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Legal Bisnow
    November 30, 2012  

MoFo Reaches Millions After Going Viral

Despite being founded in 1883, Morrison & Foerster is fully in the modern age (with a social media-friendly nick-name like MoFo, to boot). An infographic on the impact of social media—the brainchild of partner John Delaney—was seen by millions over a few days.

John, the former technology transactions practice chair, tells us the infographic released this week was tweeted by tens of thousands and became a trending topic on Twitter within hours of being picked up by news blog Mashable, which has a viewership of three million. It marks a revolution in outreach, as that type of exposure would have been near-impossible with traditional channels. "Most client alerts, say on FCPA, don't get that kind of attraction," he told us yesterday, "And don't really cross over into a general lay audience." It's the third infographic he put together, including one on the history of social media law that went back to the touchstone Sony Betamax case that impacted liability in user-generated content.

A snippet of the infographic. John, with a summer associate and in-house graphic artist (who's more used to doing exhibits for jury trials) put it together in their spare time over three months. This, along with a social media blog John started in January, are paying off. He tells us they've had Fortune 500 companies hire them based on blog articles. The Columbia Law grad works on tech licensing and newfangled social media matters for clients, such as helping with legal issues in connection with Internet strategy.

More Magic for DC
Homer Building, DC

Linklaters is jumping into the DC market. That makes it the fourth of five Magic Circle firms to open up shop in the District, including Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, and Freshfields. (Slaughter and May is the last hold-out.) It'll move into the Homer Building at 601 13th St. The firm has a NY office and says DC will act as a continuation of it. This actually marks a re-entry: Linklaters was here from '92 until closing in '02. Related note: Yet another UK-based firm, Norton Rose, will have a presence in the capital after its merger with Fulbright & Jaworski in 2013.

Novak Merger Coming Jan. 1

Novak Druce CEO Greg Novak left Howrey in '05 with five other attorneys to start his own IP shop. Yesterday, the firm announced that its proposed merger with Connolly Bove is now full-steam-ahead. The discussions "progressed ahead of schedule" and the firms have both voted and formally approved the combo effective Jan. 1. It'll create a combined 140-person firm. Novak Druce, housed in the same building as Jones Day, has already grown through laterals this year, including former USPTO patent judge Michael O'Neill. Greg, snapped with COO Barbara Preston, will stay on as head of the combined firm, which will be called Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg. It seems mergers are in the air. Who do you think is next?

$1.3B for Female Farmers

After over a decade of repping women farmers who were discriminated against in USDA loan programs, Arent Fox’s efforts bore fruit when the government recently announced a $1.3B claims program to compensate them. Complex commercial litigation chair Barbara Wahl, center, picked up a pro bono award named for chairman emeritus Marc Fleischaker, second from left, on Wednesday for her work on behalf of the women farmers. Surrounding Barbara are members of the litigation team Alison Andersen, Kristine Dunne, and Ngoc Niblack, who also received awards, bookended by pro bono committee chair Deanne Ottaviano and firm chair Mark Katz. Deanne, who won the Al Arent pro bono award as an associate, holds a dream catcher that a woman farmer made for Barbara, using chicken feathers from her own farm.

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