California Pulse

  • Nossaman Gains 2 Benefits Partners In Los Angeles, Texas

    Nossaman LLP is expanding its pensions team, bringing in a Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP benefits expert as a partner in its Los Angeles office and a Texas Municipal Retirement System pension pro as a partner in its Austin, Texas, office.

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    Steptoe Adds SEC Enforcement Head From Miller & Chevalier

    Steptoe LLP has hired a former Miller & Chevalier Chtd. member, who joins the firm to lead its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement practice in the firm's Washington and New York offices.

  • Calif. Panel Says Court Could Undo Order Disqualifying Attys

    A California trial court correctly reconsidered its earlier ruling on a truck body manufacturer's bid to disqualify a workers' side firm from a wage and hour suit, a state appellate panel said, ruling that a temporary missing document led the court in the wrong direction.

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    Reed Smith Hires Epiq Exec As 1st Director Of Applied AI

    Reed Smith LLP has hired legal technology company Epiq's managing director of applied artificial intelligence to serve as its first director of applied AI, the firm said Tuesday.

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    Ferguson Braswell Adds 4 Attys In Calif.

    Ferguson Braswell Fraser Kubasta PC, which now goes by the name FBFK Law Firm, is expanding its West Coast team, announcing Tuesday it is bringing in four new attorneys — three of whom come from Hall Griffin LLP — to join its Orange County office.

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    FordHarrison Taps Longtime Atty As New General Counsel

    FordHarrison LLP tapped an Atlanta partner who has spent her entire career at the management-side labor and employment law firm to serve as its next general counsel.

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    Why BigLaw Is Gutting Midsize Firms' Transaction Practices

    Midsize law firms have been getting pummeled lately as large law firms position themselves to take on transactional work in a warming mergers and acquisitions market, in some cases hiring away groups that make up 10% or more of the lawyers at their previous firms.

  • Amazon Blasts Writer's Ownership Claim Over New 'Road House'

    Amazon Studios and others involved in the 2024 remake of 1989's "Road House" movie told a California federal court that the writer behind the original film who is suing for copyright infringement does not own the rights to the script for the original.

  • Elevate Services Acquires Language Support Co. CJK Group

    The software-powered legal services company Elevate Services Inc. announced Tuesday that it has acquired the CJK Group, a discovery service for non-English-language environments.

  • Docusign Agrees To $165M Lexion Deal To Bolster AI Potential

    Docusign has agreed to acquire the artificial intelligence-powered contract and agreement management software company DocuSmart Inc., better known as Lexion, for $165 million in cash.

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    Sidley Brings On Wilson Sonsini Employment Pro In Palo Alto

    Sidley Austin LLP has boosted its labor and employment practice with a partner joining from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC who boasts more than a decade of experience handling employment-related matters in Silicon Valley.

  • Workday Defeats In-House Atty's Bias Suit, For Now

    A California magistrate judge on Monday dismissed, for now, a lawsuit by a Workday Inc. in-house attorney who accused the company of discriminatory and retaliatory behavior, which included pay inequities and calling the police to conduct an unnecessary wellness check at his house when he was hospitalized. 

  • Berkeley Law Faces Claims Over Anti-Israel Student Protests

    A group of Jewish advocacy organizations suing the University of California, Berkeley, and its law school since November for purportedly tolerating antisemitism on campus have amended their complaint to add allegations stemming from recent campus protests, including an allegedly antisemitic campaign against the law school's dean.

  • Calif. Doctors Can't Escape Med Mal Atty's Defamation Suit

    A California appeals court has said two California doctors cannot escape a defamation suit over an allegedly defamatory website they created about a malpractice attorney whom they'd had a fee dispute with, denying an anti-SLAPP motion because the language the lawyer identified in his amended complaint was not protected activity.

  • Calif. Bar Exam's February Pass Rate Up From 2023

    The overall passage percentage for California's general bar exam rose from last year's results to 33.9%, following trends across other states that also saw higher passage rates in 2024.

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    How To Make The Leap From BigLaw To Legal Recruiter

    The legal recruiting industry is made up of many former practicing lawyers, but not every BigLaw associate or partner is poised to make it in the world of recruiting.

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    Mintz Adds Proskauer Life Sciences IP Litigation Team

    Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC has brought on a life sciences patent litigation team of roughly a dozen attorneys from Proskauer Rose LLP in Los Angeles, Boston and New York led by the former chair of Proskauer's life sciences patent practice, the firm announced Monday.

  • Hagens Berman To Spearhead Litigation Over Skin Tech Woes

    Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP was appointed lead counsel in securities litigation claiming Beauty Health Co. hid the news of a defective skin care device, beating competing bids from Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP and Pomerantz LLP, according to an order in Delaware federal court.

  • Calif. Appeals Court Calls Firm's Conduct 'Woefully Uncivil'

    A California state appeals court has backed sanctions against The Vanderpool Law Firm in a dispute with Masimo Corp., finding that the firm had engaged in misconduct during discovery and noting that it was "woefully uncivil" in its emails with opposing counsel.

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    Gen AI Shows Promise — And Peril — For Pro Se Litigants

    Research on the capabilities of generative AI tools to help self-represented people has shown potential, but there is broad disagreement about how and when pro se litigants should be using them alone.

  • California Judge Ousted For 'Willful,' 'Prejudicial' Misconduct

    A California state judge has been removed from the bench after an investigation found that he conducted a campaign of retaliation against court employees he suspected of being "moles" in a probe against him and lied about his actions to investigators afterward.

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    Robbins Geller Attys To Take Stand In $8M Sanctions Dispute

    A petroleum refiner will put current and former Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP attorneys on the stand May 7 in an extraordinary evidentiary hearing testing what the plaintiffs' lawyers knew about an analyst's now-discredited findings as they pursued since-nixed price-fixing claims.

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    Law360's Legal Lions Of The Week

    Clement & Murphy PLLC and Yetter Coleman LLP lead this week's edition of Law360 Legal Lions, after the Fifth Circuit reversed a Texas federal court's $1.6 billion ruling against IBM in an operating agreement dispute with Houston-based software company BMC.

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    Longtime Napa City Atty Joins Burke Williams

    Burke Williams & Sorensen LLP is expanding its public law team, announcing Friday it is bringing in the former city attorney for the City of Napa, California, as a partner in its San Rafael office in Marin County.

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    Ex-Willkie Atty To Lead New Paul Weiss Latin America Practice

    Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP said Friday it has launched a Latin America practice to be led by a former longtime Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP partner.

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Expert Analysis

  • The Case That Took Me From Prosecutor To Defense Attorney Author Photo

    Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Penza, now at Wilkinson Stekloff, recalls the challenges of her first case as a civil defense attorney — a multibillion-dollar multidistrict class action against Allergan — and the lessons she learned about building rapport in the courtroom and with co-counsel.

  • The Importance Of Legal Macroeconomics Education For Attys Author Photo

    Most legal professionals lack understanding of the macroeconomic trends unique to the legal industry, like the rising cost of law school and legal services, which contributes to an unfair and inaccessible justice system, so law school courses and continuing legal education requirements in this area are essential, says Bob Glaves at the Chicago Bar Foundation.

  • What ABA Student Well-Being Standards Mean For Law Firms Author Photo

    While the American Bar Association's recent amendments to its law school accreditation standards around student well-being could have gone further, legal industry employers have much to learn from the ABA's move and the well-being movement that continues to gain traction in law schools, says David Jaffe at the American University Washington College of Law.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Build Rapport In New In-House Role? Author Photo

    Tim Parilla at LinkSquares explains how new in-house lawyers can start developing relationships with colleagues both within and outside their legal departments in order to expand their networks, build their brands and carve their paths to leadership positions.

  • What Attys Should Consider Before Taking On Pro Bono Work
    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Piper Hoffman and Will Lowrey at Animal Outlook lay out suggestions for attorneys to maximize the value of their pro bono efforts, from crafting engagement letters to balancing workloads — and they explain how these principles can foster a more rewarding engagement for both lawyers and nonprofits.

  • 7 Ways Attys Can Improve Their LinkedIn Summaries Author Photo

    Lawyers can use LinkedIn to strengthen their thought leadership position, generate new business, explore career opportunities, and better position themselves and their firms in search results by writing a well-composed, optimized summary that demonstrates their knowledge and experience, says Guy Alvarez at Good2bSocial.

  • How Law Firms And Attys Can Combat Imposter Syndrome Author Photo

    Imposter syndrome is rampant in the legal profession, especially among lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds, leading to missed opportunities and mental health issues — but firms can provide support in numerous ways, and attorneys can use therapeutic strategies to quiet their inner critic, says Helen Pamely at Rosling King.

  • The Law Firm Qualities Partners Seek In Lateral Moves Author Photo

    In 2022, partners considering lateral moves have new priorities, and firms that hope to recruit top talent will need to communicate their strategy for growth, engage on hot issues like origination credit and diversity initiatives, and tailor their integration plans toward expanding partners’ client base, says Gloria Sandrino at Lateral Link.

  • Small Steps Can Help Employers Beat Attorney Burnout Author Photo

    Lawyers are experiencing burnout on a massive, unprecedented scale due to the pandemic, but law firms and institutional players can and should make a difference by focusing on small, practical solutions that protect their attorneys’ most precious personal resource and professional commodity — time, says Chad Sarchio, president of the District of Columbia Bar.

  • The Evolving Role Of The Law Firm Legal Secretary Author Photo

    Technological shifts during the pandemic and beyond should force firms to rethink how legal secretaries can not only better support timekeepers but also participate in elevating client service, bifurcating the role into an administrative support position and a more elevated practice support role, says Lauren Chung at HBR Consulting.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Ace My Upcoming Annual Review? Author Photo

    Jennifer Rakstad at White & Case highlights how associates can emphasize achievements and seek support before, during and after their annual review, despite the pandemic’s negative effects on face time with colleagues and business development opportunities.

  • How Your Law Firm's Brand Can Convey Prestige Author Photo

    In order to be perceived as prestigious by clients and potential recruits, law firms should take their branding efforts beyond designing visual identities and address six key imperatives to differentiate themselves — from identifying intangible core strengths to delivering on promises at every interaction, says Howard Breindel at DeSantis Breindel.

  • How Dynamic Project Management Can Help Law Firms Author Photo

    Law firms looking to streamline matter management should consider tools that offer both employees and clients real-time access to documents, action items, task assignee information and more, overcoming many of the limitations of project communications via email, says Stephen Weyer at Stites & Harbison.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Successfully Switch Practices? Author Photo

    Associates who pivot into new practice areas may find that along with the excitement of a fresh start comes some apprehension, but certain proactive steps can help tame anxiety and ensure attorneys successfully adapt to unfamiliar subjects, novel internal processes and different client deliverables, say Susan Berson and Hassan Shaikh at Mintz.

  • A Road Map For Creating Law Firm Sustainability Programs Author Photo

    Amid demands from clients and prospective hires for greater sustainability efforts, law firms should think beyond reusable mugs and create programs that incorporate clear leadership structures, emission tracking and reduction goals, and frameworks for reporting results, says Gayatri Joshi at the Law Firm Sustainability Network.

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