United States

Alison Frankel

Chicago sues Sessions (again) over sanctuary policy, claims ‘bad faith’ evasion of injunction

Oct 15 2018

The city of Chicago has already won a permanent injunction against the Justice Department's 2017 policy of conditioning certain law enforcement grants on compliance with the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Last July, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber of Chicago granted summary judgment in Chicago’s suit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, holding that DOJ’s attempt to force the city to abandon its so-called sanctuary policy was both unconstitutional and unlawful under the statute governing grant awards.

On The Case: A podcast by Alison Frankel

Sep 06 2018

The First Amendment, gun litigation, President Donald Trump's impact on the judiciary: The hurricane of daily legal news seems to never let up. A new podcast series from Reuters columnist Alison Frankel goes right into the eye of the storm, talking about law and precedent with experts who know their stuff inside and out.

New SCOTUS petition invites justices to kill off M&A shareholder suits in federal court

Oct 12 2018

Over the past couple of years, as shareholder challenges to M&A transactions have migrated from Delaware Chancery Court to federal courts, judges have begun squirming about the legitimacy of these class actions. Just last month, for example, I told you about a decision in which U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin of Chicago said he has the inherent power to police mootness fees defendants have agreed to pay shareholders' lawyers – even when those shareholders' lawyers voluntarily dismiss prospective class actions. Both the 5th and 7th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, meanwhile, have balked at fee awards for plaintiffs' lawyers who file M&A class actions in federal court and obtain only additional deal disclosures.

Both sides want to settle class action. Judge says keep litigating. A First Amendment story?

Oct 11 2018

U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco has developed a rigorous set of rules to ward off collusive class action settlements that benefit no one but plaintiffs' lawyers. As the judge explained in an order in a consumer class action against the computer peripherals company Logitech, he believes class members are best positioned to understand the value of their claims after they’ve conducted discovery and litigated a motion to be certified as a class. “That way, the class certification is a done deal and cannot compromise class claims,” the judge explained in his order. “Only the risks of litigation on the merits can do so.”

Hedge funds step up to lead shareholder suit against Tesla

Oct 10 2018

A pair of offshore hedge funds that claim to have lost more than $15 million to cover short positions in Tesla have asked for court approval to lead consolidated private securities fraud litigation against the carmaker.

COLUMN-Hedge funds step up to lead shareholder suit against Tesla: Frankel

Oct 10 2018

NEW YORK, Oct 10 A pair of offshore hedge funds that claim to have lost more than $15 million to cover short positions in Tesla have asked for court approval to lead consolidated private securities fraud litigation against the carmaker.

In rare bipartisan move, 31 states ask SCOTUS to undo ban on consumer antitrust claims

Oct 09 2018

America’s gaping political divide turns out to be bridgeable – at least when state politicians decide to rally around the cause of overturning U.S. Supreme Court precedent that protects monopolists from consumer suits.

Stay tuned: Fight to lead local TV ad price-fixing MDL is coming right up

Oct 08 2018

There’s absolutely no doubt that the hottest securities class action of the moment is the shareholder fraud case against Tesla over Elon Musk’s infamous $20 million tweet, in which investors have until Tuesday at midnight to file a claim to lead the case. There will undoubtedly be no shortage of candidates, given that plaintiffs’ lawyers have been publicly asserting billion-dollar exposure for Tesla.

Defense group argues new MDL stats prove need to change rules for mass torts

Oct 04 2018

The defense group Lawyers for Civil Justice has just released new statistics about the concentration of products liability cases in multidistrict litigation. According to the study, which is based on 2017 data from the U.S. Courts and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, cases consolidated in MDLs comprised 46.7 percent of the civil docket before U.S. district judges in 2017 – 124,202 cases in 256 MDLs.

Trump appellate judges are paving the way to challenge precedent

Oct 03 2018

The month of September 2018 will undoubtedly go down in U.S. legal history for the rancorous furor over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, regardless of whether Kavanaugh, a judge on the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is ultimately confirmed by the U.S. Senate. But in much quieter fashion, four judges whom President Trump appointed to federal appellate courts issued rulings in September that laid the groundwork for potentially momentous challenges to established precedent on such hot-button social issues as gun control, religious displays and zoning rights for religious groups.

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