Settlements

Tom Wallerstein

I’ve known some lawyers to proudly proclaim that in litigation, they leave no stone unturned. They boast that they will pursue every defense, review every document, and raise every argument. In doing so, presumably, they assure victory. They strive to win at any cost.

This approach makes sense when a well-funded client faces bet-the-company litigation. In that case, of course, a lawyer should pursue every possible path to victory, even if a particular path seems like a long shot. It may cost a lot to win, but even more to lose. In these cases, the economic interest of the attorney and the client are aligned. If the amount at stake warrants it, the lawyer can work the case to the max, and the client is happy to pay for it.

But smaller firms handling smaller matters know that many times, winning in litigation is relative to the amount at stake and the fees incurred. Every client is initially delighted to receive a favorable verdict at trial. But when the heat cools down, and only the bill remains, even the winning client may resent his lawyer when he reflects on the price he paid for his “victory”….

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Nicollette Sheridan

* It’s time for the Supreme Court to sound off on the battle over women’s wombs, and you know it’s bad when even a sitting justice calls it “a mess.” Can a child conceived after a parent’s death receive survivor benefits? [CNN]

* Disgusting health warning pictures on cigarette packaging and advertising: now constitutional according to the Sixth Circuit. Maybe this will inspire people to quit a habit that’s almost equally as disgusting. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* When Biglaw is involved, so is big money. Say “aloha” to the largest personal injury settlement in Hawaii’s history. The state will pay $15.4M over the hiking death of Gibson Dunn partner Elizabeth Brem. [Am Law Daily]

* A lawsuit filed against fashionista Alexander Wang over his alleged “sweatshop” has been discontinued, and not because there isn’t a case, but because the lawyers on either side have major beef. [New York Magazine]

* The Better Business Bureau has moved to dismiss a Florida law firm’s suit over its “F” grade. Because sometimes the truth hurts, but that doesn’t mean you can sue over it if you don’t like it. [Orlando Sentinel]

* The biggest bimbo from Wisteria Lane gets screwed again, but this time in court. A mistrial has been declared in Nicollette Sheridan’s lawsuit against the producers of “Desperate Housewives.” [Reuters]

What you do in mediation is recite the realities. You don’t have to be brilliant. It’s called common sense.

Mario M. Cuomo, the former New York governor who spoke to the New York Times about mediating the lawsuit brought against the New York Mets by the trustee for the victims of Bernie Madoff. Today, the parties agreed to settle for $162 million.

Judge Jed Rakoff

It is commonplace for settlements to include no binding admission of liability. A settlement is by definition a compromise. We know of no precedent that supports the proposition that a settlement will not be found to be fair, adequate, reasonable, or in the public interest unless liability has been conceded or proved and is embodied in the judgment. We doubt whether it lies within a court’s proper discretion to reject a settlement on the basis that liability has not been conclusively determined.

Having considered the various explanations given by the district court for its refusal to permit the settlement, we conclude that the S.E.C. and Citigroup have a strong likelihood of success in their joint effort to overturn the district court’s ruling.

– A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a per curiam opinion granting a stay pending appeal in the SEC’s case against Citigroup.

(A quick refresher on this case, after the jump.)

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When we interviewed David Anziska back in December 2011, he noted that Team Strauss/Anziska intended to make 2012 the “year of law school litigation.” Keeping that in mind, they certainly started the year off on the right foot when they sued 12 additional law schools on top of the class actions they’d already filed against Cooley Law and New York Law School. Anziska told us that their strategy going forward would be to sue as many law schools as possible in the first half of 2012. How’s that working out for them?

Anziska recently sat down with Bloomberg Law for an on-air interview where he revealed some noteworthy information about the next wave of law school lawsuits. The most relevant piece of information? Twenty more law school class action suits are coming down the pipeline. Which schools will be named as defendants?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Twenty Additional Law School Class Action Suits Are in the Works; Is Your School One of Them?”

If you don’t have a lawyer, it is hard to really put their feet to the fire and make sure the banks have every ‘t’ crossed and ‘i’ dotted… We are going to make sure funding for those legal services is restored.

– New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, discussing the implications of a $2.7 billion hard-cash settlement under a nationwide mortgage servicing agreement.

As part of the settlement, New York State will receive a guaranteed $136 million, and New Yorkers who suffered during the foreclosure crisis will be eligible for an estimated $648 million in additional payments. Schneiderman said the settlement will help restore legal service programs that were cut back in recent years.

* Representative Gabrielle Giffords will be resigning from Congress this week to focus on her recovery. Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting her, is still way too loony to stand trial. [CNN]

* Because of this huge law firm, Dotcom’s bubble has officially burst. Hogan Lovells partner Robert S. Bennett has withdrawn from the Megaupload.com case, citing a conflict of interest with another client. [Reuters]

* In Egypt, even if your client is considered a modern-day pharoah, when you finish your closing arguments, you get a round of applause. And tons of jeers from other lawyers. [Boston Globe]

* Ben Roethlisberger settled his civil rape lawsuit. Neither side will comment as to whether money was a part of the settlement. (Hint: that means a lot of money was involved.) [Reno Gazette-Journal]

* Penn State’s former football coach, Joe Paterno, passed away this weekend. His grand jury testimony can’t be used in court, but the Sandusky litigation will continue. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* Seeing red: lawyers for Louboutin and YSL will face off in an appellate, trademark “shoedown” this week. What does Harvard Law’s fashionista, Jeannie Suk, have to say? [New York Times]

* Remember Doug Arntsen? He’s the ex-Crowell & Moring attorney who fled the country after allegedly embezzling millions. But he’s no flight risk — that’s “absurd.” [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

I know why the caged bird tweets.

* Here’s a nice round-up of some of the most controversial laws that will be enacted in 2012. Looks like California is going to have some fabulously multicultural litigation. [Associated Press]

* What do you get when you cross an artist with a penchant for Rastafarians with the son of a Boies Schiller name partner? The biggest copyright fair use appeal ever. [New York Times]

* A Massachusetts town paid Phoebe Prince’s family only $225K to settle. With lawyer’s fees, it’s almost not even worth suing if your kid gets bullied to death. [ABC News]

* Everyone is going cuckoo over Iowa’s conservatives, even the Eighth Circuit. Iowa Law’s former dean is facing a political discrimination suit. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Apparently, this PhoneDog Twitter account case is a pretty big deal in the world of social media law. I’ll turn discussion of this issue over to our social media expert, Brian Tannebaum. [CNN]

* An employee at a presumably small law firm in New York had her jaw shattered while a thief ransacked the office. Give this woman a bonus. Hell, give her a raise, too. [New York Post]

'She was just asking me for directions, officer.'

* Three days after arguing that an alleged Sandusky victim’s lawsuit lacked any factual basis, Second Mile decided to settle. Better strike while the iron is hot (and the wallet is open), lawyers. [Bloomberg]

* So much for that “real shot,” huh? After a failed bid for bail, Galleon Group’s Raj Rajaratnam will begin serving the longest insider trading sentence ever come Monday. [DealBook / New York Times]

* A memo to all Biglaw bachelors: if your game is anything like that of Kenneth Kratz’s, then it’s not just ethics boards who will think you have an “offensive personality.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

* In Tampa, purchasers of prostitutes’ services will now have their cars impounded. Good thing Miami isn’t adopting this law, eh, Professor Jones? (Allegedly, of course.) [St. Petersburg Times]

* Law school is really tough, so the GMU Law administration has some advice for you: the best way to avoid becoming an alcoholic basket case is to play with cuddly puppies. [Washington Post]

I didn’t change my story. I simply got the wording right.

– Republican Herman Cain, Election 2012 hopeful, contesting the claim that he has flip-flopped on his accounts of striking an “agreement” versus negotiating a “settlement” with regard to his late-nineties National Restaurant Association sexual harassment scandal.

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