SECRETS, SECRETS ARE NO FUN - Hi, the feds would like to kindly remind you that nothing on the internet is untraceable, whether it’s your old MySpace page or your incriminating WhatsApp messages. As Law.com’s Nate Robson writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, white-collar lawyers and corporations are now on notice that the federal government is cracking down on the use of encrypted third-party messaging apps to commit white-collar crimes. Both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have announced steps to enforce recordkeeping rules across various industries, and have been vocal in highlighting their ability to track down evidence that was thought to be deleted or encrypted through tools like WhatsApp and Signal. As a result, law firms are urging clients to step up their compliance and recordkeeping programs to ensure they are not snagged in a government investigation. To receive the Law.com Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.

MANSFIELD MULTIPLYING - For the first time, more than half of the country’s largest firms by revenue are Mansfield Rule-certified, including nearly 80% of the Am Law 100, Law.com’s Dan Roe reports. The figures arrived in a report this week from Diversity Lab on certification results for the fifth iteration of the Mansfield Rule, which asked law firms for personnel and hiring data between July 2021 and July 2022. Certification among ranked firms is up 45% from 2021, with 19 new Am Law 100 firms and 22 in the Second Hundred earning the designation. Of the 41 Am Law firms that announced their participation in the Mansfield Rule 5.0 last summer, each succeeded in earning the certification this autumn. In an interview, Diversity Lab CEO Caren Ulrich Stacy told Roe all of the firms that have stayed committed to the Mansfield Rule have made progress in becoming more diverse in leadership and elsewhere. Heading into a potential recession, Ulrich Stacy said the program lends public transparency to law firm layoffs, which have disproportionately impacted attorneys from underrepresented groups in previous downturns.

ON THE RADAR  - Loyola University Chicago was hit with a civil rights lawsuit Thursday in Illinois Northern District Court. The lawsuit was filed by the Kreamer Law Group on behalf of Loyola student Alivia Baker and her parents Paul Baker and Tanya Baker. The complaint contends that Alivia was wrongfully suspended from Loyola after failing to comply with COVID-19 testing procedures. The complaint further accuses Loyola employees of pressuring Alivia, who was 17 years old, to lie about her age in order to be regularly screened for COVID-19, which required parental consent for minors. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 1:22-cv-05775, Baker et al v. Loyola University ChicagoStay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar


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