The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has formed the Energy Law and Policy Institute, which will be led to start by Reed Smith partner and law school alumnus Kevin Abbott.
Law Firm News
This month's column is the second in a series that examines "five things" that various key people in the practice of law may not volunteer to their most interested audience. I analyze five things that associates are unlikely to tell partners in their firms.
Duane Morris has settled a legal malpractice case filed against it by the former chief medical officer of Aria Health, who argued the firm's representation of him in an underlying suit caused his termination.
Part of a string of lateral hires by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Philadelphia appears to have left Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg's year-old office in the city without any attorneys.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has set a leadership transition plan in place, naming Philadelphia office managing shareholder Joseph Dougherty as the CEO-elect.
A federal judge has rejected a plaintiff's strict liability claims against the manufacturer of an allegedly defective spinal implant that failed and led to a broken back.
Lawyers need to differentiate themselves through relationship-building and personalized pitches that demonstrate a deep understanding of the client's specific business, a panel of general counsel in Philadelphia said Thursday in explaining how to win and keep their business.
Last week, a Philadelphia judge denied the dissolution of an out-of-state civil union between two women who have been separated for more than a decade, dashing the pair's hopes that Pennsylvania's legalization of same-sex marriage last year would pave the way for their divorce. It's issues like those that have family law lawyers warning against just any attorney claiming expertise in the area of LGBT legal affairs.
At midsize firms, rebranding may not require a large marketing team with a wealth of resources, but should center on a unified message that sets the firm apart from its competition, legal marketing professionals said.
Women comprise a disproportionately low percentage of lead trial counsel compared to their representation in the overall legal profession, a study for the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession has found.
While pro bono work appears to have declined slightly last year at Am Law 200 firms nationwide, large Pennsylvania firms are showing improvements in pro bono participation.
The wife of a former Bracewell & Giuliani client who sued the firm for malpractice was equally as bound by the mandatory arbitration agreement with the firm as her husband, the Third Circuit has ruled.
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affirmed for the second time the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, but it also may have given the defense bar a little more of a bargaining chip when it comes to personal-injury cases.
The number of female and minority attorneys at plaintiffs firms in Pennsylvania has shown little change since last year, according to The Legal's eighth annual survey looking at diversity at the largest plaintiffs firms in the state. But a few firms stood out from the rest by adding to the diversity of the trial bar. And there has been progress since The Legal's first study of diversity in the trial bar eight years ago.
The renter and prospective owner of a Philadelphia Main Line estate destroyed by fire may move forward with her claim that the insurance company tried to keep from paying her the entire cost of rebuilding.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius was a different firm a year ago. Certainly many of the same practices and office locations existed, but since then the firm has a new chairwoman and has completed two mergers that catapulted it to the largest in the United States by domestic head count with nearly 2,000 attorneys worldwide.
Pennsylvania's legal marketing community has seen relative stability over the past few years as many of the largest law firms have installed and maintained the next generation of chief marketing and business development officers. But there have been a few changes of late, including what the marketing community has perceived as the abrupt departure of Saul Ewing's marketing leader.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has disputed it should return to former client Interstate General Media around $700,000 in fees the Philadelphia newspaper company said it was "bled" through the firm's alleged disloyal representation.
The Pittsburgh legal market, despite housing the headquarters of some of the largest law firms in the world, held on longer to the collegial nature of partnerships than some of its brethren in larger markets. But things have begun to change.
Attorney head count among Pennsylvania's largest firms has fluctuated in the first six months of the year from as much as a 9.3 percent increase to an 11.2 percent decline, according to a review of statistics tracked by ALM's RivalEdge.
The Philadelphia public interest community is in the midst of a flurry of leadership changes, and as longtime pillars of the community pass on their organizations' torches, the same appears to be happening nationwide as a generational shift occurs.
Campbell Soup Co. has appointed Adam G. Ciongoli as general counsel, the company announced Thursday.
In what has become a duel between competing motions for sanctions, the gay lawyer who sued Anapol Schwartz over his scuttled lateral move is seeking to recover some court costs against the defendant law firm over a motion for sanctions the firm filed late last month.
Blank Rome has looked to a jurisdiction with one of the busiest intellectual-property dockets in the country to grow that practice nationally and add additional IP litigation capabilities.
Erik Arneson, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records who was ousted from that position by Gov. Tom Wolf in January, has been reinstated.
When Community Legal Services Executive Director Catherine C. Carr accepted the Philadelphia Bar Association's Sandra Day O'Connor Award, she did so in front of her former boss and the first woman to receive the award more than 20 years ago.
Mergers and group departures had significant impacts on Pennsylvania firms' head count numbers—in both growth and decline—in 2014, according to data reported by Legal affiliate The National Law Journal.
As business consolidation has increased along with economic improvement, there have been more senior-level in-house counsel looking for new positions and that typically means a stop, for however long a time, in law firms.
Only two of the 17 Pennsylvania-based law firms included in Legal affiliate The American Lawyer's rankings of firms based on minority attorneys came in above the national average of 14.4 percent and none could be found in the top 50 of the rankings.
Richard Silfen has left his role as general counsel at the embattled American Realty Capital Properties to rejoin his former firm, Duane Morris.
The Third Circuit has refused Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro's request to stop court interviews of 31 firm clients inquiring whether they are willingly dismissing their thalidomide claims against GlaxoSmithKline and others.
The state Superior Court has upheld a decision not to strike a juror from a medical malpractice case, even though he was a client of the same firm representing defendants in that case.
Reed Smith has expanded its intellectual property, information and innovation group, bringing on six attorneys, including three who will launch the group's presence in Delaware.
Michael R. Nelson, the last remaining name partner of Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein, has left the firm to join Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
When a former Drinker Biddle & Reath contract attorney received a two-year suspension last week for overbilling a client on document review, the legal community's reaction focused not so much on the behavior as on the lawyer's billing rate.
The percentages of female equity partners within Pennsylvania's largest law firms largely place in the bottom third of the national rankings, with a few shining examples of area firms that are outperforming their counterparts when it comes to promoting women.
Defendants opposing claims of discrimination, retaliation and defamation brought by a gay lawyer over his scuttled lateral move have renewed their attempts to have the federal court case against them dropped.
The five Pennsylvania law firms on the Am Law 200 all held steady or showed modest movement up the rankings of the second hundred largest grossing law firms, according to data released Thursday by Legal affiliate The American Lawyer.
The state Superior Court has issued an order—for a second time—to suspend garnishments against defense attorney Nancy Raynor, sanctioned nearly $1 million by a Philadelphia judge.
A Philadelphia Commerce Court judge rejected Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' argument that a fee dispute by the owner of Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers should be moved to the Delaware Court of Chancery.
The gay lawyer who sued Anapol Schwartz over his scuttled lateral move should be sanctioned for allegedly making false statements about a key fact in the case, the defendants argued in a post-trial motion.
A former Drinker Biddle & Reath staff attorney agreed to a two-year suspension from the practice of law after admitting he overbilled for his time doing document review at the firm, according to an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
While GlaxoSmithKline and the plaintiffs firm leading dozens of thalidomide injury suits against the company have largely agreed on the dismissal of 31 of those claims against GSK, the pharmaceutical company is now diverging from the law firm on an attorney-client privilege issue before the Third Circuit.
For the past couple of months, a 1,200-person alternative legal services provider has been quietly building up its team in a new location that serves Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware, and South Jersey.
Editor's note: Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille was named Attorney of the Year at The Legal's Professional Excellence Awards dinner Wednesday. His fellow finalists were U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius chairwoman Jami Wintz McKeon.
Reed Smith is set to open an office in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 1 with the addition of seven lawyers from four different firms. The new location, which will focus heavily on the financial services industry, will be managed from the firm's 10-year-old Munich office.
A federal judge has denied Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro's request to stay interviews of 31 of the firm's clients to determine whether they are knowingly dismissing their thalidomide-injury cases, but not before the law firm filed a petition seeking a writ of mandamus with the Third Circuit seeking the higher court's intervention.
Christopher Carson has been elected president and CEO of Cohen & Grigsby, the firm has announced.
Editor's note: This is the fourth installment of a series examining the shift in law firm business models and the issues law firms must address to remain competitive in a new age of providing legal services.
As police and government officials were sorting through the wreckage Wednesday of Tuesday evening's derailment of Amtrak 188, lawyers began sifting through potential claims and, for some, offering their services to potential clients.
Lawsuits that Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein and Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith attorneys leveled at each other over allegedly stolen laptops and withheld bonuses have been resolved.
In the wake of the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia that, according to public officials, resulted in the deaths of at least seven people and injured more than 200, lawsuits seem all but certain to be filed.
Siemens has agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle claims that it overcharged the federal government for medical equipment, without admitting liability.
Nearly 75 percent of the largest law firms in the country report they have too many attorneys, but Pennsylvania's largest firms have grown head count faster than almost any other market last quarter, data from two recent surveys show.
A Philadelphia jury has rejected a gay lawyer's claims against Anapol Schwartz over his aborted lateral move.
Editor's note: This is the third installment in a series examining the shift in law firm business models and the issues law firms must address to remain competitive in a new age of providing legal services.
Pennsylvania firms' performance in the first quarter of 2015 predicts even better numbers for further into the year, according to data tracked by Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group.
After several years working at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, Ellen C. Brotman has left the comforts of the deep white-collar defense bench there to start a new white-collar practice at 11-attorney Griesing Law.
Mark LeWinter, who supervised Jeffrey Downs, the gay attorney suing Anapol Schwartz for defamation, testified Wednesday his trust had been "betrayed" when Downs told another firm leader to keep LeWinter in the dark about Downs' threat of a lawsuit.
A federal magistrate judge has sanctioned Dietz & Watson for repeated discovery violations in a bad-faith suit against Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
Cozen O'Connor has continued its expansion efforts this year with the addition of a 10-person state attorneys general practice from Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, D.C., and the firm's leadership said it isn't stopping there.
Editor's note: This is the second installment of a series examining the shift in law firm business models and the issues law firms must address to remain competitive in a new age of providing legal services.
Fox Rothschild grew gross revenue more than 10 percent in 2014, a year in which head count increased at half that pace.
The gay attorney suing Anapol Schwartz for defamation took the stand Tuesday to outline his departure from the firm and decision to accept a job at Raynes McCarty.
One more Pennsylvania-based firm, Fox Rothschild, has joined the Am Law 100 after a year of significant revenue growth helped it to jump 10 spots in the rankings. The firm grew its revenue more than 10 percent to $331.5 million, making it one of 17 firms in the country to experience double-digit growth.
Attorneys offered opening statements Monday afternoon in the state-court defamation case of the gay lawyer who claimed two law firms scuttled his lateral move.
The past few years have seen a lot of talk and some action around law firms creating outposts in secondary markets where they can not only house back-office administrative operations, but lawyers who charge out at lower rates.
In-house counsel are using an increasing array of metrics to drive behavior both inside their organizations as well as within external sources ranging from outside counsel to politicians.
Saul Ewing saw its gross revenue grow by 6.5 percent and its revenue per lawyer (RPL) rise by 4.3 percent in 2014—a year in which the firm said it beat its budget by 19 percent.
A hearing over whether state Attorney General Kathleen Kane violated a court order by firing an employee who provided grand jury testimony throws the ongoing dispute once again into a legal gray area, according to attorneys who spoke with The Legal.
The associate compensation landscape in Pennsylvania is slowly evolving and, in the wake of Dechert's local salary bump, could see more changes as a number of law firms say they are evaluating their compensation programs.
Seven shareholders, including the head of the health care risk management and litigation department, are leaving Stevens & Lee to form a boutique law firm, Stevens & Lee announced April 10.
The former heads of the subrogation unit of what is now Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein ran the department like a "frat house" and discriminated against the female attorneys working there, a former associate at the firm has alleged in a lawsuit.
A businessman and attorney suing Reed Smith for legal malpractice said his status as a former practicing lawyer should have nothing to do with whether the firm fully informed him of the rights he was giving up by signing a mandatory arbitration clause.
Dechert took the Philadelphia market-high for associate compensation to a new level for dozens of junior lawyers when it announced Monday that it would increase salaries to between $160,000 and $280,000 for first- through eighth-year associates.
Several U.S. attorneys have begun courting False Claims Act litigation in recent years, according to lawyers who practice in the area, chipping away at the dominance that Philadelphia and Boston once had on whistleblower cases.
Competition among law firms for market share is fierce, and so too, it seems, is the competition for associates. In the past two years, Pennsylvania law firms have been bumping up, sometimes quietly, associate salaries.
Drinker Biddle & Reath saw its gross revenue and net income dip slightly in 2014, but profits per equity partner (PPP) and revenue per lawyer (RPL) both saw slight upticks.
The Commonwealth Court has ruled that personal injury lawyer Larry Pitt can't collect fees from a settlement negotiated by another attorney for Pitt's former client of 26 years.
Reed Smith has taken issue with a former client's characterization of Pennsylvania's law on the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in client engagement letters.
A Pennsylvania federal judge has thrown out a legal malpractice case against Spector Gadon & Rosen and its partner, Alan Epstein, over the firm's handling of an employment contract dispute.
Widener University has officially split its Wilmington, Delaware, and Harrisburg law school campuses into two law schools, each with different names and different deans.
Cozen O'Connor leadership said as recently as last week that it was looking to grow in the Midwest this year, and, according to one media report, that may happen sooner rather than later if merger talks with Chicago's Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson result in a union.
The EEOC has tapped a Philadelphia law firm partner to be part of a 16-member national task force charged with studying workplace harassment.
Cozen O'Connor grew revenue 2.1 percent and boosted profits per equity partner (PPP) 2.8 percent on a year driven by growth in the firm's corporate, real estate and commercial litigation practices, the firm's CEO said.
Two of the country's largest food companies have agreed to merge in a deal put into place with the help of dozens of lawyers across four law firms.
The owner of a destroyed Main Line mansion who is suing Reed Smith for its advice on insurance claims argues the firm's mandatory arbitration clause contained in client engagement letters is unenforceable.
A media report earlier this month about law firm emails that purport to show former Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, and not his wife, may have been the one to refer out certain cases while on the bench, has again raised questions about Pennsylvania's comparatively lax referral-fee rules.
Pepper Hamilton grew gross revenue nearly 3 percent in 2014 thanks to double-digit revenue gains in the intellectual property and white-collar litigation and investigations practices along with strong growth in its health effects and corporate practices, firm leaders said.
In a year of strong litigation work, Duane Morris saw a nearly 3 percent bump in its profits per equity partner (PPP) in 2014, and both the gross revenue and revenue per lawyer (RPL) had slight increases as well.
Alfred James Johnston has been elected president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Post & Schell, the firm announced Tuesday.
The slowdown in litigation facing the country's largest law firms has not only raised the specter of layoffs, but has also revealed that firms have made some of the same old hiring decisions in building back from the recession and may need to once again restructure.
In the first year under its new strategic plan, Blank Rome grew gross revenue 3.3 percent in 2014 on head count growth of 5.6 percent. The firm's revenue rose from $320.5 million in 2013 to $331 million in 2014. Revenue per lawyer (RPL) fell 2.1 percent from $715,000 to $700,000 and profits per equity partner (PPP) rose less than 1 percent from $820,000 to $825,000.
As the pressures of an increasingly competitive legal market have forced firms to play with alternative rate structures and business models, firms have also increasingly begun challenging the traditional notion of needing a single firm leader, according to some legal consultants.
The lawyers in the North Carolina branch of Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein are leaving the firm to open an office for Goldberg Segalla.
Reed Smith has hired former Dechert Chief Marketing Officer Wendy W. Taylor to fill the spot left vacant last October when its longtime CMO left the firm.
The majority of Am Law 200 firms have revamped their websites in the last couple of years, with one consultant putting a price range on those projects of anywhere from $25,000 to $1 million. But regardless of the cost, many of the sites, consultants say, look largely the same.
A lawyer's acknowledgment of a litigation funding lien binds him to the forum selection clause contained in the contract between the funder and the lawyer's client, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled.
A federal jury on March 6 returned a verdict in favor of a police officer in the first of several similar cases brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of citizens who were arrested after photographing or observing police behavior.
Nikki Johnson-Huston was trying to help. She saw a man outside a convenience store asking for change and offered him $5 to get something to eat. When she stepped inside, he followed behind and turned her small gesture into a pack of cigarettes. The exchange left her unsatisfied.
A mostly sealed case in front of the state Supreme Court is raising questions—not just on the parties and circumstances involved—but on the ethical implications of attorney-client privilege when the client is a public charity.