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 – in just a year and a half.  Judge Furman reiterated that the motion was untimely, and that the movants (other plaintiffs’ counsel with concerns about the direction of the MDL’s leadership) had not met the high burden for unseating lead counsel.

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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  Of three bellwether cases so far, the first was withdrawn before a verdict, the second was decided in GM’s favor, and the third has now settled.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

Earlier today, NBA player Thabo Sefolosha filed a complaint against five NYPD officers and the City of New York.  The claims stem from an incident outside a Manhattan nightclub in April 2015, where Sefolosha alleges that NYPD officers beat him and broke his leg without justification.  According to the complaint, the NYPD orchestrated a malicious

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

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 thesis known as the “Mattress Project,” in which she carried a mattress with her during her senior year as a protest for the school’s inaction.

Judge Woods noted at the outset that his role was “limited,” and would not involve “advocat[ing] for best practices or policies,” or even “decid[ing] whether Columbia treated Plaintiff fairly or unfairly.” (These statements quote from another case against Columbia before Judge Furman and covered here.)

Judge Woods dismissed the gender discrimination (Title IX) claims because they were premised on a “logical fallacy”:
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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

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 case.  The motion claims that the co-leads prioritized the order of bellwether trials in concert with GM based on the potential share of fees and not the merits of each case.  The motion further alleges that the case originally scheduled for the first bellwether trial (which, according to the motion, was much stronger on the merits) was removed when counsel would not agree to split the fees with the co-leads.

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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 earlier produced a substantial portion of the documents voluntarily (such as case evaluations sent to GM) but the plaintiffs sought additional documents – primarily internal King & Spalding correspondence.  Judge Furman concluded that the plaintiffs had failed to show, as required for the “crime-fraud” exception, that these internal communications were made with the intent to further a crime or fraud, as opposed to merely relating to an evaluation of the legal risks of the cases that were settled:
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