News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Another law firm cuts pay; officer fired in shooting death of Breonna Taylor

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Another law firm cuts pay for lawyers and staffers

Holland & Hart is reducing profit distributions to equity partners and cutting pay for salaried lawyers by 15%. Staff members who make $100,000 or more will see a pay cut of 7.5%, while those making more than $60,000 and less than $100,000 will see a 5% pay cut. The law firm says the equity partners are taking the largest percentage hit. The firm is also suspending employer contributions to the employee 401(k) plan. (Law360, Bloomberg Law, Above the Law)

Kentucky officer fired in death of Breonna Taylor

Louisville, Kentucky, police officer Brett Hankison has been fired for his involvement in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor while he and two colleagues were serving a no-knock warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend said he thought he was firing at intruders when he shot one officer in the leg, spurring officers to return fire. Hankison’s termination letter said he “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “blindly fired” 10 rounds into the apartment. (The New York Times, the Louisville Courier Journal, the termination letter)

Recovering from bike crash, Susman Godfrey founder now has COVID-19

Susman Godfrey founder Stephen Susman has been diagnosed with COVID-19 during his recovery from head injuries that he received in a bicycle crash. He has been hospitalized since April 22. (Law360)

$4.7B talcum powder verdict is reduced to $2.1B

The Missouri Court of Appeals has cut a $4.7 billion award to 22 women who said they contracted ovarian cancer as a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder. The court lowered the award to $2.1 billion. The court reversed any award to two out-of-state plaintiffs because of insufficient contact with Missouri, where a Johnson & Johnson product used by the other plaintiffs was made for a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. The court said Johnson & Johnson and the subsidiary were liable to five in-state plaintiffs, but only the subsidiary was liable to the remaining 15 plaintiffs. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the appellate decision. The company announced last month that it will stop selling its talcum baby powder in the United States and Canada. (Courthouse News Service, the appeals court’s June 23 opinion)

DC Circuit refuses to block expedited removal policy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had “sole and unreviewable discretion” to implement a policy that expanded the expedited removal of some immigrants who are in the country illegally. The court lifted an injunction that had blocked the policy. The court gave plaintiffs a partial win, however, when it ruled that courts had jurisdiction to hear the case. (The National Law Journal, Politico, Law360, the June 23 opinion)

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