Civil Rights Lawyers Claim Victory in Fees Case

By Joe Palazzolo iStock A Boston-based federal appeals court published a ruling Friday afternoon that has civil rights attorneys rejoicing. The topic: attorney fees. The case involved a housekeeper, Carmen Diaz, at a hotel in Dorchester, Mass., who sued her employer in 2008, alleging age discrimination, civil rights violations and defamation, among other things. Only two age-discrimination […]

Law Firms Seek Super Savings with Back-Office Centers

By Jennifer Smith Josh Anderson for The Wall Street Journal Sean Whelan, finance chief of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, at an operations center the 700-lawyer firm is building in Nashville, Tenn. Quick legal word association game for ya, LBers. When we say “efficiency,” what’s the first word that leaps to mind? Is it is “BigLaw?” […]

Judges Rule for Judges on Pay

By Brent Kendall iStock Refereeing a remarkable dispute between the judiciary and Congress, a divided federal appeals court ruled late Friday afternoon that lawmakers violated the Constitution by blocking cost-of-living salary increases for federal judges. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit acknowledged the case presented it with a direct conflict of interest. […]

Appeals Court Dismisses Koch Claims over Counterfeit Wine Sale

By Chad Bray A federal appeals court refused to revive a lawsuit by billionaire wine collector William I. Koch against auction house Christie’s International PLC over rare wines that Mr. Koch claimed were counterfeit. Associated Press William I. Koch Mr. Koch sued Christie’s in 2010 more than a decade after he purchased four bottles of […]

Pa. Judge Suggests Dropping Photo Requirement for Provisional Ballots

By Sam Favate iStock The Oct.2 deadline for a Pennsylvania judge’s decision on the state’s voter ID law, set by the state’s Supreme Court, is getting closer. Thursday was the final day of hearings on the matter, and Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson dropped a few hints on the direction he may be leaning, asking […]

Dewey Ex-Partners Throw the Bankruptcy Bonus Book at Canellas

By Peg Brickley Reuters Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP could be on track to make legal history if ex-partners get their way in a fight over a proposed $ 165,000 bonus for finance chief Frank Canellas. In court papers, the ex-partners say Canellas is an insider of the blown-up law firm and must prove he has […]

ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Invalidate Gene Patents

By Sam Favate iStock The American Civil Liberties Union, along with the Public Patent Foundation, again asked the Supreme Court to invalidate patents for two genes that are associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, saying the patents restrict scientific research and access to medical care. A 2010 ruling from a New York federal district court […]

Dewey Hearing Recap: The Blame Game, and Getting Blood from a Stone

By Jennifer Smith Reuters Lawyers for failed law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP and its many creditors took a spin down memory lane this week, revisiting the firm’s turbulent last six months in a hearing over a proposed $ 71.5 million settlement with ex-partners. At issue: whether a federal bankruptcy judge should approve the “clawback” […]

Dewey Docket: Free Legal Advice From Former Bankruptcy Head

By Jennifer Smith Reuters No decision today, LBers, on the fate of a proposed $ 70 million “clawback” settlement with ex-partners of failed law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. The plan, if approved, would mark the first big recovery for creditors in the largest law firm failure in U.S. history. The clock is ticking. The […]

Ex-Tech Consultant Spares None in Bid to Erase Conviction

By Chad Bray U.S. Department of Justice Winifred Jiau, former consultant with Primary Global Research Winifred Jiau, a former technology consultant, asked a federal court Tuesday to set aside her insider-trading conviction, finding fault with nearly everyone associated with her case, including her court-appointed counsel, the  prosecutors and the judge. Prosecutors alleged that Ms. Jiau, […]

Ninth Circuit: Deporting Witnesses Is Not OK

By Joe Palazzolo iStock You’re charged with a crime, and the only person in the world who can help you prove your innocence (or at least cast doubt on your guiltiness) is an illegal immigrant. Can the government deport this “alien witness” before your lawyer has had a chance to interview her? Um, no. From a […]

Law Firm Performance in 2012: ‘Not Stellar,’ Outlook ‘Grim’

By Jennifer Smith iStock Were you feeling wildly optimistic about law firm profits in 2012? Allow Law Blog to squash those hopes with yet another dismal assessment of the state of Biglaw. This take comes from Wells Fargo ’s law firm lending group, which surveyed 115 firms in July on their performance in the first […]

Illinois Judge Tosses Consumer Fraud Suit against DePaul Law

By Joe Palazzolo iStock An Illinois judge threw out a lawsuit filed by graduates of DePaul University College of Law who accused their alma mater of baiting them with misleading job statistics. The lawsuit was one of more than a dozen filed in recent months, as fresh law school graduates struggle to find jobs in a brutal market, […]

Jindal to Appeal Federal Ruling in Louisiana Supreme Court Battle

By Steve Eder Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson The unusual contest to determine who should be the next chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court isn’t over just yet. Lawyers for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday filed notice that they planned to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan’s ruling last week that […]

Obama ‘Hope’ Artist Gets Probation in Copyright Dispute

By Chad Bray The artist behind the “Hope” poster that became a symbol of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was sentenced on Friday to two years probation and 300 hours of community service for lying during a copyright dispute involving the iconic image. Shepard Fairey, who was also ordered by the judge to pay a […]

‘An Internet Shopper’s Worst Nightmare’ Sentenced to Four Years

By Chad Bray iStock The owner of a Brooklyn eyeglasses and sunglasses website was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday after he admitted last year to threatening customers who complained. Vitaly Borker, the operator of, pleaded guilty in May 2011 to fraud charges and to sending threatening communications. In July, Mr. Borker was […]

Judge Orders Sex-Change Operation for Prisoner

By Joe Palazzolo Associated Press In this January 1993 photo, Robert Kosilek sits in Bristol County Superior Court, where Kosilek was on trial for murdering his wife. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a federal judge in Boston has ordered Massachusetts authorities to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation for a transgender prisoner Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf […]

Dewey Docket: Indebted Ex-Partner Accuses Citi of Fraud

By Jennifer Smith Reuters A former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP partner on the hook to repay a $ 209,000 capital loan has accused Citibank N.A. of fraud, saying the bank colluded with Dewey’s leadership in a scheme to help shore up the firm’s ailing finances with loans from newly-hired partners. The allegations came in an […]

Amazon Hires Privacy Counsel

By Julia Angwin Getty Images The Kindle Fire Inc. has hired Nuala O’Connor in a newly created position overseeing privacy — making Amazon one of the last of the Internet giants to appoint a top privacy counsel. In the past year, Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. have both hired chief privacy officers. Google Inc. has had […]

Death Row Inmate Scores Legal Victory in the Ninth Circuit

By Steve Eder In 1989, a California jury convicted Hector Ayala of murder and sentenced him to death. At the time, lawyers for Mr. Ayala, who is Hispanic, alleged that prosecutors struck jurors from hearing the case on the basis of their race. The judge presiding over the case then heard prosecutors’ reasons for the […]