Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mourning Victims and Assigning Blame After Fatal Boat Crash on the Hudson -

Mourning Victims and Assigning Blame After Fatal Boat Crash on the Hudson - by Cara Buckley

Boat Crash on Hudson Kills Bride-to-Be -

Boat Crash on Hudson Kills Bride-to-Be - "A young woman who was set to be married in two weeks was killed and her fiancĂ©’s best man remained missing on Saturday after a boating accident on the Hudson River on Friday night, the authorities said."

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

BP Wants To Stop Paying Damages For Gulf Spill While Lawyer Is Investigated For Misconduct

This investigation involves a single staff attorney who apparently was a plaintiff's lawyer who had a stake in some cases.  BP is having success with the business press, roping in people like the intermittently reasonable Joe Nocera, and is now moving to create more extravagant headlines to influenc the conservative Fifth Circuit, I suppose.  - GWC
BP Wants To Stop Paying Damages For Gulf Spill While Lawyer Is Investigated For Misconduct:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP asked a federal judge on Tuesday to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company’s 2010 oil spill while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement program.
BP PLC argues in a court filing that it shouldn’t be required to take the risk that hundreds of millions of dollars in claims payments could be “tainted by fraud, corruption and malfeasance.”
“A temporary suspension in … payments will eliminate the serious risk of any further irreparable harm to BP while having little negative impact upon the claimants,” attorneys for the London-based oil giant wrote.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn’t immediately rule on BP’s most recent request to temporarily halt settlement payouts.
In April, Barbier refused to block what could be billions of dollars of payments to businesses after BP argued that he and court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau have misinterpreted the settlement and forced the company to pay for inflated and fictitious losses.
Barbier, who appointed Juneau, upheld his interpretation of settlement terms governing payments to businesses. BP appealed that decision.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case last Monday. The panel didn’t indicate how soon it would rule.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Madoff Case Puts Focus on Duties of Custodial Banks -

The Westport National Bank in Westport, Conn. Investors defrauded in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme claim the bank failed to protect their money.Madoff Case Puts Focus on Duties of Custodial Banks -
by Susan Antilla

Among the far-flung feeder funds, brokerage houses and institutions interconnected in the vast Ponzi scheme perpetuated by Bernard L. Madoff, one little-known local bank is now in the spotlight.

Westport National Bank and its parent company, Connecticut Community Bank, is the type of Main Street bank found in Anytown U.S.A., rather than near Wall Street. It has one main office and nine affiliated branches, all within a small radius stretching from Fairfield to Greenwich.

But to more than 200 individual investors, it was the bank that should have stood sentry over their money. A lawsuit brought by investors who lost a combined $60 million in the Madoff Ponzi scheme seeks to show that the bank failed at its job as the custodial bank in charge of their money.

Though it was one of many institutions entangled with Mr. Madoff and his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, the trial serves as a cautionary tale for any investor on the role and duties of custodial banks. The central question at the heart of the civil case is what obligation, if any, such banks have in determining whether the assets of investors exist at all.

A jury in Hartford finished hearing eight days of evidence last month in the case before Judge Vanessa L. Bryant of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Closing arguments are expected to be heard on Thursday.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Judge Orders N.F.L. Concussion Case to Mediation -

Judge Orders N.F.L. Concussion Case to Mediation -
"The federal judge overseeing the case brought by thousands of former N.F.L. players who have accused the league of hiding the dangers of concussions ordered both sides to mediation Monday.
United States District Court Judge Anita Brody, from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ordered Layn Phillips, a retired judge, to serve as mediator in the case.
Judge Brody said she would not rule on the N.F.L.'s motion to dismiss the case until Sept. 3 to give the mediator time to bring the sides closer. She had expected to rule on that motion July 22. The judge said she had an “informal exploratory telephone conference with lead counsel” Monday before referring the case to a mediator.
The league and the lawyers representing more than 4,000 players and their wives will now meet in a conference room instead of a courtroom to try to iron out their differences, which will not be easy given the complexity of the case."

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