News Roundup

Antitrust suit targets Google as ad middleman

Texas and nine other states have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google that contends that the search engine company suppressed competition in its business as a middleman for sellers and buyers for online ads. The Dec. 16 suit alleges that Google sought to kill competition partly through an unlawful agreement with Facebook to manipulate advertising auctions. Google has said the allegations are meritless and baseless, and it is plannning a strong defense. (The Washington Post, the New York Times, Texas attorney general press release, the lawsuit)

SCOTUS tells courts to revisit COVID-19 restrictions in 2 states

The U.S. Supreme court on Tuesday told lower courts to revisit challenges to COVID-19 restrictions affecting religious institutions in Colorado and New Jersey. The court said the restrictions have to be evaluated in light of its Nov. 25 decision lifting caps on attendance at religious services in New York. (SCOTUSblog, CNN, the orders here and here)

Federal courts to livestream some hearing audio

Thirteen federal district courts will livestream audio in some civil cases of public interest as part of a two-year pilot program. Two courts already livestreamed audio in two hearings; one of them was a hearing in an election-related lawsuit that drew more than 42,000 listeners. The parties will have to consent to the livestream; cases involving jurors and witnesses won’t be broadcast. (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts press release, Law.com)

BigLaw firm will restore pay, make up lost money

Davis Wright Tremaine will end salary cuts Jan. 1 and repay lawyers and staff for lost pay. The firm also plans to restore its profit-sharing program for staff and give equity partners the full shares that they were set to receive this year. The law firm had trimmed the salary cuts in September. (Law360, Thomson Reuters Legal)