TAPPING INTO A TREND – In recent years, data privacy laws have often served as springboards for waves of wiretapping claims being brought across the country. The California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) is the latest catalyst for such cases. Of course, as Law.com’s Cassandre Coyer reports, wiretapping doesn’t quite look like it did when the CIPA was first passed. Long gone are hidden tape recorders, which have now been replaced by mouse movement trackers and recorded conversations with chatbots. But as the meaning of wiretapping conversations expanded, it opened the door to lawsuits being brought under decades-old laws. And technology giant Apple might be the latest victim of such a litigation trend—if not the most visible.
MERGER MOMENTUM – Everybody’s getting together! Law firm mergers are on an upswing across the legal industry this year—particularly ones motivated by geographic expansion, according to a new report. The latest example: Armstrong Teasdale announcing this week that it was planting a flag in a new location via a merger. As Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, the St. Louis-based firm, No. 166 in last year’s Am Law 200, is opening in Chicago by joining forces with Novack and Macey, a litigation boutique with roughly 25 lawyers. The combination became official April 1. Overall, there were 16 completed mergers during the first quarter of the year, up from 14 during the same time span last year, according to a report Monday from Fairfax Associates. “We expect the increase in merger activity in the first quarter to continue as 2023 unfolds. Law firms remain interested in not only geographic growth but in deepening core practices and building on sector strength,” the Fairfax analysts wrote.