A New Chapter for GM: General Motors Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning, and there are numerous questions about whether the government-led reorganization of the iconic automaker will work, The Wall Street Journal reports. The government is putting up $30 billion on a plan that it can make GM profitable. But the reorganization faces risks that range from legal challenges to the uncertainty of when consumer demand for new cars will rebound. The New York Times report is here, and The Washington Post piece is here.
Going Midsize: The Legal Intelligencer continues its look at the lasting effects of the recession on the legal industry with this piece about how big firm lawyers and big corporate clients are turning to smaller, regional firms for better value. Leaders of midsized firms say this shift could lead to permanent changes in the legal industry as midsized and smaller firms develop a stronger presence in markets dominated by megafirms.
A Done Deal?: The New York Times takes a look at the minimal criticism from Senate Republicans about Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Strategists in both parties say one-third or more of the 40 Senate Republicans may vote to confirm Sotomayor, according to the Times report.
Corbin in Cuffs: Nassau County Democratic legislator Roger Corbin, accused of tax evasion, isn't a fan of photos showing him in handcuffs, and he sought an order in federal court blocking media outlets from publishing such photos. No luck. A federal judge has ruled against the Long Island politician, according to a report in The New York Law Journal. Judge Arthur Spatt said in court he was "troubled" by the repeated use of the photo. But the judge noted he lacks authority to "censor the press in this matter and cannot instruct the press as to what images are newsworthy."
Uncuffed at the SEC: New leadership at the Securities and Exchange Commission is working toward "taking the handcuffs off" of the enforcement division following years of practice that undercut the effort to investigate allegations of corporate malfeasance, The Washington Post reports. The Post, citing interviews with 19 current and former SEC officials, says the leadership under former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox hindered investigations through a cumbersome process in which investigators had to win the SEC's approval for each case.
Under SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, who replaced Cox this year, enforcement officials have a little more freedom from getting commission approval before negotiating settlements with companies. The BLT last month covered a panel discussion about changes in SEC enforcement. Click here for the write-up.
Unsolved Mystery: Three D.C. men are charged with crimes linked to the August 2006 fatal stabbing of D.C. lawyer Robert Wone, but the homicide remains unsolved. The Washington Post today begins a two-part series examining the murder and the lives of the defendants—including former Arent Fox partner Joseph Price. The series includes an audio clip of the 911 call made the night Wone's body was found on a guestroom bed in Price's home on Swann Street in Northwest Washington. Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward are charged with obstruction, evidence tampering and conspiracy. A D.C. Superior Court judge set the trial for May 2010.