Mossack Fonseca, the beleaguered law firm at the center of the international Panama Papers scandal, has announced that it is closing its doors.  The firm cited “reputational deterioration” that has caused “irreversible damage.” Founded in 1977 by Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, Mossack Fonseca had been perched at the top of offshore legal services providers until April 2016, when it became ground zero for a global controversy because approximately 11.5 million of the firm’s internal legal and financial documents were leaked to the media. View Full Post
In a blog post yesterday, Professor Sovern referenced Politico’s report that at the Consumer Bankers Association’s annual conference this week, unlike from 2012-2016, the “regulatory environment” was not identified as a “top worry” by bankers.  According to Professor Sovern, this “raises a question about why Congress is working on a bill to reduce the regulatory burden banks face.”  S. View Full Post
When a company’s intellectual property is core to its business, investors and prospective acquirers want to know that the company owns all the rights to that intellectual property. In most cases, owning intellectual property is preferable to licensing it. Throughout a company’s life cycle, there are times when the company’s ownership of intellectual property may not be a given (for an overview of intellectual property rights, please see our articles on copyrightspatentstrade secrets and trademarks). View Full Post
It was almost exactly one year ago that we reported that the National Collegiate Athletic Association filed a trademark infringement action in federal court against a company that ran online sports-themed promotions and sweepstakes under the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.”  The NCAA prevailed because the defendant entered into an agreement not to use the marks, but failed to file an answer to the complaint.  View Full Post
Here in Philadelphia, less than a week before the first day of Spring, it is sunny and calm, albeit a bit chilly. Not so last week, when we were hit with the second Nor’easter in less than a week.  As much as sixteen inches of snow fell in some suburbs, and thousands of people, some of whom had just regained electric power after the last storm, were knocked into the dark and cold when tree limbs felled by heavy snow took power lines with them.  View Full Post
I’m counting down the minutes to leaving my office later today to begin my favorite weekend of the year – the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament!  Even though my bubble was bursted on Selection Sunday – my team didn’t make it this year – I am always thrilled by the drama of tourney time and watching unpaid athletes play their hearts out hoping to bask in their one shining momentView Full Post
Written in 2016, this Steven Waechter article calling law school financial suicide is still on point today. The article contains important facts and great analysis: Of those, about 354,000 were self-employed sole practitioners, and they were earning an average of $49,000 in 2012 according to the IRS, a 30 percent decrease for that cohort since 1988 in inflation-adjusted dollars… This massive overproduction is supposedly justified on several grounds, including an impending wave of Boomer retirements, which the BLS statistics show to be utter nonsense; and the huge unmet need for legal services in underserved poor and rural communities. View Full Post