November 29, 2023

Producer Claims Disbarred Atty Lied About Mel Gibson Film

Media & Entertainment

From Law 360

FILE – In this Nov. 16, 2017 file photo, Mel Gibson arrives at the premiere of “Daddys Home 2,” in London. Gibson will co-write and direct a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic Western “The Wild Bunch.” Warner Bros. on Monday confirmed that Gibson will helm the production, with Bryan Bagby to co-write the script with him. It will be Gibson’s first time directing since his 2016 World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge,” for which Gibson earned a best directing Oscar nomination. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

Producer Claims Disbarred Atty Lied About Mel Gibson Film 

By James Mills

An independent film production company has filed a California federal suit against a disbarred lawyer and others over allegations it was conned into investing $5 million in an action movie supposedly starring Mel Gibson.

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Google Prioritized Being Default Search Engine, Ex-Exec Says

By Bryan Koenig

The U.S. Department of Justice used a former Google official’s testimony Wednesday to highlight the kind of value the company placed on being the default search engine on web browsers and early smartphones, a position the official said was sought in every partnership he worked on.

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News Outlets Say State’s Brief Didn’t Address Antitrust Issues

By Matthew Perlman

News outlets accused of conspiring to exclude rivals with different viewpoints from popular internet platforms by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine group told a Louisiana federal court an amicus brief from the state attorney general didn’t address the case’s core antitrust issues.

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NC Panel Rules City Docs Held By 3rd-Party Are Public Record

By Hayley Fowler

The North Carolina Appeals Court has ruled that government documents held by a third party are public records under state law and cannot be shielded from review, handing a belated victory to a local TV station that was denied access to survey responses from city council members in Charlotte.

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Marvel Visual Effects Workers Vote To Unionize With IATSE

By Emily Brill

Visual effects workers at Marvel Studios voted 32-0 in favor of representation by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a “significant milestone” for a largely nonunion corner of the entertainment industry, the union announced Wednesday.

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SEC Fines Celeb-Backed NFT Project In Latest Crackdown

By Aislinn Keely

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday levied a $1 million penalty against the entity behind animated web series “Stoner Cats,” which features celebrities including Mila Kunis, over the sale of non-fungible tokens that it allegedly used to fund its production.

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Feds Seek Prison For Financial Adviser In $86M Art Fraud 

By Elliot Weld

A financial adviser who helped former art dealer Inigo Philbrick with an $86 million scheme to deceive art collectors and investors should see the inside of a prison cell, prosecutors told a Manhattan federal judge.

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Grievances Over Broadcast ‘Blackouts’ Aired In House Panel

By Christopher Cole

The broadcast and cable industries each sought Wednesday to convince Congress they are on the right side of repeated fights between TV station owners and multi-platform media conglomerates like Disney against pay-TV providers that in recent years have led to “blackouts” of news, sports and entertainment programming.

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Major League Pickleball Unites With Rival In PE-Backed Deal

By Jade Martinez-Pogue

Top professional pickleball organizations Major League Pickleball and Carvana PPA Tour on Wednesday announced that they have agreed to merge under a unified professional pickleball holding company in a deal that is backed by a $50 million private equity investment.

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DuPont Wants Terms Of PFAS Deal With Ga. City Kept Secret

By Madeline Lyskawa

DuPont, Chemours and Corteva slapped Rome, Georgia, and two publications with a complaint seeking to keep private the terms of a settlement reached in June resolving the alleged discharge of toxic “forever chemicals” in the city’s drinking water, saying making the deal public could reveal their confidential trade secrets.

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Delaware Joins Growing State Data Privacy Law Patchwork

By Allison Grande

Delaware’s governor has signed a privacy law aimed at giving consumers more access to and control over the personal information that companies collect about them, becoming the 12th U.S. state to enact such comprehensive protections. 

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MGM Resorts Websites Shut Down By Cyberattack

By Joyce Hanson

MGM Resorts International has reported that the casino-hotel entertainment giant is experiencing a cybersecurity incident that has continued for several days, keeping some of its nationwide websites and computer systems shut down as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Las Vegas Paper Wants To End Pact With Rival Now

By Matthew Perlman

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is asking a federal court to let it dissolve an agreement with the Las Vegas Sun to distribute the papers as a single product amid a simmering legal battle centered on the pact.

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Nielsen To Pay $570K To Settle DOL’s Race Bias Allegations

By Patrick Hoff

Data analytics and market research firm Nielsen will pay $570,000 and change its hiring policies to clear up U.S. Department of Labor allegations that it favored Hispanic job applicants over hundreds of white, Black and Asian workers at two Texas facilities.

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Hilton, Fallon, Bieber Want Out Of Bored Ape NFT Suit

By Katryna Perera

Paris Hilton, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Bieber and other celebrities who have been sued by crypto investors over their endorsements of Yuga Labs’s Bored Ape non-fungible tokens have urged a California federal judge to throw out the case, arguing their endorsements were only “innocuous” statements that cannot subject them to any liability.

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Mass. Justices On The Fence Over $19M Casino Land Deal

By Brian Dowling

A pair of Massachusetts justices appeared unwilling Wednesday to find that a $19 million handshake agreement over land for the site of Wynn Resort’s Boston-area casino clearly violated state restrictions on side deals, but said the pact may raise public policy concerns relating to integrity in the gambling industry.

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Caesars Sportsbook Lies About Risk-Free Bets, Suit Claims

By Khadrice Rollins

A potential class action filed in New York federal court accuses William Hill and Caesars Sportsbook of lying to customers about “risk-free bets” that are actually just one-time refunds that still carry the same initial risk.

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BAL Names First Latina Managing Partner 

By Adrian Cruz

Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP announced Wednesday that it had named longtime attorney Frieda Garcia managing partner, the first woman and Latino to be in the role in the corporate immigration firm’s 43-year history.

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Thompson Coburn Names Next Firm Chair, Senior Leaders

By Xiumei Dong

Thompson Coburn LLP has named litigation department leader Chris Hohn as the firm’s next chair in its most recent leadership reshuffle, which also includes the addition of a new executive committee member and the appointment of new litigation department leadership.

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Microsoft Elevates New Legal Chief, General Counsel

By Lauren Berg

Microsoft has shaken up its legal leadership this month with two in-house promotions, as the tech giant continues to defend its planned $68.7 billion purchase of video game company Activision Blizzard Inc. from the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust challenge.

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Gibson Dunn Amends Diversity Scholarship Description

By Kevin Penton

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP has amended its description of whom it awards its diversity and inclusion scholarships to, removing a reference on its website to law students who “identify with an underrepresented group.”

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New McGuireWoods Team To Help Clients Navigate DEI

By Andrea Keckley

McGuireWoods LLP announced the launch of a practice team to help clients facing potential legal scrutiny over their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in light of developments like the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down affirmative action in higher education and the numerous legal challenges it has inspired.

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NY Justice Hom Awarded Barrier-Breaking Appellate Nod

By Tracey Read

New York Supreme Court Justice Phillip Hom has made history with his appointment to the appellate term of the 2nd, 11th and 13th Judicial Districts in the Second Department, becoming the first Asian American to sit on that bench, Chief Administrative Judge Joseph A. Zayas announced Tuesday.

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Ethics Of Litigation Funding Divides Members Of Congress

By Ryan Boysen

A congressional hearing on the ethical implications of litigation funding split along sharply partisan lines on Wednesday, with Republicans decrying the multibillion-dollar industry as a drag on other businesses and a possible national security concern, while Democrats mostly dismissed it as a nonissue and called for an investigation into recent Supreme Court ethics scandals.

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Dem Sen. Peter Welch Blasts Possible Public Defender Cuts

By Courtney Buble

Years before coming to Congress, Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt., was a public defender, and now he’s raising the alarm about proposed cuts by the House and Senate to the federal public defender system, which he calls a “bedrock requirement” of the American judicial system.

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Fla. Judge Says Secure Facility Needed In Trump Docs Case

By David Minsky

A Florida federal judge presiding over Donald Trump’s classified documents criminal case on Wednesday ordered the former president and his attorneys to review and discuss evidence containing “sensitive compartmented information” in a secure facility approved by the court.

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Eastman Atty’s Leading Questions Irk State Bar Judge

By Gina Kim

A California state bar judge overseeing John Eastman’s disbarment trial repeatedly admonished his attorney Wednesday for asking leading questions throughout his examination of voterGA founder Garland Favorito.

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Firm Says Ex-Army Col. Stiffed It On $140K Tab In FCPA Case

By Chris Villani

Boston boutique defense firm Fick & Marx LLP sued a former U.S. Army colonel after helping him win a new trial and the eventual dismissal of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case, claiming the onetime client has not paid his $142,000 legal tab.

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10th Circ. Says COVID Court Closure Doesn’t Spell Mistrial

By Emily Johnson

The Tenth Circuit has issued a split decision denying a request for a new trial from a convicted domestic abuser and member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, arguing that his right to a public trial was not violated because he didn’t object to an audio-only feed that was set up amid pandemic-related social distancing requirements.

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Killer And Driver Texted After Court Officer’s Murder, Jury Told

By Bonnie Eslinger

A man on trial for driving the getaway vehicle during the fatal 2020 shooting of a federal courthouse security guard engaged in friendly communications with the gunman in the weeks that followed, an FBI agent told jurors Wednesday, contradicting defense counsel’s assertion that the driver was forced into that role at gunpoint.

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Pennsylvania Court Won’t Toss Judges’ New Retirement Plan

By Matthew Santoni

A change in state-affiliated retirement plans for Pennsylvania judges did not violate the state’s constitution under a pair of 34-year-old precedents because it’s unknown if the new retirement plans will actually result in smaller payouts, a state appellate court ruled Wednesday.

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New MassBar Prez Plans To Use Tech To Close Justice Gap

By Chris Villani

The newly elected president of the Massachusetts Bar Association is a family law attorney with plans to use new technologies to achieve greater access to the court system for lower-income civil litigants.

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