KAPPOS TO CRAVATH

David Kappos, who stepped down last month as director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, has joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Kappos is only the fourth Cravath partner brought in as a lateral hire in a half-century, the firm said. (See Page 19 for more on the PTO’s new leadership.)

ANOTHER BANK FINED

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is the latest bank to be implicated in the ongoing interest rate rigging scandal, agreeing last week to pay U.S. fines totaling $612 million. Like other banks before it, RBS was charged with making false submissions to the London Interbank Offered Rate.

LAW STUDENT ADVANTAGES

Aspiring lawyers tend to be more self-confident, enjoy more family wealth and are more likely to have a lawyer parent than the average college student, according to a study released by the Law School Admission Council. Among college freshmen who later applied to law school, 50 percent reported that their families would pay $10,000 or more toward their undergraduate expenses, compared with 31 percent for all freshmen. They also had better-educated parents: 41 percent said their father held a graduate degree; 28 percent said their mother held one. That compared with 23 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for all freshmen.

BP SUIT MOVES AHEAD

Houston-based U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison has signed off on a large portion of a class action brought on behalf of BP PLC shareholders who sued the company and senior executives for alleged securities fraud related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The ruling allows investors to proceed with claims that BP misled the public about the scope of a safety program introduced before the 2010 disaster.

FEDERAL CIRCUIT PICKS

The president has tapped Raymond Chen, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office lawyer, and Department of Justice attorney Todd Hughes for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If confirmed, Chen would be the circuit’s first Asian-American in more than 25 years, and Hughes would be the first openly gay federal appeals court judge, advocacy groups said.

G-MAN TO LEAD PEPPER

Former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh has been named the next chairman of Pepper Hamilton. Freeh will be taking over for Nina Gussack, who has served as chairwoman of the firm’s executive committee for the past six years. The transition is set to take place later this month.