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.