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Alison Frankel

Big winner from Mueller report: the rule of law

25 Mar 2019

The center held. The institution prevailed. The American convention that prosecutors must act fearlessly and independently survived a president who routinely scorned and derided an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia.

Emulex shareholders to SCOTUS: Our right to sue is not at issue in this case

22 Mar 2019

For the past five months, beginning with my story last October about a petition for U.S. Supreme Court review by Emulex Corporation, I’ve been reporting on the tantalizing proposition that the justices could use the Emulex case to rein in shareholder class actions challenging M&A deals.

5th Circuit nixes ex-NBA star’s $1.5 mln BP spill claim - because he didn't lose any money

21 Mar 2019

Remember a few years back when the oil company BP was desperately trying to wriggle out of its own class action settlement with purported victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? BP contended that settlement administrators had misconstrued the terms of the deal and were signing off on millions of dollars of unwarranted claims. The oil company brought in Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and conducted an ad blitz portraying itself as the victim of vulturous plaintiffs' lawyers, but it was all for naught. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and then the U.S. Supreme Court refused to undo the settlement. The appeals court even refused (744 F.3d 370) in 2014 to revisit the trial court’s interpretation of the settlement, which, according to BP, made it all too easy for people to collect undeserved claims.

Trump, in feud with Kellyanne Conway spouse, calls him 'whack job,' 'husband from hell'

20 Mar 2019

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK U.S. President Donald Trump refused to row back on his feud with White House aide Kellyanne Conway's spouse on Wednesday, calling George Conway a "husband from hell" and prompting Conway to renew his accusation that Trump was mentally unfit for his office. | Video

Opioids MDL judge ousts ex-prosecutor from two cases against Endo

20 Mar 2019

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster ruled Wednesday that former Cleveland U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon, now in private practice at Baker & Hostetler, may not represent the pharmaceutical company Endo in two cases in the multidistrict litigation accusing opioids defendants of sparking the opioid crisis by misrepresenting the addictiveness of prescription painkillers.

Nevada lawmakers to consider fee shifting in shareholder litigation

19 Mar 2019

In a clear effort to differentiate Nevada from Delaware as a haven for incorporation, state senator Yvanna Cancela introduced a bill Monday that would allow companies incorporated in Nevada to force shareholders to bear defense costs in unsuccessful litigation over M&A transactions, as long as the deals have been approved by a shareholder majority. The bill would also authorize state officials to issue rules encouraging plaintiffs' lawyers to indemnify shareholders against exposure to defense fees.

New suit accuses Cravath of abetting Fresh Market directors' breach of duty

18 Mar 2019

Plaintiffs' lawyers from Friedlander & Gorris and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd have accused Cravath Swaine & Moore of aiding and abetting an alleged breach of duty by board members of the Fresh Market, which was acquired by the private equity fund Apollo for $1.4 billion in 2016. Shareholders leveled their accusations against Cravath in an amended class action complaint filed last week in Delaware Chancery Court.

A Rorschach test on equal pay and workplace sex discrimination

15 Mar 2019

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge John Lee of Chicago issued a summary judgment opinion in an advertising sales executive’s equal pay and sex discrimination case against Gannett, the publisher of USA Today. I’m not going to tell you yet how the judge ruled. That’s because, as I read Gannett’s summary judgment brief and the ad rep’s opposition – which, because this was summary judgment briefing, are based on undisputed facts – it occurred to me that the case is a revealing test of perceptions about men and women and white-collar office jobs.

Admissions scandal class action is ‘fascinating’ but likely doomed - experts

14 Mar 2019

Two Stanford students filed a class action Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, claiming that they and every other student who applied to eight universities implicated in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal deserve to recoup the fees they paid to apply to those schools.

Government officials put opioid defendants in a squeeze over confidentiality

14 Mar 2019

Confidentiality battles are becoming a hallmark of the litigation by cities and states suing pharmaceutical companies for allegedly sparking the opioid crisis by falsely representing the addictiveness of their products to patients and physicians. The pharmaceutical companies that make and sell opioids, which dispute the very premise of the false marketing claims, don’t want their internal documents to become public. That’s no surprise. Corporate defendants inevitably fight – and frequently prevail – against the revelation of confidential information.

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