Legal Times

Blog of Legal Times

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr.

Justice Alito Re-Enters Two Key Business Cases

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. will participate in two cases set for argument next week in which he had previously recused himself.

House Lawyers Defend 'Speech or Debate' Protections

By Zoe Tillman |

A bipartisan group of congressional leaders filed court papers Tuesday defending the constitutional shield that protects members of Congress and their staff from being forced to provide information about legislative activities.

'We're Not Going to be Everything to Everyone,' Dickstein Chairman Says

By Katelyn Polantz |

Dickstein Shapiro faced its worst year in more than a decade after contingency cases didn't pull in income and the firm restructured, the firm’s chairman, James Kelly, said in an interview this week. Kelly called 2013 an "investment year."

Jonathan Su.

White House Lawyer to Join Latham's White-Collar Team

By Todd Ruger |

Former White House special counsel Jonathan Su will join Latham & Watkins as a white-collar defense litigator after a two-year stint in the Obama administration.

The Morning Wrap

By Zoe Tillman |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: Bank of America's legal expenses mount, Obama commutes a sentence to correct a typo, and a new class action against GM.

U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Protester Sentenced to Time Served

By Tony Mauro |

With the U.S. Supreme Court's lawyer watching, the protester who was arrested for disrupting oral argument on Feb. 26 pleaded guilty Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court and was given a light sentence.

Joe Biden.

Suit Challenging Senate Filibuster Rule Fails in D.C. Circuit

By Todd Ruger |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today decided not to step too deep in a challenge to the Senate's filibuster rule. The appeals court today struck down a suit in which the challengers, led by the advocacy group Common Cause, sued over the constitutionality of the Senate's filibuster rule.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

RNC Sues IRS Over Document Request

By Zoe Tillman |

The Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Internal Revenue Service, accusing the agency of failing to respond to a request for documents about the review of organizations seeking tax-exempt status.

The Morning Wrap

By Todd Ruger |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: the "Banana Lady" loses her appeal, a law dean defends law schools, and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. talks pot.

Edward Snowden.

From Leaks to Lawsuits to Pulitzers

By Zoe Tillman |

News coverage that formed the foundation for ongoing lawsuits targeting government surveillance was awarded one of journalism's top prizes on Monday.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

D.C. Circuit Trims SEC ‘Conflict Minerals’ Disclosure Rule

By Mike Scarcella |

A federal securities rule that requires companies to publicly declare whether certain minerals used in products are "conflict free" violates the First Amendment, a divided federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Monday.

Ohio Judge Orders State to Recognize Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

By Zoe Tillman |

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black of Ohio on Monday struck down state laws barring the recognition of same-sex couples legally married in other states.

Morning Wrap

By Katelyn Polantz |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: Gay marriage advocates could get a ruling in Ohio today, Texas law firms face a severe gender gap and a poker player is sued for possibly manipulating a casino.

Whistleblower Barred from Double-Dipping Against Verizon

By Jan Wolfe |

An appeals court has tossed a False Claims Act case against Verizon Communications Inc., ruling that the suit is barred by an earlier case in which the same whistleblower netted a big settlement.

Feds Hit 'Like' on Sharing Cyberthreat Data

By Andrew Ramonas |

Companies that share cyberthreat information with each other have little to fear from U.S. antitrust authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday, drawing cheers from the business community.

A cell phone tower in Palatine, Illinois.

D.C. Magistrate Judge Sets Up Showdown Over Cellphone Data

By Zoe Tillman |

The federal government’s demand for cell site location data "raises serious statutory and constitutional questions," a federal magistrate judge said Friday in declining to rule on a recent application without first seeking input from prosecutors and a civil liberties group.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid )D-Nevada) took to the floor Thursday to complain about the slow pace of judicial nominations.

Senate Republicans Slow Judicial Confirmation Process

By Todd Ruger |

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., suggested Thursday that a controversial change to the Senate's rules maybe didn’t go far enough when it comes to clearing the way for President Barack Obama's judicial nominations.

Eric Washington, chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Two D.C. Judges Approved for Second 15-Year Terms

By Zoe Tillman |

Chief Judge Eric Washington of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and D.C. Superior Court Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo, presiding judge of Family Court, were reappointed to their second 15-year terms on the bench.

 Trainer with Orca in SeaWorld, San Diego

SeaWorld Loses Appeal in Death of Killer Whale Trainer

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday upheld an agency's findings that SeaWorld violated federal law by exposing killer whale trainers to hazardous working conditions.

Howard T. Markey National Courts Building/U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC.

Three Lawyers Nominated to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

By Todd Ruger |

President Barack Obama nominated three lawyers to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Thursday, including a partner at Fish & Richardson in Delaware and a Senate Judiciary Committee counsel for privacy and information policy.

The Morning Wrap

By Zoe Tillman |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: Sebelius resigns, appeals court hears arguments in Utah same-sex marriage case, and prosecutors in Egypt fail to produce key evidence in the trial of three journalists.

Elephants performing at the w:Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Animal Rights Groups Oppose $25M Fee Request in Circus Litigation

By Zoe Tillman |

Lawyers for animal rights groups that unsuccessfully sued the producer of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus called the producer's petition for $25 million in legal fees "ridiculous" and "unconscionable" in court papers this week.

IRS official Lois Lerner is sworn in during an Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 22, 2013

House Committee Holds IRS Official in Contempt

By Todd Ruger |

A House committee today moved forward with a contempt of Congress charge against former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Senate Again Delays Patent Reform Action

By Todd Ruger |

The Senate Judiciary Committee has reached an agreement on a patent reform bill "in principle" after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, but not in time for a vote today before a two-week recess, the committee leadership announced.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Senate Again Delays Patent Reform Action

By Todd Ruger |

The Senate Judiciary Committee has reached an agreement on a patent reform bill "in principle" after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, but not in time for a vote today before a two-week recess, the committee leadership announced.

Morning Wrap

By Katelyn Polantz |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: The 10th Circuit takes up same-sex marriage, employment opportunities for law school graduates stayed moderate last year and some people of Maine want their beaches to stay private.

Bank Regulators Approve $68 Billion Capital Increase

By Andrew Ramonas |

The eight biggest U.S. banks will need a total of about $68 billion in additional capital under a new federal rule the financial services industry tried to kill.

A Comcast truck

Comcast Points to Appeals Court Rulings at Hearing on Merger

By Todd Ruger |

Comcast Corp. is using rulings from Washington’s federal appeals court to try to allay antitrust concerns of lawmakers over the company's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. The deal would create the nation's largest cable and broadband Internet service provider.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ron Machen.

House Republicans Want Feds to Prosecute IRS Official

By Zoe Tillman |

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is expected on Thursday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt. If the full House approves the contempt resolution, the U.S. attorney's office in Washington must decide whether to bring criminal charges—which hasn't happened since 1983.

The Morning Wrap

By Jenna Greene |

A round up of legal news from ALM-affiliated publications and around the web: A major Internet security flaw uncovered; GM fines start now; a billionaire sues his own company.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.

Holder Defends Record Before Judiciary Committee

By Jenna Greene |

Members of the House Judiciary Committee grilled Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. for almost four hours today at an oversight hearing, pressing him on the enforcement of drug laws, the Affordable Care Act, domestic surveillance and the lack of criminal prosecutions stemming from the financial crisis.

2013: The 'Year of the Mega Breach' for Consumer Data

By Andrew Ramonas |

The "Year of the Mega Breach" was upon companies in 2013, with an explosion of cyberattacks that exposed the identities of hundreds of millions more consumers than in 2012, a new analysis from Symantec Corp. shows.

The Sham Wow sales pitch

Sham Wow Importer Sues Venable for Malpractice

By Zoe Tillman |

A company that imports Sham Wow towel products to the United States is suing Venable for alleged malpractice, accusing attorneys of giving bad advice on customs matters and a government investigation—forcing the company to hire other lawyers to clean up the mess.

Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), right, and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), left, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2012.

Time Dwindles For Patent Litigation Reform Bill

By Todd Ruger |

The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to approve a patent reform bill this week—with broad bipartisan support—to give it a good chance of becoming law during this Congress, a former top intellectual property adviser to the committee said.

The Morning Wrap

By Todd Ruger |

A round-up of news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: an Iowa settlement scandal brews, the U.S. Supreme Court rejects a same-sex wedding appeal, and a top prosecutor cheers himself up with YouTube.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was on the three-judge panel that ruled for Nicholas Slatten.

Ex-Blackwater Guard Wins Challenge of Manslaughter Indictment

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal appeals court in Washington handed the U.S. Department of Justice a loss Monday in its revived prosecution of former Blackwater guards charged with killing Iraqi civilians in 2007.

The jerk.com website

FTC Sues ‘Jerk.com’ Over Alleged Consumer Deception

By Jenna Greene |

The operators of the website Jerk.com were sued by the Federal Trade Commission today for allegedly harvesting personal information from Facebook to designate more than 73 million people jerks or nonjerks, then falsely claiming that consumers could revise their online profiles by paying $30.

Coalition Calls for End of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

By Andrew Ramonas |

A mysterious group calling itself the Coalition for Mortgage Security has emerged to push the U.S. government to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with private mortgage finance companies.

Traffic on a highway

Top Highway Lawyer Rejoins Beveridge

By Jenna Greene |

The chief counsel of the Federal Highway Administration, Fred Wagner, has rejoined Beveridge & Diamond in Washington as partner and will lead the firm’s natural resources and project-development practice.

DC Lateral Moves

By Katelyn Polantz |

Lawyers leave the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Justice and the White House to join firms in the Washington area. Here's our roundup of local hires and promotions announced in the first week of April:

A model of a PEOPLExpress plan

Hogan Lovells Wins Judgment in Fee Dispute

By Zoe Tillman |

Hogan Lovells won a $167,000 judgment last week in a fee dispute with a former client, start-up airline company People Express Airlines Inc.

District of Columbia Superior Court judge Robert Richter.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Richter to Retire

By Zoe Tillman |

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Robert Richter will retire in October after serving three decades on the bench.

The Morning Wrap

By Andrew Ramonas |

A round-up of news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: the legal industry adds jobs, a lawsuit over drone strikes is dismissed, universities are spending millions of dollars on lobbying on patent litigation reform and former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R ) says he will make a decision on whether to run for president before the end of the year.

Anwar al-Awlaki (October 2008)

Lawsuit Over Drone Strike Deaths Dismissed

By Zoe Tillman |

The families of American citizens killed in Yemen by U.S. drone strikes in 2011 cannot sue the federal government, a federal judge in Washington ruled Friday.

Protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2013 during oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC.

Legislation Follows Supreme Court's Campaign Finance Ruling

By Todd Ruger |

Two lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday that requires stricter reporting of political donors to the Federal Election Commission, a response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision this week striking limits on aggregate campaign contributions.

US Patent Office Goes International

By Andrew Ramonas |

Looking to reduce costs in the international patent system, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has established a new division intended to facilitate collaboration between the United States and other countries on patents, the agency announced Thursday.

E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Wilmer Partner Nominated to D.C. Federal Trial Bench

By Zoe Tillman |

Randolph Moss, head of the regulatory and government affairs practice at Wilmer Cuter Pickering Hale and Dorr, is President Barack Obama's newest nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The New York Stock Exchange

Justice Department to Investigate High-Frequency Trading

By Todd Ruger |

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. today told federal lawmakers that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether "high-frequency trading" violates insider-trading laws.

The Morning Wrap

By Zoe Tillman |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: a $5 billion environmental settlement, new details on the Fort Hood gunman, and allegations of rampant corruption among traffic judges in Philadelphia.

Anadarko Agrees to Record $5B Environmental Settlement

By Jenna Greene |

In the U.S. Justice Department’s largest environmental enforcement recovery ever, Kerr-McGee Corp. and its parent Anadarko Petroleum Corp. today agreed to pay $5.15 billion to settle charges that they fraudulently tried to duck responsibility to pay for environmental cleanup after decades of contamination.

Apple, Ford, GE Team Up for Patent Lawsuit Reform

By Andrew Ramonas |

Fearing upheaval in the U.S. patent system, Apple Inc., Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co. and other major companies have united to influence patent lawsuit reform in Congress, tapping former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director David Kappos for advice.

Patton Boggs, Washington, D.C.

Dentons Makes 'Serious Overture' to Patton Boggs, but is the Firm Listening?

By Katelyn Polantz |

Dentons said this week it has approached Patton Boggs for a possible merger at a time when the shrinking Washington firm and Squire Sanders say their merger talks continue. Why is there a disconnect between what one firm will say and what another won’t?

An Occupy demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012.

Feds Settle Two Occupy Protest Cases in D.C.

By Zoe Tillman |

The federal government will pay thousands of dollars to settle two lawsuits challenging the arrests of protesters affiliated with the Occupy movement.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.

A.G. Eric Holder Defends White-Collar Crime Record

By Todd Ruger |

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. defended the U.S. Department of Justice's track record holding large companies and financial institutions accountable for wrongdoing, telling lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the agency's record "will stand the test of time."

Morning Wrap

By Katelyn Polantz |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: The Supreme Court removes the cap on total political donations, Jerry Sandusky won’t get an appeal in Pennsylvania and former Sen. Scott Brown leaves his law practice.

How Soon Can Congress Bolster Business' Cybersecurity?

By Andrew Ramonas |

The retail and financial services industries are looking for ways to better protect consumers from data breaches, but the private sector won't be able to effectively fight hackers without congressional action, Financial Services Roundtable chief executive officer Tim Pawlenty told lawmakers Wednesday. And he said that help needs to happen fast.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Lawyers Land Two Top Jobs at SEC Muni Securities Office

By Jenna Greene |

Municipal securities law expert Rebecca Olsen has been named chief counsel of the Office of Municipal Securities at the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Jessica Kane has been promoted to deputy director of the office.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

On Capitol Hill, Polarized Reaction to Campaign Contribution Ruling

By Todd Ruger |

Reaction to Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on campaign contributions was swift and polarized, with Republicans praising the ruling as a victory and Democrats decrying it as a blow to fair elections.

U.S. Department of Justice

Ex-Intelligence Adviser Sentenced to 13 Months in Leak Case

By Zoe Tillman |

Stephen Kim, a former U.S. Department of State contractor who admitted leaking classified information about North Korea's military capabilities to a reporter, was sentenced Wednesday to 13 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2013 during oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC.

Supreme Court Voids Aggregate Campaign Contribution Limits

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down aggregate contribution limits under federal campaign finance law, continuing its line of cases rejecting restrictions on campaign money under the First Amendment.

The Morning Wrap

By Jenna Greene |

A round up of news from ALM-affiliated publications and around the web: Bowser wins DC mayoral primary; GM hires Kenneth Feinberg; Apple and Samsung in trial again.

White House Lawyer Joins O'Melveny & Myers

By Todd Ruger |

A former White House official praised by President Barack Obama for her "brilliant legal mind" and "mastery of complex policy" has joined O'Melveny & Myers as a litigation partner.

Does the Government Need More Ammo to Fight Patent Trolls?

By Andrew Ramonas |

Current and former senior members of the executive branch and the judiciary on Tuesday expressed skepticism about the need for sweeping patent lawsuit reform legislation, saying the courts and the Federal Trade Commission already may have the tools they need to fight patent trolls.

General Motors Co. headquarters in Detroit

G.M.'s Top Lawyer To Advise CEO On Capitol Hill

By Todd Ruger |

General Motors Co.'s top lawyer will be on Capitol Hill this week to guide CEO Mary Barra through two congressional hearings about the automaker's recall over ignition-switch problems, a company spokesman confirmed.

Former House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom Delay (2006)

Court: DOJ Failed to Justify Withholding DeLay Documents

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Department of Justice cannot categorically refuse to release documents about the FBI's investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled Tuesday.

Judge Stays Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Class Action

By Mike Scarcella |

A class action in Virginia federal district court challenging the state ban on same-sex marriage will be on hold pending a federal appeal court's decision on the constitutionality of the prohibition.

The Morning Wrap

By Todd Ruger |

A round-up of news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: Perkins Coie sued by Howrey trustee, report finds CIA misled the government and public about its interrogation program, and class granted in antitrust litigation about price fixing of electronic books.

McGuireWoods Opens Dallas Office With Patton Boggs Partners

By Katelyn Polantz |

Six lawyers have left Patton Boggs to open a Dallas office for McGuireWoods, the firm said today, confirming reports last week about the moves.

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

Judge Awards Embassy Bombing Victims $955 Million

By Zoe Tillman |

U.S. District Judge John Bates of the District of Columbia awarded more than $955 million to the victims and family members of victims of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Tobacco Lobby Targets Trans-Pacific, Trans-Atlantic Pacts

By Andrew Ramonas |

As the United States continues negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), tobacco giant Philip Morris International Management SA has turned to former Rep. Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., and other Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld lobbyists for help.

DC Lateral Moves

A Native American affairs director from the White House moves to Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Mayer Brown grabs a Kirkland & Ellis partner in white collar, and Northern Virginia’s Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald lost lawyers to a start-up firm. Here's the roundup of Washington-area hires and promotions announced in the fourth week of March.

John Owens during his confirmation hearing on Oct. 30, 2013.

Senate Vote Ends Feud Over Ninth Circuit Seat

By Todd Ruger |

The Senate today is expected to fill the longest judicial vacancy in the federal courts with a vote that could end nine years of quarreling over a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Morning Wrap

By Andrew Ramonas |

A round-up of news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: HealthCare.gov stumbles, the blockbuster patent trial of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. nears, business groups raise concerns about the protection of attorney-client privilege in a whistleblower case and 14,000 Washington voters head to the polls in early voting for the city's primary.

President Bill Clinton in 1994.

Clinton-Era Letter Gives Peek into Judicial Nominations Process

By Todd Ruger |

The latest release of previously secret documents from the Clinton White House includes a letter that gives a behind-the-scenes look into the judicial nominations process.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN).

Franken Introduces Bill on Smartphone, Internet Privacy

By Andrew Ramonas |

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has reintroduced legislation to ban companies' surreptitious collection of location data from smartphones and other electronic devices, rebooting a privacy-protection push the business community sought to squash.

Patton Boggs, Washington, D.C.

Patton Boggs Says Latest Partner Departures 'Not Material to the Firm'

By Katelyn Polantz |

A handful of partners left Patton Boggs this month, including a Washington-based head of a litigation group and at least four lawyers in Dallas, as the firm continues to implement downsizing and explores a potential merger with Squire Sanders.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

Sen. Hirono to Chair Judiciary Subcommittee

By Todd Ruger |

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, will become the new chairman of the subcommittee that reviews agency rulemaking and actions, along with grant programs at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Richard Roberts.

Twitter and Yahoo Silenced—For Now—in Subpoena Spat

By Zoe Tillman |

Twitter and Yahoo won't get a chance to respond to efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to bar the companies from sharing information about grand jury subpoenas, at least for now.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr.

Feds Will Recognize Michigan Same-Sex Marriages

By Todd Ruger |

The federal government will recognize nearly 300 same-sex marriages performed in Michigan on March 22 after a federal judge struck down the state's ban but before that order was stayed by an appeals court, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced today.

The Morning Wrap

By Zoe Tillman |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: public corruption cases on the rise, insight into Dewey prosecution and the release of a man thought to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate.

D.C. Superior Court Nominees Sail Through Confirmation Hearing

By Zoe Tillman |

Two nominees for the District of Columbia Superior Court, Sherry Trafford and Steven Wellner, faced no opposition during their Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.

President Barack Obama

Obama Plan Alters Approach to Phone Data Surveillance

By Andrew Ramonas |

As Congress begins to review surveillance reform legislation released this week, President Barack Obama’s administration on Thursday officially unveiled its plan to end the bulk collection of customer data from telephone companies.

David Gossett.

FCC Snags Leading CFPB Lawyer

By Jenna Greene |

A senior lawyer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau quit the agency to join the Federal Communications Commission as acting deputy general counsel for litigation.

Tanya Chutkan.

Senate Committee Advances Four Judicial Nominations

By Todd Ruger |

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved four nominations today, including a unanimous voice vote on Boies, Schiller & Flexner partner Tanya Chutkan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Rio De Janeiro.

DLA Lawyers Promote Pro Bono Work in Brazil

By Katelyn Polantz |

Brazil in June became the newest country to open itself up to free legal counsel offered by private lawyers. DLA Piper's Lisa Dewey, colleagues from DLA Piper in London and South Africa and a number of partnering organizations in Brazil and elsewhere traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, to educate lawyers this week on international pro bono opportunities.

Morning Wrap

By Katelyn Polantz |

A round-up of legal news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: Gibson Dunn lawyers release their findings on Gov. Chris Christie’s political scandals, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania gains two federal judges, and law firm clients ask the firms they hire to keep electronic data secure.

Prosecution of Blackwater Guards Survives Early Challenge

By Zoe Tillman |

Federal prosecutors' renewed case against four former private security guards charged with fatally shooting more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in 2007 has survived an initial challenge.

Judge Julia Gibbons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Federal Judiciary Plans to Hire Staff, Public Defenders

By Todd Ruger |

The federal courts plan to backfill many of the staff and public defender positions lost during last year's steep budget cuts, top judiciary officials told House lawmakers today on Capitol Hill.

W. Neil Eggleston of Kirkland & Ellis.

Kirkland Partner in the Running for White House Counsel

By Todd Ruger |

W. Neil Eggleston, a white-collar defender in Washington, is the leading contender to replace White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler when she steps down, according to five Washington attorneys following the selection process who spoke on background about an administration personnel decision.

Christopher “Casey” Cooper.

Senate Confirms Christopher Cooper to D.C. Court

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed Covington & Burling partner Christopher "Casey" Cooper to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Feds Want In-House Counsel as Cybersecurity Allies

By Andrew Ramonas |

Looking to gain an edge in the battle against hackers, top cybersecurity officials in the federal government on Wednesday called on corporate counsel to be more open about cyberattacks against their companies.

Senior judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

D.C. Judge to Lead Intelligence Surveillance Court

By Zoe Tillman |

Senior Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will be the next presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has faced public scrutiny over the past year amid revelations about the management and scope of surveillance programs.

The Morning Wrap

By Jenna Greene |

A round up of legal news from ALM-affiliated publications and around the web: the IRS will treat Bitcoin as property; Secret Service agents suspended; BlackBerry sues a former executive.

NSA flag

Civil Liberties Groups See Flaws in NSA Reform Bill

By Andrew Ramonas |

A proposal Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., released Tuesday to limit the National Security Agency's access to telephone and Internet companies' customer information has raised red flags at civil liberties groups, with one organization saying the bill has a "fatal flaw."

D.C. Circuit Skeptical of Affordable Care Act Subsidies

By Jenna Greene |

A central provision of the Affordable Care Act that provides tax breaks for poor people who buy health insurance through federal exchanges could be in jeopardy after heated oral arguments before a three-judge panel on Tuesday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday during arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Justices, Divided, Appear to Favor Religious Claims in Contraception Case

By Marcia Coyle |

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared to be leaning in favor of claims by religious owners of for-profit corporations that they should be exempt from providing contraception coverage in their employee's health insurance plans.

U.S. Department of Justice

Justice Dept. Names Acting Head for Office of Legal Counsel

By Tony Mauro |

Karl Thompson, counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., was named on Monday as the new acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Morning Wrap

By Todd Ruger |

A round-up of news from ALM affiliated publications and news outlets around the country: U.S. Supreme Court to stay off camera, federal judges spar on harshness of federal sentencing guidelines, and the Obama administration looks to end the NSA's bulk collection of phone data.

Hogan Lovells' Warren Maruyama

Privacy and Trade Group Focused on Cross-Border Data Flow

By Andrew Ramonas |

As scrutiny increases regarding the movement and security of data across borders, a business group Hogan Lovells created last year to promote privacy and free trade has deployed former senior lawyers from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and International Business Machines Corp. to lobby for it in Washington, D.C.

Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola.

Judge Asks Twitter and Yahoo to Respond to Subpoena Question

By Zoe Tillman |

A federal magistrate judge in Washington wants to hear from Twitter and Yahoo before ruling on a request by federal prosecutors to block those companies from disclosing information on grand jury subpoenas.