News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to federal charge; Goodwin pushes back return-to-office date

  • Print

Chauvin sentencing

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison June 25 by Hennepin County, Minnesota, Judge Peter Cahill for the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Photo from the Associated Press/Court TV Pool.

Derek Chauvin pleads guilty to federal civil rights charge

Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of violating the civil rights of George Floyd, the man who died when Chauvin pressed a knee to his neck during an arrest in May 2020. Chauvin was previously sentenced to 22.5 years in prison in state court after his conviction on charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The federal plea agreement calls for a 25-year sentence that would run concurrently with the state sentence. Three other officers are also facing federal civil rights charges, as well as state charges, in Floyd’s death. (The New York Times, the Washington Post)

Goodwin pushes back return-to-office date

Goodwin Procter is pushing back its date for a return to the office to March 14. Until then, office attendance is voluntary. Also pushing back work dates are Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, which said Tuesday it is starting its new hybrid work model Feb. 1, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which said in September it would bring people back Feb. 1. Other law firms have delayed office returns without announcing specific return dates. ( here and here, Reuters)

US asks SCOTUS to resurrect health worker vaccine mandate

The Biden administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court this week to allow nationwide enforcement of its vaccine mandate for health care workers who work at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans ruled earlier this week that an injunction blocking the mandate applies only in the 14 states that filed legal challenges. A separate ruling by another judge enjoins enforcement of the mandate in 10 additional states, bringing to 24 the number of states that aren’t subject to the mandate because of court decisions. (The Washington Post, the Associated Press)

First Korean American woman confirmed to federal appeals court

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco. Koh becomes the first Korean American woman to sit on a federal appeals court. Some Republicans had opposed Koh because of an opinion she wrote allowing California to restrict religious gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Hill, Reuters,

Judge refuses to shield Trump’s tax returns from Congress

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden of the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday that former President Donald Trump was “wrong on the law,” and he couldn’t shield his tax returns from Congress. McFadden stayed the decision to allow for an appeal. Trump had argued that the congressional committee seeking the returns had no legitimate interest in obtaining them. The committee said it needed the documents to examine how the Internal Revenue Service audits presidents. (, Reuters)

Practices and leadership at 20 firms named ‘Inclusion Champions’

Leadership and practice groups at 20 law firms have been named “Inclusion Champions” by the Diversity Lab for inclusion practices that correlate to great diversity. The firms are Baker Botts; Cooley; Davis Wright Tremaine; Eversheds Sutherland; Fisher Phillips; Goodwin Procter; Hogan Lovells; Jenner & Block; McDermott Will & Emery; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Morrison & Foerster; Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe; Perkins Coie; Reed Smith; Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton; Sidley Austin; Steptoe & Johnson; White & Case; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr; and Winston & Strawn. (, press release)

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.