Complex Litigation

  • Ensco Offshore Company and ATP Oil & Gas Corp. v. Kenneth Lee Salazar, et al., No. 10-1941 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49875 (E.D. La. 2011); 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16321 (E.D. La. 2011); 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111226 (E.D. La. 2010). Counsel to plaintiffs in an Administrative Procedure Act challenge to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s deepwater drilling moratorium and subsequent delays in issuing offshore drilling permits. The moratorium was withdrawn by the government on the day post-hearing briefs were due; summary judgment was granted in plaintiffs’ favor on the delay claims and the government was preliminarily and permanently enjoined to act on the subject drilling permits within 30 days. The district court also struck down the government’s attempt to impose substantive regulations without following the required notice-and-comment procedures. 
     
  • United States ex rel. Robert Keith Bender v. North American Telecommunications, Inc., et al., No. 1:06-cv-1432 (D.D.C. 2010). Counsel to Lockheed Martin Corporation in a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit. The case involves allegations of fraud by a Lockheed Martin subsidiary and other parties in connection with a U.S. Department of Agriculture facilities maintenance contract. Our motion to dismiss filed on behalf of our client was granted in February 2010. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint which was dismissed in its entirety by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on November 4, 2010. 
     
  • Davis v. PBGC, No. 1:08-cv-01064 (D.D.C.) (pending). Counsel to more than 1700 retired pilots of US Airways, Inc. (all part of an association known as the Retired Pilots Association of US Airways, or the “Soaring Eagles") in a suit filed in federal district court against the PBGC in 2008. This ERISA-based action, emanating out of US Airways' bankruptcy and its related decision to effect a distress termination of its pension plan, asserts several claims for equitable and declaratory relief, primarily focused on the PBGC's methods for calculating retirement benefits and its obligations as a fiduciary of a terminated plan. The case is one of the largest challenges ever filed to PBGC administrative action, and the Court has denied a motion by the PBGC to dismiss the case. The parties recently cross-moved for summary judgment. 
     
  • Black. v. PBGC, No. 2:09-cv-13616 (E.D. Mich.) (pending). Counsel to an association of salaried retirees of Delphi in litigation arising out of the termination of their defined benefit pension plan. The Second Amended Complaint, filed August 26, 2010, alleges that the PBGC’s termination of the salaried pension plan violates both ERISA and the Due Process Clause. It specifically challenges the PBGC’s ability to terminate a plan without a judicial decree under ERISA § 4042, its ability to enter into agreements with a conflicted plan administrator not acting as a fiduciary, and the due process implications of a PBGC plan termination without any notice or hearing. The lawsuit also challenges actions taken by other governmental actors, including the Treasury Department and the Presidential Auto Task Force. The Court recently denied the PBGC’s motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, and the case has now entered a discovery phase. 
     
  • The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification v. Moon, 2011 CA 003721 B (D.C. Super. Ct.) (pending). Counsel to Unification Church entities in an action against the current directors of a non-profit corporation. Claims include breach of fiduciary duty against corporate directors, a trustee and an agent. Discovery is ongoing. 
     
  • United States ex rel. Greabe v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, No. 04-11355 (D. Mass. 2010). Counsel to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in a False Claims Act suit alleging fraud in connection with a Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) contract with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Summary judgment was granted in the Association’s favor on all claims in 2010. 
     
  • Counsel to Kevin Ring in a case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, and illegal gratuities arising out of Mr. Ring's work with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Of the dozens of people targeted in the Abramoff investigation, Mr. Ring was one of three to proceed to trial. A first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury was hung on all counts and a second trial ended with split verdicts. Mr. Ring's appeal will raise numerous issues of first impression concerning the intersection of lobbying, campaign contributions, and the proper construction of the honest services fraud statute following the Supreme Court's opinion in Skilling v. United States. 
     
  • In re: ULLICO Litigation, No. 1:03-cv-01556 (D.D.C. 2010). Counsel to ULLICO Inc., a major union-affiliated holding company, and its subsidiaries and pension plans and in connection with claims of breach of fiduciary duty and other corporate governance issues against former senior officers and directors following internal, federal, state, and congressional investigations. The case was settled and dismissed. Litigated issues in the case include Plan Amendments, benefit eligibility, and ability of Plan and company to offset benefits against other debts owed by former fiduciaries. 
     
  • Represented David Geisen against criminal and civil charges arising out of allegedly false statements his employer submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The criminal trial ended in a split verdict and the appeal focused on the propriety of the “willful blindness” jury instruction and the preclusion of evidence regarding a deferred prosecution agreement. Prevailed in the civil case, which was tried to a Licensing Panel of the NRC on the allegation that Mr. Geisen engaged in deliberate misconduct by knowingly making false statements. 
     
  • In re: Global Crossing Litigation, No. 1:04-cv-02558 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Counsel to a defendant original shareholder of Global Crossing in an action by the Global Crossing Estate representative and Trustee of a liquidating trust for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims arising out of the conduct of the Global Crossing corporate entities. Case was settled and dismissed. 
     
  • American Airlines, Inc. v. United States, 551 F.3d 1294 (Fed. Cir. 2008). Counsel to American Airlines in refund suit regarding liability for unpaid passenger user fees. Judgment in American Airlines’ favor affirmed. 
     
  • Brubaker v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 482 F.3d 586 (D.C. Cir. 2007). Counsel to MetLife in the successful defense of an ERISA class action brought by a former employee seeking additional retirement benefits for himself and other former employees. Successfully prevented class certification, then prevailed on summary judgment and obtained a unanimous affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit. 
     
  • Russell v. Gennari and Anthem Health Plans of America, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-793, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83771 (E.D. Va. 2007), aff’d, 284 F. Appx. 98 (4th Cir. 2008). Counsel to an insurance company in action alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. Motion to dismiss on grounds that claims were preempted by the FEHBA granted by the trial court and affirmed by the Fourth Circuit. 
     
  • Louisiana Health Services & Indemnity Co. v. United States, No. 05-0914, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56699 (M.D. La. 2009). Counsel to an insurance company in a tax refund suit regarding deductions for the loss of customer-based intangible assets held when the insurance company first became a taxable entity. Summary judgment was granted in the insurance company’s favor on most liability issues in 2009 and the refund amount was settled in 2010. 
     
  • Continental Airlines, Inc. v. United States, 77 Fed. Cl. 482 (2007), appeal dismissed, 346 F. Appx. 578 (Fed. Cir. 2009). Counsel to Continental Airlines in refund suit regarding liability for unpaid passenger user fees. Summary judgment granted in Continental Airlines’ favor. 
     
  • In re: Enron Corporation Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. H-01-3624 (S.D. Tex. 2005). Counsel to a former Outside Director and member of Enron’s Audit and Finance Committees in the nationwide consolidated securities actions brought after the collapse of Enron. 
     
  • Kohler Co. v. United States, 468 F.3d 1032 (7th Cir. 2006), aff’g, 387 F. Supp. 2d 921 (E.D. Wis. 2005). Counsel to Kohler in successful tax refund suit over whether it incurred a taxable gain in connection with a Mexican debt-equity swap transaction. 
     
  • Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. v. McVeigh, 547 U.S. 677 (2006). Counsel to a Blue Cross and Blue Shield entity in the U.S. Supreme Court, both in successfully petitioning for certiorari and then in briefing and arguing on the merits, a case raising issues of federal vs. state court jurisdiction in connection with FEHBA subrogation disputes. 
     
  • Doe v. Kamehameha Schools/Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 295 F. Supp.2d 1141 (D. Haw 2003); remanded, 416 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2005); rehearing, en banc, granted, 441 F. 3d 1029 (9th Cir. 2006); affirmed en reh’g en banc, 470 F.3d 827 (9th Cir. 2006). Counsel to Kamehameha Schools and received a favorable decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment rejecting a claim that the schools’ Native Hawaiin preference admissions policy constituted impermissible racial discrimination. 
     
  • Black & Decker Corp. vs. United States, 340 F. Supp. 2d 621 (D. Md. 2004), aff’d in part, rev’d in part and remanded, 436 F. 3d 431 (4th Cir. 2006). Successfully represented the Black & Decker Corporation in a closely-watched corporate tax shelter case involving whether the company was entitled to a $60 million capital loss arising from the sale of stock in its contingent healthcare liability management subsidiary. 
     
  • United States ex rel. Campbell v. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Martin Marietta Corp., Civ. Nos. 95-549-CIV-ORL-22, 95-1287-CIV-ORL-18 (M.D. Fla. 2004). Counsel to Lockheed Martin in two qui tam cases alleging mischarging of costs and defective pricing in connection with contracts for provision of aircraft navigation systems. More than $147 million in damages and penalties were alleged. After an extensive criminal investigation, we successfully convinced the United States not to indict the company or any individuals. After a year of discovery, the civil case settled. 
     
  • General Motors Corporation and Allison Engine Company, Inc. v. Northrop Corporation, Northrop Aircraft Division, Cause No. 49D01-9109-CP-1029, filed in the Marion Superior Court Civil Division. Counsel to General Motors and Rolls-Royce Corporation in a case against Northrop Corporation for breach of its duty to disclose superior knowledge and to provide adequate specifications for major components of the FY-23 prototype Advanced Fighter Jet. In 2002, we obtained a $68 million judgment in favor of General Motors Corporation/Allison Engine Company after an eight week jury trial. 
     
  • In re: Estate of Bernice P. Bishop, Hawaii Circuit Court Equity, No. 2048 (1999). Counsel to the Interim Trustees of the Bishop Estate, a $10 billion dollar private charitable trust, in proceeding to remove the permanent trustees of the Estate for self-dealing and other breaches of fiduciary duty. The trustees’ misconduct was alleged as part of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit of the trust. The IRS threatened to revoke the tax-exempt status of the trust unless the five permanent trustees were removed. Loss of tax-exempt status would have resulted in a tax liability of more than $900 million. When the trustees refused to resign voluntarily, we filed a removal proceeding in Hawaii Circuit Court in Honolulu. After a four month proceeding, all of the trustees resigned or were removed and the tax-exempt status of the Trust was preserved.