Courts Litigation

U.S. Department of Justice

Aetna’s Retreat from ACA Markets Unlikely to Boost Antitrust Defense

By C. Ryan Barber |

Weeks before the U.S. Justice Department sued to block Aetna's multibillion-dollar acquisition of Humana, Aetna's chief executive had a stern warning to regulators: The company would leave Affordable Care Act exchanges if the deal is blocked. That happened this week. But the insurance giant's move might not help its defense in the blockbuster antitrust case in Washington, antitrust lawyers say.

All Simon Dawson,..Steve Cohen, stops and talks to the media in the congress centre

Billionaire Investor Steven Cohen Blocked from Managing Commodities Hedge Funds

By C. Ryan Barber |

Federal regulators have barred the billionaire investor Steven Cohen from managing commodity hedge funds until 2018, in a settlement that comes on the heels of a similar agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

CCTV footage of Aaron Alexis in building 197 holding a Remington 870 shotgun. September 16, 2013.

Contractors Fight Liability for D.C. Navy Yard Shooting

By Zoe Tillman |

The desire to make someone answer — and pay — for mass killings has become a grim postscript in many recent tragedies. At a hearing Tuesday that referenced Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora and other mass shootings, a federal judge tackled the legal questions that make such suits an uphill climb.

Anthem-Cigna Deal Presents Judge a 'Bizarre Situation'

By C. Ryan Barber |

A Washington federal judge said Friday she hopes to rule by the end of January on Anthem Inc.'s proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp., casting aside the health insurance companies' request for a decision by the end of the year. Both sides in the case have acknowledged contentiousness between Anthem and Cigna. "It is, as I said at the beginning, a bizarre situation that we're doing all of this for the benefit of a merger that may not be desired," U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Friday.

United Healthcare Headquarters,

Health Insurers Lose Appeal in False-Claims Suit Over One-Sided Reviews

By Ben Hancock |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has revived a Southern California qui tam action that takes issue with one-sided billing reviews designed to catch errors that would entitle insurers to larger payments but not to detect misinformation favoring the government.

SEC Hits Company that Used Severance Agreements to Bar Whistleblower Awards

By C. Ryan Barber |

Federal securities regulators reach a $265,000 settlement with an Atlanta-based building products distributor that unlawfully required outgoing employees to waive their right to a whistleblower bounty.

Aetna world headquarters in downtown Hartford.

Judge Sets December Trial Date in Aetna-Humana Antitrust Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday set a December trial for Aetna Inc.'s proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana Inc., a scheduling decision that effectively denied the two insurance companies' requests for a resolution by the end of the year.

Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia..

Two D.C. Judges Will Split Health Insurance Antitrust Cases

By Mike Scarcella |

A federal district judge in Washington on Friday gave up presiding over both of the U.S. Justice Department's blockbuster health-insurance antitrust cases, pushing review of Anthem Inc.'s proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. to another judge. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was randomly assigned to the case. Bates will preside over the Aetna-Humana deal.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

Justice Dept. Spurns Health Insurers' 'Unreasonable' Push to Expedite Merger Cases

By C. Ryan Barber |

With the two largest acquisitions ever proposed in the health insurance industry hanging in the balance, federal antitrust enforcers cautioned against rushing the cases and proposed late Tuesday that the first trial begin no earlier than Feb. 17.

Sanctions Sought in Row Over CrossFit Trademark

By Amanda Bronstad |

A California couple that ran one of the first CrossFit programs for more than a decade has asked a federal judge to sanction the fitness company and its lawyers for filing a frivolous trademark infringement suit.

gavel_money

Kirkland, Squire Patton Alums Pursue Disability Claims

By Roy Strom |

In separate cases involving disputed disability claims, an appeals court has reversed an ex-Kirkland & Ellis partner’s disability suit victory, while Squire Patton Boggs stands accused of denying disability benefits to a former associate.

(clockwise from top left) U.S. Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, National Labor Relations Board, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Where Federal Agencies Find the Most—and Least—Respect in Circuit Courts

By Marcia Coyle |

A federal agency that's locked in a fight with a corporation over the interpretation of a statute might want to avoid the Ninth Circuit and head into the decidedly more "deferential" Sixth Circuit. That's according to the recent findings of a comprehensive study of the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council.

Georgetown University Law Center professor David Cole.

ACLU Names Georgetown Law Prof David Cole as New Legal Director

By Tony Mauro |

Cole's career move poses recusal issues for his wife, Judge Nina Pillard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Complaint: United States v. Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc.

By ALM staff |

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday sued to block the proposed $37 billion merger between Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc.

Complaint: United States v. Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp.

By ALM staff |

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday sued to block the proposed $54 billion merger between Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp., two giants in the health insurance industry.

U.S. Department of Labor

DOL Overstepped Authority in Fiduciary Rule, U.S. Chamber Tells Judge

By Melanie Waddell |

The U.S. Department of Labor, in finalizing its fiduciary rule, "has sought to transform the financial services and insurance industries, stepping far beyond its authority" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the IRS code that governs individual retirement accounts, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in its latest court papers in a case in Texas.

McDermott Will & Emery offices at 500 North Capitol street in Washington, D.C. June 11, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

McDermott Hires Kaye Scholer Labor & Employment Leader, 3 Others

By SUZANNE MONYAK |

After nearly two decades at Kaye Scholer, longtime employment and civil rights attorney Kerry Scanlon has moved to McDermott Will & Emery to head the firm's U.S. labor and employment litigation practice—bringing three other Kaye Scholer attorneys with him.

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Labor Dept. Says Fiduciary Guidance Coming Soon

By Melanie Waddell |

The U.S. Department of Labor plans to "push out guidance fairly shortly" to address questions about compliance with Labor’s fiduciary rule, Timothy Hauser, chief operating officer of DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration, said Monday.

Judge Kathleen O'Malley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Why This En Banc Patent Ruling Is a Win for the Federal Circuit

By Scott Graham |

Monday's en banc decision on the on-sale bar suggests the Federal Circuit is ready to listen to cues from the U.S. Supreme Court and to follow one of its most patent-savvy jurists.

U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

Texas Judge Refuses Labor Dept. Request for Time in 'Persuader Rule' Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Justice Department has until late August to decide whether to appeal a nationwide injunction blocking a new labor rule that requires greater disclosure of discussions between employers and lawyers who try to counter union-organizing campaigns. Before then, the government must respond to the complaint, a Texas federal judge ruled Thursday in rejecting a request for more time.

Scalia's chair and the bench were draped in black after his death on Feb. 13.

Supreme Court Trends in Class Actions after Scalia

By Steffen N. Johnson and Paul N. Harold |

The U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 term will of course most be remembered for the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, whose untimely death promises to affect the court for years to come—and on everything from high-profile questions of constitutional law to how the court reads statutes and what the court decides. It appears that several decisions this term would have come out differently had Justice Scalia lived to see the end of June. In some areas, however, Justice Scalia's absence appears not to have altered the outcomes, even when the court was closely divided on critical issues.

U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Justice Dept. Wins Record Settlement for Merger-Reporting Violations

By C. Ryan Barber |

An activist investment firm has agreed to pay a record-setting $11 million penalty to settle charges connected to Halliburton Co.'s abandoned bid to acquire rival oilfield-services provider Baker Hughes Inc., the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

SEC's First Whistleblower Office Leader Announces Departure as Awards Mount

By C. Ryan Barber |

Sean McKessy, the first leader of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's whistleblower program, is stepping down this month, the agency said Friday. The SEC's whistleblower office, since its creation in 2011 under the Dodd-Frank Act, has doled out more than $85 million to 32 whistleblowers, who can receive between 10 and 30 percent of sanctions that exceed $1 million.

Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore prior to a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.  After spending 16 years in prison, Syed, convicted of murder, who was at the center of the podcast

Adnan Syed’s Defense Team Grows, Adding Hogan Lovells

By Lizzy McLellan |

The defense team for Adnan Syed has brought on some Big Law assistance as it prepares for a new criminal trial, granted by the Baltimore City Circuit Court last week.

U.S. Department of Justice.

Feds Say No Determination Yet on 'Persuader Rule' Appeal

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Justice Department is weighing whether to appeal a Texas judge's decision this week to put a nationwide freeze on the Labor Department's "persuader" rule, a regulation designed to give workers more information about discussions between employers and the lawyers who help them resist union-organizing campaigns.

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Passes on Tribal Casino Labor Case

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to consider whether the National Labor Relations Board has authority over Native American enterprises on tribal land, refusing to wade into a debate that has divided federal appeals courts and carries implications for thousands of casino workers.

U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUS Asks Justice Department to Weigh In on Key Patent Cases

By Scott Graham |

The cases at issue test the first-sale doctrine of patent exhaustion and the regulatory framework for biologic drugs.

Tennessee Supreme Court building in Nashville, Tennessee.

Justices Asked to Protect Against Ineffective Lawyers in Parental Termination Cases

By Jamie Schuman |

Criminal defendants are guaranteed the effective assistance of counsel. A certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asks whether that protection should apply in termination of parental rights proceedings as well.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building

SEC Awards Second-Largest Whistleblower Award

By C. Ryan Barber |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday awarded the second highest bounty in the history of the agency's whistleblower program, agreeing to pay a former company employee more than $17 million for tips that advanced an investigation.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

A 'Chaotic and Thrilling' Month at the Supreme Court

By Marcia Coyle |

How best to describe the month of June at the U.S. Supreme Court, when the justices—and their clerks—race toward the finish line? "Chaotic and thrilling," Mayer Brown's Brian Netter, who clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer in the October 2010 term, said. At least for the law clerks.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington.

Morgan Stanley Settles SEC Data-Privacy Charges for $1M

By C. Ryan Barber |

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC will pay $1 million to settle charges that it failed to adequately protect customer information, allowing an employee to take home confidential data that was later targeted in a cyberattack and offered for sale online.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of the week's notable cases.

Kraft brand parmesan cheese on the shelves of a Walgreens store in Washington, D.C. April 27, 2016.

Parmesan Suits Alleging Wood-Pulp Filler Consolidated in Chicago

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judicial panel has transferred more than 50 class actions to Chicago alleging that four brands including Kraft and Target are mislabeled "100% Grated Parmesan Cheese" because they contain fillers made from wood pulp.

Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court in 2015.

North Carolina Blue Cross Sues Feds for $130M in Health Care Payments

By C. Ryan Barber |

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina on Thursday became the latest insurer to take the federal government to court over the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it is owed nearly $130 million under a program designed to limit the financial risks of entering new health care markets.

(left to right) Anne Brynn, Debra Levin and Barbara Grayson of Jenner & Block.

Litigation-Focused Jenner Seizes Wealth Management Opportunity

By Roy Strom |

When Jenner & Block leaders contemplated starting the private wealth practice the firm announced last week, one proponent of the idea may have helped sway them more than others: Lester Crown, the 90-year-old Chicagoan and patriarch of one of America’s wealthiest families.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. (2011)

Chart: Donald Verrilli's Wins, Losses in the Big Cases

By Tony Mauro |

Donald Verrilli Jr. represented the United States in 38 Supreme Court arguments since becoming U.S. solicitor general in 2011. Here's a look at his wins and losses in some of the biggest cases.

The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, perform on July 31, 1964.

CBS Wins Fight Over Rights to Play Oldies

By Amanda Bronstad |

CBS has amped up the fight over sound recordings made prior to 1972 with a rare win in California. A federal judge in the Central District of California granted summary judgment on Monday in a case brought by four recording companies asserting rights over 174 sample song recordings, including “All I Have To Do Is Dream” by the Everly Brothers and Mahalia Jackson’s “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Justices Take Dispute Over False Claim Act's Sealing Requirement

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court, stepping into legal fallout from Hurricane Katrina, agreed on Tuesday to hear State Farm Fire & Casualty's appeal that it did not fraudulently shift certain damages claims to the federal government for payment. The case, State Farm Fire & Casualty v. United States, ex rel. Rigsby, involves the False Claims Act, a regular source of high court litigation in recent years.

The SEC: Challenges, Clawbacks, and the Constitution

Litigators who focus on securities enforcement and appellate law take the pulse of the courts this week on significant trends involving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bonus Compensation Clawbacks Are New Norm

By Marc Fagel, Monica Loseman and Scott Campbell |

Top executives are forced to give back money even when the SEC doesn't allege personal misconduct.

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

SEC In-House Forum Is Constitutionally Uncertain

By Jason M. Halper, Robert M. Loeb, Kelsi Corkran and Marc R. Shapiro |

Federal trial courts, confronting challenges to the agency's administrative law judges, appear divided.

Verdicts & Settlements

A summary of the week's notable cases.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Cross-Listed Securities Cases Present Challenges

By Joseph A. Fonti and Cynthia Hanawalt |

Where a transaction clears could determine whether or not investors have a remedy under U.S. law.