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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
COMPANY X - We still don’t know the identity of the foreign state-owned company fighting a grand jury subpoena apparently tied to Robert Mueller’s investigation. But we do know this: It wants to convince the U.S. Supreme Court that if it’s subjected to the U.S. criminal process, it will create a “foreign policy nightmare” and invite reciprocal treatment from other countries. C. Ryan Barber reports on redacted court papers the justices unsealed Tuesday following a decision from the D.C. Circuit ruling in December that rejected the company’s use of sovereign immunity to dodge a grand jury subpoena. Said the mystery company to the high court yesterday: “If left to stand, the ruling would wreak havoc on American foreign policy.”
MONEY, MAN - Plaintiffs lawyer Thomas Girardi has been hit with a lawsuit from a litigation funder claiming that he and his firm failed to repay more than $15 million in loans. Ross Todd reports that Law Finance Group LLC’s suit filed in L.A. claims that Girardi and his firm, Girardi Keese, refused to hand over recovered fees from cases that the parties allegedly agreed they’d use to repay the loans. Girardi, whose lawsuit against PG&E representing California residents who contracted cancer from contaminated water was the inspiration for the film “Erin Brockovich,” is the husband of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne.
PLAY BALL - And speaking of litigation funders, the Third Circuit is set to hear arguments this morning in Philadelphia involving former Atlanta Falcons player William White, who is a claimant in the $1 billion NFL concussion settlement, over whether his dispute with a third-party litigation funder should be settled in court or must go to arbitration. A federal judge previously invalidated agreements that class members struck with third-party funders in the concussion litigation. Thrivest, the funder, is appealing a decision by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, who rejected its bid for a declaration through arbitration that its agreement with White was valid. Some 200 concussion settlement claimants had deals with third-party funders.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
MAGICAL YEAR - Magic Circle firms in 2018 had their strongest year in continental Europe since 2012, Rowan Bennett reports. Across Europe’s major regions—Italy, Germany, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium—the U.K.-based firms took a higher proportion of top five spots than both U.S. firms and local rivals, according to Mergermarket’s 2018 report. Magic Circle firms took 14 of the 35 slots for the seven regions, while domestic firms took 11 places and U.S. firms took 10.
WHAT YOU SAID
“This is no way to treat workers. We shouldn’t have to be suing in court to get a basic requirement.”
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