Thompson & Knight, Barnes & Thornburg: Business of Law

Thompson & Knight LLP announced that Patrick F. McManemin joined the firm as a partner in the trial practice group, along with three other lawyers.

McManemin was previously a partner and co-chairman of the commercial litigation and antitrust practice group at Patton Boggs LLP, Thompson & Knight said in a statement. McManemin and the group have litigation experience in real estate and construction, energy, securities, finance and banking, the firm said.

“The synergies they bring to our strong real estate capital markets practice and oil and gas practice will enable us to increase our market share in these spaces,” Emily A. Parker, Thompson & Knight’s managing partner, said in a statement.

McManemin, who has more than 30 years of experience, focuses his trial practice on reorganizations and workouts of troubled and distressed companies, the firm said. He also has advised senior management and board members on corporate-governance and compliance issues, and avoidance or resolution of significant disputes in advance of litigation or mediation.

Thompson & Knight has about 330 attorneys and offices in the U.S., North Africa, and Europe.

Bingham Adds Tax Partner Brady in Washington Office

Joshua Brady joined Bingham McCutchen LLP’s tax practice as a partner in Washington after working at Ivins, Phillips & Barker.

He has experience on the taxation of mergers and acquisitions, distributions, restructurings and corporations filing consolidated returns.

Bingham has about 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Barnes & Thornburg Adds Insurance Coverage, Technology Partner

Scott N. Godes, a trial lawyer with experience in insurance coverage and technology, joined Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Washington office as a partner in the litigation department and the policyholder insurance recovery and coverage group.

Godes was previously a co-leader of Dickstein Shapiro LLP’s cybersecurity insurance coverage initiative and led the insurance coverage group’s intellectual property practice, according to Barnes & Thornburg.

He has represented policyholders in declaratory judgment, breach of contract and bad faith insurance coverage actions, insurance-related bankruptcies and adversary actions. He has also litigated and advised clients on insurance coverage for data breaches and cyber security matters.

Barnes & Thornburg has more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals at its U.S. offices.

Haynes & Boone Adds Bruce McNamara in Silicon Valley

Bruce McNamara joined Haynes & Boone LLP’s Silicon Valley office as a partner in the capital markets and securities practice group. He was previously at Perkins Coie LLP. 

“Bruce’s in-depth knowledge of the corporate landscape in Silicon Valley will benefit the firm as we continue growth in California,” Greg Samuel, co-chairman of the group, said in a statement. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in cross-border transactions and public offerings.”

McNamara has advised private and public companies, their directors and board committees. He represents companies in mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, recapitalizations, venture financings, joint ventures and other strategic transactions as well as general corporate matters. He also has advised on best corporate governance practices and reporting and disclosure issues, the firm said.

Haynes & Boone has more than 500 attorneys at 12 offices in the Americas.

Dickinson Wright Adds Two Toronto Partners

Dickinson Wright PLLC added Alan Litwack, formerly of Miller Thomson LLP, as a partner in the Toronto office. Corporate lawyer Edward Levitt, formerly of Aird & Berlis LLP, also joined the Toronto office as a partner

Litwack’s practice focuses on corporate-commercial matters with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, securities and capital markets. Levitt has more than 35 years’ experience in franchising and distribution law.

Dickinson Wright has more than 350 lawyers in the U.S. and Canada.

Duane Morris Gets Steven Cowley From Edwards Wildman

Duane Morris LLP announced that it added Steven M. Cowley to its trial practice group as a partner in Boston. He joins from Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP.

Cowley focuses on business litigation, specifically disputes arising from mergers and acquisitions and other investment transactions, including shareholder disputes, post-closing disputes, indemnification disputes, corporate governance, breach of fiduciary duty and D&O claims, the firm said.

He also has experience in intellectual property litigation as well as antitrust and unfair trade practices claims.

Duane Morris has more than 700 attorneys in 24 offices in the U.S., U.K. and Asia.


Top Federal Judges Say Budget Cuts Compromising Court System

Chief U.S. Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan and 86 other top federal court judges told Congress in a letter that automatic spending cuts are compromising the justice system and putting public safety at risk.

Federal courts’ staffing has fallen to the lowest since 1999 after funding allocations were cut 10 percent below fiscal 2012 levels under budget sequestration, Preska, chief judge of the Southern District of New York, said in the letter. The reductions have come amid an increased workload, she wrote.

“Funding reductions have forced us to slash our operations to the bone and we believe that our constitutional duties, public safety and the quality of the justice system will be profoundly compromised by any further cuts,” Preska said in the letter, co-written with Chief Judge Gerald Rosen of the Eastern District of Michigan and signed by 85 other chief judges.

U.S. spending cuts of $80.1 billion began March 1 after lawmakers mandated $1.2 trillion in across-the-board reductions, to begin in 2013 and be spread over nine years, as part of a 2011 deal to increase the U.S. debt limit.

Staffing at federal probation and pretrial services offices, which employ about 6,000 law enforcement officers, has fallen by 7 percent since 2011, according to the judges’ letter to Congress and Vice President Joseph Biden.

Funds for drug, mental-health and sex-offender treatment were trimmed by 20 percent, the judges said. Federal defender services, which provide legal counsel for criminal defendants unable to pay for a lawyer, were most affected, absorbing a budget reduction of $50 million, Preska said.

Further reductions through furloughs or layoffs will require shifting the defenders’ work to private lawyers who are paid hourly wages under the Criminal Justice Act, increasing costs, Preska said.


O’Melveny Sued Over Representation of Brooklyn Private School

O’Melveny & Myers LLP, which represented a Brooklyn, New York, private school whose football coach was accused of sexual abuse, was sued by 11 former students for allegedly lying about how much the school’s administrators knew about the abuse.

A group of former students of Poly Prep Country Day School settled a federal lawsuit eight months ago that accused the high school of covering up abuse by the coach, Philip Foglietta, who died in 1998.

The 11 who are now suing the school’s lawyers, represented by attorney Kevin Mulhearn, named O’Melveny labor and employment partner and New York office head Jeffrey Kohn in the suit filed Aug. 12 in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan. The suit, which accuses the firm’s lawyers of engaging in misconduct, was first reported by The New York Post.

“The underlying case was concluded eight months ago with a settlement voluntarily entered into by the plaintiffs,” O’Melveny said in an e-mailed statement. “These claims are completely baseless and without merit.”

Alleging the behavior violated judiciary law, the former students say that O’Melveny’s lawyers misrepresented to the court that a report the school commissioned proved it was unaware of any abuse allegations before receiving a 1991 letter from a student giving details of the abuse.

The plaintiffs are seeking repayment of legal fees and expenses paid to O’Melveny for an earlier related litigation, as well as damages.

The case is Zimmerman v. Kohn, 652826/2013, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

Additional reporting by: Patricia Hurtado in New York.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.