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Baron & Budd Founded in Dallas in 1977, Baron & Budd specializes in toxic torts including asbestos injury; it helped write the casebook on groundwater contamination. At present it represents some 180 municipalities, water providers and private well owners across 19 states suing over contaminants including methyl tertiary-butyl ether. The 80-attorney firm also maintains offices in California, Ohio, Louisiana and New York. NOTEWORTHY CASES: In re USG Corp., No. 01-2094-JKF (U.S. Bankr. Ct., D. Del.). Co-lead counsel Russell Budd was one of the negotiators for the asbestos creditors’ committee that secured a $3.9 billion settlement with the bankrupt United States Gypsum Co. It was one of the largest bankruptcy settlements on record. In re 7-Eleven Inc. Shareholders Litig., No. 05-08944-M (Dallas Co., Texas, Dist. Ct.). Lead counsel Randy Pulliam. The firm represented shareholders attempting to force the company to pay more to take the corporation private. The company ultimately agreed to boost its tender offer by $5 per share, worth $145 million to the shareholders. Bostic v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., No. CC-03-01977-C (Dallas Co., Texas, Ct. at Law). Lead counsel Charla Aldous and Chris Panatier. This was the second plaintiffs’ verdict in the case-the first was vacated-and brought $13.5 million to an East Texas man who died of mesothelioma at 41 following exposure to asbestos as a child. Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz In its 13-year history, the 42-lawyer New York firm Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz has built a reputation for tenacity on behalf of clients in consumer and securities fraud and corporate governance matters. NOTEWORTHY CASES: In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litig., No. 21 MC 92 (S.D.N.Y.). Stanley D. Bernstein was vice chairman of the plaintiffs’ executive committee and helped negotiate a $425 million settlement with JP Morgan-this on top of the $1 billion in settlements already reached over the alleged manipulation of companies’ values between 1998 and 2000. Westchester Day School v. Village of Mamaroneck, No. 02 CIV 6291 (WCC) (S.D.N.Y 2006). Co-lead counsel Stanley D. Bernstein, with Joel C. Haims of Morrison & Foerster. Local zoning officials first signaled yes but then said no after the neighbors complained about an Orthodox Jewish school’s expansion plans in October 2001. A federal judge, invoking the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, sided with the school following a seven-day trial. In re Royal Dutch/Shell Transport Securities Litigation, No. 04-374 (D.N.J). Lead counsel Stanley D. Bernstein, Jeffrey M. Haber and William A.K. Titelman. In protracted litigation over Shell’s 5.8 billion-barrel overstatement of its oil and gas reserves, Bernstein won a key interpretation of the Supreme Court’s Dura Pharmaceuticals v. Broudoruling that will allow investors to press claims even if they held their stock. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann Counting its contribution to the $2.7 billion Nortel Networks Corp. settlement, the fourth largest on record, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann had a hand in six of the 10 largest securities fraud class actions to date. Ever on the cutting edge, the firm has set its sights on UnitedHealth Group Inc. over stock options backdating. The 50-lawyer firm has offices in New York; San Diego; New Orleans; and Westfield, N.J.
THE PLAINTIFFS’ HOTLIST A different sort of trial for plaintiffs The path gets rocky and steep Investors press their demands Getting inside a client’s head Novel strategy pays off big The Plaintiffs’ Hot List

NOTEWORTHY CASES: In re Nortel Networks Corp. Securities Litig., No. 05 MD 1659 (S.D.N.Y.). Counsel Max Berger, John “Sean” Coffey and Noam Mandel. Clients including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board will get $1.3 billion in cash and stock as their share of the global settlement. This represents the largest recovery on record for a non-U.S. lead plaintiff. In re HealthSouth Securities Litig., No. CV-03-BE-1500-S (N.D. Ala.). Lead counsel Max Berger, John “Sean” Coffey and Jeffrey Leibell. In February, the firm recovered $445 million in a partial settlement for its institutional investor client against the company, its insurer and a number of individuals. Action continues against former Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Scrushy and others. Ohio Public Employees Retirement System v. Freddie Mac, No. MDL-1584 (S.D.N.Y.). The federal mortgage lender agreed to pay $410 million to settle claims arising from its $5 billion restatement of earnings for the years 2000 to 2002. Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll A 60-attorney Washington firm, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll has been in the middle of some of the most important class actions litigated in the United States, in fields including securities, antitrust, products liability and human rights. Last month, it secured certification of a class of “light” cigarette smokers in potentially the biggest class action in history. The firm has offices in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. NOTEWORTHY CASES: In re Rubber Chemicals Antitrust Litig., No. C-04-1648 (MJJ) (N.D. Calif.). Co-lead attorneys Michael Hausfeld and Richard Koffman. Settlements of more than $200 million were approved this year, for a total of $286.5 million, in this price-fixing action against the manufacturers of chemicals used in the tire industry. In re Globalstar Securities Litig., No. 01-CIV-1748 (PKC) (S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel Steven J. Toll, with Andrew Friedman, Joshua Devore and Marka Peterson, experienced the rare thrill of taking a securities action to trial in this case against the bankrupt company’s former chief executive, Bernard Schwartz. Schwartz settled for $20 million while in the final stages of presenting his defense. Norman v. Salomon Smith Barney, No. 03-CIV-4391 (GEL). Lead counsel Steven Toll and Joshua Devore represented investors in Salomon Smith Barney’s guided portfolio management program, which followed tips from in-house analysts including Jack Grubman, who later were accused of tilting their reports to get investment bankers to give the firm business. The case settled for $50 million. Hagens Berman Carl Hagens and Steve W. Berman opened their own firm in Seattle 13 years ago. Now Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro fields 40 attorneys with offices in Los Angeles; Chicago; Phoenix; and Cambridge, Mass. Active in national and multistate complex litigation, the firm recently began representing government entities against the tobacco industry. It claims major roles in cases that have recovered more than $260 billion. NOTEWORTHY CASES: In re Tenet Healthcare Cases II, J.C.C.P.No. 4289 (Los Angeles Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Lead counsel Steve W. Berman. The firm represented more than 650,000 elderly Californians challenging discounts offered to health maintenance organizations and other large payers but not to uninsured patients. The court signed off in August 2005 on a deal, according to which Tenet will end the practice in its 114 hospitals in 16 states and pay refunds. The overall value of the deal is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. Information Resources Inc. v. The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., No. 96 CIV 5716 (LLS) (S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel Steve W. Berman. ACNielsen’s parent company agreed to pay $55 million to settle allegations that it violated the Sherman Act in attempting to monopolize U.S. and overseas markets in retail tracking services. In re DRAM Antitrust Litig., No. MDL 1486 (N.D. Calif.). Lead counsel Steve W. Berman and Anthony D. Shapiro. In June the firm secured certification for its class action alleging price fixing by the two leading manufacturers of a type of computer memory technology used in a wide variety of electronic devices. The overall market is worth an estimated $20 billion. Girardi & Keese Girardi & Keese reports recoveries of more than $1 billion since its founding in 1965. With expertise in business litigation, entertainment law, personal injury, products liability and more, the firm is perhaps best known for pursuing toxic torts. It was Girardi & Keese, with Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack, which beat Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. in the groundwater contamination case, launched by the late Ed Masry, immortalized in the movie Erin Brockovich. The 22-lawyer firm maintains offices in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, Calif. NOTEWORTHY CASES: Natural Gas Antitrust Cases I, II, III & IV, nos. JCCP 4221, 4224, 4226 & 4228 (San Diego Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Co-lead counsel Thomas V. Girardi, with Pierce O’Donnell of O’Donnell and Schaeffer, and Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack. O’Donnell presented jurors with the antitrust case against Sempra Energy arising from the California energy crisis, while Girardi engaged in more than 100 negotiation sessions with Sempra. In the end, Sempra agreed to pay $377 million in cash, plus discounts and other savings for a total recovery of nearly $1.9 billion for ratepayers. Allen v. Aerojet-General Corp., No. 97AS06295 (Sacramento, Calif., Super. Ct). Lead counsel John Courtney with Gary Praglin of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack. The plaintiffs secured a $14 million verdict over groundwater pollution near a rocket fuel manufacturing plant, plus a finding that the plaintiffs were entitled to punitive damages. The case settled for $25 million in the early morning hours following the verdict. Aguayo v. PG&E Corp., No. BC123749 (Los Angeles Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Co-lead counsel Thomas V. Girardi, with Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack. This case, sometimes referred to as “Erin Brockovich II,” featured similar claims and settled for $300 million. Grant & Eisenhofer Stuart Grant and Jay Eisenhofer defected from the defense side of New York’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom nine years ago to form their own plaintiffs’ boutique in Wilmington, Del. Since then, Grant & Eisenhofer has recovered more than $2.2 billion, chiefly for large, institutional investors in securities class actions. Lately the 35-attorney shop has been pursing litigation intended to shake up the way corporate boards do business. NOTEWORTHY CASES: Global Crossing Ltd. Securities Litig., No. 02-CV-910 (S.D.N.Y.). Lead attorneys Jay Eisenhofer and Sidney Liebesman. In July a judge approved a deal whereby a group of investment banks will pay $99 million to resolve claims stemming from their role as underwriters of the Global Crossing calamity, bringing the total recoveries to $444 million. Earlier, the judge ruled that Microsoft Corp. and Japanese telecommunications company Softbank Corp. had to defend their purchase of bandwidth from a Global Crossing affiliate in Asia. Higgins v. New York Stock Exchange., No. 601646/05 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.). Counsel Jay Eisenhofer, James Sabella and Michael Barry, with co-counsel from Raynes McCarty and Lowey Dannenberg Bemporad & Selinger. The lead plaintiff received death threats during this seat-holder challenge to alleged double-dealing and conflicts of interest involving its merger with electronic exchange Archipelago Holdings Inc. The defense caved after two days of trial in November 2005, agreeing to a new assessment of the merger by an independent financial adviser and payment of attorney fees. UniSuper Ltd. v. News Corp., No. 1699-N (Del. Ch. Ct). Lead counsel Stuart Grant and Megan McIntyre. When the company’s board wrote a poison pill into its bylaws to defend against a takeover bid by Liberty Media, a group of shareholders in Australia, the Netherlands and the United States insisted on their right to object. In April, two weeks before trial, the board conceded, agreeing to put the matter to a vote of the corporation’s shareholders. The outcome has been widely hailed as a milestone in corporate governance reform. Labaton Sucharow & Rudoff A name change last fall to Labaton Sucharow & Rudoff accompanied this 43-year-old firm’s emergence into the top flight of the plaintiffs’ bar. The 50-lawyer New York firm captained or co-captained in some of the year’s most significant class actions. NOTEWORTHY CASES: In re HealthSouth Corp. Securities Litig., No. CV-03-BE-1500-S (N.D. Ala.). Co-lead counsel Thomas A. Dubbs and Jim Johnson, with Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, secured a partial settlement of $445 million over the massive fraud that brought about the health care provider’s collapse and convictions of 15 former employees. In re Bristol-Myers Squibb Securities Litig., No. 00-1990 (SRC) (D.N.J.). Lead counsel Thomas A. Dubbs and Jim Johnson. Five years of effort produced a $185 million settlement, the largest on record for securities fraud involving the development of a new drug (the hypertension drug Vanlev, ultimately rejected as unsafe by the Food and Drug Administration). The company also agreed to post on its Web site any information critical of any of its drugs. In re DHB Industries Inc. Class Action Litig., No. CV 05-4296 (E.D.N.Y). Co-lead counsel Lynda J. Grant and Christopher J. Keller, with Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. The $40 million settlement in this case seems modest compared to some of the others on this list, but involved a company whose high-flying chief executive, David Brook, had thrown his daughter a $10 million party while selling defective body armor to U.S. troops. Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins With 180 attorneys, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins partners claim $45 billion in recoveries, including the $7.3 billion (counting interest) it has helped to wrest from the banks and law firms implicated in the Enron Corp. collapse. The firm is based in San Diego with offices in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Houston; New York; Philadelphia; Washington; and Boca Raton, Fla. NOTEWORTHY CASES: Alaska Electrical Pension Fund v. CitiGroup Inc., No. 03-CV-8269 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel William S. Lerach, Patrick Coughlin and Michael Dowd. This was one of more than 50 individual actions the firm brought for private and public institutions that opted out of the WorldCom Inc. securities class action. It recovered $650 million, representing about 60% of the clients’ losses. In re Qwest Communications Int’l. Inc. Securities Litig., No. 01-CV-1451-REB-CBS (D. Colo.). Lead counsel Patrick Coughlin, Michael Dowd, Spencer Burkholz and Tom Egler. The firm was ahead of the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in targeting financial shenanigans at Qwest. Five years of hard slog through the courts won a $400 million settlement. Brody v. Hellman, No. 00-CV-4142 (D. Colo.). Lead attorneys Michael Dowd, Laura Andracchio and X. Jay Alvarez. U.S. West Inc. declared a dividend shortly before its merger with Qwest Communications, but Qwest never paid up. Qwest settled for $50 million on the eve of trial. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein reports recoveries of more than $925 million since last year. Maybe that seems paltry considering that the year before it was $1.2 billion, but Lieff Cabraser is hardly slacking. With more than 60 attorneys in offices in San Francisco; New York; Beverly Hills, Calif.; and Nashville, Tenn., it has a hand in cases of national significance. NOTEWORTHY CASES: Cox v. Microsoft Corp., No. 105193/00 (New York County, N.Y., Supr. Ct.). Co-lead counsel David S. Stellings and Michele C. Jackson. Microsoft agreed to pay $350 million to businesses and consumers over anti-competitive and unfair business practices. The firm reached similar settlements in North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida valued at $355 million. Sutter Health Uninsured Pricing Cases, J.C.C.P. No. 4388. Lead counsel Kelly M. Dermody. This major California health care company agreed to stop requiring uninsured patients to pay significantly more for health care. The company will offer refunds or discounts worth an estimated $276 million. Merrill Lynch Fundamental Growth Fund v. McKesson HBOC Inc., No. 02-405792 (San Francisco Co., Calif., Sup. Ct.). Lead counsel Richard M. Heimann, Bruce W. Leppla and Joy A. Kruse. A settlement reached on the verge of trial last fall recovered nearly all of the $150 million in losses claimed by two mutual fund clients in the McKesson stock drop. Motley Rice This Mount Pleasant, S.C., firm was launched three years ago by litigators Ronald Motley and Joseph Rice. The 74-attorney firm represents most of the family members suing the airlines over Sept. 11, 2001, casualties. The firm has offices in Atlanta; Providence, R.I.; Hartford, Conn.; and Barnwell, S.C. NOTEWORTHY CASES: Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association, No. CA 99-5226 (Providence Co., R.I., Super. Ct). Co-counsel Jack McConnell and Fidel Fitzpatrick, with Neil Leifer of Thornton & Naumes and Neil F.X. Kelly of the Rhode Island attorney general’s office. A jury ordered Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries Inc. and Millennium Holdings LLC, to pay as much as $3.5 billion to mitigate lead paint contamination in housing across Rhode Island. Watson v. Ford Motor Co., No. 02CP2308147. The firm won an $18 million verdict for two people injured because of a defective speed control mechanism in a Ford Explorer SUV.

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