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Our expertise spans a variety banking and finance issues. We have acted for a number of leading lenders and we are able to advise companies of all types on their dealings with lenders. We also advise a variety of corporations (international corporations, family businesses, charities, trusts and developers) on all aspects of their relationships with lending entities.
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Brittney Griner Given 9 Years In Russia Is A Reminder That The U.S. Issued A Life Sentence For Pot Possession IN MAY – Above the LawThe Russians slapped basketball star Brittney Griner with a nine-year sentence for drug smuggling because she had .02 ounces of cannabis oil on her. While her sentence is wholly unreasonable even under Russia’s strict laws, it’s generally understood that Griner’s getting this harsh sentence as a prelude to a prisoner exchange. Russia raises the stakes by threatening to put Griner away for almost a decade for having what amounts to residue so we give them back some kind of vicious arms dealer or something. Without diminishing the injustice being visited upon Griner, her nine-year sentence should remind us that when it comes to backward countries, the United States has its own problems. Looking at you, Mississippi… The Mississippi Supreme Court voted last week to uphold a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a man who was convicted of possessing less than three ounces of weed. The whole opinion is here and it’s bonkers. Allen Russell was arrested in 2017 for possessing what amounted to 1.54 ounces of marijuana. Because he had a violent prior history, Mississippi threw away the key. Or DID he have a violent prior history? Because Mississippi gets a little creative with the definition of “violent.” During his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Russell had three prior felony convictions, two for burglary and one for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Under Mississippi state law, a burglary is considered a violent offense, even if no evidence of actual violence against a person is presented in a case. It gets worse when you learn that the state didn’t classify burglary as violent until after he was released. It’s like an injustice issue spotter. Everything about what’s happening to Brittney Griner is wrong, but don’t let the fact that a terrorist regime is trying to make an example out of her give you a false sense of moral superiority. An ounce and a half of pot has a man in prison without the possibility of parole for the rest of his life in the United States of America in 2022! Hopefully, if and when the State Department gets Griner back, the outrage over her sentence can carry over to cases like Allen’s. Because draconian punishments for trace amounts of weed are a problem on both sides of the Bering Strait. Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds Life Sentence for Weed Possession [High Times]
Do you have at least a decade of regulatory experience, with some exposure to the transportation sector? Are you looking for an in-house counsel position in a city that’s big enough to have everything you need, but small enough for you to regularly bump into people you know? Then Lateral Link Principal Amy Savage and Cadence Counsel Sr. Director Kristina Marlow may have a job for you! A role at the cutting edge of transportation regulation As Senior Counsel for Volvo’s growing autonomous (driverless) transportation business, you would be instrumental in building its legal and compliance department in the United States. You would be responsible for counseling the company on issues related to transportation regulatory rules; this will involve interacting with federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation (including the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), and providing legal counsel on related regulations such as EPA’s Clean Air Act and NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. You would work closely with global Volvo Autonomous Solutions AB counsel in Europe and will travel periodically to Sweden. Work for an industry leader with a collaborative culture Volvo Autonomous Solutions is a division within the AB Volvo Group of companies. A highly-regarded and well-managed industry leader known for its collaborative and innovative environment, Volvo Group is committed to paving the way towards a more sustainable future. Not only will electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles help increase safety and reduce environmental footprint, but they will also improve logistics efficiency across transport and infrastructure segments. By taking a holistic approach and utilizing the latest technology, Volvo seeks to optimize the transportation of goods, people, and material. In this position, you will become a key member of an international legal team that offers unmatched opportunities for personal and professional development. You will take an active role in the day-to-day business operations of the group and will have the opportunity to shape issues and establish company policies in an evolving practice area. Live in an ideally-sized, low-cost city According to the recently released index of emerging housing markets compiled by The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com, this opening is located in one of the top metro areas for home buyers looking for an appreciating housing market, a strong local economy, and appealing lifestyle amenities. North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad offers a cost of living below the national average and housing costs significantly lower than in many other major metro areas. Not only are commutes stress-free, but you’ll be located within a short jaunt to and from the major cities in North Carolina. There’s no shortage of things to do! Locals can spend a day in the mountains to the west or head east for a beach weekend. Or they can stay closer to home and enjoy Greensboro’s delicious food, craft beer, and great coffee shops. Admittedly, NC’s summers can be very hot and humid, but winters are milder than in cities to the north. And you’ll enjoy the variety of four distinct seasons. Relocation financial assistance may be provided. Qualifications Juris Doctor from an accredited U.S. law school and active membership in at least one state bar Minimum 10+ years of experience practicing in this area Current knowledge of trends, developments, and practices in the transportation regulatory space Expert knowledge of transportation regulation in the United States, including EPA’s Clean Air Act, NHTSA’s FMVSS, and DOT’s FMCSA Experience with supply chains, hub-to-hub transport, mining, quarries, and/or logistics would be ideal but are not required Demonstrated capabilities in interfacing and negotiating with relevant authorities, such as DOT including NHTSA Demonstrated success working with C-Suite executive and partnering with engineers and other non-attorneys on compliance programs Demonstrated ability to think strategically about business solutions Essential Interpersonal Skills Strong ethics and integrity The poise, maturity and judgment to inspire confidence among legal, business, and technical audiences inside and outside the company The ability to build trusting relationships with subordinates, colleagues, and superiors within the company Strong business savvy The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, hard-charging, entrepreneurial environment The ability to remain calm under pressure Intellectual curiosity and high energy A team orientation and excellent interpersonal skills Responsibilities Proactively support relevant product development, certification, and compliance functions with relevant legal advice to ensure that the Volvo Group products introduced into commerce in the United States are, and remain, fully compliant with all applicable emissions, certification, and other legal requirements. Provide legal support as required in conjunction with communications with authorities (such as EPA and DOT). Provide input and legal support in development of compliance, policies, directives, guidelines, templates, and processes relating to Volvo Group products in the United States market and globally. Manage evaluation and selection of outside counsel. Assist in the development of and deliver training programs related to relevant regulatory requirements and laws. How to apply Interested candidates should send a resume to Amy Savage at ASavage@LateralLink.com or Kristina Marlow at KMarlow@CadenceCounsel.com. Note that resumes sent directly to Volvo will be routed back to Lateral Link. *** Top law firms and corporate legal departments worldwide have partnered with Lateral Link as their go-to legal recruiter for almost two decades. With offices in more than a dozen cities across the United States and Asia, Lateral Link has relied upon its established relationships and best-in-class recruiting team of former practicing attorneys to attract and deliver the best legal talent. Its recruiters have completed thousands of successful placements at law firms, in-house, and in temporary staffing positions. Cadence Counsel — a certified Women’s Business Enterprise — is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of in-house lawyers. Its recruiters include former practicing attorneys and award-winning consultants who provide executive search and interim attorney placement services, document review staffing, and diversity & development consulting to Fortune 500 law departments, sports franchises, technology organizations, public utilities, and more.
What does it take to cultivate job satisfaction at a law firm? In a new report from BTI Consulting, associates pointed out exactly what they wanted from and valued in their work lives, and which firms were the best at committing to their overall happiness. According to BTI, Biglaw associates are looking for these eight core activities from their firms when it comes to their overall professional happiness: Commitment to helping associates in their career Specific action to help develop a career path Access to training they need Good mentoring Optimism about growing within their firm High levels of job satisfaction Being well paid Having at least one partner watching out for them After going evaluating 4,000 responses, BTI found that 147 Biglaw firms did the best job when it came to associate satisfaction. But which firms did the best in each category? Earlier this week, we covered the firms that were considered the best at helping associates in their careers and those with partners who have associates’ backs, as well as the firms that have helped associates build their careers and provided access to the training they want and need. Today, we’re going to take a look at the thing that makes the world go ’round: money. Biglaw associates certainly enjoy being paid handsomely — and we here at Above the Law have tracked raises and bonuses for years — but there’s much more to compensation than just a dollar amount. Here’s what BTI evaluated: Associates rely on a subjective formula to evaluate how well they are paid. This formula includes salary, bonus, competitive norms, hours of work expected, hybrid work policies, perceived control over working hours, treatment by partners, feedback, and the opportunity they see for themselves within the firm. Market rate salaries are minimum expectations. That said, associates singled out 29 law firms that were able to offer a “winning comp combination,” but these eight firms were identified as the best of the best when it comes to all matters of compensation: Baker Donelson Choate Debevoise & Plimpton Faegre Drinker Fenwick & West Hunton Andrews Kurth Katten Milbank Congratulations to each of these firms. When market money is just the baseline, providing associates with a better quality of life will get your firm a boost when it comes to overall “compensation.” Great work! Associates Point to 29 Law Firms Where They Are Well Paid [BTI Consulting] Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Study Says Trump’s Truth Social Is Much More Aggressive, And Much More Arbitrary, In Moderating Content – Above the Law(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) As you’ll recall, the defining moment that lead to Donald Trump creating his Truth Social Twitter clone was his being banned from Twitter for potentially egging on further violence on January 6th. Even before Truth Social was started, Trump’s most vocal and loyal… well, let’s just call them “fans,” kept insisting that what was needed was a social media site that didn’t do any moderation at all — or, at the very least, did no moderation based on viewpoint. Of course, as we’ve explained for years now, such a thing is literally impossible. And every new social media service that pops up promising no moderation learns this the hard way, often to hilarious results. There was Parler, which promised it would only moderate based on “the FCC and the Supreme court of the United States” until it realized that’s not actually a thing, and started banning people for all sorts of things, including “posting pictures of your fecal matter.” Its former CEO also bragged about “banning leftists,” something the website seemed to do with glee. Then, there was Gettr, another Twitter clone started by former Trump aide (and SLAPP suit filer) Jason Miller with funding from a Chinese billionaire famous for suing news organizations (not very free speechy). Gettr also positioned itself as the “free speech” site that wouldn’t moderate the way Twitter did. Then, when the site was overrun with extreme white nationalists, the site suddenly started banning them. It also would ban users for suggesting its billionaire backer was a spy. Over and over again, we see that these sites are not only not actually about less moderation and more “free speech” but we see that they’re worse at the moderation game — a lot less principled, and just generally a mess. Enter Trump’s Truth Social. Announced to great fanfare, and with yet another habitual suer of news organizations, Devin Nunes, put in charge. As we’ve noted, Truth Social has also found it difficult to attract users and prospective users have admitted the site just isn’t that much fun. We’ve also highlighted how, from the beginning Truth Social has quite strict terms of service, and Nunes promised aggressive content moderation (even while framing the site as being more free speech supporting). We’ve seen some of this play out — for example in banning people for truthing about the January 6th hearings (apparently, not that kind of truth is allowed). Now, Public Citizen has released a report, looking more closely at Truth Social’s content moderation practices and concluding that content moderation on the site is extremely aggressive and quite arbitrary. “Truth Social is far from the haven of free speech that Trump promised, as even conservative viewpoints and links have been shadow-banned,” said Cheyenne Hunt-Majer, a fellow for Public Citizen and author of the report. “It’s not at all clear how Truth Social determines which content will be labled as sensitive, why some content is censored after it’s posted, and why other content seems to be preemptively blocked from appearing on the platform at all.” The report looked at a variety of types of content. Not surprisingly (to anyone paying attention to reality), more progressive messaging was regularly silenced. Again, while Trumpists love to insist that Twitter, Facebook and others are deliberately trying to silence conservative talking points, actual evidence suggests that’s just not true. However, it appears that Truth Social has no problem suppressing content based on political viewpoints: In June 2022, Truth Social users reported that any post containing the phrase “abortion is healthcare” would automatically be shadow banned from the platform. Much of this report describes my firsthand experience on Truth Social. When I attempted to post the phrase “abortion is healthcare,” I received the standard notification that my “truth had been posted,” which would usually signify that my post would now be visible on my personal profile and on my feed. Instead, the post was nowhere to be found. I made a video explaining that my “truth” had seemingly disappeared into a black hole that went viral on Tik Tok with over 1.2 million views to date. Five days after I initially tried to post my “truth”, after my Tik Tok video attracted such significant attention, it suddenly appeared. As a result, the first interactions with the post including comments and likes are dated five days after the date of posting. In July 2022, I attempted to post a response to another user’s “truth,” in which he argued that only those that know everything about firearms have the right to protest gun related issues. My response read, “And if you don’t own a uterus and know everything about women’s health, you have NO right to regulate abortion or birth control. When you think they can’t get any more hypocritical, this post says, ‘yes they can.’” That post was similarly blocked and also never showed up on my profile or feed. It wasn’t just left-leaning content that was blocked however, The report details tons of other content, including content that would normally be welcomed in the Trump universe that was also blocked. Users also complained that links to articles on external websites were being blocked. One user suggested that they were unable a link to a Breitbart article claiming that former President Obama was responsible for an influx of crime committed by immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. When I tried to post the link, it never showed up on my profile or feed. Setting aside the merrits of the decision to deplatform the Breitbart article, it’s worth noting that the article doesn’t seem to violate any of their stated terms of service. The report also found that when content was blocked, there seemed to be no explanation or opportunity to appeal — two other things that Trumpists often insist social media should have. Again, it shouldn’t necessarily be surprising to anyone that Truth Social is a heavily moderated garbage dump. As we’ve explained so many times, every such website needs to have some level of moderation or they quickly become absolutely useless. It’s also not really much of a surprise that Truth Social is overly aggressive, and somewhat arbitrary in its moderation. As we’ve explained, at scale (even the very small scale of a Truth Social) content moderation is impossible to do well. And, I’d argue it’s even more difficult to be coherent if you don’t fundamentally understand content moderation/trust and safety, and it’s quite clear that this is the case with Truth Social. However, it would be nice if all the very confident, but very wrong, people who insisted (1) that there should be no moderation at all, and (2) that Trump’s site wouldn’t have any moderation would recognize that they were wrong. And maybe, just maybe, recognize that every time they flipped out over content moderation decisions on other platforms that they didn’t agree with — it was because you’re just not going to agree with how every moderation decision is made. Somehow, I doubt it. I expect we’ll quickly hear more unproven nonsense about how Twitter and Facebook are obviously against conservatives (they’re not) and excuses for why Truth Social’s content moderation scheme is somehow acceptable (it’s laughable). But, rest assured, if you believe (incorrectly) that content moderation is censorship, then Truth Social is a hell of a lot more censorial than Twitter. Study Says Trump’s Truth Social Is Much More Aggressive, And Much More Arbitrary, In Moderating Content More Law-Related Stories From Techdirt: Virginia Politicians Are Suing Books They Don’t Like Why The Massive China Police Database Hack Is Bad News For Surveillance States Everywhere Tim Hortons Doles Out Some Coffee Pocket Change In Response To Location Data Scandal
LexisNexis Keeping Everyone Informed About Their Voting Rights Until The Supreme Court Takes Them Away Next Year – Above the LawDemocracy was a lot of fun while it lasted. Sure, there were some mistakes made along the way. After all, Tommy Tuberville has a job doing… well, I was going to say “something other than football” but I’ve seen how he does that too, so let’s just leave it as “Tommy Tuberville has a job.” But by and large it’s been nice to have the right to vote. But while the Supreme Court bends over backward to make voting rights a thing of the past, there’s a lot of action at both the state and federal level to preserve the cornerstone of the nation. The LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation is a non-profit entity coordinating rule of law initiatives all over the world. Its mission revolves around four components: Equality Under the Law, Transparency of Law, an Independent Judiciary, and Accessible Legal Remedies. When the non-partisan organization started, we profiled some of the work it was doing training judges in Africa and digitizing court systems in Myanmar. And while its international work continues, there are threats to the rule of law here at home to consider. Recently, the team walked me through its U.S. Voting Laws & Legislation Center, a repository for information about voting laws and pending initiatives across the country. It’s an invaluable resource for both citizens looking to stay informed about the state of democracy in their jurisdiction and for journalists and academics looking to marshal a big picture review of everything happening in the space. This map shows all the voting law activity in every state. Bluer states have more in the pipeline. There’s a helpful summary of bill subjects, but you can also use the dropdown to filter the map to the jurisdiction of interest. As one would expect, the search function allows you to put in keywords, bill names, sponsor names, or whatever else to find specific legislation. Clicking on a specific state on that map brings up the option to check out both current and proposed legislation: That’s a list of the most relevant results for proposed election legislation in New York. It can get sliced and diced however the user wants (absentee reforms, voting infrastructure proposals, early voting reforms, etc.). Clicking on one of the proposals gives the user access to the text of the bill as well as analytical insight into its likelihood of passage. There’s a handy comparison tool too: Election law news will be added soon, plugging in coverage from Law360. This is a useful new resource for anyone interested in monitoring either the assault on democracy or the efforts to preserve it. Which should be a lot more people over the next few years. Earlier: LexisNexis Is Out To Change The World For The Better Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.