By Caitlin Tremblay
Former Fugees rapper Pras Michel, better known as Pras, is
suing a filmmaker for documentary footage he says belongs to
him, according to MSN.
Pras hired Marshall Tyler to make a documentary, "Paper
Dreams," about an incident in 2009 when Pras says Somali pirates
took him captive off the coast of East Africa.
Pras is suing to recoup the $70,000 he says he spent on
filming and travel expenses. Tyler insists he owns the rights to
Full court press
By Dan Brillman
SCOTUSblog, the chronicler of all things Supreme
Court-related, has begun anew to apply for press credentials at
the high court, according to Poynter.
Previous attempts by the blog to score a press pass, which
would allow it unfettered access to the court and pressroom,
have run aground for a variety of reasons. Among them: not
having a congressional pass, not having "broad-based"
advertising (though they are sponsored by Bloomberg) and the
fact that the blog's founder, Tom Goldstein, is a lawyer who on
occasion argues cases in front of the court.
Lyle Denniston, who, at 81, has reported on a quarter of all
the justices ever to be appointed, is SCOTUSblog's only
representative inside the court, reporting also for a Boston
affiliate of NPR. But there's no telling how long Denniston --
the éminence grise of SCOTUS reporters -- will still be
According to Goldstein, the blog is "widely" read by court
insiders, but he tells Poynter he's hopeful. "We're trying, and
they are being very collegial about it," he says.
HP taps Morgan Lewis
By Erin Geiger Smith
As Summary Judgments noted in November, Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius has worked many times for Hewlett Packard, most recently
in the spotlight for HP's disastrous acquisition of software
company Autonomy. The law firm represented HP in a shareholder
suit filed against the tech giant after the abrupt departure of
CEO Mark Hurd in 2010, and both the company's current general
counsel and a predecessor were previously partners at Morgan
According to The Recorder, Morgan Lewis can add one more
matter to its HP list. Litigator Leslie Caldwell, formerly with
the U.S. Justice Department, has been tapped to help deal with
investigations and litigation resulting from HP's acquisition of
Autonomy. (In November, HP announced it would write down more
than $8 billion dollars after what it said was accounting fraud
on behalf of Autonomy executives.)
What's interesting about this appointment is the potential
conflicts that arise. As The Recorder notes, Morgan Lewis
represented Autonomy in the ill-fated transaction. Marc
Sonnenfeld, another Morgan Lewis partner who could participate
in the case, told The Recorder that the firm's work for Autonomy
would not be a problem. Its work in the deal was limited to
antitrust issues and all parties gave consent, he said.
The $4 billion firm
By Erin Geiger Smtih
Look at a law firm's net profits, deduct partners salaries,
factor in variables like the firm's size, growth rates in
revenue and name-brand cache and what do you get?
According to The American Lawyer, "the valuation
calculation" reveals just how much a law firm is really
worth. In the trade magazine's first ever report of this kind,
Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis tops the list, with a valuation
just under $4 billion. Close behind Kirkland is Latham &
Watkins. And where do other Big Law firms finish? Sullivan &
Cromwell failed to make the top 10, coming in 12th at a value of
$2.65 billion. To find Cravath, Swaine & Moore, valued at
$687.5 million, one must scroll down to 55.
The total value of the 97 firms for which AmLaw gathered
data, it says, is $97 billion, or more than the GDP of Slovenia.
The numbers do, of course, come with a caveat. "While we stand
behind our ranking and our methodology," AmLaw says "it's
important to recognize their limitations." To carry out the
valuations, AmLaw says it had to make assumptions about the law
firms' "structures, the state of their balance sheets, and the
way in which they accrue and distribute profit."
By Suhrith Parthasarathy
The Australian parliament has passed a new law giving the
country's commissioner in charge of enforcing privacy laws the
right to levy civil fines for serious breaches of privacy, The Age reports. The bill, which amends the existing Privacy Act,
has been described by the Commonwealth Attorney General Nicola
Rixon as the most significant change made to privacy laws in
more than 20 years.
Starting March 2014, when the law takes effect, privacy
commissioner Timothy Pilgrim will be able to investigate
government agencies and private companies and have the power to
levy a maximum penalty of $1.1 million on repeated offenders.
Pilgrim will also be able to draft new guidelines that agencies
and companies will have to follow. One rule Pilgrim is
considering would give consumers the choice of opting out of
advertisements or direct marketing that targets them through
their personal information, writes The Australian.
According to the paper, Pilgrim did not comment on whether
the privacy policies of Internet companies like Facebook, Google
and Twitter require tweaking, but "he warned they would need to
test their current practices against the new laws."
Summary Judgments for November 30
Summary Judgments for November 29
Summary Judgments for November 28
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