According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, over 97% of mergers and acquisitions result in "strike suits," litigation seeking to enjoin a merger that often quickly settles for attorneys' fees and supplemental disclosures to shareholders. In In Re: Walgreen Co. Stockholder Litigation, 832 F.3d 718, a recent case over such a settlement, Judge Richard Posner called the practice a "racket," and the Seventh Circuit rejected the lawsuit’s claims. Meanwhile, Delaware and New York courts have come out on opposite sides of the issue.
Ted Frank of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who successfully argued Walgreen and has multiple appeals on the subject pending in other jurisdictions, will discuss developments in the area over the last year and answer questions.
Theodore H. Frank, Senior Attorney & Director, Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF), CEI
Is Bitcoin property or currency in a court of law? Max Raskin, Research Fellow at the Institute for Judicial Administration at NYU Law, discusses how Bitcoin fits into our laws and what it means for the future of virtual currency jurisprudence.
On February 27, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Packingham v. North Carolina. This First Amendment case deals with whether a state may bar citizens from accessing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A North Carolina state law makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to "access" a wide array of popular websites that enable communications among users if the site is known to allow minors to have accounts. The statute does not require the state to prove the defendant has actually had contact with a minor, intended to do so, or accessed a website for any illicit or improper purpose. In the trial court, the Defendant was convicted of violating the law for a Facebook post in which he celebrated the dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring "God is Good!" Some contend that the law amounts to a sweeping, overbroad, and vague ban on protected speech untailored to any legitimate interest and is unjustified by any compelling need.
Jonathan Sherman, Partner at Boies Schiller Flexner and Melissa Arbus Sherry, Partner at Latham & Watkins will provide a preview of this interesting case.
Jonathan Sherman, Partner at Boies Schiller Flexner
In McLane v. EEOC the Supreme Court is being asked to resolve a circuit split regarding appellate court standard of review of district court decisions to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena.
Damiana Ochoa worked for McLane Company, a supply chain company. After returning from maternity leave, Ms. Ochoa was required to take a “physical abilities” test, which she failed three times. Subsequently, she was fired and Ms. Oschoa brought a gender discrimination claim against McLane. The district court denied part of one of the subpoenas EEOC issued to McLane. The 9th Circuit reversed, reviewing the district court’s decision to limit the scope of the EEOC subpoena “de novo,” which is contrary to the deferential review eight other appellate courts follow. The Supreme Court has been asked to resolve this circuit court split.
Karen Harned, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, attended oral argument and will join us to provide her impressions of argument, examine the case, and explore potential impacts of the upcoming decision on employers, employees, and the EEOC during this Courthouse Steps Teleforum conference call.
Karen Harned, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center
The American Bankers Association and Washington Federal, a bank holding company, have filed a suit against the United States government for reducing the amount of dividends paid to banks that own Federal Reserve stock. In the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the Federal Reserve agreed to pay 6% annual dividends to stockholders of regional Federal Reserve Banks, but Congress decreased that amount to 2% in 2015 in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, which appropriated the other 4% of would-be-dividends for highway funding. Proponents of the change argue that 6% dividends were exorbitant returns for the stock, and that banks are still guaranteed a positive return, even at 2%.
Brett Shumate and Steve Obermeier of Wiley Rein, who represent the plantiffs in this case, joined us to discuss the pending litigation.