BACK, IN TIME - Iron-willed attorneys and staff who have thus far managed to resist the lure of free snacks may find themselves subject to more forceful attempts by their firm leaders to bring them back to the office in 2022. As’s Andrew Maloney reports, some legal industry analysts say firms could become more adamant about attendance next year, citing high vaccine uptake, concerns about cultural and development issues, and unforeseen challenges in having different people in and out of the office. “Everybody is telling me, ‘Look, we’re back in the office. Forty percent, or 30%, are back, or whatever it is. But we’re not really putting pressure on anybody until next year,’” said Jim Jones, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession, adding that firm leaders “are really worried about cultural issues.”

BITTER PILL - Four years after a California appeals court upheld her landmark victory against the lead paint industry, Motley Rice’s Fidelma Fitzpatrick failed to persuade a California judge to hold manufacturers of opioid pharmaceuticals liable for creating a public nuisance,’s Amanda Bronstad reports. In a tentative decision earlier this week, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson differentiated the case from a 2017 public nuisance finding against lead paint companies that marketed their products as safe despite knowing of the health risks. “The FDA approves the use of opioids in appropriate circumstances, and the California Legislature approves and promotes the use of opioids in appropriate circumstances,” Wilson wrote. “The court must accordingly draw a distinction between conduct resulting in the anticipated, approved use, and conduct resulting in improper use. The evidence does not permit the court here to draw (and measure) that distinction.” Still, the judge added that nothing in his opinion “is intended to suggest that false and misleading marketing and promotion that results in medically inappropriate prescriptions being written may not constitute an actionable public nuisance.”

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