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Enron class-action firm bills for 247,000 hours
Press Releases | 2008/03/05 20:11

A lawyer who helped reap a US$7.2-billion settlement for Enron investors says his firm deserves a record US$700-million in fees, due to the complexity and risky nature of the case.

"This is an extraordinary case and we did an extraordinary job," Patrick Coughlin, a partner with Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, the lead attorneys in the case, told a hearing in U.S. District Court in Houston.

The firm's founder, William Lerach, retired in August. He pleaded guilty to kickback scheme at his former law firm, but still stands to receive a multi-million-dollar payout from the Enron case.

Coughlin Stoia is seeking about 9.5% of the total settlement amount, which would equal nearly US$700-million.

Mr. Coughlin presented his case in an elaborate multimedia presentation to U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, who now must approve the fee award. The presentation included testimonials from former Enron employees and a clip from the Oscar-nominated legal thriller Michael Clayton.

Over the course of the case that lasted six years, Mr. Coughlin said his firm billed 247,000 hours, took 400 depositions and submitted 5,700 filings.

"We didn't leave any avenue unturned," he said.

Still, other attorneys took issue with the size of the award, arguing that more should go to investors.

"Class counsel has not proved the legitimacy of this fee request," Larry Schonbrun, who represents a single investor in the case, told the court.

The settlement was paid by banks including Citigroup Inc. that are accused of helping the energy trader hide financial misdeeds that led to its collapse. The settlement still lacks final approval from Judge Harmon.

Recently, a group of plaintiffs firms sought about US$460-million in fees following settlements in a securities fraud case against Tyco International Ltd.

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Schmidt & Clark, LLP Announces Trasylol Website
Press Releases | 2008/03/04 20:39
Schmidt & Clark, LLP, a nationally recognized drug litigation law firm has announced today that it has recently added additional content to its Trasylol recall website.

Trasylol has been marketed by Bayer for 14 years. Bayer marketed it aggressively until it was used in approximately 1/3 of all cardiac bypass surgeries. In the last two years, Trasylol has been linked to kidney or renal failure, heart attacks, strokes and approximately 22,000 deaths.

At the heart of current and pending litigation surrounding Trasylol side effects, is the fact that Bayer was aware of the potential problems over two years ago. A study connecting Trasylol and serious side effects was presented in January 2006, but the drug was not recalled until November 2007. Bayer failed to present their research to the FDA in their September 2006 meeting. The chairman of that FDA advisory panel, Dr. William Hiatt, said that he would have voted for a Trasylol recall back in 2006 if Bayer had not withheld the data from their study.

Michael E. Schmidt, Managing Partner of Schmidt & Clark, LLP has noticed an alarming number of inquiries to the firm related to Trasylol. Mr. Schmidt stated, “Our firm has substantial expertise in the areas drug litigation. As a result, we have received a number of inquiries from heart bypass surgery patients claiming serious or life-threatening side effects including death, kidney or renal failure, heart attacks, and strokes.”

Schmidt & Clark, LLP represents a number of Trasylol recall victims and continues to be contacted by victims of Trasylol on a frequent basis.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Trasylol induced side effect, the firm suggests that you visit their Trasylol website. The site includes detailed lawsuit information, news and more.

About Schmidt & Clark, LLP

Schmidt & Clark, LLP focuses on helping individuals and families. The firm has built a reputation for success, and represents their clients in group and individual lawsuits nationwide.

Although Schmidt & Clark, LLP is national in scope, they level the playing field for their clients by providing them with access to a level of professional legal representation previously available only to large corporations, while still providing personal attention to each client.

For more information on Schmidt & Clark, LLP or Trasylol lawsuits, please visit: http://www.schmidtandclark.com/Trasylol/ or call toll free 24 hrs/day (866) 588-0600.


Helms Mulliss & Wicker merging into Virginia law firm
Press Releases | 2008/03/03 20:35

McGuireWoods LLP and Helms Mulliss & Wicker PLLC are joining forces in a merger that will create a law firm with nearly 900 lawyers and offices in 17 locations.

The combined firm will be known as McGuireWoods LLP. The merger will be effective at the close of business on March 31, 2008.

McGuireWoods currently has 750 lawyers at 15 locations worldwide, including 40 in Charlotte. Helms Mulliss, established in Charlotte in 1922, has 145 lawyers, including 120 in Charlotte and 25 in offices in Raleigh and Wilmington.

Triangle Business Journal reported in January that Charlotte-based Helms Mulliss & Wicker was in merger talks with Richmond, Va.-based McGuireWoods. Firms with a strong Charlotte presence often are courted by out-of-state firms interested in the city's high-powered financial sector.

Both firms do business with Wachovia and Bank of America. But Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods, says that the merger was driven by more than just obtaining additional banking business.

"It would be wrong to assume we're doing this merger because of any one city in North Carolina or any one client," says Cullen. "We're very eager to be in Raleigh. We're planning on growing that office."

Cullen declined to go into specifics about how many people might be added over the coming years in the Raleigh office, which currently has 20 lawyers.

After the merger, Peter Covington, the chairman and managing member of Helms Mulliss, will become vice chairman of McGuireWoods, a newly created position.



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