News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Another BigLaw firm pays special bonuses; judge charged with stealing campaign funds

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Willkie Farr will pay special bonuses

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has announced that it will be paying special bonuses ranging from $7,500 to $40,000, falling in line with a scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell. The firm also expects to pay year-end bonuses “in accordance with our normal practices,” according to a memo obtained by Above the Law. Some had speculated that no more law firms would be paying special bonuses after several large law firms opted against them, including Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The latest law firms to reject special bonuses are Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Goodwin Procter. (Above the Law,

Judge is charged with using campaign funds for gambling

A Pennsylvania judge is accused of using $4,000 in campaign funds for gambling and personal expenses. Judge Michael Cabry III of Chester County, Pennsylvania, allegedly used a debit card linked to his campaign account to withdraw cash at several casinos. Cabry allegedly used the money to support a six-figure gambling habit. He is charged with theft and election code violations. (Press release, criminal complaint, Law360, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily Local News)

Former Shoplet general counsel gets prison time

Former Shoplet general counsel Leslie Scharf was sentenced Thursday to three to nine years in prison in New York state court for embezzling nearly $6 million from the office supply company’s PayPal accounts. Scharf’s lawyer, Victor Rocco, said his client was remorseful and would have to “give every penny” that he has, according to Law360. He will also be disbarred, Rocco said. (Law360, Bloomberg Law)

Task force would allow ‘intermediary entities’ to build legal brand

Illinois ethics rules should be changed to allow lawyers to pay a portion of their legal fees to “intermediary entities” that have the ability to build brands that reach the consumer legal market, according to a final report by a task force of the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation. One caveat: There could be no interference with a lawyer’s professional judgment. The report also recommends recognizing licensed paralegals who could offer expanded services while working under a lawyer’s supervision. (Press release, the task force report)

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