| KENNEDY RETIRES
The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy means that Chief Justice John Roberts is now the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important member not just in title but also in reality, empowering him to advance a muscular conservative agenda and perhaps broker deals with outgunned liberals.
High-ranking Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee stood firm Thursday on keeping Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to vote this fall on a replacement for retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, with one saying Democrats’ calls to wait until after the November midterms “ain’t going to happen.”
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy spent his three decades on the high court making a name for himself as a champion of individual freedoms, but he also authored the majority opinion in Ashcroft v. Iqbal that changed corporate litigation so much, it is cited in nearly every dismissal bid and has become the bane of the plaintiffs bar.
The New Jersey Legislature is weighing a bill that would allow policyholders to collect triple damages and attorneys’ fees from insurance companies found liable for unfair business practices such as unreasonable coverage delays or denials, and attorneys say the whopping potential penalties could spur an explosion in bad-faith claims if the measure becomes law.
A Texas federal judge ruled Thursday that insurer Ace isn’t bound by an underlying $106 million judgment because the proceeding that yielded it wasn’t “fully adversarial,” in what may be the first federal use of the Texas Supreme Court’s splashy Hamel decision.
A California state judge on Thursday tentatively refused to toss Ubiquiti Networks Inc.’s lawsuit seeking insurance coverage after it lost $46 million to a scam in which fraudsters impersonated its CEO and a Latham & Watkins attorney, rejecting an AIG subsidiary’s argument the crime didn’t qualify for its hacking coverage.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP dragged its feet while handling an employee discrimination suit, ex-client Landmark Worldwide’s attorney told a California jury during closings in a $2.6 million malpractice suit Thursday, while Seyfarth’s attorney countered that Landmark was shifting blame for its general counsel’s failure to renew an insurance policy.
A lifeguard who fired his pistol on Independence Day and then passed it around for others to do the same, resulting in an 11-year-old girl’s death, was “grossly negligent,” the Eighth Circuit said Thursday, upending an insurance dispute tied to a subsequent wrongful-death settlement.
Two insurers that underwrote a liability policy for Florida recreational and camping park Vortex Springs asked a federal court on Wednesday to declare that they do not have to defend the facility over the drowning death of a 19-year-old man because Vortex Springs did not have a lifeguard on duty as required by the policy.
Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. can’t avoid paying for injuries sustained by a forklift operator when the machine rolled over on a Chicago-area construction site because uncertainty surrounds the insurer’s policy, the injured man said Wednesday.
Reinsurance firm Scottish Holdings Inc. secured Delaware Bankruptcy Court approval for its Chapter 11 disclosure and voting plan Thursday, with a judge’s caveat that the court could consider 11th hour objections to voting provisions.
Private equity-backed retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. returned to public markets on Thursday after raising $638 million in an initial public offering, advised by Latham & Watkins LLP, representing the largest in a flurry of seven new IPOs that raised more than $1.7 billion combined.
TCI Fund Management reportedly wants Comcast Corp. to have more time to make a higher bid for 21st Century Fox’s assets, Prudential PLC filed an application to list its Malaysian unit, and NII Holdings tapped Rothschild to sell control of Nextel’s Brazilian operations.
With law firms increasingly exposed to professional liability risks associated with their corporate client relationships, firms must craft well-structured client engagement letters to help protect against malpractice claims. Two key elements of an engagement letter are how it defines the scope of engagement and how it handles conflicts of interest, say Stuart Pattison and John Muller of Sompo International Holdings Ltd.
Today, members of Congress often seem able to blame colleagues of the other party for not getting anything done for their constituents. In law practice, you can’t really blame a bad result for your clients on the lawyers on the other side, says former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP, Paul Hastings LLP and Thompson & Knight LLP were among the firms that said they would be joining the trend of hiking salaries and offering mid-year bonuses for associates, according to internal memos made public on Thursday.
The owner of the building that housed Sedgwick LLP’s New York financial district office said the now-defunct law firm missed a payment related to the early termination of its lease and, as a result of the breach of contract, owes $23 million, according to a suit filed in state court just days after the landlords of its Chicago office made similar claims.
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced several district court picks on Thursday, even as Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has continued to stonewall advancing nominees for the Third and Eleventh circuits until the chamber votes on a tariff measure.
Foley Hoag LLP has announced that it is implementing a new parental leave policy that offers up to 18 weeks off in the 12 months after the birth or adoption of a child for all parents, regardless of whether they are the primary caregiver or not.
A Vinson & Elkins LLP partner was hit with an arrest warrant earlier this month over his alleged role piloting a boat that crashed in Travis County, Texas, injuring three of his fellow partners, according to documents filed in state court, though the warrant has reportedly since been rescinded.
Williams & Connolly LLP partner Kannon Shanmugam landed on the legal lions list after the U.S. Supreme Court granted review on three of his cases during the past week, while attorneys at Haynes and Boone and Skadden ended up legal lambs after a judge slashed client ZeniMax’s $500 million intellectual property verdict in half.
Pro Bono Spotlight
In response to the administration’s zero-tolerance and family separation policies, BigLaw firms across the country are partnering with each other and a constellation of nonprofits to provide pro bono legal aid to parents and children seeking to be reunited and be granted asylum.