Alison Frankel

A Rorschach test on equal pay and workplace sex discrimination

16 Mar 2019

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge John Lee of Chicago issued a summary judgment opinion in an advertising sales executive’s equal pay and sex discrimination case against Gannett, the publisher of USA Today. I’m not going to tell you yet how the judge ruled. That’s because, as I read Gannett’s summary judgment brief and the ad rep’s opposition – which, because this was summary judgment briefing, are based on undisputed facts – it occurred to me that the case is a revealing test of perceptions about men and women and white-collar office jobs.

Admissions scandal class action is ‘fascinating’ but likely doomed - experts

15 Mar 2019

Two Stanford students filed a class action Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, claiming that they and every other student who applied to eight universities implicated in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal deserve to recoup the fees they paid to apply to those schools.

Government officials put opioid defendants in a squeeze over confidentiality

15 Mar 2019

Confidentiality battles are becoming a hallmark of the litigation by cities and states suing pharmaceutical companies for allegedly sparking the opioid crisis by falsely representing the addictiveness of their products to patients and physicians. The pharmaceutical companies that make and sell opioids, which dispute the very premise of the false marketing claims, don’t want their internal documents to become public. That’s no surprise. Corporate defendants inevitably fight – and frequently prevail – against the revelation of confidential information.

Landmark post-Halliburton decision from 8th Circuit allows Best Buy to escape class action

12 Mar 2019

A once-promising securities class action against Best Buy came to a whimpering end on Friday, when U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank of St. Paul, Minnesota, granted summary judgment to the electronics chain, which had been accused of misrepresenting its projected earnings in a conference call with analysts way back in 2010.

SEC commissioner Peirce signals shareholder arbitration is not dead yet

09 Mar 2019

Despite the apparent determination of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton to avoid the issue of mandatory shareholder arbitration, the controversy over whether public companies can require investors to give up their right to sue under federal securities laws just won’t die. This week, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce signaled in a speech to the Council of Institutional Investors that she would support a corporate mandatory arbitration clause, arguing that institutional investors should be more skeptical about the benefits to shareholders of securities class actions.

In new Supreme Court brief, DOJ offers alternative read of census case facts

08 Mar 2019

Litigation often boils down to which side can arrange generally agreed-upon facts more compellingly. Victory belongs to whoever spins a better story from the same raw material.

‘Vilified’ whistleblower firm claims DOJ mislead court about ‘fictitious’ investigation

06 Mar 2019

Facing Justice Department dismissal motions in seven False Claims Act cases against pharmaceutical companies, the whistleblower firm National Health Care Analysis Group lashed out at the government on Monday, accusing DOJ of misrepresenting its rationale for ditching claims brought in the name of the United States.

Alsup to 9th Circuit: My only goal is to be sure class settlements are fair

05 Mar 2019

Facing a mandamus petition by a class action defendant challenging his policy of barring settlement discussions before class certification, U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his rule enhances the negotiating power of absent class members whose interests he is obliged to protect.

Biotech company cries conflict from Bouchard’s past work as counsel to Chancery colleagues

02 Mar 2019

Before Andre Bouchard was named chancellor of Delaware’s Chancery Court, he was a private lawyer at Bouchard Margules & Friedlander – a firm so well regarded that when a group called the Delaware Coalition for Open Government sued Chancery Court in 2011 to block implementation of a confidential arbitration track within the court, Bouchard was one of the lawyers whom Delaware state officials hired to make their case.

DOJ: Shareholders don’t have right to sue over misleading tender offer disclosures

01 Mar 2019

Historically a defender of private shareholder litigation to enforce securities laws, the U.S. government told the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief in Emulex v. Varjabedian that investors do not have a right to sue corporations for misleading tender offer disclosures.

World News

Wall Street lifted by tech stocks; Boeing drags on Dow

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq extended last week's gains on Monday, lifted by technology and financial stocks, as investors waited for the Federal Reserve's policy meeting later this week for further clues on the pace of interest rate hikes.