Reporters Jeff Jeffrey, Marisa McQuilken, and Brian Katkin provide an in-depth look at Black Thursday with a piece that begins: "Even in the darkest days of the dot-com bust earlier this decade or in the recession of the early 1990s, there was never a day like Thursday Feb. 12 in the world of law firms." More than 1,100 lawyers across the country lost their jobs last week, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Big Law in D.C. did not skirt by untouched: 149 D.C. staff at Hogan & Hartson were offered buyouts and dozens of lawyers and staff at Holland & Knight, Dechert, Bryan Cave, and DLA Piper were laid off.
Legal Times Supreme Court correspondent Tony Mauro talks with Mayer Brown partner and veteran Supreme Court advocate Andrew Frey about his role in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. Frey is arguing March 3 in what Mauro says could be Frey's biggest and most unpopular case in his career. Frey will represent Massey, the West Virginia coal company tied up in a dispute that involves campaign donations and a state Supreme Court justice. “I’ve reached the point where it’s great fun giving an oral argument, but not much fun preparing for it,” Frey tells Legal Times. Frey has argued 64 cases before the Court, more than any lawyer currently in private practice.
Joe Palazzolo delivers a profile of Christine Varney, the Hogan & Hartson partner who's been tapped to head DOJ's Antitrust Division. Varney is a former Federal Trade commissioner who could bridge the antitrust enforcement divide between the FTC and Justice. The Varney profile is part of a Legal Times Special Report that examines the new DOJ—including two new chiefs of staff. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. chose a department veteran, Kevin Ohlson. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s David Ogden, the deputy attorney general nominee, has selected a longtime Wilmer colleague, Stuart Delery, as his chief of staff.
Reporter Jordan Weissmann examines the U.S. Court of Federal Claims vaccine rulings that rejected claims from parents that childhood immunizations cause autism. Three rulings last week dealt a blow to thousands of autism cases pending before the claims court. But counsel for the plaintiffs maintain the rulings will not end the litigation. From appeals to civil suits, the lawyers say they have options. “The door remains open to push these cases,” Tom Powers of Portland, Ore.’s Williams Love O’Leary & Powers, tells Legal Times.