California Pulse

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    Return To Office Poses Pitfalls For Atty Mental Health

    As a therapist specialized in treating lawyers, Stacey Dougan hears a lot about law firm politics, addiction and the career's overwhelming demands. But lately, her clients have been bringing up a new source of anxiety: returning to the office.

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    Ethics Probes Take Mental Toll On Solo, Small Firm Attorneys

    Facing a disciplinary complaint can take a toll on any attorney’s mental health. But for solo practitioners and small firm lawyers, who typically juggle all aspects of their business from handling client matters to administrative tasks like managing trust accounts, it can threaten to upend their lives.

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    Mid-Law Not Immune To Structural Mental Health Challenges

    Despite the common narrative that lawyers can trade higher pay for better well-being and work-life balance by moving to smaller firms, experts say that Mid-Law firms are generally facing the same industry pressures that contribute to long hours, stress and poor attorney mental health.

  • Atty, Pot Entrepreneurs Get Conspiracy Claims Thrown Out

    A California state appeals court has thrown out claims against a group of attorneys and cannabis entrepreneurs that they were part of a "straw man practice" conspiracy to monopolize the San Diego cannabis market, finding the complaint failed to allege they did anything illegal.

  • A&O Shearman Names UK And US Managing Partners

    Allen & Overy LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP named on Tuesday the partners set to lead the soon-to-be merged A&O Shearman for the U.S. and U.K. markets.

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    GRSM50 Moves Oakland Office To Walnut Creek In California

    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP has moved its office in Oakland to a new space in Walnut Creek that will accommodate a growing roster and better serve clients across Northern California.

  • OpenAI Case Not Ready For Lead Counsel Pick, Judge Says

    A California federal judge has rejected authors' pick for interim lead counsel in a case accusing OpenAI of copyright infringement, ruling that the request was made too early and must wait until class certification has been decided.

  • Robinhood's Top Lawyer Saw Pay Slashed By 29% In 2023

    Dan Gallagher, the chief legal officer for online securities trading company Robinhood, earned $10.7 million in 2023, a nearly 30% decrease from the $15.1 million he came away with in 2022, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • NY Atty Gets 10 Years In Prison For Trying To Have Ex Killed

    A New York attorney convicted of arranging to pay a hitman to murder the mother of his two young children has been sentenced in California federal court to 10 years behind bars, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

  • Colo. Judge Moves Toward Eastman DQ Over Calif. Discipline

    A Colorado federal judge has ordered former Donald Trump lawyer John C. Eastman to explain why he shouldn't be disqualified from representing plaintiffs in a civil suit after a California disciplinary judge suspended his law license and recommended disbarment in March.

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    Alphabet, Google CLO Saw Comp Surpass $27M Last Year

    Kent Walker, a longtime Google lawyer who is now the legal chief at the technology behemoth and its parent company Alphabet, earned more than $27.3 million in compensation in 2023, according to a recent securities filing, as the business continues to grapple with antitrust cases at both the federal and state levels.

  • Smollett Atty Wants Sanctions Over Missing Therapy Records

    An attorney for Jussie Smollett has asked an Illinois federal judge for another round of sanctions after two brothers who allegedly helped stage a hate crime against the actor failed to turn over discovery, saying they've refused to turn over records or answer questions in the defamation suit pertaining to their mental health treatment.

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    Nextdoor Legal Chief Announces Plans To Resign

    The legal head of social network operator Nextdoor will be leaving the company next month, according to a recent securities filing.

  • Haynes Boone Relocates SF Office In 6th Firm Move Since Fall

    Haynes and Boone LLP announced Monday that it has moved its San Francisco office to a larger location in the heart of the city's Financial District.

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    DoorDash GC's Comp Falls, With $5M Drop In Stock Awards

    DoorDash Inc. general counsel Tia Sherringham received roughly $10 million in compensation in 2023, down significantly from the prior year due to a dip in stock awards, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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    The Best Therapy For Lawyers, According To Ex-Lawyers

    Attorneys-turned-therapists say no one understands the stresses of being a lawyer like another lawyer. They also say their clients sometimes struggle at first with treatment that prioritizes feelings, mindfulness and even body awareness over the intellectualizing and rationalizing that make them successful at their jobs.

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    Security Startup Founder Joins Greenberg Traurig From MoFo

    Greenberg Traurig LLP has added a former Morrison & Foerster LLP technology litigator and data security software startup founder to its San Francisco office, the firm announced Monday.

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    How Dechert's Culture Helped Its SF Leader Forge Resilience

    When his 2-month-old daughter was hospitalized with a potentially fatal condition, Dechert partner Jonathan Stott leaned on firm mentors and colleagues for strength. Now, as managing partner of the firm's San Francisco office Stott is on a mission to pay it forward and continue fostering a supportive and resilient office community.

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    Atty Alcohol Misuse: What's Worked, What Hasn't, What's Next

    In the eight years since an ABA report revealed pervasive alcohol misuse among lawyers, the legal industry has sought to address the problem. Here is a look at what’s working, what isn’t, and how legal employers can effectively address law’s problem drinking crisis going forward.

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    Workload, Trauma, Isolation Impacting Judges' Mental Health

    Overwhelming caseloads, the secondary trauma from certain types of cases and a lack of peer support are the biggest stressors judges say they're facing, with many of them experiencing difficulty concentrating, remaining unbiased and treating litigants and lawyers with respect as a result.

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    V&E Appoints Ex-Littler CIO As Tech Leader

    Vinson & Elkins LLP announced on Monday the appointment of a chief technology and data officer with prior experience at Littler Mendelson PC, commercial real estate giant Colliers International and now-defunct Hitachi Consulting.

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    JAMS Brings On Pair Of Retired Judges In Northern Calif.

    The alternative dispute resolution service JAMS is expanding its mediation/arbitration team, announcing last week that it is adding two state judges as mediators in its San Francisco Bay Area offices — former superior court judges in Santa Clara County and in Alameda County.  

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    Most Gen Z Lawyers Would Take A Pay Cut For Fewer Hours

    Money is no longer the top factor in many Generation Z lawyers' list of priorities, with three-fourths naming culture as the No. 1 factor they used in choosing a law firm, according to a new report released Monday by recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa and legal intelligence provider Leopard Solutions.

  • Law360 Reveals Titans Of The Plaintiffs Bar

    In the past year, plaintiffs have won settlements and judgments for millions and billions of dollars from companies such as Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Facebook and Fox News, with many high-profile cases finally wrapping up after years of fighting. Such cases — involving over-the-top compensation packages, chemical contamination, gender discrimination and data mining — were led by attorneys whose accomplishments earned them recognition as Law360's Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar for 2024.

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    How Legos, 'Working Girl' Sealed $10B Sibling Rivalry Win

    A father-son attorney team used Legos and an argument borrowed from the 1988 film "Working Girl" to help a Los Angeles jury understand how their client's own brother illegally stole his multibillion-dollar real estate business, leading to a $10 billion verdict for their client and his other brothers, the attorneys told Law360.

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Expert Analysis

  • Why Firms Should Help Associates Do More Pro Bono Work Author Photo

    Associates may hesitate to take on the added commitment of pro bono matters, but such work has tangible skill-building benefits, so firms should consider compensation and leadership strategies to encourage participation, says Rasmeet Chahil at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Confronting The Stigma Of Alcohol Abuse In Legal Industry Author Photo

    The pandemic has likely exacerbated the prevalence of problem drinking in the legal profession, making it critical for lawyers and educators to address alcohol abuse and the associated stigma through issue-specific education, supportive assistance and alcohol-free professional events, says Erica Grigg at the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program.

  • Opinion

    Lawyers Have Duty To Push For Immigration Court Reform Author Photo

    Attorneys must use their collective voice to urge federal lawmakers to create an Article I immigration court outside executive branch control, helping address the conflicts of interest, political influence and lack of adjudication consistency that prevent migrants from achieving true justice, say Elia Diaz-Yaeger and Carlos Bollar at the Hispanic National Bar Association.

  • Series

    ​​​​​​​Ask A Mentor: How Can 1st-Year Attys Manage Remote Work? Author Photo

    First-year associates can have a hard time building relationships with colleagues, setting boundaries and prioritizing work-life balance in a remote work environment, so they must be sure to lean on their firms' support systems and practice good time management, say Jenny Lee and Christopher Fernandez at Kirkland.

  • 5 Ways To Lead Lawyer Teams Toward Better Mental Health Author Photo

    Attorney team leaders have a duty to attend to the mental well-being of their subordinates with intention, thought and candor — starting with ensuring their own mental health is in order, says Liam Montgomery at Williams & Connolly.

  • How Your Summer Associate Events Can Convey Inclusivity Author Photo

    As law firms begin planning next year's summer associate events, they should carefully examine how choice of venue, activity, theme, attendees and formality can create feelings of exclusion for minority associates, and consider changing the status quo to create multiculturally inclusive events, says Sharon Jones at Jones Diversity.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Negotiate Long-Term Flex Work? Author Photo

    Though the pandemic has shown the value of remote work, many firms are still reluctant to embrace flexible working arrangements when offices reopen, so attorneys should use several negotiating tactics to secure a long-term remote or hybrid work setup that also protects their potential for career advancement, says Elaine Spector at Harrity & Harrity.

  • What I Wish Law Schools Taught Women About Legal Careers Author Photo

    Instead of spending an entire semester on 19th century hunting rights, I wish law schools would facilitate honest discussions about what it’s like to navigate life as an attorney, woman and mother, and offer lessons on business marketing that transcend golf outings and social mixers, says Daphne Delvaux at Gruenberg Law.

  • 4 Ways To Break Down Barriers For Women Of Color In Law Author Photo

    Female lawyers belonging to minority groups continue to be paid less and promoted less than their male counterparts, so law firms and corporate legal departments must stop treating women as a monolithic group and create initiatives that address the unique barriers women of color face, say Daphne Turpin Forbes at Microsoft and Linda Chanow at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

  • Opinion

    We Need More Professional Diversity In The Federal Judiciary Author Photo

    With the current overrepresentation of former corporate lawyers on the federal bench, the Biden administration must prioritize professional diversity in judicial nominations and consider lawyers who have represented workers, consumers and patients, says Navan Ward, president of the American Association for Justice.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Retire Without Creating Chaos? Author Photo

    Retired attorney Vernon Winters explains how lawyers can thoughtfully transition into retirement while protecting their firms’ interests and allaying clients' fears, with varying approaches that turn on the nature of one's practice, client relationships and law firm management.

  • Why I Went From Litigator To Law Firm Diversity Officer Author Photo

    Narges Kakalia at Mintz recounts her journey from litigation partner to director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the firm, explaining how the challenges she faced as a female lawyer of color shaped her transition and why attorneys’ unique skill sets make them well suited for diversity leadership roles.

  • For Asian American Lawyers, Good Mentorship Is Crucial Author Photo

    Navigating the legal world as an Asian American lawyer comes with unique challenges — from cultural stereotypes to a perceived lack of leadership skills — but finding good mentors and treating mentorship as a two-way street can help junior lawyers overcome some of the hurdles and excel, say attorneys at Paul Weiss.

  • Coping With Secondary Trauma From Pro Bono Work Author Photo

    As the need for pro bono services continues to grow in tandem with the pandemic, attorneys should assess their mental well-being and look for symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, while law firms must carefully manage their public service programs and provide robust mental health services to employees, says William Silverman at Proskauer.

  • How Firms Can Benefit From Creating Their Own ALSPs Author Photo

    As more law firms develop their own legal services centers to serve as both a source of flexible personnel and technological innovation, they can further enhance the effectiveness by fostering a consistent and cohesive team and allowing for experimentation with new technologies from an established baseline, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells.

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