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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.

Sending Thank-You Checks to Expert Witnesses Gets Attorney in Trouble

Mark Lanier, a high-profile Houston lawyer, didn't complain too much when an appeals court reversed his $151 million win.

But he didn't like that the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said he was "unequivocally deceptive" at trial. The appeals court said he misled jurors by saying his expert witnesses were unpaid and that the opposing experts gave "bought testimony."

The problem, the appeals court said, was that Lanier paid his experts after the trial. Assessing the aftermath of the reversal of fortune, Lanier said he won't appeal and looks forward to the re-trial.

Given the controversy surrounding President Trump, the Mueller probe, Stormy Daniels, an unsigned settlement agreement, $130,000, and Michael Cohen, the recent FBI raid on Cohen's office seemed inevitable, or at least like one of the major plot turns in some low budget comedic mystery film that just keeps getting more and more unbelievable.

As reports explain, the raid occurred Monday morning at Cohen's offices and his hotel room. Business records, as well as emails and other documents were seized. And while many attorneys have suspected something like this was in the works, the invasion of the attorney-client privilege, even when it's related to the crime-fraud exception, just never sits well.

Las Vegas Shooting Victims Offered Free Legal Aid

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, no lawyers emerged as heroes.

It rarely happens when disasters strike anyway because most often attorneys arrive later to make a case. But there is no bleeding in the courtroom.

Sometimes, however, lawyers can help victims when their wounds are still fresh. It's time now, because many people need a hero in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.

Should Lawyers Be Able to Sue Their Firm Anonymously?

In a $50 million sex discrimination lawsuit by a BigLaw partner against her firm, the judge is allowing the plaintiff to proceed as "Jane Doe."

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson granted the partner's motion to litigate anonymously, although the defendant law firm already knows her name. Even the press has outed her as the mostly likely one of two women partners at the Washington D.C. office of Proskauer Rose.

The case presents many questions about BigLaw life, particularly as similar gender discrimination lawsuits are pending against other large firms. But this is the first of them to present the question whether litigants should be able to proceed anonymously in such circumstances.