Life Sciences and Tech IPOs Rise: Business of Law

Fenwick & West LLP, which tracks initial public offerings in technology and the life sciences, says the number of IPOs in those sectors rose 62 percent in 2013 from the previous year.

Partners Daniel Winnike and Jeffrey Vetter did a survey and found there were 78 IPOs last year in these sectors. In the second half of the year, the 23 IPOs in life sciences companies slightly exceeded the 22 in the tech sector.

The survey said that it is difficult to predict how 2014 will compare given the current “choppy” markets. Partner Robert Freedman said in a telephone interview yesterday that “even though the market in 2014 has corrected a bit, we’re still seeing lots of activity. Valuations may be lower, but the markets have not shut down.”

The survey also said that for the first time since the enactment of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, all the technology and life sciences companies eligible to file confidentially under the JOBS Act did so. In the first half of 2013, five of 33 issuers didn’t file confidentially.

Law Graduate Employment

Last Year’s Law School Graduates Found More Jobs Than in 2012

The American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar released data this month on law graduate employment for the class of 2013. The data cover the employment status of the 2013 graduates of ABA-approved law schools as of Feb. 15.

Accredited law schools reported that 57 percent of graduates of the class were employed in long-term, full-time positions where bar passage was required; 56 percent of the class of 2012 were employed after the same amount of time.

In addition, 10.1 percent of graduates of the class of 2013 were employed in long-term, full-time positions where holding a J.D. provides an advantage in obtaining or performing the job, compared with 9.5 percent for the class of 2012.

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Lawsuit News

Al Jazeera Says AT&T Dispute Details Should Stay Secret

Al Jazeera Satellite Network told Delaware’s highest court it shouldn’t be forced to make public the terms of a contract at the center of a dispute over AT&T Inc.’s refusal to carry Al Jazeera America on its cable distribution system.

Andrew Deutsch, a lawyer for Al Jazeera, said the network will be “substantially injured” if a Delaware Chancery Court decision requiring disclosure is upheld.

Constitutional mandates that court records are presumed to be public justified the lower court’s finding that AT&T and Al Jazeera must disclose details outlining the specific nature of the dispute, Joel Friedlander, a lawyer for media outlets including Bloomberg News, told the Delaware Court.

AT&T wasn’t involved in the appeal. “This is Al Jazeera’s issue and not ours,” Marty Richter, an AT&T spokesman, said in an e-mail.

The case is Al Jazeera America LLC v. AT&T Services Inc., No. 600, 2013, Delaware Supreme Court (Dover). The chancery case is Al Jazeera America LLC v. AT&T Services Inc., CA 8823, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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Law Firms

Ex-SEC, U.S. Attorney’s Office Lawyer Joins Holland & Knight

Tim Belevetz, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement official and the former chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, has joined Holland & Knight LLP as a partner in its Washington and Northern Virginia offices.

Belevetz has handled complex securities and corporate fraud matters, including health-care fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, tax offenses and identity theft, the firm said in a statement.

Nelson Mullins Adds IP Lawyers Sawyer, Jackson in Charlotte

Karl Sawyer Jr. and Susan Jackson have joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP as intellectual property partners in its Charlotte, North Carolina, office. Sawyer focuses on patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, licensing, and other IP transactional, opinion and counseling matters. Jackson has handled patents, trademarks, copyrights, and unfair-competition claims, as well as client counseling, licensing and opinion work and transactional matters.

Employment Law Firm Jackson Lewis Adds Lawyer in Indianapolis

Scott J. Preston joined Jackson Lewis PC, a law firm representing management, as a shareholder in the firm’s Indianapolis office. Preston joins from Littler Mendelson PC. Preston regularly represents clients before state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all aspects of workplace law.

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