January 13, 2016
Weil was recently profiled by Law360 as a 2015 Class Action “Practice Group of the Year” for securing “major triumphs” in a series of high-profile class actions that highlight the Firm’s involvement in cutting-edge cases across the practice area spectrum.
For example, over the summer, Weil scored three major victories on behalf of CBS Corporation — at the class certification, motion to dismiss, and motion for summary judgment stages — in two separate right-of-publicity class actions brought by college athletes in Tennessee and California federal courts. As Law360 highlighted, in one of the cases, Weil undertook an innovative survey of U.S. states’ right-of-publicity laws to successfully persuade the court to reject plaintiff’s attempt to apply California law to a nationwide class. Additional coverage of our wins for CBS can be found here and here.
In the employment space, Weil won a favorable class certification victory for Sterling Jewelers in a rare class arbitration in which a putative class of 40,000 female store employees alleged discrimination claims. As Law360 noted, the arbitrator’s ruling significantly limited what, had it been certified, would have been the largest class in the country.
Weil also secured its third consecutive Daubert victory for Procter & Gamble in a major product liability multidistrict litigation in which more than a hundred plaintiffs alleged that P&G’s denture adhesive caused health problems. Law360 highlighted how Weil “dug deep in its strategy toolbox” to convince the Court to grant P&G’s motion to exclude the remaining plaintiffs’ general causation experts – effectively ending the case – after earlier winning a similar motion to exclude the lead plaintiff’s causation experts (later affirmed on appeal). As David Lender, Co-Chair of Weil’s global Litigation Department, was quoted: “without causation experts they can't prevail in their claim.” Read more coverage about Weil’s victory for P&G here.
Law360 also featured Weil’s class action expertise at the intersection of IP and antitrust law, where the Firm obtained for a plaintiff class of local television broadcasters a very favorable $60 million settlement in a suit that accused the performing rights organization Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) of wielding monopoly power over the numerous copyrighted works it licensed to extract supra-competitive fees. As Law360 emphasized, the “ruling marks the first time in more half a century that a party clinched licensing conduct relief through an antitrust action against a performing rights organization.” Read more about the settlement here.
Mr. Lender, in describing the Department’s accomplishments in 2015 noted, “Just in the past year, we really have been retained in significant class actions cutting across every practice area where you see the bulk of class actions. What you'll see is that some of our peer firms may dominate in products or securities or consumer fraud, but we have it all covered.”
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