California Pulse

  • 9th Circ. Affirms $90M Facebook Privacy Deal Over Objections

    A Ninth Circuit panel affirmed a $90 million class settlement on Wednesday to resolve allegations that Facebook illegally tracked logged-out users' browsing activity, calling two objectors' suggestion that the company faced $1.24 trillion in statutory damages "an unreasonable baseline that would violate due process."

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    Mark Geragos Owes LA Times $218K In Fees Over Libel Suit

    Attorney Mark Geragos must pay the Los Angeles Times $218,000 in attorney fees and costs after the paper defeated his libel suit challenging its coverage of a settlement for Armenian genocide victims, a California state judge said, rejecting Geragos' contention that the defendants "are seeking a windfall."

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    Rapid Response Team Releases AI Guidance For State Courts

    An artificial intelligence rapid response team created by state judiciary leaders has released interim guidance and resources to help state courts navigate AI technologies, the National Center for State Courts said Wednesday.

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    Carlton Fields Names New Leaders Of 3 Practice Groups

    Carlton Fields PA announced that three Florida-based attorneys were named leaders of the firm's business transactions, cybersecurity and privacy and intellectual property practice groups.

  • Messner Reeves Accused Of Losing Client's $700K Deposit

    Colorado-based Messner Reeves LLP is being sued in California state court by a Florida financing consultant that claims the firm failed to protect a $700,000 interest deposit it made as part of a client's business loan.

  • Cochran Firm Rachets Up Fee Fight With Ex-Associate

    The Cochran Firm California is escalating its ongoing dispute over attorney fees with a former associate, alleging in a new lawsuit that the now-departed lawyer lied to a managing partner about her relationship with a client with a lucrative claim.

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    Baker McKenzie Adds San Francisco Tax Pro From Boutique

    Baker McKenzie has hired a state and local tax lawyer in San Francisco who joins the firm to broaden its ability to work with clients on a range of California tax matters, the firm announced Wednesday.

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    Lawyer's Email To Stranger Opened His Path To Be GC

    In 1999, a young law firm associate in Wichita wrote an off-the-cuff email to a fellow law school alumnus he didn't know, but who had become general counsel of a golf company in Arizona.

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    Retired Orange County Probate Judge Joins JAMS Roster

    Alternative dispute resolution service JAMS is expanding its mediation team, announcing Wednesday that it is adding a former Orange County Superior Court judge with 24 years of experience on the bench as one of its mediators.

  • Kirkland Can't Get 'Invasive' Atty Info From 2 BigLaw Firms

    A California federal magistrate judge barred Kirkland & Ellis LLP from subpoenaing confidential personnel information from a former intellectual property associate's prior employers, Paul Hastings LLP and Fish & Richardson PC, in its defense against her discrimination suit, ruling that Kirkland's subpoena requests are "invasive," irrelevant and "amazingly broad."

  • Wagner Law Adds Atty With Union-Side Background In LA

    Benefits boutique Wagner Law Group added a partner with two decades of experience advocating for unions and workers to its ranks in Los Angeles, bringing on a veteran who said he'll still be "sticking up for employees" even though he'll no longer be representing labor.

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    Fox Rothschild AI Chief Talks 'Terrifying' Deepfakes, Biased AI

    Mark McCreary, the chief artificial intelligence and information security officer at Fox Rothschild, leads his firm's internal AI strategy and provides counsel to other law firms trying to bushwhack their path through the often murky AI legal landscape, rife with hallucinated case law citations and disturbingly real deepfakes.

  • Epic Calls Apple's $73M Fees Bid An Overreach

    Epic Games blasted Apple on Friday for seeking $73.4 million in legal fees following the pair's California federal court antitrust battle over App Store payment fees, arguing that antitrust claims like Epic's are immune from legal fees and that Apple cannot wrap its demands in successful contract breach counterclaims.

  • Girardi Keese Trustee Recovers $1.8M In Fees For Exide Case

    A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved an agreement between the Girardi Keese bankruptcy trustee, a former attorney for the firm and the Mandell Law Firm to end an adversary proceeding connected to $1.8 million in attorney fees from a lawsuit over the toxic Exide battery plant in Vernon, California.

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    Los Angeles FBI Head, Recused From Girardi Case, Retires

    The head of the FBI's Los Angeles office, who recused himself from investigations into indicted ex-lawyer Tom Girardi, has retired after nearly a year and a half in the post, the agency said Tuesday.

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    Fennemore Craig's 3rd Merger Of '24 Focuses On Tax Practice

    Fennemore Craig PC announced on Tuesday it is continuing its rapid growth this year through a merger with Sacramento-based tax-focused firm Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP.

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    FisherBroyles Continues Growth With California Tech Partner

    Remote law firm FisherBroyles LLP announced that it hired a litigation attorney with over 20 years of experience focusing on technology patent matters and licensing as a partner in Palo Alto, California.

  • Justices Pass On Discrimination Suit Over Calif. Bar Exam

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a Massachusetts patent attorney's suit alleging age discrimination is baked into the California bar exam.

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    An Atty's Path From BigLaw To Solo Practice To Legal Tech

    Attorney Eddie Nasser joined the legal technology startup Paxton AI on Jan. 29 as the company's legal product lead, leaving the practice of law behind to help with the legal tool he once used.

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    Is BigLaw Ready To Talk About Its Bullying Problem?

    The legal community exploded into debate recently after a Black associate's lawsuit accusing her former BigLaw employer of discrimination excerpted an excoriating email from a partner that some online deemed unacceptable and bullying, and others said was simply a fact of BigLaw life.

  • Atty Convicted Of $5.5M Client Theft Asks 9th Circ. To Vacate

    The prosecution of a former California personal injury attorney sent to jail for 12 years for embezzling as much as $5.5 million in clients' settlement money was riddled with error, and his conviction and sentence should be vacated, his counsel told the Ninth Circuit at a hearing Friday.

  • Drugs, Sex, Antisemitism Top Complaint Against Calif. Judge

    A California state judge is facing an ethics complaint that accuses him of using a cannabis oil vape pen, pantomiming "something similar to a lap dance" on a woman married to a local public defender and repeatedly calling another public defender an antisemitic slur during a camping trip.

  • Workday Deputy GC Wants Atty's Bias Suit Tossed

    A deputy general counsel for Workday urged a California federal court to dismiss her from a Black former subordinate's claims of harassment, retaliation and discrimination, arguing that the Maryland-based worker was improperly seeking the protection of California state laws.

  • Quinn Emanuel Can't Collect On LA County's $280K Legal Bill

    A Los Angeles judge on Friday dismissed Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP's lawsuit seeking to collect more than $280,000 in legal bills from Los Angeles County, saying the claims should have been filed in a counter-suit after the defendants sued the firm several years ago.

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    Law360's Legal Lions Of The Week

    King & Spalding LLP leads this week's edition of Law360 Legal Lions, after a California federal jury awarded mobile game platform Skillz $42.9 million in a patent infringement fight against rival AviaGames.

Expert Analysis

  • A Model For Optimal Legal Tech Investment Strategy Author Photo

    Legal organizations struggling to work out the right technology investment strategy may benefit from using a matrix for legal department efficiency that is based on an understanding of where workloads belong, according to the basic functions and priorities of a corporate legal team, says Sylvain Magdinier at Integreon.

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    My Nonpracticing Law Job: Recruiter Author Photo

    Self-proclaimed "Lawyer Doula" Danielle Thompson at Major Lindsey shares how she went from Columbia Law School graduate and BigLaw employment associate to a career in legal recruiting — and discovered a passion for advocacy along the way.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Balance Social Activism With My Job? Author Photo

    Corporate attorneys pursuing social justice causes outside of work should consider eight guidelines for finding equilibrium between their beliefs and their professional duties and reputation, say Diedrick Graham, Debra Friedman and Simeon Brier at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Personality Tests And Machine Learning Applications In Law Author Photo

    Mateusz Kulesza at McDonnell Boehnen looks at potential applications of personality testing based on machine learning techniques for law firms, and the implications this shift could have for lawyers, firms and judges, including how it could make the work of judges and other legal decision-makers much more difficult.

  • AI Is Reshaping Lawyering: What To Expect In 2024 Author Photo

    The future of lawyering is not about the wholesale replacement of attorneys by artificial intelligence, but as AI handles more of the routine legal work, the role of lawyers will evolve to be more strategic, requiring the development of competencies beyond traditional legal skills, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

  • Embrace Active Voice In Legal Writing — In Most Cases Author Photo

    Legal writers should strive to craft sentences in the active voice to promote brevity and avoid ambiguities that can spark litigation, but writing in the passive voice is sometimes appropriate — when it's a moral choice and not a grammatical failure, says Diana Simon at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Help Associates Turn Down Work? Author Photo

    Marina Portnova at Lowenstein Sandler discusses what partners can do to aid their associates in setting work-life boundaries, especially around after-hours assignment availability.

  • How AI Legal Research Tools Are Shifting Law Firm Processes Author Photo

    Although artificial intelligence-powered legal research is ushering in a new era of legal practice that augments human expertise with data-driven insights, it is not without challenges involving privacy, ethics and more, so legal professionals should take steps to ensure AI becomes a reliable partner rather than a source of disruption, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Data Source Proliferation Is A Growing E-Discovery Challenge Author Photo

    With the increased usage of collaboration apps and generative artificial intelligence solutions, it's not only important for e-discovery teams to be able to account for hundreds of existing data types today, but they should also be able to add support for new data types quickly — even on the fly if needed, says Oliver Silva at Casepoint.

  • Bracing For A Generative AI Revolution In Law Author Photo

    With many legal professionals starting to explore practical uses of generative artificial intelligence in areas such as research, discovery and legal document development, the fundamental principle of human oversight cannot be underscored enough for it to be successful, say Ty Dedmon at Bradley Arant and Paige Hunt at Lighthouse.

  • Why I Use ChatGPT To Tell Me Things I Already Know Author Photo

    The legal profession is among the most hesitant to adopt ChatGPT because of its proclivity to provide false information as if it were true, but in a wide variety of situations, lawyers can still be aided by information that is only in the right ballpark, says Robert Plotkin at Blueshift IP.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Use Social Media Responsibly? Author Photo

    Leah Kelman at Herrick Feinstein discusses the importance of reasoned judgment and thoughtful process when it comes to newly admitted attorneys' social media use.

  • Yada, Yada, Yada: The Magic Of 3 In Legal Writing Author Photo

    Attorneys should take a cue from U.S. Supreme Court justices and boil their arguments down to three points in their legal briefs and oral advocacy, as the number three is significant in the way we process information, says Diana Simon at University of Arizona.

  • How Firms Can Stop Playing Whack-A-Mole With Data Security Author Photo

    In order to achieve a robust client data protection posture, law firms should focus on adopting a risk-based approach to security, which can be done by assessing gaps, using that data to gain leadership buy-in for the needed changes, and adopting a dynamic and layered approach, says John Smith at Conversant Group.

  • 5 Life Lessons From Making Partner As A Solo Parent Author Photo

    Laranda Walker at Susman Godfrey, who was raising two small children and working her way to partner when she suddenly lost her husband, shares what fighting to keep her career on track taught her about accepting help, balancing work and family, and discovering new reserves of inner strength.

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