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ALM Morning Minute | Law.com

April 6, 2017

 
 
 

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What you need to know

CHADBOURNE SUIT HITS 'NEW LOW' – The gender bias suit against Chadbourne & Parke is a true wonder: Just when you think it can't possibly get any more contentious or unpleasant, it finds a way to become even uglier. Seven months after filing the suit, litigation partner Kerrie Campbell could finally be on the outs. The firm said Wednesday that a partnership vote would be convened to determine her future at Chadbourne. The firm, in its statement, cited Campbell’s alleged “questionable legal judgment, her serious and disruptive failures in practice management, and her displaying poor personal judgment, among other things,” as necessitating her departure from the firm. But a press statement on behalf of the plaintiffs called the firm's announcement "a new low." "By calling the planned expulsion vote 'the inevitable result of the choices Ms. Campbell has made' in bringing suit against the firm, Chadbourne openly admits that the vote to terminate Ms. Campbell is retaliatory," the statement said.  READ MORE HERE

MERGER MANIA MARCHES ON – When it comes to law firms joining together in blessed union, it's safe to say that love (and, probably in some cases, desperation) is still in the air. Led by a strong wave of cross-border combinations, law firm merger activity in the first quarter of 2017 continued to accelerate as legal services shops gained growth and market share through acquisitions, according to reports by legal consultancies Altman Weil Inc. and Fairfax Associates. The first three months of 2017 saw 28 combinations, two of them between Am Law 100 firms, five of the cross-border variety and other acquisitions of smaller U.S. firms, said Altman Weil’s report. “It’s really a continuation and acceleration of what we’ve been seeing for the past couple of years,” said Altman Weil principal Thomas Clay. “Firms [recognize] that if they’re going to continue to grow and gain market share, it’s not going to be organic, it’s going to be by acquisition.” READ MORE HERE

Sponsored By NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation)

Ten Mistakes to Avoid at Mediation - Under the best of circumstances, mediation may not result in the resolution of a litigated dispute. This may be as a result of factors which are not under the control of the parties. However, mediations are often negatively affected by basic mistakes involving factors that are within the parties’ control.  Read More

GRATUITOUS GRATUITIES – SCOTUS is set to dive into the deep end of the tip pool to determine how much power restaurants have to force employees to share their tips with each other—even those, like chefs and dishwashers, who wouldn't normally be tipped at all. The central question in the fight challenges the authority of the DOL to enact a rule that restricts tip pooling. Restaurants, by and large, like tip pooling because it allows them to pay their workers less than minimum wage as long as there are sufficient tips to make up the difference. But come on, is this really an issue for the U.S. Supreme Court? Do restaurants really violate the FLSA by requiring employees to contribute to the tip pool or by divvying up the tips among ineligible back-of-house workers? In a word: heck-yeah-they-do. "I pretty much know if I get a call from someone working in a restaurant, the chance they have a claim is somewhere around 80 percent,” said Drew Hermann of Fort Worth’s Hermann Law. “With a regular employee, maybe 5 percent have a claim. There are so many restaurants that violate this. Waiters and waitresses, more than any other group of employees, are treated as dispensable.” READ MORE HERE

FIRED (AND LAWYERED) UP – Two weeks ago, we told you about the former dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, who was removed from her position, she says, for doing exactly what she was brought on to do: cut spending. At the time, Jennifer Bard made that claim in the press herself, but now she's hired a lawyer, Marjorie Berman of New York firm Krantz & Berman, to do the talking. Berman said the university violated its own internal rules when it pushed Bard out of the dean job on March 22 and placed her on leave while it investigates her leadership of the law school. "The interim provost placed Dean Bard on administrative leave without the slightest factual basis for doing so,” said Marjorie Berman, an attorney with New York firm Krantz & Berman. “Administrative leave implies conduct requiring an immediate separation, that the university well knows does not exist here. Faculty unwilling to put the needs of the students and the law school ahead of their own does not constitute such conduct.” University spokesman Greg Vehr did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. READ MORE HERE

While you were sleeping

LAW REVIEW – Standard Chartered is close to completing the latest review of its international legal panel, with firms expecting to be informed if they have been successful in the coming weeks. The London-headquartered bank, which is among the largest companies in the FTSE 100 by market capitalization, has run a tender exercise for its panel and is now processing the results. One London banking partner said: “We are currently in a ‘close’ period in terms of speaking to key people at the bank, and the results are expected in a few weeks.” The bank last reviewed its panel in 2015, when Herbert Smith Freehills was added to the roster alongside Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Baker McKenzie and Hogan Lovells. The bank has been through a major restructuring in recent years, after announcing in 2015 that it was aiming to cut 15,000 jobs by 2018. READ MORE HERE

 

What you said

I was protecting my stellar legal and personal reputation over the past [25] years.

Deborah Gross-Quatrone, New Jersey trial judge, explaining to state ethics authorities why she secretly taped a conversation with another judge, whom she claims verbally abused her.

 

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