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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 30 2018

New York judge halts Xerox deal. Would Delaware have done the same?

We will never know if consolidated shareholder litigation to block Fujifilm’s $6.1 billion acquisition of Xerox Corp would have turned out differently had it taken place in Delaware Chancery Court instead of New York State Supreme Court. But a dramatic decision in the Xerox case has spurred lawyers and academics to ask whether Delaware has become too deferential to corporate boards.

Apr 27 2018

SEC chair Clayton is in no rush for mandatory shareholder arbitration

In a letter this week to Democrats on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Jay Clayton said mandatory arbitration of shareholder disputes is “not a priority for me” and that he has not yet decided whether it would be “appropriate” for U.S. companies contemplating initial public offerings to include such provisions in their corporate charters. Clayton promised that before the SEC allows a company to cut off shareholders’ right to sue, the commissioners themselves would “give the issue full consideration in a measured and deliberative manner.”

Apr 26 2018

5th Circuit mounts searing attack on plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Lanier

Mark Lanier of the Lanier Law Firm is one of the most successful trial lawyers in the country. Trained as a pastor, he has an uncanny rapport with jurors, who have bestowed upon him enormous verdicts: $253 million against Merck in a 2005 Vioxx trial; $6 billion (yes, billion) against Takeda in a 2014 trial over the diabetes drug Actos; $502 million against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy in a 2016 trial over metal-on-metal hip implants.

Apr 25 2018

Farmers sue their own lawyers at Watts Guerra, claiming fraud in Syngenta GMO case

Three North Dakota farmers filed a class action Tuesday against the Texas plaintiffs' firm Watts Guerra, alleging that Watts and a dozen co-counsel duped nearly 60,000 farmers into signing 40 percent contingency fee agreements in nationwide litigation against the agricultural company Syngenta, then cut secret deals to preserve the contingency fees by excluding Watts clients from state and federal class actions against the company. The Minnesota federal court class action asserts racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and state-law claims against Watts and the other defendants. The suit asks, among other things, for a declaration that the contingency fee agreements are void.

Apr 24 2018

In Arab Bank, justices say it’s up to Congress – not courts – to police foreign corporations

The U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the international human rights case Jesner v. Arab Bank is relatively brief, despite the 91 pages of writing the justices produced to address the question of whether foreign corporations can be held responsible in U.S. courts for international human rights violations. The answer, according to the five justices who joined Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion, is no.

Apr 23 2018

Bucking precedent, 9th Circuit opens door to more M&A challenges

Cornerstone’s report breaks down M&A challenges by federal circuit. Courts in the 9th Circuit saw a disproportionate share: 41 new M&A class actions were filed in the circuit in 2017, more than in any other circuit.

Apr 20 2018

A how-to guide for suing websites that allow private gun deals

A state appellate court in Wisconsin ruled Thursday that the daughter of a woman killed in a mass shooting at a beauty salon can sue the online weapons-dealing site Armslist.com for allowing the gunman to obtain a weapon.

Apr 19 2018

Royal Park strikes out again in last-gasp wave of MBS trustee suits

It’s been a tough few months for Royal Park Investments and its lawyers at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla of Manhattan refused to certify a class led by Royal Park, which sued Wells Fargo for failing in its duties as the trustee of two mortgage-backed securities trusts. Judge Failla adopted the recommendation of the magistrate in the Wells Fargo case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, who found individual issues – including constitutional standing to sue, timeliness of claims and potential damages - predominated over common issues for investors in the trusts overseen by Wells Fargo.

Apr 18 2018

Federalist Society is silent on liberal counterpart’s call for joint defense of Mueller probe

On Tuesday, the president of the left-leaning American Constitution Society released a letter addressed to Eugene Meyer, president of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies, a legal group that wields enormous influence in conservative politics. ACS’s Caroline Fredrickson asked Meyer and the Federalist Society to team up with her members in a joint effort to avert the constitutional crisis that will ensue if President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Mueller’s Justice Department overseer, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Apr 17 2018

Judge warns copyright playas not to be haters in TaySwift fee awards battle

There is no disputing that Taylor Swift’s absolutely irresistible 2014 pop song "Shake It Off" contains some of the same words and phrases as a lesser-known 2001 song, "Playas Gon’ Play" by the girl group 3LW.

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