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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

Jul 21 2017

Would Trump self-pardon end Russia investigations?

The Washington Post reported Thursday that President Donald Trump is talking to advisers about issuing pardons to aides, family members and even himself in order to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s widening Russia investigation. Trump outside counsel John Dowd told my Reuters colleague Karen Freifeld that the Post's "stuff on pardons is nonsense," Dowd said. "It's just a smear job on the president. It’s not true.”

Jul 18 2017

Shareholder alert: SEC commissioner floats class-action-killing proposal

This could be the start of something huge: Securities and Exchange Commissioner Michael Piwowar said in a speech Monday to the Heritage Foundation that the SEC is open to the idea of allowing companies contemplating initial public offerings to include mandatory shareholder arbitration provisions in corporate charters. If Piwowar’s statements, first reported by my Reuters colleague Sarah Lynch, mark a new SEC policy on mandatory arbitration, they could be the beginning of the end of securities fraud class actions.

Jul 17 2017

Could it be Kasowitz is actually a voice of restraint for Trump?

Over the weekend, Axios and Bloomberg ran stories about a shakeup in President Donald Trump's legal team, reporting that longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz of Kasowitz Benson Torres is expected to play a diminished role as the president responds to investigations of his campaign's ties to Russia.

Jul 14 2017

Conagra’s new SCOTUS pitch: Seesaw week proves need for ascertainability review

Late Thursday, Conagra filed a new brief at the U.S. Supreme Court, asserting an irrefutable argument: If there was any doubt that federal appellate courts continue to struggle with the issue of class certification and identifying class members, this week resolved it. According to Conagra, rulings in the last seven days from the 2nd and 6th Circuit Courts of Appeals make it all the more obvious that the Supreme Court must tell the lower courts what to do about class action ascertainability.

Jul 13 2017

FHFA’s MBS litigation offers 25 billion reasons why government should hire private law firms

On a fateful day in 2010, Philippe Selendy and Manisha Sheth of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan took the train to Washington, D.C., to pitch officials at the Federal Housing Finance Agency on a radical proposal: FHFA should hire Quinn Emanuel to sue the banks that sold toxic mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA’s wards. The firm already had MBS expertise, thanks to partner Peter Calamari’s groundbreaking litigation for the insurer MBIA, and Quinn partner Shon Morgan was already advising Fannie on potential claims.

Jul 12 2017

Pimco sues Wells Fargo, claims MBS trustee ‘looted’ trusts to pay legal fees

Several Pimco investment funds are accusing the mortgage-backed securities trustee Wells Fargo of misusing noteholder money to pay its own legal expenses.

Jul 11 2017

7th Circuit chief judge goes to war over … jurisdictional statements?

Describing Judge Diane Wood of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals as a stickler for the rules of appellate procedure is like calling ice cream cold, based on the evidence of a pair of orders she filed Monday.

Jul 10 2017

2nd Circuit’s Petrobras opinion is bad news for class action defendants at SCOTUS

On June 30, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts disclosed an intriguing tidbit about how he reads briefs to hundreds of federal judges and appellate lawyers gathered at a federal judicial conference in Pennsylvania.

Jul 06 2017

Damages caps in medical cases do not lower costs, improve care: Wisconsin appeals court

On Wednesday, an intermediate appeals court in Milwaukee ruled that Wisconsin’s $750,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical practice suits is unconstitutional because it denies catastrophically injured patients equal protection. The opinion, written by Judge Joan Kessler for a panel that also included Judges Kitty Brennan and William Brash, upholds a jury award of $16.5 million to Ascaris Mayo and her husband, Antonio, Mayo lost all of her limbs to a septic infection that, according to the jury, her emergency room doctor and physician’s assistant diagnosed but failed to warn her about.

Jul 05 2017

Dodd-Frank leaves muddle on forced arbitration of whistleblower claims

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide next term whether whistleblowers who report concerns within their companies are entitled to sue under the robust anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, even though Dodd-Frank elsewhere identifies whistleblowers as employees who tell the government about corporate wrongdoing. But when it comes to whistleblowers, defining who qualifies for which protections isn’t Dodd-Frank’s only inconsistency.

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