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On The Case Headlines

Don’t be fooled: New SCOTUS grant in China Agritech isn’t about securities litigation

Late Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to round out its term with seven new grants of review, including cases that present momentous questions about partisan gerrymandering and the constitutionality of routinely shackling prisoners before they’re tried. And then there’s China Agritech v. Resh, which seems to present yet another not-so-momentous opportunity for the Supreme Court to tinker with securities class action machinery.

The (other) attack on Chevron deference

It still amazes me that the nomination earlier this year of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch made Chevron deference front-page news. You surely remember the backstory: When he was on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Gorsuch wrote powerfully about how the Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council (467 U.S. 837) may well violate constitutional separation-of-powers doctrine because it requires judges to defer to federal agencies’ interpr

Attention corporate defense lawyers: Work product is up for grabs if you blab to feds

In 2012, when General Cable Corporation got wind of accounting irregularities at its Brazilian operation, it did just what most large, public companies would do in similar circumstances. The corporation, a global manufacturer of metal, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cables, brought in experienced outside counsel, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, to conduct an internal investigation. Morgan Lewis interviewed dozens of GCC employees, in both Brazil and the U.S. Eventually, GCC determined tha

Securities class action defendants, law profs claim 2nd Circuit has run amok

Two highly influential securities law professors, Adam Pritchard of the University of Michigan and Todd Henderson of the University of Chicago, filed an amicus brief Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court, backing a petition for review (2017 WL 5127301) by the Brazilian oil and gas company Petrobras and its underwriters. Petrobras wants the justices to overturn a decision from last July in which the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed certification of a class of investors suing the

Merck to Supreme Court: The rules are different in pharma cases

The pharmaceutical industry, which is not at all happy about how lower courts have interpreted U.S. Supreme Court precedent on federal preemption of state law claims by people alleging injuries from pharma products, got a jolt of good news Monday from the high court. The justices asked the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on Merck’s petition (2017 WL 3701808) for Supreme Court review of a ruling (852 F.3d 268) from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that makes it “virtually impo

Can Mueller demand Trump lawyer Dowd testify about controversial tweet?

Washington, D.C., ethics expert Mark Foster of Zuckerman Spaeder went to bed Sunday night mulling the question of whether President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, could be subpoenaed by a grand jury to testify about a tweet Saturday from the president’s Twitter account that said Trump fired his national security adviser “because he lied to the Vice-President and the FBI.”   

Unsung losers in tax reform legislation: trial lawyers

As of Friday afternoon, with key holdout Republicans announcing their support, U.S. Senate appeared to be on its way to approving epic tax reform legislation. We still don’t know exactly what the final version of the Senate legislation will look like, nor, for that matter, how the House and Senate will reconcile differences between their bills. All kinds of important constituencies -- real estate professionals concerned about preserving tax deductions on home mortgages; Medicare recipients worri

Unsung losers in tax reform legislation: trial lawyers

As of Friday afternoon, with key holdout Republicans announcing their support, U.S. Senate appeared to be on its way to approving epic tax reform legislation. We still don’t know exactly what the final version of the Senate legislation will look like, nor, for that matter, how the House and Senate will reconcile differences between their bills. All kinds of important constituencies -- real estate professionals concerned about preserving tax deductions on home mortgages; Medicare recipients worri

CFPB’s controversial structure looms over leadership showdown

When Congress authorized the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s establishment in 2010’s Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, lawmakers were determined to ensure the agency’s independence from the executive branch. The law called for a single director, rather than a commission, to lead the bureau, which was to be placed within the already-independent Federal Reserve system in order to protect its funding.