News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Husch Blackwell merges with boutique firm; man sentenced for threat to Flynn judge

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Husch Blackwell will merge with boutique firm

Husch Blackwell has announced a merger with a health law boutique that represents hospitals and health care systems in the Boston area. The merger with Summit Health Law Partners gives Husch Blackwell offices in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island—its first offices in the New England region. (Reuters,, Husch Blackwell press release)

Man sentenced for ‘heinous’ threat against federal judge

Frank J. Caporusso, 53, of New York was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday for voicemails threatening U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of the District of Columbia and his staff members. Before imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden of the District of Columbia said Caporusso’s threats were “despicable” and “heinous,” but he didn’t think Caporusso planned to carry them out. At the time that he received the threats, Sullivan was scrutinizing federal prosecutors’ decision to drop charges of lying to the FBI against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. (Law360, Politico, the Washington Post)

Human rights lawyers among those targeted for phone hacks

Leaked records suggest that human rights lawyers were among those whose cellphones were apparently targeted for surveillance using software licensed to several governments by the NSO Group, an Israeli company. Other potential targets included business executives, human rights activists and politicians. The software is intended to track terrorists and criminals. A NSO Group lawyer said the groups that released the data misinterpreted and mischaracterized the information. (The Guardian, the Washington Post)

DOJ won’t subpoena journalists’ records in leak probes

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will no longer subpoena or obtain court orders for journalists’ phone and email records in leak investigations. Journalists who publish or possess classified information are protected by the ban. But the department can use compulsory legal process when reporters are under investigation for a criminal law violation or when they use criminal methods, such as breaking and entering, to obtain information. Records can also be obtained to prevent imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm. (July 19 press release, Garland’s memorandum, Reuters, the Washington Post)

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