California Pulse

  • Brothers' 20-Year Calif. Real Estate Battle Ends In $7B Verdict

    A Los Angeles jury has awarded four brothers an estimated $7 billion verdict, finding that a fifth brother breached their contracts and his fiduciary duty to them by wrongly pushing them out of various business partnerships that included thousands of units of apartment buildings and a diamond venture. 

  • Calif. Judge Denies Ethics Complaint Of Drugs, Antisemitism

    A California state judge categorically denied an ethics complaint accusing 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.

  • Sbarro Worker Appeals 'Prejudiced' Verdict On Rape Claims

    A former Sbarro employee asked the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to order a retrial on her allegations that she was sexually assaulted multiple times by a manager and co-workers, claiming a jury verdict favoring the company resulted from a trial tainted by prejudicial assertions, improper evidence and defamatory comments toward her and her counsel.

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    Gov't Attys Must Mind Confidential Info Or Be DQ'd, ABA Says

    Both current and former government attorneys who take on private clients should look out for instances where their possession of "confidential government information" calls for them to be disqualified from representing a client, according to the latest guidance from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, released Wednesday.

  • Scrubs Co. Must Arbitrate With Its Ex-Atty Over False Ad Loss

    A healthcare apparel company that lost its Lanham Act false advertising suit against a competitor in California federal court must pursue claims against its former lawyer in arbitration, while the company agreed to pursue claims against the lawyer's firm, Michelman & Robinson LLP, a Los Angeles judge ruled Wednesday. 

  • Calif. Law Firm Beats Disqualification Ruling In HFPA Case

    A California state appeals court on Tuesday said a trial court was wrong to disqualify a law firm from representing a journalist suing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over possession of privileged documents.

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    Littler Transportation Co-Leader Jumps To Ogletree In SF

    Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC announced Wednesday that the co-leader of Littler Mendelson PC's transportation industry group was joining the firm as a shareholder in its San Francisco office.

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    Seyfarth Taps Ex-Fenwick DEI Leader For C-Suite Role

    Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced it has appointed a former Fenwick & West LLP attorney who instructs on corporate culture at New York University to serve as the firm's chief inclusion and diversity officer.

  • Erika Girardi Can't Shed Costume Merchant's Suit

    A California federal judge has kept alive a costume merchant's malicious prosecution claim against singer and reality TV star Erika Girardi, saying the merchant showed evidence that Girardi had him wrongfully arrested and prosecuted on made-up fraud charges.

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    Husch Blackwell Launches AI Practice Group

    Husch Blackwell has launched a cross-practice artificial intelligence group focused on advising clients on regulatory and legal matters related to the burgeoning technology.

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    Small Calif. Firm Goes All In On AI

    A California plaintiff's boutique announced Wednesday that it will integrate artificial intelligence into "every aspect" of its practice as legal tech startup Eve's first "AI-native law firm."

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    Loyola Marymount Adds Higher Ed Atty For 1st In-House Role

    Los Angeles-based Loyola Marymount University has named as its first-ever senior vice president and general counsel an experienced attorney who has held legal leadership positions at higher education institutions throughout the country.

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    Behind Benesch's Strategy To Add And Keep BigLaw Laterals

    Mid-sized Ohio-based firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP has become an attractive destination for a certain type of BigLaw lateral partner, attracting a notable number over the past six months from firms such as Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Jenner & Block LLP.

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    MG+M Adds Asbestos Pro In Texas And Calif. From Solo Shop

    Manning Gross & Massenburg LLP has added a partner to its Dallas and San Francisco rosters who boasts extensive experience in asbestos litigation, personal injury and products liability, and who came aboard after more than five years as a solo practitioner.

  • Amazon Hit With Copyright Suit Over 'Road House' Reboot

    The writer behind the 1989 movie "Road House" sued Amazon Studios LLC on Tuesday in California federal court, alleging the company ignored his copyright for the screenplay and rushed to finish the movie before the rights reverted to him by using artificial intelligence.

  • Supertramp Co-Founder Didn't Breach Royalty Deal, Jury Says

    A California federal jury on Tuesday found that Supertramp's co-founder did not breach a 1977 agreement to share his songwriting royalties with three former band members, ending a weeklong trial that revealed decades of resentment between the aging rockers who were one of the biggest bands of the late 1970s.

  • Calif. Panel Nixes $47M Verdict Against Atty Over Casino Deal

    A California state appeals court has scrapped a $47 million jury verdict against a lawyer accused of breaching her fiduciary duty to a former client who unsuccessfully sought to buy a stake in a Silicon Valley cardroom, finding there's no direct evidence showing the attorney caused the transaction to fall through.

  • Ye Stole Donna Summer's 1977 Hit In New Song, Estate Says

    Donna Summer's estate sued rappers Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign in California federal court Tuesday accusing them of sampling, without permission, the late legendary disco singer's 1977 hit "I Feel Love" in their collaborative track "Good (Don't Die)," which is featured on their joint album, "Vultures 1."

  • Ex-Girardi Keese Atty Settles With Actress Over Missing Cash

    An actress alleging that Erika Girardi's entertainment company helped her husband's now-defunct law firm, Girardi Keese, hide his clients' stolen money, including $744,000 stolen from her, finalized a $6,000 settlement with one of the firm's attorneys on Tuesday when a California judge signed off on the deal.

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    HP Inc.'s General Counsel Earned $6.2M Pay Package In 2023

    HP Inc. legal chief Julie Jacobs raked in a compensation package totaling $6.2 million in 2023, including a $2 million payment for leaving her position at Yahoo Inc. the year before, according to the company's proxy statement submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Calif. Law Firm Can't Shake Arbitration Award In Fees Dispute

    A California state appeals court has affirmed an arbitration award totaling more than $1 million in quantum meruit damages, outstanding contract awards, arbitration fees, expenses and interest for Golden State civil rights firm The Bloom Firm, two years after its partnership with a rival firm unraveled.

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    Venable Trial Atty Boosts Orrick's IP Team In LA

    Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP continues boosting its intellectual property team, saying Tuesday it has brought on a Venable LLP patent litigator as a partner in its Los Angeles office.

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    Law Firm Leasing Activity Reaches Pre-Pandemic Level

    Major firm relocations in late 2023, including Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP's December deal for a 20-year lease in a midtown Manhattan skyscraper, helped fuel the hottest legal office space market since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    McDermott Appoints 4 Real Estate Leaders in US, Germany

    McDermott Will & Emery LLP announced four new real estate practice leaders on Monday, elevating a longtime partner in Germany and three newer hires in the U.S.

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    Lumentum GC To Retire Once Co. Finds Replacement

    The general counsel for Lumentum Holdings Inc. for nearly the last decade has told the company that she plans to retire once it appoints her successor, according to a Tuesday filing.

Expert Analysis

  • How Generative AI's Growing Memory Affects Lawyers Author Photo

    A new ChatGPT feature that can remember user information across different conversations has broad implications for attorneys, whose most pressing questions for the AI tool are usually based on specific, and large, datasets, says legal tech adviser Eric Wall.

  • 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.

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