News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Derek Chauvin cites possible jury misconduct; judge tosses claim by ex-summer associate

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AP Photo Chauvin jury verdict

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens as the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd on April 20 at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Photo from the Associated Press/Court TV Pool.

Former Minneapolis police officer seeks new trial

Lawyers have filed a motion seeking a new trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. The motion said the judge should have sequestered jurors, should have moved the location of the trial, and should have granted a new trial. The motion also sought a hearing into whether the jury committed misconduct or felt threatened but did not offer specifics. Some conservative commentators have seized on a photo of a juror who participated in a March on Washington event commemorating the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. (The New York Times, NBC News, the Washington Post)

Judge tosses ex-summer associate’s harassment claim

A federal judge in Chicago has tossed a sexual harassment claim in a lawsuit filed by a former summer associate who claimed that she was subjected to “a culture of gender discrimination and bizarre bullying tactics” at the Chicago office of Howard & Howard. U.S. District Judge Mary Rowland of the Northern District of Illinois said plaintiff Jennie Christensen was subjected to inappropriate and unprofessional behavior, but her allegations don’t state a claim for sexual harassment. Christensen had claimed that one lawyer at the firm told her that she was a good fit at the firm because she was “like a dude in heels.” Another lawyer allegedly said she had preferred hiring a male summer associate because she feared that Christensen would be “too competitive.” Besides sexual harassment, Christensen had claimed sex discrimination and denial of employment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. (Law360)

Judge orders hospital to allow unapproved drug in COVID-19 case

A judge in suburban Chicago has ordered Elmhurst Hospital to allow treatment of a COVID-19 patient with an anti-parasitic drug that isn’t approved for use in patients with the novel coronavirus. Judge James Orel of DuPage County, Illinois, said Friday the hospital must allow Nurije Fype to be treated with ivermectin. An outside doctor administered the drug. Fype’s daughter had sought use of the drug while her mother was in a coma. A lawyer for the Fype family said the woman showed modest improvement after initial treatment. (The Daily Herald, Fox 32 Chicago)

2 BigLaw firms advise on divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates

Two large law firms are advising on the divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. Munger, Tolles & Olson is advising Bill, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is representing Melinda. Other lawyers are also on the legal team. Court documents indicate that the Gateses have a separation agreement. (Bloomberg Law)

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