- Outside counsel for Fortune-500 company Apache Corporation and its Australian subsidiaries in overseeing defense at trial of a $2 billion lawsuit against them and others, including ANZ Bank.
- The trial began in June 2016.
- The plaintiffs were members of billionaire families in India.
- Australian newspapers have described it as the largest trial in Melbourne, Australia’s history. We developed a half-billion dollar counterclaim.
- We made Australian legal history at trial by using the first beginning-to-end PowerPoint narrative graphic opening statement.
- And only a week after that presentation was made, the plaintiffs entered settlement negotiations and settled with Apache.
- The agreement is confidential, but our client is happy with the results.
- Lead outside counsel for Apache Corporation and certain Australian affiliates in overseeing a number of major Australian lawsuits by mining companies and others, relating to a gas pipeline explosion in Western Australia in 2008.
- These claims involved hundreds of millions of dollars.
- In 2015, these were successfully resolved, including with London-based insurers.
- Although the terms of the settlements are confidential, the clients are happy with the results.
- Lead outside counsel overseeing litigation in Australia brought against Apache Corporation by a plaintiff involving hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged claims relating to alleged violations of the Australian Trade Practices Act.
- Less than one month before the 2015 trial, the plaintiff dropped his lawsuit and all claims in it.
- Our client paid nothing.
- Lead advocate in a major international arbitration matter in Dubai representing the owners of the one of the largest chains of hospitals in the Middle East
- The matter settled in 2014 after only the second day of arbitration hearing – during my cross-examination of the opposing party’s CEO
- Settled confïdentially to the client’s strong satisfaction, including settlement of a related matter as well
- Opposing party was represented by a veteran British Queen’s Counsel
from a prestigious London chambers
- Lead counsel defending one Fortune 500 company against another Fortune 500 company in a major products liability dispute involving over $200 million
- Settled the case after a number of weeks of negotiation – before any lawsuit was filed
- Settled very favorably to the client
- Lead counsel for one of the largest energy companies in the United States in overseeing the defense of a criminal statutory fine prosecution in Australia over a major gas pipeline explosion
- The matter involved an explosion of a major pipeline providing gas to Western Australian customers – including large mines and other plants.
- The explosion temporarily disrupted 30 percent of Western Australia’s gas supply.
- Nevertheless, the Western Australian state prosecutors ultimately dismissed the prosecution completely – well before trial.
- Lead counsel for one of the largest energy companies in the United States in obtaining a stay against a major case filed in the U.S. over an Australian gas pipeline explosion
- The plaintiff alleged damages of hundreds of millions of dollars.
- We were able to stay the case – keep it from proceeding – for approximately 3 years.
- Aterwards, it was dismissed on grounds that the United States was not a convenient forum.
- Plaintiffs were unable to prosecute this case in the United States.
- Lead counsel for one of the largest energy companies in the United States in obtaining a stay against a major case filed in the U.S. relating to a dispute over a huge gas supply contract in Australia
- The plaintiffs alleged damages of several hundred million dollars.
- We stayed the case – kept it from proceeding – for approximately two years.
- The case has now been dismissed on grounds that the United States was not a convenient forum.
- Plaintiffs were unable to prosecute this case in the United States.
OTHER RECENT TRIAL AND SETTLEMENT RESULTS
- Lead plaintiff lawyer for Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee County Pension Fund
- Obtained a $45 million settlement after two weeks of jury trial in Milwaukee federal district court
- The recovery was paid by defendant Mercer, Inc., the largest employee-benefits company in the U.S
- The lawsuit had allegations of actuarial malpractice in connection with passage of a new employee benefits package in 2000-2001 by Milwaukee County
- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was then Milwaukee County Executive and worked closely on the case
- Lead plaintiff lawyer overseeing Canadian trial team in a major Canadian trial victory
- Was hired to oversee the Canadian trial team in a case in Canada where Apache Corporation’s Canadian subsidiary faced a $300 million counterclaim in a dispute over drilling rights.
- The trial lasted eight weeks.
- The judge’s decision just gave Apache a big victory — dismissing the counterclaim, and awarding disputed drilling lands and production proceeds to Apache worth tens of millions.
- The court decision made new Canadian law on theft of confidential information
- Lead plaintiff lawyer for Bank of Montreal in a major commercial dispute
- Obtained a confidential settlement within 12 weeks of being retained to the client’s satisfaction.
- Settled the case before a lawsuit was even filed.
- Lead plaintiff trial lawyer — JURY TRIAL LISTED IN “TOP 100 VERDICTS OF 2005” by Verdict Search magazine
- The jury trial involved our client’s purchase of a large Florida HMO from HIP New York (New York City’s HMO for its government employees) — and was in state court, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- The jury returned a $38 million actual damages jury verdict — for fraud, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment against HIP New York.
- plus the jury had found clear and convincing evidence that punitive damages were warranted (rarely awarded in Florida in a commercial case).
- The case settled one day after verdict to the client’s satisfaction.
- Our client is now a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
- Lead defendant trial lawyer settling a major patent dispute for Rockwell Automation, Inc., a Fortune 500 company
- Was hired by Rockwell Automation to represent it as lead counsel in a major patent, antitrust and unfair competition dispute
- The dispute had been ongoing for four years before I was hired
- It was resolved approximately two months after I was hired
- The settlement resolved the dispute and provided significant business benefits to Rockwell
- Lead plaintiff trial lawyer for a North Carolina bankruptcy estate in settling a dispute with Ford Motor Company over alleged patent infringement by Ford
- Was settled without filing any lawsuit
- Settled after a mock trial before a U.S. bankruptcy court judge as part of a mediation
- Lead settlement counsel for a leading national builder of housing projects for the working poor in a dispute with Sun Trust Bank
- The dispute involved allegations of $20-$40 million against the client.
- The case was resolved with the client paying nothing.
Other Results in 2004-06
- 2006 Selected to Special Counsel list for the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System.
- 2004 Retained as special settlement counsel for the City of San Diego in a dispute with its auditing firm.
- 2004 Selected to Special Counsel list for State Retirement System of Maryland, 2004
Other Recent Results (2000-2004)
Was lead trial lawyer for a joint prosecution group — the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (for a shareholder class), the Anicom bankruptcy estate, and several Chicago banks.
- $21.5 million settlement from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
- $18.0 million settlement from certain officers and directors of Anicom, Inc.
- $40 million in total settlements were obtained in federal court in Chicago involving now-bankrupt wire distributor Anicom, Inc.
- Two directors paid $12 million out of their own pockets not from D&O insurer.
First U.S. temporary restraining order ever obtained against three oil companies of the People’s Republic of China
- Lead trial counsel in a $100 million lawsuit filed by a subsidiary of Apache Corporation against Petrochina, et al.
- Involved a $120 million investment in a major drilling project on the coast of China, where the Apache subsidiary is operator
- Settled favorably for Apache 10 days after the TRO was obtained
- Resolves issues holding up the project for 2 years
Settlement of a major dispute against a “big-six” accounting firm in 6 months from filing the lawsuit
- Represented a multi-billion-dollar corporation as plaintiff
- Settled favorably to client
Settlement of a major dispute against a national insurance company in 13 days
- Represented an East Coast corporation in a dispute with its insurer over denial of coverage
- Settled for the entire multi-million-dollar payment the client sought from the insurer
Settlement of another major dispute against a “big-six” accounting firm in 15 months from filing of the lawsuit
Settlement of an employment termination dispute in 3 weeks on terms which the client sought
Other Plaintiff Contingent-Fee Litigation
Two major cases settled during May and June 1999 ($12 million)
- lead counsel in June 1999 in obtaining $6.25 million settlement in an international oil and gas dispute
- co-lead counsel in May 1999 in obtaining a $6 million settlement for a terminated CEO of a telecommunications company
The largest Employee Stock Ownership Plan recovery in history ($27 million)
- lead counsel for much of the case
- settled in 1996
- one of the largest recoveries in the history of North Carolina courts
- defendants were Morgan Stanley, NationsBank, and Burlington Industries
$120 million stock appraisal award
- won against Royal Dutch Shell in connection with its cash-out merger of Shell Oil U.S. stock
- upheld by the Delaware Supreme Court in 1992
$38 million disclosure violation award for class of Shell stockholders who tendered their Shell stock
- resulted from my discovery of a $1 billion error in Shell’s published oil and gas reserve calculations
- upheld by the Delaware Supreme Court in 1992
$40 million award for plaintiff class in antitrust class action
- plaintiff class included Wisconsin Power and Light, and other electrical utilities suing for alleged bid-rigging in fabricated steel provided to construction projects
- final settlement occurred just before trial
Client attorney for our firm, which served as lead counsel for the first six months of the Exxon Valdez litigation against Exxon
- worked with Steve Susman in setting up coordination among dozens of plaintiff-side law firms in the case
- left that role only because of a technical conflict that appeared with one of numerous defendants
- after our firm left the case, plaintiffs we organized won a substantial judgment and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars, net, of attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Other Plaintiff Litigation on an Hourly Basis
Lead counsel in a successful 3-day trial in 1999 defending my client for filing an involuntary bankruptcy petition against an opposing party for failing to pay $10 million
- I was lead lawyer for a large publicly-traded oil and gas company creditor
- Opponent debtor filed a $17 million arbitration claim as offset
- Opposing party was represented by distinguished counsel
- Court held the opponent did not even raise a “bona fide” dispute over the vast majority of its claims
Lead counsel in 1998 in a very favorable settlement for our clients (majority shareholders of a telecommunications company), just one month after minority shareholders instituted this legal dispute
Lead counsel in a 1998 case in which our client, president of a large title company, was allowed by settlement to become president of a competing title company in the same city within weeks of leaving the first company, despite an attempt to enforce a non-compete restriction on him.
Lead counsel in a case representing Enron Oil & Gas against Meridian Oil
- Won bench trial in North Dakota
- Opinion issued in 1997
Lead counsel in 1996 in a major dispute over a $50 million trust fund
- Several major law firms in Atlanta initially represented my client, the trust beneficiary
- I entered the case four years into the litigation
- It settled three weeks later, and my client got what she wanted
Head of expert witness work for Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines in largest antitrust litigation in airline history — against American Airlines (1994)
- organized expert work among economics professors from M.I.T., Stanford and University of Chicago, and attacked expert work of American Airlines witnesses
- worked with lead trial lawyers David Boies of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Joe Jamail
- American Airlines stopped the practice in dispute after this lawsuit got underway
Other Defense Litigation on an Hourly Basis
Lead counsel in 1998 successful defense of a $30 million lawsuit, brought against our client, a major midwest public utility holding company
- Was retained by client, NIPSCO, to try this six-year-old case just weeks before trial
- Case was tried in federal district court in Chicago
- After two weeks of trial, confidential settlement was reached
Successful defense in 1997 of NIPSCO Industries (Northern Indiana’s public utility holding company) against allegations of $60 million actual damages and $140 million punitive damages
- Case settled two weeks into trial at a tiny fraction of alleged actual damages
- Contingency-fee lawyers who brought the case failed to get from the public settlement anything close to even their regular hourly billing rates
Co-lead counsel in successful defense in 1997 of Sysco Corporation, one of the largest food distributors in the nation, against allegations by the owners of the popular Houston-based Ninfa’s restaurant chain for tens of millions of dollars
- Case settled within five months after the opposing side filed the case
- Sysco received a public apology from Mama Ninfa, the founder of the Ninfa’s restaurant chain, for ever bringing the lawsuit
- Sysco was allowed to keep its entire creditor claim in bankruptcy against the plaintiff
Representation of Placid Oil, Penrod Drilling, and Hunt Trusts in $1.5 billion counterclaim lawsuit against 22 banks (1986)
- An estimated 200 lawyers on other side
- Five to six main lawyers working on our side
- Headed up key parts of discovery in the case
Track Record for Quick Settlement
I have a long track record of resolution of cases ranging from $5 million to $600 million or more in dispute — some even without taking them to court. Some recent settlements involve times as short as 2 days in dispute, 5 days, and 30 days. Among the clients for whom these have occurred are Apache Corporation, Bank of Montreal, Enron Oil and Gas, Rockwell Automation, and the owner of a major HMO.