Our first runner-up this week is a team at Davis Wright Tremaine that scored a major appellate reversal for short-seller Muddy Waters. A trial court in California had previously found that Muddy Waters-authored reports–reports that raised allegations that a large Chinese aluminum company had fraudulently inflated sales figures–amounted to “commercial speech” and fell outside the protections of the state’s anti-SLAPP law. But last week, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal granted what the justices themselves called an “extraordinary” writ in the case. The ruling orders the lower court to strike the complaint finding the underlying claims arose from protected speech on matters of public concern. The Davis Wright team was led by partners Bruce Johnson, Ambika Kumar, and Diana Palacios.

A Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher team led by Josh Krevitt, Paul Torchia and Kate Dominguez also nab a runner-up spot for their win for EMC in a patent case brought by ACQIS. In a ruling handed down last month that was made public last week, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston granted summary judgment of non-infringement for EMC on all eight patents remaining in the case relating to modular computing systems. The ruling came after ACQIS had secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements from others by asserting the same patents. The Gibson Dunn team forced ACQIS to take positions in Patent Office proceedings challenging the patents that led to favorable claims construction in the case for EMC.

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