California Pulse

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    Mid-Law Not Immune To Structural Mental Health Challenges

    Despite the common narrative that lawyers can trade higher pay for better well-being and work-life balance by moving to smaller firms, experts say that Mid-Law firms are generally facing the same industry pressures that contribute to long hours, stress and poor attorney mental health.

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    Ethics Probes Take Mental Toll On Solo, Small Firm Attorneys

    Facing a disciplinary complaint can take a toll on any attorney’s mental health. But for solo practitioners and small firm lawyers, who typically juggle all aspects of their business from handling client matters to administrative tasks like managing trust accounts, it can threaten to upend their lives.

  • Atty, Pot Entrepreneurs Get Conspiracy Claims Thrown Out

    A California state appeals court has thrown out claims against a group of attorneys and cannabis entrepreneurs that they were part of a "straw man practice" conspiracy to monopolize the San Diego cannabis market, finding the complaint failed to allege they did anything illegal.

  • A&O Shearman Names UK And US Managing Partners

    Allen & Overy LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP named on Tuesday the partners set to lead the soon-to-be merged A&O Shearman for the U.S. and U.K. markets.

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    GRSM50 Moves Oakland Office To Walnut Creek In California

    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP has moved its office in Oakland to a new space in Walnut Creek that will accommodate a growing roster and better serve clients across Northern California.

  • OpenAI Case Not Ready For Lead Counsel Pick, Judge Says

    A California federal judge has rejected authors' pick for interim lead counsel in a case accusing OpenAI of copyright infringement, ruling that the request was made too early and must wait until class certification has been decided.

  • Robinhood's Top Lawyer Saw Pay Slashed By 29% In 2023

    Dan Gallagher, the chief legal officer for online securities trading company Robinhood, earned $10.7 million in 2023, a nearly 30% decrease from the $15.1 million he came away with in 2022, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • NY Atty Gets 10 Years In Prison For Trying To Have Ex Killed

    A New York attorney convicted of arranging to pay a hitman to murder the mother of his two young children has been sentenced in California federal court to 10 years behind bars, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

  • Colo. Judge Moves Toward Eastman DQ Over Calif. Discipline

    A Colorado federal judge has ordered former Donald Trump lawyer John C. Eastman to explain why he shouldn't be disqualified from representing plaintiffs in a civil suit after a California disciplinary judge suspended his law license and recommended disbarment in March.

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    Alphabet, Google CLO Saw Comp Surpass $27M Last Year

    Kent Walker, a longtime Google lawyer who is now the legal chief at the technology behemoth and its parent company Alphabet, earned more than $27.3 million in compensation in 2023, according to a recent securities filing, as the business continues to grapple with antitrust cases at both the federal and state levels.

  • Smollett Atty Wants Sanctions Over Missing Therapy Records

    An attorney for Jussie Smollett has asked an Illinois federal judge for another round of sanctions after two brothers who allegedly helped stage a hate crime against the actor failed to turn over discovery, saying they've refused to turn over records or answer questions in the defamation suit pertaining to their mental health treatment.

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    Nextdoor Legal Chief Announces Plans To Resign

    The legal head of social network operator Nextdoor will be leaving the company next month, according to a recent securities filing.

  • Haynes Boone Relocates SF Office In 6th Firm Move Since Fall

    Haynes and Boone LLP announced Monday that it has moved its San Francisco office to a larger location in the heart of the city's Financial District.

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    DoorDash GC's Comp Falls, With $5M Drop In Stock Awards

    DoorDash Inc. general counsel Tia Sherringham received roughly $10 million in compensation in 2023, down significantly from the prior year due to a dip in stock awards, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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    The Best Therapy For Lawyers, According To Ex-Lawyers

    Attorneys-turned-therapists say no one understands the stresses of being a lawyer like another lawyer. They also say their clients sometimes struggle at first with treatment that prioritizes feelings, mindfulness and even body awareness over the intellectualizing and rationalizing that make them successful at their jobs.

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    Security Startup Founder Joins Greenberg Traurig From MoFo

    Greenberg Traurig LLP has added a former Morrison & Foerster LLP technology litigator and data security software startup founder to its San Francisco office, the firm announced Monday.

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    How Dechert's Culture Helped Its SF Leader Forge Resilience

    When his 2-month-old daughter was hospitalized with a potentially fatal condition, Dechert partner Jonathan Stott leaned on firm mentors and colleagues for strength. Now, as managing partner of the firm's San Francisco office Stott is on a mission to pay it forward and continue fostering a supportive and resilient office community.

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    Atty Alcohol Misuse: What's Worked, What Hasn't, What's Next

    In the eight years since an ABA report revealed pervasive alcohol misuse among lawyers, the legal industry has sought to address the problem. Here is a look at what’s working, what isn’t, and how legal employers can effectively address law’s problem drinking crisis going forward.

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    Workload, Trauma, Isolation Impacting Judges' Mental Health

    Overwhelming caseloads, the secondary trauma from certain types of cases and a lack of peer support are the biggest stressors judges say they're facing, with many of them experiencing difficulty concentrating, remaining unbiased and treating litigants and lawyers with respect as a result.

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    V&E Appoints Ex-Littler CIO As Tech Leader

    Vinson & Elkins LLP announced on Monday the appointment of a chief technology and data officer with prior experience at Littler Mendelson PC, commercial real estate giant Colliers International and now-defunct Hitachi Consulting.

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    JAMS Brings On Pair Of Retired Judges In Northern Calif.

    The alternative dispute resolution service JAMS is expanding its mediation/arbitration team, announcing last week that it is adding two state judges as mediators in its San Francisco Bay Area offices — former superior court judges in Santa Clara County and in Alameda County.  

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    Most Gen Z Lawyers Would Take A Pay Cut For Fewer Hours

    Money is no longer the top factor in many Generation Z lawyers' list of priorities, with three-fourths naming culture as the No. 1 factor they used in choosing a law firm, according to a new report released Monday by recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa and legal intelligence provider Leopard Solutions.

  • Law360 Reveals Titans Of The Plaintiffs Bar

    In the past year, plaintiffs have won settlements and judgments for millions and billions of dollars from companies such as Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Facebook and Fox News, with many high-profile cases finally wrapping up after years of fighting. Such cases — involving over-the-top compensation packages, chemical contamination, gender discrimination and data mining — were led by attorneys whose accomplishments earned them recognition as Law360's Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar for 2024.

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    How Legos, 'Working Girl' Sealed $10B Sibling Rivalry Win

    A father-son attorney team used Legos and an argument borrowed from the 1988 film "Working Girl" to help a Los Angeles jury understand how their client's own brother illegally stole his multibillion-dollar real estate business, leading to a $10 billion verdict for their client and his other brothers, the attorneys told Law360.

  • L'Occitane's Claim Zimmerman Reed Weaponized Law Tossed

    A California federal judge has thrown out L'Occitane's allegations that Zimmerman Reed LLP and thousands of clients conspired to "weaponize" a California wiretapping law against the luxury retailer, while chastising both sides' counsel in a footnote for their "overwrought, unjustified and misguided" arguments during litigation.

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Expert Analysis

  • Learning How To Code Can Unleash New Potential In Lawyers Author Photo

    Every lawyer can begin incorporating aspects of software development in their day-to-day practice with little to no changes in their existing tools or workflow, and legal organizations that take steps to encourage this exploration of programming can transform into tech incubators, says George Zalepa at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Supporting Associates Amid Pandemic's Mental Health Toll Author Photo

    As junior associates increasingly report burnout, work-life conflict and loneliness during the pandemic, law firms should take tangible actions to reduce the stigma around seeking help, and to model desired well-being behaviors from the top down, say Stacey Whiteley at the New York State Bar Association and Robin Belleau at Kirkland.

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    Ask A Mentor: Should My Law Firm Take On An Apprentice? Author Photo

    Mentoring a law student who is preparing for the bar exam without attending law school is an arduous process that is not for everyone, but there are also several benefits for law firms hosting apprenticeship programs, says Jessica Jackson, the lawyer guiding Kim Kardashian West's legal education.

  • The Importance Of Client Engagement In Law Firm Innovation Author Photo

    As clients increasingly want law firms to serve as innovation platforms, firms must understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach — the key is a nimble innovation function focused on listening and knowledge sharing, says Mark Brennan at Hogan Lovells.

  • The Unique Challenges Facing Women-Owned Law Firms Author Photo

    In addition to establishing their brand from scratch, women who start their own law firms must overcome inherent bias against female lawyers and convince prospective clients to put aside big-firm preferences, says Joel Stern at the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms.

  • The Pursuit Of Wellness In BigLaw: Lessons From My Journey Author Photo

    Jane Jeong at Cooley shares how grueling BigLaw schedules and her own perfectionism emotionally bankrupted her, and why attorneys struggling with burnout should consider making small changes to everyday habits.

  • Why We Must Recruit And Advance More Black Prosecutors Author Photo

    Black Americans make up a disproportionate percentage of the incarcerated population but are underrepresented among elected prosecutors, so the legal community — from law schools to prosecutor offices — must commit to addressing these disappointing demographics, says Erika Gilliam-Booker at the National Black Prosecutors Association.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can Associates Deal With Overload? Author Photo

    Young lawyers overwhelmed with a crushing workload must tackle the problem on two fronts — learning how to say no, and understanding how to break down projects into manageable parts, says Jay Harrington at Harrington Communications.

  • A Scientific Path For Improving Diversity At Law Firms Author Photo

    Law firms could combine industrial organizational psychology and machine learning to study prospective hires' analytical thinking, stress response and similar attributes — which could lead to recruiting from a more diverse candidate pool, say Ali Shahidi and Bess Sully at Sheppard Mullin.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can Associates Seek More Assignments? Author Photo

    In the first installment of Law360 Pulse's career advice guest column, Meela Gill at Weil offers insights on how associates can ask for meaningful work opportunities at their firms without sounding like they are begging. 

  • Legal Sector Regulatory Reform Is Key To Closing Justice Gap Author Photo

    In order to improve access to justice for those who cannot afford a lawyer, states should consider regulatory innovations, such as allowing new forms of law firm ownership and permitting nonlawyers to provide certain legal services, says Patricia Lee Refo, president of the American Bar Association.

  • How Attys Can Guard Against Rising Settle-And-Sue Claims Author Photo

    Certain precautions can help lawyers avoid post-settlement malpractice claims and create a solid evidentiary defense, as settle-and-sue lawsuits rise amid pandemic-induced dispute settlements, say Bethany Kristovich and Jeremy Beecher at Munger Tolles.

  • What I Learned As A Virtual Summer Associate Author Photo

    It is necessary in a virtual law firm summer program to think twice about asking questions you may be able to answer on your own, but this independence and other aspects of a remote internship may help to instill habits that would be useful for future full-time associates, says law student Kelley Sheehan, who interned at Patterson & Sheridan this summer.

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