CHICAGO (September 20, 2005) — On September 19, 2005, Crain's Chicago Business published its second annual list of Chicago's top litigations and deals. McDermott Will & Emery is serving as counsel in four of the litigations featured and one of the deals featured. The details are as follows:
Crain's List of 2005's Big Litigation
SEC v. Calugar
The Lawyer: Steven Scholes (McDermott Will & Emery LLP)
The Clients: Dan Calugar, Security Brokerage Inc.
Venue: U.S. District Court, Las Vegas
Description: Fraud. The SEC is suing Las Vegas securities broker Dan Calugar and his firm, Security Brokerage, for allegedly defrauding mutual fund investors. The SEC claims Mr. Calugar made $175 million through improper late trading-placing orders to buy or sell mutual fund shares after the market closes, but at the closing price. A class of mutual fund investors is also suing Mr. Calugar and his firm in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Mr. Calugar denies wrongdoing.
Oshana v. Coca-Cola Co.
The Lawyers: Michael Pope, Christopher Murphy (McDermott Will & Emery LLP)
The Clients: Coca-Cola
Venue: U.S. District Court, Chicago
Case description: Consumer fraud. In January, U.S. District Judge Suzanne Conlon denied certification of a class action brought by Illinois Diet Coke drinkers who claimed the company hid the fact that Diet Coke served from fountain dispensers was sweetened by both aspartame and saccharin-not just aspartame, like the Diet Coke sold in bottles and cans. Judge Conlon ruled that the plaintiffs didn't show they suffered harm by consuming saccharin.
Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Chester Willcox & Saxbe LLP
The Lawyer: Derek (Rick) Meyer (McDermott Will & Emery LLP)
The Client: Lorillard Tobacco
Venue: U.S. District Court, Columbus, Ohio
Case description: Fee dispute. In January, U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus approved a $415-million settlement in a fee dispute between tobacco companies and more than 400 lawyers involved in suing the tobacco companies for fraud in the 1990s on behalf of 25 states. In 1998, the tobacco companies reached a global settlement with the states and agreed to pay more than $14 billion in attorney fees, a portion of which was in dispute in this case. The tobacco companies filed a pre-emptive suit to have the fee claims settled in one court.
Pritzker v. Pritzker
The Lawyers: Lazar Raynal (McDermott Will & Emery LLP)
The Clients: Liesel Pritzker
Venue: Cook County Circuit Court
Case description: Breach of fiduciary duty claims. Case resolved in January 2005.
Crain's 2005's Big Deals
Deal value: $734 million
Buyer: Gardner Denver Inc.
Seller: Thomas Industries Inc.
Firm (client): McDermott Will & Emery LLP (Thomas)
Lead lawyers: Michael R. Fayhee, John P. Tamisiea (McDermott)