceremony

By Tony Mauro |

Thirteen deaf or hard-of-hearing lawyers are set to be sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court bar on April 19, in a first-ever mass event that symbolizes the strides lawyers with disabilities have made. The high court will provide interpreters and real-time captioning services to allow the lawyers to follow, visually and on their smartphones, what is happening during the swearing-in ritual and in the oral arguments that will follow.

John Roberts Jr.

Chief Justice Roberts Sidesteps Garland Controversy in Speech

By Tony Mauro |

In his first public remarks since the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. on Monday steered clear of the ensuing controversy, but lamented the death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13. "We are completing our term in the shadow of an unexpected loss that has touched us deeply and in many ways," Roberts told the judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

LOL Amid 'Scalia Law' Renaming

By Tony Mauro and Karen Sloan |

The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might have offered his own solution to the awkward acronym problem George Mason University created by renaming its law school after him on March 31: Ban the acronym altogether.

More Than 100 Viagra Suits Alleging Skin Cancer Headed to San Francisco

By Amanda Bronstad |

Lawsuits filed against Pfizer Inc. claiming that Viagra caused men to get skin cancer have been transferred to a judge in San Francisco by a federal judicial panel.

Michael Carvin.

'Equally Divided' Supreme Court is Asked to Rehear Union-Fees Case

By Marcia Coyle |

The California teachers who lost their challenge to "fair share" union fees to a 4-4 split in the U.S. Supreme Court asked the justices on Friday to take the rare step of rehearing their case.

Above Garland, clockwise: Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Far right, from top: John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, David Souter and Harry Blackmun.

The Select 75: A Portrait of Merrick Garland's Law Clerks

By Katelyn Polantz |

The résumés of Chief Judge Merrick Garland's clerks, taken together, form a somewhat homogeneous drawing. They are the standouts from only the most elite of law school classes, then the majority sail into U.S. Supreme Court clerkships and ride the fast track to law industry, government and intellectual success. The NLJ crunched numbers on all former and current Garland clerks, looking at where the 75 lawyers attended law school and where they've worked since. Garland's universe of former clerks illuminates both his connections and influence.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland, fifth from left, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit with his former law clerks at a reunion in 2012.

The Exacting Merrick Garland—As Told By His Clerks

By Zoe Tillman |

Chief Judge Merrick Garland's clerks describe a boss who was demanding but kind, and who stayed active in their lives well after the yearlong clerkship ended. In the weeks since Garland was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, more than half of the judge's former clerks spoke to The National Law Journal about life in his chambers.

President Barack Obama listens to a question from his former colleague Professor David Strauss, while speaking about his Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Thursday, April 7, 2016, at the University of Chicago Law School in Chicago.

Obama Returns to Chicago Law School, Warning of SCOTUS Crisis

By Roy Strom |

President Barack Obama, speaking at the University of Chicago Law School on Thursday, said that Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider Merrick Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court could create a “disaster” for the court.

Document: MetLife v. Financial Stability Oversight Council

By Staff |

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington on Thursday unsealed her ruling, against the government, in MetLife Inc. v. Financial Stability Oversight Council. The insurance giant challenged the government's designation of the company as "too big to fail."

VW Sued Again, This Time By Its Own Dealerships

By Amanda Bronstad |

Add Volkswagen’s own franchise dealerships to the list of parties suing the automaker over its emissions scandal.

John Roberts, Jr.

John Roberts Unlikely to Engage in Confirmation Blame Game

By Marcia Coyle |

"Physician, heal thyself!" Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said on Tuesday, blaming the U.S. Supreme Court itself—and not confirmation hearings, as John Roberts Jr. did in February—for the public perception that the justices are political. Will Roberts respond to the shot heard on Capitol Hill? Not likely.

Thomas Perez.

New Labor Department Rule Requires Stockbrokers to Act as Fiduciaries

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday released a long-awaited rule that requires stockbrokers managing retirement accounts to act as fiduciaries and serve their clients' "best interests" —a move designed to curb the billions of dollars in fees paid to the financial industry.

Justice Antonin Scalia delivers a speech to first year law students at Georgetown Law Center in November 2015.

Antonin Scalia Hated Acronyms Anyway

By Tony Mauro |

The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might have offered his own solution to the awkward acronym problem George Mason University created by renaming its law school after him last week: Ban the acronym altogether. Scalia hated acronyms and urged lawyers to avoid them and instead use phrases like "the commission"—or, in his instance, perhaps "the law school"—instead of pulling from the "alphabet soup" of acronyms.

Veleka Peeples-Dyer, left, and Vernessa Pollard, right, of McDermott Will & Emery.

McDermott Will & Emery Boosts FDA Practice

By C. Ryan Barber |

As law firms grapple with fast-moving change in the life sciences industry, McDermott Will & Emery is beefing up its U.S. Food and Drug Administration practice. McDermott has named partners Vernessa Pollard and Veleka Peeples-Dyer as co-leaders of the practice, which is based in the firm's Washington office. The duo will work together to expand the firm's services for medical-device, pharmaceutical and technology companies looking for guidance in dealing with the FDA, the firm said Wednesday.

Highland Park Hospital, part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem.

FTC and Chicago Hospitals Armed for Merger Battle Monday

By Roy Strom |

A group of Federal Trade Commission attorneys will be in Chicago federal court on Monday to begin a closely watched trial seeking to block the merger of two hospital systems that would create a $6.5 billion health care giant.

(l-r) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito.

Scalia's Law Clerks Find New Homes With Alito, Thomas

By Tony Mauro |

The four current law clerks of the late Justice Antonin Scalia have been reassigned to work for the rest of the term for two of his conservative U.S. Supreme Court allies: Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr.

Sri Srinivasan.

D.C. Circuit Overturns Judge Who Called Prosecution Deal Too Lenient

By Zoe Tillman |

A Washington trial judge "significantly overstepped" his authority when he rejected as too lenient a settlement between prosecutors and a Dutch company accused of sanctions violations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Tuesday.

Evan Tager.

In Reversal, Tenth Circuit Slashes Punitives to One-to-One Ratio

By Amanda Bronstad |

In a case closely watched by tort reformers, a federal appeals court has whittled a $25.5 million punitive damages award to $1.95 million in a carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuit out of Wyoming.

The crowd chants  during A massive rally in favor of immigration law reform held at the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Monday, April 10, 2006.

The Potential 4-4 Split with the Biggest Punch

By Marcia Coyle |

The final high-stakes argument of the U.S. Supreme Court term may have the greatest impact if the court, hobbled by an empty ninth chair, divides 4-4.

Antonin Scalia.

Supreme Court Grants a New Case—A Rarity Since Scalia's Death

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted review in a Colorado case involving racial bias among jurors in a criminal trial—one of only three new cases the court has agreed to take up since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia Feb. 13.

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

U.S. Commodities Agency Rewards $10M to Whistleblower—a Record

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved by far the largest award in the five-year history of its whistleblower program, paying out more than $10 million to a tipster who provided the agency with information that led to a successful enforcement action.

Founder of the Pro Bono Institute Esther Lardent in her Washington, DC home.  August 6, 2015.

'Queen of Pro Bono' Esther Lardent Dies at 68

By Karen Sloan |

Esther Lardent, known as the "Queen of Pro Bono," died Monday morning. Lardent founded the Pro Bono Institute in 1996 and quickly became one of the nation’s most high-profile and effective advocates for free legal assistance for the poor and disadvantaged. She stepped down as president of the Institute in July amid a battle with cancer.

Michael Santifer casts his vote via an electronic voting machine November 4, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Supreme Court Rejects Conservatives' Electoral-District Method

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the long-standing practice of using total population—rather than eligible-voter population—in drawing legislative districts, frowning on an approach that could have recast thousands of electoral maps. The court did not, however, rule out the possibility that states could use the voting-population method in the future.

Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, fourth from right, walks to senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)'s office at the Russell Senate Office Building. March 17, 2016.

Merrick Garland's Clerks Urge Senate to Act on Nomination

By Zoe Tillman |

Sixty-eight lawyers who served as clerks for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sent a letter on Monday to U.S. Senate leadership urging action on Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, of Little Sisters of the Poor, (front, with glasses, at mic), addressing media outside the U.S. Supreme Court, on the day of arguments in the case <i>Zubik v Burwell</i>, which challenges the Health and Human Services Contraception Mandate on behalf of religious nonprofit organizations. March 23, 2016.

'Equally Divided' After Scalia

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia continued to define and complicate the work of the U.S. Supreme Court last week.


A summary of the week's notable cases.

Robert Plant (left) and Jimmy Page (right) of Led Zeppelin, in concert in Chicago, Illinois. 1977.

‘Stairway to Heaven’ Leading to Trial for Led Zeppelin

By Amanda Bronstad |

Members of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin face a May 10 trial over claims that they ripped off another artist to make the iconic song “Stairway to Heaven.”

Amalya Kearse, Senior Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Michigan Law School Produces Most Influential and Prolific Judges, Study Finds

By Karen Sloan |

When it comes to producing highly influential future federal judges, the University of Michigan Law School is tops, according to a new analysis by legal research and analytics firm Ravel Law.

Traders are seen working in the S&P 500 pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange Wednesday, March 18, 2009, in Chicago.

$6M in Attorney Fees Awarded to Chicago Board Options Exchange

By Roy Strom |

Fish & Richardson attorneys already helped Chicago Board of Options Exchange Inc. beat back a patent infringement case from a rival exchange. Now they've won their client more than $6 million in attorney fees.

Labor Department Secretary Thomas E. Perez

Suit: Labor Dept.'s Union 'Persuader' Rule Threatens Attorney-Client Communication

By C. Ryan Barber |

An Arkansas law firm has joined a coalition of industry groups in suing the U.S. Labor Department to block a rule that requires employers to make greater disclosures about the advice they receive for resisting the efforts of workers to unionize. The groups sued the Labor Department over its so-called "persuader rule," which is set to take effect April 25.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

An Unusual Divide Hands Victory to Criminal Defense Bar

By Marcia Coyle |

Prosecutors are barred from freezing criminal defendants’ assets unconnected to their alleged crimes and needed to hire defense counsel of choice, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a decision that crossed its liberal-conservative divide.

The body of Justice Antonin Scalia arrives at the Supreme Court, on Friday, February 19, 2016.

Scalia’s Death Complicates 'Spokeo' Cases in Lower Courts

By Tony Mauro |

The impact of Antonin Scalia’s death, felt dramatically at the U.S. Supreme Court in recent weeks, is filtering down to lower federal courts as well.

Charleston School of Law.

Fired Charleston School of Law Professors to Return This Fall

By Karen Sloan |

Seven Charleston School of Law professors who were fired last summer amid InfiLaw Corp.’s unsuccessful bid to buy the school will return to campus in the fall of 2016 in a deal brokered by new owner Ed Bell.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on March 29 filed an action in Washington seeking to force Carl Ferrer and to comply with a subpoena.

Senate Takes to Court Over Subpoena

By Mike Sacks |

The Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations filed suit on Tuesday asking a federal court in Washington to enforce a subpoena against chief executive officer Carl Ferrer as part of the committee's inquiry into whether the online classifieds service facilitates sex trafficking.

Front from left, demonstrators Jess Jude, Loan Tran and Noah Rubin-Blose sit chained together in the middle of the street during a protest against House Bill 2 Thursday, March 24, 2016, outside of the Governor's Mansion on North Blount Street in downtown Raleigh, N.C.

North Carolina Anti-LGBT Law is 'Slap in the Face,' Says Professor Who Filed Suit

By Karen Sloan |

A coalition of civil rights and gay rights groups and three individual plaintiffs are suing over a new North Carolina law that rolls back protections for gay and transgender people. Among the individual plaintiffs is Angela Gilmore, a lesbian and associate dean for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor arriving at the funeral mass for Antonin Scalia.

Sotomayor, Alito More Active at Argument Since Scalia’s Death

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Samuel Alito Jr. are filling the gap left during oral argument by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last month.

Lesa Curtis of Westchester, N.Y., right, who is pro agency fees and a former president of her union, rallies outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, as the court heard arguments in the 'Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association' case.

How the Justices Can 'Dig' Their Way Out of Tie Votes

By Marcia Coyle |

When the U.S. Supreme Court divides, 4-4, as it did Tuesday in the biggest labor case in years, no one is thrilled except perhaps the lower court winner whose victory may be temporary at best. Is there a better way to handle the unresolvable case?

For a Michigan State Law Student, Sour Memories Over a Parking Ticket—And an Appeals Court Loss

By Roy Strom |

A contested parking ticket issued in East Lansing, Michigan, eight years ago already went before the Michigan Supreme Court. The saga continued on Tuesday with a federal appellate court ruling that the law student who won in the state high court was not the victim of a malicious prosecution.

Volkswagen advertisement

FTC Hits Volkswagen with Complaint Over 'Clean Diesel' Vehicles

By Amanda Bronstad |

The Federal Trade Commission has sued Volkswagen Group of America Inc. over billions of dollars consumers spent on its "clean diesel" vehicles while the company allegedly exposed them to a deceptive advertising campaign. The complaint comes as Volkswagen faces an April 21 court deadline to devise a way to fix more than 550,000 vehicles in the United States that exceed federal emissions standards.

Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, of Little Sisters of the Poor (at mic), meets the press outside the U.S. Supreme Court last week after arguments in a suit over the Affordable Care Act's contraceptives mandate.

With a 354-Word Order, Justices Seek Guidance in Contraceptives Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court occasionally asks the lawyers in a pending case to submit additional briefs after oral argument raises a new question in the justices' minds. But on Tuesday the court issued an unusually extensive order asking the parties in essence to help them find a new way to resolve a case—the pending dispute over contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The order might reflect internal efforts by the justices to avoid a 4-4 tie.

Michael Carvin of Jones Day (March 4, 2015) outside the Supreme Court.

Equally Divided Supreme Court Upholds Union Win in Fees Case

By Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle |

In its first high-profile decision since the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last month, the court deadlocked, 4-4, on Tuesday, handing at least a temporary victory to California teacher union members in a dispute over fees paid by nonmembers.

Jenner & Block Washington, D.C. offices.

Justices Lean Toward Jenner & Block in EEOC Fee Fight

By Tony Mauro |

As he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Jenner & Block partner Paul Smith wasn't exactly complaining about the $4.5 million award his firm had been granted—and then denied—in an employment discrimination case it successfully handled for its client, an Iowa trucking company.

Bar Study Loans Can Be Discharged in Bankruptcy, Judge Rules

By Karen Sloan |

Bar study loans are not subject to the same bankruptcy protections as traditional student loans, a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, has ruled in a case involving a Pace Law School graduate.

Sujit Choudhry, Dean and Professor of Law University of California Berkeley school of law

Harassment Problem Is Bigger than Berkeley

By Karen Sloan |

Colleges are grappling with new rules and expectations in light of the U.S. Depart­ment of Education's heightened enforcement of Title IX, which protects students and school employees from sex discrimination, harassment and assault, say employment and education law experts.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments before the court announced its opinion in the same-sex marriage case Obergefell v Hodges. June 26, 2015.

$2M in Fees, Costs Awarded in Tennessee Gay Marriage Case

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal district judge in Tennessee on Friday awarded $2 million in legal fees and costs to Ropes & Gray and other firms that successfully fought the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Grad Loses Job-Data Trial Against Thomas Jefferson Law School

By Karen Sloan |

Thomas Jefferson School of Law did not defraud an alum by inflating its graduate employment statistics, a San Diego jury found on Thursday.

Thomas Tamm.

Former DOJ Lawyer Accepts Public Censure for Leaking Bush-Era Surveillance

By Zoe Tillman |

Thomas Tamm, a former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer who helped expose warrantless surveillance during the George W. Bush administration, has agreed to accept a public censure to resolve ethics charges against him, according to papers filed today by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel in Washington.

Garland's Appreciation for the Environment Shines Through in His Record

By C. Ryan Barber |

Judge Merrick Garland is known to enjoy the outdoors. As President Barack Obama has noted, Garland and his family love to hike, ski, canoe and visit U.S. national parks. On the bench, that appreciation for the environment has shined through—and the cases where Garland ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency are few.

Rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, on the day of oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  February 27, 2013.

Voting Rights Institute Gets $1M from MacArthur Foundation

By Karen Sloan |

A voting rights initiative launched by Georgetown University Law Center and two other nonprofits in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2013 decision gutting parts of the Voting Rights Act has received a $1 million donation from the MacArthur Foundation.

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, walks to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)'s office at the Russell Senate Office Building on March 17, 2016.

Garland Will 'Cease Participating in Cases' While Nomination is Pending

By Zoe Tillman |

Chief Judge Merrick Garland will sit out all cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit while his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is pending, according to a statement provided by court officials to The National Law Journal on Thursday.

Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Judge Rejects Sudan's Bid to Undo Billions in Terror Judgments

By Zoe Tillman |

The Sudanese government's years of nonparticipation in lawsuits that accused the country of supporting terrorism in the 1990s doomed its efforts to challenge billions of dollars in damages awarded to victims, a federal district judge in Washington ruled late Wednesday.

Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, of Little Sisters of the Poor, (front, with glasses, at mic), addressing media outside the U.S. Supreme Court, on the day of arguments in the case <i>Zubik v Burwell</i>, which challenges the Health and Human Services Contraception Mandate on behalf of religious nonprofit organizations.  March 23, 2016.

Bolstered by Briefs, Liberal Justices Lash Out During Contraceptive Debate

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court's liberal wing—the three female justices, plus Stephen Breyer—flexed its muscles again Wednesday during contentious arguments over mandated insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act.

(l-r) John Roberts, Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia.

Merrick Garland's D.C. Circuit Playbook Takes Page From Past Nominees

By Zoe Tillman |

Want to see Chief Judge Merrick Garland in action? Between the tradition among judges of sitting out arguments while waiting for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court and the upcoming summer recess in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, it could be months before he takes the bench again. There aren't any rules or formal guidelines for how courts should manage the schedule of a sitting judge nominated to the Supreme Court. But there are historical examples that Garland and court officials can turn to: The D.C. Circuit has been a top feeder to the high court.

New Mapping Tool Shows Connections Among SCOTUS Cases

By Marcia Coyle |

A former computer programmer turned law professor and the Free Law Project are rolling out a new U.S. Supreme Court research tool to enable lawyers, law students and even clients to discover and visualize whole lines of cases quickly and with an eye to how future challenges may turn out.

Protesters rally on March 23, 2016, in support of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

Justices Show Sharp Divide in Religious Challenge to Contraceptives

By Marcia Coyle |

Only Justice Anthony Kennedy may hold the key to the success of the Obama administration's counterclaim that the government has provided a legally sufficient accommodation of the nonprofits' religious objections.

Lawyers for bank traders under investigation fought in the Fourth Circuit over a federal grand jury subpoena.

Bank Traders Lose Challenge to Grand Jury Subpoena Seeking Lawyer Testimony

By Zoe Tillman |

A former lawyer for bank traders who are under investigation for "suspicious" trades must comply with a grand jury subpoena for information about their communications, a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled on Wednesday. The court rejected arguments that the attorney-client privilege shielded the documents and testimony.

John Roberts Jr.

Roberts Stands Up for the 'Little Guy' (Sometimes)

By Marcia Coyle |

There's something about the "little guy" up against a government exercising seemingly unlimited power under a statute or regulations. Mix in a healthy dose of history and it appears to be the perfect combination for a majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.


BuckleySandler Couldn't Match 2014 Bonanza, Even With Second Contingency Collection

By Katelyn Polantz |

Two years ago, BuckleySandler's "investment cases," including a $550 million federal settlement with the Navajo Nation, paid off so richly that every employee earned bonuses. Last year brought another special chunk of revenue.

Scalia's chair and the bench were draped in black after his death on Feb. 13.

The First Post-Scalia Tie is a Win for a Missouri Bank

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued the first of what may be several 4-4 tied decisions triggered by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month.

Richard Roberts.

Misconduct Case Dismissed Against Ex-D.C. Chief Judge Facing Sex-Abuse Suit

By Zoe Tillman |

A misconduct complaint against former Chief Judge Richard Roberts of the federal district court in Washington has been dismissed. Roberts retired on March 16, the same day a lawsuit was filed in Utah accusing him of sexual assault 35 years ago.

People demonstrate against Tyson Foods, Inc. outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.

Justices Hand Class Action Plaintiffs Second Win This Term

By Tony Mauro |

In the second win this term for class action plaintiffs, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled, 6-2, in favor of Tyson Foods employees seeking payment for time spent donning and doffing protective gear. The court rejected arguments by Tyson Foods that the employees' work experiences were not similar enough to sustain a class action.

Staples Says FTC Is a Flip-Flopper, as Antitrust Hearing Opens

By C. Ryan Barber |

Likening the nation’s top two office supply chains to "penguins on a melting iceberg," a lawyer for Staples Inc. in opening statements on Monday defended the company’s proposed acquisition of Office Depot Inc. against federal regulators.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Alito and Thomas Take Fire at Guns and Grass Decisions

By Marcia Coyle |

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. on Monday joined together in criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s disposal of two hot-button issues: marijuana and guns.

(l-r) Gregory Katsas, Christian Vergonis, Beth Heifetz, Noel Francisco, and Michael Carvin, of Jones Day.  March 17, 2016.

Docket Chat: Jones Day Beats Well-Worn Path to Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

Jones Day lawyers will argue in four of the five cases scheduled at the U.S. Supreme Court this week, justifying—if justification is needed—the location of the firm's Washington office about a half-mile from the court.

Winston & Strawn's Washington, D.C. offices on K Street.

Winston & Strawn Sues Flash-Drive Maker for $1.7 Million in Fees

By Zoe Tillman |

Winston & Strawn is suing Macronix International Co. Ltd. for $1.7 million, claiming the Taiwan-based manufacturing and export company failed to pay months of legal fees.

A customer purchases marijuana inside Denver Kush Club in Denver, Colorado.  April 18, 2015.

Supreme Court Sidesteps Challenge to Colorado Marijuana Law

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court won't referee an interstate dispute over the impact of Colorado's legalization of marijuana on crime rates and drug use in surrounding areas. The court announced without explanation Monday that it would not review a complaint Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado under the high court's so-called "original jurisdiction" over disputes between states. In that role, the justices could have taken up the case without the states first litigating the issue in lower courts. Justice Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. dissented.

Volunteers load bottled water in a truck at the the Sylvester Broome Center in Flint, Mich., February 22, 2016. The center is being used for water distribution and health care services. The water supply was not properly treated after being switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River and now contains lead and iron.

Who Will Pay for the Flint Fiasco?

By Amanda Bronstad |

A flood of lawsuits has been filed this month over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but the unprecedented situation that exposed thousands of children to lead contamination has plaintiffs lawyers scrambling to figure out who — if anyone — will pay.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission building. October 16, 2012. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

FTC Using a Microscope to Look at Pharma Deals

By William Diaz and Lisa A. Peterson |

The agency is challenging even small transactions to make certain they pass antitrust muster.

<b>EXPEDITED:</b> President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. It included the Biosimilars Price Competition and Innovation Act, legislation providing fast-track approval for biosimilars.

Biosimilars Market Is at a Critical Turning Point

By Carlos Angulo |

Congress enabled their speedy approval in 2010, but courts and the FDA will determine how fast they move.

<b>PICKED:</b> President Obama introduced Merrick Garland on March 16 in the Rose Garden.

Merrick Garland's Moment

By Marcia Coyle and Zoe Tillman |

The question remains as to whether, as one Democratic senator said, the "ice is ­cracking" on Republican leaders' refusal to fill the high court vacancy in this election year.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of the week's notable cases.

Merrick Garland.  1995.

Merrick Garland's First Opinion: A Key In a Shoe and Drugs in the Trunk

By Zoe Tillman |

When Merrick Garland was nominated on Wednesday to the U.S. Supreme Court, commentators pointed to a largely pro-law enforcement record. His first ruling in the D.C. Circuit, in 1997, was a win for the authorities. Garland was joined by now-senior judges Laurence Silberman and Stephen Williams, who were both appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan. "It's a model of good legal writing and reasoning," the lawyer who lost the case says about Garland's decision.

Office Depot employee Derek Richardson straightens shelf items in the company's Tallahassee, Fla. store, Thursday, July 27, 2006.

FTC is 'Simply Wrong' in Merger Suit, Staples and Office Depot Execs Say

By C. Ryan Barber |

Federal antitrust regulators who sued to block Sysco Corp.'s proposed merger with U.S. Foods Inc. last summer will head to court Monday in Washington to try to stop another multibillion-dollar deal: Staples Inc.’s acquisition of rival Office Depot. The executives of the two companies on Friday alleged the agency "has cherry picked a few facts to fit its narrative and support its case."

People walk along a corridor at the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J., on July 30, 2013.

$500M Verdict in Hip Implant Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary were hit with a $500 million verdict on Thursday after a federal jury in Texas found gross negligence and fraud in connection with the defective design of a hip implant. The award is against Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics Inc.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

Lightning Strikes Twice at Arnold & Porter with Merrick Garland Nomination

By Katelyn Polantz |

Merrick Garland's 10 years in Big Law before he became a judge mark him as one of the Washington corporate bar's own. And at his firm, Arnold & Porter, one of Washington's most elite and one that competes for appellate accolades every year, lightning has struck twice. Abe Fortas, one of Arnold & Porter’s founders, earned two Supreme Court nominations in his career, for associate justice and then for chief justice, for which he was never confirmed.

Richard Roberts.

D.C. Federal Chief Judge Retires Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations

By Zoe Tillman |

Chief Judge Richard Roberts of Washington's federal trial court sent a letter of retirement to the White House on Wednesday, the same day a woman in Utah filed a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault 35 years ago when she was a witness in a case he prosecuted. In a statement, Roberts' lawyers said that a consensual "intimate relationship" took place between Roberts and the woman, Terry Mitchell, in 1981, when Mitchell was 16 years old. However, Roberts' lawyers denied the allegations of sexual assault as "categorically false."

Chief Judge Merrick Garland shakes hands with President Barack Obama, after the Garland's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was announced at the Rose Garden.  March 16, 2016.

After Garland Nomination, Left and Right Make Their Case

By Marcia Coyle |

Reactions on the left and the right to the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland on Wednesday boiled down to: "U.S. Senate, do your job and consider the nomination,” and “U.S. Senate, don’t do your job."

Chief Judge Merrick Garland, left, speaking after President Barack Obama announced his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court at the Rose Garden.  March 16, 2016.

Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland Will No Longer Hear Cases in March

By Zoe Tillman |

Hours after President Obama announced Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the federal appeals court in Washington as his nominee to the D.C. Circuit, the court reassigned Garland from cases scheduled for arguments in March.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  September 26, 2013.

Merrick Garland's Pro-Labor Rulings Run Deep on D.C. Circuit

By C. Ryan Barber |

In nearly two decades on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge Merrick Garland has rarely ruled against the National Labor Relations Board. But when he has overturned NLRB’s decisions, departing from his typical deference to federal agencies, he has done so to the benefit of labor unions.

President Barack Obama, announces the nomination of chief judge Merrick Garland, right, to the U.S. Supreme Court, with Vice President Joe Biden, left.  March 16, 2016.

Slideshow: Merrick Garland's Career in the Law

By Staff |

Merrick Garland's the president's pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Here's an illustrated look back at Garland's career in the law in Washington.

President Barack Obama, left, Vice President Joe Biden, center, and chief judge Merrick Garland, right, enter the Rose Garden to announce the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.  March 16, 2016.

Merrick Garland 'Has Not Rested for a Day in His Life'

By Zoe Tillman |

Merrick Garland's former clerks, colleagues and friends described the U.S. Supreme Court nominee as a lawyer and then a judge dedicated to his work and his family. Many struggled to come up with hobbies or interests that didn't involve one of those two things. One Big Law partner said Garland is "is a man who has not rested for a day in his life."

A crowd chants in favor of immigration law reform during a massive rally held at the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Taking Care of the Take Care Clause

By Marcia Coyle |

It's a seemingly simple clause in a not so simple case. The Constitution commands the president to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Zachary Price, a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy and a former staff attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, speaks to the SCB about the take care clause, its history and how courts generally have viewed it.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Sen. Orrin Hatch Won't Rule Out Garland Confirmation Hearing After Election

By Mike Sacks |

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Wednesday said he would not rule out a confirmation hearing and a vote on D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination during the Senate's lame-duck session later this year. "I'm open to almost anything," should Republicans lose control of the Senate in the November elections, Hatch told The National Law Journal. Hatch supported Garland's nomination to the D.C. Circuit.

Merrick Garland.

The Quotable Merrick Garland: A Collection of Writings and Remarks

By Zoe Tillman |

President Obama on Wednesday was expected to nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the federal appeals court in Washington to the U.S. Supreme Court. We pored over Garland's decisions and public remarks in recent years. What follows are highlights.

President Barack Obama, announces the nomination of chief judge Merrick Garland, right, to the U.S. Supreme Court, at the Rose Garden.  March 16, 2016.

D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland Nominated to Supreme Court

By Zoe Tillman |

Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who led the investigation of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was nominated Wednesday to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scalia's chair and the bench were draped in black after his death on Feb. 13.

Supreme Court Advocates Call Eight-Justice Bench 'Harmful' to Country

By Marcia Coyle |

Sixteen U.S. Supreme Court practitioners on Tuesday added their voices to recent calls for Senate leaders to consider and vote on a nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lord and Taylor flagship department store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

FTC Reaches Settlement with Lord & Taylor over Magazine Advertising

By C. Ryan Barber |

Three months after issuing a warning about so-called "native" advertising, the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday reached a settlement with Lord & Taylor over allegations that the retailer deceived consumers by not disclosing that it paid for a seemingly objective article in an online fashion magazine.

Deep Benches, High Stakes:
The 2016 Plaintiffs' Hot List

The NLJ shines a spotlight on 12 firms that scored big recoveries for plaintiffs in 2015 and early 2016.

Sam Baxter of McKool Smith.

McKool Smith

By Zoe Tillman |

By the time McKool Smith got involved in 2014 in a whistleblower suit against highway guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries Inc., there'd been one mistrial.

Salvatore Graziano of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann.

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann

By Katelyn Polantz |

Last year was "atypical" for Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann partner Salvatore Graziano, he said, because several cases he worked on, some for more than a decade, reached their conclusions.

Joel Laitman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

By C. Ryan Barber |

In 2011, a federal trial court judge denied class certification in a lawsuit alleging that Citigroup Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS A.G. concealed the risks of mortgage securities in the buildup to the financial crisis.

Fidelma Fitzpatrick of Motley Rice.

Motley Rice

By Amanda Bronstad |

Motley Rice member Fidelma Fitzpatrick stunned the tort bar with a $100 million verdict against Boston Scientific Corp. on May 28.

Lee D. Rudy of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check

By Mike Sacks |

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check secured more than a billion dollars over the past year in recoveries for pension funds, large-scale institutional investors and other plaintiffs in securities fraud, shareholder derivative and consumer litigation.

Jonathan Selbin of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

By Karen Sloan |

Jonathan Selbin's interest in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act was piqued five years ago when a fellow attorney mentioned the endless robocalls banks were making to the cellphones of those who owed money.

Mark Rifkin of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz.

Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz

By Karen Sloan |

"Happy Birthday to You," dubbed the world's most popular song, now belongs to the world thanks, in part, to lawyers at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz.

Peter Chatfield of Phillips & Cohen.

Phillips & Cohen

By Amanda Bronstad |

When it comes to whistleblowers, Phillips & Cohen dispenses more than legal advice.

Stanley Bernstein of Bernstein Liebhard.

Bernstein Liebhard

By C. Ryan Barber |

After bouncing among a few ­judges, fending off a motion to dismiss and taking depositions in locations as far away as the Canary Islands, Bernstein Liebhard negotiated a $33 million settlement last year in the City of Austin Police Retirement System's securities fraud case against Kinross Gold Corp.

Sherrie Savett of Berger & Montague.

Berger & Montague

By Rich Acello |

In October 2015, Berger & Montague litigators Sherrie Savett and Michael Fan­tini won a final judgment for more than $29 million for the city of Chicago against Expedia Inc., L.P. and Hotwire Inc. for underpaying hotel taxes to the city.

Jay Eisenhofer of Grant & Eisenhofer.

Grant & Eisenhofer

By Mike Sacks |

Grant & Eisenhofer pulled in over half a billion dollars for its clients in settlements and trial winnings of the past year.

Joseph Siprut.


By Rich Acello |

Concussions have been a big concern for football, but Joseph Siprut scored a victory for collegiate players when a $75 million settlement with the National Collegiate Athletic Association was preliminarily approved by a federal court in Chicago Jan. 26.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of some of the week's notable cases.

<b>GM CASE:</b> Concerns about the MDL process were exposed in an ignition-switch trial.

The Wild West of Fee Fights

By Amanda Bronstad |

Fee fights among plaintiffs attorneys in multidistrict litigation have forced more federal judges in recent cases to wade into the disputes — with practically no case law to guide them.

<b>CHALLENGED:</b> Pro-immigration advocates rally on the National Mall.

Texas Immigration Case Sparks Appeals to Justices

By Marcia Coyle |

As presidential contenders from both parties wrangle over how best to thwart illegal immigration, the challenge to President Barack Obama's plan to delay deportation of about 5 million of those immigrants soon moves center stage at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

California Dreamin' on Law Jobs?

By Karen Sloan |

As the San Diego trial involving Thomas Jefferson School of Law gets underway, the ABA's data show that the Golden State's law schools generally have had a tougher time placing graduates in law jobs than counterparts in other states, while their tuitions are among the highest in the nation.

R. Allen Stanford, center, leaves the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Houston.

Court Shields Proskauer, Chadbourne From Investors' Stanford Claims

By Amanda Bronstad |

Proskauer Rose and Chadbourne & Parke are immune from liability for the conduct of a former partner at the firms who investors accused of helping R. Allen Stanford orchestrate a $7 billion fraud scheme, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg to Publish Collection of Speeches, Writings

By Marcia Coyle |

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who long has resisted writing her own biography, has agreed to collaborate in a collection of speeches and writing titled "My Own Words." The book, set for publication in January, will feature Ginsburg's writings and speeches on topics that include gender equality, the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court, law and lawyers in opera, on being Jewish and the value of foreign law.

NLRB Memo Urges Settlements Early and Often

By C. Ryan Barber |

Facing a "significant budget deficit" for the rest of the fiscal year, the National Labor Relations Board is being frank: Regional offices need to settle disputes quickly—and remember to print double-sided.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Big Law Partners, General Counsel Urge Senate Action on SCOTUS Pick

By Zoe Tillman |

Nearly 250 law firm partners and corporate general counsel signed a letter Wednesday to the White House and Senate leadership urging action on the president's nominee to U.S. Supreme Court.

Former Secretary of State, and current presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton testifies during a House hearing of the Select Committee on Benghazi, on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

RNC Sues State Dept. for Hillary Clinton Records

By Zoe Tillman |

As Donald Trump continues to rack up delegates in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the party is looking ahead to the general election in November. The Republican National Committee on Wednesday sued the U.S. Department of State for information about Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Sujit Choudhry.

Berkeley Law Dean Sued for Sexual Harassment by Former Assistant

By Karen Sloan |

The suit, filed in California state court on Tuesday, claims that dean Sujit Choudhry inappropriately touched and kissed Tyann Sorrell, who had worked as his assistant from July 2014 until March 2015, when she took a leave from the school.

Anthony Kennedy.

Banter on the Bench: What Did Kennedy Say About Sotomayor?

By Tony Mauro |

So what did U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy whisper to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. about Justice Sonia Sotomayor during the Texas abortion-clinic case? And, when you think about it, why are justices whispering to each other on the bench anyway? Kennedy's aside last week was the latest example of on-the-bench side comments.

Maryanne Trump Barry.

Inside the Latest Financial Report Filed by Judge Maryanne Barry, Sister to Donald Trump

By Zoe Tillman |

Judge Maryanne Barry of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has one of the most extensive investment portfolios among federal appeals judges nationwide, according to her latest financial disclosure report. Business acumen runs in the family—her brother is Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Samuel Alito, right, and Antonin Scalia, left, after a panel discussion on

Thomas and Alito Follow Scalia's Lead on Juvenile Sentencing Cases

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. on Monday picked up the mantle of the late Justice Antonin Scalia in advising lower courts on how to cope with a January decision in which all three justices dissented.

Brief of the Week: Will Battery Class Action Energize Supreme Court?

By Jamie Schuman |

In 2008, Ted Frank was a plaintiff in a class action involving Grand Theft Auto videogames. Unhappy with the proposed settlement, he fought it in court.

Feds to Pay $2M to Colombian Informant Who Sued Over Contract

By C. Ryan Barber |

The United States will pay nearly $2 million to a former confidential informant who alleged federal officials broke their promises to protect her in Colombia as she helped build financial-crimes cases, according to newly filed court records in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Louis Freeh.

Lawyers Named in Freeh's BP Report Want Sanctions Reversed

By Amanda Bronstad |

Two plaintiffs lawyers who were the first target of BP PLC's claims of fraud in connection with the $9.9 billion Deepwater Horizon oil-spill settlement are asking a federal appeals court to reverse sanctions against them that were based on a 2013 report by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

Sportscaster and television host Erin Andrews walks to the courtroom with attorneys Bruce Broillet, left, and Scott Carr, center, Monday, March 7, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.

Marriott GC on Erin Andrews' Case: 'We Have to Live With That'

By Amanda Bronstad |

During the two-week peephole video trial that culminated on Monday with a $55 million verdict for sportscaster Erin Andrews, Marriott International Inc.—dismissed from the case in January—struggled to distance itself from blame.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Justices Reject Alabama's Refusal to Recognize Lesbian Woman's Adoption

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reversed an Alabama Supreme Court’s refusal to recognize a lesbian's nearly decade-old adoption in Georgia of her former partner's three children.

U.S. Department of State. May 20, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

'Law' and 'Order' Face Court Test in Whistleblower's Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

Government employees are protected from reprisal if they refuse to follow an order that would require them to break the law. That much is clear. But what if the law is not a "law" but rather a court order, executive order, regulatory ruling or government regulation? A case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit takes up that question.

Larry Craig.

Court: Ex-Sen. Larry Craig Misused Campaign Funds for Legal Bills After Sex Sting

By Mike Sacks |

Former U.S. Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho, must pay the federal government nearly a quarter of a million dollars for spending campaign contributions on legal bills tied to his arrest in 2007 amid a sex sting at an airport, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on Friday.

Antonin Scalia.

Supreme Court Delays Microsoft Class Action Arguments Until Next Term

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court has put off the arguments in a closely watched Microsoft class action until next term, in a scheduling move that may be related to the Feb. 13 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Lawyers in Microsoft v. Baker were anticipating arguing the case in late April. "From our perspective, we wanted to argue this term. It was ready to go," said Peter Stris of Stris & Maher in Los Angeles, who represents the class action plaintiffs in the case.

Richard Cordray.

CFPB Takes First Step Into Cybersecurity Regulation

By C. Ryan Barber |

Dwolla Inc., a Des Moines-based digital payment startup, agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and improve its data security practices as part of a consent order that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued Wednesday. The action marks the agency's first foray into regulating cybersecurity.

(l-r) Denny Chin, Sri Srinivasan, and Jacqueline Nguyen.

White House Reaches Out to Asian-American Leaders About Supreme Court Seat

By Zoe Tillman |

A White House official held a conference call Thursday evening with Asian-American and Pacific Islander leaders to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court. Several Asian-American judges have been discussed as leading candidates for the late Justice Antonin Scalia's seat. Judges considered possible nominees include Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Jacqueline Nguyen of the Ninth Circuit and Judge Denny Chin of the Second Circuit. The White House said Thursday the president is still reviewing candidates.

Law Students Compete to 'Argle-Bargle,' Scalia-Style

By Karen Sloan |

Students at the University of California Hastings College of Law are locked in a heated competition to channel the pugnacious writing style of Antonin Scalia and pen their own dissent with flair akin to the late U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of his seat draped in black following his death on February 13, 2016.

To Defense Bar’s Dismay, SCOTUS Rejects Review of Class Action

By Amanda Bronstad |

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition to review a closely watched consumer case, raising speculation among the defense bar that Justice Antonin Scalia’s absence could make it harder to get key class action issues decided.

Scott Keller, right, Solicitor General for the state of Texas, and Ken Paxton, left, Texas Attorney General, addressing media outside the U.S. Supreme Court after arguing for the state in the <i>Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case.</i>  March 2, 2016.

Six Key Moments in the Texas Abortion Clinic Arguments

By Tony Mauro and Mike Sacks |

The oral argument in the latest abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court got so intense and fact-specific that it lasted nearly 20 minutes longer than the one hour allotted to it.

Demonstrators for and against abortion rights demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of arguments in the <i>Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt</i> case.  March 2, 2016.

Kennedy Holds Cards Close in Texas Abortion Case

By Marcia Coyle |

What is clear after 10 years of the Roberts Court is that abortion continues to expose the familiar, deep ideological divide among the justices. What is neither clear nor familiar after more than an hour of arguments Wednesday in the latest abortion challenge is what the court will do with eight rather than nine justices.

Stephanie Toti, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, addressing media outside the U.S. Supreme Court after arguing for the plaintiffs in the Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case.  March 2, 2016.

Lawyers in Texas Abortion Case Reflect on SCOTUS Argument

By Mike Sacks |

Lawyers and representatives from both sides of Wednesday's abortion clinic case took to the U.S. Supreme Court's plaza after oral arguments to claim success as protesters chanted and shouted in the background.

Protesters for and against abortion rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

Deep Divisions Over Abortion as Justices Hear Texas Case

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a contentious abortion rights case from Texas, toggling between technical issues and deep disagreements over the basic right of women to choose abortions. Conservative justices were sharply critical about what they saw as a lack of evidence about the impact of the law on women in the state. The court's three female justices—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan—were joined by Justice Stephen Breyer in criticizing the law.

EEOC Files Its First Sexual Orientation Discrimination Suits

By C. Ryan Barber |

For the first time since declaring that protections against sexual discrimination extend to sexual orientation-based discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits in federal court on Tuesday alleging that a pair of companies violated the Civil Rights Act by subjecting homosexual employees to hostile work environments.

The Liberty Mutual Insurance world headquarters building, located in Boston, MA.

High Court Deals Blow to States' Collection of Health Care Data

By Marcia Coyle |

Justice Clarence Thomas has never been shy about questioning settled and not-so-settled areas of the law. On Tuesday, he challenged Congress’ authority to pre-empt—or block—a “wide array” of state laws under the federal law governing employee retirement and benefit plans.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration main campus building.

Texas Jury Clears Medical-Device Executive in Fraud Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

A Minnesota-based medical-device maker and its chief executive have been cleared on all counts in a fraud case that some viewed as a test of new U.S. Justice Department guidelines that emphasize holding more executives accountable for corporate misconduct.

43% of Young Women Lawyers Experience Bias, Fla. Survey Finds

By Karen Sloan |

Drunk dials from law firm partners. Clients who refuse to work with a woman. Being mistaken for a court reporter. Those are just a few of the ways young female attorneys said they encountered gender bias in the workplace when queried by The Florida Bar. Among the more than 400 young attorneys who responded to a recent survey from the bar’s Young Lawyers Division, 43 percent said they have experienced gender bias.

Brett Kavanaugh.

Divided D.C Circuit Revives Latest Challenge to Disclosures for Political Ads

By Zoe Tillman |

A divided federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday revived the latest challenge to federal election laws that require groups that pay for certain political ads—Citizens United being among the more famous examples—to disclose their donors.

Elena Kagan, left, and Antonin Scalia, right.

Sotomayor and Kagan Offer Dueling Citations of Scalia Book

By Tony Mauro |

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, on opposite sides in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday, both appeared to channel the late Justice Antonin Scalia with citations from his 2012 book about statutory interpretation.

Clarence Thomas, left, and Samuel Alito, right.

Alito and Thomas Make Pitch to Property Rights Advocates

By Marcia Coyle |

Two U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday sent strong signals to property rights advocates that they are prepared to examine the constitutionality of state unclaimed-property laws and so-called inclusionary housing ordinances.

Anti-abortion rally organized on the 35th anniversary of Roe V. Wade.

As High Court Faces Bevy of Abortion Briefs, New Challenge Awaits

By Marcia Coyle |

Even as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Wednesday in its most significant abortion case in nearly nine years, a reminder of battles still being fought in the states arrived last week at the high court from, once again, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Thomas Girardi.

Girardi Keese Loses SCOTUS Bid in Avandia Fee Fight

By Amanda Bronstad |

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up Girardi Keese's fight against turning over more than $10 million in proceeds from a 2012 settlement to the lead attorneys in multidistrict litigation involving the diabetes drug Avandia.

Ronald Castille.

Justices Skittish About Defining When Jurists—Including Themselves—Should Recuse

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared wary on Monday about establishing a broad constitutional standard for determining when judges should recuse themselves—a rule that could bind the high court's justices, too.

Clarence Thomas.

Thomas Saves His Questions from the Bench for Constitutional Concerns

By Tony Mauro |

Ilana Eisenstein, an assistant to the U.S. solicitor arguing the third Supreme Court case in her career, was about to sit down after ending her oral argument early on Monday when a booming voice said, "Ms. Eisenstein, one question." The voice was that of Justice Clarence Thomas.

David Hoffman.

Sidley Austin

By Zoe Tillman |

Sidley Austin partner David Hoff­man's investigation into the American Psychological Associ­ation's ties to the United States' post-9/11 interrogation program was unusual from the start.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, among fellow Democratic Senators hold a press conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court to urge Republican Senators to consider President Barack Obama's future nominee to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia. February 25, 2016. Photo by Mike Sacks/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Sparring Over Scalia's Seat

By Marcia Coyle, Tony Mauro and Mike Sacks |

As the U.S. Supreme Court resumed business last week with only eight justices, the feud over filling Antonin Scalia's seat intensified between the White House and Senate Republicans.

Tina Tabacchi.

Jones Day

By C. Ryan Barber |

"Being able to successfully resolve a matter is as important to many of our clients as taking a matter successfully to trial," said Tina Tabacchi, partner-in-charge of Jones Day's Chicago office.

Michael Brody.

Winston & Strawn

By Katelyn Polantz |

Partner Michael Brody of Winston & Strawn won't name his favorite case from last year.

Luke Dauchot.

Kirkland & Ellis

By Marcia Coyle |

Partner Luke Dauchot calls the 55-member intellectual property practice team "an extraordinarily talented group."

Sari Alamuddin.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

By Mike Sacks |

Talk about a strong finish. In December, the labor, employment and benefits group in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' Chicago office took home two major wins in federal court for clients facing class action challenges in the banking and education ­sectors.

(L-R) Carolyn Rosenberg and John Vishneski.

Reed Smith

By Amanda Bronstad |

Suing insurance firms is far from ordinary for Reed Smith.

The Magnificent Seven: Chicago Litigation Departments of the Year

The National Law Journal spotlights seven law firms with Chicago-based lawyers that demonstrate excellence in litigation and in five key practice areas.

Thomas Heiden.

Latham & Watkins

By Richard Acello |

Latham & Watkins' litigators scored a major victory when a Cook County, Illinois, judge ruled in their favor in a concussion class action with national repercussions.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Source: D.C. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Vetted for Scalia Seat

By Zoe Tillman |

Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal trial judge in Washington and a former member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, is among the candidates the White House is reviewing to fill Justice Antonin Scalia's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a lawyer in Washington contacted as part of the vetting process.

A logo sign outside of a facility occupied by the Dow Chemical Company in Newark, Delaware on June 28, 2015.

Plaintiffs Bar Upbeat After Dow Settles Amid SCOTUS Uncertainty

By Amanda Bronstad |

The Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to pay $835 million to settle price-fixing litigation over urethane sales, citing uncertainties about the prospects of class actions before the U.S. Supreme Court given the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Dow's move is encouraging news to the plaintiffs bar that other defendants in the same procedural situation will make similar moves, faced with the uncertainty of the Supreme Court.

Judith Kaye.

Former Judges Take On One of Their Own in Recusal Case at High Court

By Tony Mauro |

One biased judge can taint the deliberations of an entire appellate court, a group of former judges is telling the U.S. Supreme Court. The former judges who filed a brief in Williams v. Pennsylvania, set for argument on Feb. 29, include Judith Kaye, the former chief judge of New York, who died in January, a month after she signed on.

Chief Judge Richard F. Cebull makes a speech during a naturalization ceremony at the federal courthouse in Billings, Montana, on June 23, 2011.

Court Ruling Keeps Ex-Montana Federal Judge's Racist Emails Secret

By Zoe Tillman |

Former Montana federal judge Richard Cebull's emails—a collection that included hundreds of racist and otherwise inappropriate messages, according to a judicial misconduct review—can remain secret, a federal district judge in California ruled on Thursday.

Clarence Thomas.

Thomas Takes Over Fifth Circuit Duties from Scalia

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will handle emergency appeals from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, the court announced Thursday, taking over those duties from the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

(Clockwise from top left) Patricia Millett, Loretta Lynch, Brian Sandoval, Sri Srinivasan, and Amy Klobuchar.

Sandoval is the Latest to Say 'No Thanks' to a Supreme Court Seat

By Tony Mauro |

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is just the latest in a series of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees who have, on their own, taken their name out of contention for the most prestigious legal job in the country.

Hogan Lovells Heads to the Bluegrass with First U.S. Back Office

By Katelyn Polantz |

Hogan Lovells will join the handful of Big Law firms with a back office in America’s horse country. The firm said today it will open a $9 million "global business services center" that handles billing, technology support and conflict checks in Louisville by late summer. The center will host 50 staff jobs initially, though the law firm plans to grow the center by 50 jobs a year in the next three years. Hogan Lovells told the state of Kentucky it aims for 250 positions and a $8.9 million investment within 10 years.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

The Historic 391-Day Supreme Court Vacancy of 1969

By Marcia Coyle |

Since the Civil War, only one vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court lasted more than a year. Did it matter then? Does it matter if it happens again? Well, yes and no to both, according to some who experienced first hand that one vacancy.

An excerpt from the handwritten notes Justice Harry Blackmun’s took during Antonin Scalia’s first and only argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1976 case <i>Alfred Dunhill of London, Inc. v. Republic of Cuba.</i> Blackmun’s annotation reads: “11:27  Mr Scalia  Asst AG for US  plump dark 85”

Scalia's One and Only Supreme Court Argument

By Tony Mauro |

In his tribute to the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. said Scalia had established a "perfect record" in the only oral argument he made before the high court, in 1976.

Amid Fee Spat, Hip Implant Maker Settles Most of its Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. has agreed to settle most of its Durom Cup hip implant litigation, but the deal might exclude dozens of cases brought by a lead plaintiffs attorney who is fighting to pay for the rising costs of the multidistrict litigation.

The justices' conference room at the Supreme Court.

Judging High-Court Petitions, Minus a Judge

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court will again confront the reality of an eight-justice bench when it meets Friday for the first time since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death to consider pending petitions for review.

Lesa Curtis of Westchester, N.Y., right, who is pro agency fees and a former president of her union, rallies outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, as the court heard arguments in the 'Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association' case.

How 4-4 Splits Will Complicate the Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

Terry Pell knows exactly what he will do if the now eight-member U.S. Supreme Court disposes of his challenge to labor union fees with a 4-4 tie vote.

National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

NLRB Considers Boosting Its GC’s Settlement Power

By C. Ryan Barber |

The National Labor Relations Board is considering whether to give its general counsel more power over settlement offers, a move that could limit the ability of administrative law judges and employers to bring a quick end to labor disputes.

Jackie Fox, left, and her son Marvin Salter, right.

$72M Verdict in Talcum Powder Case

By Amanda Bronstad |

A jury has awarded $72 million in the first damages verdict against Johnson & Johnson over claims that the use of talcum powder caused a woman’s ovarian cancer.

FTC Says ASUS Routers Exposed Home Networks to Security Risks

By C. Ryan Barber |

Six months after a federal appeals court affirmed the agency's power to police cybersecurity, the Federal Trade Commission settled with ASUSTek Computer Inc. on Tuesday over charges that the company's computer routers compromised the security of hundreds of thousands of home networks.

U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Considering the Role of Judges Under the Constitution of the United States.

In First Arguments Since Scalia’s Death, Two Textbook Cases for the Justice

By Marcia Coyle |

On their first day on the bench after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, eight justices of the U.S. Supreme Court found themselves in the middle of two arguments seemingly tailor-made for the wit and passion of their late colleague.

The Am Law 200, the Early Numbers: Arent Fox Weathers Slowdown Amid Some Growth

By Katelyn Polantz |

Last year wasn't as good to Arent Fox as its previous five years. The Washington law firm had lukewarm growth in its gross revenue, revenue per lawyer and net income. Profits per partner, at $935,000, stayed the same compared to the previous year. Gross revenue increased about 2 percent to $282.5 million. Revenue per lawyer gained $10,000, to $810,000. And net income hit $100 million, a 2 percent increase from 2014, the firm told The American Lawyer this month.


Plaintiffs Bar, Tort Reformers Weigh Impact of Scalia’s Death

By Amanda Bronstad |

Trial lawyers on both sides of class actions and products liability lawsuits talked to The National Law Journal about what Justice Antonin Scalia’s death could mean going forward.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s Bench Chair and the Bench in front of his seat draped in black following his death on February 13, 2016.

Roberts Honors Scalia's 'Irrepressible Spirit' As Court Returns to Business

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court returned to the bench Monday for the first time since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, with his empty chair, draped in black, standing as a stark reminder of his absence after a nearly 30-year tenure. In a businesslike tribute at the beginning of the court's session, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. said, "He was our man for all seasons, and we will miss him beyond measure." Roberts also praised Scalia's "irrepressible spirit."

Sally Yates, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. March 24, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

The Government's Making AML Enforcement Personal

By Roberto J. Gonzalez and Jessica S. Carey |

Compliance professionals and senior executives are increasingly in focus.

Alan Gura, at mic, with Richard Heller, second from left, and Clark Neily, far right, speaks to reporters in front of the Supreme Court, after the Court struck down the DC handgun ban. June 26, 2008.

A Liberal Court Could Limit Reach of 'Heller'

By Marcia Coyle |

Legal scholars say Heller isn't likely to be overruled if the court's majority shifts to the left — but that doesn't mean it would be extended.

Demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court to bring attention to reconsideration of the Citizens United v. FEC decision. February 23, 2012.

Scalia Shrugged Off Concerns About Influence of Money in Politics

By Tony Mauro |

Democratic presidential candidates made a battle cry out of reversing the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision long before the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. As a consequence of Scalia's death on Feb. 13, will Democrats get their wish?

Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “The Adequacy of Criminal Intent Standards in Federal Prosecutions,” on January 20, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.. .

Downturn in FCPA Enforcement Only Temporary

By Hank B. Walther |

Last year saw a sharp drop in the number and size of cases, but the feds are bolstering resources.

U.S. Department of Justice

Feds Expand Strategy to Trace Bribery Funds

By Gary DiBianco and Kara Roseen |

Recent anti-kleptocracy cases highlight the Justice Department's new approach to fighting corruption.

FCPA and Anti-Money Laundering: Navigating New Enforcement Landscape

The U.S. Department of Justice remains committed to enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—despite a sharp drop last year in the number of cases—and increasingly to the Bank Secrecy Act, with a focus on anti-money laundering compliance.

Dogged ‘Made in USA’ Advocate is Vexatious, CVS Argues

By Amanda Bronstad |

A disbarred lawyer who has made it his mission to promote American-manufactured products is facing opposition that would block him from filing lawsuits in California. Joel Joseph, chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation in Los Angeles who was disbarred in 2011 in Maryland, has continued to file suits as a pro se plaintiff against companies like Costco Wholesale Corp., Trader Joe’s Co. and CVS Pharmacy Inc. over the labeling of ground meat and generic pharmaceuticals.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Arnold & Porter's Revenue Shrinks by $45M

By Katelyn Polantz |

Arnold & Porter's total revenues sunk by nearly $45 million in 2015 compared to the previous year because of the end of two major matters and the firm’s failure to replace them. "That was disappointing to us," firm chairman Richard Alexander said.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, left, and Justice Antonin Scalia, right.

Scalia's Death at Private Ranch Highlights Tension Over Justices' Travel

By Zoe Tillman |

When Justice Antonin Scalia went hunting in recent years, he didn't list the trips in his annual financial reports—to the frustration of transparency advocates who want to know who the justices spend time with off the bench. But not all private travel is private for justices and federal judges.

E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse.

Two DC Judges' Rulings on Fees Could Mean Boon For Plaintiffs Lawyers

By C. Ryan Barber |

A pair of federal judges awarded legal fees last week that were more than $100,000 beyond what the federal government believed was justified. The pair of opinions could prove a boon for plaintiffs lawyers.

Antonin Scalia on a book tour in San Francisco for his book Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts

Turning the Tables: NLJ's Veteran SCOTUS Reporters Remember Scalia

By Beth Frerking |

Given their deep experience covering Justice Antonin Scalia, we put Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro in the interview hot seat for a few questions about the colorful and controversial justice.

Antonin Scalia.

The Fate of Scalia's Papers is Uncertain

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia apparently did not specify a home for his official papers before his death, leaving unresolved the status of what could be a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes information about his tenure and about the court. The long-standing tradition is that a justices' papers belong to the heirs upon a justice's death—even though they are official in nature.

Sri Srinivasan, left, and Patricia Millett, right.

For Two SCOTUS Contenders, Business As Usual in the D.C. Circuit

By Zoe Tillman |

For two federal appeals judges in Washington who many observers see as possible nominees for Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat—D.C. Circuit judges Sri Srinivasan and Patricia Millett—it was business as usual in court Tuesday.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of this week's notable cases.

Thomas LaFrance of GE Transportation.

GE Transportation

By Amanda Bronstad |

When initial negotiations began in 2014 over General Electric Co.'s purchase of the power generation business of France's Alstom, there was no mention of selling its own rail signaling assets. But when those assets suddenly became a significant part of the discussion, the legal department at GE Transportation had to move faster than a locomotive.

Windy City's Winning In-House Teams

These teams of attorneys based in the Windy City show how to successfully meet the changing legal demands made on departments.

Civil Actions

Cases recently filed in the Washington-area district courts.

Gloria Santona of McDonald's Corp.

McDonald's Corp.

By C. Ryan Barber |

When she joined the legal department of McDonald's Corp. right out of law school in the late 1970s, Gloria Santona became the 13th attorney, the fourth woman and the fourth minority member on the staff. Looking back on those numbers today, she remains astounded.

<b>ABORTION:</b> A 2016 March for Life participant raises a sign. The Supreme Court’s March 2 abortion case considers a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet surgical ambulatory facility standards.

Abortion Foes Stress Murder Conviction in Briefs on Texas Case

By Marcia Coyle |

The conviction of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell for murder of a baby born alive during a botched abortion looms large in arguments by supporters of Texas in the U.S. Supreme Court ­challenge to that state's restrictions on abortion clinics. The death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13 creates the potential for a 4-4 decision in the case. In that event, the lower court ruling, which favored Texas, would stand.

Claire Battle of ArcelorMittal USA.

ArcelorMittal USA LLC

By Mike Sacks |
Justice Antonin Scalia delivers a speech to first year law students at Georgetown Law Center in November 2015.

Judges Recall Scalia as 'Life of the Party,' 'Hugely Consequential'

By Zoe Tillman |

The National Law Journal spoke with federal judges who remembered the late U.S. Supreme Court justice for his humor—he was a gifted storyteller and a delightful dinner companion, friends said—his intellect, and the model he set for how to maintain relationships with colleagues across the ideological spectrum, even as he vigorously disagreed with them on the bench and in his writing.

Sri Srinivasan.

Sri Srinivasan, Jeh Johnson and Kamala Harris Among Lawyers' Top Bets for Scalia Replacement

By Tony Mauro |

The name game is well underway for potential candidates to succeed the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, including three public officials who would further diversify the court: Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Antonin Scalia: Separating the Dancer from the Dance

By Marcia Coyle |

Aside from the trophy elk head on the wall of Justice Antonin Scalia's court chambers, little in his office revealed the wicked pen, quick wit and, yes, often modest and charming justice-at-work.

Justice Antonin Scalia during The Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture Series in 2010.

Antonin Scalia's 'Profound' Influence on the Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

In 2008, Justice Antonin Scalia, in his inimitable way, summed up his approach to the law: "I am a textualist. I am an originalist. I am not a nut." Scalia, who died Saturday at age 79, galvanized a community of young legal scholars and practitioners to follow that approach, regularly and publicly deriding any notion of a "living Constitution." He will also long be remembered for his writing style and his profound impact on oral argument.

Justice Antonin Scalia delivers a speech to first year law students at Georgetown Law Center in November 2015.

How Scalia's Death Reshapes the Term's Landscape

By Marcia Coyle |

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia triggers immediate questions for the high court and the nation about the outcome of significant challenges this term that involve abortion, immigration, affirmative action, union fees and redistricting.

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia speaking during The Federalist Society's 25th Anniversary Gala at Union Station in November 2007.

With Shock, Lawyers React to Scalia's Death

By Katelyn Polantz |

“Saddened beyond words." "A shock to the system." These were some of the reactions from lawyers on Saturday following the news of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death. Some remembered his interactions with clerks and law students, others recalled his argument style and the impact he left from his originalist approach to the Constitution. The National Law Journal asked dozens of top appellate advocates and scholars to share their thoughts:

U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia (2011)

Justice Antonin Scalia, Leader of Court's Conservative Wing, Dies at 79

By Tony Mauro |

U.S Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual leader of the court's conservative wing, is dead at age 79. According to official reports from Texas, he died overnight at a ranch in west Texas where he had gone quail hunting. Scalia's death sets up a major battle over his successor.

Old Post Office in Washington, D.C., future home of Donald Trump's new hotel.

Donald Trump Ordered to Testify in Suit Against Celebrity Chef

By Zoe Tillman |

Donald Trump must sit for a deposition in his lawsuit against a celebrity chef who dropped plans for a restaurant in Trump's new downtown Washington hotel, a judge ruled on Thursday. The Republican presidential candidate’s lawyers called the planned deposition an effort to "harass" Trump. A judge denied Trump's effort to shut down the deposition.

Dickstein Shapiro offices at 1825 I Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C.

Former and Current Dickstein Shapiro Partners to Lose Millions They Left With Firm

By Katelyn Polantz and Julie Triedman |

All of Dickstein Shapiro's capital fund is gone. The now-defunct law firm told equity partners—some who left as long as three years ago—on Friday that their millions of dollars evaporated alongside the partnership this week. "One consequence of the firm's dissolution will be the almost certain loss of all firm capital for current and former partners alike," the letter said.

Beechcraft Bonanza, similar to the one at issue in Judge Liam O’Grady's Feb. 11 decision.

Deadly Plane Crash Results in $5.4M Judgment Against U.S.

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge in Virginia has issued a $5.4 million judgment against the U.S. government after finding that an air traffic controller was negligent for a deadly midair crash involving three experienced pilots, including the former chief medical officer of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development headquarters. Washington, D.C.

HUD Settles Case with Former Employee for $900K

By C. Ryan Barber |

After seeing her case all but gutted then brought back to life with the help of a recent appeals court decision, a former federal employee has reached a $900,000 settlement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development over claims that the agency failed to accommodate her disabilities.

Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. (June 2013)

Inside Gibson Dunn's Billing Rates in Gay Marriage Case

By Zoe Tillman |

Ten Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partners who successfully fought Virginia's same-sex marriage ban billed hourly rates between $795 and $1,800, according to copies of the firm's billing records obtained by The National Law Journal.

Law Firm Takes E-Discovery Company to Court in $3M Fee Fight

By Zoe Tillman |

A Washington litigation boutique, Kotchen & Low, is embroiled in a fight with e-discovery company Precision Discovery Inc. over who should pay $3 million in fees for e-discovery services that a federal judge found “unreasonable.”

Dickstein Shapiro offices at 1825 I Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C.

Dickstein Shapiro 'No Longer Engaged in the Practice of Law'

By Katelyn Polantz |

After years of contraction and almost three months scrambling toward a merger, Dickstein Shapiro has tied the knot. Or a hundred knots. Blank Rome will acquire more than 100 lawyers—in essence, all of them—from Dickstein Shapiro. Yet the acquisition is not a merger. Blank Rome will take over Dickstein Shapiro's Washington lease and move from its Watergate complex home in the city to the International Square building that formerly bore Dickstein's name. Dickstein Shapiro's New York office also will consolidate with Blank Rome.

People walk under large banners hanging in an atrium at the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J.

Fee Fight Spurs Departures from Ethicon MDL Team

By Amanda Bronstad |

A battle over legal fees and costs has prompted three lawyers to withdraw from the plaintiffs leadership team in the multidistrict litigation over power morcellators made by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc.

Carter Phillips, left, and Seth Waxman, right.

Coin Toss Decides Which Advocate Will Argue Key Patent Case

By Tony Mauro |

When Carter Phillips and Seth Waxman, two titans of the U.S. Supreme Court bar, both want to argue the same side of a case, what are you going to do? You do what the National Football League does every game: flip a coin.

Claire McCaskill.

Senate Committee Moves to Hold CEO in Contempt

By Mike Sacks |

A Senate committee approved a resolution on Wednesday to hold and its CEO in contempt of Congress and to take him to court to force him to comply with a subpoena related to the classified advertising website's alleged role in online sex trafficking. The resolution seeks to overcome the First Amendment defense the CEO's lawyer has argued justifies the company's refusal to hand over requested documents.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Covington's Double Down on Investments Causes Dip in Profits

By Katelyn Polantz |

Covington & Burling's partnership has become accustomed to the rebuilding year. Although revenue has grown for six straight years, profits have gone down, then up, then down again in the past three years. In 2015, the firm experienced 5 percent growth in gross revenue, to $742.5 million. It was a $33.5 million increase from the year before. Revenue per lawyer was up 2 percent, to $935,000. Yet profits per partner sunk four percent, to $1,275,000, or a $60,000 decrease from 2014, the firm told The National Law Journal this month.

Interior of the Supreme Court court room.

Study: High Court Arguments Fail Lawyers and the Public

By Marcia Coyle |

Justice Clarence Thomas, criticized often for his decadelong silence in oral arguments, just might have a point to that silence, according to a recent study of the "hot" bench in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The MetLife building at 200 Park Ave.

MetLife Makes Case Against 'Too Big to Fail' Designation

By Zoe Tillman |

MetLife, represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Eugene Scalia, is challenging its designation as "too big to fail." During arguments on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington expressed concern about the setup of the federal oversight council tasked with reviewing the health of U.S. banks and companies.

Jesse Furman.

Bid to Oust Lawyers Suing GM Contains 'Wild Accusations,' Judge Finds

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge has struck down a bid to remove lead plaintiffs attorneys in the GM ignition-switch litigation after finding that the request smacked of "Monday morning quarterbacking."

High Court Freezes EPA Energy Regs

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court's action on Feb. 9 halting implementation of the Obama administration's clean energy plan was an assertive move that surprised advocates on both sides.

Rudolph Contreras.

Five Signs a Judge is Upset: Clinton Emails Edition

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Department of State missed a court-ordered deadline to produce emails from Hillary Clinton's private server, and now the judge wants answers.

The Am Law 100, The Early Numbers: Steptoe's Turn-Around Cuts Lawyers Yet Grows Revenue

By Katelyn Polantz |

Sometimes law firms have to have bad years before they have good. At Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington, 2015 finally brought the latter. "We set a plan and it's working," said Phil West, after his second year as firm chairman. In fiscal year 2015, the firm grew its gross revenue by $5 million to $357.5 million, a 1.4 percent increase, the firm reported to the American Lawyer this month. Revenue per lawyer rose by $40,000 to $955,000. And profits per partner were up $30,000 to $940,000.

American Bankers Association offices in Washington, D.C.

Top Lawyer for Sen. Joe Manchin Heads to Bankers Association

By Mike Sacks |

The top lawyer for Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-West Virginia, is heading to the American Bankers Association to lobby Senate Democrats on behalf of the trade association. Kirtan Mehta starts his new job as the ABA's senior vice president for congressional relations on Feb. 22.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

SEC Responds to Whistleblower Who Challenged Agency Delay

By C. Ryan Barber |

A purported whistleblower who, last December, turned to a federal appeals court to force U.S. securities regulators to act on their delay in processing his award claim has received a response from the agency after a three-year wait. Neither court papers, nor an attorney for the whistleblower, indicated whether the preliminary determination was favorable to the tipster.

Television cameras outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. March 4, 2015.

ABA Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Adopt Cameras

By Tony Mauro |

The American Bar Association, an early opponent of cameras in courtrooms, urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to "record and make available" video of its oral arguments. Acting at its midyear meeting in San Diego, the association's governing House of Delegates approved a resolution submitted by its Young Lawyers Division aimed at making the high court more accessible.

Gladys Kessler.

Judge Criticizes Tobacco Lawyers' 'Ridiculous' Litigation Strategy

By Zoe Tillman |

U.S. tobacco companies on Monday drew the ire of a federal judge in Washington, who accused them of trying to "stall" their obligation to pay for public ads about the health risks of smoking.

Lance Cooper.

Two Plaintiffs Lawyers in GM Case Escalate War of Words

By Amanda Bronstad |

The plaintiffs lawyer who accused three attorneys of mismanaging the ignition-switch litigation against General Motors Co. has backed off his demands that a judge remove all of them. Still, the lawyer, Lance Cooper, is calling for the resignation of one of the lawyers, Bob Hilliard, claiming that his actions have imperiled the multidistrict litigation.

Gary Lincenberg of Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow.

Bird Marella

By Michael Moline |

Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, a 39-attorney Los Angeles shop specializing in white-collar and complex civil defense, believes in knowing the enemy.

Andrew Hall of Hall, Lamb and Hall.

Hall , Lamb and Hall

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Marine Corps isn't alone in claiming the bulldog as its emblem. Miami's Hall, Lamb and Hall does, too, whether its cases keep the nine-lawyer firm solidly in domestic law or draw them into the murky and dangerous waters of foreign terrorism.

<b>ALOHA:</b> Kamaile Turcan was a 2008 graduate of the University of Hawaii’s law school.

From Hawaii to High Court

By Tony Mauro |

The announcement last month that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has hired Kamaile Turcan as one of her law clerks next term says almost as much about the justice as it does about Turcan.

Viet Dinh of Bancroft.


By Katelyn Polantz |

A billion-dollar win is good, and a $2 billion win is so much better.

Thomas E. L. Dewey of Dewey, Pegno & Kramarsky.

Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky

By Karen Sloan |

Like the relief pitcher brought in to replace a struggling hurler, Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky is often tapped by clients when their matters aren't going well or when time is running short — sometimes both.

Shayna Cook of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum.

Goldman Ismail

By C. Ryan Barber |

The team at Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum prevailed in a tough round of tests last year — and that was even before an associate's December appearance on "Jeopardy!"

Small Size, Big Cases: The 2016 Litigation Boutiques Hot List

This week, we spotlight 10 litigation boutiques with up to 50 lawyers who enjoyed stand-out accomplishments in 2015.


Alexandra Shapiro, left and Cynthia Arato, right.

Shapiro Arato

By Ginny LaRoe |

An international copyright battle over an acclaimed 20th century American author's work. A headline-grabbing case for New York's iconic Madison Square Garden. A landmark insider-trading ­ruling.

Elkan Abramowitz.

Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello

By Mike Sacks |

Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello was center stage last year in the legal community's most closely watched case in decades. In October, a trial jury returned no convictions for the New York-based firm's client, former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis.

Seth Levine of Levine Lee.

Levine Lee

By Amanda Bronstad |

After the publication in 2014 of the exposé "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt," a series of lawsuits alleged that high-frequency traders possessed an unfair advantage that hurt ordinary investors.

<b>LANCE COOPER:</b> “Given the way it was run, I didn’t want to be a part of it anymore.”

GM Trial Spotlights MDL Flaws

By Amanda Bronstad |

The rift among plaintiffs lawyers that followed last month's stunning collapse of the first trial over General Motors Co.'s ignition-switch defect raised serious accusations of backroom deals and lucrative fee arrangements.

Lisa S. Tsai of Reid Collins & Tsai.

Reid Collins & Tsai

By Zoe Tillman |

Starting in 2013, a team from Reid Collins & Tsai pursued claims in a Dallas County, Texas, court that Credit Suisse Group A.G. was to blame for hundreds of millions of dollars in investor losses stemming from a real estate development project in Nevada that fell apart in 2008.

Steve Molo and Jeff Lamken of MoloLamken.


By Tony Mauro |

MoloLamken is a boutique with big bandwith.