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Courts & legal news weekly roundup 

A chess board

This week’s highlights 

  • Legal industry adds 4,300 jobs in September
  • One-in-five corporate lawyers “high exhausted” says survey
  • CA judges may critique lawyer performance, opinion says
  • Courts can’t use remote proceedings to limit physical access, says new CA law
  • Reuters reports that “The Queen’s Gambit Faces a Legal Gambit” (contains spoiler)

Legal industry adds 4,300 jobs in September 

“After hitting an historical peak of 1,165,300 jobs in February 2020, U.S. legal services employment dropped to a nearly 20-year low of 1,092,100 in April 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic hammered the economy and sparked layoffs at law firms and other legal employers. Since then, other than slight dips in December 2020 and in March, the numbers have climbed.” (Reuters

The number of people employed in the legal services sector climbed in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday, edging the industry back towards its historic high set in February 2020. 4,300 new legal jobs were added in September, raising the total to a seasonally adjusted 1,145,600, the BLS statistics show.

One-in-five corporate lawyers “high exhausted” says survey 

“Among the highly exhausted group, 41% showed signs of psychological distress; 68% were looking to leave their organization; and 61% frequently delayed, scoped down or killed projects in which they were involved.” (ABA Journal

Large numbers of corporate lawyers report feeling signs of moderate or severe exhaustion. That’s according to a survey conducted by research firm Gartner released last week. The firm surveyed hundreds of corporate lawyers for their report.

They found that 20 percent of lawyers are highly exhausted, and another 34 percent moderately exhausted.

CA judges may critique lawyer performance, opinion says 

“California judges aren’t ethically prohibited from providing feedback to lawyers on their courtroom performance, a draft state Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions advisory released Friday said.” (Bloomberg

California judges may, if requested by an attorney or an attorney’s supervisor, provide feedback on their courtroom performance. That’s according to a draft ethics advisory opinion released Friday.

Judges, however, may not comment publicly on a pending proceeding or make a non-public comment that risks interfering with a fair trial or hearing, or that might create an appearance of favor or bias.

Courts can’t use remote proceedings to limit physical access, says new CA law 

“California courts will expand remote access via the telephone or audio stream, under a new law designed to make them more accessible to the public but may not use the presence of remote access options as a reason for denying physical access.” (Bloomberg

California Governor, Gavin Newsom, has signed into law legislation prohibiting courts from excluding the public from physically accessing the court because remote access is available, unless necessary to restrict or limit access to protect public health. The new law, A.B. 716, took immediate effect.

Reuters reports that “The Queen’s Gambit Faces a Legal Gambit” 

“Anya Taylor-Joy enjoyed critical acclaim for her performance as Beth Harmon, an orphaned prodigy who defeats one male challenger after another on her way to the top. Netflix also enjoyed acclaim for the series, but now it’s facing a legal challenge for allegedly playing fast and loose with historical facts.” (Reuters

Reuters is reporting on the filing of a new lawsuit against Queen’s Gambit producers Netflix. The complaint, filed by real-life chess master Nona Gaprindashvili, alleges that the company played fast and loose with the facts in references about her made by characters in the final series of the show.

Richard Dahl has written up the story.


  • Richard Heinrich

    Richard is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at InfoTrack. He has worked with law firms for more than a decade to advise on adapting to regulatory and technological change. He writes about the courts, civil procedure, and developing trends that may affect law firm operations.

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