United States

Alison Frankel

Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.

Twitter handle: @jeffmason1

Apr 27 2017

A handful of plaintiffs' lawyers dominates MDL litigation. Is that a problem?

Consolidated multidistrict litigation comprised 36 percent of the entire civil caseload of the federal court system in 2014, up from 16 percent in 2002. If you exclude social security cases and suits by prisoners, nearly half of all civil cases in the federal courts – 45.6 percent – were in MDLs in 2014.

Apr 26 2017

Between Trump and his Justice Department lawyers, a vast disconnect

According to the White House, U.S. District Judge William Orrick of San Francisco imperiled the safety of untold innocent Americans on Tuesday, when the judge issued a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities.

Apr 25 2017

VW judge dares plaintiffs’ lawyers to go after clients for fees

It’s obvious from a ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco that the judge does not think owners of Volkswagen "clean diesel" cars needed individual counsel. The judge denied motions by 244 plaintiffs' lawyers who wanted VW to pay them for the time they spent drafting filings for individual car owners, suggesting edits to classwide filings and advising their clients about developments in the case, including advice about whether to participate in the $10 billion class action settlement.

Apr 24 2017

When the government can make businesses talk

As the U.S. Supreme Court infamously reminded us in 2010’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporations have a First Amendment right to speak freely. Businesses also have a constitutional right, like people, not to speak – but that right is limited. In 1985’s Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Supreme Court said the main justification for extending First Amendment protection to commercial speech is the value such speech provides to consumers. So businesses, according to the Supreme Court, have only a “minimal” First Amendment interest in keeping information away from consumers.

Apr 19 2017

Gibson Dunn disqualification over privileged email could be headache for Calif. lawyers

On Tuesday, a divided California state appeals court refused to reverse a trial court decision to disqualify Gibson Dunn & Crutcher from defending McDermott Will & Emery in a malpractice suit brought by the patriarch of a family investment business. Gibson Dunn’s fatal mistake, according to the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal, was relying on an email distributed by the patriarch, which Gibson Dunn found in McDermott’s own files and produced to the other side.

Apr 19 2017

Theranos fails to win dismissal of fraud class action by ‘indirect’ investors

Even if the embattled, privately-held biotech company Theranos somehow manages to persuade all of its shareholders to participate in a tender offer that requires them to release litigation claims, it will still have to face a fraud class action by “indirect” investors and their lawyers at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.

Apr 18 2017

Chief Justice – gasp! — may be savior for class-action opt-outs

At oral arguments Monday afternoon at the U.S. Supreme Court in California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, the justices seemed to fall into predictable camps – with one crucial – and potentially dispositive – exception.

Apr 17 2017

Are Theranos investors collaborators or victims?

An exchange offer from the embattled biotech company Theranos to 40 of its biggest investors is such a peculiar creature that Vice-Chancellor Travis Laster of Delaware Chancery Court wants to do some poking and prodding before it’s too late.

Apr 12 2017

Florida Bar wants to regulate Avvo and other legal marketers. Will state Supreme Court allow it?

In 2015, the Florida Supreme Court directed the Florida Bar to solve a particular problem with for-profit lawyer referral services that purport to help consumers find law firms. A special Bar committee that spent more than a year investigating dozens of Florida referral services had reported in 2012 on all kinds of ethical pitfalls: improper solicitation of clients, undisclosed conflicts of interest, even unlicensed practice of law.

Apr 11 2017

Drug companies try again to expose outside investors in mass torts case

Stymied in at least two previous attempts to expose outside investment in mass torts litigation, Johnson & Johnson – this time alongside Bayer – is once again asking a court to require plaintiffs to disclose whether litigation funders have an interest in their case.

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