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Harvey Kesner alleges that Baker Botts and partner Jonathan Shapiro told him he must pay $9.6 million to account for act...
01/27/2020
Ex-Sichenzia Ross Partner Sues Baker Botts for $35M, Alleging Extortion on Behalf of Ex-Client | New York Law Journal

Harvey Kesner alleges that Baker Botts and partner Jonathan Shapiro told him he must pay $9.6 million to account for acts of “fraud, breaches of duty, defalcations and other misfeasance” he committed while representing MabVax. Kesner, after being sued separately by MabVax in California without Baker Botts representation, lost his partnership at what was then Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner, the complaint said. The punitive damages Kesner is seeking stem from him being forced out of his firm. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/24/ex-sichenzia-ross-partner-sues-baker-botts-for-35m-alleging-extortion-on-behalf-of-ex-client/

Harvey Kesner alleges that Baker Botts threatened to alert federal authorities and sue him on behalf of his former client, MabVax, if he did not pay $9.6 million. Mabvax is currently suing Kesner with other representation.

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks writes: "The many benefits of consolidating and simplifying New York’s trial c...
01/24/2020
The Costs Savings of Trial Court Consolidation | New York Law Journal

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks writes: "The many benefits of consolidating and simplifying New York’s trial courts include very substantial cost savings for litigants, savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. These savings include lower attorney fees, fewer lost work days, reduced child care expenses, and lower transportation costs, among others. When added to the innumerable other benefits of trial court consolidation, the case for this critically needed improvement is overwhelming." https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/24/the-costs-savings-of-trial-court-consolidation/

Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System, examines how Chief Judge DiFiore’s plan to streamline the state's court system will allow for a far more equitable allocation of resources and caseloads among the trial courts, enabling the more efficient and...

A former Moses & Singer partner is accusing the firm of loaning him $1.173 million under fraudulent terms, immediately b...
01/24/2020
Ex-Moses & Singer Partner Says Firm Forced Him to Borrow Money, Then Fired Him | New York Law Journal

A former Moses & Singer partner is accusing the firm of loaning him $1.173 million under fraudulent terms, immediately before ejecting him from the firm.

“No rational person would, upon learning he had been terminated, proceed to sign a note purportedly requiring him to pay over $1 million to his now-former employer, with an exorbitant interest rate, that he had no obligation to pay (legal or otherwise),” Stephen Weiss wrote in the pro se filing. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/24/ex-moses-singer-partner-says-firm-forced-him-to-borrow-money-then-fired-him/

No rational person would borrow $1 million from the law firm that just fired him, Stephen Weiss contends in a filing.

Chief Judge DiFiore writes: Though we take pride in recent improvements, we have been frustrated in our long-term abilit...
01/24/2020
Bench and Bar United on Need To Simplify New York’s Court Structure | New York Law Journal

Chief Judge DiFiore writes: Though we take pride in recent improvements, we have been frustrated in our long-term ability to achieve organizational excellence by the reality that our judges, court staff and the practicing bar operate within the most inefficient, outdated trial court structure in the nation. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/24/bench-and-bar-united-on-need-to-simplify-new-yorks-court-structure/

Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York, addresses the most important issue for the future of our justice system: amending Article VI of the New York State Constitution to simplify our inefficient, outdated trial court structure.

Shearman & Sterling LLP will stay put at its longtime Manhattan address for the next two decades and plans to give the s...
01/24/2020
Shearman Plans to Stay in Midtown Offices, Signs 20-Year Lease | New York Law Journal

Shearman & Sterling LLP will stay put at its longtime Manhattan address for the next two decades and plans to give the space an “innovative and eco-friendly” facelift over the next three years. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/23/shearman-plans-to-stay-in-midtown-offices-signs-20-year-lease/

While the firm considered many compelling options, including Hudson Yards, Shearman's decision to stay was the best option for us and for our people, said a firm leader.

Recently, and with little media attention, the New York State Legislature enacted a law that appears to nullify, as cont...
01/23/2020
So Long, 'Yellowstone' Injunction Waivers? Not So Fast … | New York Law Journal

Recently, and with little media attention, the New York State Legislature enacted a law that appears to nullify, as contrary to public policy, any commercial lease provision that waives a tenant’s right to seek a Yellowstone injunction. But the statute as written may not accomplish the Legislature’s goal. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/23/so-long-yellowstone-injunction-waivers-not-so-fast/

Recently, and with little media attention, the New York State Legislature enacted a law that appears to nullify, as contrary to public policy, any commercial lease provision that waives a tenant’s right to seek a Yellowstone injunction. But the statute as written may not accomplish the Legislature...

With managing partner & co-founder Philip Halpern expected to be confirmed to the federal bench in the coming weeks, law...
01/23/2020
DelBello Donnellan Absorbs Federal Bench Nominee’s Law Firm | New York Law Journal

With managing partner & co-founder Philip Halpern expected to be confirmed to the federal bench in the coming weeks, lawyers from Collier Halpern & Newberg have joined DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, bringing about $4 million to $5 million in business and new capabilities in litigation and corporate work, according to DelBello Donnellan’s managing partner, Al Donnellan. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/23/delbello-donnellan-absorbs-federal-bench-nominees-law-firm/

Lawyers from Collier Halpern & Newberg, whose managing partner is Southern District of New York nominee Philip Halpern, are bringing about $4 million to $5 million with them to their new firm.

Annabella Sciorra took the witness stand in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial today, the first of his alleged victims  t...
01/23/2020
Actress Tells Jury of Her Rape by Harvey Weinstein in Early 1990s | New York Law Journal

Annabella Sciorra took the witness stand in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial today, the first of his alleged victims to testify. She struggled to keep her composure as prosecutors asked her to demonstrate how Weinstein held her arms over her head to keep her from fighting back during an alleged attack in the early 1990s. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/23/actress-tells-jury-of-her-rape-by-harvey-weinstein-in-early-1990s/

The defendant has not been charged with rape in Sciorra’s case, but prosecutors have said her testimony will help establish a pattern in Weinstein’s behavior and support the charge of predatory sexual assault.

A First Department panel has revived a class action lawsuit claiming the New York City Housing Authority failed to provi...
01/23/2020
Class Certified in Tenants' Heat and Hot Water Suit vs. City Housing Authority | New York Law Journal

A First Department panel has revived a class action lawsuit claiming the New York City Housing Authority failed to provide heat and hot water during a long, cold winter. “Forcing hundreds of thousands of NYCHA tenants to pursue individual breach of contract claims in Civil Court is not a just or reasonable approach, and we are pleased the Appellate court agreed,” Mary Eaton, a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, which represents the plaintiffs along with The Legal Aid Society said. “It is time for NYCHA to pay for its failure to abide by its legal obligations to provide adequate heat and hot water to its tenants.” https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/22/class-certified-in-tenants-heat-and-hot-water-suit-vs-city-housing-authority/

Mary Eaton, a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher representing the tenants, said, “Forcing hundreds of thousands of NYCHA tenants to pursue...

Commentary: The recent news that President Trump has added Kenneth Starr, Robert Ray, and Alan Dershowitz to his impeach...
01/23/2020
Trump’s Bad Dream Team | New York Law Journal

Commentary: The recent news that President Trump has added Kenneth Starr, Robert Ray, and Alan Dershowitz to his impeachment defense team should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the arc of his career or theirs. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/22/trumps-bad-dream-team/

The recent news that President Trump has added Kenneth Starr, Robert Ray, and Alan Dershowitz to his impeachment defense team should come as no...

Prosecutors in Michael Avenatti’s extortion case will be allowed to tell a jury about some of the millions of dollars in...
01/23/2020
Jury to Hear About Michael Avenatti's Debts, Stormy Daniels Case in Nike Extortion Trial | New York Law Journal

Prosecutors in Michael Avenatti’s extortion case will be allowed to tell a jury about some of the millions of dollars in debts that the embattled attorney owed at the time of his alleged shakedown of Nike Inc., a Manhattan federal judge ruled today, but lost their attempt to exclude any mention of Trump or Stormy Daniels. “I can’t pretend there was sort of an immaculate conception here where Mr. Avenatti suddenly became this incredibly public lawyer magically,” Judge Paul Gardephe said. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/22/jury-to-hear-about-michael-avenattis-debts-stormy-daniels-case-in-nike-extortion-trial/

Any mention of President Donald Trump or Stormy Daniels, a former client of Michael Avenatti who sued the president, prosecutors said, would taint the case with politics and only serve to confuse the jury.

A federal judge has refused to approve a class action settlement that included a so-called “quick-pay” fee provision tha...
01/22/2020
US Judge Swats Attorney Fee Provisions in Rejecting Pest Repeller Class Settlement | New York Law Journal

A federal judge has refused to approve a class action settlement that included a so-called “quick-pay” fee provision that allowed lawyers to be paid before the class members in a supposed effort to cut down on frivolous challenges to the settlement.

"How this would serve plaintiffs’ purported goal to deter baseless objections strains credulity," Judge Pauley wrote. "Indeed, the entire purpose of the lawsuit is to compensate the class—not the lawyers."
https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/22/us-judge-swats-attorney-fee-provisions-in-rejecting-pest-repeller-class-settlement/

U.S. District Judge William Pauley's order did not wade into the substance of the compensation, but rather focused on the attorney fee provision of the proposal.

Prosecutor Meghan Hast today shared details about six women’s stories in her opening statement in Harvey Weinstein's tri...
01/22/2020
Prosecutors Stress Youth, Naivete of Alleged Victims of Harvey Weinstein as Trial Opens | New York Law Journal

Prosecutor Meghan Hast today shared details about six women’s stories in her opening statement in Harvey Weinstein's trial, emphasizing the similarities and patterns in Weinstein’s behavior. He put his victims through a series of tests, Hast said, ensuring that they could be manipulated and that they would stay quiet about his behavior. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/22/prosecutors-stress-youth-naivete-of-alleged-victims-of-harvey-weinstein-as-trial-opens/

Weinstein put the alleged victims through a series of tests, prosecutors said in opening statements, ensuring that they could be manipulated and that they would stay quiet about his behavior.

The conditions are ripe for the long predicted disruption in legal, Tess Blair, founder of Morgan Lewis' e-data practice...
01/22/2020
Morgan Lewis eData Founder: Legal Should View Data ‘The Way Silicon Valley Does’ | New York Law Journal

The conditions are ripe for the long predicted disruption in legal, Tess Blair, founder of Morgan Lewis' e-data practice, says. "All of the elements are there—investment dollars, a lagging market with ample problems to solve and opportunities to exploit (and gobs of data), entrepreneurs with great ideas and new tech and a receptive customer base enjoying a very busy, productive business cycle. The tipping point might be the next downturn, but the smart money won’t wait." https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/why-legal-needs-to-think-about-data-the-way-silicon-valley-does-402-56620/

As part of the Legalweek 2020 Q&A series, Legaltech News speaks with Morgan Lewis partner and ‘troublemaker’ Tess Blair on a lack of digital...

The letter from Lev Parnas' attorney calling for AG Barr’s recusal cited references from a whistleblower complaint and a...
01/22/2020
Parnas' Attorney Calls on AG William Barr to Recuse From Ongoing Investigation, Prosecution | New York Law Journal

The letter from Lev Parnas' attorney calling for AG Barr’s recusal cited references from a whistleblower complaint and a transcript of President Trump's July 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart, in which the president named Barr as the “point person” for efforts to investigate Joe Biden. He also noted public calls from the New York City Bar Association and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary urging Barr to recuse himself from ongoing probes related to the Ukraine scandal. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/parnas-attorney-calls-on-ag-william-barr-to-recuse-from-ongoing-investigation-prosecution/

Attorney Joseph Bondy said Monday that Barr's proximity to the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump prevented him from impartially overseeing Parnas' prosecution

Gov. Cuomo said he would explore changes to new laws limiting the use of cash bail and promised a renewed effort to lega...
01/22/2020
Cuomo Says He'll Eye Changes to New Bail Laws in Budget Address, Boosts Marijuana Legalization Effort | New York Law Journal

Gov. Cuomo said he would explore changes to new laws limiting the use of cash bail and promised a renewed effort to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use as a part of his annual budget address today, during which he also unveiled an ambitious new plan to close the state’s $6.1 billion budget gap through increased tax receipts, a restructuring of Medicaid and cuts to local governments. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/cuomo-says-hell-eye-changes-to-new-bail-laws-in-budget-address-boosts-marijuana-legalization-effort/

On Tuesday, the governor said his proposal on cannabis was best addressed as a part of the budget, which could speed up action and force lawmakers to work out their differences.

Opening statements in the criminal trial of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein are expected to begin tomorrow in...
01/22/2020
1st Department Confirms Harvey Weinstein’s Trial Will Continue on Schedule in Manhattan | New York Law Journal

Opening statements in the criminal trial of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein are expected to begin tomorrow in Manhattan Criminal Court after the First Department today rejected the defense team’s motions for a change of venue and a stay. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/1st-department-confirms-harvey-weinsteins-trial-will-continue-on-schedule-in-manhattan/

The former movie producer's lawyers are expected to argue that his interactions with the women were consensual and, in at least some cases, transactional.

Commentary: Faced with the harsh reality that there are many truly innocent people who plead guilty rather than go to tr...
01/21/2020
Does No Cash Bail Make Any Sense? | New York Law Journal

Commentary: Faced with the harsh reality that there are many truly innocent people who plead guilty rather than go to trial simply because they couldn’t afford bail, the New York Legislature reformed the bail laws. But did legislators go too far? https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/does-no-cash-bail-make-any-sense/

When the community is potentially at risk if a particular defendant is released, even if the pending crime charged is relatively low-level, it...

A former client has hit Perkins Coie with a $150 million lawsuit, alleging the firm failed to seek and secure key patent...
01/21/2020
Perkins Coie Cost Client $150M Tech Patent Payday, Lawsuit Claims | New York Law Journal

A former client has hit Perkins Coie with a $150 million lawsuit, alleging the firm failed to seek and secure key patents that would have generated royalties from wildly successful products such as Apple’s AirPods and Amazon.com’s Echo Dot. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/perkins-coie-cost-client-150m-tech-patent-payday-lawsuit-claims/

Muzik Inc. blames the firm for losing out on royalties from products such as Apple’s AirPods and Amazon.com’s Echo Dot.

The Second Circuit vacated part of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s conviction today, ruling that...
01/21/2020
2nd Circuit Vacates Part of Ex-NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's Corruption Conviction | New York Law Journal

The Second Circuit vacated part of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s conviction today, ruling that a judge gave flawed jury instructions during Silver’s 2018 trial. The error was harmless in connection with the counts related to Silver’s other bribery scheme, the court held. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/2nd-circuit-vacates-part-of-ex-ny-state-assembly-speaker-sheldon-silvers-corruption-conviction/

The Second Circuit overturned the counts related to one of the alleged bribery schemes, which involved legal referral fees for mesothelioma cases.

Lev Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy said today that AG Barr’s proximity to the impeachment inquiry of President Trump prev...
01/21/2020
Parnas' Attorney Calls on AG William Barr to Recuse From Ongoing Investigation, Prosecution | New York Law Journal

Lev Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy said today that AG Barr’s proximity to the impeachment inquiry of President Trump prevented him from impartially overseeing Parnas’ prosecution, and asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor from outside the Department of Justice. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/parnas-attorney-calls-on-ag-william-barr-to-recuse-from-ongoing-investigation-prosecution/

Attorney Joseph Bondy said Monday that Barr's proximity to the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump prevented him from impartially overseeing Parnas' prosecution

Lawyers representing attorney Michael Avenatti today asked for a federal judge’s help in having their client transferred...
01/21/2020
Judge Asked to Intervene as Avenatti Seeks Transfer From MCC's Secure Housing Unit | New York Law Journal

Lawyers representing attorney Michael Avenatti today asked for a federal judge’s help in having their client transferred out of a secure housing unit in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, as he waits to stand trial later this week on charges that he tried to extort Nike Inc. Criminal defense attorney Scott Srebnick said in a letter late Monday night that Avenatti had been transferred on Jan. 17 to MCC’s “notorious 10-South” floor in Lower Manhattan, where was being held in the same cell that once housed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/01/21/judge-asked-to-intervene-as-avenatti-seeks-transfer-from-mccs-secure-housing-unit/

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe has been asked to inquire into custody status of the embattled attorney and direct the federal Bureau of Prisons to consider Avenatti's immediate removal to general population.

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