California Pulse

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    Baker Botts Grows IP Group With Perkins Coie Atty In Calif.

    Baker Botts has welcomed a Perkins Coie LLP partner to its Palo Alto, California, office, strengthening its intellectual property department with a litigator whose clients include Chinese and Taiwanese technology companies, the international law firm announced Thursday.

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    From 'Deadhead' To Womble Bond's Next Chair And CEO-Elect

    Merrick Benn, a global finance partner at Womble Bond Dickinson and a member of the firm's global board, is preparing to take over as U.S. chair and CEO. Here, Benn talks to Law360 Pulse about his goals for the new position and how the Grateful Dead influenced his career trajectory.

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    Norton Rose Taps Texas Atty As Co-Head Of Regulatory Group

    Norton Rose Fulbright has selected the former leader of its Austin, Texas, shop to fill the role of co-head of the firm's U.S. regulation, investigations, securities and compliance practice.

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    Mayer Brown Recruits Akin Gump Public Policy Pro In LA

    Mayer Brown LLP has brought back a public policy and regulatory expert from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he spent over a decade leading its California public law and policy practice.

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    Haynes Boone Adds Sheppard Mullin RE Finance Pro In Calif.

    Haynes and Boone LLP continues to grow its Orange County office, announcing Wednesday that a Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP real estate finance ace is joining the office in Costa Mesa, California, as a partner.

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    Brown Rudnick Taps Kasowitz Vet As Biz Development Leader

    Brown Rudnick LLP has hired the former chief marketing and business development officer at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, who joins the firm to continue helping elevate its attorneys' work and the firm's overall business operations.

  • 'Not Enough Money': Atty. Objects To Plan For Dead Law Firm

    An attorney representing a small group of creditors of failed California debt relief law firm Litigation Practice Group raised concerns at a hearing Wednesday that once the bankruptcy estate pays professional fees and administrative claims, little money will be left.

  • 'Excellent' Altria MDL Deal Earns Attys Fees Above Benchmark

    A California federal judge on Wednesday awarded $13.65 million in plaintiffs' attorney fees as part of tobacco giant Altria's $45.5 million deal resolving consumer claims in multidistrict litigation alleging the company helped fuel a youth vaping crisis created by e-cigarette maker Juul, saying the "excellent result" merited fees above the normal 25% benchmark.

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    Airbnb CLO Ron Klain To Help Biden Prepare For June Debate

    Ron Klain, former White House chief of staff to President Joe Biden who now leads the legal department at Airbnb, told Law360 Pulse on Wednesday that he plans to help his former boss prepare for his upcoming debate in June.

  • Monsanto's $23M False Ad Deal Challenged At 9th Circ.

    Counsel representing a certified class of Missouri consumers urged the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday to reverse Monsanto's nationwide $23 million settlement resolving consumer false ad claims over risks associated with its Roundup weedkiller, arguing that Monsanto hid the settlement from the Missouri plaintiffs and that the class is effectively "getting absolutely nothing."

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    BCLP Taps Slew Of New Office, Sector Leaders

    Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP on Wednesday elevated three longtime partners into leadership roles in its Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles offices, the firm said in an announcement that also named a spate of new sector leaders and a new co-head of its Seattle outpost.

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    Womble Bond Names 'Fearless Leader' As Chair, CEO-Elect

    Womble Bond Dickinson announced Wednesday that global finance partner Merrick Benn has been elected U.S. chair and CEO, for a three-year term effective Jan. 1.

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    Reed Smith Launches Emerging Technologies Practice

    Reed Smith LLP announced the launch of a practice group focused on helping clients with the legal complexities posed by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and fintech.

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    Buchalter Starts Fintech And AI Practice With New Seattle Hire

    Buchalter PC announced that it hired the former chief legal officer at mortgage-focused fintech company Sagent as a Seattle-based shareholder and chair of its newly launched fintech and artificial intelligence practice group.

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    Women In GC Roles Are Closing In On The Gender Pay Gap

    Though the gender pay gap persists, the difference in compensation between women and men at the general counsel level is narrowing — from 4.9% in 2023 to 4.3% in 2024 — according to a report out Wednesday.

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    Top Calif. Dealmakers Join Sullivan & Cromwell From Skadden

    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP said Wednesday it is bringing two "top Silicon Valley dealmakers" from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP to the firm, touting the pair's history with multibillion-dollar technology-related mergers and acquisitions.

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    Paul Weiss Establishes Center To Combat Hate

    Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP announced Wednesday that it has launched the Center to Combat Hate, an organization that will partner with civil rights groups and educational institutions to use litigation in tackling violence and intimidation driven by hate.

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    Nvidia GC's Comp Climbed Past $11M Last Fiscal Year

    Silicon Valley-based tech company Nvidia's general counsel earned more than $11 million in compensation during the last fiscal year, which marks a nearly $2 million increase from the previous one, according to a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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    Winston & Strawn Adds Buchalter IP Atty As Trademarks Lead

    Global firm Winston & Strawn LLP has hired a Buchalter PC attorney to bolster its intellectual property practice and lead its global trademark prosecution and counseling efforts.

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    Spencer Fane Adds Another Hopkins & Carley Atty In Calif.

    Spencer Fane LLP has hired another attorney from Hopkins & Carley who has spent nearly the entirety of her more than 30-year career with her former firm, and most recently helped lead its litigation department, according to a recent announcement.

  • Calif. Bar To Weigh New Virtual Bar Exam To Cut Costs

    The State Bar of California's board of trustees is expected to consider replacing the National Conference of Bar Examiners' exam and new licensing test with its own state bar exam that could be taken remotely in order to cut up to $4.2 million in costs annually, according to a memo posted online in advance of this week's board meeting.

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    Ex-Squire Patton Atty Among Latest Calif. Judges Sworn In

    California got two new appellate court judges and elevated another one on Tuesday morning as a state commission unanimously approved and swore in the three people nominated by Gov. Gavin Newsom, including a onetime Squire Patton Boggs LLP attorney.

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    Legal Insurers See 'All-Time High' In Price Tag Of Claims

    Some of the nation's largest legal insurance companies are reporting an unprecedented rise in "claim severity," according to survey data released Tuesday, with 11 of 13 insurers reporting paying claims in excess of $100 million in the past two years.

  • Tech Biz Helm360 Launches Legal Partner Alliance Program

    Helm360, an American legal IT provider, has launched a program offering law firms a one-stop shop for "essential" products, services and expert knowledge.

  • DoorDash's $664K Misclassification Deal Gets Final Approval

    A California federal judge gave the final sign-off on a $664,000 settlement ending claims that DoorDash misclassified delivery drivers as independent contractors and failed to pay minimum wage, finding the terms to be a fair resolution of the dispute.

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Expert Analysis

  • Mentorship Is Key To Diversity In The Legal Industry Author Photo

    Not only can effective mentorship have a profound impact on women and people of color entering the legal field, but it also benefits mentors and the legal profession as a whole, creating a true win-win situation for all involved, says Natasha Cortes at Grossman Roth.

  • ChatGPT Is A Cool Trick, But AI Won't Replace Lawyers Author Photo

    Generative AI applications like ChatGPT are unlikely to ever replace attorneys for a variety of practical reasons — but given their practice-enhancing capabilities, lawyers who fail to leverage these tools may be rendered obsolete, says Eran Kahana at Maslon.

  • Pro Bono Work Is Valuable In IP And Continued Learning Author Photo

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's recent elimination of a rule that partially counted pro bono work toward continuing legal education highlights the importance of volunteer work in intellectual property practice and its ties to CLE, and puts a valuable tool for hands-on attorney education in the hands of the states, say Lisa Holubar and Ariel Katz at Irwin.

  • Increasing Public Access To Legal Services: A Practical Plan Author Photo

    Recommendations recently issued by a special committee of the Florida Bar represent a realistic, pragmatic approach to increasing the accessibility and affordability of legal services, at a time when the disconnect between the legal profession and the public at large has widened considerably, says Gary Lesser, president of the Florida Bar.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Relay Shortcomings To Associates? Author Photo

    Michael Cohen at Duane Morris discusses the best ways to articulate how an associate is not meeting expectations, and why documentation of performance management is crucial for their growth and protecting the firm from discrimination suits.

  • 10 Principles For Effective Partner Reward Systems Author Photo

    Several forces are reshaping partners’ expectations about profit-sharing, and as compensation structures evolve in response, firms should keep certain fundamentals in mind to build a successful partner reward system, say Michael Roch at MHPR Advisors and Ray D'Cruz at Performance Leader.

  • Why Interdisciplinarity Is Key To Designing The Future Of Law Author Photo

    The legal profession faces challenges that urgently demand new solutions, and lawyers and firms can address this by leaning on other industries that have more experience practicing, teaching and incorporating innovation into their core business and service models, says Jennifer Leonard at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Incorporating ADA Guidance Into Lawyer Wellness Movement Author Photo

    The Americans with Disabilities Act and rules of professional conduct may help the legal profession promote lawyer well-being by focusing on mental conditions' actual impact, rather than on associated stereotypes, says Alex Long at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Can New Partners Generate Business? Author Photo

    Christine Wong at MoFo discusses how newly elected partners can prioritize business development by creating a strategic plan with the firm's marketing team and strengthening relationships with professional and personal networks.

  • 9 Writing Tips From The Justices' Opinions Last Term Author Photo

    Hidden in the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions from the last term are each justice’s talents for crafting choice turns of phrase, highlighting best practices for attorneys to jump-start their own writing, says Ross Guberman at BriefCatch.

  • What Web3 Means For Lawyers' Ethical Duties Author Photo

    As law firms embrace Web3 technologies by accepting cryptocurrency as payment for legal fees, investing in metaverse departments and more, lawyers should remember their ethical duties to warn clients of the benefits and risks of technology in a murky regulatory environment, says Heidi Frostestad Kuehl at Northern Illinois University College of Law.

  • NY's Cybersecurity CLE Rule Is A Sign Of Changing Times Author Photo

    New York's recently announced requirement that lawyers complete cybersecurity training as part of their continuing legal education is a reminder that securing client information is more complicated in an increasingly digital world, and that expectations around attorneys' technology competence are changing, says Jason Schwent at Clark Hill.

  • Opinion

    Law Firms Stressing Work-Life Balance Are Missing The Mark Author Photo

    Law firms struggling to attract and retain lawyers are institutionalizing work-life balance through hybrid work models, but such balance is elusive in a client services and tech-dependent world, underscoring the need for firms to instead aim for attorney empowerment and true balance within — not outside — the workplace, says Joe Pack at Pack Law.

  • A Law Student's Guide To Thriving As A Summer Associate Author Photo

    Summer associates are expected to establish a favorable reputation and develop genuine relationships in a few short weeks, but several time management, attitude and communication principles can help them make the most of their time and secure an offer for a full-time position, says Joseph Marciano, who was a 2022 summer associate at Reed Smith.

  • Burnout Prevention Requires Effort From Attys And Firms Author Photo

    To avoid physical and emotional exhaustion, attorneys must respect their own and their colleagues' personal and professional boundaries, but law firms must also play a role in discouraging burnout culture — especially if they are struggling with attorney retention, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

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