Afternoon Briefs: Crowell merger announced; judge reverses himself on juror vaccinations
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Crowell & Moring will merge with IP firm
Crowell & Moring is merging with Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, a 61-lawyer intellectual property law firm. Crowell will have more than 625 lawyers after the merger, with new offices in Chicago and Indianapolis. Crowell has also begun a process with the Chinese government to open an office in Shenzhen, China, with Brinks Gilson’s professionals there. (Law.com, Crowell & Moring press release)
Judge reverses himself on juror vaccinations
U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio has reversed his initial decision to automatically disqualify potential jurors who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 in an opioid lawsuit against several pharmacy chains. Polster said the defendants had made good points about how tossing unvaccinated jurors could affect the demographics of jury pool. (Reuters, Law360, Polster’s June 23 order)
Judge blocks debt relief for minority farmers
A federal judge in Jacksonville, Florida, has issued a nationwide injunction blocking a provision of the stimulus package that forgave federally backed agricultural debt of “socially disadvantaged” farmers. Black, Hispanic and Asian farmers are among those who are deemed socially disadvantaged. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard of the Middle District of Florida said the program discriminated based on race and likely violated the equal protection clause. (The Washington Post, Pacific Legal Foundation press release, Howard’s June 23 decision)