1st Circuit nixes suits against lawyers and auditors of defendants in prior case

By Sheri Qualters
Law.com National Law Journal

Plaintiffs may not proceed with class actions against lawyers and auditors who worked for the defendants in an earlier class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has ruled.

On Sept. 22, a unanimous panel held that a constructive trust established by the judge in the first action could not reach payments made by the defendants to lawyers and accountants in exchange for services. It also ruled the new class actions were entirely new lawsuits, not enforcement actions for the prior case, and they could not proceed unless the class was certified anew. Continue reading “1st Circuit nixes suits against lawyers and auditors of defendants in prior case”

Successful class can’t get opposing counsel’s fees

By David E. Frank
Massachusetts Lawyer Weekly

A group of plaintiffs who won a $256 million federal fraud judgment could not use its class status to lay claim to the fees earned by the lawyers on the other side of the case, a judge has ruled.

The class of nearly 260,000 plaintiffs, who recovered the award against Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. in March 2009, argued that the fees collected by two national law firms were subject to a constructive trust entered in the underlying case. Continue reading “Successful class can’t get opposing counsel’s fees”

Former Congressman’s Defamation Suit Against Columnist Goes Forward

By Mark Hamblett
New York Law Journal

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a slander suit brought by former California Congressman Gary Condit for statements made by columnist Dominick Dunne about the disappearance and death of Chandra Levy.

Southern District Judge Peter K. Leisure said yesterday that Mr. Condit has asserted enough facts to survive dismissal, based on comments Mr. Dunne made about the Levy case on three national talk shows and at dinner parties where he regaled guests with rumors concerning the congressman. “This action brings the Court to the tire-streaked intersection of the right of one citizen to protect his reputation and the right of another citizen to speak freely,” Judge Leisure began in Condit v. Dunne, 02 Civ. 9910.The decision will be published Monday. Continue reading “Former Congressman’s Defamation Suit Against Columnist Goes Forward”