News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Lawyer's Super Bowl ad leads to litigation; 2 BigLaw firms end merger talks

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NFL objects to firm’s Super Bowl ad, leading to suit

The Dimopoulos Law Firm in Las Vegas is seeking a declaratory judgment that its Super Bowl commercial did not infringe trademarks of NFL Properties and the Las Vegas Raiders. The law firm sued after the NFL sent a cease-and-desist letter. The ad, which aired in the Las Vegas market, shows three athletes preparing for competition, along with a lawyer putting on a suit jacket before court. One of the athletes was Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, who is shown in Raiders team colors of black and silver. The same colors are used in the firm’s marketing. No logos are shown for teams or the NFL; instead, the athletes are sporting the firm’s logo, the lawsuit says. The logo includes a shield—which is also part of the Raiders’ logo, according to Reuters. (Reuters, the March 1 lawsuit, the Super Bowl ad)

Shearman, Hogan Lovells end merger talks

Shearman & Sterling and Hogan Lovells have called off merger talks. “As has been widely reported, our firms have been in preliminary and exploratory conversations regarding a possible combination,” the law firms said Thursday in a joint statement. “After careful consideration, we have mutually agreed that a combination at this time is not in the best interest of either firm. We have been deeply impressed with each other’s business, practices and people and wish each other continued success.” (, Reuters)

Former federal judge joins BigLaw firm

After leaving the federal bench in Maryland on Feb. 24, former Judge George Hazel is planning a career in BigLaw. Hazel will join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher after serving nine years on the federal bench. Hazel told Law360 that he wants the opportunity to earn more money for his family. And he told that, after watching great trial lawyers, he is eager to “step back into the well of the courtroom and fight on behalf of clients.” (Law360,

Opioid distributors win drug-dealer liability suit

Three companies that distribute opioids won a civil lawsuit Wednesday that was brought under the Georgia Drug Dealer Liability Act. Nearly two dozen plaintiffs had filed the pioneering suit against Cardinal Health, the McKesson Corp. and the J.M. Smith Corp. Few suits filed over opioids have used a drug dealer theory or have sought money for individuals. According to Law360, the verdict may have “set a major boundary” for legal exposure in opioid litigation. (Law360)

Federal appeals judge is ‘a little disturbed’ about opinion language

Judge D. Brooks Smith of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Philadelphia is concerned that judges are sending the wrong message to the public when their opinions use less-than-collegial language. “I’m a little disturbed by some language I see from time to time in the present day that is a bit more combative than what I’ve seen in the past,” Smith said. “It’s something we judges need to keep in mind. It makes for great ink if you’re in the news media to draw on differences between judges and what seem to be sharp exchanges between judges. If for no other reason than the fact that it does make for a good angle is probably a reason to avoid it.” Smith spoke at an event sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society. (

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