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On The Case Headlines

VW, class counsel ask 9th Circuit to refuse fees for ‘ghost lawyers’

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has never had to decide whether and under what circumstances trial judges overseeing multidistrict litigation can award fees to lawyers who weren’t part of court-appointed steering committees. It’s now facing those questions in one of the most epic MDLs in recent memory, the $15 billion litigation over VW clean diesel cars outfitted with devices to deceive emissions tests.

DOJ signals new interest in policing class action settlements

On Friday, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest opposing final court approval of a proposed consumer class action settlement in federal court in Camden, New Jersey. I’ll tell you below about the substance of the government’s qualms with the settlement, which resolves allegations that a website called Wines ‘Til Sold Out misrepresented the original prices of wines it sold at a purported discount. But the significance of DOJ’s filing isn’t the particular flaws it highli

N.Y. judge says embedded tweets may violate copyrights. But don’t panic!

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of Manhattan stunned media companies on Thursday, ruling that when publishers embed tweets containing a copyrighted image, they can be liable for infringement. For more than a decade, websites have relied on 2007 precedent from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to shield them from copyright claims based on embedded images. Judge Forrest said the 9th Circuit’s theory may have been wrong – and even if it wasn’t, the 9th Circuit decision in Perf

N.Y. judge safeguards media access to Islamic State suspect’s trial

If the allegations against Sajmir Alimehmeti prove to be true when he is tried in May, we should all give thanks to four undercover government investigators who gathered evidence of Alimehmeti’s allegiance to the Islamic State. U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer of Manhattan, who is presiding over the government’s prosecution of the 24-year-old Bronx resident, described the undercover operatives as “sophisticated professionals” who are safeguarding “important national security inter

Ex Quinn Emanuel partners Selendy and Gay open their new boutique today

It takes considerable fortitude to walk away from one of the most profitable law firms in the U.S., where average partners made upward of $5 million in 2017. And Philippe Selendy and Faith Gay, formerly of the New York office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, were not average partners. Selendy is best known for representing the Federal Housing Finance Agency in its $25 billion rout against more than a dozen banks that sold toxic mortgaged-backed securities. Gay is an ace trial an

Days before SCOTUS meets on DACA petition, new injunction complicates debate

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to conference Friday on the Justice Department’s request for review of a Jan. 9 preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco, who ordered the Trump administration temporarily to leave in place an Obama-era program that allows young adults brought illegally to the U.S. as children to obtain two-year deferrals from the threat of deportation. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of Brooklyn complicat

When corporations silence employees via arbitration, shareholders lose

Sometime in the next few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether corporations can force employees not just to give up their right to sue in class actions but even to surrender their power to arbitrate alongside other employees raising similar allegations. In a trio of cases argued back in October, Epic Systems v. Lewis, Ernst & Young v. Morris, and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil, the justices are weighing the legality of employment contracts that require work

N.Y. judge rejects ‘worthless’ disclosure-only deal in M&A class action

If you thought the New York state appeals court assured the future of the M&A plaintiffs’ bar last year when it bucked Delaware precedent and said shareholder lawyers deserve to be awarded fees for forcing defendants to cough up minimally useful new disclosures, you’d better read a new opinion by New York State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich, who rejected a disclosure-only settlement that included a $500,000 fee for plaintiffs’ lawyers.

DOJ makes last pitch for immediate SCOTUS review of DACA

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will conference on the Justice Department’s petition requesting review of a preliminary injunction ruling that keeps in place the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. It’s easy to forget, amid political furor about the future of the young adults whose parents brought them to this country illegally when they were children, just how extraordinary the DOJ petition is. The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to depart fro