Firm News

WMC represents Mississippi’s Attorney General in the state’s highest court and prevails in a Hurricane Katrina case against State Farm

WMC represents Mississippi’s Attorney General in the state’s highest court and prevails in a Hurricane Katrina case against State Farm

SE Texas Record reports on WMC’s Lawsuit against FEMA for withholding Hurricane Sandy claim records

Law Firm Sues FEMA, Seeks Agency’s Records on Sandy Claims Review Program

Courthouse News Service reports on WMC bringing a Federal Complaint against FEMA for mishandling over 140,000 Hurricane Sandy claims

Hurricane Sandy Lawyers Want Records on FEMA ‘Boondoggle’

Members of Congress and Congressional Candidates File Lawsuit Seeking Reversal of Ruling that Spawned Massive Super PAC Spending in U.S. Elections

Earlier today, a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress and 2016 congressional candidates filed a federal lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission seeking to end super PAC spending in US elections. The lawsuit, led by Representative Ted Lieu (Democrat from California), Senator Jeff Merkley (Democrat from Oregon), and Representative Walter Jones (Republican from North Carolina), seeks to reverse a federal appeals court ruling that created super PACs and has resulted in an explosion of spending in elections across the country.

You can read more about today’s lawsuit, and this important issue, on Free Speech For People’s website:

http://freespeechforpeople.org/cms/assets/uploads/2016/11/FSFP_FEC-Suit-Against-Super-PACs.pdf

Matt Krauss discusses the Hurricane Sandy Claims Review process on the radio talk show Central Jersey with Maggie Glynn.

Matt Krauss discusses the Hurricane Sandy Claims Review process on the radio talk show Central Jersey with Maggie Glynn.

Nina Pineda, from WABC’s 7 On Your Side, interviews Augie Matteis about WMC’s discovery of fraud in connection with a Hurricane Sandy flood insurance claim.

Nina Pineda, from WABC’s 7 On Your Side, interviews Augie Matteis about WMC’s discovery of fraud in connection with a Hurricane Sandy flood insurance claim.

Law360 reports on WMC opening a Philadelphia office with the Addition of Lee Epstein, John Koch and Emily Markos

Litigation Boutique Weisbrod Matteis Opens Philly Office

The D&O Diary analyzed a WMC insurance coverage victory in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

The D&O Diary analyzed a WMC insurance coverage victory in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

The Wall Street Journal Discusses WMC’s Victory in the Alpha Mining Tires Case Against Ted Cruz and His Tire Manufacturer Client

Ted Cruz’s Career in Private Practice Complicates His Legal Record

“New York Times discusses Hurricane Sandy insurance claims and WMC’s representation of policyholders.”

New York Times: “Hurricane Sandy’s Red Tape Makes a Veteran Say, ‘I’d Rather Go Back to Falluja’

Publications & Media

WMC was included in this Courthouse News article, “Bipartisan Group Takes on Super PAC Explosion”

Already looking past Election Day, a bipartisan group of lawmakers and congressional candidates have brought a federal complaint against the Federal Elections Commission to rein in super-PAC spending. The lawsuit filed on Nov. 4 in Washington says a “systemic crisis” has resulted from SpeechNow.org v. FEC, a ruling issued in 2010 by the en banc D.C. Circuit. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Stephen Weisbrod with Weisbrod Matteis & Copley. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Courthouse News Service’s website: http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/11/07/bipartisan-group-takes-on-super-pac-explosion.htm

WMC Partner Stephen Weisbrod was quoted in this Common Dreams’ Article: “To Reclaim Democracy, New Lawsuit Aims to Be ‘Death of the Super PAC'”

While most people point to Citizens United as the case that opened the door to big money in U.S. elections, the lesser-known 2010 appeals court ruling in SpeechNow.org v. FEC is perhaps just as blameworthy—one legal scholar says the decision “gave birth to the super PAC takeover of American politics.” “The actual facts on the ground show that the massive expenditures by super PACs are distorting our country’s politics and causing people to lose faith in our government institutions,” Stephen Weisbrod of the law firm of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley said. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on the Common Dreams website: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/04/reclaim-democracy-new-lawsuit-aims-be-death-super-pac

WMC was included in this Law360 article, “State Farm Spars With Relators In High Court Over FCA Seal”

Relators accusing State Farm of fraudulently misclassifying insurance claims faced off Tuesday with the insurer in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing over the severity of sanctions they should face for breaking the seal on False Claims Act suits, from discretionary penalties to automatic dismissal. Despite the intentional press leak by the relators’ former counsel — the now-disbarred Dickie Scruggs, who was convicted of bribing a judge in a different case — of information about the qui tam suit, in violation of the FCA’s automatic seal requirement, relators and former insurance adjusters Cori and Kerri Rigsby have faced effectively zero consequences, Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP said on behalf of State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. The Rigsbys are represented by William E. Copley, August J. Matteis Jr., Derek Y. Sugimura, Pamira S. Matteis, Matthew S. Krauss and Timothy M. Belknap of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on the Law360 website: https://www.law360.com/articles/854223/state-farm-spars-with-relators-in-high-court-over-fca-seal

WMC partner Peter J. Toren is quoted in this Bloomberg BNA article, “AT&T’s Time Warner Purchase Brings a Fortune in IP”

AT&T Inc.’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. would bring it a wealth of intellectual property assets, including such highly valuable film and television properties as Batman, Superman, Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings, plus the TV library of HBO — a leading network of TV’s second “golden age.” Along with rights in works protected by copyright law, AT&T would acquire some of the most prominent brands and trademarks in the entertainment field, including ones directly associated with content— like Batman—and others associated with distribution services—like HBO. Peter J. Toren, an IP lawyer with Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC, Washington, said that other network and hardware companies like Apple Inc., Google Inc., and Verizon Inc. must be scrutinizing the remaining big media companies to see if they, too, could take advantage of such synergies. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Bloomberg BNA’s website: https://www.bna.com/atts-time-warner-n57982079115/

WMC was included this Law360 article, “Gov’t Tells High Court FCA Seal Violations Need Discretion”

The federal government has argued that breaking the seal on a False Claims Act case should not require automatic dismissal of that suit, in a U.S. Supreme Court dispute over alleged abuse of the federal flood insurance program. District judges traditionally have broad discretion to decide on the appropriate sanctions for violating court rules and orders, authority which should extend to instances where the automatic seal on a qui tam FCA case has been broken, federal attorneys said in an amicus brief filed Monday, asking the high court to rule against State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. Although the particular seal violations at issue — leaks to a journalist by former attorneys for relators Cori and Kerri Rigsby — were carried out in bad faith, they were “relatively minor” and done without the Rigsbys’ knowledge, and the district court and Fifth Circuit had reasonably determined that the other relevant factors outweighed that bad faith, according to the brief. The Rigsbys are represented by William E. Copley, August J. Matteis Jr., Derek Y. Sugimura, Pamira S. Matteis, Matthew S. Krauss and Timothy M. Belknap of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Law360’s website: https://www.law360.com/articles/842422/gov-t-tells-high-court-fca-seal-violations-need-discretion

WMC Partner Peter Toren was quoted in this Law360 article “RJR Verdict Flip Shows Attys Must Plug Logical Holes”

A Florida appeals court not only reversed a mesothelioma verdict against R.J. Reynolds on Wednesday, but scolded expert witnesses on both sides for their cavalier research citations and leaps in logic on the stand, demonstrating that just a small dose of sloppiness on an attorney’s part can catalyze a finding of abuse of discretion and undo a win, experts say. Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal overturned an $8 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., industrial products manufacturer Crane Co. and other companies in favor of Richard DeLisle, whose mesothelioma was allegedly caused by asbestos in both Crane gaskets and filters on Kent cigarettes. It ordered that a verdict be entered for Crane and ordered a new trial for R.J. Reynolds. Another abyss that went unbridged at trial was the one surrounding Dahlgren’s opinion that small amounts of chrysotile-variety asbestos from Crane gaskets contributed meaningfully to DeLisle’s sickness. No data attended the claim, the appeals court said; the testimony “was more of the nature of ipse dixit, i.e., that it should be reliable merely because he is an expert.” “It’s exactly this sort of missing link that can provide an opening for an abuse-of-discretion finding,” said Peter Toren of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Law360’s website: https://www.law360.com/articles/840388/rjr-verdict-flip-shows-attys-must-plug-logical-holes

WMC was included this Reuters article, “Criminal Defense Bar Sides with Business Lobby in False Claims Act Case at SCOTUS”

It’s easy to understand why groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Tort Reform Association and the Coalition for Government Procurement are siding with State Farm in one of the most colorful business cases the U.S. Supreme Court will hear in its upcoming term. But the organized criminal defense bar? The case, State Farm v. United States, stems from a 2006 False Claims Act suit two onetime insurance adjustors filed against State Farm, which they accused of fraudulently shifting Hurricane Katrina property damage claims to a government-backed flood insurance program. The adjusters – sisters named Cori and Kerri Rigsby – were represented by plaintiffs’ lawyer Dickie Scruggs, who was at that time one of the most powerful plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country. Scruggs also represented thousands of homeowners who alleged insurance companies were improperly denying their claims by attributing damage to floods rather than wind and storm surge. State Farm, represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Sullivan & Cromwell, asked the Supreme Court to use the case to resolve a split among the circuits on whether seal violations require the dismissal of FCA suits. Despite opposition from the Rigsby sisters, represented by Weisbrod Matteis & Copley, and from the Justice Department, the justices granted the petition for certiorari last May. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Reuters’ website: http://blogs.reuters.com/alison-frankel/2016/08/17/criminal-defense-bar-sides-with-business-lobby-in-false-claims-act-case-at-scotus/

WMC was included this Law360 article, “Tire Maker’s China Arbitral Bid Rightly Denied, 6th Circ. Told”

A U.S. tire distributor sought to shut down a Sixth Circuit bid by its ex-business partner to send their dispute to Chinese arbitrators on Monday, saying an Ohio federal judge rightly decided that he couldn’t enforce an expired arbitration clause after months of fierce litigation. Horizon Tire Inc. and its sister companies first sued tire manufacturer Shandong Linglong Tire Co. Ltd. in California federal court in May 2015 for allegedly failing to repay a $3.6 million loan and trying to cut it out of the picture by selling a Horizon-designed tire called the Crosswind directly to retailers. Linglong filed its own suit against Horizon in Ohio, and the U.S. companies voluntarily ditched their California lawsuits to advance counterclaims in the Ohio litigation. Horizon Tire and its affiliates are represented by William E. Copley and August J. Matteis Jr. of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC, and John B. Nalbandian of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Law360’s website: https://www.law360.com/articles/829127/tire-maker-s-china-arbitral-bid-rightly-denied-6th-circ-told

WMC Partner Peter J. Toren is quoted in this Law360 article, “Tips For Using A ‘Career Witness’ To Win A Trial”

Using a veteran expert witness who is comfortable on the stand and resonates with jurors can be a key factor in winning a trial. But there’s a catch: Juries can perceive these “career” expert witnesses as biased and view their testimony with a skeptical eye. Experienced experts are needed in most all complex litigation, from gauging damages in patent cases to providing medical testimony in medical malpractice suits. Major corporations that fight a lot of the same type of class action may return to the same expert over and over, especially in a series of bellwether trials that come close together. It’s no secret that this habit of returning to the same well can be a vulnerability. “If you hire an experienced expert witness … they’re open to attack that they’re a career expert witness and the only way they make money is by testifying,” said Peter Toren of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC. You can read more about this important issue on Law360’s website: https://www.law360.com/articles/816804/tips-for-using-a-career-witness-to-win-a-trial

WMC was included in this Law360 article, “Blackwater FCA Relators On ‘Fishing Expedition,’ Co. Says”

Blackwater successor Academi Training Center Inc. on Wednesday blasted whistleblowers alleging that it provided unqualified security guards in Iraq and Afghanistan, telling a Virginia federal judge it’s placed reasonable limits on discovery in the False Claims Act suit and that efforts to expand production are a “fishing expedition” to back unsupported accusations. Former marksmen Lyle Beauchamp and Warren Shepherd want the court to force Academi to hand over documents created after Aug. 7, 2011 — the date its contract with the U.S. Department of State expired — even though, the company said, later documents are far outside the suit’s accusations that Academi lied about firearms training and qualifications for State Department guards under that contract. Beauchamp and Shepherd are represented by William E. Copley, Susan M. Sajadi, Janet L. Goetz, Chadwick Mitchell Welch and William E. Jacobs of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC. You can read more about this lawsuit, and this important issue, on Law360’s website: https://www.law360.com/articles/819835/blackwater-fca-relators-on-fishing-expedition-co-says

Events

Peter J. Toren to Host Live Webinar on March 31, 2015 Entitled Trade Secret or Patent Protection? Making the Best Choice for Your University’s Innovations

Peter J. Toren to Host Live Webinar on March 31, 2015 Entitled Trade Secret or Patent Protection? Making the Best Choice for Your University’s Innovations

Joshua B. Katz to Speak at Live Webinar on March 9, 2015 Entitled Insurance Coverage for Data Breaches: What Every Firm Needs to Know in 2015

Joshua B. Katz to Speak at Live Webinar on March 9, 2015 Entitled Insurance Coverage for Data Breaches: What Every Firm Needs to Know in 2015

Stephen A. Weisbrod to Speak at American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Controlling Litigation Costs

Stephen A. Weisbrod to Speak at American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Controlling Litigation Costs

Peter J. Toren to moderate Trade Secret Law Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 22, 2013

Peter J. Toren to moderate Trade Secret Law Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 22, 2013

WMC Partner Hosts Program Regarding Insights into the Economic Espionage Act

WMC Partner Hosts Program Regarding Insights into the Economic Espionage Act

Stephen Weisbrod to Chair New York City Bar Association Panel on “Professional Liability, Legal Ethics & Risk Management: Preventing, Defending & Obtaining Insurance for Claims against Law Firms”

Stephen Weisbrod to Chair New York City Bar Association Panel on “Professional Liability, Legal Ethics & Risk Management: Preventing, Defending & Obtaining Insurance for Claims against Law Firms”

Peter J. Toren to Teach CLE Entitled “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Is It Really the Least Understood Law in the U.S. or Just in Technology?”

Peter J. Toren to Teach CLE Entitled “Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Is It Really the Least Understood Law in the U.S. or Just in Technology?”

Stephen Weisbrod to Speak at HB Litigation Forum “Too Big To Litigate?” in Chicago

Stephen Weisbrod to Speak at HB Litigation Forum “Too Big To Litigate?” in Chicago

WMC Partner Peter Toren to Speak at DC Bar CLE on Trade Secrets

WMC Partner Peter Toren to Speak at DC Bar CLE on Trade Secrets

Weisbrod Matteis & Copley Attorneys to Speak at Upcoming New York Legal Ethics Conference

Weisbrod Matteis & Copley Attorneys to Speak at Upcoming New York Legal Ethics Conference