Law 360’s Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs


Law360’s Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

Law360 (April 4, 2019, 5:46 PM EDT) — Winston & Strawn kicks off this week’s lions list with a favorable jury verdict for client Teva in a $41 million drug patent infringement suit, while Atlanta’s Pope McGlamry ended up among the legal lambs after a judge slashed its fee request in a pro football player’s concussion settlement.

Legal Lions

Winston & Strawn LLP and Phillips Goldman McGlaughlin & Hall PA topped this week’s legal lions list after a Deleware jury ruled that their client, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. subsidiary Actavis Elizabeth LLC, did not infringe Orexo AB’s opioid addiction treatment drug Zubsolv with two generic drugs. The verdict came after a five-day trial over Orexo’s infringement case that sought at least $41 million in damages. Actavis and Teva are represented by John C. Phillips Jr. and David A. Bilson of Phillips Goldman McGlaughlin & Hall PA, and George C. Lombardi, Michael K. Nutter, Ivan M. Poullaos, Brian J. Nisbet and Nimalka R. Wickramasekeraof Winston & Strawn LLP.

Florida law firm Van Horn Law Group PA snagged a lion’s win this past week in an appeal from former NFL player Darryl Williams’ Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A Florida federal judge ruled that potential future payments to ex-football players from the NFL’s concussion settlement are disability benefits shielded from creditors in bankruptcy under Florida law. Williams is represented by Chad Van Horn and John Schank of Van Horn Law Group PA.

Attorneys from Earthjustice and the Natural Resources Defense Council earned a spot on the lions list on March 29 when an Alaskan Federal Judge invalidated President Donald Trump’s bid to undo his predecessor’s indefinite blockage of oil and gas drilling in large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, saying such a move would have to come from Congress. The environmental groups are represented by Erik C. Grafe and Eric P. Jorgensen of Earthjustice, and Jacqueline M. Iwata, Nathaniel S.W. Lawrence and Nancy S. Marks of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

After 14 years of patent litigation, Align Technology Inc., the maker of Invisalign, and ClearCorrect Inc. have called a truce in a long-running battle over patents on teeth-straightening technology, with ClearCorrect’s parent company agreeing to pay $35 million. Align is represented by Thomas Counts, Elizabeth Brann, Danielle Decker, Grant Margeson, Jeffrey Comeau, Saya Wallace, Gavin Murphy, Cole Malmberg, Ariell Bratton and Matt Lind of Paul Hastings LLP, and Lee Kaplan of Smyser Kaplan & Veselka LLP.

Apple — represented by DLA Piper and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP — didn’t infringe two of Evolved Wireless LLC’s patents related to LTE technology, a Delaware jury found Thursday, dashing Evolved’s claims for roughly $30 million in royalties. Apple is represented by David E. Moore, Bindu A. Palapura and Stephanie E. O’Byrne of Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, and Michael D. Jay, Nandan R. Padmanabhan, Mark D. Fowler, Susan N. Acquista and Jacob Anderson of DLA Piper.

Legal Lambs

The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the National Football League’s concussion settlement significantly trimmed a 20 percent fee request by a class member’s former counsel, rejecting current counsel’s argument that the firm should be cut out entirely. U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Strawbridge gave Leeland McElroy’s former attorney at Pope McGlamry Kilpatrick Morrison & Norwood a 6 percent fee.

Next up on this week’s legal lambs list is Jones Day. The Federal Circuit ruled Monday that two Cleveland Clinic cardiovascular disease tests patents are invalid for claiming only a natural law, with the court saying it is not bound by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office guidance indicating the claimed invention may be patent-eligible. Cleveland Clinic is represented by Lawrence Rosenberg, Susan Gerber and Calvin Griffith of Jones Day.

Mayer Brown LLP ended up on the lambs list Sunday after a New York federal judge ripped client Liberty Mutual for its “deception” and “lack of candor” in retroactively canning a longtime executive months after he resigned to join a competitor, ordering the insurer to pay him the 1.7 million in benefits the postdated firing cost him. Liberty Mutual is represented by Nancy Ross and Richard Nowak of Mayer Brown LLP.

In a loss for its attorneys at Whalen & Blackburn, a trucking group lost its bid to block California’s newly adopted standard for distinguishing between independent contractors and employees after a federal judge ruled Friday that the standard isn’t preempted by federal law and doesn’t unconstitutionally single out the trucking industry. Western States Trucking Association is represented by Kirk Blackburn and Patrick J. Whalen of Ellison Whalen & Blackburn.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP ended up on the legal lambs list March 29 after a split Ninth Circuit declined to reconsider an earlier ruling upholding a California law requiring charitable organizations to disclose to the state information on their biggest donors. The ruling went against the law firms’ clients — two conservative advocacy groups. The Thomas More Law Center was represented as recently as September by Louis H. Castoria of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation was represented as recently as September by Derek L. Shaffer, William A. Burck, Christopher Landau, Jonathan G. Cooper, Kathleen M. Sullivan and Harold A. Barza of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.

–Additional reporting by Rose Krebs, Rick Archer, Keith Goldberg, Matthew Bultman, Ryan Davis, Braden Campbell, Linda Chiem and Hailey Konnath. Editing by Aaron Pelc.


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