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
Who is responsible for what has to be one of the biggest fiascos in the history of settlement notices?
Kraft, Kellogg, General Mills and Nestle use a lot of “egg products” – egg yolks and whites removed from their shells and pasteurized industrially – in the food they manufacture. So, according to Kraft and the other food companies, when some of the companies that sell eggs supposedly hatched a scheme to drive up egg prices, the food companies were forced to pay more for the processed egg products they rely on. A lot more: In a price-fixing suit that’s part of consolidated multidistrict litigation in Philadelphia federal court over manipulation of the egg market, Kraft and its co-plaintiffs claim damages of more than $111 million.
The self-described “giant killer” Willie Gary and his firm, Gary Williams Parenti Watson & Gary, will not have to defend themselves against allegations that they deliberately sabotaged a big antitrust and civil rights case brought by two ex-clients of the Gary firm.
Securities fraud litigation can be a cutthroat business for plaintiffs' firms. Just look at the newly-released report from NERA Economic Consulting. Despite a spike in the number of securities filings – mostly the result of M&A challenges shifting to federal court from Delaware Chancery Court after Delaware’s crackdown on fees for shareholder lawyers – it’s tougher than ever to win old-school fraud class actions. A record-setting 116 securities fraud cases were dismissed in 2017, according to NERA. Only 80 class actions settled, a near-low – and the average value those settlements, NERA found, was less than $25 million, the lowest in a decade.
U.S. District Judge Nelson Roman of White Plains, New York, was thoroughly fed up with Westchester homeowner Nance Hutter and her lawyer, Stephen Katz, when he issued a decision (41 F.Supp.3d 363) finding them liable for Rule 11 sanctions in August 2014.
The day after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its instantly controversial decision in In re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Efficiency Litigation (2018 WL 505343), striking down a $200 million nationwide class action settlement because the trial judge failed to analyze differences in state consumer laws when he approved the deal, the Massachusetts attorney general sent a letter about the Hyundai ruling to the 8th Circuit, where a group of state AGs is protesting approval of a nationwide settlement over allegedly defective Remington rifle triggers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ missile strike of a ruling Tuesday in In re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation (2018 WL 505343) - undoing a $200 million nationwide class action settlement because the trial judge failed to analyze consumer laws in all 50 states – had class action lawyers on all sides scurrying Wednesday to survey the impact of a ruling that, in the words of dissenting judge Jacqueline Nguyen, delivered a “major blow” to nationwide class action settlements.
For the past five years, the biomedical technology company Biolitec has repeatedly defied and ignored orders from U.S. courts. It has also repeatedly asked the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to find that the court orders – and not its defiance – were the problem. On Tuesday, the 1st Circuit issued its fifth and sixth opinions since 2013 in appeals by Biolitec – all stemming from the same issue.
For just about as long as the litigation funding industry has existed in a meaningful way in the U.S. – about a decade, give or take – defendants have been pushing to require plaintiffs to disclose details of their arrangements with outside financiers. They’ve tried in Congress, most recently in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act, which has stalled in the Senate. They’ve also tried before the U.S. Courts’ Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. Last June, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce petitioned the Rules Committee to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to mandate disclosure of outside funding agreements. The committee entertained a presentation from the Chamber – and from opponents of mandatory disclosure – in November.
It has been more than 17 years since Al Qaeda bombers steered a boatload of explosives into the USS Cole, a warship refueling in Yemen. The attack killed 17 American sailors and injured 42 others.