Magnum Hunting

Hunting for fees, that is, in securities litigation against alleged fraudster Magnum Hunter Resources, wherein hyper-contested lead counsel motions were filed earlier this week.  Unfortunately, those motions are hyper-contested only by virtue of their number rather than their substance.  No fewer than eight (8; VIII; שםונח) counsel groups filed motions in each of two districts–all eight in the S.D.N.Y., three of whom filed in the S.D. Tex. as well.

Pomerantz Haudek was the busiest of the eight, filing a complaint by itself in Texas, which Saxena White followed with another complaint–filed by the same local counsel.  Pomerantz subsequently dismissed its Texas case, which evidently got Magnum’s attention.  Seeking to litigate on its own turf, and perhaps fearful that Saxena White might follow Pomerantz out of town, Magnum filed a 1404 motion in New York, seeking to consolidate cases pending there with the one remaining in Texas.

The dockets were then relatively quiet until this past Monday, when all heck* broke loose.  Pomerantz–armed with new clients and now aligned with Chimicles & Tikellis–filed lead counsel motions for those clients in both Houston and New York.  A Robbins Geller/Labaton tag team did the same, as did Morgan & Morgan.  The other contestants–Cohen Milstein, Kessler Topaz, Squitieri & Fearon, Finkelstein & Krinsk and Bernstein Liebhard–limited themselves to the blue state court.  And all parties limited themselves to submissions that are so bland that to call them “boilerplate” would be insulting to boilerplates.

So who’s likely to emerge from this with all the spoils?  As is often the case, Robbins Geller and Labaton claim the greatest losses–somewhere in the high six figures.  Cohen Milstein and Morgan are both in the low six figures.  The others all claim five-figure losses, which is a shame–not for those firms, but for imPaneled, as we would like to see nothing more than knockdown, smash-mouth, eight-way verbal sparring.  That is likely not forthcoming.  But there will hopefully be drama sufficient to justify a future post.  Stay tuned.

* – imPaneled is a family blog.

Chaos, Panel-style

The clerk’s nightmare that is In re: Imprelis Herbicide Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2284, surely tops the bill for the September 27 oral argument in Philadelphia.  According to the Panel, that proceeding encompasses 45 actions in 18 courts.  The competing motions and responses are little less extensive.  Even defendant duPont hasn’t settled on a single district, favoring Minnesota, but–shockingly–amenable to Delaware.

Plaintiffs are predictably more scattered in their views.  The several camps are generally focused on the following possibilities:

  • Delaware: Labaton filed the initial motion seeking consolidation in Delaware, then acceded to New Jersey and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in its reply.  Chimicles, Lieff Cabraser, Berger & Montague and others are on board.
  • N.D. Ohio: Wolf Haldenstein, Climaco Wilcox and others filed the second motion, seeking consolidation in the Northern District of Ohio.  They were followed by a slew of other midwestern plaintiffs, some of whom seek assignment to other judges in that district.
  • Minnesota: Robins Kaplan seeks consolidation on its home turf.  Relatively few other plaintiffs join them, and several of those are amenable to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • Indiana:  A relatively small group of plaintiffs, led by Cohen & Malad, seek consolidation in the Southern District of Indiana.
  • E.D. Pa.: Another relatively small group of plaintiffs, led by Fox Rothschild, Weinstein Kitchenoff and Seeger Weiss, seek consolidation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

There will be more to come as to this one as it develops.

Update:  It turns out that there should have been more to come immediately upon the initial posting of this preview.  I missed a submission from Wilentz Goldman favoring the District of New Jersey (with Delaware as the alternative) and another favoring the Eastern District of Michigan (with the N.D. Ohio as the alternative).  Kudos to Mr. Lüthi and his staff for doing a better job of keeping these things straight than I apparently do.

  • About the blogmaster

    Bart Cohen is the principal of the Law Office of Bart D. Cohen, where he represents his clients in class actions and other complex litigation, and Winning Briefs, where he polishes, edits and drafts written work product for overextended lawyers.

    His unnatural appetites for rules and research of all kinds have made him an expert on proceedings before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. He feeds those appetites and chronicles the battles to land lead counsel appointments that are fought in part before the Panel on imPaneled.

    You can contact Bart here or connect with him here.

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