The Brief No. 40: Things Fall Apart

 
 
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May 22, 2019

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This week law.com launched their Minds Over Matters series, a full year dedicated to investigating, sharing, and compiling resources for mental health and substance addiction. Part of Hire an Esquire’s raison d’etre is to provide attorneys with a flexible path that allows them to use their law degree without having to sacrifice self-care and sanity. To support this initiative, we’ve compiled our own list of resources from crisis lines to mindfulness retreats for lawyers. We wish all of the legal professionals on our network and beyond wellness and peace.

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Taking a Pass on Procreation: Major legislation restricting or prohibiting the termination of a pregnancy has passed in 9 states. While currently unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, these laws hint at a plan to have the Supreme Court reconsider the landmark decision—as well as lawmakers’ lack of knowledge around female biology and the current capabilities of modern medicine. With abortion at an all time low, sociologists and economists are finding that generally unstable economic conditions and governmental policies antagonistic to parenting are more dramatically narrowing choices for men and women than legislation directly addressing procreation. Research indicates that people in their prime child rearing years want to have children but feel unable to do so due to a lack of job security, eroding wages and employee protections, exorbitant daycare and student loan costs, and a lack of government policies that prop up parents and birth rates in other industrialized countries.  

All Eyez on T: Speaking of uncertainty...it’s another week on edge for the country as the Trump trifecta of trade wars, tax returns, and testimony continues to cause chaos and potential constitutional crises. The legal industry (and others) are bracing for the economic impact of the Trump provoked trade war. Recent news stories indicate the president’s rural farmer base, currently taking the brunt of the economic fallout from the trade wars initiated thus far, are standing by their man. But Trump’s heartland reception wasn’t all warm. In Michigan, the first Congressional Republican crossed party lines to call for impeachment. Trump’s reception continued to get colder towards the coast with the New York legislature passing a bill that would allow for the release of his tax returns. And in D.C., on what is becoming an increasingly typical Trump Tuesday, a federal judge declared that congress can investigate a sitting president and Congress threatened legal action against former White House counsel Don McGahn who, like Attorney General William Barr, ignored a judiciary committee subpoena at Trump’s behest.

Ganging up on Drug Dealers: A rare point of consensus across the political spectrum appears to be increased scrutiny of pharmaceutical companies. As Opioid manufacturer Insys publicly discussed bankruptcy and potential difficulty paying their $150 million dollar US Justice Department settlement over illegal marketing, 44 state governments came together to file a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut. The suit alleges that Teva colluded with 19 other pharmaceutical companies to inflate and/or keep the prices of generic drugs from dropping via a price-fixing scheme. As election season gears up, politicians on both sides of the aisle have taken shots at the high cost of drugs and governors from states across the country participating in the suit have condemned the “heartless and unconscionable” actions of drug companies.

Practicing What We Preach: We’re strong believers in downtime for everyone. As a result, our team will be taking a break from content creation on our blog and newsletter over the week of Memorial Day. We’ll be back in your inbox on June 5 and hope that you have a relaxing holiday weekend.

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In this episode of Legal Speak, Law.com Editor-in-Chief Gina Passarella talks about the goals for Minds over Matters and how it will address and cover the mental health crisis in the legal industry. She and other law.com reporters discuss how addressing this crisis head-on will hopefully help overcome stigma and put needed resources and a sense of community out in front of those who need an outstretched hand.

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Staffing up for a project or growing your legal team? Learn more about how Hire An Esquire can help.