AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - The broadest study yet of consumer litigation finance – money forwarded to lawsuit plaintiffs in anticipation of a victory in court or a legal settlement – found a “very complicated and circuitous” system in which some borrowers appear to subsidize others and the median interest rate exceeds 40%.
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - A New York judge has refused to stay lawsuits by a number of New York counties against opioid manufacturers and distributors, rejecting arguments that the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet determined whether narcotic painkillers are unnecessarily dangerous - a central question in any litigation.
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Plaintiff lawyers meeting in San Francisco last week for a conference on opioid litigation acknowledged that the hundreds of lawsuits they have filed in state and federal court will be difficult to resolve without an unprecedented national settlement whose mechanics are still difficult to predict.
BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge in Boston has delayed for another month the release of a special master’s report on allegations that class action lawyers submitted inflated bills to obtain $75 million in fees for negotiating a $300 million settlement of a securities class action against State Street Bank and Trust.
CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - The judge overseeing multidistrict litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors has named the teams of lawyers who will try to negotiate a settlement of hundreds of federal lawsuits - a complex task given parallel investigations and litigation by state attorneys general and potentially conflicting goals of private attorneys and their government counterparts.
SPOKANE, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - On Sept. 23, 2016, a group of protesters blocked a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train carrying coal in Spokane, Wash., to prevent the earth from warming up. From a scientific standpoint, the action was absurd: Stopping a single trainload of coal could hardly have any more impact on global climate change than the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings in Tanzania.
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge in Washington has found accounting giant PwC liable to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for failing to catch the multibillion-dollar fraud that took down Colonial Bank, even as she rejected similar claims by the bank and its holding company because they were complicit in the fraud.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - At the end of this month, California Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Werdegar is scheduled to retire, giving Gov. Jerry Brown the opportunity to appoint his fourth justice to the highest court in the nation’s most populous state, ending a Republican majority and sealing his influence over the court for decades.