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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
SPY GAMES - After a last-minute filing flap among lawyers, sentencing for Maria Butina is set for today in D.C. federal court. Prosecutors are seeking an 18-month sentence for Butina, who pleaded guilty in December to acting as a Russian agent in order to influence U.S. politics by building relationships with gun rights activists and other conservatives. Her attorneys are seeking a sentence of time served. As Ellis Kim reports, defense attorneys earlier this week unsuccessfully tried to persuade Judge Tanya Chutkin to strike what they said was an 11th-hour effort by prosecutors to introduce a “wholly new theory of espionage activity.”
OPEN OR CLOSED? Lawyers in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case are expected in Manhattan court today to hash it out over whether alleged prior bad acts of the disgraced movie mogul will be permitted as evidence. But first, Judge James Burke is expected to decide whether he’ll close the courtroom to the public. As Colby Hamilton reports, the parties have asked the judge to do so during the evidentiary hearing over concerns that the material discussed could prejudice Weinstein’s right to a fair trial. He faces criminal counts relating to two accusers who say Weinstein assaulted them in 2006 and 2013.
PLEASE REPEAT - It’s been a year, and GCs still find themselves having to explain what the heck the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is to their company leaders. We get it. The GDPR is a big snooze for most non-techie types, but as Victoria Hudgins reports, the GC’s role in getting companies to comply is only going to become more important as the California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect in January.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
IN DUBLIN - U.K.-based Fieldfisher is poised to open a Dublin office through a May 1 merger with Irish firm McDowell Purcell, a corporate-focused operation with 16 partners and 50 lawyers. Rose Walker reports that the merger will bring the number of Fieldfisher offices to 25. Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick has described Dublin as the firm’s “missing piece post-Brexit.”
WHAT YOU SAID
“This case is going to break budgets, break hearts and break lives.”
— HOWARD FINKELSTEIN, A PUBLIC DEFENDER IN FLORIDA WHO HAS ASKED THE COURT TO REMOVE HIS OFFICE FROM REPRESENTING PARKLAND HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTER NIKOLAS CRUZ, WHO ANTICIPATES A $432,000 PAYOUT FROM HIS DEAD MOTHER’S LIFE INSURANCE POLICY.
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