California Pulse

  • Study Sees Promise For Gen AI Tools In Closing Justice Gap

    Widespread access to generative artificial intelligence tools could help increase access to justice for low-income Americans, according to a new study that found these tools largely boosted productivity for legal aid lawyers.

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    ABA Gives Advice To Avoid Atty Conflict Hitting Whole Firm

    An American Bar Association ethics opinion released Wednesday offers new guidance on when a lawyer's conflict of interest after meeting with a prospective client should be considered to impact the whole firm and how lawyers can try to avoid sparking that whole-firm conflict.

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    Stanford Law School Picks Professor As Its Next Dean

    Stanford Law School has looked within for its new dean, tapping a professor and associate vice provost for research for the role.

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    Calif. Firm Takes On AI, Dating Apps And 'Dopamine Culture'

    A Valentine’s Day class action against dating platform MatchGroup was just the latest in a series of ambitious fights the Malibu-based boutique Clarkson Law Firm PC has picked with Big Tech and beyond, hoping to more broadly protect consumers from addictive and harmful business practices.

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    US Chamber's Litigation Funding Concerns Spur 2 State Laws

    Amid concerns from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about third-party litigation funding, including from potentially hostile foreign entities, state legislatures in Indiana and West Virginia have recently passed bills imposing restrictions on the practice.

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    Ex-Lewis Brisbois Atty Sues Firm, Pointing To Racist Emails

    A former Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP lawyer filed race and disability discrimination claims against the firm on Tuesday, alleging that he was forced to resign after dealing with medical issues that prompted the firm to take away his cases and wrongfully withhold his pay.

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    Future Of Judge-Shopping Reform Hazy After Rule Proposal

    The policymaking body for U.S. courts provoked a stir last week when it proposed a rule designed to curb "judge shopping," with observers saying that the policy does address one type of the practice but that it remains to be seen if individual federal district courts will be willing to adopt even that limited reform.

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    Musick Peeler Announces New Firm Leadership

    California-based Musick Peeler & Garrett LLP has tapped two longtime partners – one an insurance and environmental litigator, the other a trusts and estate attorney – as its new managing partners.

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    Gilead GC Saw Pay Climb To $5.2M In 2023

    The general counsel of biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. saw her total compensation rise to more than $5.2 million in 2023 from over $4.8 million in 2022, a recent proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

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    WilmerHale Elevates 5 Leaders Known For High-Stakes Work

    WilmerHale unveiled five major firmwide and office leadership appointments on Monday, elevating practice and department leaders on both coasts as the firm continues making its mark on headline-grabbing disputes.

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    Ex-Lynch Carpenter Atty Hits Firm With Whistleblower Case

    A former associate for Lynch Carpenter LLP has brought a whistleblower suit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming labor code violations, discrimination, breach of contract and retaliation after allegedly witnessing "multiple instances of unethical conduct that he believed constituted fraud and/or legal malpractice."

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    Kilpatrick Taps IP Leader As Next Firm Chair

    Kilpatrick is turning to the leader of its intellectual property department in Atlanta to succeed the firm's longtime chair when he steps down from the role later this year.

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    K&L Gates Adds Hanson Bridgett, Reed Smith Corporate Attys

    K&L Gates LLP is expanding its California corporate team, announcing Monday it is bringing in a Reed Smith LLP life sciences transactional ace as a partner in its Orange County office and a Hanson Bridgett LLP emerging companies specialist as a partner in its Silicon Valley office.

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    Legal Ops Pay Gap Has Widened For Women Since 2023

    Despite heavy representation in the legal operations field, women in this area continue to be underpaid compared to men, earning as much as 25% less total compensation than their peers, a new survey has found.

  • Larry H. Parker, Who Vowed To 'Fight For You' In Ads, Dies

    Los Angeles personal injury and automobile accident lawyer Larry H. Parker, whose television advertisements and billboards vowing to "fight for you" have been a fixture in Southern California for decades, has died at age 75.

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    Rise In Civil Case Filings Mostly Driven By MDLs In 4 Districts

    The number of civil lawsuits filed in federal court grew significantly in 2023, but much of that growth was deceptive, as it was driven by a small number of mass torts in just a handful of individual districts.

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    BakerHostetler's LA Office Moves To Century City 'Destination'

    BakerHostetler has relocated its Los Angeles office, announcing Monday it was moving it to Century City from its previous location in Brentwood.

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    Cozen O'Connor Adds 6 Troutman Construction Attys In LA

    Cozen O'Connor announced Monday that it had ventured into the California construction law market with the addition of a team of six attorneys from Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP in Los Angeles.

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    Fish & Richardson Taps Patent Atty To Lead In Silicon Valley

    Intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson PC announced the new managing principal of its Silicon Valley office on Thursday, elevating a longtime patent attorney to lead the team of more than 30 intellectual property attorneys and technology specialists.

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    Ex-Holland & Knight Atty To Lead Hilgers Graben Gov't Team

    A former securities defense leader at Holland & Knight LLP has moved to Hilgers Graben PLLC's Dallas office to lead the firm's government investigations and regulatory enforcement group.

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    Uber CLO Saw Lower Stock Awards Drive Down Pay In '23

    Uber's Tony West, who has been chief legal officer there since 2017, earned about $10.4 million in total compensation in 2023, down from the $10.6 million he received the previous year, a recent securities filing showed.

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    How Small Law Firms Are Preparing To Embrace AI

    The promise of generative artificial intelligence remains outside the gates of many small law firms, but that hasn't stopped some from using this time to evaluate and test products before securing access to this new technology.

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    BCLP Axes 50 Jobs In US, UK Amid Headcount Declines

    Following years of declining lawyer headcount, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has confirmed that it is conducting a restructuring that will impact approximately 50 jobs in the U.S. and U.K., marking the second round of layoffs the firm has conducted in the past year.

  • Man Accused Of Cyberstalking NJ Judge Seeks Release

    A man representing himself after being indicted on allegations of cyberstalking a New Jersey judge urged a California federal judge on Friday to release him from custody pending trial, complaining he was initially charged with making threats against numerous officials, but the single cyberstalking count he now faces isn't cause to hold him.

  • Senate Poised To Vote On Union Atty Berner For 4th Circ.

    The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on Tuesday night on the confirmation of Nicole Berner, general counsel of the Service Employees International Union, for the Fourth Circuit.

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Expert Analysis

  • Series

    ​​​​​​​Ask A Mentor: How Can 1st-Year Attys Manage Remote Work? Author Photo

    First-year associates can have a hard time building relationships with colleagues, setting boundaries and prioritizing work-life balance in a remote work environment, so they must be sure to lean on their firms' support systems and practice good time management, say Jenny Lee and Christopher Fernandez at Kirkland.

  • 5 Ways To Lead Lawyer Teams Toward Better Mental Health Author Photo

    Attorney team leaders have a duty to attend to the mental well-being of their subordinates with intention, thought and candor — starting with ensuring their own mental health is in order, says Liam Montgomery at Williams & Connolly.

  • How Your Summer Associate Events Can Convey Inclusivity Author Photo

    As law firms begin planning next year's summer associate events, they should carefully examine how choice of venue, activity, theme, attendees and formality can create feelings of exclusion for minority associates, and consider changing the status quo to create multiculturally inclusive events, says Sharon Jones at Jones Diversity.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Negotiate Long-Term Flex Work? Author Photo

    Though the pandemic has shown the value of remote work, many firms are still reluctant to embrace flexible working arrangements when offices reopen, so attorneys should use several negotiating tactics to secure a long-term remote or hybrid work setup that also protects their potential for career advancement, says Elaine Spector at Harrity & Harrity.

  • What I Wish Law Schools Taught Women About Legal Careers Author Photo

    Instead of spending an entire semester on 19th century hunting rights, I wish law schools would facilitate honest discussions about what it’s like to navigate life as an attorney, woman and mother, and offer lessons on business marketing that transcend golf outings and social mixers, says Daphne Delvaux at Gruenberg Law.

  • 4 Ways To Break Down Barriers For Women Of Color In Law Author Photo

    Female lawyers belonging to minority groups continue to be paid less and promoted less than their male counterparts, so law firms and corporate legal departments must stop treating women as a monolithic group and create initiatives that address the unique barriers women of color face, say Daphne Turpin Forbes at Microsoft and Linda Chanow at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

  • Opinion

    We Need More Professional Diversity In The Federal Judiciary Author Photo

    With the current overrepresentation of former corporate lawyers on the federal bench, the Biden administration must prioritize professional diversity in judicial nominations and consider lawyers who have represented workers, consumers and patients, says Navan Ward, president of the American Association for Justice.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Retire Without Creating Chaos? Author Photo

    Retired attorney Vernon Winters explains how lawyers can thoughtfully transition into retirement while protecting their firms’ interests and allaying clients' fears, with varying approaches that turn on the nature of one's practice, client relationships and law firm management.

  • Why I Went From Litigator To Law Firm Diversity Officer Author Photo

    Narges Kakalia at Mintz recounts her journey from litigation partner to director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the firm, explaining how the challenges she faced as a female lawyer of color shaped her transition and why attorneys’ unique skill sets make them well suited for diversity leadership roles.

  • For Asian American Lawyers, Good Mentorship Is Crucial Author Photo

    Navigating the legal world as an Asian American lawyer comes with unique challenges — from cultural stereotypes to a perceived lack of leadership skills — but finding good mentors and treating mentorship as a two-way street can help junior lawyers overcome some of the hurdles and excel, say attorneys at Paul Weiss.

  • Coping With Secondary Trauma From Pro Bono Work Author Photo

    As the need for pro bono services continues to grow in tandem with the pandemic, attorneys should assess their mental well-being and look for symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, while law firms must carefully manage their public service programs and provide robust mental health services to employees, says William Silverman at Proskauer.

  • How Firms Can Benefit From Creating Their Own ALSPs Author Photo

    As more law firms develop their own legal services centers to serve as both a source of flexible personnel and technological innovation, they can further enhance the effectiveness by fostering a consistent and cohesive team and allowing for experimentation with new technologies from an established baseline, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

  • Modernizing Legal Education Through Hybrid JD Programs Author Photo

    Amid pandemic-era shifts in education, law schools and other stakeholders should consider the wide geographic and demographic reach of Juris Doctor programs with both online and in-person learning options, and educators should think through the various ways hybrid programs can be structured, says Stephen Burnett at All Campus.

  • How BigLaw Can Mirror Small Firm Attorney Engagement Author Photo

    BigLaw has the unique opportunity to hit refresh post-pandemic and enhance attorney satisfaction by adopting practices that smaller firms naturally employ — including work assignment policies that can provide junior attorneys steady professional development, says Michelle Genet Bernstein at Mark Migdal.

  • Ditch The Annual Review To Boost Attorney Job Satisfaction Author Photo

    In order to attract and retain the rising millennial generation's star talent, law firms should break free of the annual review system and train lawyers of all seniority levels to solicit and share frequent and informal feedback, says Betsy Miller at Cohen Milstein.

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