News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Judge requires report disclaimer; $2.1B baby powder verdict allowed to stand

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Judge requires disclaimer in cop commission report

U.S. District Judge John Bates of the District of Columbia has said President Donald Trump’s national commission on policing can’t release a report unless it carries a disclaimer saying the group didn’t comply with federal requirements for advisory committees. The disclaimer must say the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice didn’t meet requirements for a fairly balanced membership or timely notice of meetings. (The Washington Post)

Top Missouri court lets stand $2.1B baby powder verdict

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a $2.1 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary for selling talcum powder found to have caused 22 women to get ovarian cancer. The state high court refused to review an appellate ruling that upheld liability but cut the award from $4.7 billion to $2.1 billion. Johnson & Johnson said it would seek review by the U.S. Supreme court. The verdict is “at odds with decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer,” the statement said. (Law360,, Reuters)

Baker Botts ends salary cuts, pays some bonuses

Baker Botts is ending salary cuts for nonpartner timekeepers, effective Nov. 1. The law firm said it will also pay a second round of interim bonuses for exceptional contributions by nonpartner timekeepers. (Above the Law)

New program seeks to increase pipeline of diverse lawyers

A new program sponsored by the Thrive Scholars, a Los Angeles group, is seeking to increase the pipeline of minority lawyers by reaching out to high-achieving Black, Latino and Latina students in high school. Those in Thrive Scholars’ law track program will attend an academic boot camp and will be connected to a law firm sponsor that provides mentors and internship opportunities. Holland & Knight and Honigman have already signed up. About 15 other law firms are discussing participation. (Bloomberg Law)

Colorado DA sentenced in opioid case

A district attorney in northeastern Colorado was sentenced Monday to two years of supervised probation after pleading guilty in a case alleging that she took a prescription opioid painkiller from one of her employees. Brittny Lewton, district attorney of the 13th Judicial District, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, unlawful conduct on public property and second-degree official misconduct. She has agreed to treatment to address her struggles with opioid use disorder, according to a press release announcing the sentence. (Colorado attorney general press release, 9 News, the Associated Press)

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