Alison Frankel

Delaware judge to corporations: Stop complaining, you got what you wanted

June 1, 2016

(Reuters) – This is not an easy time to be a shareholder lawyer in Delaware Chancery Court. It’s been more than a year since Chancery judges banded together to discourage reflexive M&A suits, announcing in a series of oral and written opinions that they would no longer approve settlements in which defendants agreed to boost deal disclosures in exchange for broad releases of potential shareholder claims. Chancery Court’s new policy deprived plaintiffs’ lawyers of a steady stream of income, and from cases that often didn’t require much work because they settled quickly.

Trump University case shows consequences of court secrecy

May 31, 2016

In July 2014, nearly a year before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, lawyers representing people who claim they were swindled by Trump University marketing asked a federal magistrate in San Diego to unseal documents that Trump and his co-defendants had designated as confidential.

The rise and (apparent) decline of sealed petitions at the Supreme Court

May 27, 2016

(Reuters) – An item at Howard Bashman’s How Appealing blog caught my eye Thursday. Bashman linked to an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court will allow Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and two other Wisconsin prosecutors to file a certiorari petition under seal, with only a redacted version available to the public.

Shareholder firm wants to organize pension funds to battle biz amici

May 26, 2016

(Reuters) – On Thursday, the securities class action firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann hosted a teleconference for members of the Council of Institutional Investors, a coalition of public and private pension and benefits funds. The purpose of the call was to explain the stakes in North Sound Capital v. Merck, a case at the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that will inevitably deepen the circuit split on whether the filing of a securities class action tolls the statute of repose for individual shareholders. It’s an admittedly arcane issue, but procedurally significant for investors who want to opt out of securities class actions and bring their own claims.

Billionaire backing of Hogan won’t upend $140 million Gawker verdict

May 25, 2016

Eight hundred years ago, the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel might have been guilty of crime for allegedly funding a privacy suit by the pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Exposing the underbelly of mass torts litigation

May 24, 2016

(Reuters) – On Monday, Harris County Judge Jeff Shadwick of Houston agreed to stay most discovery in a Vietnamese seafood industry worker’s fraud and conspiracy case against two noted Texas plaintiffs’ lawyers, Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales and John Cracken of the Cracken Law Firm.

2nd Circuit in Libor case v. banks: Rigging rates is price-fixing collusion

May 23, 2016

Common sense has prevailed at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in litigation over an alleged conspiracy among 16 global banks to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key interest rate benchmark. The appeals court held Monday that price-fixing collusion among competitors is a violation of antitrust law, even if it takes place in the context of an ostensibly cooperative rate-setting process.

Early Spokeo fallout: Privacy defendants try to capitalize

May 20, 2016

Andrew Pincus of Mayer Brown is exasperated with the early reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Monday in Spokeo v. Robins.

2nd Circuit’s repose opinion vindicates banks’ billion-dollar MBS settlements

May 19, 2016

(Reuters) – I’d bet big law firms across New York read a split opinion issued Thursday by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with an enormous sense of relief.

Brace for more class action challenges post-Spokeo

May 16, 2016

(Reuters) – When both sides in one of the biggest business law cases of the U.S. Supreme Court term claim victory, you know the one indisputable outcome of the court’s decision will be more litigation.