United States

Alison Frankel

Big Oil repeatedly remanded to state courts - will SCOTUS come to the rescue?

Jul 08 2020

Oil companies facing suits by state and local governments that want them to bear a share of the cost of responding to the consequences of global warming do not want to litigate in state court. In case after case, when localities have filed climate change suits in state court, oil company defendants have removed the cases to federal court. They’ve cited all kinds of rationales for federal jurisdiction, ranging from preemption by the Clean Air Act to federal common law governing interstate pollution.

Roundup judge poised to reject novel class for future claims

Jul 07 2020

A mere two weeks ago, I told you about a revolutionary class action proposal by Roundup maker Bayer and a team of plaintiffs' lawyers that offered a whole new way for companies to think about resolving their long-term exposure to mass tort liability.

Latest mass arbitration wrinkle: Plaintiffs' lawyers want court permission to contact DirecTV customers

Jul 06 2020

One of the big disincentives for plaintiffs' lawyers contemplating mass consumer arbitration has always been the cost of finding clients. It’s an economics thing. You don’t want to spend a lot of money to attract and vet claims worth only a few hundred bucks.

Chegg tries a new way to avert mass arbitration: cancel users’ contracts

Jul 02 2020

We’ve seen a lot of, um, creative tactics by companies attempting to avoid mass arbitration by workers and consumers they’ve compelled to surrender their right to sue. There are the now-classic tactics of attacking plaintiffs' lawyers and refusing to pay arbitration fees, which, as you know, can add up to millions of dollars. Companies have tried to avail themselves of class actions – yes, the very devices their contracts prohibit – to disrupt mass arbitration. One company was accused of attempting to switch arbitration services in the midst of a mass arbitration campaign. Another went to state court to try to halt 1,000 arbitration demands – after winning a decision in federal court to compel different users to arbitrate.

Immigration judges’ union sues to block DOJ speech restrictions

Jul 01 2020

U.S. immigration judges contend they've been muzzled by the Department of Justice - and now they're doing something about it.

Bayer wants to resolve future Roundup liability in a class action. A new mass torts paradigm?

Jun 25 2020

The headlines Wednesday in the mass tort litigation over Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller were all about the company’s decision to pay as much as $10.9 billion - a lot of money! - to settle nearly 100,000 suits alleging that Roundup is associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

‘Not just standing by’: NYC Bar Association may be AG Barr’s most persistent critic

Jun 24 2020

On Wednesday afternoon, the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives heard blistering testimony on Attorney General William Barr’s conduct in office.

NetSuite execs are off the hook in groundbreaking Oracle derivative case

Jun 23 2020

The plaintiffs lawyers who filed a derivative suit accusing Oracle directors of betraying shareholders in a 2016 deal to acquire a smaller company controlled by Oracle chair Larry Ellison have undoubtedly bushwhacked an extraordinary path for shareholders. Last August, after the shareholders’ breach-of-duty complaint survived a motion to dismiss, a special committee of Oracle’s board informed Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock of Delaware Chancery Court that it was in the company’s best interest to permit plaintiffs lawyers – and not the company itself – to plow on with billion-dollar claims against Ellison, Oracle CEO Safra Catz and some other Oracle board members who approved the $9.3 billion acquisition of the software company NetSuite. That almost never happens.

Goldman signals Supreme Court bid in Abacus CDO class action

Jun 22 2020

Goldman Sachs signaled Friday that it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding certification of a class of investors who contend the bank lied about putting clients’ interests ahead of its own in advance of revelations about Goldman's controversial Abacus CDO offering.

Banks line up against MDL over fees for PPP agents – with notable exceptions

Jun 18 2020

About two dozen banks and bank holding companies on Wednesday urged the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation not to consolidate dozens of class actions accusing them of failing to pay billions of dollars in fees to accountants and financial advisers that assisted businesses with Paycheck Protection Program loan applications.

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