Top StoriesSunday, October 23, 2011


Banks Push for Coordination of 17 Mortgage-Backed Securities Suits

A federal judge is considering dueling proposals for how to handle suits brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency against 17 of the world's biggest financial institutions over $200 billion in sub-par mortgage-backed securities. The banks, represented by 35 lawyers from nine elite firms, argue that the cases should be coordinated, while the government contends that the issues are fact-specific.

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Janet Day on Law Firm IT 'Nirvana'

LTN reporter Evan Koblentz speaks with Berwin Leighton Paisner CIO Janet Day about her "concept of nirvana," in which the consumerization of IT in law firms -- where lawyers use and maintain their favorite devices for work -- makes the help desk unnecessary. Koblentz and Day also discuss Hewlett-Packard's move to become more consumer-focused as Apple potentially becomes more business-focused.


'Pivotal Role' for General Counsel in Corporate Political Activity

The machinations of the 2012 election cycle are fully in motion, and general counsel will be key in developing oversight for corporate political spending, as well as promoting transparency and accountability, according to the authors of a new report by The Conference Board.

Former MoFo Partner Pleads Guilty to Bilking Insurers, Schools in Autism Scam

Jonathan Dickstein, a former Morrison & Foerster partner in San Francisco, could wind up in prison after pleading guilty to 31 felony counts stemming from a $400,000 scam he and his wife concocted based on their autistic son's education and medical treatment.


Judge Rules MGA Was Too Late With Antitrust Claims Against Mattel

A federal judge has dismissed an antitrust suit brought by MGA Entertainment against Mattel, concluding that it raised allegations that were too similar to the claims in a related copyright case between the parties, but gave the Bratz doll maker an opportunity to amend its complaint.

Big Law School Loan Provider Getting Out of the Business

A change in federal student loan policy has forced Access Group, a nonprofit company that has been the largest single provider of loans to law students since 1983, to stop lending to new students and to shed most of its staff.

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DOJ Pitches Rule Change Addressing Historical Grand Jury Material

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times | Oct 19, 2011

The U.S. Justice Department is proposing a change in legal rules that would give judges greater flexibility to release grand jury material of historical significance in cases that are at least 30 years old. The request, presented in a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to a committee of the federal judiciary's policy-making body, comes after the government declined to challenge a judge's order directing the government to release Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony.

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The Power of Hope

The American Lawyer

While the nation's 100 highest-grossing firms rebounded from a disastrous 2009 by posting healthy gains in 2010, gains at the Second Hundred were less robust. The Second Hundred's total gross revenue rose 2.2 percent, to $17.46 billion in 2010 from $17.08 billion in 2009, while average revenue per lawyer increased just 1.5 percent, to $579,749 from $570,999. Average profits per partner rose 3.4 percent, to $665,665 from $643,580. So why aren't they worried?


The 2011 AmLaw 200


Gross Revenue


RPL Top 20

Am Law 100 2011

The American Lawyer

After watching profits per partner sink 4.3 percent in 2008 and revive only 0.3 percent in 2009, Am Law 100 firms finally posted a healthy increase—8.4 percent—in 2010. But much of that gain is attributable to firms’ aggressive cost-control measures, especially in the area of headcount, which dropped 2.7 percent over 2009. As a result, growth in revenue per lawyer—the most reliable measure of the overall financial health of law firms—was more tepid, 4.4 percent


Overview: Back in Black


Gross Revenue


Revenue Per Lawyer

NLJ 250

The National Law Journal

The NLJ 250, The National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation's largest law firms, shows that Big Law continued to shed lawyers at a brisk clip in 2010. Nearly 2,900 fewer lawyers worked for the 250 top firms last year. That's in addition to the approximately 6,600 attorneys who departed in 2009. In the 34 years The NLJ has been surveying large firms to gather headcount numbers, there have never been multiyear declines of this magnitude.


THE 2011 NLJ 250


Branch Offices


Gains & Losses


Largest U.S. Law Offices

Corporate ScorecardIllustration:Tavis Coburn

The American Lawyer

Since the early days of our survey, which ranks the world's largest law firms by revenue, international reach and profit have seemingly grown hand in hand. But when one examines the performance of individual firms in 2010 or charts their performance over time, it is unclear if there is truly a causal relationship between global expansion and financial success. Star performers can be found among the most stubborn homebodies and the most persistent imperialists.


The 2011 Global 100: Most Revenue


The 2011 Global 100: Most Profits Per Partner


The 2011 Global 100: Most Lawyers

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Veteran Lawyers Expound on Value of Public Service

The National Law Journal

Federal appeals court Judge David Tatel and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. shared their pro bono experiences and what inspired them to take up public service jobs during a panel discussion Friday, part of the Equal Justice Works Annual Conference and Career Fair.

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