News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: BigLaw firm partners with startup in pipeline program; Trump lawyer’s home vandalized

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BigLaw firm partners with Legal Innovators in pipeline program

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is partnering on a pipeline program with Legal Innovators, a startup alternative legal services provider that hires and trains law grads who can be competitive in BigLaw, despite graduating from outside the nation’s top 25 law schools. Two Legal Innovators lawyers will join Orrick’s incoming first-year class as Orrick Legal Innovators fellows. After their second year with the firm, the fellows may be offered full-time associate positions. (Bloomberg Law, Legal Innovators press release)

Lawyer’s home vandalized with graffiti after Trump defense

Vandals painted the word “Traitor” onto the driveway of Trump impeachment defense lawyer Michael van der Veen. The vandalism was reported at van der Veen’s suburban Philadelphia home Friday. (The Associated Press, Forbes)

7th Circuit orders sanctions for ‘woefully deficient’ brief

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago has agreed to impose sanctions in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer who claimed that a colleague wrongly revealed his sexuality to an al-Qaida client. The appeals court granted a motion for sanctions because of a frivolous appeal Feb. 11 and told the defendant to disclose her appellate attorney fees. In a previous opinion Jan. 5, the appeals court said the appellate lawyer for Tim Jon Semmerling had filed an appellate brief that is “woefully deficient,” and that “does not remotely comply” with Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. A federal judge had dismissed Semmerling’s suit in September 2019 because the colleague’s comments were protected by Illinois’ absolute litigation privilege. (Law360)

Alleged wannabe lawyer accused of defrauding COVID-19 pandemic relief program

A woman under investigation for impersonating a lawyer was found to have defrauded the Small Business Administration out of COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, according to a Department of Justice press release. Miranda Devlin, 37, of San Francisco is accused of setting up a shell company to obtain a $32,700 loan under the Paycheck Protection Program. She allegedly used the money to buy stock and make purchases from Amazon, Bloomingdale’s and Tiffany & Co. Devlin was investigated after she was arrested for allegedly posing as a lawyer to represent two criminal defendants in Marin County, California. She used the names and attorney numbers of two lawyers named Miranda with different last names, prosecutors say. She is charged with making false statements and mail fraud. (The Marin Independent Journal, Department of Justice press release)

Law firm adds 18 lawyers

Winston & Strawn has expanded its West Coast presence with the acquisition of Los Angeles boutique law firm Scheper Kim & Harris. Winston is adding 15 lawyers from the boutique who are focused on white collar and complex commercial litigation. Winston has also acquired three former partners at Sidley Austin who have experience in real estate finance, restructurings and workouts. (Winston & Strawn press release,, Bloomberg Law)

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