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In re Grand Jury Proceeding: Insights into Discovery in Corporate Criminal Investigation

By: Jacob Stock
The facts underlying In re: Grand Jury Proceeding read as well as any legal thriller: Felix Sater, a man wrapped up in fraud and racketeering for the mob, becomes an informant for the feds and helps to track down US law enforcement’s most wanted. Hot on his tail is Frederick Oberlander, a lawyer working hard for his clients to recover the funds lost in Sater’s former schemes. As Oberlander works the cases, however, he discovers information related to Sater’s cooperation with the government is sealed, and the Second Circuit enjoins Oberlander from publicly disclosing the information. Frustrated by the red tape, Oberlander releases the information anyway, resulting in several grand juries being impaneled to initiate a criminal investigation.

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By: Trevor Cook

Prophecies about inevitable and imminent changes in the provision of legal services and the profession of law itself have proliferated in recent years in the wake of rapid advances of technology. Artificial intelligence and machine learning and their implementation in natural language processing (NLP) applications is one facet of these technologies that offers great promise but has been adopted with mixed results. For example, the major electronic legal research providers have already implemented NLP technology into their platforms to enhance search results and suggest further relevant resources to their users, but the technology’s promise has not been fully realized in the realm of “document automation.”

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By: William Bassoff

As the next president of the United States, Joe Biden will have a great deal of influence over his administration’s antitrust enforcement. Antitrust enforcement against tech companies’ perceived market power is an increasingly popular idea in the United States. During the current presidency, the Department of Justice and eleven state Attorneys General have brought a civil antitrust suit against Google. Democratic committee members on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust recommended sweeping changes to US antitrust laws in order to prosecute Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook – perceived tech monopolists. This places the United States in a historic moment for antitrust law, with both political parties clamoring for increased antitrust enforcement against tech giants.

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Arizona Becomes the First State to Approve Nonlawyer Participants in and Ownership of Law Firms

By: Lingyun Ye

On August 27, 2020, the Arizona Supreme Court voted to make two changes in the Court’s rules regulating the practice of law. The Court approved a licensure process that will allow nonlawyers, called “Legal Paraprofessionals (LPs)” to provide limited legal services to the public. The Court also voted to eliminate ER 5.4 in the Rules of Professional Conduct which barred nonlawyers from sharing fees and having an economic interest in a law firm. Both changes will take effect on January 1, 2021.

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Big-Tech Mergers and Acquisitions in the Era of Covid-19

By: Matthew French

2020 began with a surging economic climate that appeared to foreshadow a heavily prosperous set of fiscal quarters that would likely present not only an opportunity for growth in the startup technology spectrum, but also one which would naturally give rise to countless mergers and acquisitions. However, as the world began to experience the true impact of the emerging Coronavirus pandemic, that optimistic outlook slowly transposed into a bleak twilight of economic uncertainty. The following months showcased the utter fragility of the inter-personal corporate marketplace, as social distancing restrictions forced capable entities to transition to remote-work platforms and catalyzed less fortunate corporations into bankruptcy. To the average entrepreneur, this landscape appeared to set the stage for a surge of innovative opportunities arising out of the startup and Big-Tech spectrums; after all, social distancing cultivated both an optimal setting for technological need and a captivated consumer marketplace. Yet the reality of the startup and Big-Tech spectrum was far more constricted.

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Vote counting is underway for the biggest push towards unionization of Amazon employees since the company’s founding in 1995. 6,000 workers in Bessemer, Alabama voted on a collective decision as to whether the warehouse employees should formally unionize and bargain for a contract with Amazon through the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. The last attempt to unionize was in 2014 at an Amazon warehouse in Delaware, where the 30 workers ultimately turned it down. While the employees in Bessemer only represent a fraction of Amazon’s more than 500,000 front line workers, the decision to unionize will likely provide momentum for other Amazon employees to begin collectively bargaining.

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From Runway to No Way: COVID-19’s Impact on the Fashion Industry

By: BethEl Nager

COVID-19 has impacted every element of our lives. Grocery shopping, chatting with friends, and going to work have either become a virtual experience or an opportunity to mask up and brave the world. This pandemic has also greatly affected the fashion industry. Despite the athleisure market boom, there are some apparel companies facing economic unrest. Major retailers including J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, and Stein Mart have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In fact, approximately 25 “retailers, big and small, have filed for Chapter 11 protection this year, far exceeding the number for all of last year.” Chapter 11 bankruptcy permits a business organization to devise a plan for the reorganization of its financial situation. Each company creates a strategy that will benefit them and satisfy their creditors. This reorganization plan is approved or denied by the court.

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