News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Summer associates see higher offer rates; judge won't dissolve NRA

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Offer rates climb for summer associates

Offer rates for summer associate spots last year reached their highest mark since 2007, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association for Law Placement. Fifty-eight percent of callback interviews resulted in offers for summer positions, according to the report, Perspectives on 2021 Law Student Recruiting. (National Association for Law Placement press release and report)

Judge refuses to dissolve NRA

Dissolving the National Rifle Association is too harsh a remedy for alleged greed, self-dealing and lax financial oversight by senior management, a trial-level judge in New York ruled Wednesday. Justice Joel Cohen said claims by New York Attorney General Letitia James can be addressed by “targeted, less intrusive relief.” (CNN, Courthouse News Service, Law360, the March 2 opinion, New York attorney general press release)

Suspension recommended for Chandra Levy prosecutor

A hearing committee in Washington, D.C., is recommending a 90-day suspension for a former federal prosecutor accused of failing to turn over exculpatory evidence to a suspect in the death of congressional intern Chandra Levy. The committee recommended a suspension for Amanda Haines but not for another prosecutor who worked on the case. The government had dropped charges against the suspect, Ingmar Guandique, after his 2010 conviction was set aside. A lawyer for Haines told Reuters and Law360 that the Department of Justice had cleared Haines of misconduct. The contrary finding by the hearing committee is “baffling, disappointing and just plain wrong,” said the lawyer, Justin Dillon. (The Legal Profession Blog, Reuters, Law360, the Feb. 24 recommendation)

Purdue Pharma owners to pay $6B to resolve opioid claims

The family that owned Purdue Pharma, a maker of OxyContin, has agreed to pay up to $6 billion to resolve opioid litigation over its marketing practices. The Sackler family reached the agreement with eight states and the District of Columbia, which had objected to an earlier $4.3 billion plan. A bankruptcy judge must approve the settlement. (Bloomberg Law, the New York Times, Reuters)

Johnson & Johnson can use ‘Texas two-step’ to handle baby powder suits

U.S. Bankruptcy Chief Judge Michael Kaplan of the District of New Jersey ruled last Friday that Johnson & Johnson can resolve cancer suits over its baby powder through a spinoff company in bankruptcy. Known as the “Texas two-step,” the maneuver uses a Texas law to create a new corporate entity and assign lawsuit liabilities to the company, which then files for bankruptcy. Johnson & Johnson has set aside $2 billion to pay lawsuit claims claims. (Reuters, NPR)

Suspension too harsh for judge’s affair with lawyer

A former Alabama judge and a lawyer who appeared before him should not have been suspended from law practice for having an undisclosed affair, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled Feb. 25. The court said former Judge Christopher Mark Kaminski and lawyer Amy Cauthen Marshall should have received, at most, a public reprimand because there was no “tangible damage” from their conduct. Kaminski and Marshall later married. (The Associated Press, Courthouse News Service, the Feb. 25 opinion)

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