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Pension drops lawsuit against ACS over Xerox buy
Legal News | 2009/11/23 18:03

NORWALK, Conn. — Xerox Corp. said Monday that a pension fund hasdropped a lawsuit over provisions in the copier company's purchase ofAffiliated Computer Services Inc. that would have made it tough for abetter buyout offer to succeed.

Xerox said the plaintiffs, Cityof St. Clair Shores Police and Fire Retirement System in Michigan,ended the litigation after the copier company agreed to removeroadblocks to a superior offer for ACS.

Xerox agreed that if theACS board receives a better offer to its $5.6 billion cash-and-stockbid for ACS, the copier company will not require ACS Chairman DarwinDeason to vote his shares in favor of Xerox.

The previousagreement would have forced Deason to give half of his votes to supportthe Xerox bid. He controls a 44 percent of the votes at ACS.

Xerox also won't force ACS to hold a shareholders meeting to vote on the Xerox bid but instead end the merger if requested.

The lawsuit was filed in October in Dallas County, Texas. A separate shareholder class action lawsuit is pending in Delaware.



Jury Rules Against Blue Nile in $60.1 Million Lawsuit
Legal News | 2009/11/02 17:36
Following a six-day trial, a federal jury here
dismissed Blue Nile Inc.'s $60.1 million claim against The Yehuda Diamond
Company, reaffirming Yehuda Diamond's right to compare the prices of its
clarity enhanced diamonds to the untreated diamonds sold by online retailer
Blue Nile.

Yehuda Diamond, based in New York, has earned widespread industry and consumer
loyalty for its successful competition with Blue Nile and other online
jewelers, favoring consumers not only with lower prices but also with
unsurpassed expert face-to-face service and full Federal Trade
Commission-compliant disclosure.

The suit [No. C-07-2017 TSZ], brought by Blue Nile and heard last month in
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, involved Blue
Nile's efforts to prevent Yehuda Diamond from comparing the price and
appearance of its clarity enhanced diamonds to those natural untreated
diamonds sold by Blue Nile.

Yehuda Diamond has consistently contended, even before Blue Nile filed the
lawsuit against it in December 2007, that Yehuda Diamond's price comparisons
are in the best interest of consumers.  After 4-1/2 hours of deliberations,
the jury agreed, dismissing both Blue Nile's federal and state claims that
Yehuda Diamond had engaged in false or misleading advertising.

Blue Nile, which has brought multiple lawsuits against smaller competitors
over the past decade, had petitioned the jury to award it exemplary damages of
$60,161,834.64, based on alleged actual damages of $20,053,944.88.   

"This is a momentous victory for all consumers and for free-market
competition," says Dror Yehuda, president of Yehuda Diamonds.  

"In essence, the jury told Blue Nile that it can't use its massive size and
legal muscle to prevent consumers from learning about lower-priced, quality
alternatives to Blue Nile diamonds," explains Mr. Yehuda.  "In recent years,
Blue Nile has preferred to fight its competitors in the courtroom than in the
marketplace."

The jury's decision clears the path for Yehuda Diamond to continue to inform
consumers of how much they stand to save by shopping at Yehuda Diamond
authorized retailers, who offer competitive prices along with personalized,
expert, face-to-face customer service for its clarity enhanced diamonds.  By
comparison, Blue Nile untreated diamonds are frequently higher-priced and Blue
Nile bypasses the retail distribution chain altogether.

Moreover, Mr. Yehuda vowed that his company will continue to press its own
lawsuit against Blue Nile [Court Case #08-CV-9751] filed in November 2008 in
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In that ongoing case, Yehuda Diamond contends that consumers who purchased
rubies, emeralds, sapphires or jewelry containing those stones from Blue Nile
were not informed that the gemstones had been treated to enhance their
appearance.



Burford Capital In GBP200M IPO For Lawsuit Funding
Legal News | 2009/09/28 17:11
Burford Capital Ltd., a closed-end investment company, said Mondayit wants to raise up to GBP200 million in a share placing on London'sjunior market to mark its place in a small but growing sector of fundsthat help finance companies' legal costs in commercial disputes.

Burford Capital said it will start out by investing in disputesbetween companies in the U.S., as well as in those going tointernational arbitration. Later on, it might expand into to otherjurisdictions, it said. A typical investment is expected to be for morethan $3 million and as high as $15 million.

By providing cash to companies to help foot their legal costs, theGuernsey company will be hoping to pick up a share of any awards orsettlements and then pay out money to its shareholders in the form ofdividends.

It didn't say what percentage of proceeds it would ask for, but similar funds take between 20% and 45%.

The company's investment adviser is Burford Group Ltd., set up by U.S. lawyers Christoper Bogart and Selvyn Seidel.

"Third-party commercial dispute finance is a high growth market,helping plaintiffs or defendants get civil justice," Bogart said in astatement. He said these kinds of investment can generate highlyattractive returns that aren't tied to the performance of stockmarkets.

Bogart's previous jobs include serving as executive vice presidentand general counsel of Time Warner Inc., and as chief executive of TimeWarner Cable Ventures. More recently, he was CEO of Churchill VenturesLtd., a special purpose acquisition vehicle, or SPAC, that dissolved inDecember without having made an investment. He is also general partnerat a private fund, Glenavy Arbitration Investment Fund LP, with asimilar strategy to Burford Capital.

Read more...



Goldman Sachs Backs Off Blogger
Legal News | 2009/07/16 18:17
In an article for The American Lawyer, Brian Baxter reports that investment bank firm Goldman Sachs has cooled off on legal battles with Florida-based blogger Mike Morgan. The company quietly agreed to stipulations with Morgan last month.

Morgan agreed to a disclaimer on his page denying any affiliation with Goldman. In return, they will not interfere with his use of the name on the site.

A recent Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi has brought more attention to the controversial issues Morgan discusses on the website. In the article Taibbi calls the firm a "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."

Goldman Sachs has responded by saying the article is full of conspiracy theories and, "We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance of being a force of good."

The firm recently reported $3.4 billion in second quarter profits, exceeding all expectations.


Sotomayor nominated to high court
Legal News | 2009/05/26 16:23
President Barack Obama chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.


Obama said Sotomayor has more experience as a judge than any current member of the high court had when nominated, adding she has earned the "respect of colleagues on the bench, the admiration of many lawyers who argue cases in her court and the adoration of her clerks, who look to her as a mentor."

Standing next to Obama at the White House, Sotomayor recalled a childhood spent in a housing project in the Bronx as well as her upper-echelon legal career: "I strive never to forget the real world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses and government."

Barring the unexpected, Senate confirmation seems likely, given the large Democratic majority. If approved, she would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the current court, the third in history. She would succeed retiring Justice David Souter.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., issued a statement saying he looked forward "to working with both Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to confirm Judge Sotomayor as the first Hispanic and the third woman to sit on the court."



Recession cuts law firm growth
Legal News | 2009/05/26 11:23

The growth in Israeli law firms' activity came to a halt in 2008, due to the recession and reduction in companies' business, which reduced demand for legal services, reports BDICoface in the BDICode 2009.

BDI says that the number of attorneys employed in Israel's 20 largest law firms was unchanged in 2008, compared with 2007, at 1,203. The number of law firms employing more than 100 attorneys was also unchanged, at five.

However, the number of partners at law firms rose by 8% in 2008, which BDI attributes to the firms' wish to keep employees by promoting them.

BDI says that 3,167 new attorneys entered the profession in 2008, 14% more than in 2007. BDI points to the steady growth in recent years in law graduates from colleges compared with universities: in 2008, 72% of all law graduates came from colleges. On the other hand, 95% of university law school graduates passed the bar, compared with 85% of college university graduates.

In the 2008 BDI rankings, Herzog Fox & Neeman Law Office kept its first place ranking, and Goldfarb, Levy, Eran, Meiri & Co. kept its second place ranking. Meitar Liquornik Geva & Leshem Brandwein rose to third place from fifth place in 2007, and Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Nalevy, Greenberg & Co. fell to fifth place from third in 2007. Yigal Arnon & Co. stayed in fourth place.



Students who paid to attend inauguration sue
Legal News | 2009/05/14 17:04
A lawsuit was filed in federal court Wednesday on behalf of more than 15,000 students who paid thousands to attend President Barack Obama's inauguration but reportedly were left out in the cold.


The lawsuit filed in Washington says Vienna, Va.-based Envision EMI promised middle, high school and college students across the country special access to the inauguration, parade and a black tie inaugural ball on Jan. 20.

But the lawsuit, filed by attorneys of two students, says once the students got to Washington, they had no tickets for the inauguration or parade. And the balls they attended were not official events connected to the inauguration.

Envision, a for-profit company that reportedly brought in $40 million from the inaugural sales, has said it would refund students $1 million. But the lawsuit says that would only reimburse each attendee about $65. The students were charged $2,380 to $2,620 and also had to pay for travel to Washington, formal wear for the ball and in some cases extra meals not included in the base cost.

"These kids took odd jobs and raised funds from family, friends and strangers in order to participate in the defendants' inaugural youth conference to eyewitness a truly historical event," said Bernard DiMuro of DiMuroGinsberg PC, which filed the lawsuit jointly with another law firm, Hausfeld LLP. "Instead all they saw was the inside of a bus or were dropped off near the Washington Monument to fend for themselves."



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