California Pulse

  • Ex-Calif. School Official Cops To Stealing $16M From District

    A former public school official pled guilty Thursday to embezzling $15.9 million from a Southern California school district that primarily educates students who are economically disadvantaged, according to federal prosecutors, who say the official spent the money on designer bags, expensive tequila and a house, among other things.

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    USC Law School Names Election Expert As 1st Black Dean

    The University of Southern California's Gould School of Law has tapped Franita Tolson to serve as its new dean, making her the first Black person and second woman to lead the school. 

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    Littler Announces New Affinity Group Leadership

    Management-side employment firm Littler Mendelson PC announced new co-chairs for its Bollo affinity group serving Black, African American, African and Caribbean attorneys and their allies on Tuesday.

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    Polsinelli Brings On Ex-Nelson Hardiman Healthcare Pro In LA

    Polsinelli PC announced on Thursday the hiring of a former partner at Nelson Hardiman LLP as a shareholder in its healthcare litigation and disputes practice out of its Los Angeles office.

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    Bankruptcy Partner Joins Saul Ewing In LA From Danning Gill

    Saul Ewing LLP has picked up a complex business bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency partner for its Los Angeles office who spent much of his legal career with Danning Gill Israel & Krasnoff LLP.

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    In Their Words: Founders On Being A Woman In Legal Tech

    Recently, the legal tech community was rocked by a LinkedIn post detailing sexual harassment claims by anonymous women attending industry conferences. Law360 Pulse spoke with five women founders about their work experiences and finding support from other women in the industry.

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    Law Firm Real Estate Report

    Recent announcements from Sidley Austin LLP and Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC about plans to move their offices in Dallas and Pittsburgh, respectively, were among the biggest real estate moves for law firms in March.

  • Sedgwick Trustee's Valuation Of Firm Flawed, Judge Told

    An accounting expert hired by two ex-partners fighting the Sedgwick LLP trustee's bid to claw back $1.1 million testified at the close of a three-day California bench trial Wednesday that the trustee expert's valuation analysis is "materially flawed" and took a "sledgehammer" to the law firm's book value.

  • Calif. Judge Decries DOJ's Broken Promises In Travel Ban Suit

    A California federal judge reprimanded U.S. Department of Justice attorneys for causing delays, breaking promises and hobbling the administration of justice while granting class certification to individuals who sought waivers to former President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting mostly Muslim-majority countries.

  • Eastman Should Be Disbarred, Calif. State Bar Judge Rules

    A State Bar Court of California judge on Wednesday recommended disbarring Donald Trump's onetime attorney John Eastman, who helped plan and promote the former president's strategy to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

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    How GCs Can Leverage AI And Mitigate Risks

    Experts at a cybersecurity summit for in-house counsel this week agreed that the best governance strategies for using artificial intelligence should balance the company's business and ethical culture with its tolerance for risk.

  • Calif. Rail Biz Attys Face DQ Bid Over Bad Faith, Info Breach

    A Black engineer accusing Pacific Harbor Line of workplace racial bias has urged a California federal judge to bar Buchannan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP from representing the railroad company, citing a sanctions bid against his counsel that had "no evidentiary basis" and "improper" communication with a paralegal for the engineer's legal team.

  • 3 Firms Vie To Lead Instacart Pre-IPO Action

    Levi & Korsinsky LLP, Pomerantz LLP and The Rosen Law Firm PA have each asked a California federal judge to lead a securities lawsuit against grocery delivery company Instacart for allegedly misrepresenting its growth potential in the lead-up to its initial public offering.

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    BigLaw Is Greater Part Of Litigation Funding Industry 'In Flux'

    The litigation funding industry is entering an era of "consolidation" and "shakeout" after years of rapid growth, exemplified by the fact that BigLaw firms made up a bigger slice of the industry's customer base than ever last year, even as the total value of new deals fell, according to a new report.

  • Misconduct In 'Fat Leonard' Case Sinks 3 More Guilty Pleas

    Alleged prosecutorial misconduct has set up three more defendants charged in relation to the U.S. Navy's "Fat Leonard" scandal to yank their original guilty pleas so they can plead guilty to much less serious charges.

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    Mitchell Silberberg Names DEI, Talent Development Director

    Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP announced Tuesday that it has appointed an experienced civil rights attorney and diversity, equity and inclusion consultant as the firm's first director of DEI and talent development.

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    Lateral Hiring Plummets As Post-COVID Talent Wars Cease

    Lateral lawyer hiring plummeted 35% overall in 2023 — marking the second consecutive annual decline and the softest market in 13 years, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association for Law Placement.

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    Willenken Names New Managing Partner

    Los Angeles trial boutique Willenken LLP announced Tuesday that it has tapped a new managing partner, litigator Kenneth Trujillo-Jamison, to lead the firm beginning January 2025.

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    By The Numbers: Diversity Of California Attorneys Grows

    Female and minority attorneys have made big gains in California over the past few decades, but white attorneys still make up nearly two-thirds of all lawyers in the highly diverse Golden State, according to a new report by the State Bar of California.

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    How Senior Associates Can Build Their Books Of Business

    As associates grow into their positions, there can come a point at which they realize that mastering the art of the legal brief or the deposition is not enough: They also need to learn how to attract and retain clients.

  • Indicted Exec Wants Suit Tossed For Prosecutors' Misconduct

    A former healthcare CEO indicted on novel insider trading charges is trying once again to have the case tossed from California federal court, this time accusing prosecutors of improperly contacting a represented party in a separate but related civil case, weeks after a previous attempt to duck the charges failed.

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    Meet The Calif. Atty Taking On Health Insurers' Use Of AI

    With the health insurance industry under scrutiny over its use of algorithms and artificial intelligence in the patient coverage review process, California appellate attorney Glenn Danas saw an opening for litigation with what he calls a "high outrage factor."

  • Girardi Fraud Trial Moved To Aug. 6

    A California federal judge has agreed to postpone disgraced California plaintiffs attorney Tom Girardi's trial to Aug. 6, setting the proceedings to begin 16 months later than originally required at the outset of the case.

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    Calif. Atty Tapped To Be RFK Jr.'s Running Mate

    Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced Tuesday that a Silicon Valley lawyer will be his running mate as the pair make a longshot bid for the White House this year.

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    K&L Gates Consumer Products Chair Joins Venable In LA

    Venable LLP said Monday that the co-chair of K&L Gates LLP's commercial litigation practice and chair of its consumer products and beauty and wellness practice groups has joined the firm's Los Angeles office as a partner.

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Expert Analysis

  • Series

    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
    Author Photo

    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.

  • Series

    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.

  • Series

    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.

  • Why Firms Should Help Associates Do More Pro Bono Work Author Photo

    Associates may hesitate to take on the added commitment of pro bono matters, but such work has tangible skill-building benefits, so firms should consider compensation and leadership strategies to encourage participation, says Rasmeet Chahil at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Confronting The Stigma Of Alcohol Abuse In Legal Industry Author Photo

    The pandemic has likely exacerbated the prevalence of problem drinking in the legal profession, making it critical for lawyers and educators to address alcohol abuse and the associated stigma through issue-specific education, supportive assistance and alcohol-free professional events, says Erica Grigg at the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Have Duty To Push For Immigration Court Reform Author Photo

    Attorneys must use their collective voice to urge federal lawmakers to create an Article I immigration court outside executive branch control, helping address the conflicts of interest, political influence and lack of adjudication consistency that prevent migrants from achieving true justice, say Elia Diaz-Yaeger and Carlos Bollar at the Hispanic National Bar Association.

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