GETTING TOGETHER: Seeking to bolster its national and international presence, Powell Goldstein is merging with Bryan Cave, the 945-lawyer international firm based in St, Louis, according to the The Daily Report. The merger happens Jan. 1. "This is a transformational event for us," Powell Goldstein's chairman, James J. McAlpin Jr., told The Daily Report. “It propels us into a different league." Powell Goldstein is giving up its name in the deal and Bryan Cave will lead the merged firms. Powell Goldstein lawyers gain an international and national platform. The Daily Report said geographic reach limited Powell Goldstein, whose competitors have increasingly added offices outside the Southeast.
REVISITING PERSONAL INJURY: The prospect of a Democratic president and the expansion of a Democratic majority in Congress has plaintiff and consumer groups gearing up for legislation that would curtail limitations on personal-injury and class-action lawsuits, the Wall Street Journal reports. The "legislative wish-list," according to the report, included limiting the use of federal regulations to block litigation under state law.
GRADUATING, ONLINE: The National Law Journal is reporting that an increasing number of people are pursuing law degrees on the Internet through "distance education" programs. According to the report: online students tend to be older than their 20-something counterparts who "flood into lecture halls at prestigious brick-and-mortar schools each year in hopes of landing a job at a top firm." The students of the law on the Internet generally hold part-time or full-time employment and have family or financial obligations that preclude devoting three years—and upwards of $100,000—to enroll at a traditional law school.
A QUICK RELEASE?: This week, lawyers representing six Algerians held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will argue for their release before a federal judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, reports The Washington Post. For the first time since the detention camp opened in 2002, the government must argue continued detention before a federal judge with no ties to the military, according to the report. The Supreme Court ruling in June in Boumediene v. Bush opened the door for detainees to challenge their detention in federal court—well removed from the military tribunals at the camp. But lawyers for the men say chances of a quick release are slim.