With summer only a few days away, The Am Law Daily has once again cobbled together a compendium of compelling tales for those inclined to catch up on their legal (and nonlegal) reading. While perhaps not as robust as the summer reading list recommended by JPMorgan Chase, consider this our attempt to find at least one interesting yarn for each member of our audience to while away their time.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher helped Apple—thriving under CEO Tim Cook—settle a class action suit over e-book pricing this week, according to sibling publication the Litigation Daily. Our former colleague Alison Frankel, now of Reuters, examines an interesting proviso to the deal.
China flexed its regulatory muscles this week by scuttling a vast container-shipping alliance. The country, dealing with questions about its continued economic growth, has seen its antitrust laws evolve over the past six years, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer, which notes how the changes have affected the regional competition practices of global firms.
Hollywood is changing—and not because Nikki Finke is back in town. Entertainment companies are scouring for mergers, according to The Wall Street Journal, while The New York Times notes that DreamWorks SKG is seeking to move beyond animation. The New Republic looks at whether 1970s classic Chinatown doomed the future of the detective genre. LA Weekly had the almost unbelievable story earlier this year on the long journey of producers Remington Chase and Stefan Martirosian.
Men’s Wearhouse finally closed on its hard-fought $1.8 billion purchase of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers this week, a victory for the acquirer’s lawyers from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. The WSJ reports that Willkie lawyers ditched their Armani suits in favor of some Men’s Wearhouse duds while working on the deal.
Venture capital firm Canaan Partners lead a $10.5 million fundraising round this month for Washio, an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service seeking to disrupt how we clean our clothes. The race to bring Washio to market was covered in detail in a late May feature by New York magazine.
Foreign Policy, citing recently declassified government papers, looks at how the Central Intelligence Agency handled events in Iran and the Congo—before the latter was renamed Zaire—during the beginning of the Cold War.
Hogan Lovells has delivered a legal opinion to human rights group Human Liberty that suggests that the current situation in North Korea under strongman Kim Jong-un, who Time magazine labeled “Lil’ Kim” in a 2012 cover story, amounts to genocide. Kim, seen this week in a submarine almost 50 years old, could be referred to the International Criminal Court in the rare event geopolitics don’t interfere.
Phil Klay, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and studied creative writing at Dartmouth, speaks with the Los Angeles Review of Books about the experience of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The American Lawyer’s Michael D. Goldhaber reports on the prosecution that began in Newark of Maksym Shynkarenko, a Ukrainian child pornographer, sentenced this week to 30 years in prison for masterminding a massive child exploitation enterprise. A global task force has found that child sex pornography on the Internet has reached epidemic levels. The Am Law Daily reported late last year on former Bingham McCutchen and Allen & Overy partner Edward De Sear, a New Jersey resident caught up in the Justice Department’s sting and sentenced to 17 years in prison on child porn and sex trafficking charges.
While windsurfing is now permitted behind the former Iron Curtain, the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine shows that 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, progress is merely an illusion, according to Open Democracy.
Despite the risks of drowsy driving, U.S. truckers are resisting new rules on sleep, according to The New York Times.
Inside Philanthropy looks at the Sobrato Family Foundation, which made its fortune in Silicon Valley real estate, and is now led by power couple Lisa Sobrato Sonsini, a former associate at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, and Matthew Sonsini, who left the partnership at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in 2008.
Tablet Magazine looks at the origins of Yiddish, while The New Republic excerpts Werner Sollors’ “The Temptation of Despair: Tales of Life in the 1940s,” which examines how victims and victors moved on from the horrors of World War II.
Allen & Overy recently opened a small outpost in Toronto after Casablanca office founder and structured finance partner Francois Duquette returned home. Duquette spoke this week with U.K. publication The Lawyer about why the Magic Circle firm chose to focus its international expansion efforts on Australia instead of Canada a few years ago.
Jeffrey Haidet, chairman of McKenna Long & Aldridge, speaks with sibling publication the Daily Report in Atlanta about his firm’s future seven months after a scuttled merger with Dentons.
The National Law Journal, another sibling publication, reports that the U.S. legal market has struggled to absorb the record-setting law school class of 2013.
U.K. publication Legal Week reports that Magic Circle firms are boosting associate salary levels in a nod to the boom times of years past, although their U.S. and transatlantic counterparts still remain a threat to poach new talent. Legal Week also notes that while global legal giants may think they have the world at their feet, size alone doesn’t guarantee future success.
Gaston Kroub, a former IP partner at Greenberg Traurig and Locke Lord who left the latter to open his own shop late last year, now writes regularly for Above the Law. In a column this week, Kroub discusses “profits per me,” in response to the recent dustup between Dentons and The American Lawyer over measuring profits per partner.
Vault has unlocked its annual list of 100 most prestigious firms, with Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz topping the rankings.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing for The Atlantic last month, makes the case for financial reparations for African-Americans as a result of slavery. Ezra Klein, founder of Vox Media, summarizes Coates’ argument, which drew a wide response from all regions of the Internet.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the media rounds a few weeks back—and graced the cover of The New York Times Magazine—while promoting his financial crisis memoir Stress Test. Times columnist Paul Krugman said at the time that Geithner should have done more, and in a lengthier piece this month in the New York Review of Books appears more skeptical about some of his claims.
More than four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, tar balls from the massive oil spill are still washing up on the coast, according to The National Journal.
Sports and Entertainment
Drinker Biddle & Reath spent almost 9,000 billable hours and $3.5 million in pro bono legal services over the past decade representing a group of Native Americans plaintiffs that successfully petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel restrictions on a trademark for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins, according to sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer. The team, represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, can hold onto its trademarks while it appeals the ruling. A nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Redskins hired McGuireWoods this month to help the team keep its controversial name.
Branded media content has become all the rage, but Felix Salmon, formerly of Reuters and now writing for ABC’s Fusion, wondered earlier this year if a wonk bubble might be forming. In a late May piece for Medium, a site started by two Twitter founders, Salmon compared New York’s Citibank program to Ecuador.
Earlier this year, ESPN named Marie Donoghue, a former in-house lawyer serving as the sports and entertainment giant’s senior vice president of global strategy and business affairs and development, as the new head of its Exit 31 unit, which now includes Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, Bill Simmons’ Grantland and the company’s popular documentary film division. One brand that hasn’t taken off is a so-called Black Grantland to be spun out by columnist Jason Whitlock, according to Deadspin.
Forbes reports on how Rochelle “Shelly” Sterling—and her lawyer Pierce O’Donnell—gained control of her estranged husband Donald Sterling’s medical records in her effort to sell the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a whopping $2 billion.
The 2014 World Cup is underway in Brazil, but the U.K.’s New Statesman wonders whether this could be one of the last we see of the tournament, whose next two venues will be in Russia and Qatar, two countries where corruption allegations have tarnished the legacy of the games.
Weekend Reading is assembled with contributions by The Am Law Daily’s readers, reports and editors.