Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Law Firm News Category

It's Hard Enough to Do Immigration Law Without the Government Shutting Down

As the government shutdown drags on, so do immigration proceedings.

Immigration court hearings are being pushed back -- some by years -- because of a political battle over the border wall. President Trump has threatened to continue the shutdown unless he gets $5 billion to build the wall.

Immigration law was hard before the political stalemate, but now it is practically impossible. If you want a hearing, take a number and get in a very long line.

Big Firm Invites Only Women to the Partners' Table

Not so long ago -- like seconds ago -- it would be business as usual for a law firm to promote only male partners.

Today, it shouldn't be unusual for a law firm to promote only female partners. But it is; and that's why it's news.

No matter which way you slice it, however, it is good news. Welcome, ladies, to the class of 2018.

The Pipeline Parity Project has scored another big victory in the fight to eradicate the scourge that is arbitration for law firm employees.

This week, Kirkland and Ellis announced that it would no longer require arbitration for staff, adding on to their announcement last month that it would no longer require arbitration for summer and regular associates. Curiously, there's still no word about whether the arbitration clauses at Kirkland will apply to partners with gender discrimination or sexual harassment claims.

Trump SCOTUS Potential Proposes Discovery Ban on Cases Under $500K

We've heard so much about Russians, collusion, and porn stars, it's getting really old.

If it weren't for stories about Mueller, Cohen, and Kavanaugh, many lawyers would have tuned out the saga of scandals. But now comes a presidential/legal development that should concern attorneys across America.

One potential Supreme Court nominee proposes eliminating discovery in federal cases worth less than $500,000. It won't make the 6 o'clock news, but associate attorneys should start thinking about what they will do for work next.

Why Expand a Law Practice Across the State Lines?

Like changes in belt sizes, some law firms expand in unexpected ways.

They hire more lawyers, merge with others, and morph into new entities before anyone notices. As long as there is room to grow, they will try to beat the competition to the market.

One Alabama-based firm is trying to do that. Instead of growing in their home state, they are crossing state lines.

It's easy to see why Hilarie Bass is a world-class leader.

She had a stellar career at Greenberg Traurig, where she chaired the international firm's 600-member litigation department for eight years. As immediate past-president of the American Bar Association, she made it her business to work on equality in the legal profession.

Now, after 37 years, she is leaving her position as co-president of her firm to start a non-profit on law firm diversity. At a time when many top lawyers leave in disputes over money or worse, Bass is at the top of her game.

Last week, it was announced that two of the families that were separated at the border while crossing without documentation have filed a lawsuit against various government officials, seeking to hold somebody responsible for the illegal, and traumatic, experience the children and parents suffered.

The case makes class action allegations on behalf of the other separated children and families, and also alleges a conspiracy between several top officials to separate families in order to deter immigration via the southern border.

Comic-Con Case Nets $4M Attorney's Fees in 20K Case

Comic-Con won a trademark lawsuit over its name, but winning another $4 million for attorney's fees in the case is no laughing matter.

It's more of a "you've got to be kidding me" thing, especially to the defendants who were found liable for infringing on the Comic-Con name. A jury said the organizers of a Salt Lake "Comic-Con" infringed on the original San Diego Comic-Con brand.

Jurors awarded $20,000 in damages for the infringement, and then the judge added $3.76 million in fees and $212,323 in costs. Like we said, not funny.

Johnny Depp Voids Fee Deal With Lawyer, Wants $30 Million Back

Actor Johnny Depp can void an attorney's fee agreement with his former lawyer, a judge ruled.

Attorney Jacob Bloom wanted a percentage of the actor's earnings, and went to work on a "handshake." But Judge Terry Green said the contingency-fee agreement should have been in writing under California's Business and Professions Code.

Now the star of "Pirates of the Caribbean" wants his money back -- $30 million -- on the handshake deal. After all, as they say in the movies, the Pirate's Code is really more guidelines than actual rules.

Rhode Island's superior court is giving the state a tiny little reprieve before potentially letting it get some really bad news.

You see, the state's senior legal counsel for the Health and Human Services department missed the deadline for appealing, as well as requesting a stay pending appeal, in a case it just lost. However, after he recently resigned, the department still appealed and asked for the stay anyway (after all, there's over $20 million on the line here). And while the appeal is still pending before the state's supreme court, the stay was granted by the lower court in order to maintain the status quo until the appeal is resolved.