Corporate Update

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken

Judge Dismisses Suit Filed by Ex-Executives of Marsh & McLennan

By Julie Triedman |

A federal judge on Monday tossed a lawsuit filed by two former Marsh & McLennan Companies executives who were implicated in a major insurance bid-rigging investigation. The decision, which defense lawyers said may be the first of its kind in the Southern District of New York, signals that companies facing government probes can reasonably expect employees to cooperate with internal investigations even if they risk self-incrimination.

Report Says Securities Class Actions Fizzled in 2014

By Amanda Bronstad and Scott Flaherty |

Securities class action filings rose slightly from 2013 to 2014, but the cases involved some of the smallest investor losses on record as companies in the S&P 500 index skirted much of the litigation, according to a report released Tuesday.

David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh

Engagement and Activism in the 2015 Proxy Season

By David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh |

In their Corporate Governance column, David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz write: As the 2015 proxy season approaches, a counter-current of high-profile activist aggression—particularly aimed at boards of directors—runs alongside the dominant theme of cooperation and engagement.

Standard & Poors

S&P Settles With SEC, But Faces More Legal Challenges

By Jenna Greene and Scott Flaherty |

Although Standard & Poor's Rating Services last week paid nearly $80 million to settle charges by the SEC and state regulators that it misled investors by issuing inflated ratings, but its legal woes are far from over.

Dish Wins Copyright Arguments in Dispute With Fox Broadcasting

By Scott Flaherty |

Dish Network LLC and its lawyers at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe largely escaped Fox Broadcasting Co.'s copyright claims over technology that records network television and replays it commercial-free in an important early test of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in 'American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo.'

U.S. Fails in Bid to Set Deadline for Title VII Cases

By Saranac Hale Spencer |

The U.S. Department of Justice can't set a six-year deadline for federal workers to sue their employer for Title VII violations, the Third Circuit has ruled, finding that the specificity of the standards for filing a claim set forth in Title VII trump the more general rules set out in Section 2401 of Title 28 of the U.S. Code.

John C. Coffee Jr.

Federal Preemption and Fee Shifting

By John C. Coffee Jr. |

John C. Coffee Jr., the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School, writes: This issue of federal preemption will inevitably be litigated because, even if Delaware legislature acts to curb 'ATP Tour', issuers incorporated in other jurisdictions have already adopted such a provision.

Coal mine.

Lawyers Debate Role of 'Conciliation' in Job Bias Cases

By Marcia Coyle |

Lawyers for the Obama administration and an Illinois mining company clashed sharply before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday over whether federal courts should review employer claims that the federal officials failed to conciliate job bias charges as required by law.

The MetLife building at 200 Park Ave.

MetLife Taps Two Firms for Federal Regulation Battle

By Scott Flaherty |

MetLife Inc. has enlisted Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Eugene Scalia and Sullivan & Cromwell senior chairman H. Rodgin Cohen to lead its efforts in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit challenging the federal government's designation of the company as a "systemically important" financial institution subject to stricter regulation.

Steven M. Witzel

Grand Jury Practice, Protests and Reform

By Steven M. Witzel |

In his Corporate Crime column, Steven M. Witzel explains the history and purposes of the grand jury, highlights the differences between federal and New York state practice, addresses the prosecutor-law enforcement conflict issue and reviews the legislation designed to ameliorate it.

National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

Business Groups Sue NLRB Over New Union Election Regulation

By Jenna Greene |

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation and the Society for Human Resource Management filed suit to block a massive new regulation that speeds up and simplifies the process for holding union elections.

Top 10 International Employment Law Issues in 2015

By Philip M. Berkowitz |

In his Employment Issues column, Philip M. Berkowitz writes: This past year brought to the fore some challenging international labor and employment law issues that are likely to grow in importance in 2015. Some of these issues became front-page headlines—the Sony Pictures data breach and the Volkswagen union drive in Tennessee, among others—while other developments illustrate the increasing strength of global unions and the ever-growing importance of corporate compliance.

Circuit Won't Rehear Travelers' $500M Asbestos Case

By Scott Flaherty |

Thirty years after asbestos liability drove Johns-Manville Corp. into bankruptcy, related litigation involving Travelers Indemnity Co.'s obligations to asbestos claimants may not be over.

General Motors Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

Plaintiffs Culled, but Defect Claims Advance Against GM

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal judge in New York has allowed a consolidated consumer class action to go forward against General Motors Co. over its ignition switch recalls, although on a limited basis.

Lehman Trustee Takes Barclays Fight to the Supreme Court

By David Bario |

The long and tortured legal brawl over Barclays PLC’s firesale acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ brokerage business has finally arrived at the highest court in the land.

Big Deals

By Brian Baxter |

Phoenix-based PetSmart announced an agreement to sell itself for $8.7 billion to a consortium led by London-based private equity firm BC Partners.

David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem

Income Classification Pitfalls for Executives of Startups

By David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem |

In their Taxation column, David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem of Roberts & Holland discuss a recent Tax Court memorandum decision that tackles various issues faced by key employees of startup businesses.

Joseph M. McLaughlin

Pleading Corporate Scienter: Circuits Split on Standard

By Joseph M. McLaughlin |

In his Corporate Litigation column, Joseph M. McLaughlin writes that some circuits have adopted the view that scienter may be imputed to the corporation only where the person who made an alleged misstatement attributable to the company did so with knowledge of its falsity, while others have adopted a broader view of collective corporate scienter. A recent Sixth Circuit decision struck a middle ground.

High Court Justices Gingerly Debate Internet Sales Taxes

By Tony Mauro |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday scratched the surface of the looming battle over state taxation of Internet retailers and seemed troubled by what it saw.

Courts Seek Special Masters for Commercial Division

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

The Office of Court Administration has taken the next step in an attempt to provide support for the motion-heavy Commercial Division.

CBS Deal Ends Blackout, Litigation Risk for Dish

By Lisa Shuchman |

After failing for two years to neutralize Dish Network's ad-skipping AutoHop feature in the courts, CBS reached a deal over the weekend that will keep the ads flowing.

Sirius Hopes New Legal Team, Old Case Law Can Undo Copyright Rulings

By David Bario |

Last month, Sirius XM Radio Inc. reacted to a string of courtroom losses by firing its law firms and bringing in new lawyers from O'Melveny & Myers. Since then the O'Melveny team has been fighting to reverse those losses, citing a 74-year-old ruling that they say is directly on point—even though their predecessors never mentioned it in their briefs.

<b>COSTLY:</b> Critics say “government overreach” too high a price for safety in NHTSA’s would-be plan to require vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems.

Vehicles-to-Vehicle Communication Stirs Privacy, Liability Debate

By Jenna Greene |

At first glance, it seems like an easy call: adopt technology that allows cars to "talk" to each other, averting more than 500,000 crashes and saving 1,000 lives each year. But a host of difficult legal issues threaten to stall a tentative proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that would require new vehicles to come equipped with such communication systems by 2019.

Barbara M. Goodstein

'Momentive' Provides a Reminder About Intercreditor Agreements

By Barbara M. Goodstein |

In her Secured Transactions column, Barbara M. Goodstein discusses a very recent decision by Bankruptcy Judge Robert D. Drain on intercreditor agreements, worth reviewing for its rulings both on the interpretation of an intercreditor agreement, as well as on the meaning of the UCC term "proceeds."

Justices to Take Up Disputes Concerning Underwater Mortgages

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to dip into the problems faced by banks and homeowners with underwater mortgages in two bankruptcy cases brought by Bank of America.

Halliburton is currently the world's second-largest oil field services provider.

Big Deals

By MP McQueen |

Teams from Wachtell Lipton recently advised Halliburton on its $34.6 billion cash-and-stock takeover of oil field services rival Baker Hughes, and Allergan on its proposed $66 billion cash-and-stock sale to fellow pharmaceutical company Actavis.

John C. Coffee Jr.

'Loser Pays': Who Will Be the Biggest Loser?

By John C. Coffee Jr. |

In his Corporate Securities column, John C. Coffee Jr. analyzes the trend toward bylaw and charter provisions that imposed some form of a "loser pays" rule on plaintiffs in intracorporate litigation.

Bounties for Wandering Whistleblowers

By Philip M. Berkowitz |

In his Employment Issues column, Philip M. Berkowitz reviews important new developments that have expanded the rights of individuals, even those based overseas, to assert whistleblower rights under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Report and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Neurontin Plaintiffs' Attorneys to Share $91M Fee Award

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal judge gave plaintiffs lawyers $91 million—a 28 percent cut—in a $325 million settlement with Pfizer Inc. over allegedly fraudulent marketing of its epilepsy drug Neurontin.

High Court Rejects Enfamil Baby Formula Brain Damage Case

By Lisa Shuchman |

A case alleging that the maker of Enfamil infant formula is liable for causing an infant's brain damage will proceed in district court after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied the company's petition for writ of certiorari.

Antonin Scalia.

Scalia and Obama on Same Wavelength for Net Neutrality?

By Jenna Greene |

Before net neutrality became a left-wing cause célèbre, it had an unlikely champion: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In 2005, Scalia in a dissent wrote that the FCC should classify broadband providers as a more heavily regulated Title II telecommunications service—a position in sync with a statement from President Obama on Monday as well as with calls from groups such as Free Press and Consumers Union.

UBS Loses Bid in $350M Facebook IPO Case

By Susan Beck |

The Nasdaq stock market and its lawyers at Ballard Spahr preserved a major victory at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday in a dispute with UBS Securities arising from the Facebook Inc. initial public offering.

William F. Johnson and Amelia R. Medina

SEC's Administrative Enforcement Intensifies Fairness Debate

By William F. Johnson and Amelia R. Medina |

In their Corporate Crime column, William F. Johnson and Amelia R. Medina discuss the SEC's increasing use of the administrative forum for litigating enforcement actions over its more traditional choice, federal district court.

<b>STAYING STATESIDE:</b>  AbbVie is one company that retreated from plans to buy overseas competitors and shift corporate headquarters offshore.

Law Firms Join Lobbyists to Support Controversial Tax Tactic

By Andrew Ramonas |

Law firms have joined a growing army of lobbying shops on Capitol Hill to ensure that AbbVie Inc., Walgreen Co. and other U.S. companies are part of the conversation about a controversial tax-lowering tactic.

Class Certified for One Claim in Harlequin Lawsuit

By Lisa Hoffman |

Southern District Judge William Pauley III has certified a proposed class action by romance authors suing Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. over electronic-book royalties.

Edith Ramirez, Federal Trade Commission chairwoman

FTC Sues AT&T Mobility Over 'Throttling'

By Ross Todd |

The Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T Mobility on Tuesday, claiming the company misled smartphone customers who have unlimited data plans. AT&T reduced speeds for some customers with unlimited data plans, in some instances by almost 90 percent, according to the FTC.

Email Triggered CVS Class' Removal to Federal Court

By Sheri Qualters |

A federal appeals court is allowing drugstore chain CVS to move a purported wage and hour class action to federal from state court under a new interpretation of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005's removal rules.

David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh

The Risky Business of Cybersecurity

By David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh |

In their Corporate Governance column, David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz write: Recent regulatory initiatives and the adoption of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework earlier this year offer guidance for boards of directors as they work to understand and oversee the myriad aspects of corporate cybersecurity.

Corinne Ball

'Revel' Reminds That Rights of Bidders Are Limited

By Corinne Ball |

In her Distress Mergers and Acquisitions column, Corinne Ball, a partner at Jones Day, writes: 'Revel' illustrates for potential asset purchasers that the rights of bidders in bankruptcy sale auctions are limited to objections addressing the integrity of the sale process.

Big Deals

By MP McQueen |

It's not everyday that one company pays another company to take a business off its hands, but that's exactly what's happening with International Business Machines Corp.

A nurse delivers a whooping cough vaccination to a student.

Pressure Is Mounting at Special Vaccine Court

By Jenna Greene |

As the antivaccination movement grows—and with it, outbreaks of diseases such as whooping cough, mumps and measles—the eight special masters at the so-called vaccine court within the U.S. Court of Federal Claims are under increasing pressure.

Andrew Ceresney, left, and William McLucas, right.

SEC Enforcement Leaders Debate Broken-Windows Policy

By Jenna Greene |

SEC Enforcement Division head Andrew Ceresney defended the agency's "broken windows" policy of cracking down on minor violations during a panel discussion Tuesday with five former directors of the division, who argued the agency is being too harsh.

David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem

Claim for Bad Tax Advice Results in Nontaxable Recovery

By Elliot Pisem and David E. Kahen |

In their Taxation column, Elliot Pisem and David E. Kahen, members of the law firm of Roberts & Holland, discuss the recent decision in 'Cosentino v. Commissioner', which concludes that certain recoveries against a tax professional are nontaxable as a "replacement of capital" except to the extent it represents a recoupment of amounts previously deducted for income tax purposes by the taxpayer.

Judge Sets Price for Share of Iced Tea Company at $1B

By Julie Triedman |

After nearly seven years of litigation, a state judge in Nassau County ruled Tuesday that the cofounder of the company that makes AriZona iced tea owes his former business partner about $1 billion for his share in the company, accounting for the stake's value and accrued interest.

Citing New Standard, Circuit Revives Whistleblower Claim

By David Bario |

Thanks to an earlier decision by the Second Circuit that lowered the requirements for asserting whistleblower claims under Sarbanes-Oxley, JPMorgan Chase must again face allegations that it fired a former vice president for raising suspicions about a favored client.

CareFusion's devices are used in hospitals throughout the U.S. and almost 130 countries worldwide.

New Deals

Becton, Dickinson and Company is buying CareFusion Corp. in the latest in a record-setting series of mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries following the Affordable Care Act. Also, Encana Corp. is acquiring Athlon Energy Inc. for $5.3 billion in the largest-ever U.S.-Canada transaction in the exploration and production sector.

Jason Doss.

Study Criticizes FINRA for Lack of Diversity and Transparency

By Jenna Greene |

The pool of arbitrators who decide most investor disputes in the United States severely lack diversity in age and gender, according to a study by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. The study found that 80 percent of arbitrators associated with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. are men, with an average age of 69.

Joseph M. McLaughlin

Enforceability of Board-Adopted Forum Selection Bylaws

By Joseph M. McLaughlin |

In his Corporate Litigation column, Joseph M. McLaughlin writes: Last year, the Delaware Court of Chancery confirmed the facial validity of board-adopted bylaws designating an exclusive forum for intra-corporate litigation, and other state courts have provided additional reassurance. In the last two months, however, two state courts addressing "as-applied" challenges to exclusive forum bylaws reached conflicting conclusions.

Judge Rejects Suit Against Avon Products

By Jan Wolfe |

A judge has dismissed without prejudice a proposed securities class action against Avon Products Inc., whose leadership was accused of lying to shareholders about its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Jesse Furman.

Plaintiffs Lawyers Offer Pathway to First GM Trial

By Amanda Bronstad |

General Motors Co. could face its first trial next year over injuries or deaths blamed on an ignition-switch defect that prompted recalls of 2.6 million cars and trucks worldwide.

Barbara M. Goodstein

MCAPs: Capping Off Lessons From the Credit Crisis

By Barbara M. Goodstein |

In her Secured Transactions column, Barbara M. Goodstein, a partner at Mayer Brown, reviews four standardized terms introduced in the 2014 MCAPs for several provisions that emerged in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis: (1) amend and extend, (2) buybacks, (3) cashless rolls, and (4) restrictions on disqualified institutions.

Marvel Comics' Captain America issue #248.

Marvel Settlement Leaves Unanswered Copyright Questions

By Lisa Shuchman |

No superheroes emerged from the five-year battle between Marvel Entertainment and the heirs of comic book artist Jack Kirby, which fizzled with a settlement before the U.S. Supreme Court was due to consider the case this week. But the copyright adventure is likely to continue.

David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh

Important Proxy Advisor Developments

By David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh |

In their Corporate Governance column, David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz write: By leveraging the influence of their clients, it appears that the SEC hopes to put pressure on proxy advisors to reform from within. However, as many shareholder activists are also clients of these firms, it may not be easy to promote change.

New Deals

By Valori Corral-Nava |

German multinational engineering conglomerate Siemens AG announced late Sunday it would acquire the Dresser-Rand Group, a Houston-based maker of compressors, steam turbines, gas turbines and engines for the oil and gas industry, in an all-cash deal worth $7.6 billion.

Class Action Denied, But Antiaging Pill Litigation Lives On

By Jan Wolfe |

A judge has blocked a class action lawsuit by a former executive of Telomerase Activation Sciences Inc. who claimed the pill-maker's marquee product gave him prostate cancer.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building.

Foreign SEC Whistleblower Gets Record $30 Million Award

By Susan Beck |

Companies worried about whistleblowers now have more reason to worry. On Monday the SEC expanded the universe of those who may collect money for reporting corporate wrongdoing. In an order approving a record award of at least $30 million to an unnamed foreign resident, the SEC concluded that foreign whistleblowers can qualify for awards even if the suspect activity they report occurred entirely overseas.

Judge Finds No Proof of Economic Damages in Fuel Oil Suit

By Suevon Lee |

A "theoretical defect" is an insufficient basis for a damages claim, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich said in a decision dismissing a putative commercial class action suit over the delivery of supposedly inferior heating oil.

John C. Coffee Jr.

Allergan and the Odd Couple

By John C. Coffee Jr. |

In his Corporate Securities column, John C. Coffee Jr., the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School, writes: Pershing Square Capital Management L.P. and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International have entered into a short-term marriage of convenience to facilitate Valeant's hostile acquisition of Allergan in a $53 billion deal. As with many relationships, onlookers have questions.

Gibson Dunn's Eugene Scalia

Judge Upholds Rules Governing Commodity Futures Swaps

By Jan Wolfe |

In a win for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday mostly upheld rules on cross-border swaps, rejecting arguments by banking industry trade groups that the agency exceeded its authority by imposing new regulations.

William Traxler, Jr.

Federal Judiciary Approves Rule Changes for Civil Discovery

By Zoe Tillman |

Federal judiciary officials on Tuesday approved proposed changes to court rules that could reshape how discovery is handled in civil litigation—for better or for worse, depending who you ask.

New Deals

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has agreed to purchase privately held Prestige Cruises International for $3.03 billion. Also, Amazon.com has announced that it would acquire video game streaming company Twitch Interactive Inc. in a $970 million cash deal.

Philip Berkowitz

New York and Texas: New Non-Compete 'Partners'

By Philip M. Berkowitz |

In his Employment Issues column, Philip M. Berkowitz writes that most courts disfavor enforcement of non-competes, but in recent years, New York courts have provided avenues for enforcing such agreements. Texas has been a far tougher state in which to enforce non-competes. A recent decision, however, makes New York and Texas unlikely partners in the enforceability of non-compete agreements.

Delaware Judge Upholds Forum Bylaw Aimed at M&A Suits

By Jan Wolfe |

In a rare move, a Delaware Chancery Court ceded jurisdiction to another state on Monday, ruling that bylaws to select forums are valid even if they're adopted before litigation is filed, and even if they designate a Delaware company's out-of-state home turf as the forum.

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton

Judge Backs Banks on Timeliness of FDIC Lawsuits

By Jan Wolfe |

Southern District Judge Louis Stanton dismissed claims by the FDIC against Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse and other banks that sold mortgage-backed securities, ruling that the FDIC waited too long to bring suit. Adopting an argument that other courts have rejected, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that the FDIC waited too long to sue Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse and other banks that sold mortgage-backed securities.

New Deals

By MP McQueen |

Power generating company Dynegy Inc. plans to buy power plants and other assets from Duke Energy Corp. and private equity firm Energy Capital Partners in two separate deals worth a combined value of $6.25 billion.

Steven M. Witzel

Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Regulation

By Steven Witzel |

In his Corporate Crime column, Steven Witzel writes: Much has been written on the nature and implications of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, including that they could mark the end of national currencies. The author focuses primarily on recent events in regulatory oversight and law enforcement scrutiny of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Aluminum Price-Fixing Claims Are Dismissed

By Jan Wolfe |

The aluminum warehousing industry has been the target of critical media coverage and regulatory scrutiny. But it's not turning out to be fertile ground for antitrust litigation, as a Southern District judge made clear on Friday when she tossed claims against the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Glencore plc.

Public Function Bars Lawsuits Against Metal Warehouse

By Jan Wolfe |

Southern District Judge Katherine Forrest has ruled that London Metal Exchange, a privately held for-profit company, is an "organ" of the U.K. government and therefore shielded by sovereign immunity from claims that it conspired with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and others to restrain aluminum supplies and drive up prices.

New Deals

Burger King Worldwide Inc. and Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc. have agreed to an $11.4 billion tie-up that would send the combined company's headquarters north in what may be the most visible corporate tax inversion yet. Also, Roche Holding announced Monday its $8.3 billion acquisition of InterMune, a suburban San Francisco-based company lung disease drug developer.

Corinne Ball

LightSquared Contest Continues: Court Denies 'Unfair' Plan

By Corinne Ball |

In her Distress Mergers & Acquisitions column, Corinne Ball, a partner at Jones Day, writes: A competitor's attempt to take over a debtor through its debt may be subject to judicial scrutiny, as discussed in the decision issued by Bankruptcy Judge Shelley C. Chapman in the LightSquared case. Chapman concluded that separate competitor classification was appropriate, but denied designation and confirmation.

David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem

Deductibility of Payments to Settle False Claims Act Liability

By David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem |

David E. Kahen and Elliot Pisem write about a recent First Circuit decision relating to the deductibility for income tax purposes of a portion of payments made in settlement of Medicare fraud claims under the False Claims Act.

Robert Gerber.

Bankruptcy Judge Delays Briefing in GM Ignition Cases

By Amanda Bronstad |

Southern District Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber on Monday delayed briefing to give plaintiffs attorneys suing General Motors Co. over ignition-switch defects time to file a consolidated complaint.

New Deals

Coca-Cola Company has agreed to purchase a 16.7 percent stake in Monster Beverage Corporation for $2.15 billion in cash as it looks to accelerate its growth in the booming energy drink business. Also, FleetCor Technologies Inc. has agreed to buy electronic payment processing company Comdata Inc. for $3.45 billion.

New Guidelines Map Nonparty Electronic Discovery

By Suevon Lee |

The Office of Court Administration released guidelines Tuesday on obtaining electronic discovery from nonparties in the Commercial Division that are set to take effect Sept. 2.

Joseph M. McLaughlin

Attorney-Client Privilege in Internal Investigations

By Joseph M. McLaughlin |

In his Corporate Litigation column, Joseph M. McLaughlin analyzes the D.C. Circuit's decision in 'In re Kellogg Brown & Root,' which restores much of the predictability attendant to the availability of attorney-client privilege in the business setting and will likely be the leading decision for some time applying the touchstone principles of corporate attorney-client privilege set forth in 'Upjohn Co. v. U.S.'

New Deals

By Wenxiong Zhang |

In a reversal of trend of U.S. companies moving overseas to save on taxes, Walgreens said on Wednesday it would buy the stake in Alliance Boots it doesn't already own, for $15.3 billion in cash and stock but keep its current Illinois tax address once it takes full ownership of the chain. Also, NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. said on Tuesday it would acquire Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II Inc. for approximately $3.4 billion in cash and stock.

Ruling Affirms Barclays' Position in Battle Over Lehman Assets

By Ross Todd |

An Second Circuit panel on Tuesday affirmed a big victory for Barclays plc and its lawyers at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in long-simmering litigation over the collapse of Lehman Brothers, ruling that Barclays is entitled to billions in disputed Lehman assets.

New Deals

By MP McQueen |

Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal has agreed to sell its North American subsidiaries to U.S. competitors Steel Dynamics and AK Steel Holding Corp. for a combined $2.3 billion. Also, Scientific Games Corporation said on Friday it has agreed to buy Bally Technologies for $5.1 billion in cash and debt.

Barbara M. Goodstein

Figuring Out Fixtures

By Barbara M. Goodstein |

In her Secured Transactions column, Barbara M. Goodstein, a partner at Mayer Brown, examines challenging questions that arise when assets are or become fixtures, and discusses the treatment generally of these assets under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.