Hillary Clinton waves to supporters on Roosevelt Island after announcing she will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, while her husband, forrmer president Bill Clinton, watches from behind. June 13 2015. (Andy Katz / iStock)
Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and White & Case were among the group of firms that paid $1.75 million into Hillary and Bill Clinton coffers, as were large plaintiffs firms Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, according to a searchable database The Washington Post published last week.
The Post compiled a list of companies that have paid the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for speaking engagements.
Robbins Geller hired Hillary Clinton for her talk, the other four firms retained Bill Clinton for his speaking services.
According to the database, Robbins Geller paid $225,500 to Hillary Clinton for a speech on Sept. 4, 2014. That discussion was already a matter of public record, but the San Diego-based firm also paid $250,000 to Bill Clinton on two separate occasions.
The first was for a speech on Sept. 8, 2009, back when Robbins Geller was known as Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, while the subsequent Bill Clinton talk took place on Sept. 17, 2013.
Radnor, Pennsylvania-based Kessler Topaz, which adopted its current name in 2011, paid $500,000 to Bill Clinton for an engagement on March 7, 2014. Politico reported in May 2015 that Bill Clinton’s speech for Kessler Topaz was among his priciest talks since the beginning of 2014, a year in which the former president and his wife took home more than $25 million for making speeches, with Hillary Clinton having left public service after stepping down as secretary of state in February 2013. — Jennifer Henderson, The American Lawyer
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor .Rick Kopstein
JUSTICES REVIVE EMPLOYEE’S RACE CLAIM
Plaintiffs in workplace discrimination cases have more time to file complaints against their employers, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling May 23. The court ruled, 7-1, that the 45-day deadline for initiating a constructive-discharge claim runs from the day the employee resigns — not the day of the last discriminatory workplace incident.
“We are persuaded that the ‘matter alleged to be discriminatory’ in a constructive-discharge claim necessarily includes the employee’s resignation,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court in Green v. Brennan. Karen Harned of the National Federation of Independence Business said the ruling gives employees an “unfair advantage.” Mayer Brown partner Brian Netter said “a large number of dispositions” depend on when the deadline clock starts ticking. Because the government sided with the plaintiff, the high court appointed Catherine Carroll of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to argue that the deadline was earlier. Sotomayor wrote that Carroll “ably discharged her duties.” — Tony Mauro
‘TRUMP’ AT THE HIGH COURT
The name “Trump” is on ballots, hotels, casinos and now a U.S. Supreme Court petition. The justices on May 26 were scheduled to take their first look at Unite Here Local 54 v. Trump Entertainment Resorts, a case that arose out of the bankruptcy of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The issue involves the authority of bankruptcy courts, but the fallout suffered by union workers may not enhance presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign message.
The union, which represents about 1,100 of the 3,000 Taj workers, asks the justices to review a January decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The appeals court upheld a bankruptcy judge’s 2014 ruling that Trump Entertainment could alter its contract with Local 54 and stop funding the union’s health care and pensions as part of its reorganization plan. — Marcia Coyle
Robert Mueller.Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ
The Obama administration is defending former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and his FBI director, Robert Mueller III, in the U.S. Supreme Court over claims they are liable for their roles in the post-Sept. 11 roundup and detention of Muslim, Arab and South Asian men.
In Ashcroft v. Turkmen, the administration asks the high court to review a June decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The appellate court reinstated claims by eight men and a potential class of 80 that the former Bush administration officials purposely and unconstitutionally directed their detentions in harsh and abusive conditions based on their race, religion or national origin.
The Second Circuit is “the first circuit to permit such a damages remedy to be pursued ‘against executive branch officials for national security actions taken after the 9/11 attacks,’ ” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. wrote in the petition. Two related petitions have been filed by Ballard Spahr’s William McDaniel Jr. on behalf of former Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner James Ziglar, and by MoloLamken’s Jeffrey Lamken on behalf of former wardens of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. — Marcia Coyle
“EIGHT, AS YOU KNOW, IS NOT A GOOD NUMBER FOR A MULTIMEMBER COURT.” —Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, May 26, at a conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She added: “When we meet at the circuit conference next year, I anticipate reporting on the decision of a full bench.”
‘YATES MEMO’ CRITICIZED
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a new white paper confronts the “challenges” presented by the so-called Yates memo — which requires U.S. prosecutors to focus on individuals, not just companies, in corporate investigations. The Chamber’s view: “No longer can it be assumed that it will be in the best interests of the corporation to cooperate” in a federal investigation. The paper was prepared by the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform.
The Yates memo, issued last year by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, directs prosecutors to focus on holding individuals accountable for corporate misconduct. It requires a corporation to disclose all relevant facts about individuals involved in the misconduct in order to obtain credit for cooperating with the investigation.
“The new policy is likely to have a number of unintended consequences that will muddy what was traditionally a straightforward decision — whether to cooperate with a government investigation,” the paper states. It says the policy risks alienating employees whose knowledge of the facts is essential to an internal investigation. And the policy can complicate compliance by making employees reluctant to report wrongdoing for fear of becoming an investigatory target. — Sue Reisinger, Corporate Counsel
NLRB LOSES FEE ARGUMENT
After proving a company violated labor laws, can the National Labor Relations Board force the wrongdoer to pay its costs and attorney fees? Not according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The appeals court recently heard an appeal by HTH Corp., a hospitality company the NLRB had found liable for labor violations. HTH didn’t appeal the NLRB’s finding of liability, but did challenge the extraordinary remedies imposed, including a requirement that HTH pay the labor board and the labor union involved in the case for attorney fees incurred.
In a ruling on May 20, the D.C. Circuit vacated the board’s decision to grant attorney fees. The court rejected the NLRB’s argument that its request was permissible under the bad-faith exception to the American rule, which allows federal courts to shift attorney fees when one party acts in bad faith or in a particularly egregious manner. — Rebekah Mintzer, Corporate Counsel
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, D.C.Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ
LAW PROFS BACK CFPB
More than 200 law professors and other ­scholars are backing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plan to make it easier for consumers to sue companies.
Calling the proposal “critically important to protect consumers,” 210 professors submitted a letter on May 24 arguing that class actions complement resource-strained state and federal agencies in enforcing the law.
The professors wrote that, by allowing financial-services companies to “eradicate consumer class actions, we are allowing these companies to insulate themselves from enforcement of our laws. This harms not only individual consumers but also the public at large.”
The roster of signatories includes a nationwide selection of experts in consumer law, including Georgetown University Law Center professor David Vladeck, a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of consumer protection.
The letter heavily cited the CFPB’s arbitration study, which Congress mandated in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Drawing from that study, the professors said class actions provided meaningful relief to consumers. — C. Ryan Barber
ABA TO HONOR GENE SHIPP
Wallace “Gene” Shipp Jr. is perhaps one of the most feared lawyers in Washington. As head of the D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Shipp oversees the prosecution of attorney misconduct. In more than three decades in the bar counsel’s office, he’s played a part in shaping how attorney conduct is regulated not only in D.C., but also across the United States and around the world.
On June 2, Shipp will receive the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility’s Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award. White & Case partner Carolyn Lamm, a former ABA president, said in a letter: “His knowledge of professional responsibility, respect of the Bar, empathy for those involved on both sides of the process, and integrity are beyond compare.” — Zoe Tillman