In the News

Williams faces uphill battle in fight with energy transfer

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 30, 2016

It is going to be an uphill battle for Williams to show that this fine legal point matters given the fact-finding of the lower court judge and the penchant of the state’s Supreme Court to defer to the lower court on these issues.

Palantir buyback plan shows need for new Silicon Valley pay system

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 28, 2016

Whatever the reason, Palantir’s offer comes at a time of great debate in Silicon Valley over employee compensation. Traditionally, workers received options on a four-year vesting schedule. When they left a company, they would have 90 days to exercise those options or forfeit them.

DoJ weighs in on Apple, Samsung patent litigation

Peter S. Menell quoted by Northern California Record, June 28, 2016

“Bottom line: The Supreme Court granted certiorari on the wrong issue,” Menell said. “It should have reviewed the functionality defense.”

Hearing shows little is known on who controls Viacom

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 24, 2016

Wednesday’s Delaware court hearing on whether Sumner M. Redstone’s National Amusements appropriately removed five Viacom directors highlights that not only will this matter drag on, but that investors still know very little about the arrangements governing Viacom and CBS.

Tesla’s plan to buy SolarCity has major flaws

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 22, 2016

Given the troubles of SolarCity, the appearance is that Mr. Musk is bailing SolarCity out while profiting handsomely. He will be paid a premium by Tesla for a company in which he is the biggest shareholder, one that the market at least views as outside the business of Tesla.

Law school a solid investment, despite pay discrepancies

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 21, 2016

Associate salaries at big law firms are on the rise, and that news has brought a predictable but undeserved fresh round of law school bashing. Instead, let’s just accept that this is a world of haves and have-nots. Top law graduates are doing better than ever, while other law students have a steeper path to climb to earn that type of money.

Viacom director has uphill battle in case against Redstone

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 17, 2016

We have the beginning of the end of a messy legal battle as a Delaware court will determine whether these five Viacom directors stay, and by implication, Mr. Dauman as chief executive. The question is, Who has the better case?

The America we must become

john a. powell writes for The Huffington Post, Politics Blog, June 14, 2016

This attack is a deep injury to us all. While we grieve intensely and recognize unwaveringly that this is a hate crime against the LGBTQ community, we must also recognize that this is an attack on all of us. We are connected not only by our values, but by our shared humanity, so when you attack someone else, you are attacking all of us.

The global stakes of a Saudi Aramco I.P.O.

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 14, 2016

If it decides to list only on the home country exchange, it will be a conservative choice with minimal impact. But if it seeks a listing in New York, London or Hong Kong, it could be revolutionary.

Century 21 one of the latest to face TCPA class action

James Tuthill quoted by Legal NewsLine, June 13, 2016

“For far too long, the federal regulators charged with enforcement of the law have ignored and refused to fulfill their responsibility and hold open and notorious perpetrators accountable. This lawsuit is a welcome challenge to these everyday violations which for far too long have been permitted,” said Tuthill.

Scholars concerned about Chevron deference ‘retreat’

Daniel A. Farber quoted by Bloomberg BNA, June 9, 2016

The retreat is problematic because it shows justices have stepped away from an attitude of humility toward agencies’ expertise, Daniel A. Farber, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley law school said.

Viacom has few options for fighting National Amusements

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 9, 2016

Under the amended bylaws, Viacom can sell Paramount only if 100 percent of the directors of Viacom agree. Given that Mr. Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, is a director of Viacom and has adamantly stated her opposition to a sale, this amendment is intended to put a halt to any possibility of a sale and to stop Viacom’s process seeking a buyer of a minority interest in Paramount.

How is the economy doing? Experts weigh in

Mary Ann Mason in WalletHub, June 8, 2016

The economy is OK and moving in the right direction – toward parental leave and family accommodations.

Why Twitter gave a woman’s home address to her cyberstalkers

Jennifer Urban quoted in The Washington Post, June 8, 2016

“No system will ever be able to stop all abuse,” said Jennifer Urban … who studies the DMCA. “But it should take into account this kind of abuse and improve procedures to avoid it. It’s a challenge and a balance, because as a matter of legal process, people in a dispute need to be able to know who their accusers are and what the claims are. But agents, proxies, etc. are possibilities if done correctly.”

How to create effective groundwater agencies

Michael Kiparsky and Holly Doremus write for News Deeply, June 8, 2016

Achieving groundwater sustainability is too important, and too challenging, to leave in the hands of haphazardly designed agencies.

Proposal to let noncitizens vote for SF school board resurrected

David Carrillo quoted by San Francisco Chronicle, June 7, 2016

David Carrillo … said the measure probably violates the state Constitution. “The California Constitution limits the franchise to citizens,” Carrillo said in an email. “And the Legislature (which controls voter qualifications for statewide elections) has by statute limited voting to citizens. So even if it passes, this measure’s prospects in the courts are dubious.”

Ruling on Dell buyout may not be the precedent that some fear

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, June 7, 2016

The Dell case is unlikely to be a game changer. The market price is likely to continue to be the price used because it is so difficult to compute “fair value” otherwise.

Act aims to end death penalty in California

Elisabeth Semel quoted in National Catholic Reporter, June 7, 2016

Semel said switching the system to life without the possibility of parole is estimated to cost just over $11 million per year, as opposed to $150 million. “That is an enormous difference in a state that has profound needs in the area of education, housing and social services.”

Court reversal of decision in Hinojosa case sheds light on habeas corpus restrictions

Shanti Brien quoted in Northern California Record, June 3, 2016

“The other aspect of the criminal justice system that this illuminates is the willingness of the courts to ignore injustices – like the obvious violation of the prohibition of ex post facto laws in this case – in the name of judicial efficiency and finality,” Brien said.

Extensive survey to look at Asian Americans

Taeku Lee quoted by Xinhua, New China, June 2, 2016

“Arguably the nation’s most dynamic and diverse population, the views and experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) remain largely relegated to the shadows,” said Lee. “With data from this quadrennial project, the 2016 NAAS promises to shed critical light on the social, economic and political life and civic engagement of AAPIs.”