Media Monitor
January 27, 2012

Law Schools, Firms, Talent, Legal Investment

  • Proceedings | Highlights from the WSJ's Law Blog:  Legal-staffing companies are offering more services than ever before, and it isn't just about rounding up bodies. But are discovery-services firms – like Excelerate Discovery and Clutch Group - doing things they shouldn't? (WSJ, 1.23)


  • Quindell To Pay £19.3m For Law Firm:  Quindell Portfolio, an Aim-traded outsourcing company, is to become the first quoted company to invest in the legal market under new legislation, paying £19.3m for a law firm specialising in personal injury. (FT, 1.24)


Insider Trading

  • No Jail Time for Cooperating Trader:  A former Wall Street trader whose cooperation with the government contributed to the prosecution of 10 people in its crackdown on insider trading avoided jail time when he was sentenced Friday. (WSJ, 1.21)


  • Greenlight Capital to Pay $11 Million Fine in Insider Case:  The prominent money manager David Einhorn and his hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, were fined about $11 million by Britain’s financial regulator for using confidential information to trade in the stock of a British pub chain. (NYT, 1.25)


  • Diamondback Avoids Criminal Charges in Insider Trading Case:  Diamondback Capital Management, one of the largest hedge funds ensnared by the government’s insider trading crackdown, will not face criminal charges and will pay more than $9 million in fines and penalties to resolve its role in the investigation. (NYT, 1.23)



  • Megaupload's Ripple Effect: The dramatic, unexpected shutdown of Megaupload might have a chilling effect on the growing online storage industry, and raises difficult questions about the rights of legitimate users on those services. (WSJ, 1.25)





Additional IP/Patent/Copyright/Trademarks/Piracy

  • When Lawyers Become 'Trolls': A big change is afoot in patent law, and nothing illustrates that better than John Desmarais and Matt Powers. They used to defend companies' patents. Now, they're what are some critics call "patent trolls." (WSJ, 1.23)



  • Motorola Sues Apple Over iPhone 4S, iCloud:  Motorola filed a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple targeting the most recent version of the iPhone as Motorola's merger with Apple rival Google Inc. moves toward final regulatory approval.  (WSJ, 1.26)


  • The Red-Soled Shoe Case:  Shoemaker Christian Louboutin stepped into a Court of Appeals to make the case that it should effectively own the exclusive right to use red to coat the bottoms of its popular, pricey high-heeled shoes. (WSJ, 1.25)




  • EU Unveils Web-Privacy Rules:  Companies could be fined up to 2% of global annual turnover if they breach new data protection rules proposed by the EC that aim to simplify the laws and reduce red tape. (WSJ, 1.26)



  • Televisa Fears Unfavorable Ruling:  A Televisa official said the company, Mexico's largest broadcaster, fears an adverse decision by the country's antitrust commission on its proposed partnership with a small mobile-phone company. (WSJ, 1.26)


  • T-Mobile, AT&T Seek Approval Of Spectrum Transfer:  T-Mobile and AT&T asked the FCC to approve the transfer of $1 billion in wireless airwaves AT&T promised as a result of the failure of its $39 billion takeover bid amid antitrust issues.  (WSJ, 1.24)




  • Antitrust Bulldog Gary Reback Pushes Google Probe:  In the 1990s, attorney Gary Reback helped goad the DOJ into launching the landmark antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. Reback is now waging a similarly relentless campaign against Google. (SFC, 1.24)


Internet Law


Additional Wall Street/Banking Probes, Suits, Settlements and Sentences


  • Fight Awaits New Mortgage-Fraud Unit:  The Justice Department's plan to create a mortgage-crime unit with state authorities is likely to face the same difficulties earlier task forces hit in bringing charges against bank executives. (WSJ, 1.26)


  • Prison Beating Clouds Stanford Trial:  R. Allen Stanford is headed to trial for an alleged $7.2 billion fraud. But the effects of a 2009 beating he suffered in prison are complicating the case against him. (WSJ, 1.21)





Additional Non-Wall Street/Banking Probes, Suits, Settlements and Sentences

  • Rig Owner Spared Some Spill Costs:  The owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig won't have to pay compensatory damages related to oil spilled under the ocean in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, a judge ruled. (WSJ, 1.27)


  • Novartis Settles U.S. Overtime Case:  A Novartis AG U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay $99 million to settle long-running overtime litigation involving its sale representatives. (WSJ, 1.25)


  • Macy's Sues Martha Stewart Living: Macy's sued Martha Stewart Living to block a new licensing agreement with rival J.C. Penney, saying the agreement violated its own exclusive arrangement with the brand. (WSJ, 1.24)


  • In Perelman Lawsuit, a Fight Over Files Not Deleted:  At issue is whether Donald Drapkin, who is suing Ronald O. Perelman, violated his separation contract by retaining files and e-mails found on his assistant’s laptop at MacAndrews & Forbes. (NYT, 1.26)



  • Mets Owners Seek Dismissal of Madoff Lawsuit:  The owners of the Mets baseball team asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the court-appointed trustee seeking to recover money for victims of convicted Ponzi-scheme-operator Bernard Madoff. (WSJ, 1.27)


  • Stanford Tells Of $5.5bn Cash Pile On Video:  Allen Stanford told top executives that Stanford International Bank had $5.5bn in excess cash in October 2008, despite receiving private warnings that the bank was running out of cash, according to a prosecutor and video played at his criminal trial. (FT, 1.26)




  • Congress Tosses Antipiracy Bills:  Leaders of the Internet movement that turned little-noticed antipiracy legislation into a national cause proclaimed victory after congressional backers abandoned their bills. (WSJ, 1.21)


  • Obama Urges Tougher Laws on Financial Fraud: President Obama called on Congress to toughen laws against securities fraud and to strengthen the ability of the SEC to punish Wall Street firms that repeatedly violate antifraud statutes. (NYT, 1.24)


Supreme Court


Corporate Counsel/Governance/Investment



  • Microsoft's GC Makes a Business Case for Gay Marriage:  Microsoft's GC took to the company's official blog with a post titled "Marriage Equality in Washington State Would Be Good for Business," in which he outlined the business case for the company's support of same-sex marriage legislation in Washington. (CC, 1.24)




  •  Why Leave the Kitchen?  Working Mother magazine says you can be a "senior trial attorney" while working from home. Really? (AL, 1.20)


  • The Ultimate Lateral Hire:  Among 2011's noteworthy lateral big law hires, one—and his new firm—stand out as symbols of the profession's transformation. (AL, 1.27)


  • ACC Challenges Illinois Ruling on Attorney-Client Privilege:  Illinois is in danger of becoming a state where corporate lawyers and their clients will no longer be able to have open conversations about complex issues, the Association of Corporate Counsel warned in a brief filed with the Illinois Supreme Court. (CC, 1.27)











  • The Patent Pilot Program Sets Sail:  "A catalyst for leading all civil litigation in the United States." With these words the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge described the Patent Pilot Program.  (LTN, 1.27)


Lawsuits of Note


Wall Street/SEC


Sports and the Law

Brand Transformation

  • J.C. Penney Chief Thinks Different:  J.C. Penney's new CEO, Ron Johnson—Apple's former retail guru—laid out a plan that will carve stores into a warren of specialty shops, create a central hang-out area, and pare sales in favor of lower prices every day.  (WSJ, 1.26)


  • Bank of America—Turnaround Challenge Of The Century:  Bank of America has been in perpetual damage control mode since the 2008 financial crisis. But it's now crunch time. The bank can't just cut its way to profitability; it needs to grow its revenues too. (Fortune, 1.26)


Culture of Innovation


Innovative Companies


  • Google—The Thrill Is Back: Disappointing quarter aside, it's too early to tell whether Google is fundamentally doing better or worse under Larry Page. But the company is more focused, more willing to take risks and -- for the first time in years -- more interesting. (Fortune, 1.25)


  • Apple's Culture of Secrecy: Fortune's Adam Lashinsky explains the strategies Apple uses to keep its projects secret, even from its own employees. (Fortune, 1.21)


Innovative Executives

  • Amazon's Hit Man:  Larry Kirshbaum was the ultimate book industry insider—until Amazon called. (BW, 1.25)




Innovative Work Methods


Social Media

  • Social Media’s Rise To Power:  The SOPA and PIPA reaction shows social media has become a powerful force for change not just in Egypt and Tunisia but also right here in America. (WP, 1.25)



  • Social Media Stars:  These Best Companies to Work For are using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media to get even better. (Fortune, 1.27)



  • Cloud Computing Fueling Global Economic Growth: The development of cloud computing will promote economic growth, increase productivity and shift the type of jobs and skills required by businesses, according to a new study by the London School of Economics. (Forbes, 1.27)



  • Davos—Innovation For The 99 Percent:  In the modern digital age, the value of any “ideas conference” should be measured not only by the quality of its participants, but also by its ability to transmit its ideas to a global audience.  (WP, 1.26)



Innovative Funding

  • Embracing the Mothers of Invention:  Kickstarter is a “crowd-funding” site. It’s a place for creative people to get enough start-up money to get their projects off the ground. (NYT, 1.25)