Tag Archives: Judge Furman

Judge Furman: Arbitrator’s Criminal Conviction During Case Does Not Void Award (Steptoe Success)

In an opinion yesterday, Judge Furman upheld an arbitration award worth over $200 million in favor of a company affiliated with Israeli businessman Lev Leviev, and against his former partners in a series of diamond businesses.  The former business partners argued that the award should be set aside because one of the arbitrators was convicted of … Continue Reading

Judge Furman: GM’s Ignition Switch Compensation Program Is Admissible to Rebut Claim for Punitive Damages

In an opinion today resolving various in limine motions in one of the bellwether cases in the GM ignition switch litigation, Judge Furman ruled that GM could introduce evidence of its voluntary settlement program, in light of the fact that the plaintiff planned to seek punitive damages: Given  . . . the likelihood that [the plaintiff] … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Tells GM Ignition Switch MDL Lawyers to “Return to Focusing on What is Truly at Stake in This Litigation”

Yesterday, Judge Furman issued a written opinion following up on his earlier denial of a motion to replace the lead plaintiffs’ counsel for the ongoing GM ignition switch litigation.  Judge Furman lauded the plaintiffs’ steering committee for coordinating the massive litigation effort – including over three hundred depositions and almost fifty motions in limine – … Continue Reading

GM Settles Third Ignition Switch Bellwether Before Trial

Earlier today, GM settled with the third bellwether plaintiff prior to trial in the ongoing litigation over allegedly defective ignition switches in GM vehicles.  Of three bellwether cases so far, the first was withdrawn before a verdict, the second was decided in GM’s favor, and the third has now settled.  Plaintiff’s counsel in the third bellwether case had … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Dismisses Fraudulent Misrepresentation Claim in Ignition Switch MDL After GM Rests its Case

Yesterday, Judge Furman, dismissed from the bench the fraudulent misrepresentation claim in the second bellwether trial for the GM ignition switch multidistrict litigation.  Judge Furman dismissed the claim in response to GM’s motion judgment as a matter of law filed after GM rested its case last Friday.  The decision came in part because the bellwether plaintiff could not point to any communications from … Continue Reading

Judge Woods Dismisses Gender Discrimination Suit Against Columbia for Supporting “Mattress Project” of Student Who Accused Plaintiff of Sexual Assault

In an opinion Friday, Judge Woods dismissed a gender discrimination suit brought by a male Columbia student who was found “not responsible” for an alleged sexual assault, but who nonetheless alleged that the school discriminated against him by encouraging his accuser’s alleged campaign against him afterwards.  The accuser was awarded academic credit for a senior … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Won’t Remove Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel in GM Ignition Switch MDL

Yesterday, Judge Furman rejected an attempt to unseat the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the GM ignition switch multidistrict litigation (see our previous post on the motion here).  Judge Furman described the allegations that lead counsel had mismanaged the bellwether trial schedule in order to maximize fees as “sometimes wild” and “Monday morning quarterbacking.”  Judge Furman … Continue Reading

Plaintiff in GM Ignition Switch MDL Asks Judge Furman to Remove Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel

In a motion filed this week – described as “no easy motion” but “the right motion” that “has to be made” – a plaintiff’s lawyer in the GM ignition switch multidistrict litigation asked Judge Furman to remove the plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel and reconsider the bellwether trial schedule in the wake of GM’s victory in the first bellwether … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Allows GM to Withhold Attorney Documents in Ignition Switch MDL, Rejects “Crime-Fraud” Exception

In an opinion today the GM ignition switch MDL (prior coverage here), Judge Furman rejected the plaintiffs’ attempt to force GM and its lawyers at King & Spalding to produce, under the “crime-fraud” exception to attorney-client privilege, documents relating to King & Spalding’s advice on earlier ignition switch cases that were settled confidentially. GM had … Continue Reading

City in Iowa Brings Class Action Alleging that “Flushable” Wipes Are Not Flushable At All

In a class action filed Monday, the city of Perry, Iowa alleges that “flushable” wipes are not flushable, and in reality are harmful to local sewer systems: In order to maintain “wet strength,” and despite the Defendants’ claims otherwise, flushable wipes do not degrade after flushing. Rather, once in the sewer system, they ultimately wrap around structures within … Continue Reading

Judge Furman: Employee Cannot Assert Advice-of-Counsel Defense When Employer Refuses to Waive Privilege

In a decision last week in the government’s FIRREA action against Wells Fargo (previous coverage here), Judge Furman ruled that, at least in civil cases, an individual cannot force his former employer to waive privilege so the employee can assert an advice-of-counsel defense.  Judge Furman found that allowing a forced waiver in these circumstances would make the privilege “intolerably uncertain”:… Continue Reading

SDNY Blog Returns as Steptoe Blog

The SDNY Blog is relaunching as a publication of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.  We expect to post several times a week on decisions and other developments in the Southern District of New York.  You can find us right here at www.sdnyblog.com, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening in the Southern … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Dismisses Gender Discrimination Suit by Male Student Suspended from Columbia for Sexual Assault

In an opinion today, Judge Furman ruled that a male student, who was suspended from Columbia University for sexual assault, did not allege facts sufficient to go forward with his gender discrimination suit against the school.  The plaintiff alleged that the school’s disciplinary process was unfair and came to the wrong conclusion, but Judge Furman … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Allows GM to Withhold Jenner & Block Interview Notes Underlying Public Report on Ignition Switch Issues

In an opinion today, Judge Furman upheld GM’s decision to withhold, on privilege and work product grounds, interview notes underlying a publicly-released report prepared by GM’s attorneys at Jenner & Block regarding GM’s recall of around 800,000 vehicles that may have had defective ignition switches. The plaintiffs argued (among other things) that the interviews were … Continue Reading

Judge Furman Dismisses Class Action Accusing Match.Com of Using Photos It Does Not Own to Make Phony Dating Profiles

In an opinion today, Judge Furman dismissed a class action brought by a company called Meltech, which owns the rights to certain pictures of an adult movie actor known professionally as Melissa Midwest, against against Match.com and various affiliated dating websites.  Meltech alleged that Match and the other websites used photos of Ms. Midwest without authorization to make … Continue Reading

Judge Furman: James Cameron’s Avatar Movie Does Not Infringe Copyright of Noted Rock Album Cover Artist

In a decision issued yesterday, Judge Furman dismissed a lawsuit alleging that director James Cameron infringed the copyrights of artist William Roger Dean in Cameron’s blockbuster movie Avatar.  The artist, whose work has graced the covers of many major rock albums, claimed that many of the movie’s fantastical settings are copied from 14 works he produced … Continue Reading
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